April 30th: Tango Demolition Chocolates

Yet again I'm endeavoring to bring you reviews of the latest chocolate products hitting the UK shelves . Yes indeed, the focus today falls upon these new Tango Chocolate products - the 'Demolition Bar' and the 'Demolition Balls'.

At this point it's probably worth me making introducing the Tango brand to my non-UK readers - Thanks Wikipedia ;-)

"Tango is a carbonated soft drink sold primarily in the United Kingdom and Ireland. Originally, Tango was the name of the orange flavour in a range of different flavoured drinks that each had their own name. In the 1990s, long after the other products in the range had passed into obscurity, the Tango brand was expanded into other flavours, including apple, lemon, cherry, blackcurrant, and later 'Fruit Fling'." N.B The Orange variant is the flavour most commonlly associated with the brand and will no doubt constitute a great proportion of their sales.

I found both of these products in my local Superdrug highstreet store, where they were on sale for £0.50 each. Presentation wise, I liked the way the brand kept it's branding and packaging style consistent with it's drinks range. Black wrappers can often be recessive on a crowded shelf, however these both really stood out with the glittery silver and orange colours proving particularly eye-catching. Disappointingly no nutritional information supplied on either product. Here are my thoughts on them:

Tango Demolition Bar - 'Bubbly milk chocolate orange bar with a tangy fizz' - This 35.0g came split in to five separate blocks and looked the more impressive of the two products with the Tango branding and inner orange center providing reassurance that this just wasn't a gimmicky product produced on the cheap. The chocolate, containing 25% cocoa across both products, had a rather generic, sweet milky emphasis and certainly wouldn't have tasted out of place on any given Nestle product. It wasn't the highest quality no, but it was fine as a 'carrier' chocolate and it allowed full expression of the orange center whilst delivering a fair standard chocolate flavour hit. The orange center, delivered a fine and realistic enough fruity influence, however as you probably will have guessed I cared little for the fizzy mouth feel and texture it created. The sweetness of the chocolate and center combined meant that the portion size was just about right for my liking - any more and it would probably have been a little too much for me.

6.2 out of 10

Tango Demolition Balls - 'Milk chocolate orange balls with a tangy fizz' - I wont yabba on too much here as these were largely the same as the bar above. The only difference I really noticed between the two (aside from the obvious format difference! Duh!!!) was that the melt of the chocolate coating these Demolition balls was poorer and had a waxy feel thanks to a glazing agent property being present. That minor thing aside these pretty much just served up an identical taste experience. - the 35.0g packet meant they were equally as satisfying as a snack.

5.8 out of 10

Overall I would neither label either of these products as a complete success or a complete disaster. There are certainly better mass produced orange milk chocolate products out there (Terry's immediately springs to mind!) but I guess if you are one of those people that enjoys popping candy, sherbet etc then these do additionally bring that dimension to the party. To be honest I was half expecting these to be more gimmicky and lower quality so I would like to praise them in that respect. These are worth a try if you like your orange milk chocolates though I'm not going to promise you that they will turn your world upside down.

April 28th: Bits & Bobs: New UK Misc Products - April 2012

There have been an tremendous amount of new products released by some of the big brand names already this year. Some of them I've found in my local supermarkets .... others I've sourced from different corners of the globe :-D ... take a look at what I made of them:
Marks & Spencer Percy in the Pink
Kcal 20 Fat 1.2g Fat(sats) 0.7g Carbs 2.4g (per 4.0g pig)

I never hide the fact that I'm a big M&S food fan and I don't think there is a person out there who doesn't have a little soft spot for their iconic Percy Pigs. Since the creation of the first gummy sweets in the mid nineties the range has grown considerably - our pink little chum even has his own wikipedia page - See HERE. You can correct me on twitter if I'm wrong here, but I believe 2012 is the first time that Percy Pig has come in chocolate form. Although I didn't quite get around to reviewing it this year, Percy even got his own chocolate Easter egg (See HERE) - This I believe was the brands debut in chocolate form. Well a few weeks on we now have these 'Percy in the Pink' pigs - 'white chocolate with dried raspberry and strawberry concentrates'. Priced at just shy of £1.00 these small pink coloured pig shapes came in a 90.0g bag baring the familiar Percy branding. Opening up the bag the first thing that struck me was how these smelt EXACTLY like the Percy gummy sweets - no difference whatsoever with the fruity, candy floss like sweet scents forthcoming. That word 'sweet' was a word I was desperate not to use up until describing the taste as there is genuinely nothing else that I can use to describe it better. Indeed these were as sweet as any chocolate I've ever tasted in my lifetime. Sugary doesn't begin to describe these - yes there were red berry fruit elements underlying but there was no getting away from the sugar - after just a mouthful I could feel my throat burning up and my teeth crying for help. I think you all know that this sort of chocolate isn't what I like so take from this what you will. I wont be buying these again but I'll take the inevitable backlash from the Percy Pig cult following with good jest :D

