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    • More +
      09.05.2010 13:45
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      Higher quality, spicy and tasty sausage, containing 83% meat

      Of the products available from this manufacturer, in the UK, the manufacturer states 'Biloxi Southern food has been created to bring mouth-watering good American Southern food to Britain. Our sausages and ribs are just the start of a wide range of American Southern products you will find throughout the grocery store. We've got more to come, so make sure to come back soon to see what's cookin'!'

      You can find out more about Biloxi Southern Food on the company's eye-catching website.

      I am reviewing Texas Ranch Sausages.

      ~~THE PACKAGING~~

      The product comes packaged in a plastic tray, which is sealed in plastic film, and then the two are covered by a card sleeve. Information about the product is printed on the card sleeve. On the front there is also a picture of an animated character wearing a black shirt, Stetson and sheriff's badge, and a slogan 'Larger than life tastes'.

      The manufacturer describes the product as 'made with British pork, British beef, and a spicy Southwestern seasoning of chillies, cumin, fennel seeds and herbs'.


      ~~THE INGREDIENTS~~

      British Pork (67%), British Beef (16%), Water, Breadcrumbs (Wheat Flour, Yeast, Salt), Salt, Fresh Garlic, Spices (Black Pepper, Fennel Seeds, Chilli, Paprika, Caraway, Cumin); Preservative: Sodium Metabissulphite; Antioxidants: Citric Acid, Ascorbic Acid; Dried Herbs (Sage, Thyme, Oregano), Filled into natural pork casings.


      ~~NUTRITION AND ALLERGY ADVICE~~

      The pack of 6 sausages weighs 375g. Per sausage:

      Calories - 155
      Protein - 8.1g
      Carbohydrate 7.1g
      Of which sugars 0.6g
      Fat 10.3g
      (saturated) 3.9g

      The manufacturer states under 'ALLERGEN ADVICE' contains, Wheat, Gluten, Sulphites.

      ~~COOKING~~

      You can fry, grill or oven bake these sausages. I put mine in the oven for the recommended time of 25-30 mins but at a slightly higher temperature than that suggested (which is 190 C incidentally) because I was also cooking wedges at the same time, and didn't want the latter floppy. When I turned the sausages halfway through cooking, I could smell the garlic and spices, and this lovely aroma definitely got the taste buds going in preparation for dinner. By the end of cooking, the sausages were nicely browned, perfectly cooked through. There was only a little liquid in the base of the pan (mostly dried/cooked on). As a lean sausage product with high meat content, I did expect this, and would have felt disappointed by any other result. So far, so good.


      ~~TASTE AND TEXTURE~~

      I think these sausages are very well seasoned, and they certainly have a spicy taste with a good 'chilli kick'. I could taste the garlic and fennel. I think the name 'Texas Ranch' suits the product quite well and that the overall taste meets the description (except perhaps the Beef content, but I prefer pork sausages anyway!) I found the texture of the sausages was very good; not too firm nor too soft. The meat held together crumbling every so slightly on cutting, unlike some sausages I have eaten recently. Overall, I'd score the product highly on taste and texture, including moisture factor. These sausages were not at all dry considering I oven baked them. I could see liquid bubbling away under the skin during cooking.


      ~~WHAT ELSE~~

      These sausages are sold in a pack of six, weighing only 375g altogether, which I think is a little low against other similar products, but the meat contain is quite high (83%). The sausages were a little smaller than thick sausages on average. I prefer to buy sausages in packs of eight, as is traditional, and to receive 1lb of sausages for my money. Six sausages is okay for smaller families, but I see eight as a British tradition at least (8 chipolata to ½ lb, or 8 fat sausages to llb)

      I bought these sausages on offer in Sainsburys. The retail price of a pack is just under £3, so the product does not come cheap. On the plus side, however, the product does taste higher grade, so you get what you pay for! (Maybe I got more because I paid less than £1.50).

      There are a couple of suggestions inside the card sleeve for other uses for these sausages, including removing the skins and turning them into meatballs, but personally I don't really see the point of this.

      Overall, I thought the product was probably the tastiest, spiciest sausage I have eaten lately. I prefer sausages in natural skins to those in synthetic skins, so this was a plus for this product. I like the southern style spiced sausage as a change from other flavours. In my opinion the sausages could be a little bigger, however, and I thought the plastic tray used in the packaging was unnecessary.

      Would I eat this product again? Yes, I certainly would, and the product received a 'thumbs up' from younger members of the household. I'm not sure that I am overly keen on the full retail price bearing in mind I'd probably want two packs.

      Not suitable for vegetarians (obviously)

      Thanks for reading x

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      • Tesco Value Tortilla Chips / Snacks / 84 Readings / 83 Ratings
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        03.05.2010 17:20
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        Versatile, nutritious maize tortilla as an accompaniment to other food

        Have you heard the saying 'You can please some of the people all of the time, and all of the people some of the time, but you cannot please all of the people all of the time'? I expect so, but if not you have now. So, naked or covered up is the question. Maybe you don't know, although I cannot help to have noticed that this appears to be a somewhat controversial item on Dooyoo generally. Some 'dooyooers' are apparently content (I'd even go so far as to say excited) with the naked form. I get the impression other 'dooyooers, however, are turned off by the very thought.

        Personally, naked is ok with me if warm, and usually as a bit on the side. It's not an earth mover otherwise for me if I'm honest. My preference, however, is covered up and perhaps after reading this, those 'dooyooers' turned off by the naked form might like to give this a go, and see if they like it this way. I should point out at this stage, that there is a small outlay involved to cover up, and thus liven things up, but it's quite modest, and a little of your time is required to make it really good, but I think it's worth it I feel.

        I am discussing the item hidden away on the bottom shelf in the crisps and savoury snacks aisle, although just recently it has been promoted to a higher shelf (same aisle) in my local Tesco, closer to the cool Doritos. What is a bag of Tesco value Tortilla Chips doing in this aisle I ask? In my opinion, people are psychologically conditioned to believing these little loves are either a cereal based alternative to ready salted crisps, or a cheap and cheerful ready salted version of the famous Walker Doritos. There, I've said it. I've had my little rant.

        Read on, if you will, to learn how to liven things up, but first let me properly introduce you to the versatile - (hear the drum roll)

        TESCO VALUE TORTILLA CHIPS

        Tesco describe these as 'Crispy maize tortilla chips. Lightly sprinkled with salt.'

        This product contains only three INGREDIENTS:
        Maize, Sunflower Oil and Salt.

        ~~ALLERGY ADVICE AND NUTRITIONAL CONTENT~~

        Per 100g (the whole packet)
        |Calories 480
        Protein 5.6g
        Carbohydrate 59.0g
        Sugar 0.5g
        Fat 24.5g (of which saturates 2.4g)

        There are no nuts in the recipe, or in the factory where these chips are made, but Tesco won't guarantee the ingredients are nut free.


        ~~MY OPINION OF THESE TORTILLA CHIPS~~

        These chips are definitely crispy, and despite the salt content being approx 1% you can definitely taste it. Having only three ingredients, I like the simple and uncomplicated taste of these chips. I actually prefer them after they have been warmed in the oven for a few minutes. I think this makes them taste really fresh, like bread does when warmed.
        I find these tortilla chips very versatile. Not only are they great for dipping, but in our house we, sometimes, have them as a side dish to Bolognese type pasta dishes. I find them particularly useful crunched up and used as a topping for pasta bakes (just remove the bake from the oven a few minutes before finished cooking time and sprinkle the crunched chips on the top, then return to the oven)
        Another growing favourite in our house is a cheesy tortilla chip bake. It only takes a few minutes to prepare and it is easy to vary the ingredients according to likes/dislikes, theme, or mood. Here's the recipe

        ~~CHEESY TORTILLA CHIP BAKE~~

        100g Tesco tortilla chips
        Tub of fresh tomato salsa (approx 200g)
        100-150g of grated mozzarella cheese
        Couple of fresh chillies (finely sliced)
        Small red pepper (finely diced)
        2 finely sliced banana shallots, or small red onion finely diced

        Preheat the oven to 200o C or Gas Mark 6
        1. Take a large shallow oven proof dish or non-stick baking tray.
        2. Arrange your chips close together or overlapping on the bottom of the dish or tray.
        3. Spoon your tomato salsa evenly over the chips.
        4. Sprinkle grated mozzarella cheese over the chip and salsa layers covering as evenly as possible.
        5. Evenly scatter chillies, red pepper, and shallots over the cheese.
        6. Season with freshly ground black pepper (optional)
        7. Place in centre of oven and bake for approximately 10 mins (check after 5 mins) until the cheese bubbles/has melted and serve immediately.

