30 Sept 2016

Review: Dorset Cereals Gingerbread Porridge

I don't usually buy flavoured porridge (I find them too cloying and sweet) but I couldn't resist trying this Gingerbread Porridge from Dorset Cereals. Gingerbread is one of my favourite flavours for new products at this time of year and it's warming nature seems especially appealing for a porridge.

The Dorset Cereals Gingerbread Porridge is described as a creamy blend of oats and barley with real gingerbread pieces. There are 10 sachets in each pack and each serving is 237 calories (with 180ml of semi-skimmed milk). The porridge has plenty of dark gingerbread pieces and I could already smell the familiar scent of ginger and spices as I opened the pack. The actual gingerbread flavour is quite subtle once the porridge is prepared, this is certainly not an overpowering gingerbread. The porridge itself is thick and creamy in texture and the gingerbread adds an extra warmth with it's spiced background flavour. I was also pleased to find that the porridge is not overly sweet, in fact, there's not much sweetness here at all which I prefer. 

Overall, it's definitely worth a try for any fans of gingerbread for it's subtle, warming, not-too-sweet flavour - it's very filling too!

Grocery Gems Review: Dorset Cereals Gingerbread Porridge

RATING: 8 out of 10.
Buy them again?: Yes.
Purchased: Ocado - also available instore exclusively at Waitrose.
Price: £2.59p.

Check out my previous gingerbread reviews:
Alpro Gingerbread Man Desserts
Walls Gingerbread Sandwich Ice Cream

20 Sept 2016

Review: New Haribo Scaremix with Spooky Flavours including Toffee Apple & Bubblegum!

Haribo has released a few updates of it's popular Starmix sweets featuring new flavours and themes recently, such as the Haribo Starmix Frenzy Carnival with tropical flavours. The latest is the Haribo Scaremix which features the usual selection of bears, fried eggs, rings and hearts from the classic Starmix but with new 'Spooky Flavours' and fun scary names. For example the fried egg shapes are now 'Monster Eyeballs' and the rings are 'Dracula Rings'!

There are 9 different sweets in total. The first four are; Blackcurrant & Bubblegum Vampire Hearts, Apple & Blackcurrant Dracula Rings, Toffee Apple Monster Eyeballs and Blood Orange Witches Brew. 

Blackcurrant & Bubblegum Vampire Heart: This is a dark purple jelly on top and a bright blue soft foam underside. The bubblegum flavour comes through with a sweet and fruity flavour that is not too overpowering. 

Toffee Apple Monster Eyeballs: I really enjoyed this unusual flavour but my kids were not so keen. They have a caramel type sweetness with a hint of fruity apple.

Apple & Blackcurrant Dracula Rings: The classic combination of apple and blackcurrant flavours is delicious here and was my kids favourite overall. It reminded them of a popular apple and blackcurrant flavoured drink!

Blood Orange Witches Brew: These are essentially just orange flavoured soda bottles - it's like a Fanta bottle instead of a cola bottle.  

The final five are all fruity flavours: Blackcurrant & Blueberry Dracula Rings, Blood Orange & Apple Dracula Rings, Blood Orange Boo Bear, Lime Boo Bear, and Cherry Boo Bear. Unfortunately I didn't have any of the Blood Orange & Apple Rings in my pack so I can't review that flavour.

Blackcurrant & Blueberry Dracula Rings. This one was the most flavourful in the pack. It has a strong, and surprisingly tart, berry flavour. 

Blood Orange, Lime & Cherry Boo Bears: The bears have all been rebranded 'Boo Bears' - as if that makes them more scary. Anyway, the flavours here are all very fruity, especially the Blood Orange which has the strongest flavour of the bunch. The Lime Boo Bear has a distinctive citrus flavour but the sweet Cherry Boo Bear was my favourite overall.

Grocery Gems Review: Haribo Scaremix

RATING: 8 out of 10.
Buy them again?: Yes - I'll have to buy another pack for Halloween.
Purchased: Local corner shop.
Price: £1.00p.

