31 Jan 2015

Review: M&S Hot Cross Muffins

The M&S Hot Cross Muffin, a fab new product for Easter 2015, is  a cross between a hot cross bun and a muffin. There have been plenty of bakery hybrids in the past few years, such as the Duffin (a cross between a doughnut and a muffin), or more recently the Tesco Mince Pie Cookies, but I think these Hot Cross Muffins are my favourite by far. A big thank you to Fran who emailed me that she had spotted them instore this week. 

The Marks & Spencer Hot Cross Muffins are described as deliciously moist spiced muffins, with juicy Turkish sultanas, Greek Vostizza currants and citrus peel, hand decorated with a cross. Inside the muffins are indeed full of lovely plump raisins and currants. The flavour is delicious too, very reminiscent of a spiced hot cross bun, but as a much sweeter, cakey version. The hints of lemon and orange come through wonderfully too, giving these muffins a gorgeous fruity flavour. The texture of the muffin is not too greasy either, which is often the case with supermarket muffins. 

Overall, I thought the M&S Hot Cross Muffins were just perfection and I thoroughly enjoyed them. I would even say that I prefer them to actual hot cross buns or any regular muffins! 

Grocery Gems Verdict: M&S Hot Cross Muffins

RATING: 10 out of 10.
Buy them again?: Yes!
Nutrition: 254 calories per muffin.
Vegetarian: Suitable for Vegetarians.
Purchased: Marks & Spencer.
Price: 2 for £2.50p (four packs).

29 Jan 2015

Degustabox January: Surprise Foodie Box & Discount Code!

January's Degustabox arrived yesterday and it's fittingly called the "January Healthy Box". Thankfully it's still full of interesting products from a selection of different brands - clearly healthy doesn't have to mean boring. If you haven't seen my previous posts, Degustabox is monthly foodie subscription service that is guaranteed to be filled with a mix of foodie surprises from new and established brands.

Discount Code: MTAFQ 

Each Degustabox costs £12.99 a month, which includes delivery. There is no fixed contract involved and you can cancel at any time. Degustabox have kindly provided my readers with the following Discount Code for £3.00 off your next Degustabox, bringing the cost to £9.99 delivered. Simply enter the code - MTAFQ.

Here's a quick round up of all the products I received in the January Degustabox:

Alfa One Rice Bran Oil: A versatile cooking oil which is full of natural antioxidants such as Vitamin E. It also contains a naturally occurring plant sterol, Gamma Oryzanol, which has been shown to reduce cholesterol absorption. I like trying out different types of oils when cooking and I'm sure this will Rice Bran Oil be very useful in the kitchen.

Magners Light Orchard Berries: The premium Irish Cider brand has launched a new range of fruity flavours for its low calorie cider range; Magners Light. At 103 calories per bottle, Orchard Berries Light is the first new flavour to be released and is available at Tesco (in 4 x 330ml packs).

Sukrin Bread Mix: This is an interesting product - a Sunflower and Pumpkin Seed Bread Mix which is free from gluten, egg, sugar, wheat, yeast and soya. Each slice is made up of only 1% carb and has a great fibre content at 21%. I like the fact that is can be used as a base for other bread products such as pizza bases, burger buns and tortilla wraps. I'll  look forward to giving this easy to use bread mix a try!

Koko Dairy Free: This is already a product I buy quite often (I tend to go dairy free for cereal and coffee). Koko is an alternative to dairy milk made from freshly pressed coconut milk. It contains fewer calories than skimmed milk, and has 0% cholesterol. It also doesn't curdle in tea or coffee which is a real plus.

Little Miracles Organic Teas: Little Miracles is a blend of organic tea, juice, and ginseng drinks that are sweetened with agave. They are free from artificial colours, flavours or sweeteners. Degustabox have featured the Little Miracles range before and I really enjoyed the flavours I tried previously. There were two Little Miracles drinks included in the January Degustabox; a White Tea  with Cherry and a Black Tea with Peach.