        Suggested variations to recipe

        At step 3 substitute salsa for chopped tomatoes
        At step 4 substitute the mozzarella for a 50/50 mix of mozzarella and grated cheddar, (or add some smears of extra cheese like ricotta which makes the bake creamier and helps the ingredients stick together). You can do away with the cheese altogether, and try a covering of sour cream instead.
        At step 5 substitute the chillies and pepper for chopped mushrooms and diced ham and season or add some thinly sliced olives.
        At step 6 season with fresh or dried oregano as well or instead of black pepper

        There are many variations to accommodate personal tastes with this quickly prepared tortilla chip bake. So long as you bear in mind the dish is only in the oven for about 10 mins so i.e. raw mince won't cook in time. But, that said, there is no reason not to use a little left over chilli mince at step 3.

        Take care not to layer the bake too deeply, or to create too many layers, because the heat will not penetrate through the layers and cook (melt) the cheese.

        This tortilla chip bake is a fun (and relatively healthy) savoury snack for lunchtime in our house, and I would recommend anyone give the easy to make recipe a try.

        To sum up you will have gathered I love this product, which incidentally was produced in the UK (thank you Tesco) and is suitable for vegetarians.

        Previously sold in 100g packs for around 25p a pack, but now only available in 200g packs which I believe to be too much and therefore proves wasteful.

        Thanks for reading x

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        • More +
          02.05.2010 14:00
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          Tasty, fruity, low fat, lower calorie treat at a low price.

          I am not a calorie counter particularly, but I do try and choose healthier, lower fat food products whenever possible, and I'm still exploring the supermarket frozen dessert range within a budget of approximately £1.

          Having tried and enjoyed some of the desserts from the Tesco frozen range recently, I happened upon this Tesco light choices Strawberry Cheesecake, and within the budget I popped it in the trolley.

          Tesco describes the product as 'A delicious baked cheesecake topped with juicy strawberries in a tangy sauce'. So far so good.

          'Big on taste and light on calories, sugar or fat' states Tesco when describing its 'Light Choices' range. Tesco also state that the Light Choices products are either less than 3% fat or have half the fat of a comparable product. I thought the latter statement was worth knowing.

          My thoughts and opinion


          ##PACKAGING##

          The product is packaged in a card box approximately 6" square and 2" deep and inside the box is a foil dish of slightly lesser depth and diameter. This foil dish contains the cheesecake. The box is a light colour mostly, and there is an image of a cut cheesecake on the front of the box. Summary information of nutritional percentage, weight and such are usefully printed on the front of the box for easy reference. The packaging is 100% recyclable. The card box held its shape well during transportation home and although the cheesecake was not damaged, the inner foil dish was a bit misshapen.


          ##INGREDIENTS##

          Strawberry (19%), Yoghurt, Sugar, Wheatflour, Low Fat Soft Cheese (9%), Glucose-Frustose Syrup, Water, Milk, Egg, Vegetable Margarine, Invest Sugar Syrup, Maize Starch, Inulin, Wheatgerm, Wheat Starch, Dried Skimmed Milk, Dried Egg White, Flavouring, Acidity Regulators (Citric Acid, Sodium Citrate), Raising Agents (Sodium Bicarb, Sodium Carbonate), Emulsifier (mono and di-glycerides of fatty acids), Salt, Whey Powder, Thickener (Pectin).

          Tesco states that there are no artificial preservatives, flavours or colours in the product


          ##GENERAL NUTRITIONAL VALUE AND ALLERGY ADVICE##

          *Allergy advice

          Tesco states the product contains gluten, milk wheat and egg and that it may also contain traces of nuts from either the ingredients and/or equipment. No nuts are used in the recipe.

          *Nutrition - (How much of this can I sensibly eat before piling on the pounds?)

          One-sixth of the cheesecake (83.3g) contains

          Calories 165
          (by the way, if you go to one-quarter of the cake then calories increase to 248! )
          Protein 3.5g
          Carbohydrate 29.8g (of which sugars 19.4g, and fat 3.3g (and only 1.4g of the fat is saturated)
          Salt 0.3g

          As a guideline, Tesco calculate that consuming one sixth of this product will apparently use 2 1/2 'weight watchers' points.


          ##DEFROST (how long do I have to wait after removing from freezer before scoffing)##

          You leave for approx 2.5 hours at room temperature, or 4-5 hours in the fridge. The recommendation is to remove all packaging beforehand and place onto a plate or serving tray. The cheesecake was mostly thawed in the recommended time, however, the strawberries on the top were not , and I have noticed this with other frozen desserts containing whole strawberries. I would suggest the product be left to thaw for at least half an hour longer than Tesco suggest.


          ##TASTE AND TEXTURE (How big on taste)##

          ~The biscuit base (bottom layer)~

          I found this easy to cut through, without risking damage to the cutlery, or feeling the need to be 'muscle woman'. The biscuit base, however, was softer than other cheesecakes I have tried. There was no tendency for it to crumb, but it was a bit soggy. It didn't quite have that digestive biscuit taste compared to other cheesecakes.

          ~The cheesy middle part (middle layer) ~

          The texture of the middle part of the cheesecake is smooth and quite creamy. You could taste the middle with this cheesecake. I think the milder tasting biscuit base improved the chances of tasting the middle.

          ~The fruity top part (top layer)~

          The consistency of the fruit topping was good. The strawberries were quite tasty, and the sauce too. The partly unthawed fruit was the only disappointing part. The fruity sauce was about the right sweetness for me, and it was not too sticky. The topping is not as rich in colour as the illustration on the box suggests, but more pink than red. If I'm honest, the strawberries were a little sparse. I would have liked a few more.
          Generally I thought the balance of biscuit, cheesy middle, and saucy topping was good.


          ##SIZE, SERVING AND VALUE FOR MONEY##

          The total weight of the whole cheesecake is 500g. The actual depth of the cheesecake is just over 1" which doesn't sound much but is adequate, and the diameter of the cake is 6". Tesco suggests the number of servings is 6, but I cut mine into 4 pieces. I think one sixth is probably an adequately sized portion for a calorie counter or for a child (under 12). Otherwise, I think a one quarter sized portion is about right.

          Overall, I think the size is adequate for four/five people, and the cheesecake represented good value for money at just £1. If needing to watch your calories or fat intake, I found the cheesecake good as a lower calorie, lower fat product, and I think Tesco has done well to keep the fat and calorie content down to relatively low levels without really compromising the flavour. From the taste, I do not think I missed all the extra fat of the Tesco standard recipe cheesecake, nor could I say I particularly noticed it was missing!

          This Strawberry flavour was the only Tesco light choices Cheesecake available so far as I could see.

          This cheesecake was produced in Germany, and is suitable for vegetarians.

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          • More +
            27.04.2010 21:58
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            Tasty, quality British product from a name you can trust

            Ginsters of Cornwall is a leading UK brand of savoury chilled food products, with retail sales of over £200 million.

            Ginsters was originally a family-run, egg-packing business based in Callington, Cornwall. In the late 1960s the egg-packing plant was converted into a small bakery and Ginsters started producing Cornish pasties. As a small bakery 30 people worked for Ginsters. Now there are at least 700 people producing an amazing three million pasties weekly!

            Since 1977 Ginsters has been owned by Samworth Brothers Limited.
            You can find out more about Ginsters and Samworth Brothers Limited on their interesting and informative websites.

            I am reviewing Ginsters Scotch Egg Bar.


            ~~THE PACKAGING~~

            The product comes packaged in a simple black plastic style wrapper. The writing on the wrapper is white. The front shows a picture of the Scotch egg bar with the trademarked slogan 'real honest food'. This slogan is supported by the statement 'Here at Ginsters we have fresh wholesome and satisfying food. We source as locally as possible to keep a close eye on the quality. With 100% fresh Bristish pork, our savoury bars are packed full of flavour. With no added artificial ingredients. We wouldn't have it any other way.'

            The manufacturer describes the product as 'Fresh British pork sausagement filled with chopped egg in seasoned mayonnaise wrapped in breadcrumbs'.


