Saturday, 30 April 2016
I've always been partial to Côte d'Or chocolates, even though they're a rare find in the UK. I've only ever seen them on market stalls selling discounted European stuff, and that's exactly where I spotted this Côte d'Or dark chocolate with almonds recently. It was a mere 99p for 200g - bargain!
It's described as "high quality plain chocolate with whole almonds" and contains 46% cocoa solids. Not particularly high for dark chocolate, but acceptable for "plain" or "semisweet" chocolate I suppose. It's made by Mondelez Belgium.
The bar is very thick with interesting shaped chunks, each one with the Côte d'Or elephant logo printed on. I really do love the feel of Côte d'Or bars, they're a lot more substantial than what Cadbury bars have now become!
There were plenty of almond pieces distributed throughout the bar, but it didn't smell particularly appetising, I suspect it may have suffered somewhat during transit.
The chocolate tasted ok, but was a bit underwhelming. The almonds were a nice touch but they didn't taste particularly fresh, and neither did the chocolate. It had a slightly "off" taste although it was still within the best before date. I also felt it could have been a bit stronger in flavour.
Overall, this bar is sadly a bit of a miss. I do enjoy Côte d'Or chocolate and some of their milk chocolate truffle bars can be absolutely lovely, but this one isn't a standout for me.
6 out of 10.
Friday, 29 April 2016
I love Heron Frozen Foods, they always have such an interesting range of products that aren't always found in supermarkets, and they're cheap to boot. Woo!
I haven't seen this new ice cream stick from Haagen Dazs in any supermarkets yet, so I'm not sure where Heron are sourcing it from, but at 39p I really couldn't refuse. There was also a Cookies & Cream variety that I couldn't try due to gluten (boo!).
The stick comes wrapped in plastic in its own box. Very fancy!
The ice cream is a simple vanilla Haagen Dazs ice cream, coated in milk chocolate with pieces of almond as well as crunchy rice pieces.
And it was dee-licious! By the time I got this home it was the perfect temperature for eating, the ice cream was soft and melt in the mouth with a lovely vanilla creaminess. The milk chocolate coating added to the deliciousness, it was creamy and good quality, with the almond and rice crisps adding a tasty crunch. This ice cream was a delight, my only complaint is that it was a tad on the small side! Still, when it's such good quality I suppose you can't have everything.
Overall, this is a very tasty ice cream stick from Haagen Dazs, I'm sure the Cookies & Cream variety is even better...if anyone tries that one please do leave a comment!
8.5 out of 10.
Thursday, 28 April 2016
I was recently contacted by Halusky, an import foods company specializing in Czech and Slokak products, who are releasing a new range of wafers called Lusette in the UK. I've seen a lot of their products in local stores before, so I was excited about this, only one problem: I can't eat gluten! So todays review is based on opinions of a friend who tried these wafers on my behalf.
The above pictured bar contains some type of nougat Creme filling, which is slightly chewy and very creamy, working well against the crunchy wafers and creamy milk chocolate. A bit different for a wafer bar and very tasty with a cup of coffee!
This variety has a very rich and dense chocolate Creme filling, making it very satisfying and almost like a dessert in itself. Very tasty! Again, perfect with coffee.
This one contains a thick milk cream filling, which is very creamy indeed but nicely balanced by the milk chocolate coating and wafer. It's a real treat and a lot more satisfying than some UK wafer brands like Blue Riband for example.
Overall, this range of Lusette wafers seem to be on pretty top form, certainly better than the average UK supermarket brand wafer. If you're partial to a good wafer do check out Halusky's Website for the entire range. They have some pretty interesting chocolate bars on there too, including the tasty Studentska Pecet bars I've previously reviewed!
There's also a Survey from Halusky here about wafer products, the first 50 people to fill it in will receive a FREE hamper of products! Get cracking! (Halusky are looking for respondents particularly in the London area).
Wednesday, 27 April 2016
I'm secretly quite a fan of Nakd bars...not only are they gluten free (a biggie for me!), they're dairy free, vegan and refined-sugar free to boot. Woo! Sadly they're not nut-free, so those who go pop from nuts step away now! I do have issues with nuts myself, particularly macadamias, but lately I seem to be doing ok with the lesser nuts. Nakd bars are predominantly a mixture of cashews and dates, which touch wood I am ok with thus far.
I've been after this Pecan Pie Bar ever since I first noticed it...I do love pecan nuts especially combined with sweeter flavours, and I wondered how Nakd might recreate pecan pie in bar form. I spotted this along with the Cocoa Mint variety in Waitrose so couldn't resist snapping up both! (Stay tuned for a review of Cocoa Mint).
This bar contains a mixture of dates, pecans and almonds, and nothing else. I kinda expected the addition of a flavouring such as cinnamon or cloves, since pumpkin pie would traditionally contain those spices.
