26 Feb 2016

New Instore: Butterkist Hot Cross Bun Popcorn

A big thank you to Richard W. who sent me this photo via Twitter.

Butterkist Limited Edition Hot Cross Bun Popcorn: Butterkist released a Gingerbread Popcorn at Christmas (which I have to admit I never got around to trying) and have followed it up with this cheerful Easter edition. It's a limited edition so give it a try while you can! Purchased at the Cadbury outlet in Braintree, Essex but should be in supermarkets soon!

If you spot this one instores then let us know where it's available in the comments below. Also, if you've tried it then I'd love to know whether you whether you enjoyed it. Thank you :) 

New Instore: Pyjamas at Primark - Reese's Peanut Butter & Pringles!

Not quite an official grocery gem but I couldn't resist posting this fun lounge wear from Primark. So far I've spotted Reese's Peanut Butter Cup and Pringles styles. I was almost tempted by the Reese's ones!

Reese's Peanut Butter Cup pyjamas at Primark - T-shirt £5.00p and Bottoms £8.00p.

The Pringles design is not quite as cute as the Reese's, but I do prefer the longer sleeves. Besides, who wouldn't want to sit around eating Pringles whilst also looking like a Pringle? 

Pringles pyjamas at Primark - Top £7.00p and Bottoms £8.00p.

Degustabox January Review & £6 Discount Code

There were actually two Degustabox deliveries in January (see my previous Degustabox review here) which was a lovely way to start the new year, especially since both boxes have a healthier theme. 

Degustabox is a monthly subscription service that promises to send out a big box of surprise foodie treats. I love the fact that there's always a mix of smaller brands alongside established household names and plenty of new products too!

Discount Code: BLDEG15

Each Degustabox costs £12.99 a month, which includes delivery, with no fixed contract involved. Degustabox have kindly provided my readers with a massive £6.00 off your next Degustabox, bringing the cost to £6.99 delivered. Enter the Discount Code: BLDEG15 

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

Jordans Country Crisp Fruit & Nut: We get through so much cereal at home that I always like it when the Degustabox includes a big box - especially when it's from Jordans! The Country Crisp Fruit & Nut is a light and crunchy combination of golden oat clusters with generous amounts of dried fruit and nuts.

I've never tried Jordans Country Crisp before but it's quickly become my favourite cereal, especially as a yogurt topping rather than with milk. The oat clusters have a lovely, sweet flavour with a lightly crisp texture. The nuts add plenty of crunch and the fruit pieces add extra sweetness and flavour without being too sweet.

Crobar Peanut Crunch: At first glance this looked innocent enough and I assumed it was some kind of cereal bar. See if you can spot why I didn't really want to try this one - it's a natural energy bar made with cricket flour, nuts, seeds and fruit. 

Cricket flour? From insects? I know that insects are said to be the answer to world hunger but I still couldn't convince myself to give it a try. I could only manage the tiniest of nibbles (really, really tiny) and the flavour was mostly of peanuts and dried fruit but with an earthy and gritty undertone. Sorry, but this one is not for me.

Amoy Taste of Asia: These Amoy sauces are both very tasty and help create super quick meals with rice or noodles. I received two varieties; Thai Green Curry and Malaysian Laksa cooking sauces. We especially enjoyed the Thai Green Curry which had a nice balance of creamy and spicy flavours. 

Tsingtao Beer: This famous beer from China is brewed using pure Laoshan Mountain spring water with the finest malt and hops, and rice to mellow the aftertaste. The Degustabox arrived the week before Chinese New Year so this was a perfect addition!

Slim Noodles: These are made with organic Konjac flavour and oat fibre and contain only 9 calories per 100g serving. They are fairly tasteless on their own (make sure to rinse them first) but can easily be perked up with whatever flavourings you fancy. I enjoyed these ones with a simple homemade sauce and found them very filling.

Coldpress Golden Delicious Apple Juice: I haven't tried this brand before but it's available at Waitrose, Ocado and Tesco. It's a full-flavoured juice with plenty of sweetness and a crisp edge too. I found it very refreshing and would certainly buy it again in future. 

