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!’

handpain
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

Katsu Curry Sticky Rice Chips

M&S seem to be at the forefront of snacking innovation these days – a quick trip down the savoury-things-wot-come-in-bags aisle yielded several promising new treats. We have high hopes for our first foray – Katsu Curry Sticky Rice Chips. *exciteclaps*

“What is a sticky rice chip when it’s at home?!” I hear you cry! It’s a tortilla chip with some rice in it. Sorry.

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Look, they’re gluten free too! They do contain honey though – “Not suitable for children under 12 months” – so bad luck if you were hoping to feed these to your discerning toddler.

Snack: M&S Katsu Curry Sticky Rice Chips 150g

Bought at: M&S

Price: £1.50

Available from: M&S – in-store only, AFAIK

They are diamond-shaped (ooh) with red and green speckles of chilli and herbs. They even smell fancy!

“Like proper food.” – Lottie.

On first whiff you can tell that these have actual real spices in, and not just mysterious ‘flavourings’. They smell like a homemade curry, and, diving right in, they actually taste like one too! I’m not sure I’d immediately peg it as katsu curry, but it’s certainly a curry of some sort, and it’s tasty. There’s just the right amount of heat for me – warming but not overwhelming.

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High-quality speckles.

Texture-wise, they’re pretty much a standard tortilla chip, with perhaps a little more of a rice-y crispness. You actually can taste the rice a little, which obvs goes pretty well with the whole curry experience.

We polished these off pretty quickly (the packet claims to serve six which – lol), and rather enjoyed them, but they are definitely crisps to serve to guests you’d like to impress a little. Guests who you’re hoping think you are actual adults and not people who sit around discussing the finer points of crisps on a regular basis. Lottie declares them tasty but “not like super-salty junk chips, which is what I’m after to be honest”.

So the final verdict: very nice, but these are pretending-to-be-sophisticated crisps, not pushing-them-in-your-face-in-your-pyjamas crisps. We’re totally trying the other two flavours though.

7/10

Cheese ‘N’ Cracker Bizarre Bar

Back in 2002, my English teacher asked Form G to come up with an imaginative new product to shill to the masses. This product would then be marketed in an advert (in poster form naturally), to allow us to practise our persuasive language and, presumably, give the poor woman a break while we coloured in for a bit.

I thought long and hard about what the British people yearned for…. What did they want more than anything else in the world?…

The answer was cheese👊  flavoured👊 chocolate👊

My teacher did not agree:

‘Charlotte.’

‘Do you really think people would want to buy cheese flavoured chocolate? I am not sure you are taking this task at all seriously! Come up with something more sensible please.’

Well Miss Millington.

Do I have news for you:

BizarreCheeseChoc.jpg
BAM.

 

 

The packaging tells us that this bar is handmade from Belgian chocolate alongside cheese oil and crackers. So we guess it will be similar to those awesome Ritz bars surrounded by Cadbury chocolate with a hint of fromage?

The wrapper also describes the intrepid travels of their head of product development Cedric Bizarre. Sounds like a cool guy. They even include his picture:

 

cedricbiz
Not what we were expecting tbh.

 

     Snack: The Chocolate Smith’s ‘Cheese ‘N’ Cracker Bizzare Bar’ 100g

     Bought at: Received at Christmas as part of a gift hamper. (Cheers Dan and Lisa!)

     Price: Free obvs, but usually  £3.95

     Available from: Wow Thank You

 

We open the chocolate up with enthusiasm and are immediately met with a pungent Grana Padano/feety smell. I can also detect the sweet, fragrant aroma of vindication but perhaps that is just me.

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The bar itself has a few air bubbles and bits where the crackers are poking out which makes it look all rustic and homemade. As for the taste, the chocolate is creamy and smooth as you might expect from Belgian chocolate… but the cheese flavour is very mild and not at all like the intense smell that assaulted us upon opening it.

Is the cheese flavour nice? Does it add anything?

It’s just sort of there to be honest. A weirdly separate flavour to the chocolate, despite them both happening at once. The closest thing I could describe the sensation as is eating a bag of mini cheddars out of your packed lunch and immediately going on to a penguin. The cheese flavour is still there, but nothing to do with the chocolate you are eating. An out of mouth experience if you like. Spooky.

The crackers are not crunchy and savoury as described but soft and chewy which is quite pleasant. They also are not at all salty which, if they were, could perhaps help to bring all the flavours together?

In conclusion – a fun snack and certainly a unique experience, but not any more delicious than a bog standard bar of Belgian chocolate.

6/10

Trocadero

Trocadero. We saw it in all the Swedish convenience stores by the Pepsi and Julmust but could not for the life of us work out what it was. We, of inquisitive snacking dispositions, decided to get one to find out once and for all.

Wikipedia informs us that this drink was invented in 1953 immediately after the ‘ban on colas in Sweden was lifted’ which….wot??

Megan: ‘This is a design that says 90’s leisure centre.’

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Megan is not wrong. This label suggests tropical aspirations that will remain largely unfulfilled like a Council leisure centre erecting a lonely palm in the attempt to create an ‘oasis zone’.

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#Drinks at club Trocadero are freeeeeeeeeeeee#

The ‘Troca.Troca.Troca.Troca…’ around the label is cute. Is it onomatopoeia of the chugging about to happen? LETS FIND OUT.

      Drink: Trocadero 50cl

      Bought At: 7-Eleven, Stockholm, Sweden

      Price: 22KR (about £2.00)

      Available from: Not in the UK 😦

 

The bottle opens with a gentle *pshht*. This beverage does not appear to be highly carbonated which seems to be a theme in all the Scandinavian soft drinks we have sampled thus far. It also smells like a REAL ORANGE, which is weird because orange juice does not smell like that.

The label appears to list the orange alongside apple and caffeine(??) as ingredients which, as far as I recall, I have never had in a drink together before. I await a fruity party in my mouth as I take the first swig…..

and it does not arrive. The flavour is mild and… hard to define.

Megan: ‘It tastes familiar… but of what???

Lottie: ‘It’s a bit like the ghost of orange juice and lemonade. With an apple wafted over it.

After some careful thought we arrive at the conclusion that, despite its actual fruit content it tastes most like cheap lemonade and cherry brandy. Yes we do in fact drink cheap lemonade and cherry brandy. #sorrynotsorry

In conclusion, Trocadero is unique and might perhaps be a pleasant drink in the summer when you want something mild and fruity to quaff that wont give you that nose-on-fire feeling from something fizzier.

Not bad.

5/10