 5.2 out of 10

McVitie's Jamaica Ginger Cake BarKcal 111 Fat 5.9g Fat(sats) 2.9g Carbs 13.5g (per cake bar)

Although I could name a handful of different cake varieties that I would choose to have before ginger, the McVitie's Jamaica Ginger Cake Loaf is one often spotted in our tea room at the office. Normally I would say that flavours like Carrot, Lemon Drizzle or Coffee offer more excitement, but these new Jamaica Ginger Cake Bars sounded like they had more to them with the addition of a chocolate cream layer and outer coating of milk chocolate. These bars came in pack of six that I picked up from my local Sainsbury's on one of the infamous £1.00 introductory deals. Out their very cool looking retro wrappers, the bars looked no different to any other cake bar I've seen before. That said the gingery smells were indicative of the cake at hand and it set expectations well for the taste. The gingeryness from the cake was the main flavour focus, though the additional chocolate elements weren't lost and I liked how they set an initial milky sweetness to it all before the more spicy cake came in to play. The chocolate cream layer was certainly a nice addition and it's light texture meant it provided a nice texture contrast. I wouldn't rush out to buy these again but at I did enjoy these a lot more than I thought I would.

8.0 out of 10

Kinder Pingui CoccoKcal 143 Fat 9.8g Fat(sats) 6.5g Carbs 11.6g

Back last July I posted some reviews of some Kinder cakes that I found in one of the local shops near where I lived. One of these products was the Kinder Pingui Chocco (See HERE), and it was a cake that received a well deserved endorsement along the lines of this: 'Although light and mousse-like in texture, the cream itself still managed to establish a pleasant fresh dairy cream taste that left me wanting more'.Well 9 or so months on I found myself confronted by a coconut variation of the aforementioned Chocco original. The cake, again originating from Poland, was branded and detailed on the wrapper all in Polish - DOH!That said the coconut content was instantly recogniseable thanks to the on-pack pictures and gorgeous coconutty scents that emerged once opened. To keep this short and sweet I can best sum up the taste experience by saying that it was utterly delicious. The chocolate coating was short lived due to it's thinness, however it still managed to establish the cocoa before the creamy coconut flavours swept in and took hold of the taste. Much like I concluded about the Chocco version this was again frustratingly non-fulfilling, but taste wise I couldn't have asked for more from something that cost just over £0.40. If you like your coconut flavoured confectionery you should be very interested in trying one of these.

7.7 out of 10

Aero Bubbles OrangeKcal 146 Fat 8.1g Fat(sats) 4.6g Carbs 16.3g (per 9 sweets)

If I was given a pound (rather than having to spend one :D haha) for every 'NEW' Nestle Aero product I've reviewed this year I would be a rich, rich man! Ok, ok ... I'm exaggerating, but I would still be around £10-£15 pounds better off :D Yes indeed the sheer quantity of 'New' Aero products this year has been rather incredible, though if I had the motivation to list them all out it would soon become apparent that 90.0% of them have been just new varieties and formats for the already existing flavours (see them all by looking under the Nestle tag HERE). What my long winded (but relevant!!) introduction here is leading me on to, are my thoughts on these Aero Bubbles Orange - yes yet another reformatting of an existing Aero product. I bought this 80.0g bag in my local newsagent priced at £1.00 - a 20.0g smaller product when you compare it to what the same money buys you for the chocolate in it's bar form (See HERE). Whilst I will complain about the value for money, I will be more positive on the taste which I found a little more manageable in terms of it's sweetness with the smaller sized Bubble pieces vs the blocks of the bar. The orange flavours were still a little artificial and the milk chocolate a little generic but I was never expectant of anything else. This experience with Aero Orange was a little more favourable but I will still stick with Terry's Chocolate Orange for my cheap chocolate orange thrills.