Check out my previous Haribo Halloween Reviews:

16 Sept 2016

Review Megapost: Walkers Crisps Sarnie Flavours

Last summer Walkers released six flavours in their 'Bring it Back' Campaign. It was fun trying out all the different flavours and picking a favourite. This year, Walkers have another impressive array of flavours in their new 'Sarnie Flavours' range. 

The six new flavours are all based on classic British sandwich fillings, all featuring different sauces from the likes of Heinz, HP and Lea & Perrins. The flavours are: Ham & Mustard, Roast Chicken & Mayonnaise, Cheese Cucumber & Salad Cream, Sausage & Brown Sauce, Bacon & Tomato Ketchup and a Cheese Toastie & Worcester Sauce. I bought individual packs in Co-Op on a 2 for £1.00p deal (for larger bags). 

Walkers Crisps Ham & Mustard: This is my youngest sons favourite sandwich filling and I was pleased to find that these crisps do a good job of recreating the flavour of a ham and mustard sandwich. The mustard especially comes through initially without too much heat but soon evolves into a meaty ham flavour. It's a decent enough pairing, not too exciting, but the classic flavour combo works well enough here. Rating: 7 out of 10.

Walkers Crisps Bacon & Tomato Ketchup: This is another classic sandwich pairing (although I know people in other parts of the country might disagree about ketchup with bacon!) and one that we enjoy once in awhile. The crisps however, weren't really as tasty as I was expecting. The tomato ketchup flavouring is far too dominant with a sickly sweet and tangy flavour that didn't work well with the background smokey bacon crisps. They're not terrible but I was just expecting to like these more than I did. Rating: 5 out of 10.

Walkers Crisps Roast Chicken & Mayonnaise: These are quite similar to regular Walkers Roast Chicken crisps but with a much creamier edge from the mayonnaise flavouring. I didn't particularly like the creamy flavour, it's far too milky for my tastes. Overall I prefer the original Walkers flavour, with it's stronger chicken flavour, to this new sarnie inspired one. Rating: 5 out of 10.

Walkers Crisps Cheese, Cucumber & Salad Cream: I'm one of those people that does actually like salad cream and I must admit that I regularly add it to sandwiches and salads. I thought these crisps did a great job of capturing the sweet and tangy Heinz Salad Cream flavour, it's pretty much spot on. However, this flavour was again ruined for me by the creamy nature of the background flavours. Instead of a strong cheese flavour, such as cheddar, the cheese flavouring used here is very milky and almost sour cream tasting. I couldn't detect any cucumber flavour at all. Rating: 6 out of 10.

Walkers Cheese Toastie & Worcester Sauce: This is one of the more interesting flavours in this range. The Worcester Sauce flavour is instantly recognisable and provides a lovely tangy edge to the flavour. The cheese flavour is also nicely done and I can almost taste the melted cheese element. Rating: 7 out of 10.

Walkers Crisps Sausage & Brown Sauce: I have to admit that I don't often buy brown sauce or use it on sandwiches. Sausage sandwiches have always involved tomato ketchup around here. However, I may change that from now on because these crisps are delicious and my clear favourite of the lot. The tangy brown sauce has a lovely rich flavour that is followed by a very tasty and meaty sausage. Funnily enough this is also the only flavour that doesn't contain milk and is suitable for vegans. Rating: 8 out of 10. 

Overall, it's not been my favourite range from Walkers as there are quite a few flavours that I didn't like at all. However, as always I'm impressed by Walkers creativity in bringing out so many limited edition flavours and I look forward to what they come up with next. 

Obviously these reviews are all down to personal taste so do let me know if you agree/disagree and which Walkers Sarnie flavour you enjoyed the most!

Grocery Gems Review: Walkers Sarnie Range

RATING: See individual reviews above.
Buy it again?: Only the Sausage & Brown Sauce flavour.
Purchased: Co-Op.
Price: 2 for £1.00p (although multipacks are now widely available)

15 Sept 2016

Degustabox August Review & a £7 Discount Code

My August Degustabox actually arrived in early September as I had to delay the delivery (I was on holiday when it was due to arrive). I love how easy it is the reschedule the Degustabox delivery if the time and date isn't convenient. Anyway, as usual the Degustabox was once again packed full of new foodie products that I can't wait to try.  