Finn Crisp Original: This is a product that I buy all the time anyway. Each thin sourdough rye crispbread contains only 22 calories and is high in wholegrain. I like them for all kinds of savoury snacking! 

Yushoi Snapea Rice Snacks: I  was lucky to try out these snacks before they were launched last year - see my Yushoi Snapea Rice Snacks review. There are four flavours available; Lightly Salted, Smoked Salt & Szechuan Pepper, Sweet Chilli & Lemon and Soy & Balsamic Vinegar. All the varieties are suitable for vegetarians and vegans.

The Lightly Salted variety is made with 74% green peas which gives them a distinctive greenish colouring and natural pea flavour. They're very tasty but I think I prefer the more flavoured varieties, especially the Smoked Salt & Szechuan Pepper and the Sweet Chilli & Lemon.

Clarks Carob Fruit Syrup: A naturally sweet low GI syrup which is made by extracting the fruits from the Mediterranean Carob plant. It can be used to sweeten drinks and I was surprised to find that it has a very sugar-like flavour when used in tea and coffee. I don't like the taste of artificial sweeteners so this Carob Fruit Syrup is a useful new discovery. I'll have to try it in baking next!

Conscious Organic Raw Chocolate: Conscious Chocolate make raw, organic, vegan, hand-made, "truffle-like" chocolate bars that are also gluten free and refined sugar free. I received the Intense which is a dark chocolate made with 75% minimum cocao solids and flavoured with vanilla and cinnamon.

The texture of this Conscious chocolate is just gorgeous, really soft and melt in the mouth. The flavour is intense but without the usual bitterness, due to the lovely hint of vanilla. I'll definitely be tracking down more of this range.

Overall, I was impressed with the varied selection in this months Degustabox. My favourites this month were the Jordans Country Crisp, Amoy Taste of Asia sauces, Clarks Carob Syrup and Conscious Organic Raw Chocolate.

For more details on Degustabox:

Degustabox website: www.degustabox.com

I received a Degustabox in order to provide an honest review.

24 Feb 2016

New Instore: Ben & Jerry's Cookie Dough 'Wich Ice Creams & Mr. Kipling Cupcakes

A few more new products spotted instore:

Ben & Jerry's Cookie Dough 'Wich: Many thanks to Luci J. who emailed me the photos of these new ice creams from Ben & Jerry's. I can't wait to try out a Ben & Jerry's Cookie Dough 'Wich - they look so good! It's described as a vanilla ice cream with cookie dough sandwiched between chewy chocolate chip cookies. Purchased at Sainsbury's.

Ben & Jerry's Cookie Dough  Son of a... 'Wich: There's also a mini version of these ice cream sandwiches available; the rather brilliantly named Son of a... 'Wich. Well played Ben & Jerry's. A big thank you again to Luci photos. Purchased at Morrisons.

Mr Kipling Cupcakes: Also new are these single pack Mr Kipling Cupcakes which are available in three varieties; Apple Pie Cupcake, Angel Cupcake and Cherry Bakewell Cupcake. They cost £1.20p each but are also available in a large 12 pack for £8.00. Thanks to Lucy W. for this photo. I believe these are currently exclusive to Tesco but let me know if you spot them anywhere else!

Many thanks again to Luci J. and Lucy W. for these great finds and photos. As always, if you've spotted any new products in store then I'd love to hear from you - email grocerygems@gmail.com or tweet @grocerygems.

23 Feb 2016

Review: Galaxy Golden Eggs

I bought these a few weeks ago having been enchanted by the idea of golden coloured eggs - this really is a great idea from Galaxy. Of course, I fully intended to keep these under wraps until Easter, but my willpower clearly had other ideas. 

And wow, do these Golden Eggs live up to their name. They look gorgeous, in fact they're so aesthetically pleasing that I wasn't sure if I actually wanted to eat them. I was tempted to just keep them in a bowl for decoration.

