Crispy Moth Lentil Bhakarwadi Rolls

Moth. Lentil.

I don’t think I have ever seen these two words used in conjunction with each other before. One of these things I find alarming, unsettling and silently horrifying. The other is a nocturnal flying insect.

Lol just playing – lentils are inoffensive and the very culinary definition of bland. Moths are terrifying and I am the first to exit the room flailing at the sight of the flappy little villains. If you think that irrational, then you are lucky not to have had my mate Tina tell you her infamous horror story about the moth that popped in to say hello to her brother and ‘never left again’… Keep wondering. You do not want to know.

Anyway! Let’s have a gander at the snack:

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Despite a resemblance to Pedigree Chum Tasty Bites, these are in fact vegetarian.

     Snack: Kohinoor Bhakarwadi 200g

     Bought At: Tesco

     Price: £1.09

     Available from: Tesco and ASDA

The description on the back of the packet makes me love the people at Kohinoor:

‘Specially packed for the crunchy munchy time… treasure the solitary moments that you much deserve.’

Ahhhhh. In’t that nice?

Well this time I choose to share the crunchy munchy time with Megan, which is fortunate as this modest sized bag of snacks contains a whopping 1074 calories!

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Thankfully no moths were found within.

The aroma wafting from the bag is reminiscent of curry flavoured instant noodles with an extra fruity layer wafting over the top. The neat little rolls hold together well and look reassuringly like the picture on the packet. We take a bite:

Megan: ‘Ooh! Not what I expected. It’s sort of like a deep fried fig roll with extra spice.’

The flavour is mild, but far more complex than I expected – a salty buttery flavour gives way to a tangy fruit flavour with a warm, mild spice finish. The texture is great too – crisp and crumbly it disintegrates on your tongue and melts away like flaky pastry.

Very nice, but perhaps doesn’t have enough flavour to justify the enormous amount of calories contained within. They would make a really nice addition to a buffet alongside the usual savoury snackage, where they couldn’t be snarfed down in large quantities by just one person.

7/10

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Mallow and Marsh Raspberry Marshmallow Bar

I’ve seen these swanky marshmallow bars in the shops before, but always felt that I couldn’t justify spending £1.35 on a fancy marshmallow. But this one was reduced! It’s not near its best before date, so I suspect (and the dust on the wrapper was a big hint) that most Sheffielders – even those frequenting Sainsbury’s, where I bought this – feel the same way I do about over-priced, supposedly fancy snacks.

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Snack: Mallow and Marsh Raspberry Marshmallow Bar Coated in 70% Dark Chocolate

     Bought at: Sainsbury’s Local

     Price: Normally £1.35, but reduced to £1.00

Available at: Mallow and MarshSainsbury’s

First of all: the name is just lacking in imagination. It’s like entry-level “How to make your product sound vaguely artisan and hipstery”. To be fair, these do seem to be made by a small company rather than a multinational conglomerate.

Another point in its disfavour: it has a couple of “friendly” messages in speech bubbles on it. It’s self-consciously quirky and it annoys me. One of them is even written from the bar’s point of view. I hate it.

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*TYPOGRAPHY KLAXON*

 

Even worse: they printed the weight and best before information in COMIC SANS.

FFS.

You go to all that effort to design reasonably tasteful packaging and then you go and ruin it.

Now, I’m a sucker for all things raspberry-and-chocolate, so I’m hoping for good things…

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Taking an artistic first bite is hard.

Sadly, the marshmallow fails to deliver with only a hint of raspberry flavour. It’s also a bit too airy for my taste – or rather the bubbles are a bit too large. It’s nice, but not actually nicer than a bog standard marshmallow (a pink one, obvs, they’re the best).

The chocolate is good – it’s nice dark stuff, with just the right amount of sweetness. The thin layer might not look it, but it’s the perfect amount to pair with the marshmallow.

All in all, if these were cheaper, I’d be all for it, but at the current price point, I won’t     be bothering. Sad.

     5/10

Pumpkin Spiced Latte Style Yogurt

As it’s February, you may believe that you have escaped the tyranny of the ubiquitous Pumpkin Spiced Latte for another year.

You are mistaken.

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NO ESCAPE.

Snack: Müller Corner Pumpkin Spiced Latte Yogurt

Bought at: Tesco

Price: 55p

Available From: Tesco, Sainsbury’s, ASDA and just about every other UK supermarket

Müller have put on their yoga pants and jumped on the pumpkin spiced latte bandwagon to Basictown Nomville in the hope of creating something innovative and, presumably, delicious.

We are sceptical that this melange of strong flavours is going to come together into something tasty. But of course there is only one way to know… Let’s crack her open!:

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We weren’t expecting the interior to be so… greige.

The pumpkin spiced bit looks uncannily like McDonald’s sweet & sour sauce. Now my instinct is to dunk chips in it. I am a monster.

After inspecting the sepia tinged innards, Megan declines to lick the lid of life.

