4Move Active Magnesium + Vitamins drink

A Pasteurized, carbonated, blueberry flavoured drink with addition of magnesium and vitamins (vitamin C, niacin, vitamin B6, vitamin B12) from Poland with recommendations by former football players Adam Nawałka and Jerzy Dudek.

Price: £0.50 from Tesco for a 250ml can.

Along the top of the can it has the national flags of Russia, Turkey, Germany, Switzerland, France, Poland, Hungary, Sweden, Spain (the simpler civil ensign for civil use version), Italy, Czech Republic, Portugal, Switzerland (again), Germany (again), Austria, Romania and the Slovak Republic. I assume this is were this product has been sold previously… it’s a good way to sell to nationalists I guess…

Packaging information (copied exactly as it is on the packaging)

The Original Premium Vitamin Drink

Pasteurized carbonated blueberry flavoured drink with addition of magnesium and vitamins (vitamin C, niacin, vitamin B6, vitamin B12)

Magnesium + vitamins : Vitamin C, niacin, Vit. B6, B12

Magnesium contributes to normal muscle function, contributes to normal psychological function.

100% of daily requirement for vitamins: C, niacin, B6, B12 in 250ml of the product.

Swiss Vitamin formula – developed by the Swiss laboratory

Sport Champions recommend: Jerzy Dudek

The best trainers recommend: Adam Nawałka

Ingredients: water, sugar, acidity regulator: citric acid; carbon dioxide, magnesium citrate, concentrate from carrot, guarana extract (0,01%) (containing caffeine), aroma, vitamins: vitamin C, niacin, vitamin B6, vitamin B12.

Best before: for the date and batch number see the bottom.

Keep in a dry and cool place. Do not free.

The package contains one suggested portion of the product. Remember to preserve balanced diet and healthy life style. Manufactured in the EU.

[The can also has this information in Polish.]

Nutritional value in 100ml // 250ml (portion)

Energy: 207kJ / 49 kcal // 518kJ / 123 kcal (6%)

Fat 0g // 0g (0%)

of which saturates 0g // 0g (0%)

Carbohydrate 12g // 30g (12%)

of which sugars 12g // 30g (33%)

Protein 0g // 0g (0%)

Salt 0g //0g (0%)

[( ) = Reference intake of an average adult 8400kJ / 2000kcal]

Vitamin C 32mg (40%) // 80mg (100%)

Niacin 6,4mg (40%) // 16mg (100%)

Vitamin B6 0,56mg (40%) // 1,4mg (100%)

Vitamin B12 1,0mg (40%) // 2,5mg (100%)

Magnesium 75mg (20%) // 187,5mg (50%)

[( ) = Nutrient reference values]

Recycling: The can is aluminium and can be recycled.

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Review

Pink in colour… If you drank it straight from the can you probably wouldn’t realise. It taste like an energy drink… because that’s what it is. I forget the exact brand it tastes like but Monster wouldn’t be too far off the mark. Not unpleasant. It tastes ‘pink’… that flavour of ‘pink’ sweets and artificially flavoured drinks have. A laboratory created half way between raspberry and strawberry. It taste ike candy floss. Apparently, according to the can, it’s blueberry. Yes okay let’s go with that… but quite an artifical taste of blueberry no doubt composed of scents A453, R692 and E7330 in specific quantities in the laboratory to emulate the flavour of blueberrys…

Texture wise you only notice the carbonisation immediately after swallowing it.

So… yeah… if you want to try it then go for it… you already know if you’ll be disappointed on not when you buy it. Or better yet just get a soft drink, with the same amount of sugar, or a coffee and improve your diet so you get all the nutrients from better sources.

The claims they make are ridiculous… ‘contributes to normal muscle function, contributes to normal psychological function’… those are such ridiculous, yet vague, claim they might as well rename it Panacea and say it is a cure for all known ailments. A modern day snake oil. It’s a caffinated, sugar filled, drink which in past generations would have been sold as a study aid and is now instead rebranded as a sports or energy drink. It’s sugar… as much sugar as a normal soft drink but with added vitamins.

The recommendations are from Adam Nawałka who is currently the manager of the Polish football team (who is his player career had played for Liverpool and Real Madrid) and Jerzy Dudek a former Polish football team goalkeeper.

The English is grammatically a little incorrect in some parts of the translation but I suppose no one cares as it’s not as if anyone actually reads the information but they still need to cover themselves legally.