            ~~THE INGREDIENTS~~

            British Pork (48%), Egg Mayonnaise (32%), Pork Fat, Bread Crumbs, Wheatflour, Egg, Batter, Vegetable Oil, Salt, Pepper, Cornflour, Potato Starch, Chargrill Flavour Concentrate, Yeast Extract, Sage, Nutmeg, Smoked Paprika, Ginger, Rusk, Lemon Juice.

            Egg Mayonnaise contains: Egg (64%), Rapeseed Oil, Water, Whole Egg, Spirit vinegar, Cornflour, Sugar, Mustard Flour, Dijon Mustard, Egg Yolk, Colour: Riboflavin, Lemon Juice, Black Pepper, Salt.

            Chargrill Flavour Concentrate contains: Onion, Sugar, Water, Yoghurt, Spirit Vinegar, Salt, Cornflour, Flavourings, Garlic Powder, Black Pepper.


            ~~NUTRITION AND ALLERGY ADVICE~~

            The Scotch egg bar weighs 90g. Per bar:
            Calories - 259
            Protein - 12.4g
            Carbohydrate 11.5g
            Of which sugars 1.3g
            Fat 18.2g
            (saturated) 4.4g

            The manufacturer states under 'allergen information' Milk, Wheat, Gluten, Egg, Mustard.


            ~~TASTE AND TEXTURE~~

            I think the Scotch Egg Bar is very well seasoned, and I enjoyed the tongue tantalising spicy and peppery taste that the bar has. Because of the chopped egg mayonnaise filling, it reminded me, however, of a Snack Egg. The tasty spiced product is let down, somewhat, by the egg mayonnaise filling in my opinion. That said, I found the sausagemeat to be about the right coarseness, and the ratio of sausagemeat to egg mayonnaise about right too. I also thought the product was quite moist, and the whole bar held together well during consumption. The breadcrumbed coating was quite soft but not stodgy or sticky.


            ~~WHAT ELSE~~

            The bar itself measures just less than 5" long and is less than 2" wide, an is styled similar to a standard sized sausage roll in shape. It weighs about 20% less than an average Scotch Egg. Compared with the average 'traditional' Scotch Egg the recipe contains a higher percentage of pork (more than 50% higher). In protein terms, however, it is about the same.

            Overall, I thought the product was probably the tastiest, spiciest savoury egg I have eaten (except for the odd home made one). In my opinion the bar could be a little bigger, and although Ginsters have created a different shape for the product, I prefer my savoury eggs to be egg shaped or 'round'.

            I happened to pay 60 pence for this product (on special offer), but the full retail price is around £1.20.

            Would I eat this product again? Yes, more than happy to, but the relatively high price might put me off buying.

            If you like the spiciness of Ginsters pasty, then you will probably enjoy this savoury snack too.

            Thanks for reading x

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            • More +
              19.04.2010 17:19
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              FAT REDUCED AND CALORIE REDUCED TREAT

              I am still exploring what in the supermarket frozen dessert range is worth £1 (or thereabouts) without being on special offer.

              Having tried and enjoyed some of the Tesco frozen desserts recently, (thawed first where appropriate, of course) I thought it would make a change to check out Asda frozen dessert range, and this time I opted for Asda GOOD FOR YOU Summerfruit Cheesecake.

              Asda describes the product as a 'Rich baked vanilla cheesecake, with a crunchy biscuit base and a fruity strawberry, redcurrant and blackcurrant topping.'

              So, what do I have to say about it?

              ##PACKAGING##

              The item is packaged in a card box approximately 6.5" square and 2" deep and inside the box is an aluminium foil dish of slightly lesser depth and diameter. This foil dish contains the cheesecake. The box is sunny colour mostly, with bright green and yellow used to highlight headings. The print is mostly grey. There is an image of a cut cheesecake on the front of the box. The packaging is 100% recyclable, although Asda don't bother to mention this. The card box is a bit flimsy and although the cheesecake was not damaged, I'm not convinced the box would protect the cheesecake very well for storage in a freezer. Overall it is a cheerful, happy looking package.

              ##INGREDIENTS##

              Water, Reduced Fat Digestive Biscuit (11%) [Wheat Flour, Sugar, Wholemeal Wheat Flour, Vegetable Oil, Partially invested Sugar Syrup, Raising Agent (Sodium Bicarb), Salt, Tartaric Acid, Emulsifier (Mono- and Diacetyl Tartaric Acid Esters of Mono- and Diglycerides of Fatty Acids)], Glucose-Fructose Syrup, Skimmed Milk Soft Cheese (10%) (Milk), Sugar, Blackcurrants (4.2%), Redcurrants (4.2%) Strawberries (4.2%), Yoghurt (Milk), Whipping Cream (2.6%) (Milk), Wheat Flour, Maltodextrins, Modified Potato Starch, Margarine [Vegetable Oil, Water, Emulsifier {Mono and Diglycerides of Fatty Acids}], Blackcurrant concentrate, Fructose Syrup, Egg Powder, Modified Maize Starch, Whole Milk Powder, Glucose Syrup, Dried Glucose Syrup, Acidity Regulators (Citric Acid, Sodium Citrates), Emulsifier (Mono and Diglycerides of Fatty Acids), Gelling Agent (Pectin), Colours (Anthocyanins, Paprika Extract), Flavourings, Lactic Acid.

              Asda state NO hidden nasties in this product, and qualify the statement by saying 'no artificial colours or flavours and no hydrogenated fat'.

              ##GENERAL NUTRITIONAL VALUE AND ALLERGY ADVICE##

              *Allergy advice

              Asda state the product contains gluten, milk wheat and egg, and that it may also contain traces of nuts and/or seeds.

              *Nutrition - (How much of this can I eat before piling on the pounds?)

              One-sixth of the cheesecake (92g) contains

              Calories 175
              (calorie 'warning' - if you go to one-quarter of the cake then calories increase to 263! )
              Protein 3.4g
              Carbohydrate 31.6g (of which sugars 19.9.0g, and fat 3.85g)
              Salt 0.5g

              ##DEFROST (how long do I have to wait after removing from freezer before scoffing)##

              You leave for approx 2-2.5 hours at room temperature. The recommendation is to remove all packaging beforehand and place onto a plate or serving tray. There is no mention of leaving the product to thaw in the refrigerator or timings for this (but double the time should about do it). The cheesecake was mostly thawed in the recommended time, however, the strawberries on the top were not and this spoiled the overall enjoyment somewhat. I would suggest the product be left at least 3 hours to thaw.

              Asda give instructions for speedier thawing with the assistance of the microwave, but I can't comment about this because I haven't actually tried it.

              ##TASTE AND TEXTURE (munch, and yum factor)##

              ~The biscuit base (bottom layer)~

              I found this easy to cut through, without bending the cutlery, or having to exert any particular pressure. The biscuit base was not too soft, but nor was it too hard. It was not, however, crunchy as suggested in Asda's product description. I found it quite firm, not buttery, and there was no tendency for it to crumb too much. It was a little dry, but not sugary gritty. Overall, I found the base quite tasty and not cloddy, but I don't think the biscuit base was as nice as it would have been had 100% wholewheat flour been used in the recipe. It reminded me somewhat of a cheap sweetmeal biscuit really.

              ~The cheesy middle part (middle layer) ~

              The texture of the middle part of the cheesecake is smooth and somewhat creamy. I was disappointed that it didn't really taste of vanilla as Asda suggested. I noticed some of the liquid from the fruit topping had bled into the middle layer colouring it pink. Actually I would have preferred more middle to the cheesecake (further comment in fruit topping section). Overall I thought the texture was about right, but it needed more flavour.

              ~The fruity top part (top layer)~

              The consistency of the three fruit topping was good. The redcurrants (about five per one sixth cake) were firm and sweet, the blackcurrants (about four/five per one sixth cake) were also firm but quite sour (despite the sweet sauce ), and the strawberries (only two/three per one sixth cake) were still partly frozen, and quite tasteless and watery (eventually). The fruity sauce was quite sweet, and quite rich tasting. I think this is why you couldn't really taste the middle layer.

              ##SIZE, SERVING AND VALUE FOR MONEY##

              The total weight of the whole cheesecake is 550g. The actual depth of the cheesecake is just over 1" which doesn't sound much but is adequate, and the diameter of the cake is 6". Asda don't suggest the number of servings, but averaging typical portions of a cake this size, it is probably meant to serve 6. I cut mine into 4 pieces. I think one sixth is probably too small (unless you are counting your calories) for a portion. One sixth is probably an adequate portion for a child (under 12). I think a one quarter portion is about right (and besides at such low fat and calories generally for a cheesecake, why not sneak the bigger portion!)

