Product Type: Walls Dessert / Yoghurts
Newest Review: ... products, I guess you pay for the quality of the product in this case. ~ Packaging ~ Walls exotic solero comes in an attractive, summe... more
Wall's Solero Exotic
Member Name: GentleGenius
Wall's Solero Exotic
Advantages: Tasty, low in calories, both sweet and sharp, refreshing, cooling
Disadvantages: Ice cream a little too soft, sticks too short, mango flavour a little overpowering
PRICE: £2.19 per box of 3 lollies (at my local Sainsburys)
Some of you may be pleased that, as I'm reviewing two different flavours here of Solero Ice Cream Lollies, on this occasion I'm only going to give very basic nutritional information for each, and say that for both types of lolly, the ingredients largely revolve around multi fruit blends, syrups, vegetable fat, juices, natural colourings/flavourings and reconstituted skimmed milk. Neither of the two packets show any kind of dietary/allergy advice or warnings.
Forever on the hunt this time of year for ice cream and/or ice lollies that aren't too evil in the department of fat and calories, I decided to for the first time ever, try Walls' Solero Ice Cream Lollies. Though I was aware they have been around for a while, for some reason it never entered my head to try them. On closer observation of the pack, I was intrigued to see that they appear to be an imitation of the beautiful Cornish Mivvi ice cream lollies from my childhood (bear in mind that I never watch TV or read magazines, so had not seen Solero advertised anywhere).
I quite fancied the idea of ice cream covered in a fruity sorbet, and I quickly read through the basic information on the packets in the supermarket, pleased to note the lollies are relatively low in calories. Not able to decide whether to opt for the Berry Berry or the Exotic flavour, I bought a packet of each, and have since then, allowed myself one lolly per day.
I'll describe my experience of Solero Ice Cream Lollies in two parts below.
Basic nutritional information (per lolly):
The outer cardboard box (as shown in the image above), is very bright and colourful, showing different types of mostly tropical fruits, with the Walls' logo and an image of a lolly with a bite out of it. There's lots of blah blah blah on the back about how dedicated the fruit growers are in the tropical countries which allegedly provide the fruits for these lollies, plus rather a lot of quality claims. There is also a nutritional information table, with ingredients, daily nutritional guidelines, and contact details for Unilever (who obviously make these lollies on behalf of Walls). It is claimed that the lollies are made without artificial colourings/flavourings.
Inside the box, each lolly is individually wrapped. The wrappers are sealed at both ends, and bear images very similar to that on the front of the box.
Trying this flavour first, I removed a lolly from the box, and unsealed one end of the wrapper. Once the wrapper was peeled off, I was greeted by a bright orange-coloured, misshapen wodge that had no stick. How was I to hold it to eat it? I solved the problem by popping it onto a small plate, and attacking it with a teaspoon. It appeared possible that somewhere along the line the pack of lollies had been allowed to melt, thus becoming misshapen. This could have happened in the production factory, or in transit to the supermarket - possibly inside of the supermarket. The whole pack was completely frozen when I removed it from my cool bag on arriving home, so I don't think it was me.
Not daunted by a misshapen lolly, from which there was a nice tropical fruit smell emanating, I dug my spoon in and began to eat.
I found the whole thing, both the outer sorbet-type coating and the ice cream inside, to be very soft - not just on this lolly, but the subsequent Exotic flavour ones. The outer sorbet layer melted very quickly in my mouth - too fast for me to test the crunch factor, but it did taste very nice and fruity, quite strongly of mangos.....very sweet though.
The ice cream didn't come across as anything particularly special to me - just the same as ordinary Walls ice cream, which I find sweet-ish, and a little too soft for my own preferences, plus maybe a little gluey rather than creamy.
All the same though, this lolly did taste delicious. I loved the combination of the tropical fruit flavour blending with the ice cream, even if the overriding taste seemed to be that of mango rather than things like pineapple or lychee (which the lollies claim in the ingredients), and was very sweet.
Once I got around to eating the other two from the Exotic flavour pack, I noticed that they too were a little misshapen, as if they'd been allowed to partially melt, but at least they still had their sticks.