7.3 out of 10

Nestle Snack Milkybar
Kcal 185 Fat 11.6g Carbs 17.6g (per bar)

This was a bar I found in a local paper shop near where I live and appears to be a bar produced by Nestle Polska i.e. Nestle Poland. From the wrapper, displaying Polish language of course, I could determine that this was a wafer based snack with a Milkybar coating. The best translation of the on-pack descriptor would have me guessing something along the lines of 'crispy wafer layers filled with milk creme and a white chocolate coating' - a proposition in my eyes that had potential if done well. At just £0.50 for the 33.0g bar I had little to lose anyway, so I parted with the change in my pocket and gave one a try. Sensing this might be one of those very sweet Nestle white chocolate experiences I decided to eat this in compliment to a strong brew black coffee that I brewed up mid-morning. The pairing of the two was a good match, and I especially enjoyed the times I dunked the sweet wafer into the bitter roasted bean coffee. In terms of what to expect here you can probably predetermine what I'm going to say. The experience altogether was nothing groundbreaking or special but the combination of the crisp wafer, sugary chocolate and creamy inner creme made for a nice enough snack. Given the product name I feel anything other than a 'thumbs-in-the middle' to 'thumbs-up' would be being harsh.

7.5 out of 10

Meiji Chocolat de Tomato
Kcal 175 Fat 11.7g Carbs 15.8g (per 30.0g serving)

As I mentioned in my opening paragraph the products featured today have come from all over the globe and this particular one was sent to me by friend Peter @Jlist (See Twitter HERE). Anyone who has read my blog for any amount of time will be aware that Peter is an American expat who runs the company J-List out in Japan. Peter has very kindly been providing me with Japanese snack products for many years now, check the archives here to see the mad stuff he has sent previously (HERE). Whilst a fair few of the products he has had me review before have been pretty crazy, wasabi, green tea ... you name it!? What he has never sent me was anything to do with tomatoes and chocolate :-D ... well until last week of course! Ladies and Gentlemen I give you the Meiji Chocolat de Tomato - a product described as 'a delightful combination of the flavour of tomatoes and chocolate'. Being the silly soul I am I was keen to give this a try and I wasn't exactly perturbed by the attractive job Meiji did with the packaging. The first warning signs however came when I undid the first of the lovely little red wrappers - the savoury vegetable smells felt instantly out of context for what I was prepared for - they just smelt wrong and not sweet like chocolate should do. Against my better judgement I tasted a fair few of the sticks - every time trying to convince myself I would 'get used' to the flavours presented to me. Unfortunately, I could just never come to terms with the savoury nature of the taste. The white chocolate basis to each mouthful gave a sweet context, but at the melt progressed the flavour development took more of a savoury, earth vegetable route that felt against what I desired from a chocolate snack. These were by no means 'spit out the mouth' repulsive or anything along those lines, but they just didn't fundamentally taste that pleasurable. Trying them to say I tasted tomatoe flavoured chocolate was worth it, though I wouldn't ever have them again.

4.9 out of 10

April 25th: Ritter Sport Spring Limited Editions 2012

The arrival of the Spring season is always something I look forward to for many a reason. First of all it means that for at least a year, the cold snap of weather is over and there are brighter, warmer days to come (bye bye Winter!!). Secondly, and most importantly :D the arrival of Spring always brings about three limited edition Ritter Sport flavours and 2012 is no different.

On offer this year we have the return of two of the Spring 2011 line up and also the addition of a 'New' flavour. I use the term 'New' quite loosely here as in actual fact the latest 2012 Kakaosplitter variant is a bar that was formerly available as part of the Ritter Sport Bio range (review HERE).

So who's survived the cut this year!? Well the Ritter Sport Bourbon Vanille has impressivelly been around as part of the Spring limited editions since 2009. It has never been one of my favourites, but I guess it must be pretty popular given it's out lasted all of the other variants that have been and gone over the years.