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LIDL’s Stickeez Collectable suction cup figurines

Lidl exclusive

£0.29 each although you get 1 free for every £10 you spend right now as a promotional offer.

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Review: Lidl seem to have wanted to get their piece of the ‘mystery bag’ toy market. These cost far less than any of their competitors which, on average, cost £2 however they are also far smaller. They are composed of vibrant rubber with a suction cup base which is relatively quite effective as only one of the four I had didn’t have a strong suction. The paint work is on a par with that of the Zomblings series which costs far more. The designs are all based around aquatic creatures although there are one or two absurdly monstrous looking ones. They say these are ‘as seen on TV’… I had never heard of them until the person at the counter gave me them…

The small, bubble gum size, packaging is odd. It is inflated as if there is some sort of gas being produced by the figures and threatening to explode which would worry people upon an initial look at them. It is possible they intentionally cause this to protect the toys without having to spend on further packaging which is economical and environmentally friendly (as long as it’s just Carbon Dioxide or another harmless gas).

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All you get in the packet is the figurine itself so you would have to visit the official site or use official merchandising (or look at the above advert in there offers magazine shoved through you post box) if you wanted to know the characters official names.

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It is a very cheap range as the ‘mystery bags’ containing one character each are only 20 pence which is reasonable, the ‘collection bag’ is 99p and seems to just be a basic branded pull sting tote bag, the collection box (which I assume contained a few characters) is £1.99 and there is a magazine (A one off activities filled one I assume as there can’t be much life in this series) for £1.49 so on the whole I think that although it’s not fantastic quality it is nonetheless a really nice, affordable, entry into the marketplace. In comparison to the far more expensive ranges which are far more expensive I can excuse the quality as it is actually on a par with many of their competitors.

My only real scruple is the small size of the figures and that the suction cup on one of the ones I got was much weaker than the others so I wonder if this was a one off or if there may be quality assurance issues when manufacturing the figures. For those interested it was the Drup figure which had the issue and for all I know it was the batches of this one character that may not be up to the standard of the rest of the series. I don’t have any use for these myself though… maybe I will take them into work and stick them on my monitor. If you could get your kids interested in these rather than their more expensive competitors then you are lucky although the small size really will make them easy to lose and definitely a choking hazard for little children unfortunately so you will have to supervise them.

I assume the ‘get one free for every £10 you spend’ promotion is temporary in order to promote it to customers and it was a nice little surprise. Of course it is a free 29p toy for every ten pounds you spend. I wouldn’t go in thinking ‘I really want one so I will spend all that money’ but at the same time it was an amusing novelty which saves them on high marketing costs for the range and gives customers a small surprise ‘treat’ at the checkout as a random thank for their custom without having to offer further discounts or irritate people with ‘join our customer loyalty scheme’ requests.

The figurines I got were:

Purple, tear drop shaped, fish: Drup
Giant blue head with sharp teeth: Balloon
Purple one eyed monster: Ollie
Generic orange fish: Goupie

The packing information:

GB-IE-NL

1 Stikeez figure. Approx. 3cm x 1.5cm

100% TPR (I have no idea what this means…)

Produced by Brand Loyalty Special Promotions. BV. Koningsweg 101, 5211 BH S’-Hertogenbosch, the Netherlands. Made in China.

Warning! Not suitable for children under three years. Choking hazard – small parts. Toy should be used by young children under adult supervision. Please retain this information for later reference.

(This is also on the packaging in French, Spanish and Slovakian surprisingly. I would have expected it in a Scandinavian language, Italian or German before any other language was considered for being put on the packaging.)


Next time a review of Ernest Hemingway’s ‘The Old Man and the Sea’.

Comment, follow or like – any of these is welcome 🙂

Tesco Collection: Dark Chocolate Stem Ginger

Stem ginger coated with dark chocolate.

£5 from Tesco

In the confectionaries isle you can find these ‘Tesco Collection’ dark chocolate stem ginger sweets in a pine box. The mandala inspired design sticker, similar to the other Eastern designs used by Tesco in their ‘quality ‘ range (most notably their teas), on the cover of the pine box packaging is eye catching.

At the very least if you do not the sweets you have an approximately 12 x 12cm unvarnished box to use for keeping spare change or repurpose as a gift box for something else. The lid is a tight fitting panel and no doubt overtime would become looser from inevitable wear and tear. The interior or the box contains a few sheets of greaseproof paper to protect the pieces inside but otherwise this is minimal packaging and I am slightly conflicted by its use.

