Belgian Dark Chocolate & Stem Ginger Cookies – Marks & Spencers

£2 for one box but £3 if you take advantage of the ever present offer from the M&S range of premium biscuits.

A nice, smooth, rich tasting chocolate with a biscuit at its core which I personally find perhaps a little too dry. Of course you say that is how all ginger flavoured biscuits taste as they are ‘warm’ tasting but the biscuit seems a little too dry considering this is meant to be a luxury item. If you happen to catch one of the pieces of crystallised root ginger on your tooth it is extremely chewy. The chocolate almost instantly melts in your mouth coating it with the taste of dark chocolate. It is an enjoyable biscuit but as there only seem to be 7 in each pack you will probably find that they are ‘a treat’ rather than something you will buy often. Certainly as I have always seen these premium biscuits in 2 for 1 offers it seems they are successful but not enough to warrant reconsideration on how M&S market them. Like the dark chocolate. Like the chewy stem ginger. The core biscuit is low quality unfortunately…

Nonetheless let me now give you all the information off the box…

Per cookie 386kJ / 92 kcal
Energy 5% of your RI
Per 100g 2159kJ / 516 kcal

Cookies with stem ginger pieces, fully coated in Belgian dark chocolate

Not suitable for nut allergy suffers

Ingredients: Belgian Dark Chocolate (38%) (Sugar – Cocoa Mass – Cocoa Butter – Emulsifier: Soya Lecithin – Vanilla Flavouring) – Wheatflour, Calcium Carbonate, Iron, Niacin, Thiamin) – Butter (Milk) – Sugar- Crystallised Stem Ginger (9%) (Stem Ginger – Sugar) – Belgian Milk Chocolate (Sugar – Dried Whole Milk – Cocoa Butter – Cocoa Mass – Emulsifier: Soya lecithin – Vanilla Flavouring) – Ground Ginger – Raising Agent: E450, Sodium Bicarbonate – Salt.
Belgian Dark Chocolate contains Cocoa Solids 46% minimum.
Belgian Milk Chocolate contains Cocoa Solids 25% minimum, Milk Solids 14% minimum

For allergens see ingredients in bold.

Suitable for vegetarians

NUTRITION Serves/Portions: 7
Typical values: Per 100g / per cookie (18g)
Energy kJ 2159 / 386
Energy kcal 515 92
Fat 27.3g / 4.3g
Of which saturates 16.8g / 3.0g
Carbohydrates 61.5g / 11.0g
Of which sugars 38.7g / 6.9g
Fibre 1.9g / 0.3g
Protein 5.2g / 0.9g
Salt 0.53g / 0.10g

Reference intake (adult) Energy 8400kJ / 2000kcal
Fat 70g Saturates 20g Sugars 90g Salt 6g

STORAGE For Best Before, see front of pack. Store in a cool, dry place. Once opened, store in an airtight container.

125g along side one of those scannable code things and a recycling ying yang arrows sign.

French / Dutch versions of ingredients are also provided

Made in Scotland.

SC6324

Copyright Marks and Spencer plc

PO Box 3339 Chester
CH99 9QS
United Kingdom

Marksandspencers.com

FSC MIX Paper FSC C002324

Tray – Minimum
50% recycled plastics
Recyclable Carton – Paper – Widely recycled.
Recyclable Tray – Plastics – Check local recycling
Recyclable film – plastics – Not currently recycled


A dry,dull, review for biscuits which didn’t make much of an impression on me. They seem quite intent on making sure people now they recycle their packaging. Premium product demanding you agree with the sort of thing which concerns their target market.

Next time more biscuits or something.,, maybe reviews of things I aw in the theatre recently.

I am going to try and do a post a day as I had a bit of a break recently (did I? I’m not sure now…)

BEET IT – Organic Beetroot Juice

On the side of the carton is the following warning:

Be aware: Drinking beetroot juice may turn your urine pink – this is quite normal!

So as usual, interspersed with a few comments, let me quote all the information of the side of the carton so you can read it at your leisure rather than being one of thosse awkward looking people who stands in the isle reading the side of packaging like a neurotically obcessive calorie counter.