Ritter Sport Bourbon Vanille - See Review HERE

The other bar to survive from 2011 is the Ritter Sport Haselnuss Krokant. This bar made it's debut back in 2010 when it replaced the Ritter Sport Eirlikor (Advocaat). It is also currently available as one of the flavours included in Ritter's new 'Cubes' selection box that I reviewed a few weeks ago. Again like the Bourbon Vanille this Haselnuss Krokant has never been a favourite of mine due to it's under strength nut flavours compared to other Ritter offerings. I would suggest it as a nice option for those who like more subtle nutty chocolates, but being honest it's one of the Ritter bars you could let pass you by and you wouldn't miss on much.

Ritter Sport Haselnuss Krokant - See HERE

So it was the Ritter Sport Alpensahne Praline (See HERE) which got the boot from the 2011 range and as aforementioned it this Ritter Sport Kakosplitter has taken it's place. This bar comes described as 'milk chocolate with a chocolate creme filling, cocoa nibs and hazelnut-almond pieces' and you guessed it, comes in a 100.0g 4x4 square block. To get an all round perspective on this one I gave away several of these bars to friends and family and asked for their feedback. What was played back to me was probably around about 80.0% positive with most citing that they really enjoyed the pure cocoa flavours bursts that the added cocoa nibs brought to the party. This almost sounds silly to say but a lot of taste testers said they enjoyed it for it's pure chocolateyness - this was a bar that delivered a real chocolate flavour hit and I wouldn't disagree with them. All-in-all It was a lovely tasting chocolate and I obviously wasn't alone in thinking this as it was the flavour that was most requested off me when I offered people a second helping from the 10.0kg stash Ritter sent across.

8.1 out of 10

Overall I don't the Spring 2012 line up is perfect by any stretch of the imagination, but there are some nice varieties in there and the new Kakaosplitter bar is a welcome addition. Personally I wouldn't have chosen to rid of the Ritter Sport Alpensahne Praline from last year, though I guess the argument is there that it was awfully similar to the Ritter Sport Praline bar in the first place. I'm not sure I could stretch as far as insisting my UK readers import these bars at any great expense, however if you can find yourself a way of acquiring them where this isn't an issue I wouldn't advise against it.

April 23rd: Berry Temptation Classic Temptation Collection

Twitter is a wonderful thing isn't it!? Without it I very much doubt I would've ever been contacted by my new friends Berry Temptation who dropped me a message last week introducing themselves. Berry Temptation are a small UK based company formed by two friends with a shared passion and drive to create 'the perfect gift to your loved ones for every occasion'. As you may have gathered, these guys believe such a gift comes in the form of chocolate dipped fruits - strawberries to be exact. After exchanging initial pleasantries across the Twitterverse, Berry Temptation offered me the chance of reviewing their Classic Temptation offering. With the summer sun well on the way I couldn't help but say yes - this was to be the first time that JCM would feature a fresh fruit chocolatey offering.

As you can see above and below I was sent a pack containing nine dipped strawberry pieces. The fruits came beautifully presented in a black, ribbon tied box with the Berry Temptation branding embossed in a classy looking shiney silver font. Suffice to say I wasn't expecting such a well presented product from such a small company. This is normally where there are cost savings to be had and previous reviews I'v done for products for similar sized entities have often reflected this. The presentation in this instance however gets a real thumbs up. The strawberries were equally as impressive looking as the exterior packaging and I felt so confident in them I took them to a dinner party on the night I received them.

I'm glad to report my confidence was not misled - these went down tremendously and served up a real treat after what was a very rich meal. Indeed after our main course these were placed at the centre of the table for all to enjoy. After many a marveling 'oooh' and 'ahhh' at the (and I quote) "gorgeous" and "cute" looking fruits in front of them, my fellow dinner guests and I went about sampling. The box contained a variety of dark, milk and white chocolate strawberries, some plain, some with added bits of coconut and hazelnut. Myself I managed to try one dark chocolate with hazelnuts and one white chocolate with coconut. Both were delicious, but the dark chocolate with hazelnuts was my favourite as I loved the way the semi-sweet cocoa chocolate balanced the sugary sweetness of the ripe, juicey sugary strawberry. Among my fellow diners, it was the white chocolate ones that seemed to really hit the mark, with the common theme of enjoyment being the appropriateness of the creaminess the outer coating brought to the red berry fruits. There wasn't a single person who didn't like these and it wont come as a surprise for you to hear the box was emptied within minutes.