Despite the lack of spice, this bar was verrrry tasty and had a lovely sweet pecan flavour. I think the "pie" part is supposed to come from the combination of sweet and nutty flavours, and it works really well. I do think a touch of spice might improve it further, but as it stands this is by far one of the tastier Nakd bars out there. Definitely one for lovers of pecan nuts!
8 out of 10.
Monday, 25 April 2016
After Easter, Tesco reduced a boatload of their Easter eggs and amongst them were these Tesco Honey Caramel Chocolates. I've been curious about them ever since I saw them, but with an RRP of £4 I decided not to bother! Luckily these were reduced to just £1 so I couldn't say no to that!
They're described as "Honey flavoured smooth caramel in a yellow shell with dark chocolate decoration". I think the yellow shell is meant to be some type of white chocolate although it doesn't state specifically on the ingredients.
When I bit into one of these I was amazed at just how strong the honey flavour was...it was like eating pure honey rather than caramel! I didn't enjoy it to be honest, I was expecting more emphasis on the caramel with an aftertaste of honey, but the honey was forefront in the flavour here. Just too intense for me.
Overall, I'm glad I didn't pay £4 to try these but even at £1 they're not something I'd try again. They're super sweet and sickly and just taste too strongly of honey.
6 out of 10.
Friday, 22 April 2016
I'm not usually one to shop at Iceland, even though there's quite a few stores near to me, but when I started seeing pics of all the new fancy limited edition Ice Creams they're doing on Instagram I thought it about time I pay a visit. They've recently introduced the interesting sounding Banoffee Majestics, Limoncello, Amaretto, Liquorice & Blackcurrant varieties, plus some Bubblegum & Candy Floss Lollies. When I visited I decided to play it safe, since I've never tried Majestics before (they're basically a cheaper version of Magnum) and went for this Blueberry Swirl variety rather than try the whole range!
These cost £1.50 for 4x70g ice cream sticks, which are described as "White Chocolate flavoured ice cream Lollies with a blueberry flavour sauce swirl, coated in Belgian White chocolate and freeze dried blueberry pieces".
As fancy and unique as these sounded, I can't say they lived up to their promise. The White chocolate is pretty average, it's very sweet and milky and the sort of thing you'd expect from a supermarket brand. The blueberry pieces and sauce added a faint blueberry flavour that was pleasant, but it wasn't particularly strong and didn't really add that much flavour. The ice cream itself tasted like standard sweet ice cream, I couldn't tell that it was white chocolate flavoured as such.
Overall, these aren't bad ice creams but they're nothing compared to Magnums (though to be fair, what is?) and didn't really offer much in terms of flavour. I wish I'd bought the Banoffee variety instead!
7 out of 10.
Thursday, 21 April 2016
I was rather excited when I first saw these new Strawberries & Creme Pots of Joy, I used to enjoy the Dairy Milk Strawberries & Creme bar Cadbury started doing a few years back every Summer. But after trying these, I realised I've essentially already had them before...they're pretty much the same thing as the Cadbury Roses Strawberry Dream Pots of Joy Cadbury did a few years back, and which I've reviewed. So does this rebranded version differ at all? Let's find out!
These do actually seem a tad different from the Roses Strawberry Dream Pots of Joy, rather than just having one layer of fondant, they have a layer of strawberry fondant as well as a layer of plain fondant. Also these contain "melted Cadbury milk chocolate" rather than Dairy Milk, so they're not quite the same as the Strawberries & Creme Dairy Milk bar either.
They tasted very nice, chocolatey and sweet with a decent strawberry fondant flavour and made for a good dessert after a meal. They're not outstanding but they're certainly a nice little treat, especially compared to other desserts in this category (I'm looking at YOU, Nesquik Vanilla Duo!)
Overall, despite the similarities to Roses Strawberry Dream Pots of Joy, this is a decent dessert and maybe my tastebuds have changed but it didn't seem quite as sickly as those did. If you enjoy strawberry creams then these are for you!
8 out of 10.
Wednesday, 20 April 2016
I'm lucky to have a Fenwicks store nearby, they do some pretty interesting and unique chocolate bars you'd never see anywhere else...such as this Compartes Chocolatier Let Them Eat Cake Bar (reviewed by Lot-O-Choc), Donuts & Coffee, The Chocolate Smiths range, plus many other artisan bars. Trouble is, they all cost a small fortune! Sometimes though they reduce the price when they're close to the sell by date...and it was just by chance that I popped in one day when these Nelleulla Rhubarb Strawberry bars were reduced to £1.50 (they're usually around £5!) I snapped one up immediately!
The bar is quite elaborately packaged...it comes in triangular cardboard sleeves as well as plastic wrap and a cardboard tray. The tag line is "Chocolate from the forest" and the bar comprises of white chocolate with dried rhubarb and strawberry, topped with rhubarb and strawberry pieces. Apparently "The Northern maidens harvest them and set them in white and soft chocolate"...very magical!