              Overall, I think the size is adequate for four/five people, and the cheesecake represented fair value for money at just £1. If needing to watch your calories or fat intake, I found the cheesecake good as a lower calorie, lower fat product. I think Asda has successfully got the fat content down to minimal levels, without compromising taste too much.

              This summerfruit flavour was the only Asda Good For You cheesecake available so far as I could see.

              This cheesecake was produced in the UK (three cheers for that) and is suitable for vegetarians.

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              • More +
                14.04.2010 22:14
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                SMOOTHIE STORED IN CUPBOARD TIL NEEDED

                I don't shop in Asda very often, as the closest store is a few miles away, but I do pay a short visit every now and then to stock up on particular own brand items.

                During a recent visit, I came across the Asda 100% fruit smoothie. I was browsing the cereal aisle at the time, and noticed this drink towards the end of the aisle in a small section with other 'long life' fruit juices. I was drawn to the product by a ridiculous promotional price of 26p, and to be honest I read the shelf label several times, and the carton also to check my eyes were not deceiving me. I bought several, and I'm glad that I did!

                At the time of this review, the ridiculous promotional price has ended (sadly), and the product is priced at around £1 or two for £1.50.

                As the name suggests this review is about Asda own brand Fruit Smoothie.

                So, what do I think about the product?

                ~~PACKAGING~~

                The Smoothie comes in a Tetra Pak carton. Tetra Pak can now be recycled at specific collection points in the area we live in. Although none are within walking distance, it is a step in the right direction to reduce unnecessary commercial waste in my opinion. The carton contains 750ml, and has a common twist and break plastic cap.

                The carton is white with large images of fruit spaced around the front and sides. Nutritional and other information is displayed on the reverse of the carton in black lettering.

                The carton measures 2.5" square at its base, and stands a max of 8" tall.


                ~~INGREDIENTS~~

                Strawberry Puree (35%), Grape Juice from concentrate (25%), Banana Puree (23%), Orange Juice from concentrate (12%), Orange Cells, Lemon Juice from concentrate (1%), Carrot extract, Wild Berry extract.
                According to the information on the packaging the carton contains the equivalent of :-
                36 strawberries, 1 ½ bananas, 72 grapes, 1 ½ oranges, and 1% splash or lemon juice


                ~~NUTRITIONAL INFORMATION~~

                Per 250ml serving (this represents 1 of your 5 a day)
                Calories = 133
                Protein 1.5g
                Carbohydrate 30.5g
                (of which sugar 30.5g (no surprise there!))
                Fat 0.5g including a trace of saturates
                Fibre 0.8g


                ~~TASTE, CONSISTENCY, AND TEXTURE ~~

                The carton needs shaking so as not to start with a glass of runny juice mixture, or end with a glass of gloopy pulp. I found this quite difficult to achieve with a full carton. It really needs a little poured off to start and to be shaken after that. As I think is common with this type of carton, the whole thing is easier to pour once some has gone from it. The liquid is a little pulpy (I suspect the banana) but the consistency is about right. The Smoothie is thicker than a juice drink, but not so thick that it won't pour quite easily. It does have a tendency to cling to the side of the glass somewhat, but this is not a major issue.

                The colour of the Smoothie is a bit dull (pink with a tinge of brown). It makes a nice glugging sound as it is poured from the carton, and you catch a waft of strawberry, not especially grape, but also you can smell and taste the banana.

                The taste is quite mild overall, against some smoothies I have tried. It is pleasantly fruity, however, quite refreshing, and doesn't grab the sides of your jaw as you drink it.


                ~~WHAT ELSE THEN~~

                Unlike many smoothies, this Asda range does not require refrigeration until opened, and I think this is a real plus. It has a reasonable shelf life, and I like the convenience and fabulous idea of being able to store the cartons in the cupboard, until you want to use them. This is particularly helpful when space is short in the fridge, or if food shopping involves perhaps a once a fortnight, or once a month trip because of distance, available time et cetera.

                The carton is a useful 750ml size, and although ,perhaps, not as good as a fresh Smoothie from the chilled cabinet, I believe they are MUCH cheaper, and I think this Asda long life Smoothie carton represents excellent value for money. Its cost is roughly the same as a long life juice carton, but it is great to ring the changes.

                One third of a carton provides 1 portion of the recommended daily consumption of 5 portions of fruit and veg.

                According to Asda, there are no artificial colours or flavours in the product. The ingredients are sourced from more than one Country, and the product is packed in Spain.

                If you are feeling creative, you can always make frozen Smoothie cubes with the help of an ice cube tray and freezer, or make a few Smoothie lollies even.

                You've probably gathered I'm taken with this product. I'd recommend giving it a try!

                Also available in Mango, Orange and Passion Fruit blend.

                Thanks for reading x

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                • Tesco Chocolate Fudge Cake / Snacks / 84 Readings / 82 Ratings
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                  11.04.2010 21:55
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                  TESCO DIDN'T FUDGE ON THIS ONE!

                  Having tried a couple of Cheesecakes recently, from the frozen dessert cabinets in my local Tesco store, it became Tesco Chocolate Fudge Cake's turn for a tasting. I opted for this thinking it was priced at £1, but actually it had been placed in the Tesco value space in the cabinet, and I didn't notice the small print on the shelf ticket! Thinking about it, Tesco staff could have covered up the £1 price ticket with one of those 'item temporarily unavailable' red stickers. I feel it is inappropriate for supermarkets to just shove a similar product in the space, particularly when it is not the same price! Something I will be wary of with this particular shop in the future, perhaps! Still, I know about the value Fudge cake as well now, so maybe I'll try that another day.

                  On to the review product:-

                  ##Packaging##

                  The product is packaged in a card box approximately 7.5" square and 2" deep and inside the box is a circular fluted plastic dish of slightly lesser depth (1.75" approx) and lesser diameter (7.0" approx). This plastic dish contains the Fudge cake. The card box is mostly magenta in colour, with cream and fuchsia pink print. There is a large image of a cut and heated Fudge cake on the front of the box. You can see the chocolate fudge sauce has oozed over the sides of the cake. I think the cake packaging looks attractive and the image inviting. The card packaging is 100% recyclable and with the inner plastic dish appears to protect the Fudge cake well for storage and transporting home without squashing the product on route. The plastic dish is not recyclable from what I can tell which is disappointing.

                  ##Ingredients##

                  Chocolate sponge contains:-
                  Egg, Wheat flour, Water, Brown sugar, Sugar, Vegetable fat, Fat reduced cocoa powder, Vegetable oil, Wheat starch, Emulsifier (Mono- and Di-Glycerides of Fatty acids), Raising agents (Sodium Carbonate, Disodium Diphosphate, Calcium Phosphate), Invert Sugar Syrup, Salt, Acidity Regulator (Citric Acid).

                  Chocolate topping (29%) contains:-
                  Sugar, Vegetable Margarine (Vegetable Oil, Vegetable Fat, Water, Emulsifier (Mono- and Di-Glycerides of Fatty acids), Acidity Regulator (Citric Acid)), Water, Plain Chocolate (Cocoa Mass, Sugar, Cocoa Butter, Emulsifier (Soya Lecithins)), Fat Reduced Cocoa Powder, Whey Powder, Flavouring, Emulsifier (Mono- and Di-Glycerides of Fatty acids).

                  (I would like to know a bit more about the 'vegetable fat'. Is this made from palm oil, Tesco?)

                  ##General Nutritional value and Allergy Advice##

                  *Allergy advice - The manufacturer states the equipment in the factory was previously used to make products containing nuts. There is no guarantee that the ingredients are nut free, but there are no nuts in the recipe. The product contains milk, wheat, gluten, egg and soya.

                  *Nutrition - (How much of this can I eat before my waist button pops?)

                  One-sixth of the Fudge cake (75g) contains

                  Calories 285
                  (Calorie Warning - over 425 calories if you go to one-quarter of the cake (so don't) )

                  Protein 4.1g
                  Carbohydrate 32.1g of which
                  ~(sugars 23.1g, fat 15.3g)
                  Fat 15.3g of which saturates 7.0g
                  Salt 0.6g

                  ##Defrost (Do I need to wait after removing product from freezer before scoffing and, if so, how long?)##

                  You can either leave for approx 2.0 hours at room temperature, or approx 3-4 hours in the refrigerator. The recommendation is to remove all packaging beforehand and place onto a plate or serving tray. After defrosting, the cake needs refrigeration, and consumption within 24 hours. The thawed Fudge cake came cleanly away from the sides of the plastic dish, without sticking or breaking. It did stick a little to the base of the dish, but I wonder if this was intentional to help stop the cake moving around and getting damaged in transit in the first place. Other than that, there is little or no waste of the product when transferring it from the plastic dish.

