Friday, 29 March 2013

Walkers Tiger Nuts - Masala Curry, Smoky Bacon, Salt & Vinegar, Sweet Chilli


After hearing about these new Walkers Tiger Nuts via a press release the other day, I was very surprised to find them whilst "on the prowl" (heh heh) in Asda. They're a new range of flavoured peanuts from Walkers with a stripy-patterned crunchy coating, which looks similar to the stripy crust you usually see on Tiger Bread.

The range has 4 flavours: Masala Curry, Smoky Bacon, Salt & Vinegar, and Sweet Chilli. They're currently all on offer for £1 per 130g pack at Asda.

I love the packaging design; it's really funky and eye-catching! The word "Tiger Nuts" doubles up as a tigers face which I think is a really cool idea.

The theme of Tiger Nuts is of course all about tigers, from the patterned shell on the nuts, to the packaging design, and even the descriptions on the packs: Purrrrfect smoky bacon, Fearless salt and vinegar, Exotic sweet chilli, Mighty masala curry. The slogan on the front is "Attack the pack!", with scratch marks doubling up as exclamation marks.

Here are my thoughts on each of the flavours individually:


Masala Curry
MASALA CURRY:
These have a golden yellow shell. The curry flavour is very nice, with hints of coriander, cumin and chilli. Very addictive; this was my favourite flavour of the bunch!


Smoky Bacon

SMOKY BACON:
These have a pink-tinged shell. The bacon flavour is very salty and rich, the kind you usually get with smoky bacon flavour crisps. Combined with the peanuts it was very moriesh and addictive. These were my second favourite flavour.


Salt & Vinegar

SALT & VINEGAR:
These ones have a pale golden shell. The flavour is both sharp and salty as you would expect, but I thought it was a bit overbearing and didn't really work with the peanuts. This was my least favourite flavour.


Sweet Chilli
SWEET CHILLI:
These had an orange-tinged shell. The flavour was nice and spicy but balanced out with the sweetness, which made them very addictive and easy to eat. These are tied with smoky bacon as my second favourite flavour.

A lone Tiger Nut
Overall, I think Tiger Nuts are an excellent product. Great design and branding, interesting concept, fun, and most importantly, tasty! I reckon these might just be a big hit in the snacking world, and it certainly sounds like Walkers expect them to be judging by the press releases. 

I had to laugh at the barcode on the pack - it's been made to look like grass with a tiger popping his head up, saying "Suitable for vegetarians":


Price: £1 at Asda.
Nutritional facts/ingredients: Contains Nuts, Wheat, Gluten, Milk, Soya. No artificial preservatives or colours and no MSG. Suitable for vegetarians. 

What did you think of Walkers Tiger Nuts? Please let me know in the comments!

Thursday, 28 March 2013

Kev's Easter Bunny Beauty Contest


Welcome to Kev's Easter Bunny Beauty Contest! With many different Easter Bunnies gracing our shelves this year, including a newcomer in the Thorntons Bramble Bunny, I thought I would pit them all against each other to see which looked the best. They were all very bright and shiny whilst "fully clothed" but some failed to live up to their image when unwrapped. I will choose my three favourites and award the winner with a ribbon and bell.

Here are the competitors:

Sainsbury's White Chocolate Bunny:


          

The Sainsburys bunny clearly didnt feel the need to hide his body, although kept his complexion clear with a protective, air-tight box. It looked like a bunny version of the Popemobile!
I really like this bunny, he looks cute and smiley and the pink ears are a nice touch.

Lindt Gold Bunny:

               

The Lindt Gold Bunny arrived looking like he had already won, with his red ribbon and bell. This was promptly confiscated.
He's a good-looking bunny, but not quite as detailed as his smaller competitor the M&S Bunny.

Nestlé Milkybar Bunny: 


   

The Milkybar Bunny looks nothing like any bunny I have ever seen before. More like a blob with ears. Null points!

Thorntons Bramble Bunny:



           
The Bramble Bunny is in fine nick; he's smiley and cute and exactly what you would expect from an Easter bunny! I'm not sure what those blobs on his belly are though...

Malteaster Bunny:


              

The Malteaster Bunny unfortunately didn't seem to have a face. Disqualified! (sorry, but this is a beauty contest!)