Megan: I don’t want to risk catching bloaty head disease!

A valid concern. Those of us who have managed virtual hospitals are all too aware of the difficult process bloaty head sufferers have to withstand in the inflation clinic.

Brutal.

Given that I don’t know what pumpkin spice, or indeed pumpkin tastes of, I decide to taste the yogurt first. It’s rather delicious actually! I really enjoy the tangy, creamy yogurt against the mild coffee flavour. Megan on the other hand finds the tangy coffee a weird experience and does not enjoy it very much.

What of the pumpkin spice corner mix? No. Not really for me. The mix is mildly sweet but very cinnamon heavy and a bit overwhelming on the senses. It also has a jelly-like texture and has a spoon shaped dent in it where we scooped a bit out. Hmmm. I imagine though, that it is a pretty good approximation of the pumpkin spiced latte if that’s your cup of tea coffee. Megan however really likes the mysterious goop.

Megan: Can I just have this bit?

Yes. Yes you can Megan. We polish off the two sections separately #teamwork

In summary – an unusual combination that will probably delight pumpkin spice latte fans, but wont win any newcomers over to the flavour combo.

5/10

Eggnog Flavoured Milk Drink

This review comes to you via the import section at our local Tesco. This ‘premium’ eggnog-flavoured milk drink was with the Polish products, even though it is Jamaican and there is a Jamaican section one aisle over. Is eggnog-flavoured milk inexplicably popular in Poland? Do the staff at Tesco have no idea what they are doing? We may never know.

We picked this up because neither of us has ever tried eggnog, and we are both intrigued and horrified by the idea of an egg-based drink. Having tried this product, I’m not sure we’re any closer to knowing what eggnog really tastes like.

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A: ‘Should we give it a name?’     B: ‘Why bother when the description sounds so delicious!’

     Drink: Serge Island Premium Eggnog 240ml

     Bought at: Tesco

     Price: 75p

     Available at: TescoAmazon

Looking at the ingredients list is a little disconcerting. Mmmm, ‘egg solids’! Mmmmm, ‘artificial cognac brandy flavour’! Mmmm, ‘approved flavours and stabilizers’! It also contains a tiny bit of ‘White Over Proof Rum'(!!!!), and some ‘egg yellow colouring’ that prompts a stern warning on the side of the carton:

“Warning: Colourings E102 (Yellow5) and E110 (Yellow6) may have an adverse effect on activity and attention in children”

Reassuring.

We decided to refrigerate our eggnog, though it is in fact shelf-stable, because it just feels a bit weird to drink something milky at room temperature. Too many reminders of primary school milk breaks. Chilling was definitely a good idea, both for psychological reasons and to reduce the impact of the flavour, because this stuff was just weird.

On first sip, this drink is quite pleasant. Smooth, sweet and creamy, pretty much what you would hope for from a supermarket milkshake. The odd bit comes shortly afterwards, when the flavour hits you and you wonder if eggnog can really taste faintly of bubblegum. Well, that was Lottie’s analysis of the taste – I thought it was more like it was a distant cousin of a banana milkshake. A particularly artificial cousin of a banana milkshake.

Lottie: “Whatever eggnog tastes of, I can’t imagine it is this”

We did finish the carton, and the flavour isn’t completely horrendous, but I would go a long way to avoid drinking another of these in future. However, we did think this product might be actually quite nice in another flavour. Unfortunately, the only other Serge Island drink that Tesco stock is Peanut Punch Flavoured Milk Drink. Fortunately for you, we bought a carton of that too, and we’ll let you know how that turns out.

If this were another flavour, it would be pretty good. As it stands: not recommended.

3/10

Chrysanthemum Tea

Wikipedia informs me that chrysanthemum tea has been enjoyed in mainland China since the 10th century and, according to traditional Chinese medicine, can be used to reduce fever, prevent sore throats and aid recovery from flu. A health beverage, steeped in history and enjoyed for over a millennium… Why has it taken Tesco so long to bring this wonder drink to the UK?

***Spoiler alert***  

That would be the flavour.

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‘Look like the innocent flower but be the beverage under’t.’  Macbeth: 2017 Edition Updated and Abridged.

     Drink: Vita Chrysanthemum Tea Drink 250ml

     Bought at: Sainsbury’s

     Price: 40p

     Available From: Sainsbury’sAmazon, Tesco, Wing Yip

Looking at the ingredients list, this should be pretty potent stuff. It is made up of 66% chrysanthemum extract and has 8.5g of sugar per 100ml which isn’t far off coca cola. We suppose it must be very sweet and very chrysanthemum-y (whatever that is like)?

The carton doesn’t say much else apart from reassuring us that it has an ‘authentic taste’ and to ‘CONSUME IMMEDIATELY AFTER OPENING’. So… chug it down in one just to be sure?

To be honest, I am not expecting to enjoy this drink as I

A) Do not like floral flavours.

B) Do not like very sweet drinks.