Discount Code: BLDEG15

Degustabox is a monthly foodie subscription service that sends out a range of specially selected foodie products. There's always a great mix of new products that I haven't tried before, as well as plenty of treats from more established brands. Each Degustabox costs £12.99p, delivery costs are included in the price, and there is no fixed contract involved - you can cancel at any time.

The discount code has been increased and now offers a massive £7.00 off, bringing the cost to £6.99 delivered. Check out the Degustabox website below and enter the discount code: BLDEG15

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

Willy Chase's Fit Corn: I've never heard of this brand before but the bright packaging and interesting flavour made it instantly appealing. There were one of four possible flavours in the Degustabox: Apple Cider Vinegar, Smokey Bloody Mary, Goats Cheese, Onion & Thyme or Salted Honey. I'm definitely pleased with the flavour I received! The combination of sweet honey and salty flavours worked together perfectly.

NutriPot: Another new brand to me which I'm always keen to try out. The NutriPot are designed to be healthy and nutritious, with each pot containing 50% of all the 28 vitamins and minerals your body requires every day. I received two flavours that are both simple to make by just adding boiling water. The Aromatic Thai Noodles has a slightly spiced flavour while the Moroccan Couscous is flavoured with sultanas and herbs. 

Clipper Lime & Ginger Green Tea: I've only recently become a convert to lemon flavoured green tea. I'd always assumed it wouldn't be for me but I tried a cup at a friends house and became hooked. This Lime & Ginger flavour works just as well with the lime added a refreshing sweetness and the ginger providing extra warmth. Lemon green tea is still my favourite but I would buy this one if I fancied a change.

Dorset Cereals Bircher Mix: Bircher Muesli is traditionally made in Switzerland by soaking oats overnight in juice and yogurt and adding grated fruit. The Dorset Cereals Bircher Mix came with a little scoop for measuring out the perfect portion, and is then made by adding 60ml of apple juice, a spoonful of yogurt on top and refridgerating for 30mins (or overnight) in the fridge.

The result is an absolutely delicious and creamy muesli that is packed full of fruity flavour. I've never had oats made with apple juice before and now I just can't stop! It's become my favourite breakfast and I've had it every day since I first tried it. I'll be buying this regularly from now on.

Mahou Cinco Estrellas Lager: This lager is produced in Madrid and has a history going back 126 years. It's available in most supermarkets such as Asda, Sainsbury's and online at Ocado. My dad loves this one!

Get More Multivitamins: This drink is made with spring water, natural flavours and no added sugar. There are six different flavours available and I received the Sparkling Lemon & Lime. It's a refreshing drink with a flavour similar to a diet lemonade. I preferred the Still Mango & Passionfruit version which I tried in a previous Degustabox.

Fentimans Sparkling Lime & Jasmine: I'm a fan of Fentimans' botanical drinks, especially their Curiosity Cola. This Sparkling Lime and Jasmine is new to me so I was excited to give it a try. The initial flavour is quite sharp, with the citrus notes kicking in straight away and quite a sour taste overall.

Rakusen's Snackers: Available in Plain and Gluten Free varieties. These Snackers are less than 1% fat and have seven calories per cracker. The ingredients in both are very simple, resulting in quite plain tasting crackers - a bit like water crackers. They're very crunchy which makes them good for dipping and topping.

Geeta's Curry Pastes & Chutney: There were three different products from the Geeta's range in the Degustabox. The curry pastes, a Tikka and a Rogan Josh, are quite small so are ideal for two rather than for family meals. The Premium Mango Chutney is an award-winning chutney that is sweet, tangy and full of flavour.

Tabasco Sauce: My other half was very pleased to find this in the Degustabox. He loves trying out different barbecue sauces - any excuse to fire up the BBQ! This Sweet & Sticky Barbecue sauce and marinade has a rich and smokey flavour and works well on ribs and pulled pork.