Cadbury Caramel Bunny:




The Cadbury Caramel Bunny had to be prized away from his twin for the purposes of this contest.
He doesn't look too great to me, his features look like they have been drawn on and those eyes are a little bit creepy!

Marks & Spencer Honeycomb Truffle Crunch Bunny:


      
The M&S Honeycomb Bunny may be small, but looks pretty good! He's definitely the most detailed and bunny-like competitor of the bunch.



And the runners up are...


Sainsbury's, Thorntons and  Marks & Spencer Bunnies.
These guys were by far the three best-looking bunnies of the bunch in my opinion. The Sainsbury's and Thorntons bunnies are smiley and cute, whilst the M&S Honeycomb Bunny is detailed and realistic-looking.

AND THE WINNER IS:



The Sainsbury's White Chocolate Bunny! This guy is smiley, cute, and looks great with his little pink ears. Congratulations!

Most of these bunnies can be found in most major supermarkets. Tesco, Morrisons and Asda didn't seem to have their own brand of small Bunnies so I haven't included them.

I'd be interested to know what your favourite Easter Bunnies are this year, please let me know in the comments!

TASTE-TEST:
For anyone wondering which bunny tasted the best, I would say the Lindt Gold Bunny, with the M&S honeycomb truffle bunny a close second.

Prices: All bunnies except the Lindt Gold Bunny were less than £1.

*Apologies for the poor formatting. It was a nightmare trying to get these pics to align properly!

Tuesday, 26 March 2013

Vanilla Coca Cola is back! (UK)


I was a big fan of vanilla coke when it was launched in the early '00s, and when it was axed I thought it was gone for good. It's not the sort of flavour you would really expect to be popular - citrus or cherry seem to be more commonly paired with cola - so I wasn't expecting a return any time soon.

Thankfully I was wrong, because it's now back on shelves after a 6 year absence! According to Coca Cola UK there's been a big demand from consumers to bring it back, and they have listened.

I've been searching for this ever since I read about it, and actually passed it by a couple of times in Tesco because it looked almost identical to the regular bottles of Coca Cola there. There isn't really much to distinguish it apart from a beige streak and swirly symbol on the label, and I had to look closely to notice the word vanilla.

Taste-wise it wasn't quite as good as I remember. It tasted sweet with just the faintest hint of vanilla giving it a smoother, more rounded taste than regular Coca Cola, but it didn't taste all that different to be honest.

Overall, it's great to see Vanilla Coke make a return, but I think it should have a more pronounced vanilla flavour. Maybe I'm just looking at the past with rose-tinted glasses, but I remember it being much nicer. I'm pretty sure there also used to be a diet version, which may be the one I'm remembering. If anyone else remembers it please do leave a comment!

Price: £1.15 at Tesco.
Nutrional facts/ingredients: Contains caffeine.

Were you a fan of Vanilla Coke when it was launched, or are you completely new to it? Are you glad it's back? Please let me know your thoughts in the comments!

Sunday, 24 March 2013

Jellyatrics: Celebrating 90 years of Jelly Babies


Whilst in B&M Bargains recently I was quite bemused when I spotted these odd novelty sweets called Jellyatrics. According to the pack they're to celebrate 90 years of jelly babies (and yes, that is a set of false teeth you can see in the pic):


For readers outside the UK who may not have heard of jelly babies, they are a classic British jelly sweet that is usually coated in starch powder. They're also Doctor Who's favourite sweet. According to wikipedia, they were created by Bassett's in 1918 and were originally called "Peace Babies" to mark the end of World War 1. Production was suspended during World War 2 due to wartime shortages, and they were re-launched as "Jelly Babies" in 1953. For more on their history see: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jelly_Babies

Unlike jelly babies, Jellyatrics are based on old-aged pensioners, and have their own names: Bill Bird ("Binoculars at the ready"), Mister Miser ("Penny pinching pensioner"), Pearl Stitch ("Speed knitting champion"), Frau Zimmer ("Legs like jelly") and Benny Dorm ("Karaoke king of the Costas").