Inside the Galaxy Golden Eggs are filled with Galaxy chocolate and crunchy caramel pieces. There's not really too much to say about the flavour here, it's the Galaxy chocolate that we all know with the caramel pieces just adding a bit of crunch. They're certainly tasty enough but not really anything new in terms of flavour. These are clearly all about the bling. I mean, seriously how good are these going to look for decorating Easter bakes or treats. I can't wait to make some simple cereal chocolate nests with these Golden Eggs inside. I'll definitely be buying a few more packs before Easter!

Grocery Gems Review: Galaxy Golden Eggs

RATING: 8 out of 10.
Buy them again?: Yes.
Purchased: Tesco
Price: £1.00p for 80g (about 17 eggs in the pack).

22 Feb 2016

Review: E. Wedel Polish Chocolate Bars: Karmel Love Wafers & Dark Chocolate with Coconut

The lovely @Banjo_Chocolate recently sent me these two chocolate bars from Polish brand E. Wedel - and as always she's managed to find some delicious treats! Take a look at some of my previous posts courtesy of the Bring Back Banjo Chocolate campaign, from this Chocolate Megapost to even more Polish treats

One chocolate bar that you can't find any more in the shops is of course the much missed Banjo Chocolate - if you remember this bar from the 1980's then be sure to take a look at the Bring Back Banjo Chocolate Facebook Page and please sign the petition here. There seems to be a trend for bring back retro snacks and chocolates so let's make it happen for Banjo too!

When I first saw this I thought that I had already reviewed it before, but on closer inspection this Karmel Love with Wafers is different to the salted nuts version I tried previously here.

The Karmelowa Z Wafelkami has the same sweet and creamy caramel flavoured base, but also contains little pieces of wafer throughout, which add a lovely light crunch. This is such a delicious sweet treat, I found myself unable to stop from having just one more piece! I love the super sweet caramel flavour here - it's definitely one for fans of Caramac. RATING: 8 out of 10.

The E. Wedel Gorzka Kokosowa is a dark chocolate bar with a coconut filling. As a fan of anything coconut flavoured this is instantly appealing!

This is another wonderful chocolate bar. The inner filling has a lovely creamy flavour that is combined with dessicated coconut to give it a deliciously natural flavour. The dark chocolate coating here is just amazing; it has such a rich dark flavour that perfectly compliments the sweet and creamy centre within. I just loved everything about this one and I'd recommend it for any coconut fans. RATING: 10 out of 10.

Thank you again to @Banjo_Chocolate, for sending me these chocolate bars. Please don't forget to like the Bring Back Banjo Chocolate Bar Facebook Page and sign the petition here! Thank you :)

Grocery Gems Review: E. Wedel Chocolate Bars

RATING: See end of each individual reviews above.
Buy them again?: Yes - both!
Purchased: Check out your local Polish grocery shops or Tesco Polish section.

18 Feb 2016

Review: Magnum Double Peanut Butter

As a peanut butter fan I was happy to find that the Magnum Double Peanut Butter has finally been released in the UK. It's a gorgeous sounding offering of peanut butter flavoured ice cream with a chocolate flavour coating and peanut butter sauce. 

The first thing I noticed is just how small this new Magnum ice cream is. Unilever announced earlier this year that all it's British ice cream brands (Magnum, Cornetto, Feast) would be reduced in size by up to a third, to bring them under a 250 calories limit, and it's made a noticeable difference to the Magnum Double. 

It doesn't feel all that much bigger than a Mini Magnum but I'll have to buy a pack of those to do a proper size comparison. In terms of numbers a Magnum Classic is now 110ml, this Magnum Double Peanut Butter is 88ml, whilst a Magnum Mini is 60ml.

Inside, the Magnum Double Peanut Butter consists of twin layers of chocolate filled with a peanut butter 'sauce' It doesn't have the consistency of a peanut butter but instead is more like a smooth caramel. I would have preferred the texture to be thicker and more peanut butter-like. The flavour itself is nicely nutty but is much sweeter than a peanut butter and without the salty edge. The inner ice cream is super creamy, with a sweet peanut flavour that works well with the rich outer chocolate. Overall, The Magnum Double Peanut Butter is not exactly what I was expecting in terms of having a full-on peanut butter flavour. It's more of a chocolate & peanut offering but it's still an enjoyable and tasty ice cream. 