                  The manufacturer recommends the product be heated in the microwave for several minutes (varying times depending on the wattage of the microwave oven) and from frozen for best results. I had already thawed mine, so it was a bit late for best results, and having not bought another cake since I can't comment on the difference between heating from frozen or thawed. I do think the instruction on the packaging could have been placed in a more obvious place, or laid out differently. I also cut the cake into six pieces and put them in the microwave individually. I think cutting the cake before heating it through is less messy.

                  The cake took a little longer to thaw than the time suggested by Tesco. I think it most likely that this cake would be eaten hot, not cold, so the heating time could be lengthened slightly if the cake was not quite thawed when you wanted to eat it.

                  ##Taste and Texture (munch, and taste bud satisfaction)##

                  Tesco state this is a "moist chocolate sponge covered with a rich chocolate topping, delicious hot or cold".

                  Well, when cold the sponge is firm. The topping is piped in smallish, even, bumps on the top. The cake feels quite dry and is relatively easy to handle. When heated , this Fudge cake comes into its own in my opinion. I heated each one-sixth piece for one minute in the microwave, and the smell of the hot chocolate sauce was really lovely. The bumpy topping 'flattened' and dribbled down the sides of the sponge forming a puddle in the pudding dish. It was not quite of volcanic lava eruption levels, but sufficient against the size of the sponge base. As you might expect, the sponge was much softer hot than cold, and the dark chocolate fudge sauce was divine. It tasted rich and dark, and was lovely and smooth. The consistency was not too runny, and it wasn't too sticky or sweet either. I would say, I do enjoy dark chocolate, but I'm not sure this Fudge cake would appeal so much to someone keener on milk chocolate. In my opinion this product is definitely a dark choc lover's cake!

                  ##Size, serving and value for money##

                  The total weight of the whole Fudge cake is 450 gram. The actual height of the cake is about 1.5" which doesn't sound much, but, I think is adequate. The diameter of the cake is about 6". Tesco suggest the cake serves 6, and because it is quite rich in flavour I would agree. We actually ate our Fudge cake with a small portion of tinned mandarins, and the two worked together quite well.

                  Overall, I think the size is adequate for up to six people, and the cake represented fair value for money at just £2. The sauce and sponge were a pleasing texture and taste, and the cake made a nice once in a while treat.

                  This Tesco Chocolate Fudge cake was produced in Germany (again), and contains no artificial preservatives, flavours or colours. It is suitable for vegetarians.

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                  • More +
                    05.04.2010 19:35
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                    HANDY FAMILY SIZED PRE-CUT FRUIT LOAF TO BRIGHTEN YOUR DAY, BUT A SHAME ABOUT THE AFTERTASTE

                    Warburtons was established in 1870 with a small grocery shop in Bolton. Bread baking began in 1876. The history of Warburtons and how it got to where it is today can be found on the company's website 'www.warburtons.co.uk'. I found this website quite interesting, particularly the timeline styled history.

                    The loaf comes pre-sliced in commonly used 'bread bag' type packaging. The bag is mostly orange in colour (except for a transparent section to enable you to get a viewing of the product through the bag). There are orange slices and sultanas decorating the front and back of the bag, making its appearance quite attractive. The print on the front of the packaging declares "Fruit Loaf with orange bursting with fruitiness". There is a full ingredients list later in this review, but briefly the sultana content is 20%.

                    The manufacturer's statement on the back of the packaging says "We've made this fruit loaf even fruitier - two slices now gives you one of your five a day!" I think this is a good idea on Warburton's part. One fifth of a person's daily recommended fruit and veg consumption from two slices of this fruit loaf makes this eligible for the lunchbox, at least, in my opinion!

                    The ingredients list:

                    Wheat flour, Water, Sultanas (20%), Orange Flavoured Pieces (4%) (Concentrated Apple Purée, Concentrated Pear Juice, Concentrated Orange Juice, Wheat Fibre, Gelling Agent Pectin, Citric Acid, Vegetable Fat, Natural Flavouring Orange), Yeast, Vegetable Oil, Salt, Glazing Agent (Water, Potato Dextrin, Preservative E202, Stabiliser Guar Gum), Emulsifiers E471, E481, Gelling Agent E466, Soya Flour, Natural Flavouring, Preservative Calcium Propionate (Added To Inhibit Mould Growth), Flour Treatment Agent Ascorbic Acid (Vitamin C).

                    The allergy advice states that the product contains wheat, gluten and soya and that it was produced in a bakery which uses milk, sesame seeds and barley.

                    It retails for around £1.30. I bought my loaf in the local Tesco store.

                    **My opinion on taste, texture, and this fruit loaf generally**

                    I think the loaf has a pleasing, fruity smell on first opening the bag, and you get a good hint of orange.

                    The individual slices are about the same thickness as a 'thick sliced' loaf, but otherwise the size is a good deal smaller (as you would expect). There are a dozen (twelve) or so slices to each loaf which weighs 400 grams in total.

                    The sultanas through the loaf are quite moist and plump, and the orange flavour is also quite noticeable. Initially I found I liked the flavour of the sultana and orange combination, however, there is an aftertaste with me. This aftertaste is similar to orange pith/peel and stayed on my tongue for quite a while later. I can only describe it as similar to a cheaply made orange juice from concentrate, where you get the impression that yours came from the dregs at the end of the mixture, or the sludge that had settled at the bottom. The loaf itself is perhaps a little dry for my liking, but a small amount of low fat spread tends to correct this. Otherwise I like the texture of this loaf, and I think the sweetness is about right.

                    I found I preferred the slices toasted, and, with the orange flavouring, this loaf when toasted reminds me of toast and marmalade (but with less sugar and fewer calories). I have to say though, that even when this product was toasted, the pithy aftertaste of the orange is still there.

                    Calorie wise, the average slice contains about 85. The average slice contains approx 2.5g of protein, 16.5g of carbohydrate, and only 0.9g of fat (mostly unsaturated).

                    This fruit loaf is suitable for vegetarians, and also for freezing.

                    Overall, this product certainly tastes fruity, and I feel can make a useful addition to a family's lunch boxes/picnic lunches from time to time. I think it is a healthier choice, than say a biscuit, to share with a cuppa. With the addition of some vitamin B it could make a nice start of the day food, but there is no mention of vitamin B in the ingredients (yet). I don't think it's as good as the Raisin Loaf with cinnamon though.

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                    • More +
                      29.03.2010 18:56
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                      FAIR VALUE EVERYDAY DESSERT, BUT LACKS THE YUM FACTOR OF A TRADITIONAL CHEESECAKE!

                      A new week has arrived. Time to try another new dessert perhaps? Actually I don't buy frozen desserts very often, but this month seems to be one for doing just that, and cheesecakes in particular. Why? No particular reason, except I am exploring what in the supermarket frozen dessert range is worth £1 (or thereabouts) without being on special offer.
                      So, having tried and enjoyed Tesco Lemon Cheesecake recently, I returned to the dessert section of the frozen cabinets in Tesco, to see what else was available. I opted for Tesco Blackcurrant Cheesecake. I am going to make comparisons between the review product, and the Lemon Cheesecake in this range. You can also read my review of the Tesco Lemon Cheesecake.

                      This is not a 'Tesco value' item but unlike the Tesco Lemon Cheesecake I think it should be.
                      The manufacturer describes the product as 'A deliciously creamy cheesecake with a digestive biscuit base; topped with a swirl of blackcurrant sauce'.

                      What do I have to say?

                      ##Packaging##

                      The item is packaged in a card box approximately 6.5" square and 2" deep and inside the box is an aluminium foil dish of slightly lesser depth and diameter. This foil dish contains the cheesecake. The box is purple, with cream and pale purple print. There is an image of a cut cheesecake on the front of the box. The packaging is 100% recyclable and appears to protect the cheesecake well for storage and transporting home without squashing the product on route. Except for the colour of the card box, the packaging is identical to the Lemon Cheesecake packaging.