I really liked the concept of these and think they're a fun take on jelly babies. It surprised me that they're not made by Bassett's though, since they're to celebrate 90 years of jelly babies (the packet says "Specially packed for Barnack Confectionery Ltd"). They have a facebook page set up in 2011 and a website which still seems to be under construction.


The jellies only look vaguely like pensioners. Which is probably a good thing, as the thought of eating granny-shaped sweets is a bit weird, but then you could say the same of jelly babies, I guess. They're coated in starch powder, which according to wikipedia is "...left over from the manufacturing process where it is used to aid release from the mould". Nothing like a starch-coated pensioner!

Taste-wise, they were pleasantly sweet and fruity, and chewier in texture than Bassett's Jelly Babies, which I guess is fitting. I shared them with my family and we all enjoyed them whilst giggling at the names.

Overall, I think Jellyatrics are a fun product and they taste pretty good. They're great for a giggle and a nice snack for sharing. So go on, gobble a grandad or gnaw a nanny!

Nutritional facts: Contains beef (or horse?) gelatin, plus nettle & spinach concentrates.
Price: 99p at B&M Bargains.

Saturday, 23 March 2013

Erasmi Rum-Marzipan Nuggets


Whilst browsing Lidl after Christmas I came across these Rum-Marzipan Nuggets. They must have been leftover Christmas stock as there were only two packs left, so I quickly snapped one up.

I'm not the greatest lover of marzipan but the knobbly, blocky shapes of these really intrigued me. They're basically little nuggets of rum flavoured marzipan, coated in a thin layer of dark chocolate, and then coated again in a layer milk chocolate and chopped hazelnuts.


I wasn't expecting much from them to start with, but they tasted even worse than I'd imagined. I'm not sure if it was due to importing, or simply because of the rum flavouring, but they just tasted bitter and unpleasant to me. The rum flavouring was overpowering and artificial, and was all I could taste. There wasn't much taste from the chocolate or nuts, just an overall stale bitterness.


I quickly disposed of the rest in the bin. It's a shame, because they really do look kinda cool.

Overall, I'm not sure whether this was a one-off or if this is just a bad product, but I really didn't like these at all! If I see some more Erasmi products I might give them a try, but I'm not too excited at the prospect after trying these.

Thursday, 21 March 2013

Nestlé Holidays


No, this isn't a competition to win a Holiday with Nestlé, it's a review of their Turkish "Holiday" marshamallow biscuits!

I found these in B&M Bargains, and couldn't resist buying them just for the name. They're described as "compound chocolate coated marshamallow biscuit", which had me a bit worried because I intensely dislike compound chocolate. They looked and sounded like a cheaper version of the famous Wagon Wheels, although unlike Wagon Wheels they have wavy edges:


Surprisingly, they tasted quite different to Wagon Wheels - they were coconut flavoured. This wasn't mentioned on the front of the pack, but my senses were telling me they tasted of coconut so I checked the ingredients and sure enough, coconut was listed as one of the flavourings.


They didn't taste too bad to be honest. Quite sweet, and the compound chocolate coating tasted rather cheap as you would expect, but the strong coconut flavour from the mallow saved them and made them quite moreish. The biscuit had a decent crunch to it whilst the mallow was nice and chewy.

Overall, if you happen to see these and are partial to Wagon Wheels and/or coconut, I would recommend giving them a try. They're not too bad at all for the price.

Price: 69p for a box of 8 biscuits at B&M Bargains.
Nutitional facts: Contains milk, gluten and "viscosity enhancer" beef gelatine.
Origin: Nestlé Turkey.

Wednesday, 20 March 2013

Milka Cherry Cream


When I saw this Milka Cherry Cream in my local Polish store I was a bit hesitant to buy it. My first review for this blog was for the Milka Raspberry Cream, and it was rather disappointing. So I wasn't jumping for joy when I found this. However I grudgingly bought it in the hope it might be an improvement on the Milka Raspberry Cream. And luckily it was, but only just.

Opening the wrapper I was met with a strong artificial cherry smell. No surprise there then! Cutting into the bar revealed an impressive amount of cherry jam filling sat above the white cream. It looked almost like it does on the wrapper, which is quite rare in chocolate bars!:


The smell of artificial cherry was quite overpowering. Biting into a piece of the chocolate, it tasted as I expected - extremely sweet and artificial. But...it wasn't too bad. I kind of enjoyed the cherry flavour, even though the artificial sweetness became too much after a few blocks. 

