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When it comes to crisps I enjoy many different brands and flavours but one of my favourites right now is the roast ham and mustard offering from McCoy`s, I have to say that these have a bit of a bacony flavour to them so perhaps the flavour is not exactly described but whatever they are delicious. A 35g packet of these will set you back around the 55p mark, I guess this will fluctuate depending on where you buy them but they will be around that price mark. The packet is red gold and black and very easy to spot. The taste as I mentioned is a bit more like bacon than ham but then many will say bacon and ham are very similar any way so perhaps it's just me, the mustard is nice and definitely noticeable but certainly not too strong. As with any McCoy`s crisps, the texture and crunch is just right and the foil packaging ensures that you are getting a top quality, fresh product every time. Sadly as with all crisps and even more so with these the calorie count and fat content makes poor reading so these have to be enjoyed in moderation to avoid piling on the pounds. NUTRITIONAL INFO PER 35g BAG: Calories - 178 Carbohydrates - 17.9g Fat - 10.3g Of which saturates - 2.2g
If you have read any of my previous reviews then you might well know that I often try Tesco's value range of certain products, there are some things I will not skimp on but there are others that I feel the value versions could be just as good as the branded stuff. One such product is kitchen roll, ok we all know that some claim they can be rung out and reused and all this nonsense but if the alternative rolls are less than half the price then there is no need for reusing it anyway. Tesco value kitchen roll is a 2 ply kitchen roll with around 120 sheets per roll which is actually quite thik and strong and does a very good job of mopping up spills and the likes and costs considerably less than many or all of the brand names kitchen rolls on the market. These are normally priced at £1.12 which when compared to Plenty (previously bounty) is a saving of nearly a pound and if that was not good enough these can regularly be purchased at only £1 when on offer. The one thing that Plenty claims is that you can scrub with their kitchen roll and whilst you cannot scrub with the Tesco value kitchen roll, you will get great results from all other uses and to be honest I am not convinced you can scrub with Plenty either so for me the extra pound to buy Plenty is simply not warranted.
I am not a big use of Morrison`s supermarket but I go occasionally when I visit my daughters as she has one close by, just recently on a visit to Morrison`s I purchased some of their own brand value milk chocolate and I genuinely have no idea why as I really only like Cadbury chocolate. I did not like this chocolate but I thought well at least the grand kids will eat it and perhaps even hubby as he is not so fussy but the truth is everyone found this chocolate repulsive, I would compare it to cooking chocolate but that would be unfair to most cooking chocolate as I have to be honest and say that I would not even use this for crispy cakes for a kids party. It seems to melt quickly on the tongue but not smoothly, it is almost as if it has grains of something in it and it has a very sweet unnatural chocolate taste and there is certainly not a glass and a half of milk in this stuff. At 23p for a 100g bar I perhaps should have expected this but I have to say I did think the kids would eat it but it seems this stuff is too poor for anyone to enjoy.
On a recent trip to Morrison`s with my daughter I was tricked into buying what appeared to be delicious sausage rolls made in the Morrison`s store but although they looked the part and even smelled the part, they certainly did not pass the taste test. I say tricked simply because of how good they looked but I guess at my grand old age I should by now know not to judge a book by its cover. The sausage rolls looked lovely and the smell of them had my mouth watering but they were very disappointing really. The pastry was quite nice and flaky as a pastry on a sausage roll should be but that was only if you ate them straight away because the two my husband had the next morning were not like that as they had gone a bit hard and not nearly as nice. The sausage was a bit horrid no matter when you ate them, it is a bit soft and falls apart not really giving the impression of true meat at all and there were a few gristly bits in there too that put me right off. Morrison's do these in bags of four large ones or 12 mini ones and they are reasonably priced but sadly the quality is lacking and I certainly would not recommend them!
MR Muscle products have been around for a very long time and any of them that I have used have done a very good job, recently I found myself having to buy and try the MR Muscle sink and plug hole unblocker and just like their other products it worked a treat. It is not exactly cheap this stuff at £3.95 for a 5ooml bottle but it saves plunging or getting in a plumber which let me tell you would cost a hell of a lot more. The instructions on the bottle are to pour the entire bottle down the plug hole and then after 15 minutes turn on the hot water tap and flush it clear, being that I was using this on the bath to remove a blockage I believed to be caused by hair rather than grease or worse I used only half a bottle and it worked fine. A few weeks later I had the same problem, yet another blocked plug hole but this time it was the kitchen sink and could well be grease and worse but rather than spend more money, I first tried the half a bottle that I had left and again it worked fine. Now perhaps following the instructions would be the best idea because if you waste the best part of four pounds because you don't, you would be mad with yourself but certainly on my experience half the bottle works just fine. There are warnings on the bottle of course and it is also a bit on the smelly side so some care is needed when using it but if the choice is this or a plumber then I choose this every time!