                      ##Ingredients##

                      Sugar, Yogurt, Vegetable Margarine, Low Fat Soft Cheese (13%), Cream, Wheat Flour, Egg, Wheat Starch, Blackcurrant puree (2.5%) Glucose Syrup, Wheatgerm, Maize Starch, Invert Sugar Syrup, Dried Skimmed Milk, Dried Egg White, Salt, Raising Agent (sodium bicarb), Acidity Regulators (Citric Acid, Sodium Citrate, Calcium Chloride), Whey Powder, Emulsifier (mono- and Di-Glycerides of Fatty Acids), Flavouring, Thickener (pectin).

                      ##General Nutritional value and Allergy Advice##

                      *Allergy advice - The manufacturer states the equipment in the factory was previously used to make products containing nuts. There is no guarantee that the ingredients are nut free, but there are no nuts in the recipe. The product contains milk, wheat, gluten and egg.

                      *Nutrition - (How much of this can I eat before piling on the pounds?)

                      One-fifth of the cheesecake (90g) contains

                      Calories 285
                      (calorie Warning - over 350 calories if you go to one-quarter of the cake! )
                      Protein 5.2g
                      Carbohydrate 33.9g of which
                      ~(sugars 22.0g, fat 14.3g)
                      Salt 0.4g

                      ##Defrost (how long do I have to wait after removing from freezer before scoffing)##

                      You can either leave for approx 2.5 hours at room temperature, or approx 4-5 hours in the refrigerator. The recommendation is to remove all packaging beforehand and place onto a plate or serving tray. Actually, I successfully cut this cheesecake into portions in its frozen state, and removed the portions to thaw, and returned the rest to the freezer. The frozen Cheesecake portions came away from the sides of the foil dish, without sticking or breaking. Recently, I overlooked removing a Tesco Lemon Cheesecake from the foil dish before it had thawed. So, I was pleased to note that, frozen or thawed, there is little or no waste of the product. This is not the usual case with cheesecakes in my experience. I do feel the product packaging could be improved with a push-up base to the inner foil dish.

                      The cake had thawed perfectly in the time suggested by Tesco. Actually in slightly less time than suggested, but I think the room temperature and the pre-cut frozen portions helped speed the thawing time.

                      ##Taste and Texture (munch, and yum factor)##

                      ~The biscuit base (bottom layer)~

                      I found this easy to cut through, without bending the cutlery, or needing to exert any particular force, but expected this, after the experience of the Lemon Cheesecake recently, and I think I would have been surprised otherwise. The biscuit base was not too soft, but nor was it too hard. There was no fear of catapulting the dessert across the room when cutting through the biscuit, which is more than can be said for some cheesecakes I have tried. The base is firm, not buttery, and there is a tendency for it to crumb slightly more than other cheesecakes I have tried. It wasn't too dry though. As with the Lemon version in this Tesco range, there is a slight grittiness to the biscuit, presumably, from the sugar. Overall I found the base quite tasty and not cloddy. The taste and texture of the base of this Cheesecake was very similar to, if not the same as, the Lemon one already tried.

                      ~The cheesy top part (top layer) ~

                      The texture of the top section (there is no third fruit layer) is smooth and somewhat creamy, but I was surprised that the texture particularly was different to the Tesco Lemon Cheesecake. Actually I was a disappointed by the texture, and the family agreed that the Lemon Cheesecake was better. The blackcurrant sauce, although only swirled through, and not layered on the top, is not enough to give a good blackcurrant flavour with the cheese top. I just couldn't taste much of the blackcurrant. I didn't like the top layer generally compared to the Lemon Cheesecake, and thought it bore some resemblence in taste and texture to a set yoghurt. This was not hugely unpleasant, so much as unexpected, but I felt it let the product down. It reminded me of set yoghurt cutting through the Cheesecake too.

                      The blackcurrant sauce is of a consistency similar to a seedless jam and, what there is of it, is quite sweet. Because there is so little swirled sauce in the top layer, this particular Cheesecake falls far short of the more traditional berry topping I am used to.

                      ##Size, serving and value for money##

                      The total weight of the whole cheesecake is 450g. The actual depth of the cheesecake is just over 1" which doesn't sound much but is adequate, and the diameter of the cake is about 6". Tesco suggest the cake serves 5, but I cut it into 6 pieces. As I said in the Lemon Cheesecake review, it is a bit fiddly cutting a circle into an odd number of pieces. Even numbers are so much easier! One sixth is probably too small (unless you are counting your calories - 237 calories and 75g of cake for a sixth size portion. I think cutting into four pieces is about right but then this is 356 calories for 113g of cake!

                      Overall, I think the size is adequate for four/five people, and the cheesecake represented fair value for money at just £1. But, unlike the Lemon Cheesecake, I think this one needs more fruit sauce, and an improved texture to the top.

                      These Tesco frozen cheesecakes are available in Lemon (reviewed recently) Blackcurrant (this review) Strawberry, and Toffee.

                      This cheesecake was produced in Germany and is suitable for vegetarians

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                        21.03.2010 14:38
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                        A refreshing change from usual cheesecake flavours. Recommended to lemon lovers

                        Browsing the dessert section of the frozen cabinets in Tesco recently, I spotted this cheesecake and, being partial to lemon flavoured products, thought for £1 this product was worth a try.

                        This is not a 'Tesco value' item, which surprised me a little because of the price. The manufacturer describes the product as 'A deliciously creamy cheesecake with a digestive biscuit base; topped with a swirl of lemon sauce'.

                        What have I got to say?

                        ##Packaging##

                        The item is packaged in a card box approximately 6.5" square and 2" deep and inside the box is an aluminium foil dish of slightly lesser depth and diameter. This dish contains the cheesecake. The box is a deep yellow (shade of Bird's custard powder) with a cut cheesecake illustrated on the front. The packaging is 100% recyclable and appears to protect the cheesecake well for storage and transporting home without squashing the product on route. I have included some more information about the packaging under 'Defrost' later.

                        ##Ingredients##

                        Sugar, Yogurt, Vegetable Margarine, Low Fat Soft Cheese (13%), Cream, Wheat Flour, Egg, Wheat Starch, Glucose Syrup, Wheatgerm, Maize Starch, Water, Dried Skimmed Milk, Flavouring, Dried Egg White, Invert Sugar Syrup, Salt, Raising Agent (sodium bicarb), Acidity Regulators (Citric Acid, Potassium Citrate), Whey Powder, Thickeners (pectin, Guar Gum), Dried Egg Yolk, Emulsifier (mono- and Di-Glycerides of Fatty Acids), Concentrated Lemon Juice, Colour (Lutein).

                        ##General Nutritional value and Allergy Advice##

                        *Allergy advice - The manufacturer states the equipment in the factory was previously used to make products containing nuts. There is no guarantee that the ingredients are nut free, but there are no nuts in the recipe. The product contains milk, wheat, gluten and egg.

                        *Nutrition - (How many kilos of weight gain from eating this product )

                        Per One-fifth of a cheesecake (90g) contains

                        Calories 290 (ouch)
                        Protein 5.0g
                        Carbohydrate 34.9g of which
                        ~(sugars 21.7g, fat 14.3g)
                        Salt 0.4g

                        ##Defrost (waiting time before devouring)##

                        You can either leave for approx 2.5 hours at room temperature, or approx 4-5 hours in the refrigerator. The recommendation is to remove all packaging beforehand and place onto a plate or serving tray. Actually, I left the whole thing intact in the sealed box and forgot about it. Remembering, three hours later, that it is best to remove when frozen, I was pleasantly surprised to find the whole cheesecake nevertheless came out of the foil dish without breakage. I also noted it came away from the sides of the dish, in its thawed state, without any sticking. This is not the usual case with cheesecakes in my experience - yes, I have forgotten to remove when frozen a number of times now, but never with such pleasing results! What I would say, however, is that frozen or thawed, it would be easier to remove the cheesecake from the foil dish if the dish came in two parts with a push-up base. This is not a major issue though but it would improve the product slightly.

                        The cake had thawed perfectly in the time suggested by Tesco.

                        ##Taste and Texture (munch, and yum factor)##

                        ~The biscuit base (bottom layer)~

                        I found this easy to cut through, without bending the cutlery, or needing to exert any force, and the same can be said for the children managing this task. This is not to say it was too soft, because it wasn't, but nor was it so hard that it needed fighting. The base is firm, not buttery, and there is a tendency for it to crumb slightly more than other cheesecakes I have tried. There is a slight grittiness to the biscuit, presumably, from the sugar. Overall I found the base quite tasty and not cloddy.