[Sorry but if you want to lose weight just move about more, not exercise necessarily, just find some excuse to me moving constantly and your body will burn it off without you noticing. you would be surprised how effective it is. Also snack less. you don’t even realise how much you are taking in as it is such an instinctive thing to graze when food is present in case you dont know where your next meal is coming from. Except of course, nowadays, we are not hunter gathers so that instinct is no longer vital, day to day, unless you find yourself in exceptional circumstances like traversing vast uninhabited areas, famine or war…]

***
Soil Association Organic
GB – ORG – 05 EU agriculture
25 fl oz / 750ml
£3.69 from Tesco

… that’s expensive. If companie’s put words like ‘organic’ on their produce they think they can charge ridiculous prices.
***

150ml of BEET IT organic beetroot juice provides one of your daily portions of fruit and vegetables.

VEGETARIAN

BEET IT ORGANIC BEETROOT IS BEST KEPT AND SERVED CHILLED. ONCE OPENNED KEEP REFIDGERATED AND USE WITHIN FIVE DAYS.

The juice has been pasteurised and contains no preservatives.

Be aware: Drinking beetroot juice may turn your urine pink – this is quite normal!

…I just assume that after the initial release of this drink they were inundated by people calling their customer care lie complaining or worried that their urine had become tinged by it. The red colour compound betanin is not broken down in the body, and in higher concentrations may temporarily cause urine and stool to assume a reddish colour; in the case of urine this is called beeturia. This effect may cause distress and concern due to the visual similarity to hematuria (blood in the urine) or blood in the stool, but is completely harmless and will subside once the food is out of the system. So it is understandable that people unfamiliar with it were worried but to go to the length of telling the producer, which I assume is what happened, is clearly just a ploy to get free produce. A jaded view but there are such people out there and this ‘warning’ is clearly meant to be a clear sign of contempt for those people.

***

Why Organic?

Organic farming uses traditional methods like crop rotation and natural pest control rather than pesticides and chemical fertilisers which can end up in the final produce. Artificial preservatives and additives are also a no-no. And we end up with the best tasting juice on the market – why compromise?

Organic beetroot and apple juice

Ingredients: Pressed organic beetroot juice (90%), pressed organic apple juice (10%). Not from concentrate.

We add a small amount of apple juice to smooth the natural earthy taste of freshly pressed beetroot juice. BEET IT retains both the distinctive taste and smell of fresh beetroot. As well as benefiting from great quality ingredients, we want you to really enjoy drinking BEET IT!

***

Nutritional Information:

Servings per pack: 3
Serving size 250ml

Average quantity… : …per serving / …per100ml
Energy: 430kJ/103kcal / 172kJ/41kcal
Fat: <0.1g / <0.1g
Of which saturates: <0.1g / <0.1g
Carbohydrates: 23g / 9.2g
Of which sugars: 22.5g / 9.0g
Protein: 2.3g / 0.9g
Salt: 0.1g / <0.1g

*Contains naturally occurring sugars.

[Similar nutritional information and localised contact information for other countries is available in Danish, Swedish, Finnish, Portuguese, French and Spanish.]

The natural dietary nitrate varies significantly from batch to batch, but with 90% beetroot juice in beet It, the nitrate content will on average be 0.8g per litre.

***

BEET IT is a registered trademark of James White Drinks Ltd, White’s Fruit Farm, Ashboacking, Ipswich, Suffolk, IP6 9JS, UK
Tel: +44(0)1473 890111 Web: http://www.jameswhite.co.uk

Australia: Trialia Foods Australia, 424 Princess Highway, Noble Park North, Victoria 3174, Australia
Tel: +61 3 97011666 Web: http://www.trialiafoods.com

Product of UK / Patents pending

***

JAMES WHITE FINE PRESSED FRUIT JUICES

James White Drinks started more than 25 years ago pressing fantastic single variety apple juices – Bramley, Cox and Russet. We are based at Whites Fruit Farm just north of Ipswich in Suffolk. In 1996, we launched Big Tom, our fabulous spicy tomato juice, which was granted a Royal Warrant by HM The Queen in 2002. Soon after, we started bottling beetroot juice, which we now increasingly supply worldwide.

In 2007 we were approached by a group of scientists who were carrying out both medical and sports performance scientific research with beetroot juice. We are very privileged now to be supplying research projects at many universities all over the world. It has been a very exciting experience and their published research findings have attracted much media interest.
For More information about current research and interest from the sporting world, visit http://www.beet-it.com

Please do visit ww.jameswhite.co.uk to learn about our full range of wonderful pressed juices and see some pictures of our new beetroot pressing plant – the first ond only one of its kind in the UK. Help us turn East Anglia purple!