Capsicana Latin Flavours: Capsicana Cook Sauces are available in three Latin American inspired flavours; Peruvian Chilli & Lemon, Brazilian Chilli & Coconut, and Mexican Chilli & Honey. This looks like a fabulous new range and the flavours all look really appealing. I'm looking forward to giving these one a try, I'll probably use it with chicken but it can also be used with fish or vegetables. The Capsicana range is now available at Waitrose.

Overall, I really enjoyed the surprise selection in this months Degustabox. There was a wonderful mix of useful items and many new brands. I also received a packet of Oloves which I've reviewed previously here - Oloves Olives Review. My favourites this month were the Clipper Tea, Tabasco BBQ sauce, Chase's Popcorn and the amazing Dorset Cereals Bircher Mix.

For more details on Degustabox:

Degustabox website: www.degustabox.com/en

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

14 Sept 2016

Review: Cadbury Freddo Drinking Chocolate

The weather is super crazy hot where I am so what do I decide to review? That's right - hot chocolate. But it's not the only reason why this review is a total fail. It's also because I fell for an annoying marketing trick - rebranding an existing product to make it look different. Is this Cadbury Freddo Drinking Chocolate different from any other Cadbury Drinking Chocolate? The answer is - nope. 

The ingredients listed are exactly the same on this Cadbury Freddo and the standard Cadbury Drinking Chocolate; Sugar, Cocoa Powder (minimum 25%), Salt and Flavourings. It's not very specific so perhaps some of the quantities are different. Anyway, there are sadly no little solid chocolate Freddos in the chocolate powder (like Mars did with their awesome Magic Stars Hot Chocolate). 

The flavour of the Cadbury Freddo Drinking Chocolate is also extremely weak. The instructions on the side recommend only ONE spoon of powder in 200ml of hot milk. I was hopeful that this could mean a stronger flavour. Well, I can confirm that all it gives you is a slightly sugary cup of hot milk. Even three spoonfuls later only released a hint of chocolate flavour that is far too sweet. I mainly bought this for my young son, who I suspect this product is aimed at rather than me, and he also said it needed more chocolate flavour!

Grocery Gems Review: Cadbury Freddo Drinking Chocolate

RATING: 4 out of 10.
Buy them again?: No.
Nutrition (per serving)
120 calories (6g + 200ml of milk).
Purchased: Tesco.
Price: £1.00p for 175g (on offer).

13 Sept 2016

New Instore: Shreddies Max Protein, New York Bakery Cheese Bagels & More

A round up of some more new items spotted instore - this time with a few added Mini Reviews! 

Shreddies Max Protein: This new oat granola cereal is available is also available in a Cranberry flavour. It contains 10g of protein per serving as well as being high in fibre. It's a tasty enough granola with a crunchy texture and sweet flavour, and I'd buy it again if it was on special offer. Spotted at: Asda - £2.49p (for 400g).

Tesco Choco-Nut Malt Wheats: I don't usually buy chocolate cereals but this Choco-Nut flavour appealed to me. Is it wrong that I was secretly hoping it would have a Nutella-y taste? Anyway, the good news is that the combination of chocolate and creamy hazelnut does give this cereal that hint of Nutella that I was hoping for. Don't worry, it's not as super sweet or cloying as a chocolate spread, but these Malt Wheats do have a lovely chocolate and nut flavour. I also want to try the new Golden Syrup Malt Wheats in the same range - the price is great too! Spotted at: Tesco - £1.19p (for 500g).

Soreen Squidgy Cake Bites: Available in Chocolate or Toffee flavours. Each tub has 12 mini bites of squidgy cake. I don't usually buy these types of tubs - I prefer individually wrapped minis. Spotted at: Asda - £1.50p. 

Cadbury Mini Rolls Mega Roll Cake: There were quite a few new celebration cakes at Asda. I love the look of this giant Mini Roll - such a fun and simple idea. Spotted at: Asda - £6.00p. 

Asda Donut Cake: Another cute and appealing cake. This one is shaped like a massive doughnut complete with pink icing and sprinkles. Spotted at: Asda - £8.00p. 