Certainly everything here is biodegradable however the manufacturing of the box is no doubt needlessly expensive and therefore counterintuitive if their aim was to provide something more eco-friendly. As the box is unvarnished there is a chance, though very minimal, you may get splinters from it. On the shelf it is shrink wrapped so there is no fear of the contents being contaminated or the packaging falling apart until you have taken it home.

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The confectionaries themselves are of high quality. You get about 20 pieces in each box although the information on the back of the box says it contain 6 servings i.e. 18 pieces. (I eat a few before writing this review and there were definitely more than 18).

The dark chocolate shell is quite thick and hard but I assume this is to retain the moisture of the core ginger root filling. The filling is quite substantial and is unmistakeably the warm, mildly intense, sensation of good quality ginger root. The warmth of the taste is luxurious and pleasantly remains after consumption. The packaging seems to suggest a serving of three pieces but personally I was satisfied to have one piece occasionally when the urge to snack struck.

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I think overall this is a nice treat although it is placed next to the larger gift box type chocolate selection trays. If you know someone who likes the taste of ginger then these come highly recommended and are reasonably priced when compared to the gift box chocolates. If nothing else you have a nice little utilitarian pine box to use as a repurposed gift box or to keep spare change and nick-knacks if you haven’t already got a place for such things.

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Ingredients:

Stem Ginger (65%), Dark Chocolate (35%).
Stem Ginger contains: Sugar, Ginger.
Dark Chocolate contains: Sugar, Cocoa Mass, Cocoa Butter, Emulsifier (Soya Lecthins), Vanilla Extract. Dark Chocolate contains: Cocoa Solids 50% minimum.

Allergy Advice: For allergens, see ingredients in bold. Also, may contain nuts and milk.

Suitable for vegetarians

Nutrition:

Typical values / 100g contains / Three pieces (29.4g) contain / % RI*
Energy / 1695kJ / 500kJ
/405Kcal / 120Kcal / 6%
Fat / 11.1g / 3.3g / 5%
Of which saturates 7.0g / 2.1g / 11%
Carbohydrates 72.3g / 21.3g
Of which sugars 64.2g / 18.9g / 21%
Fibre 1.0g / 0.3g
Protein 2.7g / 0.8g
Salt 0.0g / 0.0g / 0%

Pack contains 6 servings

*Reference intake of an average adult (8400kJ / 2000kcal)
Best before end: (doomsday… or a fortnight whichever comes first)

Store in a cool, dry place and out of direct sunlight

Recycling
Tissue: Paper Widely recycled
Box: Wood Not currently recycled
200g e

Our Promise
We are happy to refund or replace any Tesco product which falls below the high standard you expect. Just ask any member of staff. This does not affect your statutory rights.

We are here to help:
Freephone 0800 50 55 55, Mon-Sat, 9am-6pm.

Shop on-line at http://www.tesco.com

Produced in Turkey for Tesco Stores Ltd.,
Cheshunt EN8 9SL, U.K. © Tesco 2013. SC103650


Next week… is a mystery. I haven’t decided what to review yet. Maybe a ‘How to write a H. P. Lovecraft story’ piece as there are certain things he seems to use in almost every single story he writes (… and no I don’t mean just the xenophobia although I would discuss how often he relies on ‘otherness’ for impact and uses ethnic sterotyping as a shorthand for that). Maybe a review of a Dorota Masłowska play… although I would be reading it not reviewing a particular performance so I would’t be able to do a ‘stage layout’ etc as I did in past theatre reviews on this site.

Comment, Like, Follow – all are welcome 🙂

Ptasie Mleczko – Waniliowe

Dark Chocolate Covered Vanilla Marshmallow Confectionaries

380g (13.4 oz) Produced by E.Wedel

Available at Tesco and other retailers. The price I am not certain of as it was a gift. (approximately £4-7?)

Oryginalna wedlowska czekolada – Original wedlowska chocolate.

Gwarancje smaku [Translation: Taste guaranteed]
Otwórz i poczuj niebiański smak [Translation: Open and feel the heavenly taste]

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Ptasie Mleczko: to niebiańsko lekka i puszysta pianka ukryta pod warstwą kruchej czekolady. Nowy sposób zamknięcia chroni jego wyjątkowy aromat i najwyższą jakość na jeszcze dłużej. Odkrywaj więc warstwy niebiańskiego smaku kiedy chcesz i tak, jak lubisz.