Lawrence Mallinson

***

Review: It tastes like beetroots obviously so either you will be okay with it depending on if you like beetroots or not. If you do not know what beetroot tastes like then… sweet initial taste an earthy tone once it is on the tongue… to be honest just go try some beetroot for yourself if you don’t already know the taste (in Britain it wouldn’t be surprising to find out someone has never tried it although my grandmother eat them almost constantly). The 10% apple juice is apparently added to ‘smooth the natural earthy taste of freshly pressed beetroot juice’. It is a refreshing juice with an earthy residual aftertaste but once you are used to it the taste is quite pleasant. The price is more alarming than anything, even for a market leading premium product, so maybe try an alternative if you are looking to make beetroot juice a regular part of your diet.

***

Information about the humble beetroot:

In preliminary research, beetroot juice reduced blood pressure in hypertensive individuals and so may have an effect on mechanisms of cardiovascular disease.

Dietary nitrate, such as that from consuming beets, may be a source for the biological messenger nitric oxide which induces the endothelium of arteries to signal smooth muscle, triggering vasodilation and increased blood flow.

The beetroot is the taproot portion of the beet plant, also known in North America as the table beet, garden beet, red or golden beet, or informally simply as the beet. It is several of the cultivated varieties of beet (Beta vulgaris) grown for their edible taproots and their greens. These varieties have been classified as B. vulgaris subsp. vulgaris Conditiva Group. Other than as a food, its uses include food coloring and as a medicinal plant. Many beet products are made from other Beta vulgaris varieties, particularly sugar beet.

Beetroot is an excellent source of folate and a good source of manganese, and contains betaines which may function to reduce the concentration of homocysteine, a homolog of the naturally occurring amino acid cysteine. High circulating levels of homocysteine may be harmful to blood vessels and thus contribute to the development of heart disease, stroke, or peripheral vascular disease. This hypothesis is controversial as it has not yet been established whether homocysteine itself is harmful or is just an indicator of increased risk for heart disease.

The usually deep purple roots of beetroot are eaten either grilled, boiled, or roasted as a cooked vegetable, cold as a salad after cooking and adding oil and vinegar, or raw and shredded, either alone or combined with any salad vegetable. A large proportion of the commercial production is processed into boiled and sterilised beets or into pickles. In Eastern Europe, beet soup, such as borscht, is a popular dish. In Indian cuisine, chopped, cooked, spiced beet is a common side dish. Yellow-coloured beetroots are grown on a very small scale for home consumption.

The green, leafy portion of the beet is also edible. It is most commonly served boiled or steamed, in which case it has a taste and texture similar to spinach. Those selected should be bulbs that are unmarked, avoiding those with overly limp leaves or wrinkled skins, both of which are signs of dehydration.

Beetroot can be peeled, steamed, and then eaten warm with butter as a delicacy; cooked, pickled, and then eaten cold as a condiment; or peeled, shredded raw, and then eaten as a salad. Pickled beets are a traditional food of the American South, and are often served on a hamburger in Australia,[4] New Zealand, and the United Arab Emirates.

A traditional Pennsylvania Dutch dish is pickled beet egg. Hard-boiled eggs are refrigerated in the liquid left over from pickling beets and allowed to marinate until the eggs turn a deep pink-red colour.

In Poland, beet is combined with horseradish to form popular ćwikła, which is traditionally used with cold cuts and sandwiches, but often also added to a meal consisting of meat and potatoes.

When beet juice is used, it is most stable in foods with a low water content, such as frozen novelties and fruit fillings. Betanins, obtained from the roots, are used industrially as red food colourants, e.g. to intensify the colour of tomato paste, sauces, desserts, jams and jellies, ice cream, sweets, and breakfast cereals. Beetroot can also be used to make wine.
Food shortages in Europe following World War I caused great hardships, including cases of mangelwurzel disease, as relief workers called it. It was a consequence of eating only beets.


Next time… I don’t know what I will post. Nothing involving beetroots that’s for sure.

It reminded me of that 1990’s cartoon ‘Doug’ where the characters seemed obsessed with ‘beets’. There was a character called Beebe Bluff as seen in this clip who had a highpitched screeching voice who was the resident ‘over privileged’ stereotype and her design is very beet inspired it seems:

Obviously Jim Jinkins, the creator of the series, had issues with them for some reason and was working through them during the series. It was such a pretentious show and I never liked the colour palette used nor, if I am honest, the character designs although it had its moments. I think there were just too many ‘reflecting on my schooldays’ kind of shows at the time like ‘The Wonder Years’ and ‘Boy Meets World’ (well okay the last one isn’t really but in tone is was very similar). ‘Hey Arnold’ was quite similar but that at least had heart even if sometimes it was a bit heavyhanded in how it addressed certain topics.