I only go to Morrison's on odd occasions as my usual supermarkets are Tesco and Asda, my daughter lives close to a Morrison`s so when visiting her the other day we took a trip over and I got myself what on the face of it seemed a bargain tasty snack but in reality was a waste of bloody money. The snack I refer to is the Morrison`s bacon and cheese grills, although calling them bacon and cheese grills should really be against trading standards because the so called bacon was more like reformed ham and the cheese well...... I give up what was it? The only thing of any real note in these things was the grease that came from them once heated and ready to eat, there was no mistaking what it was, it was horrid, disgusting grease. The bacon or should I say reformed ham was nothing like real meat and chewing it was like trying to chew your way through a tyre, I binned the packaging without ever checking the calorie or fat content but I am willing to bet it is huge and I thoroughly recommend everyone avoids these like the plague.
I use a lot of different curry pastes and curry sauces and this is what led to my son pointing out to me that the Asda smart price curry sauce is very good and also very inexpensive and that I should try some, however once in Asda and seeing that the sauce was only 7p I was sure this was going to be one of my sons cruel practical jokes and I could hear him now chuckling down the phone as he asked what I had thought of the sauce. As it was only 7p I decided there was nothing to lose and I would try a jar and see what it was like and to my surprise this sauce was very nice, granted it had a bit more of a raw nip to it than the more cultured brand names that tend to have a subtle tang but as I like my curry hot it suited me just fine. I have used this sauce in a few recipes as well as having it straight on some chicken breasts and it has never disappointed, it contains the usual ingredients for a curry sauce, things like onions, sultanas and all the various spices are all listed. On opening the jar you get a typical chip shop curry sauce scent but the taste is a stronger one than most chip shop curry`s even though this is listed as mild. Many of the other curry sauces cost over a pound to buy so if you can get a good one for 7p why wouldn't you use it? It was tempting to give this five stars but its not perfect and therefore gets four!
Sometimes the Tesco value products can be very good but sometimes Tesco get it badly wrong and with their Tesco value baby wipes they did indeed get it very badly wrong. My kids are grown now and have flown the nest but they return regularly with my lovely grandkids in tow and I therefore like to have some wipes around the house just in case they have come ill prepared or run out whilst visiting. The last packet of Pampers wipes lay around for so long they had started to dry out which seemed such a waste I, thought I would just get in some cheap ones for emergencies but it is better to waste some expensive ones than to ever subject a child's bottom to these. The first thing I noticed about these is that they are smaller than usual ones you can add to that the fact that they are incredibly thin and then also the fact that they feels somewhat rough and a bit scratchy, this alone is enough to stop you buying them probably but in case it is not then let me tell you that they also smell very bad. My young grandson was left with a very red bottom after only one use of these and that left me feeling like a very bad grandparent so avoid that feeling and avoid giving your little ones sore bums by simply avoiding these cheap and nasty wipes!
There are a lot of things that I firmly believe should never be skimped on but when it comes to flour, well flour is flour is it not? I can now confirm that yes, flour is flour after using the budget Tesco value brand flour which at only 43p is as good as the home pride stuff or any other I have used which cost at least twice as much. You get a 1.5kg bag and granted the bag looks and feels cheap but it is strong enough to do its job so why does it matter what it looks like? It is the nice white colour that flour should be and I have absolutely no complaints about the stuff whatsoever, Tesco also do a self raising version of the flour too and having used both for various things I can tell you that it is well worth its tiny cost and you will never spend more on brand named flour again.
My grandkids used to just be happy to accept whatever snack, crisps or biscuits you put in front of them but as they get older they have their own demands and at the minute the main demand is one for Fox`s party rings. Party rings are round shortcake biscuits with a hole in the centre that have a hard sugar icing over them in various colours. I can easily see why kids would be attracted to them and I have to admit they are tasty but where Fox`s biscuits are usually of a very high quality, I feel these are not. Almost every packet I have purchased has had at least a few biscuits where the herd icing has cracked and fallen off leaving you with a shortcake biscuit and a handful of icing crumbs. Added to this problem is the price, at 87p in Asda for a packet containing 20 small biscuits, I feel they are a little bit expensive but the biggest problem with them is the high calorie and sugar content with each small biscuit containing 31 calories and a huge 2.9g of sugar. These biscuits may be quite tasty and they may look very attractive to kids but they in truth are unhealthy and overpriced and not the best Fox`s has to offer by a long stretch.
My grandkids have just recently been introduced to Dairylea Dunkers, which to me are an overpriced snack but my daughter felt that because their friends were having them that she should allow her kids (my grandkids) to have them too. Their favourites are the jumbo straw version, you also get others such as the ritz and breadstick varieties of the snack but they all have the same problem in my eyes and that is simply that they are very expensive for what you get and really you can add to that, that they are not exactly healthy either. The idea is a simple one, you get a small portion of Dairylea spreading cheese in one compartment of the snack and you get jumbo dipping straws in the other, or ritz or breadsticks if you choose those ones. Then you can simply take a jumbo straw and dip it in the spreading cheese and snack on it, the cheese has invariably gone before the straws are and you are left eating dry straws but the kids don't seem to mind this. The straws incidentally are basically just straw shaped crisps as they are corn and potato straws. The straws have an onion and savoury flavouring and are actually quite nice as is the Dairylea cheese but as I mentioned they are just too expensive for what you get and with 120 calories and 5.6g of fat they are not a very healthy snack either. At full price this snack will cost you £1.19 which is an expensive way of doing when you have two kids to buy for and when you consider how cheap you can buy a whole tub of Dairylea for you will see how much of a rip off this tiny amount of cheese with a few crisps actually is.