Simplee Aloe: A blend of aloe vera and grape juice which is made used ethically sourced ingredients without any artificial colours or flavourings. Each 330ml "Grab & Go" carton has less calories than an apple. I've tried Aloe Vera drinks before and enjoyed them, but they've always been flavoured versions. It will be interesting to see how this "Simplee Aloe" drink compares. The range is available at Sainsbury's, Whole Foods Stores and Japan Centre.

Haywards Piccalilli: I have a confession to make: I've never tried Piccalilli before, which is strange, especially considering how much I like pickles (and mustard!). I can imagine this would have been great at Christmas time as an accompaniment to cold meats, but luckily it's also recommended for sandwiches, burgers and BBQs. Either way, I'm sure we will get plenty of use out of this Piccalilli and I'm already a fan of the Haywards range after trying their Hot & Spicy Pickled Onions recently.

Finn Crisp Original: Another product that I buy fairly regularly. The Finn Crisp Sourdough Rye Crispbreads have only 22 calories per slice and are made from wholegrain natural ingredients, making them rich in fibre, vitamins, minerals and antioxidants, and low in fat. 

Kabuto Noodles: I've always wanted to try the Kabuto Noodles range so I was delighted to find a pot in the Degustabox. Unlike other mainstream noodle pots, Kabuto Noodles are made with authentic Asian flavours and quality ingredients. It's described as a "fresh tasting noodle dish with miso, soy and vegetables". I'll update once I've tried it!

Mornflakes Top Porridge Pots: Nutella Porridge!! Without a doubt, the highlight of the Degustabox for me, are these individual porridge pots from Mornflakes. They are available with additional portions of sweet treats on top in either; Lyles Golden Syrup or Nutella. Yes, that's real NUTELLA. 

It's such a brilliant idea! I've honestly never added Nutella to porridge before but I'm more than happy to give it a go. These cute pots are available at Waitrose.

Clipper Green Tea: Included as a special free gift is a sample pack of 10 bags of Clipper Fairtrade Green Tea with Lemon. We're currently drinking a lot of green tea at home (and at work) so this will be very useful for us. 

Overall, I was pleased with the healthier selection in the January Degustabox. I'm sure there will be plenty of chocolates and savoury snacks in the future, but for now it's great to have some more balanced treats in the box. Once again, most of the products in this months box appeal to me and are ones that I would buy and use myself, especially the Mornflake Porridge, Kabuto Noodles, Haywards, and Little Miracles drinks.  

If you're a subscriber than I'd love to what you thought of the January Degustabox in the comments below.

For more details:
Degustabox website: www.degustabox.com
I received a Degustabox in order to provide an honest review.

28 Jan 2015

Limited Edition Mars Hazelnut and Snickers & Hazelnut

As any Nutella fan knows all too well, hazelnuts and chocolate make the most perfect flavour combination. The idea of a Mars and Snickers bar with hazelnuts is such a simple one but sadly, these are not UK Limited Editions, they're actually from Poland*. Instead we've had the dull recent limited edition of "Mars Extra Choc" - that's a Mars bar with a slightly thicker layer of chocolate. The good news is that these Polish chocolate bars are both fairly easy to find in the UK.

Snickers & Hazelnut: As I'm sure everyone reading this will know, Snickers consists of a thick layer of peanuts within caramel, on top of a layer of nougat. The Snickers & Hazelnuts sees the introduction of hazelnuts within the caramel layer. The ingredients are all in Polish but as far as I can tell, this bar still includes "peanuts" in the ingredients list. The main fillings listed are: nougat (15%), caramel (27%), peanuts (17%) and hazelnuts (only 5.6%).

The chocolate itself looks great, with lots of hazelnuts and peanuts within the caramel layer. Unfortunately when it comes to the flavour it's a bit of a let down. The hazelnuts have quite a soft texture and not much in the way of real hazelnut flavour. Instead, I could predominantly taste the salted peanuts more than the hazelnuts themselves, which were largely flavourless. It's still a tasty chocolate, but it didn't have the hazelnutty flavour I was expecting.