Burton’s Fish ‘n’ Chips, ‘Lashings of Salt & Vinegar’ Flavour, Baked Snack Mini Biscuits

Who would want salt and vinegar flavoured biscuits? Apparently there was a demand for these 1980s snacks to return. I don’t remember them ever existing. More to the point why play of ‘fish and chips’ but make them ‘salt and vinegar’. I have seen fish flavoured crisps before but I don’t think they were ever popular and eventually disappeared… shortly after the 1980s ironically.

They do however taste like the 1980s would do if distilled into a snack food. Dryly humourless despite the presentation. Unsatisfying despite the excessive effort made for the design of the biscuits and packaging. Unhealthy and unfulfilling without any real sense of taste. You buy for the packaging not the contents. you buy for the novelty not because it is something that appeals to you.

The biscuits come in two forms: Fish shapes and sticks meant to be ‘chips’. I don’t know what the ratio of fish to chips is but if you get mostly chips you will feel cheated. It may just be a ‘visual appetite’ thing (you eat with your eyes so visually appealing food will be more satisfying than something like a mulch of various shades of brown) but the fish seem more fulfilling and definitely pick up more of the salt and vinegar flavouring. The chips are just bland.

The texture of the biscuits is hard to compare with others as it is more of a cracker. I suppose Ritz biscuits, with their crisp but brittle shell and ‘puffy’ interior are the best comparison.

There is not a strong taste of salt and vinegar to them for the most part. I would describe it as being on a par with an own brand variety of crisps from a supermarket as it is present but not consistent across the contents in the packs it seems. In fact I got a small rock of compacted solid salt at one point which was surprising.

I didn’t enjoy them but they seem on a par with the sort of bland, inoffensive, finger snacks you get at a cheap buffet. These probably sell more as a novelty, and nostalgia to those who remember them, than as a ‘serious’ snack (if people ever actually think of snacks as ‘serious’ business). These will not satisfy you if you are hunger and probably serve better as an alternative to nachos or other snack foods used in conjunction with flavoured dips like salsa, humus, etc.

Packaging: The front of the packaging is like a newspaper with some ‘biscuit fish’ scattered across blocking the front page sotry abut a man catching mackerel (what this has to do with fish and chips I don’t know but they seem to want to be kitchey and appeal to the the hipster retro market):

Holy Mackerel! What a catch!
A man, Will Katchum, has recorded the biggest ever Mackerel haul in fistory! He hooked his mega fish while on a trip with his son. He said: “It was a quiet fishing day at sea and then suddenly I felt my rod spin out of control. I thought Holy Mackerel! It codpletely ___ght me___ ___ior helped him reel his _____________d block!!
Fish
1. Angling is___
2. Minnows have ___
Better to digest their food
3. Atlantic salmon can leap almost 5m___

What is the point of this amount of detail? It must have cost a lot to design and pushes up their production costs immensely in order to have the text be legible? Also they include the following ‘interesting’ fact:

Over 250 million fish & chips are sold in the UK each year!

Do they mean these packets (unlikely) or real fish and chips? (Which have nothing to do with these snacks). Random facts have been appearing on the packaging of snacks recently. Penguin biscuits always used to have a bad joke on the back of the wrapper but now on other snacks they have these ‘interesting facts’ front and centre as if to try and balance the unhealthy aspect of the snack with ‘mentally enriching’ general knowledge factoids.

Each 25g Pack contains:
Energy: 515kJ / 123kcal (per 100g 2059kJ / 493 kcal
Fat: 6.2g
Saturates: 1.4g
Sugars: 2.3g
Salt: 0.5g

Suitable for Vegetarians

Ingredients:
Fortified wheat flour (Wheat flour, Calcium carbonate, Iron, Niacin (Vitamin B3), Thiamin (Vitamin B1)), Vegetable oils (Sunflower, Palm, Rapeseed, Coconut), Wheat starch, Glucose syrup, Lactose (Milk), Raising agents, (Ammonium bicarbonate, Sodium bicarbonate), Autolysed yeast, Barley malt extract, Whey and whey derivatives (Milk), Sugar, Flavourings, Salt substitute, (Potassium chloride), Salt, Flavour enhancers (E621, E635), Citric acid, Acidity regulator (Sodium acetate), Malt vinegar extract (Barley), Perservative (Sodium metabisulphite).