Ghostbusters Cake: This is one of those cakes that made me happy and annoyed at the same time. This would have been so useful for my husbands birthday last year which was Ghostbusters themed! Spotted at: Asda - £10.00p. 

Asda Extra Special Muffins: I spotted two interesting new flavours of these savoury muffins; Mild Red Cheddar and Ancient Grains. If you've tried these then I'd love to know what you thought in the comments below! Spotted at: Asda - £1.00p. 

New York Bakery Co Cheese Bagels: I buy bagels regularly so I'm always on the lookout for new flavours. These Cheese Bagels have been an instant hit with my kids and I'll definitely be buying them again. Each bagel has a cheddar cheese topping which is full of flavour and compliments an array of savoury fillings. Spotted at: Asda - £1.00p.

Warburtons Protein Range: Warburtons has a new range of products that are high in protein and fibre. I saw a Wholemeal Loaf with a blend of pulses, Wholemeal Thins and Wholemeal Soft Wraps in the range. Spotted at: Asda - £1.00p each. 

As always, if you spot anything new instore and fancy sending me a photo then let me know via email: grocerygems@gmail.com or Twitter: @grocerygems.

12 Sept 2016

Review: Nespresso Cafezinho do Brasil Coffee Capsules (Limited Edition)

Nespresso latest limited edition, which I believe was released last month, is the Cafezinho do Brasil. I love the name! The word 'cafezinho' is a cute way of saying 'small coffee' in Brazilian Portuguese. It's a single origin coffee or as Nespresso like to call it a Pure Origin Grand Cru. It's described as an intense coffee, inspired by the Brazilians' love for strong coffee, and is rated as a 9 intensity. 

The bright yellow and green packaging representing the Brazilian theme is carried across the sleeves and through to the capsules themselves. I love just how fun and vibrant this packaging is.

The coffee itself has a wonderful flavour that is strong and intense without any bitter notes. It's a lovely blend that is bold enough to perk me up in the morning but still smooth enough to be enjoyable. I much prefer it to the Nespresso Dulsão do Brasil (which is too weak for my tastes) and I wish the Cafezinho do Brazil would replace it as a permanent edition! 

Grocery Gems Review: Nespresso Cafezinho do Brasil

RATING: 10 out of 10.
Buy them again?: Yes - I've already been back for more.
Purchased: Nespresso store.
Price: £3.80p per sleeve.

9 Sept 2016

Review: New Krispy Kreme Smores, Chocolate Firecracker & Maple Crunch Doughnuts

Krispy Kreme has released several new varieties recently, with a few more on the horizon in the coming weeks. The 'New Season' doughnuts are; Smores, Maple Crunch, Chocolate Firecracker and a Salted Caramel Cheesecake (which I wasn't able to find). 

There is also a series of  'Vintage Krispy Kreme' flavours which are being released one by one during September and October. The vintage doughnut flavours planned are; Glazed Kreme (from 5th - 18th Sept), Powdered Blueberry (from 19th Sept - 2nd Oct), Cruller (from 3rd Oct - 16th Oct) and  a Pumpkin Spice (from 17th Oct to 31st Oct). I'm looking forward to the Powdered Blueberry and the Pumpkin Spice!

Smores Doughnut: The Smores is a milk chocolate covered doughnut topped with mini marshmallows, shortcake crumble and a while chocolate drizzle. It also features a mallow filling in the centre. I thought the flavours here all worked really well. The inner mallow filling tasted just like marshmallow fluff, it's super sweet and sugary but with a real marshmallowy flavour. The chocolate icing and toppings add a little extra flavour and texture. Overall it's a fun doughnut, and even though the flavours are not super exciting, I would still buy this one again. Rating: 7 out of 10.

Chocolate Firecracker Doughnut: The Chocolate Firecracker is described as a doughnut dipped in chilli-infused chocolate icing, with a chocolate truffle kreme filling and topped with gold sugar stars. As you can see in my photo my doughnut was missing the gold stars although the icing did look very appealing with a gold glittery appearance. I do appreciate that Krispy Kreme, unlike many other food brands, have not forgotten that there is another season in between summer and Christmas, and the Chocolate Firecracker is a great looking doughnut for autumn. Unfortunately the flavour was not for me at all and I could only take one bite of this one. Even Mr. Grocery Gems found it totally inedible. The chilli heat in the icing does not work with the sweet and greasy nature of the doughnut and the whole effect is rather nauseating. Sorry Krispy Kreme but this one is not for us! Rating: 2 out of 10 (scoring points for looks only). 