Mars Hazelnut: The Limited Edition Mars Hazelnut (for any US readers the Mars bar in the UK is the same as the Milky Way in the US) differs from the above Snickers & Hazelnut by adding the nuts into the layer of nougat rather than the caramel. The main filling ingredients are nougat (20%), hazelnuts (14%) and caramel (27%). 

The hazelnuts are again quite soft, and it's a shame they're not crunchier, although they still add a little texture and interest to the nougat. As there are no peanuts to compete with the flavour, I could taste the hazelnuts a little more in this Mars edition, although it's still a fairly subtle taste overall. I probably shouldn't have mentioned Nutella at the start of this review as it's clear that neither of these chocolate bars can reach those levels of hazelnut perfection.

Despite that, these are still far more interesting than our recent UK Limited Editions so I don't mean to sound too negative. I still think these Hazelnut Limited Editions are worth a try if you spot them. If you've tried either of these bars then let us know what you thought of them in the comments below!

Grocery Gems Review: Mars Hazelnut and Snickers & Hazelnut

RATING: Mars Hazelnut - 7 out of 10, Snickers & Hazelnut - 6 out of 10.
Buy them again?: Probably.
Nutrition: Mars Hazelnut (47g)- 229 calories, Snickers & Hazelnut (49g) - 240 calories 
Purchased: Large newsagent.
Price: £0.69p each.

*The Snickers & Hazelnut has Mars Polska on the packaging and the ingredients are all in Polish. The Mars Hazelnut has less information but the languages on the back are German and Polish.

New Instore: Mars Extra Choc, Mars Hazelnut & More!

Maryland Soft Baked Cookies: Available in two varieties; Caramel & Choc Chunk and Double Choc Chunk. I wonder if Maryland have released these in response to the Chips Ahoy! UK release? They certainly look like an improvement on regular Maryland cookies and I'm sure I'll give them a try at some point. If you've tried them then please leave a comment as I'd love to know what you thought of them! £1.50p at Sainsbury's.

McVities Deli Choc Biscuits: I've seen these in quite a few different shops. They are biscuits made with a thick layer of Belgian milk chocolate in either white, milk or dark chocolate. £0.98p in Asda.

Limited Edition Mars Xtra Choc: I finally found the latest UK Mars release in my local newsagent. Here's my review → it's a Mars chocolate bar with slightly thicker chocolate *yawn*. THAT'S IT. £0.70p at local newsagents.

Limited Edition Mars Hazelnut & Snickers & Hazelnut:  These new Hazelnut editions for Mars and Snickers look FAR more interesting. They're actually from Poland but they seem to be easy to find in UK shops. Thanks to Richard W. for spotting these in a train station shop. Check back later today for my review. £0.69p each in large newsagent.

Cadbury Dairy Milk Hoppy Bunny: The lastest Limited Edition Cadbury Dairy Milk sees the return of the Hoppy Bunny. It's a similar to the Cadbury Dairy Milk Winter Wonderland, with it's simply milk and white chocolate combination, but I still think it's a cute chocolate bar for Easter. £1.00p at Sainsbury's.

Müller Corner Hawaiian Dream Pineapple: I mentioned these before in a previous round up, but it's the first time I've seen them instore. I'll have a review soon. £0.70p at Sainsbury's.

Milka Corn & Choco Forever: I couldn't resist picking up this crazy combination of corn nachos and chocolate from Poland. Review coming soon! £0.99p at an "international grocery store".

Don't forget if you spot any new products in store please let me know via email - grocerygems@gmail.com or Twitter etc. Thank you!

26 Jan 2015

Quick Review: Cadbury Dairy Milk Freddo Sprinkles

Cadbury have added a new Dairy Milk Freddo Sprinkles to their Easter range for 2014 (but don't worry Freddo is still made of real Dairy Milk chocolate!). I found them in Sainsbury's at 5 for £1.00.