I snapped the bar in half and took a bite, it's not sectioned into blocks so I ended up with an uneven shard with a big chunk of dried rhubarb poking out. It tasted very pleasant, the chocolate is smooth and creamy, but the rhubarb and strawberry really overpower the creaminess, bringing a tart, fruity edge, which is nice and definitely a bit different.
This is a nice bar of chocolate, but to be honest I wouldn't pay full price for it. I enjoyed the Waitrose Matcha & Pistachio bar I reviewed yesterday a lot more and that's cheaper; I'm not quite sure why these Nelleulla bars are so expensive...maybe it's due to being imported, or the fact they have such a mystical allure to them...who knows.
Overall, this is nice chocolate but not something I'd buy at full price. I'll try their other stuff if I see it reduced at some point...
7.5 out of 10.
Tuesday, 19 April 2016
All the posh supermarkets seem to be upping their game in the chocolate stakes recently, we've had a boatload of fancy new snacks from M&S, but now Waitrose have stepped into the ring with some new bars in their own label range. The one I went for was this White Chocolate with Matcha Tea & Pistachio, but there's also another new variety that contains Wafer and Caramel - sadly I couldn't try it as it contains gluten :(
The bar is described as "Roasted Pistachio pieces and green matcha tea in vanilla-rich white chocolate" and cost around £1.60 for an 85g bar. Not bad for posh chocolate!
It's been years since I've had white chocolate flavoured with green tea, so I was a little weary as to how this might turn out. Thankfully, it was very tasty! The pistachios dominate the flavour, bringing a lovely nutty, almost floral edge to the bar, with the green tea bringing a slightly sharper aftertaste. All of this works very well against the creamy white chocolate, which tastes very good quality and is indeed vanilla-rich.
Overall, this is a good quality, tasty and interesting bar from Waitrose, definitely worth a try if you like unusual combinations!
8 out of 10.
Monday, 18 April 2016
So, I'm back on the sugar-free train again, but that doesn't mean I don't have lots of sugar-coated reviews to keep everyone happy in the meantime! As my snacking pal Lucy so helpfully pointed out on Instgram, these Nut Clusters do indeed have the word SUGAR printed in capitals, just in case anyone should mistake them for a healthy snack. Thanks for making it so clear, M&S!
I've wanted to try these since I first saw them, but the £2.50 price tag kept putting me off. Eventually I caved, as I so often do with snack products I'm curious about!
For £2.50 you get 120g, which doesn't seem like much. The description reads "Roasted almonds, peanuts and cashew nuts in glucose syrup, sugar and sea salt". The clusters have clearly been cut into squares, but as you can see in the pics one has stayed as a rectangle...the [machinery] force was not strong with this one! ;)
The clusters are very crunchy, with the perfect balance of sweet and savoury flavours. The taste reminded me a little of Eat Natural bars, but sweeter and nuttier. They were very, very moreish, yet satisfying at the same time.
Overall, these Sweet & Salty Nut Clusters are very yummy, but they're definitely only an occasional treat considering the price. If you love nuts and sweet/salty combinations these are definitely for you!
8 out of 10.
Thursday, 14 April 2016
When I first saw this new product in M&S's Spirit of Summer range I was very excited..."pineapple and white chocolate, what a unique combination!", I thought. Until I read the small print, and my excitement turned to sadness. That's because not only does this contain interesting additions such as coconut and popping candy...but chilli too. Urgh! What were M&S thinking, ruining an otherwise tasty product with chilli?!
I point blank refused to buy it. Then a few days passed...my curiosity started nagging at me...someone on Instagram said it doesn't taste too bad...so finally I decided I had to try it, if only to find out what pineapple, chilli, coconut, popping candy and white chocolate would taste like mixed together. And I'm glad I did!
Although this wasn't as great as it could have been because of the chilli...it's still a very tasty and moreish snack!
The pineapple chunks are all differently sized, there was a nice mix of both smaller and larger pieces, with the red specks of chilli visible in the white chocolate coating.
Taking a bite, the first thing I noticed was the popping candy...it wasn't too strong but gave a nice subtle fizzing sensation; quite mild and pleasant. Then there was the creaminess of the white chocolate, which was lovely combined with the dessicated coconut, and the fruity chewiness of the pineapple. Then there was the chilli. It's very noticeable, but not horrible...it gives a spicy aftertaste, but I couldn't help think "what's the point?!". These would be so much nicer without it! As they stand these are a moreish, sweet, creamy and unique snack...they're worth buying just for the pineapple, white chocolate, popping candy and coconut combo. But the chilli? I've said this before but..M&S are such trolls!