There is no English on the pack, so I can't comment on the ingredients. 


Overall, this is an improvement on the Milka Raspberry Cream, and I enjoyed it for a "cheap chocolate". But I can't really recommend it, it's a bit too sweet and there's much better chocolate out there. 

Price: I can't actually remember, sorry! But I found it in my local Polish store. 

Monday, 18 March 2013

Cadbury Egg 'N' Spoon Milky Mousse (& Marabou Eggs) Review


Cadbury's Egg 'N' Spoon has been reviewed by most of my fellow bloggers by now, but I thought I would do my own review because despite being quite skeptical of them initially, I ended up really enjoying them! Firstly, you must check out this hilarious review of them by Gobble Monkey if you haven't done so already, it's comedy genius!


Part of the reason I was so skeptical of these was the price. The RRP is £3.99, which works out at about £1 per egg! Crazy! Luckily most shops are now selling them for the more reasonable price of £2, which is what these were at Morrisons. I chose the milky mousse variety over the chocolate as I thought it'd be more interesting.

I have to say...this is a genius marketing idea from Cadbury/Mondelez. Eating chocolate eggs from a purple "egg box" with a spoon is a really fun experience! It wouldn't surprise me if they are a huge sales success.


Taking the eggs out, firstly you have to unwrap the foil and then bite off the top section of the egg, revealing the creamy mousse centre. And then, using the spoon provided...scoop away! The centre was smooth and creamy as expected, with a delicious vanilla taste, but I was surprised that it also tasted of white chocolate. It was like a cross between vanilla mousse and white chocolate, and tasted really yummy! After I had scooped out all the filling I ate the remaining chocolate shell, which still had some mousse stuck to it. It was very tasty.

Then I immediately moved onto the next egg - I wanted more of that delicious creamy mousse! After two of these I couldn't really handle any more, so had a break and ate the remaining two later in the day.


Overall, I think these Cadbury Egg 'N' Spoons are a fantastic idea, and they really do make for a fun Easter experience. Just don't pay more than £2 for them! (Morrisons and Asda are your best bet, although I hear they may be even cheaper at Tesco. If you've found these for less than that, please do leave a comment and let me know).

I've also seen a Swedish "Marabou" version of these in B&M Bargains for 99p. Like Cadbury, Marabou is also a Kraft-owned brand, and the eggs taste pretty similar. Here is a pic of the box. That bunny and those chicks sure know where the good stuff is at!:


I'll probably do a comparison review of them shortly, so stay tuned for that!

What did you think of Cadbury Egg 'N' Spoons? Good idea or not? 

Price: £2 at Morrisons.
Nutritional facts: Contains milk and soya.

Thorntons Easter Bramble Bunny


Whilst in WH Smith recently, I saw this Thorntons Bramble Bunny next to the magazines and bought it on impulse, as you do. It's really nothing too special or amazing, except...it contains coconut oil in the chocolate filling. I have to commend Thorntons for that, because coconut oil is far healthier than the vegetable fat companies usually use in products like this, so I felt a bit more comfortable eating it.


Aesthetically, he's a smiley, cute little bunny and probably better looking than a lot of chocolate bunnies I've seen in shops this year. How can you not smile when looking at him? Such a shame he was about to get eaten...

Taste-wise, the Bramble Bunny was very pleasant: creamy, chocolatey, and just about what you would expect really. Thorntons chocolate has a "comforting" kind of taste, I would say, and the creamy chocolate filling just added to that feeling.


Overall, this Thorntons Bramble Bunny is a delicious and creamy Easter treat. I would imagine it's a step up in quality from Cadbury and Nestle's Easter offerings and would recommend it as a good-quality alternative to most similarly-priced Easter snacks, except perhaps the Malteaster Bunny which is King of Easter Bunnies!

Price: 79p at WH Smith, 60p at Asda.
Description: Milk chocolate with smooth chocolate filling.
Nutritional facts: Contains coconut oil and butteroil, as well as milk, and no gluten-containing ingredients.