Overall it's always a relief when these samples from smaller companies come good and I can confidently credit Berry Temptation with a JCM thumbs up. I wouldn't ever suggest they are appropriate as an everyday option, but as a proposition I think they are perfect for such occasions like a dinner party like I spoke of above. As a total package I was surprised at the all round quality for a product from such a small company. Like I said above it must be very tempting to cut corners to drive margins when you are a new company like Berry Temptation, but I couldn't see any evidence of this here at all. I of course was not the only one to enjoy these and the dinner party guests I shared them with were similarly forthcoming in their praise of this Classic Temptation Collection. All of them left wishing I had brought a larger box and I was told by more than one of them that they would be looking up Berry Temptation very soon. I think it goes without saying these get a JCM recommendation - look them up on Twitter @BerryTemptation or www.berrytemptation.co.uk

 8.0 out of 10

April 21st: Bits & Bobs: New UK Misc Products

There have been a few new products that have come to occupy our shelves here in the UK in the last few months. Here are a few of the best (and worst) I've found lately ...

Kellogg's Rice Krispies Squares Rocky Road
Kcal 143 Fat 4.0g Fat(sats) 2.5g Carbs 26.0g (per bar)

Though they aren't my cereal of choice, but I do like a good Rice Krispie Square from time-to-time. New to the UK for 2012, Kellogg's have released these Rocky Road Squares and judging by the back of the packet I bought it seems like they have replaced the golden packaged Caramel flavour ones (See HERE). Also on the back of the multi-bar packet I bought, there was also this rather long winded description - 'Cripsy toasted chocolate rice cereal with melted marshmallow, raisins and white chocolate chunks'. This sounded all good to me and out their cool looking black foil wrappers the Squares looks as advertised with plenty of the aforementioned pieces scattered throughout. Taste-wise these added bits had mixed success. The raisins and white chcocolate pieces were enhancing, though the shortbread biscuit pieces were mainly lost in it all. The base of rice chocolate cereal was as ever it's sweet self and with the added raisins and white chocolate the 34.0g bar was about the limit I would have wanted in one. Rice Krispies Squares fans will like that they have something new to try - whether or not they will like that this one has replaced the classic Caramel flavour is another thing altogether though.

7.0 out of 10

Cadbury Mallows with Caramel
Kcal 60 Fat 2.2g Fat(sats) 1.2g Carbs 9.9g (per Teacake)

Tunnock's Teacakes were one of the snacks I frequently consumed after school during my younger days. For some reason or other we always used to have a pack in the house - I guess it was because neither my sister or I ever expressed a dislike of them, so our Mother just continued to be them. Lifestories aside, it is for that reason I feel pretty confident about commenting on the quality of these latest NEW Cadbury Teacakes with Caramel. Cadbury's previous attempts at making Teacakes (See HERE) hadn't proved to be all that successful - generating only a 5.8 out of 10 on the JCM scoring system. The added promise of a 'caramel filling' in to the mix though, had me wondering whether they could be markedly improved!? I probably should have been able to tell that this wasn't going to be the case when I cut through the middle of one of the teacakes for the photograph. The caramel was minimally portioned in the mallow, and when it came to the taste it was almost indeed 100.0% suffocated. Aside from adding a little bit of moistness to the chalky, flavourless biscuit at the base, the caramel was pretty much a non-entity. That disappointment lumped in with the still unremarkable chocolate flavour hit and disappointingly foamy mallow and these 'with Caramel' weren't the step forward I was hoping for. These are best summed up by saying 'just buy Tunnocks'.