For some reason I imagined the chocolate would have the sprinkles on top (and look really cute!), but actually the sprinkles are all within the chocolate, which means they are not very noticeable from the outside. There are plenty of sprinkles mixed into the Freddo shaped bar, adding a crunchy texture to the chocolate which is quite fun. In terms of flavour, they are just pure sugar, so the end result is an extra sweet and sugary chocolate. Overall, I prefer them to the previous Freddo Popping Candy, and I'm sure the new Freddo Sprinkles will be very popular with kids at Easter!

Grocery Gems Verdict: Cadbury Dairy Milk Freddo Sprinkles

RATING: 7 out of 10
Buy them again?: Yes (I'm sure I'll buy a few for Easter).
Purchased: Sainsburys.
Price: 5 for £1.00.

25 Jan 2015

Review: Bassetts Jelly Bunnies

This is such a cute new addition to the Jelly Babies range for Easter - Bassetts Jelly Bunnies. I love these types of seasonal special editions but I just wish that the flavours in this pack were also new. 

Instead the Jelly Bunnies are simply a new bunny shape, instead of babies, but come in the same classic six flavours; Strawberry (pink), Lemon (yellow), Lime (green), Orange, Blackcurrant (dark purple) and Raspberry (darker pink). In the UK, Jelly Babies are covered with the starchy residue so it's harder to make out the bunny shapes in my photo, but they are actually very cute, with little whiskers and smiley faces.

The flavours are all the classics that I'm sure most people will have tried before. The three berry flavours are all very sweet and quite similar to each other, especially the strawberrry and raspberry. The blackcurrant is my favourite with it's stronger fruity taste. The three citrus sweets are sweet and zesty and are all quite different with their own individual lime, lemon, and orange flavours. I haven't had Jelly Babies for years but I find that as I'm older I naturally prefer the citrus flavours to the sweeter berry ones. The texture in these Jelly Bunnies is exactly the same as the Bassetts Jelly Babies (indeed the ingredients are identical too) with their soft squishy, jelly centres and firmer outer coating.

Grocery Gems Review: Bassetts Jelly Bunnies

RATING: 7 out of 10 (more if they were new flavours).
Buy them again?: Yes.

Nutrition: 87 calories per 4 sweets, 330 calories per 100g.
Purchased: Tesco
Price: £1.00p for 190g.

Many thanks to Andrew C. who let me know about these after he spotted them instore last week.

Asda Whisky Cocktails for Burns Night

Asda have announced the release of a new range of premium aged whisky which will be available at more affordable prices. Traditionally an extremely expensive product due to the rarity and age of the whiskies used in the aging process, these blends usually retail for over £200. Released as part of the Asda Extra Special range is a 25-year old Whisky for £50 and a 30-year old Whisky for £60. To celebrate Asda have sent me a selection of Whisky Cocktail recipes which are perfect for anyone celebrating Burns Night tonight.

Old Fashioned

Rub a piece of orange peel on the side of a glass. Add a pinch of sugar, 3 dashes Anbostura bitters, 2 shots whisky and 3 ice cubes. Serve garnished with a twist of lemon peel.

Rusty Nail

Pour 2 shots whisky and 1 shot Drambuie over ice. Serve with a twist of lemon peel. This is the classic recipe, but if you prefer a sweet cocktail, add a dash more Drambuie according to your taste.

Whisky Sour

Put 2 shots whisky, 1 raw egg white, the juice of 1 lemon, ¼ tsp sugar, and 1 drop vanilla extract into a cocktail shaker. Shake, add a dash of Angostura bitters, then shake again. Pour over ice and serve.


Pour 2 shots whisky, 1 shot red vermouth, a dash of Angostura bitters and 1 tsp Cocktail Syrup Grenadine into a shaker. Stir, add ice then strain into a glass. 
Serve with a cherry and a twist of orange peel. 

Asda Extra Special Whiskey 25yr old and 30yr old blends will be available at 207 Asda Stores nationwide and online at www.ASDA.com.