C) Can’t help but be reminded by the carton of that 1970’s M&S bed set everyone’s Nan has in the spare room.

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You know the one.

We rebelliously choose not to consume the drink IMMEDIATELY AFTER OPENING but instead tentatively insert the straw and have a sip…

Megan [Frowning]: It sort of tastes like a pillowcase too.

I didn’t realise I knew what a pillowcase tasted of, but gosh darn it Megan is 100% right. The flavour is intensely sweet for a fraction of a second before a huge tangy floral flavour comes and punches you in the face. The aftertaste is a bit bitter and I am left with an oddly dry sensation on my tongue. The whole experience is sort of like taking a shot of fabric softener, having a lick of a daffodil before biting down on a (very absorbent) pillow.

In conclusion: no. 

1/10

 

Jalapeño & Sour Cream Party Mix

It’s not all exotic cuisine from distant lands on OtBT. There are some little known UK produced snacks languishing unloved on our supermarket shelves that deserve our tangential snarking investigation too.

Today we have an offering from Golden Cross who produce an array of crispy things and an impressive assortment of imaginative sweets (gummy meerkats anyone?). Surely if anyone can make a delicious fried snack, the Scots can.

Megan [Scottishly, with side-eye]: ‘Stereotyping.’

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‘Made with the Finest Ingredients’. Avec le premiere en potato granules, dextrose and yeast extract powder *twirls chef moustache*

     Snack: Golden Cross Jalapeño and Sour Cream Party Mix 150g

     Bought At: Tesco

     Price: £1.00

     Available from: Tesco and ASDA

The packaging is delightfully retro. No foil wrapped for freshness rubbish, this is 100% plastic the old skool way complete with a ‘no, I assure you it’s food inside’ window. The name is also HYPE.

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‘Tonight I’ll bring you massive beats from Ludacrisp, Smokey Akon and Trifle 65. ARE YOU READY FOR PARTY MIX?’

From the flavour description, we are expecting a creamy flavour with a hint a vinegary spice from the jalapeño. We paid a quid for this 150g bag of snacks which is full price! Can something this cheap actually be any good? Let’s dive in…

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Fusilli, Penne,Wonky wheel and uh….. anemone?

They smell faintly sour creamy, with a hint of jalapeño. The flavour is mild but is in fact, exactly like sour cream and jalapeño despite there being no jalapeño whatsoever in the ingredients. Not bad!

The variety of textures in the different shapes add interest as we chomp on through the bag, but at the half way mark the mild flavour starts to wear a bit thin. We decide to try dipping the mix in a bit of Humpit hummus to liven things up (which btw is a place you should defo check out after a trip to that other place).

Party Mix + Hummus = Bloody amazing.

It’s like they were made for each other. NOMMMMM.

The verdict – An amazing value snack which on it’s own has a good flavour, but when paired with hummus is totally delicious. 

7/10

Extreme Heat Crunchy Fries

I mostly associate TGI Friday’s with feeling 100 years old as I mistakenly call it TFI Friday and am momentarily dragged back through time to an age where Adidas tracksuit bottoms were the height of fashion and people did the Macarena unironically. Well no more! TGI Friday’s now brings us a new, EXTREME snack that comes foil wrapped in a typographers waking nightmare:

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At least seven fonts going on here and not even an attempt at a ‘fry-day’ pun?  Call me.

Snack: TGI Friday’s ‘Extreme Heat’ Crunchy Fries

             Bought at: Tesco (in the American import section)

             Price: £1.00

             Available from: Tesco

First Impression: those fries look really, really red. ‘Allura Red’ E129 to be exact, according to the ingredients list. A lot of American crisp manufacturers seem to put a ton of this red colour on their salty snacks. Does it help you locate them in the desert or scare bears away or something? Because it seems a tad unnecessary.

We are assured by the gaudy bag that this snack will be a one way ticket to Flavourville but our instinct is that it’s all talk. Only one way to know!

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#Gotta get down on Fryyyyy-daaaay#

Well, thankfully they aren’t nearly as red as advertised. We take a big whiff of the open bag expecting an intense hot and sweet aroma akin to Chilli Heatwave Doritos or Flamin’ Hot Monster Munch but… nope. Smells very faintly of fried corn snacks. Perhaps the EXTREME flavour is locked within. We go in for a taste, braced for flavour impact…

 

Lottie: ‘AAAARRRRRRRGGGGGGGHHHHHH THAT BLOODY CANES!’

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The pain caused by inserting a papercut finger into the bag of salty, chilli infused fried corn knives is certainly EXTREME.

 

The taste however is pretty mild as expected -predominantly salty, with a subtle suggestion of cheese, followed by a medium heat from the chilli. They are essentially Ready Salted Chipsticks with a sprinkle of chilli powder. The heat is somewhere between Chilli Heatwave Doritos and Sriracha Sauce. EXTREME in flavour they are not.

Disappointing after the hype and not really worth the inflated import price.

4/10