5.9 out of 10

Paynes Poppets Strawberry Milkshake
Kcal 188 Fat 5.5g Fat(sats) 3.2g Carbs 33.2g (per pack)

A quick wonder through the JCM archives will show you that I'm generally not the biggest advocate of Paynes Poppets (See HERE). Considering their average score usually nets around 5.0 out of 10, I really wasn't expecting much from this new Strawberry Milkshake flavour - lucky that really :D I found this new flavour on sale in a local newsagents, innocently sitting next to the more commonly found toffee and mint flavours. In regards to packaging and presentation these came brandished in the new Poppets style which like I said in my last Paynes review of the Choc Chip Cookie flavour (See HERE), is certainly a step up from the old style showcased on the older packs you can see in some of my first ever reviews for the site. Unfortunately all positivity ends there, no doubt you've likely already peaked at the scoring chart - yes these really did taste that bad :D! Where do I start!? bland tasting, waxy milk chocolate and centers so chemically artificial and sugary that I almost spat my first mouthful out as I thought I had come across 'a bad one' - the following mouthfuls proved evidently not. The strawberry flavour implementation was one of the worst I have come across, these were frankly just disgusting. Avoid if you know what's good for you.

3.4 out of 10

McVitie's Medley Hobnobs Double ChocolateKcal 181 Fat 6.2g Fat(sats) 2.6g Carbs 28.6g

Since the launch of the McVitie's Medley range back in 2010, we've seen a number of different variants come and go from the range:

McVitie's Medley Hobnobs Milk Chocolate & Raisin - See HERE
McVitie's Medley Digestive Milk Chocolate - See HERE
McVitie's Medley Hobnobs Peanut - See HERE
McVitie's Medley Hobnobs Caramel - See HERE

Well cometh' the year 2012, and cometh' the McVitie's Medley Hobnobs Double Chocolate. Indeed, the latest flavour to make it's way out of the McVitie's product lines is the Double Chocolate - 'dark chocolate chips, milk chocolate, cereal and biscuit chunks'. To get straight to the point this new variant was 'exactly what it said on the tin'. The larger 40.0g bar was a more fulfilling option than previous that had gone before, and the overall taste experience was more chocolatey rich. I suppose in that sense the proposition lived up to it's billing, though frankly I would jump at the chance to swap a bar of this for two normal chocolate Hobnobs. Those who were previously hating on the originals because of the raisins may wish to take another look. The rest of you might not have too much to get excited about.

7.7 out of 10

Galaxy Cookie Crumble SlicesKcal 150 Fat 7.8g Fat(sats) 3.9g Carbs 18.3g (per slice)

Having looked at new products from Cadbury, Kellogg's and Paynes already, I'm glad to say that Mars haven't missed out on being part of Bit's n Bobs today. Indeed new for 2012 we have these new Galaxy Cookie Crumble Slices - I guess a bit of a mix-up/match-up with their Galaxy Cookie Crumble Chocolate (See HERE) getting the Twix Slice treatment. As with all the other cakey Mars treats, these have been produced by McVitie's and can be found in most UK supermarkets likely doing the rounds on the £1.00 deals. Presented nicely in a pack of 6 individually wrapped packets, the slices looked simple, but nice. The thick topping of Galaxy milk chocolate melted nicely into the cookie base that lay below and retained all of it's typical creamy, sweet Galaxy chocolate appeal. Sitting on the bottom, the cookie bases were similarly delicious. It was buttery, crumbly and had a hint of saltyness. Unlike the horrible Twix slice I really liked these and would buy them again.

8.2 out of 10

Cadbury BiscBites Roacky Road CrunchKcal 125 Fat 5.5g Fat(sats) 2.9g Carbs 16.6g (per 7 biscuits)

Ladies and gentlemen well done for making it this far down :D Unfortunately I'm not going to be able to reward you with a review of a product of great quality, these were frankly just pants. Cadbury BiscBits Rocky Road Crunch - 'chocolate cherry and marshmallow flavoured biscuits covered with milk chocolate'. I'm sure you are thinking that all sounds dandy - I don't blame you, it had me thinking that to. These biscuits came in a 110.0g foil pouch that I bought for £1.00 in my local Tesco supermarket (that was an introductory reduced price deal of course). Suspicions immediately rose upon opening the pouch when a rather odd fruity smell emerged. Ignoring the warning signs I hoped for more from the taste and set about munching my way through the pack. After just a few biscuits I decided to set the pouch to one side where it remained untouched until it's ill fated trip to the bin. To sum this up short and sweet these tasted pretty horrible. The outer Cadbury chocolate had this horrible, fake tasting sugary sweet cherry twang and it overpowered the inner chocolate biscuit. These just tasted cheap and I guess I should have learnt from the Cadbury BiscBits Orange Crunch (See HERE) which were equally horrible. Lesson learnt folks!