Press Release. 

23 Jan 2015

Review: Jellyatrics Sours

Jellyatrics were first released to celebrate the 80th birthday of Jelly Babies sweets, back in 1998, as a fun take on the original Jelly Babies (see Kev's review here). They're made by Barnack Confectionery and at the end of last year they launched a new variety - Jellyatrics Sours. There are five quirky characters and flavours in each pack; Bill Bird (lemon), Benny Dorm (blackcurrant), Pearl Stitch (lime), Frau Zimmer (orange) and Mister Miser (strawberry). This is all done firmly tongue-in-cheek obviously!

It's hard to see in my photo but each sweet has it's own features and characteristics as an older character, such as a zimmer frame and a knitted scarf. They're also much larger than standard Jelly Babies sweet and the bag was packed full too - no half empty bag here which was refreshing to see! I have to admit I thought these sweets were going to be all about the novelty value and I didn't expect too much from the flavour. I'm a bit fussy when it comes to sour sweets but these are actually surprisingly tasty, and have the right balance of a tangy and sour coating, with a much sweeter centre. The flavours are made with all natural ingredients and have a lovely fruity taste. The citrus flavours; Lemon, Lime and Orange, are all especially good, with zesty flavours that compliment the tangy outer coating. The Strawberry and Blackcurrant flavours are sweeter but still have that sour edge to go with the fruitiness. These are well worth a try for anyone who's a fan of sour sweets and has a good sense of humour!

As well as Facebook and Twitter, the Jellyatrics now have their own website too www.jellyatrics.co.uk where you can read Frau Zimmer's diary and even watch a video of how "Bill Bird turned sour".

Grocery Gems Review: Jellyatrics Sour

RATING: 8 out of 10.
Buy them again?: Yes.

Nutrition: 330 kcal per 100g (180g bag).
Purchased: Available at B&M, Hawkins Bazaar and other stockists.

PR Samples - product sent for an honest review.

22 Jan 2015

Review: Frito-Lay Takoyaki Tei (Japan)

Frito-Lay Japan is known for releasing a whole raft of interesting flavours and snacks. I was lucky enough to try their Cheeseburger Cheetos a few years ago, but since then they've had such snacks as; Christmas Tree shaped Doritos (with a Corn Cream Stew flavour) and have just released Salty Shrimp Cheetos. The flavours, and packaging, always seem so fun and appealing. I received the Frito-Lay Takoyaki Tei corn puff snacks in the latest OyatsuBox - a Japanese subscription box. The flavour and shape here is based on the popular Japanese fast food snack Takoyaki - little dumplings of fried octopus in batter that are topped with sauce.

"Fried Octopus Balls" might not sound like the most appetising flavour but I'm going to start this review by stating that these are the tastiest puffed corn snacks I've had in a long time. Each corn puff has a light and crunchy texture and is covered with the delicious takoyaki seasoning with onion powder, and hints of vinegar and soy sauce. The flavour is a combination of sweet, salty, and tangy elements to create a truly delicious snack. It's not really fishy tasting but it reminds me a bit of fried seaweed, with a similar type of sweet and salty flavour. I loved the flavour so much I almost inhaled the whole bag in one sitting and had to force myself to stop and take a photo. I'm seriously tempted to order a few more bags from Japan!

Grocery Gems Review: Frito-Lay Takoyaki Tei

RATING: 9 out of 10.
Buy them again?: Worth a try if you can find them.

Purchased: Available at Oyatsu Cafe.
Price: $2.99 (approx £1.97).

21 Jan 2015

Review: Cadbury Creme Egg - New Recipe for 2015

It was impossible to miss the news last week that Cadbury changed the recipe for their Creme Eggs. What's interesting is that Cadbury only released a press release confirming this fact, after receiving complaints from consumers that this year's Cadbury Creme Eggs didn't taste the same. I wonder if Cadbury were hoping that no one would notice! Anyway, Cadbury did quickly confirm (or 'fess up!) that they had changed the recipe for Creme Eggs from using Dairy Milk chocolate (around 20% cocoa solids) to using their so called "Standard Cocoa Mix" chocolate (which is apparently around 14% cocoa solids). 