Overall, this is a unique and tasty snack, definitely worth a try but M&S need to make these without the chilli in!
8 out of 10.
Wednesday, 13 April 2016
I would dedicate this review to a certain nutty snacks pal...she knows who she is...if it weren't for the fact she can't eat peanuts without going pop. Also M&S have already named a bar after her, The Crazy One, so I guess I'll have to dedicate this one to moi!
This bar cost arond 75p and is described as "Milk chocolate with a layer of soft chocolate fudge (28%), a crunchy centre with salted peanuts (22%) and peanut butter (6%)".
For comparison sake I would say this is somewhat similar to a Reese's Nutrageous, but an inferior version. I couldn't really detect any peanut butter as such, but I could definitely taste the salted peanuts. What I didn't like too much about this bar was the fudge filling, it didn't seem quite right somehow, all I could really taste was sweetness with some salted nuts thrown in. The peanut butter seemed a bit lost in everything else. It's a nice enough bar don't get me wrong, but not quite the peanut buttery hit I was hoping for.
Overall, as always with peanut butter snacks, Reese's reigns supreme and no one shall challenge their supremacy! This is a decent effort from M&S, but it could do with a few tweaks in my opinion.
*Amy of Seeks New Treats has also reviewed this and enjoyed it a lot more, so I'm wondering if maybe I got a duff bar? If M&S want to send me a bar to re-sample I'd be up for that! ;)
7 out of 10.
Tuesday, 12 April 2016
When I first spotted this new Haagen Dazs variety in the shops I was very tempted to try it, however as it was always at full price I never bothered. Luckily though, it recently appeared in my local Heron Frozen Foods store for only £1.29...bargain!
It's a simple combination of berry flavoured ice cream with a swirl of berry sauce. I let it soften up a bit before serving, as Haagen Dazs is always rock solid when you first remove it from the tub!
As much as I love Haagen Dazs ice cream, I have to say I can see why this has ended up in a discount store...it's just not as great as the other fantastic flavours they do. It's creamy and indulgent of course, but I felt the richness of the ice cream overpowered any subtle fruity flavours. The Berry sauce was nice but there wasn't enough of it really.
Overall, as good quality as this ice cream is I don't think it's one that will be around for much longer, there's just so many other nicer Haagen Dazs flavours out there.
7.5 out of 10.
Monday, 11 April 2016
Winner of the most pointless new product of the year goes to...Walkers Crisps Tear 'N Share! Yes, Walkers have done what so many companies do when sales fall and have repackaged an existing product in a new format for a different "occasion", so they can slap a "new" label on it.
These Walkers Tear N Share are in a bag that also supposedly doubles up as a bowl, and contain Walkers Thicker Cut crisps. When I opened the bag I was puzzled as to what was so different, it didn't look like much of a "bowl" to me, just a regular old bag of crisps!
Apparently, according to the wrapper I'd opened it wrong, so I opened it from the other side to see if it looked any more like a bowl. No luck!:
It was a bit easier to keep it upright though, if you should choose to share these crisps with friends. Because maybe your friends are too stupid to hold a "regular" bag of crisps without dropping them!
The crisps tasted like regular Walkers Salted Crisps, of course. Nice and crunchy and salty, but nothing groundbreaking as far as crisps go.
Overall, as I expected these Walkers Tear N Share "bag and a bowl" crisps are obviously a gimmick...but hey, it works I suppose; these are currently gracing the shelves of many a Tesco Express store. Whether or not they'll be around this time next year will be interesting to see...I say they won't! Tune in next year to find out folks!
7 out of 10.
Sunday, 10 April 2016
Recently some new Eat Natural bars appeared in my local Tesco Express, I've never been a fan of their bars to be honest as I find them rather sugary and unhealthy for a "natural" snack bar, but it seems they have upped their game and reduced the sugar whilst increasing the protein content. Always a good thing in my book! They're also wheat, dairy and gluten-free so are suitable for us folks with various intolerances as well as being vegetarian. Yay!
For £2 you get three 45g bars, which I must admit I thought was a bit steep. But you have to pay for your health, I guess!
The bars smelled nice and peanutty with a hint of maple syrup. They were kind of sticky, but not overly so, they still held their shape despite my warm hands.
They tasted pretty decent! Not too hard and not too chewy, not too sweet, with just the right amount of maple flavour and crunchy nuttiness. They were very filling and satisfying, I didn't feel the need to eat another after the first as so often happens with sugary sweet snack bars...the high protein content must have been working its magic!
Overall, these are a great new variety from Eat Natural and I'm glad the company have upped their game in the snack bar department. Although these do contain sugars there's a lot less than the standard "healthy" snack bar, and theyre more full of the good stuff, so I'd happily buy these as a snack without feeling too guilty. These are great if you're watching your sugar intake.
8.5 out of 10.