5.4 out of 10

April 20th: Galaxy Flutes

Kcal 56 Fat 2.9 Carbs 7.8g (per 11.25g piece)

Personally I think we are at an all time low for confectionery innovation here in the UK. I've been moaning for the best part of a few months now that recently every single product we come across brandishing a 'NEW' label is in actual fact just a re-released or repackaged product we've had previously. If you need me to name examples then please look no further than the likes of the Yorkie Honeycomb (HERE), Cadbury Creme Egg Splats (HERE), Cadbury Bitsa Wispa (HERE) ... I could go on! This mini-rant leads me nicely into introducing the 'NEW' Galaxy Flutes:

“Galaxy Flutes perfectly encapsulate the indulgence and pleasure which have become synonymous with the Galaxy brand and are a perfect treat for a luxurious snack for discerning chocolate lovers.

“Consumers will love the benefit of a combination of textures with the mix of wafer and cream providing an ideal afternoon snacking moment.”

.... yes another 'lighter way to enjoy chocolate' according to the wrapper - where have we heard that before!? Wasn't that the idea of the Galaxy Bubbles bar? Whatever! I came across these Flutes in my local supermarket where a pricey sounding £0.45 bought me a 22.5g pack of two wafer fingers. As ever with Galaxy products the packaging, wrapper and product were all classy looking and I couldn't fault them at all in this regard.

Choco-saddos like myself (aren't we all haha :D ) will have already clocked that these were infact Galaxy Amicelli made smaller and given as a repackaged format. This was fine for all the reasons I posted in my initial review of them a few years ago (See HERE), but in other ways it was just as much disappointing. Fundamentally what we had here were some very tasty filled chocolate wafers. As is the case with Galaxy products the chocolate was sweet, but luxuriously smooth melting and with a delicious prolonged creamy aftertaste that complimented the honey notes of the wafer superbly. It was this tastyness however that made for the downfall of these Flutes as they were a totally unfulfilling snacking option. Speaking as a mid-twenty year old guy these barely scratched the surface of what I wanted from a mid-afternoon snack - if anything they just made me hungrier than I was before eating them, that's a snack FAIL people.

Overall these Galaxy Flutes can be categorised right alongside many of the other 'NEW' UK confectionery products we've been provided with this year. Just as they have been, these were 'fine' for what they were, but frankly they were just totally unexciting as a new proposition. These Flutes don't bring anything new to the table and unless your a 'diet coke drinking female office worker' (stereotype sorry!) you probably wont bother giving these a second glance. The 'think tanks' at these confectionery companies must seriously be at an all time low. Personally I would suggest to these people that if this is the best they can come up with this year then please just stop the new prdocut development projects now.

7.2 out of 10

April 18th: Glico Pocky Almond Crush Bitter

Kcal 526 Fat 28.9g Carbs 57.9g (per 100.0g)

To say I'll keep the midweek mini short and sweet today doesn't seem fitting given the name of these Almond Crush Bitter flavoured Pocky. Normally I source all my Japanese/Far East snacks from my pal Pete @Jlist (Twitter HERE, Website HERE) but in actual fact I got these in a local Asian supermarket in which I ventured last week. Despite the package blurb being all in Asian text a handy English translation sticker placed on the back of box informed me that these were a product of Thailand and that packet contained 38.0g worth of biscuit sticks. As ever with Far Eastern sourced products the presentation was first class. The sticks were kept remarkably fresh within a thick, golden coloured foil wrapper and they smelt absolutely fantastic with strong chocolate and nut scents escaping when the seal was broken. In reviews previous I've often referred to my frustrations at nuts being chopped too finely. There was no problem with this here whatsoever. The nuts had just as much impact on the taste as the delicious, unsweetened cocoa flavours that the smooth melting, thick coating produced. The triple layered taste of bittersweet cocoa, salty almond nuts and sweet, buttery shortbread biscuit made for a delicious, multi-layered flavour journey. I'm not ashamed to admit I demolished the whole box of ten plus sticks in the one  sitting. There was no chance of me putting these down once opened and they will go down as one of my favourite ever Pocky flavours. I would highly recommend these if you have the luck of coming across them.

8.8 out of 10