I've mentioned before that I don't really like Cadbury Creme Eggs very much, I just find them far too sugary. I much prefer the mini versions which have less of the fondant, so I rarely buy the full sized version. In fact, I wouldn't even be able to undertake this review to see if Cadbury Creme Eggs had changed, if it hadn't been for this review last year where I compared the US Creme Egg to the UK Creme Egg. I made lots of notes about the differences in flavour, especially in terms of the chocolate, so luckily it's all quite fresh in my mind! 

Cracking open the Cadbury Creme Egg version, the fondant tasted pretty much the same, too sugary sweet, although it did seem a little runnier to me compared to last year's version. The fondant in the Creme Egg I tried last year was definitely firmer and slightly less runny, with a more well defined "yolk" - compare the photo above of the filling, with the photo (fourth one down) from last year here. Anyway, it still tastes the same and I certainly couldn't spot any difference in that regard. The chocolate however, is slightly different, although not necessarily in a bad way. It has a similar scent and appearance to Dairy Milk, and the texture is just as smooth. However, there is a different aftertaste with this chocolate, I can only describe it as being not as creamy tasting as Dairy Milk. Having said all that, it's not a bad tasting chocolate, and thankfully, it's not the same as the chalky chocolate of the US Creme Egg.

Overall, I think if Cadbury have cost cutting motives behind this chocolate change, then they've done a pretty good job of keeping the taste the same - although obviously not a perfect one judging by the complaints they've received.

Whilst the change in chocolate doesn't really bother me that much, the fact that Cadbury Creme Eggs now come in boxes of five really annoys me, especially since all the shops seem to be keeping the price the same (at £2.00). Last year in the US Creme Egg vs UK Creme Egg review I noted that the American eggs are smaller in size and I mentioned that "don't be surprised if, by next year, the UK Creme Eggs are smaller - you have been warned". Looks like I actually made a prediction that was half right but not in the way I expected! 

Grocery Gems Verdict: Cadbury Creme Egg 2015

RATING: 6 out of 10 (but just because I'm not really a fan anyway).
Buy them again?: No.
Nutrition: 177 calories per 40g egg (compared to last year's 170 calories). 
Purchased: Tesco.
Price: £0.50p each.

20 Jan 2015

Review: OyatsuBox Japanese Subscription Box!

It seems like it's been ages since I last featured any Japanese snacks so I was delighted to receive the latest Japanese subscription box from OyatsuBox. I previously featured an OyatsuBox review in March last year which was filled with a selection of awesome Japanese products from iconic brands, such as Kit Kat, Pocky and Hi-Chew.

OyatsuBox Subscription details:

OyatsuBox is a monthly subscription service, which posts direct from Japan, and costs $25.00 (around £16.45) per month with no extra delivery charges. There is no fixed contract and the subscription can be cancelled at any time. Each box is packed full of the latest Japanese snacks, candy, and exclusive items. Every OyatsuBox also includes a Japanese Capsule Toy! For more info: www.oyatsubox.com. 

Here's a quick look at what I received in this months OyatsuBox:

Takoyaki Tei: Made in Japan by FritoLay, this Takoyaki Tei is a large bag of soft fluffy puffs of corn with a classic Japanese flavour. "Takoyaki" are actually little balls of fried squid and batter topped with a traditional takoyaki sauce. I loved the flavour of these round ball shaped snacks, they have a delicious sweet and tangy taste.

Puccho - Kumamoto Strawberry: I'm already a fan of Puccho, which are deliciously chewy and fruity sweets, so I was delighted to find this large pack of Kumamoto Strawberry in the OyatsuBox. This is a special edition, made using strawberries from the Kumamoto Prefecture and features their super cute mascot Kumamon.