Grocery Gems Verdict: Magnum Double Peanut Butter

RATING: 8 out of 10.
Buy them again?: Yes.
: 245 calories.
Purchased: Tesco
Price: £2.00p for a box of 4 ice creams. 

7 Feb 2016

Review: Nespresso Limited Edition taste of Mexico and Rwanda

Nespresso recently launched their latest limited edition Pure Origin Grand Cru capsules; the Umutima wa Lake Kivu from Rwanda and the Tanim de Chiapas from Mexico. I appreciate Nespresso's aim of bringing it's members more coffees from around the world and I was keen to give these newest varieties a try.

The packaging is quite different from the usual muted colour palette from Nespresso. Both the sleeves and capsules are both vibrantly decorated, with patterns reflective of their countries of origin. 

Nespresso Umutima wa Lake Kivu: This Pure Origin Grand Cru from Rwanda has an intensity rating of 6 which is much lower than I would usually go for. I prefer the Nespresso coffees that have an intensity rating of 8 and higher. However, I was pleased to find that this coffee has a very robust and strong flavour. It's described by Nespresso as having fruity notes and a darker roast for strength and texture. I could certainly taste the darker roasted quality of this coffee which gives it a deeper, layered taste, without any bitter notes.

Nespresso Tanim de Chiapas: The Pure Origin Grand Cru from Mexico actually has a slightly higher intensity rating of 7. The flavour here is quite multi-layered but I found that it was much lighter and sweeter overall when compared to the darker Rwandan blend. I still enjoyed the smooth and sweet flavour here and especially liked it with a little added milk (almond milk in my case).

Overall, I am quite surprised to find that I would recommend both these Pure Origin Grand Crus. I expected the lower intensity rating would equal a flavour that was too weak for me (which is usually the case with the lower intensity Nespresso) but that was not the case at all. Both coffees offer delicious, complex, and layered flavours, and I'd happily take both of them over the previous limited edition Nespresso from Peru. I especially like the fact that they both provide a different taste experience, with the Rwandan Grand Cru having a more intense, dark flavour, and the Mexican Grand Cru giving a more mellow, sweet flavour.

Let me know if you've tried either of these - I'd love to know if you enjoyed them too.

Grocery Gems Review: Nespresso taste of Mexico & Rwanda:

Rating: 8 out of 10. 
Buy Again: Yes.
Purchased: Nespresso.
Price: £3.80p (10 capsules).

6 Feb 2016

Review: Aldi Chocolate Bars - Racer, Titan, Dreemy & Wacko

I recently stepped into Aldi to buy a few fruit and veggies and ended up adding at least five different packs of chocolate bars to my basket. In my defense they're all chocolates that are obviously based on popular chocolate bars - it's only fair that I buy them for a comparison review right? The DairyFine Dreemy is basically a Milky Way, the DairyFine Racer is Snickers, the DairyFine Titan is a Mars Bar and the Belmont Caramel Wacko is a bit like Twix (although not really - see below). These all come in multipacks of various sizes and value but they were all fairly cheap.

DairyFine Dreemy: These are described as lightly whipped nougat covered in milk chocolate. The nougat centre has a darker, more caramel type colour compared to a MilkyWay, but the flavour is very similar. It fact the Dreemy even has the same sweet malty aftertaste that Milky Way chocolate bars have. The outer chocolate is quite thick and has a good cocoa flavour to it as well. Overall these compare very favourable to a Milky Way and I would definitely buy them again. 

RATING: 8 out of 10.
INFO: £0.42p for a six pack. 100 calories per 22g bar.

DairyFine Titan: The Titan is described as a milk chocolate with soft nougat and caramel centre. It looks and tastes very similar to a Mars bar. The caramel especially has a good flavour and the chocolate outer is generously portioned with a very thick layer and has a lovely creamy flavour. The only slight negative is that I did find the nougat a little bland and the whole thing is a bit too sweet for me. However, I would probably say the same thing about Mars bars so they're a decent enough replacement!