Salt and salt substitutes in one package… that’s interesting. Just can’t get enough salt but know salt is bad for you? Why not try salt substitutes!? (But they will still put in some salt just for you traditionalists too so they don’t use that share of the market). It’s like smokers choosing to use e-cigarettes instead of real cigarettes. It stops second hand smoke but all the other issues still remain, if not made worse, as you think ‘hey it’s not as bad as the alternative’ and so it’s used with wild abandon and ends up being worse than a measured use of ‘the real thing’. Some of the terms used like ‘autolysed’ and ‘metabisulphate’ make me want to look up and confirm my suspicions about what they actually imply. Quite the variety of vegetable oils used… why with these oils ambassador you are spoiling us.

Allergy Advice: For allergens, including cereals containing gluten, see ingredients in bold. May also contain Nuts, Soya.

Or as I always feel factory made foods need to say ‘hey you have allergies and we don’t want to take responsibility for anything. Just go make your own food at home and never venture to eat anything made by another human’s hand ever for the rest of your life.’

Storage: To keep me fresh for longer, once opened, store in a cool dry place away from strong light.

Why did they write it like the packaging is addressing you like a pet? I hate how designers are doing that with inanimate objects. I never owned a tamagochi. I don’t understand why inanimate objects need to be assigned ‘personality’. It must be considered cute but in the end it’ll just result in hooker-bots killing lonely old men and Marvin the Paranoid Android complaining about how cheerful the sighing doors are. Are Burton’s trying to make you feel guiltiy for eating the thing. Maybe that’s the plan: you just keep buying more and more and never eating it until in the post-apocalyptic world you are using it as bedding and telling tales of Will Katchum’s legendary mackerel haul founding a religion around it until the mackerel becomes a deified beast. Everything H.P. Lovecraft ever said about Cthulhu, Dagon and the Deep Ones will come to fruition… Ia! Cthulhu Fthagn! Ph’nglui mglw’nfah Cthulhu R’lyeh wgah’nagl fhtagn! I don’t know about you but I’m getting ahead of the crowd and joining my local Esoteric Order of Dagon today!

Fish ‘n’ Chips Nutrition:
Typical Values per 100g / per 25g
Energy (kJ): 2059 / 515
Energy (kcal): 493 / 123
Fat (g): 24.7 / 6.2
Of which saturates (g): 5.6 / 1.4
Carbohydrates (g): 59.9 / 15
Of which Sugars (g): 9.2 / 2.3
Fibre (g): 2.7 / 0.7
Protein (g): 7.9 / 2.0
Salt (g): 1.9 / 0.5
Reference intake of an average adult (8400 kJ / 2000kcal). 25g = 1 pack

This means nothing to me except ‘standard amount of fat for snack foods’. I get the impression they want to imply that because they are baked then they are healthier but I think they are a little late to the game as most people have figured out by now those concepts are not exactly true in the grand scale of things.

Non GM ingredients

No hydrogenated fats

Burton’s Biscuit Co. – ‘Making Every Day More Of A Treat’

That is their motto… I don’t feel it made my day a bit more of a treat. I mean there I was just thinking ‘I want a snack’ and WOAH IT’S LIKE THERE’S A PARTY IN MY MOUTH AND EVERYONE’S INVITED! AAAAHHH! WOO WOO THAT’S THE SOUND OF DA POLICE… Then you wake up somewhere you don’t recognise being referred to as Number Six even though you keep telling everyone you are not a number you are a free man! CONSUME! CONFORM! OBEY!

Burton’s Biscuit Co., is a trading name of Burton’s Foods Ltd.
We’d love to hear from you with comments or suggestions:
Consumer Services,
Burton’s Buscuit Co.,
PO Box 145,
Birmingham,
B24 8WR.
0151 676 2352

Email: Consumer.services@burtonbuscuits.com
Website: http://www.burtonbuscuits.com
Twitter: @FishnChipsSnack

Dorotea Apricot Filled Pastries

Today let us look at some Italian confectionaries purchased for £3 from Marks and Spencers. And where do you find these confections in the store, in the Culverhouse Cross store just outside Cardiff to be exact, where, where you ask? …Oddly enough by the other biscuits and confectionaries but don’t think there is any ethnic confectionary integration here! They are displayed across the aisle and set aside on another shelf along with the others from continental Europe and America on a small set aside group of shelves with nothing to draw your eyes to them. There are however a few description tabs on the price displays should you look carefully but not for everything has an explanation so you would probably do you best just note down the name and do your research without purchase. A brilliant sales tactic!