There are two different Puccho flavours in each pack; Creamy Milk Strawberry and Fresh Strawberry. Both are quite similar but they are utterly delicious and addictive. It's impossible to have just one! Each sweet has a unique chewy texture with a lovely creamy and sweet fruity flavour.

Kanro Parikore Gummy- Peach & Grape: The name "Parikore" comes from the sound made when biting into these unique gummies - they have a crunchy outer layer covering a soft and chewy middle. I've never tried this brand before so I'm looking forward to reviewing this bag of mixed Peach & Grape flavoured candies.

Pocky Midi Strawberry: Oh my, I was so delighted to see these in the OyatsuBox. I'm already a Pocky fan, but these Pocky Midi Strawberry are really special.

Inside the box there are three individually sealed bags of Pocky, each with four midi sized sticks. Pocky Midi are slightly smaller than regular Pocky sticks but are covered with over twice the amount of chocolate. In this case the covering is a deliciously sweet, and fresh tasting, strawberry flavoured chocolate. I think these are now my favourite Pocky of all time - they're so delicious!

HanaKappa DIY Jelly: Many of the online Japanese candy stores, such as OyatsuCafe, stock these types of DIY candy kits, and this is certainly an interesting one. It lets you make your own bubbly, foamy jelly snack. HanaKappa is described as "a Japanese river creature with a flower growing on his head". My kids are very excited about giving this unique kit a try!

Morinaga Ramune Soda Candies: The packaging of these candies is so cute - it's made to look like a traditional Japanese soda bottle. Inside it's filled with ramune soda (basically lemonade) flavoured candies that are a bit chalky in texture but are surprisingly melt-in-the-mouth and tasty.

Morinaga Hi-Chew Mini: I'm also a fan of Hi-Chew sweets, and I always look out for new ones when I visit Japanese grocery shops. My favourites are the Mango or Peach Hi-Chew. I'm looking forward to trying out this handy pack of Mini  Hi-Chew which contains four flavours; Strawberry, Apple, Grape, and Lemon.

Tohato Chocobi: I've previously reviewed Tohato Caramel Corn, sweet puffed corn snacks, and I've always wanted to try their star shaped version. They're a bit like eating a cereal as a snack. This Tohato Chocobi box contains chocolate flavoured star shaped corn snacks. The box reminds me a little bit of the white chocolate Pokemon version from the OyatsuBox I received last year. 

Don-Koeda Chocolate: Probably the only chocolate bar I've ever seen that has a picture of a cigar smoking character on the front! Apparently this figure is a well known Japanese fashion celebrity - Don-Konishi. The chocolate itself is made by Morinaga and is filled with the crunchy combination of chocolate biscuits, rice puffs and almonds.

Giant Caplico - Chocolate Bomber: It was quite hard to take a photo which adequately captures this one, as it's actually a large ice cream cone shaped snack. It's described as a wafer filled with a delicate and fluffy chocolate. This limited edition "Chocolate Bomber" version is made of two layers of white and milk chocolate, topped with a covering of dark chocolate. It sounds awesome! The packaging is covered with characters from YouKai watch, a popular Anime series.

Gashapon - Japanese Capsule Toy: Finally the capsule toy included in the OyatsuBox. I was surprised by just how large this Japanese capsule toy is - especially compared to the flimsy toys we get in UK capsule machines. Inside I found a very solid and well made (and big!) keyring featuring a character from Naruto.

Overall, I thoroughly enjoyed this vibrant and colourful selection of Japanese snacks and candies - it would certainly make a very special present to brighten up someones day! I was especially delighted with the Pocky Midi Strawberry, Takoyaki Tei, Hi-Chew Mini, and Puccho Kumamoto Strawberry, aswell as discovering many brands that are new to me. 

What do you think of the OyatsuBox selection? If you're a subscriber then I'd love to know of it in the comments below.

For more details:
OyatsuBox website: www.oyatsubox.com
Facebook: www.facebook.com/OyatsuCafe
Twitter: https://twitter.com/oyatsucafe

PR Samples.
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