[Translation: Ptasie Mleczko: A heavenly light and fluffy mousse hidden beneath a crisp chocolate coating. Our new method of closure protects its unique flavour and ensures the highest quality for even longer. Discover the layers of immense heavenly taste when you want and the way you want.]

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Background information: Ptasie Mleczko is a soft chocolate-covered Polish confectionary filled with soft meringue (or milk soufflé). In Russian it is called ptichye moloko (птичье молоко) and in Romanian lapte de pasăre. All these names literally mean “bird’s milk” or crop milk, a substance somewhat resembling milk, produced by certain birds to feed their young. However, this is not origin of the name; rather, ptasie mleczko is also a Polish idiom meaning “an unobtainable delicacy” (compare English: “hen’s teeth”; also, a similar idiom can be found in Bulgarian – тук/там и от пиле мляко има, meaning “even bird milk can be found here/there”).

In Poland, Jan Wedel, owner of the E. Wedel Company, developed the first Ptasie mleczko in 1936. Wedel’s inspiration for the name of the confectionery came from his voyages to France, when he asked himself: “What could bring greater happiness to a man who already has everything?” Then he thought: “Maybe only bird milk.”

In Poland it is one of the most recognized chocolate confectionery having exclusive rights in Poland for the name — other confectionery producers also make similar candies but named differently e.g. Alpejskie mleczko, “Alpine milk”.

In Russia ptichye moloko is both a popular candy and a famous soufflé cake. The brand was introduced in the Soviet times and is nowadays used by the companies operating the factories which produced these candies and cakes since that time. The candies are also produced in other post-Soviet states, in particular in Belarus, Ukraine, and Moldova.

Review: Very light confectionaries you will likely eat a few of before realising how many you consumed as they are so tasty but not feel the impact of. You will eat more than you intend because of the nice taste and texture. There is the distinct flavour of vanilla which was surprising as ‘vanilla’ has become a byword for ‘bland’ as things claiming to be vanilla flavoured often have no real taste at all. The chocolate coating is thin and crisp but still enough you can taste the chocolate rather than it being like a brittle, tasteless, sugar coating as is the case with many other confectionaries. The chocolate melts in the mouth so I do wonder what condition these would be in if you left them in a hot environment. The texture of the marshmallow is quite dense when compared to the sort of marshmallows you buy in a bag (usually coloured pastel pink and white) but is still quite springy in texture. Even though the marshmallow is dense the confectionaries themselves are exceptionally light so you will not feel burdened by the consumption of them. It is all about the flavour with them, as it should be with all confectionaries, not about a short lived sense of a full stomach or having a sugar rush as a substitute for eating a proper meal as is often the case when people snack instead of dine during the day.

There are 3 columns of 6 making for 18 pieces on each of the tray adding up to a total of 36 pieces all together in the box. The ‘new method’ they brag of that preserves the taste is basically cling film over a plastic carton within the cardboard casing. They are kept ‘fresh’ and in excellent condition by this but it seems odd to brag about it… that is probably why the inside of the lid is not translated into English as it is such a ludicrous boast to make.

I find Polish chocolates to be of a high quality, having often bought jeżyki chocolate bars in the past, and there is a certain sense of nostalgia in the taste of them as they no doubt use ingredient choices and techniques which have gone from the Western confectionary production industry for one reason or another. I highly recommend them as a fantastic alternative to the over saturated and growingly homogenised main brand chocolates we are growing all too willing to impulse buy due to brand recognition alone.

They don’t translate everything on the packaging but the few bits I had to attempt a translation of, so they sounded similar in tone to the English language equivalents by their competitors, are just the generic packaging boasts you will find on any number of products and all the key important information is printed clearly in English.

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Nutritional information: Wiesz co jesz – sprawdż GDA*:

Wartość odżywcza/Nutrition Information \ %GDA* w/per 10,6g \GDA* \ 100g \ 1 ostka/cube ~10,6g
Wartość energetycczna / Energy 2,4% 8400kJ 1842kJ 195kJ
2000kcal 440kcal 47kcal
Tłuszcz / Fat 3,3% 70g 22g 2,3g
W tym kwasy tłuszczowe nasycone / of which saturates 7,5% 20g 14g 1,5g
Weglowodany / Carbohydrates 2,3% 260g 58g 6,1g
W tym cukry / of which sugars 5,7% 90g 48g 5,1g
Białko / Protein 0,6% 50g 2,6g 0,3g
Sól / Salt <0,2% 6g 0,06g 0,01g
Produkt zaweira 36 x ~ 10,6g. / Product contains 36 x ~ 10,6g.