… or like me you want to try different things and go buying something like these because hey, ho, DiMaggio, it’s not as if they will sell anything offensive and you want to try something different even if the purchase may, even at the first bite, be something that revolts you for one reason or another (rarely but it has happened once with a drink).

Though they have an interesting range of produce on offer M&S always gives off an austere air as everything is muted tones of white, brown and green, no music playing, the displays starkly lit, it’s offers so numerous and heavily labelled you feel you are a consumer and not a customer. They seem to insist you buy not what you want but an entire three course meal so earnestly; all three separate courses sold separately but should be bought together for savings, that by the end you don’t want to buy anything because your free will is called into question by being given a mandatory set course from which to select. Certain foods apparently should not be mixed. How dare you even contemplate such a thing? Potato for the British, pasta for the Italian, rice for the Indian, Chinese and Thai ranges and never the twain shall mix! Noodles? An abomination! Often I have gone here and wanted to try something but the offers, in their restrictive nature, have put me off completely. The food is good, I do not question, but the offers are so heavily displayed with tabs and stickers on everything that you feel it is some sort of faux pas to even dare considering buying something in an offer with anything outside it. This isn’t just any food; this is M&S telling you the proper cooking etiquette of eating their food… until they release a fusion range of pre-prepared foods and even then only certain things will be allowed to mix. Nothing culinarily xenophobic about it at all…

…Nonetheless let’s return to the review and put the Italian information of the box into [google translate] and see what quasi-inaccurate translations we get:

Naturalmente Dorotea
(Naturally Dorotea)

Dolcetto all’ Albicocca
(Trick to ‘ Apricot… whatever the programme things that means but it probably translates to something like ‘Apricot Treat’)

Delizioso scrigno di frolla con un cuore di morbida confettura all’albicocca
(Trove of delicious pastry with a heart of soft apricot jam)

…and of course the ingredients list but that has an English language version: Wheat flour type ‘O’, sugar, non-hydrogenated vegetable fat, butter, free-range eggs, glucose syrup, raising agent (ammonium bicarbonate, sodium bicarbonate), salt, emulsifier (soy lecithin), preservative (potassium sorbate), natural flavours, Apricot filling (30%): Apricots, glucose-fructose syrup, thickener (modified tapioca starch, pectin), stabilizer (glycerol), acidifier (citric acid).

… Got to love those ‘O’ type flour and the glucose-fructose ‘sugar + sugar = sugar’ ingredients. On the bright side they used free range eggs in case you are the sort to be so concerned about that you read ingredients in store.
So we are going to be eating a pastry filled with apricot jam? Exciting. Can’t wait. When will I get on with the review?

BUT WAIT! Before we get to that what does the back of the box say in English for the English speaking market?

  • 250g/8,882 oz
  • Product of Italy
  • Tiny pastries filled with apricot jam

Each Portion contains:

  • Calories: 65.5
  • Sugars: 2.8g
  • Fat: 3.1g
  • Saturates: 1.3g
  • Fibers [sic]: 0.2g

And in the Italian information:

  • Valore energetico in Kcal/100g: 504
  • Valore energetico in KJ/100g: 2108
  • Proteine: 4,5
  • Carboidrati: 67,8
  • di cui zuccheri: 21,8
  • Grassi: 24,2
  • di cui saturi: 9,8
  • Fibre: 1,2
  • Sodio: 0,3

Warnings:

  • Produced in a factory where it makes use of gluten, peanuts, milk and eggs
  • Baked product subject to natural weight loss
  • Store in a dry place away from direct sunlight

Fascinating… and in English so there was no need to use google translate after all. It was all a dream. All a dream of a supermarket that is constantly finding itself behind the times struggling against its competitors.