RATING: 7 out 10.
INFO: £0.59p for a six pack. 172 calories per 38g bar.

DairyFine Racer: This is a soft nougat with roasted peanuts and caramel coated in milk chocolate. I  much prefer a Snickers bar over a Mars bar any day - the slightly salty edge from the peanuts makes all the difference for me. I was happy to find that the Racer really does capture that delicious roasted peanut and caramel flavour of a Snickers. The nougat layer is quite thin here and there seems to be more caramel which I enjoyed. The chocolate is again very thick and creamy. Mr. Grocery Gems is a Snickers fan and he gave the Racer a thumbs up too.

RATING: 9 out of 10.
INFO: £0.59p for a six pack. 185 calories per 38g bar.

Belmont Wacko: I actually meant to include the DairyFine Jive at this point as it's pretty much an exact match for Twix bars from Aldi (just a bit smaller). However, the Jive bars were all eaten before I could take a photo, which should probably tell you just how good they are. Instead, here are the Wacko chocolate biscuit bars with caramel. They're also delicious with a crunchy shortcake biscuit, thick caramel and creamy chocolate. It's obviously not as Twix-y as the Jive bar so I'll have to update this review at some point.

Rating: 8 out of 10.
INFO: £0.89p for 9 biscuit bars. 102 calories per 21g biscuit bar.

Let me know if you've tried any of these bars in the comments below. I'd also love to hear from you if you've tried any of the other copycat Aldi bars such as the DairyFine Romeo (coconut bars that look similar to Bounty).

1 Feb 2016

New Instore: Easter at Aldi

A quick round up of the new Easter selection at Aldi. 

Dairy Fine Super Minis Easter Egg: If your looking for something a bit different from the same old Cadbury or Mars selection egg then this Super Minis Easter Egg might just be a fun replacement. It contains mini versions of Aldi chocolates such as Jive, Titan, Dreamy (which are very similar to Twis, Mars and Milky Way). £2.79p at Aldi for 347g.

Choceur Eggjoyables: These look so cute, I had to buy both packs (let's see if they last until Easter!). The Aldi Eggjoyables consist of egg carton boxes containing four cream filled eggs (and two spoons) in two varieties; Chocolate or Vanilla. They look similar to the Cadbury Egg N' Spoon, but of course, a little cheaper. £1.49p per box at Aldi.

Dairy Fine Mini Beanie Eggs: Apologies for the terrible photo but these also looked interesting. Each 100g bag is filled with 8 quite big chocolate bean filled eggs. They remind me of those little Smarties filled chicks that usually cost something like 2 for £1.00p. I picked up a few bags of the Dairy Fine Mini Beanie Eggs instead - very useful for Easter egg hunts. £0.99p each bag at Aldi.

Dairy Fine Choccies Medium Egg: On the subject of chocolate beans I was also tempted by this colourful Choccies filled egg at the bargain price of 79p. If you've tried it then let me know in the comments below - thanks! £0.79p at Aldi.

Moser Roth Easter Eggs: They had quite a few impressive looking Easter Eggs in the more upmarket Moser Roth range. I saw four varieties: Banoffee Pie, Dark Fudge Brownie, Pink Delight or Chocolate Wonder. Not sure on the price but I think they were around the £3.49p mark. Will update.

Easter Marshmallows: I'm a sucker for a novelty shaped marshmallow and I couldn't resist picking up these Bunny & Chick Shaped Marshmallows. £0.99p for 225g at Aldi.

Star Wars Sweet Popcorn: And lastly, I couldn't resist including this non-Easter item. Perhaps stretching the boundaries of acceptable merchandising, but this multipack of popcorn is actually quite impressive looking. Each of the bags features a solid R2-D2 design on the front which looks really cool. Also available in a Disney Frozen version. £1.49p at Aldi.

As always if you've spotted any new products instore then I'd love to hear from you - email grocerygems@gmail.com or tweet me @grocerygems.

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