So, having mostly enjoyed Solero Exotic flavour, I then moved onto the berry berry flavoured variety, which I shall detail as follows.
BERRY BERRY FLAVOUR
Basic nutritional information (per lolly):
The box for these is very eye-catching and colourful, bearing images of various berry-type fruits such as strawberries, raspberries, blackcurrants and blackberries. As regards information about the product printed on the box, it is identical to that of the Exotic flavour (described above), though there is a slight difference in the nutritional value between the two. Whereas the Exotic flavour contains natural tropical fruit flavourings, this variety contains natural berry fruit flavourings.
The lollies inside also bear the same image on the sealed at both ends wrapper as is on the outside of the box.
This time, I noticed that each lolly inside the box appeared to be intact, and hadn't been allowed to partially defrost. All three lollies were perfectly shaped, and their sticks were present and correct.
The coating on the Berry Berry lollies is a rich purple-ish red colour, and is studded with tiny little chopped pieces of mixed berry fruits.
On removing the wrapper from the first one, there was hardly any fruity smell, but I took a bite, and inside the ice cream (standard Walls variety) was a pinkish/lilac colour. As I chewed, this delicious, slightly sharp yet mostly sweet flavour burst into my receptors, mixing with the ice cream which was also berry flavoured.
I loved the little nuggets of fruit nestling in the sorbet coating, and the three textures of those, the water ice and the ice cream, all blended perfectly.
For some reason, I found the Berry Berry flavour to be much more cooling than the Exotic flavour, and after I'd scoffed this one, I immediately wanted another.
The fruit flavour was reasonably authentic, and the sharpness added to the cooling on a hot day sensation - I'd also imagine that other people who maybe aren't so keen on very sweet things, would be charmed by the accompanying sharpness, which provided almost a zing in my mouth. The ice cream was a little too soft for my liking, but was largely overpowered by the sorbet coating.
Overall and in conclusion, I'd say that both flavours of Solero lollies are very nice. There is a generous serving of ice cream, inside of a fairly thick outer sorbet fruity coating.
Down the road of improvements, I'd like to see the sticks made a little longer, as I found that they are very hard to hold, and there isn't enough poking from the bottoms of the lollies to get a good grip on. I'd also prefer it if the ice cream inside were a little firmer.
Flavour-wise I can't fault either of the varieties I've reviewed above, except for perhaps Walls could think about making the mango on the Exotic flavour a little less prominent, and bringing forth the other tropical fruits used a bit more. It would be lovely to get a pot pourri of say lemon, lime, lychee, mango and pineapple flavours rather than it seem as if it's tasting entirely of mangos. I could taste the individual flavours on the Berry Berry sorbet coating though - possibly because it has the fruit pieces studded into the ice, whereas the Exotic flavour doesn't have this feature.
It's very difficult for me to pick which one is my overall favourite, because despite the Exotic flavour being overpowered by the mango taste, I still enjoyed both varieties enormously - so, for the purposes of this review, I'm going to hold an imaginary gun to my head and demand that I choose one as my favourite - bang bang - I've chosen the Berry Berry flavour!
I would buy these lollies again, but I think I'd stick to Berry Berry. Not only do they have a slight edge feature and flavour-wise over the Exotic variety, but they are a little lower in salt and fat - a thing that I can't really understand, but there you go!
These lollies (both varieties) are a cooling, fairly low-cal treat for a hot day, or any other time when you fancy something icy. For the older biddies amongst us, don't expect it to be like the Cornish Mivvies of our childhood - these lollies are far sharper in taste and softer in texture than Mivvies used to be.
There is no evidence on the packaging to suggest that the sorbet coatings on these two varieties of ice cream lolly has any nutritional value from the fruit content, but the ingredients lists do suggest that fruit juice is used.
If you do buy them, I hope all yours are the right shape, and all have sticks in them!
I have awarded my stars on an overall basis, covering both flavours, and haven't deducted any for the lack of a stick on one of the Exotic ones, as that's for me not the end of the world, nor have I deducted anything for mis-shapes probably caused by partially defrosting, as that could have happened anywhere along the food chain and may not be the manufacturer's fault.
Thanks for reading!
Summary: Not my favourites, but they are lovely all the same
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