Oh Marks and Spencers stop trying to be ‘hip’, in such an award middle aged way, by referring to yourselves as M&S. If only you catered only to the tastes of the (in their own minds) socially elite like Waitrose do offering a free coffee with every visit for joining their loyalty club or if you whored it out like those village bikes by the names of Asda, who slap their jingling bottom in every advert with a cheeky smile, or Tesco who act like an abusive pimp to their produce suppliers. But of course not like Aldi or Lidl… they are the 2AM pubs are closed kind of markets. And B&M… they have a seat reserved down the STD clinic at the end of every week so don’t even bring them into the equation.

The Dorotea pastries? Oh right… well when you open the box there is a plastic bag with about 17 of them in it. They are extremely crumbly when bitten into, as you would expect of some forms of Italian biscotti, so there will be some crumbs already in the package caused by handling in transport but nothing that damages the appaearance of the contents and may have already been there as residue from the factory.

If you have never eaten any biscotti before it is hard to describe these… the best comparison I could give is they are like a jaffa cake if they didn’t have the chocolate on top but more of the soft pastry/biscuit (actually there was a serious question if jaffa cakes were classed as biscuit or pastry as one was taxed while the other wasn’t) and the jam was much softer. Not soft enough to leak out like the picture on the front of the box would suggest but far more pliable than the rubbery kind found in a jaffa cake. Biscotti have a particular texture with a crisp outer layer and a soft cake like interior.
The jam is indeed strongly flavoured of apricots and very nice. It holds the pastry shell together so although I mentioned there being crumbs you will never find any which are broken with the jam exposed.

They are enjoyable and you will more likely eat one with a warm drink than try to eat multiple of them in a single sitting. It is perhaps better to think of them as the sort of biscuit or pastry accompaniment you have provided at a café with a cup of tea or coffee. In truth continental Europe is apparently not as big on eating multiple biscuits or confectionaries in one sitting as the British are so this makes sense while we tend to prefer things like digestive biscuits which are blander in flavour (save for any chocolate or flavouring added to diversify the biscuit’s product range usually in orange, double choc, caramel or mint) and have developed a cultural habit of eating biscuits or confectionaries as a snack on their own rather than an compliment to something else.

These are perhaps best served alongside other confectionaries at a cream tea or similar event.
I would buy these again sometime down the road but there are other things to try. They are nice but not something I will be rushing to buy again though through no fault of their own. If you were served these they would be a pleasant surprise and you might be interested to know where to get them. But would you actually go and find them? Probably not. In a word they are pleasant.

Ripieno di confettura di albicocca
(Product and confezionoto by)
Prodotto e confezionoto da:
DOROTEA s.n.c.
Via Piero Della Francesca, 15
86070 Montaquila (IS) Italy


For something I felt I had nothing to talk about this is an impressive amount of rambling…

Comments and feedback are welcome.

Cofresh Chilli & Lemon Flavour Potato Grills

… And so inevitably rather than posting something unique I type a review of a snack food I have been eating recently.

Today I look at Cofresh’s ‘Chilli & Lemon’ flavoured Potatoe Grills. An interesting alternative to your common bag of crisps or high end kettle chips.

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Bought from the ‘mystery isle’ of Tescos… that is if you go to ‘the big Tesco’ in Bridgend. They are hidden away in shame with other ‘non-standard’ snack foods like the non-glutenous cakes deemed not worthy of being placed with the ‘proper’ snack food down the far end of the supermarket next to the biscuits, cereal, snack bars, etc by the soft drinks and alcohol isles. Oh no, these are hidden next to the oils and cooking supplies under low lit cover near the bakery and pharmacy looking out upon the open spaces of the fruit and veg area… such a secretive burden it must be that Tesco bears in providing niche produce to their consumers some of which may want a taste of home abroad. Do not ask the staff where these things are. They will only shy away and, when no one is looking, suggest you meet them under cover of darkness when the moon is in its wane behind the trolleys where the staff skive off for a fag during the midnight shift. Only then will they tell you of this place of foreign cheaply sold chocolates and oddly flavoured juice drinks… most of which are produced in the UK anyway just by a foreign company.

But fortunately if you do find this oasis these particular snacks will not be even further hidden away, on a shelf tightly fitted behind a support pillar for the upper floor, like the Polish sweets are. I honestly suspect they are trying to hide those as you can barely stick your hand past the pillar to get them let alone see them if you were casually passing by… as if they don’t want you to have 4 chocolate bars for £1! And definitely not the slightly alcoholic ones (which they don’t realise are such) that you can buy 3 for £1! In fact if you find this isle at all, even with the ‘treasure map’ like guidance I have given you it will be by fluke or sheer process of elimination and not, like me, the wild abandon of curiousity of what is hidden in this no man’s land of an isle where you never see a living soul… It is truly a strange new world of confectionaries you have never heard of, in flavours ‘foreign’ to British tastes, being sold for cheaper than their mainstream counterparts… but that is a story for another day.