Maple Crunch Doughnut: Thankfully the Maple Crunch doughnut was much more appealing to our tastes. Mr. Grocery Gems in particular is a big fan of anything Maple Syrup flavoured. He's also not too too keen on filled doughnuts, so this simple ring doughnut is exactly to his tastes. The maple flavour here is exactly what he was expecting with a distinctive maple syrupy flavour coming through. The crunch on top adds a little extra interest but on the whole this simple doughnut is a flavour winner. Rating: 8 out of 10.

Have you tried any of the New Season Doughnuts at Krispy Kreme? If so I'd love to know what you thought in the comments below. Thanks!

8 Sept 2016

New Instore: Müller Light Crumble Inspired Yogurts, Gingerbread Teacakes & More

Hello everyone, I'm back! I haven't been blogging as regularly in recent months but that's all changing from today. I've been inspired by some great new finds and have lots of exciting reviews lined up. I thought I would start with the basics so here's a round up of some of the new products that I've spotted instore.

Müller Light Crumble Inspsired Yogurts (above): I spotted a multipack with two flavours; Rhubarb Crumble & Custard Flavour Yogurt and an Apple Crumble & Custard Flavour Yogurt. A must for anyone following a Slimming World diet plan. Spotted At: Iceland - £2.50p.

McCain Nacho Cheese Ridged Wedges: I also found these celebratory looking new Nacho Cheese Flavour Ridged Wedges from McCain. There is also a Paprika flavour available in this new 'Ridged Wedge' format. Review coming soon! Spotted At: Iceland - £1.00p.

Walkers Sarnie Crisps Multipacks: For some reason I was struggling to find the new Sarnie flavours from Walkers in a multipack format. The first place I found them was Iceland but I've since seen the packs in Sainsbury's (for £1.00p each multipack) and Tesco (for £1.50p each). Check back later for a full review of all the flavours. Spotted At: Iceland - £1.00p.

Co-Op Portuguese Custard Tarts: I'm not sure if this is new or not but my local Co-Op has started selling Pasteis de Nata, commonly known here as Portuguese Custard Tarts. I'm not sure if open baskets are quite the right place to display these but I thought it was an interesting new bakery item. Let me know if you've tried them! Spotted At: Co-Op - £0.69p each.

Mince Pies: These are definitely not new but mince pies being sold in early September (I took this photo on the 3rd) is just ridiculous in my opinion - especially when their best before date is October 19th! It's not that I don't like to buy mince pies early, but by "early", I mean from mid-November onwards. We haven't even had Halloween or Bonfire Night yet people - let's not skip over autumn altogether! Rant over. Spotted At: Co-Op and every other supermarket in the UK - £1.00p.

M&S Beetroot & Goats Cheese Batard: Apologies for the blurry photo but I had to take it whilst pretending to browse on my phone - there were so many people hovering nearby for the free samples. Anyway, this distinctive pink bread (yes it's a bright pink loaf) looks like it was dreamed up by a contestant on the Great British Bake Off. Spotted At: Marks & Spencer - £2.70p.

M&S Orange & Crimson Raisin Boule: I don't think I've ever heard of a Crimson Raisin before but I'm assuming it's a reddish raisin? Anyway, I did try a sample of this bread and it had a pleasingly sweet orange flavour.  Spotted At: Marks & Spencer - £2.70p.

M&S Gingerbread Teacakes: I'm a fan of both gingerbread and teacakes so combining the two seems like a winner to me. Were these available last year? If you've tried them then let me know in the comments below. Spotted At: Marks & Spencer- £1.00p for 2.

As always, if you spot anything new instore and fancy sending me a photo then let me know via email: grocerygems@gmail.com or Twitter: @grocerygems.

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