I love the fact that old things like Swizzels parma violet sweets for instance, are no longer called old but instead they are retro, does that make me retro now then rather than old? Anyway, after reading a few reviews lately on these lovely sweets i thought it was time to set the record straight. It is claimed by many that parma violets along with cherry lips and even floral gums, have a perfume taste, if anyone has ever accidentally tasted perfume by perhaps spraying too much or even by kissing the neck of someone wearing too much then you will know that perfume nips the tongue and has a battery acid like effect, parma violets do not! Parma violets have a violet flavour and yes I know violet is a colour and tastes of nothing but it is the real way to describe these, they taste mildly of lavender but more of a talcy lavender than a perfume, there is also a fruit hint that people do not seem to notice or at least never mention, true the taste is an acquired one but to say they taste like perfume is just not right. I have heard a lot of horrid things said about these over the years, they are in my opinion lovely little chalky sweets but others have said things like........ "these should be kept in a locked cupboard incase a blind person should accidentally eat one", "I'd rather eat the floury, talc-flavoured, pebbles from the back of my granny's wardrobe" and "I would rather suck toilet duck through an old sock belonging to an aged gentleman with athletes foot than eat these". Clear for all to see then that these little retro sweets are not for everyone and I can tell you that of my four grandchildren, two love them and two won't touch them so maybe Parma violets are splitting this country down the middle? If you love them or want to try them then you can get them in Asda beside all the kids jelly sweets and they come in Swizzels variety packs too, you might also find them in pick n mix`s in certain places!
MR Kipling does bake exceedingly good cakes but he does get things wrong from time to time too and these toffee apple bakewells is one of those times. I actually liked the idea of these when I first saw them in the shop and could not wait to try them but the reality of them was a total let down. Inside the box you will find the usual plastic tray holding six of these bakewells, each one in its own foil case, the pastry is a lovely golden brown like all MR Kipling pastry and the top of the tart has a toffee colour icing and a small piece of fudge. All sounds ok doesn't it but the problem with these is a simple one, they are although tasty, just too sickly to be enjoyable. The pastry is ok but the icing, filling and fudge piece are so sickly sweet I cannot even manage to eat one of these tarts in a single sitting (and they are not exactly big). The toffee flavouring is way too overpowering and I can best describe the taste of these as eating a very sweet toffee yogurt with about ten spoonfuls of sugar in it (not that I have done this you understand but imagination is a great thing). As well as being super sickly they are also super fattening with each bakewell containing 194 calories, 16.5g of sugars and a whopping 8.9g of fat (that's each remember), so in my opinion for the sake of your taste buds and your waistline these are best avoided.
As a much younger person I used to love Milky bars and even as a teenager I would have one now and again but after trying one for the first time in years, a few days back, I have no idea what I liked about them. A milky bar for anyone unfamiliar with them is a white chocolate bar well actually it is a kind of a creamy colour chocolate but it is known to most as white chocolate, it is designed and advertised for kids but a lot of adults do like it I am sure, I am just not one of them. Instead of the delicious creaminess you get with a milk chocolate or the bitter lip smacking taste you get from a good plain chocolate, what you get from this is an intolerable sickly sweetness and not a lot of chocolate flavour at all really, sweet milk is the best way I could describe this bar. Milky bars do come in a few different sizes but I guess the typical bar bough for kids would be the thin bar costing 17p and similar in size to the old Cadbury wildlife bars, we are told on tha packet that these bars are made from completely natural ingredients and that each bar contains 26% dried whole cows milk and I am sure they wouldn't lie. Each small thin bar contains: 69 calories 7.2g of sugars 4.0g of fat Making them slightly better for kids than the similar sized Cadbury dairy milk bars but not much and a lot less tasty.
I am not a big coffee drinker and never tend to splash out on the expensive coffees but I never like to buy the cheapest either in case we have coffee drinking visitors looking down their noses at us. I have no fears of that now because I have a settled coffee that I buy and my sister who is a big coffee drinker has given it her seal of approval and even started buying it instead of her usual Nescafe's gold blend. The new coffee of choice is Tesco Gold Coffee, it tastes very nice and is strong without being overpowering and there is no bitter aftertaste like you get from some of the strong brand named coffees. Costing only £1.39 for a 100g jar it is a good 60p cheaper than even the standard Nescafe and it is not one of those cheap coffees where you need to use more of it to get the flavor so it really is very good value for money. Since using this I have never had anyone look down their nose at my coffee, the exact opposite in fact (no I don't mean they look up their noses at it), I have had people comment on what a nice cup of coffee it is and ask what brand I am using, most are shocked to find out its Tesco but impressed at the same time.