“ Brand: McVitie's / Type: Biscuits „
I've always held Boasters biscuits in high regard, I love their chocolate and hazelnut variety with a passion so when I spotted a new item in their range (Cranberry and Almond) I knew I had to get a packet to try as I adore both of these flavours.
Unfortunately these biscuits didn't quite hit the spot for me, although other people I served them to absolutely loved them so they really are an acquired taste at least to begin with. There's nothing wrong with them, it's just that I don't think the flavours come through quite as well as they should and the whole biscuit is rather bland.
The pale shortie-type biscuit is rather fruitier tasting than I thought it would be, and this isn't completely explained by the addition of the cranberries either as I found the actual biscuit to have a summery almost strawberry flavour. The overall fruity taste is a little synthetic and very sweet indeed, I had half expected a slightly bitter flavour because of the cranberries (and was looking forward to it!) and I did find it rather disappointing that the biscuit was so much sweeter and less natural than I had been expecting.
The cranberry pieces are moist and flavoursome, unfortunately they seem to have been sweetened to within an inch of their lives and lack any 'real' taste of this sharp little fruit. Likewise the almond chunks, these are smaller than I would personally have liked and again lacked any natural flavouring although in fairness they do add some interest to the overall texture of the biscuit.
The texture of the biscuit is good; it's deliciously crumbly and while dry it's not the kind of dryness to make me cough or crave a drink afterwards. They have a slightly buttery texture which is similar to shortbread, although the overall consistency and flavour is not shortbread in the slightest.
I found these Boasters rather sickly if I'm honest. It was either the strange fruitiness of the biscuit or the general sweetness of the biscuit, but I couldn't manage more than one and a half of them before beginning to feel physically a little queasy. This is unusual for Boasters in my opinion as I can happily eat a packet of their other varieties and not even realise it.
It's a good job really as I later discovered that each biscuit contains over 80 calories, and considering there are eight in a packet then I could have quite easily blown my calorie allowance for the day! I paid 59p for this packet, although I believe the usual price is around 90p so about average compared to other biscuits of this type I think.
Years ago I used to go to my Grandma's house every Saturday for lunch. She always cooked the best sausage and chips I've ever had and afterwards for dessert she would get the biscuit tin out (She was a lovely woman but catered for taste rather than health!). Among the offerings were always Boaster biscuits and these were always my first choice as they weren't something we ever had at home where a biscuit meant something boring like a rich tea - something that my sister and I wouldn't eat in a hurry. So Boasters were always a bit of a thrill!
Sadly my Grandma died some years ago and I don't think I've seen a Boaster since. I'm sure they're still around in supermarkets but maybe I just haven't looked hard enough.
Fast forward to yesterday, browsing our local market I spotted some Boasters but not as I remembered them. These were new (I know because it said on the packet) Cranberry and Almond Boasters. Now, I love cranberries, I love almonds and I love Boasters, how could I go wrong?
As soon as we arrived home I offered my other half a cup of coffee and ever so casually enquired whether he'd like a biscuit to go with it. He did and I gleefully pulled the packet from the carrier bag. It looked very appealing with pictures of a golden biscuits lying among juicy cranberries and whole almonds and promising "buttery crumbly cookies baked with cranberries and crunchy almonds".
Upon opening the packet I was a little bit disappointed. The biscuits were much smaller than the Boasters of my teenage years. Maybe I remembered wrongly or maybe I'm just greedy but the biscuits were a little bit on the small side. Nevertheless, I continued to try one. The biscuits did have a buttery taste which was very pleasant and cranberries could be both seen and tasted. Though the biscuits did have a bit of an almond-y taste I couldn't find any evidence of actual lumps of almonds in the biscuits. I decided that I had just been unlucky in not finding any almond in the biscuit and had another one to see if it held any almonds - purely in the name of research, you understand!
Sadly, this biscuit too held no almonds, so I checked the packet again. The side of the packet clearly promises "chunky and indulgent ingredients, such as crunchy delectable almonds" though on more closely checking the ingredients it shows diced almonds are used. I'm not sure how finely diced they are but I ate a good percentage of the packet without finding any.
Despite the lack of nuts, however, they are still a very tasty biscuit, although with only eight in the packet they didn't last very long. They were buttery and delicious and it was difficult to only eat one, although I don't think I liked them as much as the orginal Boasters. They got a definite thumbs up from the children too and the whole packet was gone in a day. Now I know why my Mum only bought Rich Tea - they last much longer!
I'm not sure how much the price is supposed to be as I can't find them on any of my usual supermarket websites but Tesco have a different version for £1.09. The packs I bought were two for £1 which was an excellent price in my opinion.
For those people who are interested they contain 84 calories per biscuit which I thought was pretty good if you could stop at only eating the one! They also contain nuts, milk, eggs and gluten, if you need allergy advice.
To conclude, these were a tasty biscuit, as long as you don't expect a lot of nuts. I will definitely be on the look out for them again - although maybe I'll hide them from the kids next time!