*GDA – Referencyjna wartość spożycia dla przeciętnej osoby dorosłej (8 400 kJ / 2 000kcal). Indywidualne zapotrzebowanie na energię i skladniki odżywcze może być wżsże lub niższe w zależności od płci, weiku, wysiłku fizycznego i innych czynników.

*Reference intake of an average adult (8 400 kJ / 2 000 kcal). Personal requirements for energy and nutrients may vary depending on age, sex, physical activity and other factors.

Ptasie Mleczko Waniliowe. Delikatna Pianka w Czekoldzie.

Skałdniki: Czekdolada deserowa 28% (Cukier, Miazga kakaowa, Tłuszcz kakaowy, Tłuszcz mleczny, Emulgatory: lectyna sojowa i E 476, Aromat), Cukier, Syrop glukozowy, Masło, Mieko zagęszczone słodzone, Roztwór cukru inwertowanego, Białko jaja w proszku, Substancja zelująca (agar), Regulator kwasowości (kwas cytrynowy), Substancja konserwująca (E202), Aromat, Naturalny aromat waniliowy. Czekolada deserowa: masa kakaowa minimum 47%

Ingredients: Dark chocolate 28% (Sugar, Cocoa mass, Cocoa butter, Milk fat,

Emulsifiers: soya lecithin and E476, Flavouring), Sugar, Glucose syrup, Butter, Sweetened condensed milk, Invert sugar solution, Dried egg white, Gelling agent, (agar), Acidity regulator (citric acid), Perservative (E202), Flavouring, Natural vanilla flavouring.Dark chocolate: cocoa solids 47% minimum.

CONTAINS MILK, EGG, SOYA. MAY CONTAIN PEANUTS, NUTS, CEREALS.

ZAWIERA MLEKO, JAJA, SOJĘ, MOŻE ZAWIERAĆ ORZECHY ARACHIDOWE, ORZECHY, ZBOŻA.

marka ptasie mleczko została stworzona w latach 30 tych xx wieku przez Jana Wedla i obecnie jest chroniona na terytorium Unii Europejskiej na rzecz LOTTE Wedel sp. z o.o. jako słowny znak towarowy
[Translation: The Ptasie mleczko brand was created in the 1930s, by John Wedel, and is now protected in the European Union for Lotte Wedel Sp. z oo as a trademark.]

Najlepiej spożyć przed: data na boku kartonika./ Best before: See side of box
LOTTE Wedel sp. z o.o.
Ul. Zamoyskiego 28/30
03-801 Warszawa
Polska/Poland
http://www.wedel.pl;
http://www.czekolada.pl
http://www.ptasiemleczko.pl/site/

Warto porozmawiać – Infolinia konsumencka [Translation: Customer Hotline]: 801 811 011 **
**Opłata według tary lokalnej. Only for Poland


I received these as a gift from a colleague a while ago but only now got around to reviewing finally. They are very good, give them a go. Many thanks Anna! 🙂

As a sign of my appreciation, and support of her work, I ask you to please visit the following site she has recently launched. It contains a number of venues to visit around Wales, and other parts of Britain, so even if you don’t speak Polish at least you can see the pictures, click on the links (which go to English language pages), stick the information in a translator and get some ideas of places to visit:

Polski? Proszę odwiedź:

Smok Walijski

Also here are some other links to other blogs that might be of interest:

[Polish language]: https://annawwalii.wordpress.com/
[English language]: https://annainwales.wordpress.com/


… and one day there will be reviews of some Jeżyki chocolate bars or selected works of Dorota Masłowska. But that will be a long time from now. One post a week is the standard for now although it would have been a good idea to prepare a number of posts so I could have done a ‘Polish Week’ of a post per day and got them all out of the way. Then I could do a Russian Week! Welsh Week! French Week! American Week! etc, etc and so on… but its just a lot of effort for one person unlike teams that run websites and can combine their efforts.

Comment, like or follow me – all are welcome 🙂