                        ~The cheesy lemon part (top layer)~

                        The texture of the top section (there is no third fruit layer) is smooth and creamy. The lemon sauce, although only swirled through, and not layered on the top, is quite strong, but not overpoweringly so. Having said that, the whole of the top part of the cheesecake takes on the lemon flavour. I found it difficult to tell if just the swirls were lemon, and if not, could not separate the flavour from the rest of the top layer as I usually can. This was not unpleasant, as much as unexpected. Compared with other cheesecakes I found it made it different, and liked it. I found the top layer to be sweet lemon. I would prefer, however, this to be more tangy and tart, but that is based on my personal taste.

                        The lemon sauce is of a consistency of lemon curd and of similar sweetness. Although there are not huge amounts of the sauce in this cheesecake, I found the balance about right.

                        Although quite a rich dessert, I think this one makes a good 'afters' to a spic, but not too heavy main meal.

                        ##Size, serving and value for money##

                        The actual depth of the cheesecake is just over 1" which doesn't sound much but is adequate, and the diameter of the cake is about 6". Tesco suggest the cake serves 5, but I cut it into 4 pieces for three reasons. Firstly, it is a bit of a fiddle cutting a circle into an odd number. Even numbers are so much easier! Secondly, there was not a fifth person present and I did not want to refrigerate the surplus piece and go through the debate and election of the lucky recipient of the last piece. Thirdly, there are too many calories in one-fifth of this cheesecake to sneak the extra serving when no-one is looking and polish it off myself!

                        Overall, I found the size adequate for four/five people, and the cheesecake represented excellent value for money at just £1.

                        This cheesecake was produced in Germany and is suitable for vegetarians.

                        There are no artifical preservatives, flavours or colours in this cheesecake.

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                        • More +
                          13.03.2010 22:05
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                          GORGEOUSLY GLOWING AND WARMING VANILLA SENSATION

                          AIRWICK is a name most of us associate with room and air fresheners of different types and is a brand name belonging to Reckitt Benckiser. This company is a major world leader in sales of household, health and personal care products. Other brands of Reckitt Benckiser include Clearasil, Dettol, Gillette, Harpic, Strepsils, Veet, and Woolite. Its global headquarters are based in Slough.

                          I believe the company has owned the Airwick brand since 1985.

                          I am reviewing the Vanilla Dream fragranced candle, which happened to be on half price offer in a local supermarket recently. I haven't tried Airwick candles before, and was interested to see how they compared with other brands I've tried.

                          ~~PACKAGING~~

                          The product is presented in a simple card sleeve, bearing a large oil droplet with a picture of vanilla flowers and pods inside the droplet. The background colour is a yellowy glow. The manufacturer has included precautionary information on one side of the sleeve. This information includes:-

                          *where and where not to place the candle

                          *never leave burning candles unattended

                          *never burn for more than 4 hours at a time

                          *keep away from flammable material

                          *discard when 1cm of product remains

                          *do not use the holder for storage of food or for drinking purposes

                          There is also a statement cautioning people suffering from perfume sensitivity when using the product, and a reminder of the need to keep the candle out of the reach of children.

                          Other good points about the packaging:-

                          *The print on the card sleeve is mostly a dark green against a white background.

                          *The size of the font is quite large compared to many products, and therefore really easy to read.

                          *The card sleeve is 100% recyclable.

                          *You get a good idea of the fragrance from the candle without having to i.e. scratch a piece of card on the box

                          *You can see exactly what you are getting including the holder

                          ~~PRODUCT~~

                          The fragranced candle is contained within a frosted glass holder. The holder stands just over 4" (approx 10cm) tall and is about 3" (7-8cm) diameter across the top of the holder. It is about the size of a half pint drinking glass. The actual candle fills the holder to within about 3/4" (2cm) of the top. The glass holder is quite plain, but I like the way its simple lines tend to fit in with most rooms no matter what the decor.
                          I also like the simplicity of the holder because this allows for the opportunity of a little customisation with glass paint, stick on jewels, silver and gold marker pens etc if you should feel so inclined. Provided you are careful on your choice of decoration this makes the product extra special, and a pleasant surprise if given as a gift.

                          The manufacturer describes the fragrance as 'a comforting fragrance of luxurious vanilla combined with silky smooth cream'. I think this description fits the candle fragrance very well. The unlit vanilla fragrance of the candle is delicious and it does smell smooth and creamy.

                          When lit the candle fragrance takes a few minutes to come through, and the smell is of a warm vanilla. I find the combination of the flickering flame and glow from the candle and the scented vanilla is very comforting and gives a calming feel to the room. The candle fragranced the dining room, but was not too strong. Sometimes I have found vanilla fragrances overpowering but this candle is about right (provided the room is of medium size (about 10' x 10') I suggest larger rooms require two candles. The second time I burned the candle there was some blackening to the side of the glass but mostly this wiped off with a damp cloth. I was pleased that all of the candle burned down the glass holder, and not just in the middle, so there was little wastage.

                          We don't keep candle tapers in our house, and it does get a little tricky lighting the wick when about half the candle has been used. I overcame this small hitch with the assistance of a partly used cake candle, or an extra long match. As the candle narrows towards the bottom of the holder I did find some wastage of unburned candle around the sides of the glass and there is also the wastage of candle at the very end where you need to leave 1cm of product.

                          ~~VALUE FOR MONEY AND GENERALLY~~

                          The manufacturer suggests 30-40 hours of fragrance. I think 40 hours is a little ambitious. My candle lasted about 25 hours.

                          I paid £2.50 for my fragranced candle, and have bought another since, which rather suggests I like the product. I'm not sure I would readily purchase this product at £5 or more a go, although against a similarly sized fragranced candle from i.e. Yankee Candle, this Airwick product is competitively priced. It is also available from most local supermarkets rather than specialised outlets.

                          Against Glade fragranced candles, I found this Airwick product less wasteful, and similar in terms of the overall effect of the fragrance power. Although more expensive, the Airwick candle lasted much longer than Glade candles I have bought.

                          The range of fragrances is particularly small (only a few) but the product is relatively new. Hopefully the range will be extended.

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                            26.02.2010 01:12
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                            A worthy conTRIBUtion from an Italian fashion house

                            This is a delightful fragrance in my opinion, from Benetton, launched in 1993, and, as I remember an impossible one to get hold of in the UK around that time.

                            It falls in the floral group, and although I am not a lover of the florals, this one I do like.

                            As you may know, Benetton is an italian clothing company. It was founded in 1965. It's first store outside of Italy was opened in the late 60s in Paris, quickly followed by New York, then Tokyo. From those early days, Benetton has grown enormously, and now has a definite global presence with over 5000 stores in at least 120 countries.

                            The perfumer associated with this Benetton fragrance is Bernard Ellena, whose brother is also a perfumer, as was his father.

                            The packaging for this fragrance is not a crowd puller. It is grey in colour and I feel lets what sits within down. I don't think the same can be said for the bottle however. Although this looks like opaque glass, it is infact plastic, but this makes it warmer and softer in handling. It is shaped like a simple cloaked figure, and I gather the inspiration for the design was a totem pole, the Eiffel Tower, and a test tube. This seems a strange combination, but the tribal influence makes scents (excuse the pun there) considering the fruit, floral, and 'earthy' content of this fragrance. If you strip away the bottle's cloak in your mind, you also get a shape not unlike the outline of the Eiffel Tower. As for the test tube? The rich bungundy skirt and head and the overall golden colour suit the smell.

                            At first spray, the richness of blackcurrant is unmistakable, and the smell is warm and quite dark with a woody/mossy undertone detected. You can pick up on sandalwood under the fruity opening. The top notes are blackcurrant, violet leaf and mandarin. As the heart of the fragrance develops some of the initial blackcurrant dies away, but you can still detect it for a while, and the smell changes to a shallower floral one, and less sweet. The middle/heart notes are Rose, Geranium, Jasmine, Ylang-ylang and Chamomile. At the base there is Oakmoss, Sandalwood, Tai Benzoin, and Vetiver.

                            The fragrance is beautifully layered, but the transmission between these is smooth, and soft. After the dark top notes, the fragrance mellows, but retains a richness like crushed velvet. It is sensual, mysterious, and warm, then lifting.

                            This is not an overwhelming fragrance. Nor is Tribu overpowering, but it is somewhat secretive.

                            I love it for it's fruity opening, floral middle and woody base, and how the many ingredients work so well together.