On the front of the packaging it states ‘serving suggestion’ with a few chillis and a cut lemon next to the actual ‘potatoe grills’ in the photo… Apparently these aren’t just any crisps these are we are potato grills which are nothing like crisps‘ crisps… but in fairness I think, due to the unusual shape, these would look far more appetising at a buffet than a bowl filled with standard crisps or bougeois ‘kettle chips’.

The packaging, which is distinct enough you would remember it once you found a taste for these, declares they are ‘Britain’s Favourite Indian Snack’ which is interesting as I had never heard of them before seeing them on the shelf, in my search for foreign confections, nor seen their quite unique shape before. To me Britain’s favourite Indian snacks are onion bhajis or other side dishes but then that is my experience and I have known quite a few, if you will, ‘fat b*****ds’ who would consider an entire Indian meal with 2 side dishes, a nan bread and multiples of popadoms in the double digits just for themselves as ‘an alright amount for a meal when your out having a couple’ so my perspective may be skewed somewhat…

In a circle is the word ‘tangy’ which is not quite how I would describe them. When you first put it in your mouth there may be a slight tang arising I assume from the very light amount of lemon but I found the main flavour experience came in the pleasant warm heat of the chilli aftertaste you experience from them. Therefore I wouldn’t say these are something you would eat for their own sake but as an accompliment to a dip of some kind.

A 90kg/3.2oz bag of these retails for the cost of 80 pence which I felt was actually good value as a small hand full of them, though light, are actually quite filling and you will not devour a full bag all in one go as you might with less fulfilling snacks.

In case you are still wondering these are produced and packaged in the UK. More specifically Leiceister where Cofresh Snack Foods are based although they export to America, Australia and New Zeland and no doubt other countries too.

There are seperate nutrition information boxes for the UK & ANZ markets compared to the American market and the stastics are somehow different interestingly. You might like to know that we in Britain apparently have, per 28g/1oz serving (which apparently is 46 pieces though how the company made this deduction with any accuracy is anyone’s guess)  5.9g of fat to the USA 6g, 1.1g to their 1g of saturated fat, 3g of salt to their 330mg, 2.2g of fibre to their 2g, 1.1g of sugar to their 1g, 18.8g of carbohydrates to their 19g and 1.4g of protein to their 1g. Quite interesting how different the nutrition is in America as if transporting it somehow alters the nutrition.

Allegry advice on the bag says because it is made in a factory which uses sesame seeds, lentils, wheat and nuts it may contain allergens. Also it tells you small children can choke on nuts which, while sagely advice, is a bit random on a bag of ‘potato grills’. It might as well also tell you if you have dairy allergies its probably not a good idea to go eating any milk chocolate.

Oh and its suitable for vegetarians.

Well I might as well just rattle off all the ingredients now I’ve come this far… they are provided in English, French, Spanish, German and Dutch…. and have you heard of these snacks before? International sales but apparently their marketing stategy is ‘lets just make it and eventually people will pick it up out of curiousity wandering around a shop’.

Ingredients: Native potato starch, potatoe solids (Potato granules), modified potato starch, vegetable oil (rapeseed), salt, chilli & lemon flavouring (salt, paprika, rice flour, lemon juice powder (maltodextrin  from ip maize, lemon juice), flavour enhancer (monosodium glutamate), spice & herbs, garlic powder, onion powder, yeast extract, yeast powder, acidity regulator (citric acid), flavourings, colour (paprika extract).

Well apart from one stray parenthesis bracket there certainly is a lot of repitition in there… and I wouldn’t be suprised if, like the American vs uk and ANL nutritional information, it wasn’t slightly different in the other languages.

http://www.cofresh.co.uk/snack-on/potato-snacks

These were enjoyable and a statisfying snack albeit like many lemon flavoured confectionaries its hit or miss if you can taste the lemon flavouring. They are by no means bland and the warm heat of the aftertaste is something i savoured when eating them. There are other varieties of these potatoe grills and I would suggest trying any just once to see what they are like. I would eat these again given the chance but will try one of their other flavourings as these are far more intersting than their mainstream rivals which are slowly becoming, like many other things, homoginised.