                            I find this fragrance best suited to day wear, and I think it suits any season. It lasts around six hours on me.

                            It is available in 30ml, 50ml and 100ml size eau de toilette only, and can be bought through Amazon.

                            I purchased my last bottle(s) from Duty Free Perfume at a very keen price. However, I think this fragrance has been discontinued, and restocking is becoming more expensive.

                            I would recommend this fruity, floral little number to try before it is gone!

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                            • Bolands Jam Mallows / Snacks / 67 Readings / 67 Ratings
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                              17.02.2010 22:04
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                              FANCY BISCUIT, GREAT FOR PARTY TEA TABLE

                              Although I am not a regular visitor to the biscuit aisle, I bought these recently as a treat. I fancied a little something away from chocolate, having indulged plentifully in that over the Christmas period! These little mallow moments caught my eye, not least because of the bright red outer wrapping brandished with fluffy lettering.

                              They're made by Bolands, belonging to the Jacobs Fruitfield food group, a company best known perhaps for cream crackers. Sometimes they are sold under the name Mikado.

                              The pack has a net weight of 250g, and there are 20 biscuits in a pack, packed in a semi-rigid inner container divided into ten compartments with two biscuits per compartment. Each biscuit weighs just under half an ounce (for those old enough to remember imperial) or 12.5 gram.

                              The manufacturer describes these as "Soft, crumbly biscuits topped with mallow and raspberry flavour jam, sprinkled with coconut."

                              The rectangular base biscuit is about the depth of a rich tea or digestive, and the mallow is piped the length each side into five small peaks with a similarly piped raspberry (no pips) jam strip down the middle. Coconut is sprinkled over the mallow and the jam.

                              The biscuit is soft - I'd say of similar softness to a chocolate teacake, but is not particularly crumbly and I think it could be improved by being a little shorter and crunchier. It is also a little 'gritty' and there is a slight taste of bicarb. The mallow is quite well balanced with the biscuit, neither too much nor too little, and has a slightly fluffy texture, which is not too sticky. There is also sufficient flavour from the jam. The coconut is also nicely balanced in quantity against the rest of the topping.

                              I notice the taste of the biscuit after the raspberry and mallow. Although also noticing the coconut, it is probably noticed most at end - I'd estimate several minutes spent chasing individual flakes of dessicated coconut.

                              Because the biscuits are stacked in twos, the underside of the top biscuit does tend to stick itself to the mallow of the one beneath it, but overall the packaging does a good job of keeping the biscuits to their proper shape without risk of squashing or breakage. So as not to squash them yourself, there is also a tendency to handle them delicately removing them carefully from the packet in pincer grip fashion,

                              These biscuits are gone in 2 or 3 polite bites, and except for chasing the coconut, are easy on the palette and the jaw. A slightly firmer biscuit, as mentioned earlier, would, however, offer a better variety of texture.

                              They are definitely not dunkers, but perhaps most appropriate for the party style tea. Also, probably a welcome addition to children's lunch boxes, but hubby might get a few queer looks from colleagues if packed in his!

                              Unless consumed quickly, the biscuits, once opened, are best transferred to an airtight container as recommended by the manufacturer. This is a good idea, because I don't think you'd want the biscuit base any softer.

                              Allergy advice

                              Contains wheat and tree nuts, and manufactured on equipment that produces product containing milk, soy and in a plant processing egg.

                              Nutritional information

                              Calories per biscuit 53, protein 0.5g, carbs 9.1g (of which sugars 0.4g) fat 1.6g (1.0 saturated)

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                                11.02.2010 17:10
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                                TASTY, TRADITIONAL STYLE FAYRE, AT A REASONABLE PRICE

                                About this product the manufacturer describes it as "Combining the juiciest raisins with cinnamon provides the perfect flavour for this delicious loaf. Conveniently sliced and ready glazed, Raisin Loaf with Cinnamon offers a real fruity taste sensation any time of the day."

                                Warburtons was established in 1870 with a small grocery shop in Bolton. Bread baking began in 1876. The history of Warburtons and how they got to where they are today can be found on the company's website 'www.warburtons.co.uk'. I found this quite interesting.

                                Anyway on with the bread.

                                The loaf comes pre-sliced in colourful and attractive packaging, and is described as 'bursting with fruitiness'. The raisin content is 23%.

                                It retails for around £1.30. I usually buy mine in the local Tesco store.

                                The loaf has a pleasing 'yummy' smell on opening, and you get a good whiff of cinnamon.

                                The individual slices are about the same thickness as a 'thick sliced' loaf, but otherwise the size is a good deal smaller (as you would expect). I think I would prefer the slices a little thinner, particularly if sandwiching these together.

                                The raisins are quite moist and plump, and the cinnamon flavour pleasantly noticeable. The loaf itself is perhaps a little dry for my liking, but a small amount of low fat spread tends to correct this. This is just my personal preference.

                                Calorie wise, the average slice contains about 96. The average slice contains approx 2.6g of protein, 18.3g of carbohydrate, and only 1.3g of fat (mostly unsaturated).

                                This loaf certainly tastes fruity, and will make a useful addition to the family's lunch boxes/picnic lunches from time to time.

                                Overall, my family has enjoyed this 'tea' loaf, and would recommend others to try it. Well done to Warburtons.

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                                • More +
                                  10.02.2010 22:10
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                                  JUST BUY IT!

                                  Released during the autumn of 2009, 'Brand new eyes' is the third studio, following Riot! their previous album. Fans drawn from Riot! and the success of the film Twilight (Paramore recorded the main track Decode for the film) may be confused by the way this album sounds, as it has stepped away from the Avril Lavigne-esque pop that was Riot!, moving back to the sound of the band in their first album entitled 'All We Know Is Falling'. This is by no means a bad thing. Two tracks from the album have been released as singles, both reaching the top ten in the official UK singles chart.

                                  The track listing is as follows:

                                  1. Careful - A sadly underrated track, due to its position at the 'intro' section of the album, exhibits some of the well thought out vocals and brilliant guitar riffs the band is famous for. 6/10

                                  2. Ignorance - I heard this on the radio before i realised the album was coming, after listening for about 30 seconds i thought, 'aahhh yeeaahh - Paramore is back. Brilliant voice, brilliant lyrics, brilliant guitar and brilliant drum track...probably my favourite paramore track of all time (even though it isn't the best track on the album). 9/10

                                  3. Playing God - The only track on the album that has had an ounce of angst added to it, but that isn't a bad thing. The lyrics really show the emotions attached to the subject. 7/10

                                  4. Brick by Boring Brick - I don't dislike this track, i actually think the ironic metaphor of pop innocence used is quite clever, however it does sound more popish than other tracks on the album. 4/10

                                  5. Turn It Off - This track is, almost but not quite, as good as Ignorance, with intelligent lyrics and interspersed with well developed guitar solos. Probably my favourite track off the album. More like tracks from Riot!, the band's previous album. 9/10

                                  6. The Only Exception - If I am honest I don't really understand this track. It is basically Hayley singing about her trailerpark childhood...a bit too redneck acoustic for my tastes. 3/10

                                  7. Feeling Sorry - One of the tracks that would feel right at home on All We Know Is Falling, an example of the easy to understand lyrics Paramore is famous for. 7/10

                                  8. Looking Up - I was confused at first because the intro sounds so much like Feeling Sorry, however it is a good 'life's good' track, with good drums and catchy lyrics, and I think is strangely suited to treadmill exercise! 8/10

                                  9. Where The Lines Overlap - I like this track because it is unlike any other Paramore tracks, yet still feels very 'Paramore-esque'. Good guitar riffs but not as catchy as other tracks. 7/10

                                  10. Misguided Ghosts - A peculiar track, soft and acoustic like many of the previous Paramore tracks, however it does not have the same emotional resonence. 5/10

                                  11. All I Wanted - This track is more of an outro number, with softer guitar riffs and less lyrical concentration. It is also the first track in which Hayley tries her hand at screaming the lyrics... it is different to other 'screamo' efforts as it actually feels emotional (as opposed to just shouting). 8/10

                                  12. Decode (Bonus Track) - Made famous by Twilight, this track was included on Brand New Eyes because of all the fans it attracted. I feel it is overrated however, a ballad but not a particularly good one - Let This Go is better (See All We Know Is Falling). 6/10

                                  'Brand New Eyes' is a great addition to any Paramore fans record collection, and an even greater addition to new fans collections. I would recommend anyone to buy it and am sure you wouldn't be disappointed.

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