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 🙂

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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 🙂

Wonderfarm Young Coconut Water with Coconut Pulps

Young Coconut Water

Eau de Coco Chair – de Jeune Noix de Coco

Kokosnussatt Mit Fruchtfleisch

11.1FL. OZ. (330ml)

Purchased from Tesco for £0.50.

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In a sentence it tastes like gone off water. There are little bits of pulp floating in the liquid. It is post vomit phlegm.

The look of it when poured in a glass is as you would expect. A slightly misty looking clear fluid with white chunks floating lazily throughout and gradually rising to the surface. It reminds me of the phlegm you have after a severe bout of vomiting.

When it first enters you mouth it is cool on the tongue but quickly the taste emerges in a steadily increasing body temperature way. The texture of the fluid seems to change within your mouth as if it goes from a fluid to that of a viscous, gravy like, texture. The chunks of coconut flesh only further enforce my sense that what I am drinking, in the way you ‘drink’ a thick broth soup, is in fact someone’s phlegm. There is a taste there but I couldn’t identify it. If you have coconut in other forms then this is a far less sweet taste and much more… I will say earthy but it would be more accurate to reiterate that it tastes like saliva mixed with digestive juices.

The coconut pulp rather than adding to the experience is like regurgitated pieces of vegetables which you end up chewing or spitting out. A foul experience only taken up to the next level by its inclusion.
I drank this once and will never drink it again. Do not drink this. If you want coconut water/milk go buy an actual coconut and drill it.

…and now all the information on the can…

Applied in E.U & Australia
Nutritional Information
Typical values per 100ml
Energy 38Kcal / 159 Kj
Protein 0.1g
Carbohyrate 9g
Fat 0.1g
Of which saturates 0g
Fibre 0g
Sodium 25mg
Preservative (Sulphur Dioxide)

Applied in Canada
Valeur nutritive / Nutrition Facts
Par 330ml / Per 330ml
Valeur % Valuer Quotidienne / Amuont % Daily Value
Calories / Calories 126
Lipides / Fat 0.3g 0.5%
Trans / Trans 0g 0%
Sodium / Sodium 81mg 3%
Glucides / Carb. 30g 10%
Sucre / Sugars 15g
Proteines / Protein 0.3g
Vitamine C / Vitamin C 6%
Calcium / Calcium 7%
Fer / Iron 7%
Magnesium / Magnesium 22%
Phosphor / phosphorus 5%

Applied in USA
Nutrition Facts
Serving Size 1 Can
Amount per Serving
Calories 126
Calories from Fat 3
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 0.3g 0.5%
Trans Fat 0g 0%
Sodium 81mg 3%
Total Carb. 30g 10%
Sugars 15g
Protein 0.3g
Vitamin C 6%
Calcium 7%
Iron 7%
Magnesium 22%
Phosphorus 5%
*Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calories diet.

Ingredients: Young Coconut Water, Young Coconut Pulp, Sugar, Potassium Meta Bisulphide 0.003%.
Ingredients: Eau de Coco, Chair de Jeune Noix de Coco, Sucre, Potassium Meta Bisuphide 0.003%.
Zutaten: Kokosnussatt, Kokosnussfleisch, Zucker, Potassium Meta Bisulphide 0.003%.
Ingredienten: Kokosnootsap, Kokosnootvruchtvlees, Suiker, Potassium meta Bisulphide 0.003%.

There is a recycling ying yang arrows like logo.

Refund at collection depots where sold in S.A. (Apparently for recycling the can you can get 10 cents in America.)

Under License Of: TRADE OCEAN HOLDINGS SDN. BHD. Malaysia.

Manufactured by / Manufacture Par: INTERFOOD SHAREHOLDING COMPANY Lot 13, Tam Phuoc Iduatrial Zone, Long Thanh Dist., Dong Nal Province, Vietnam

http://www.wonderfarmonline.com

There is also the logo to denote this drink is in accordance with Halal according to the Islamic Community of HCMC VN (it was quite small so this may be inaccurate).

On the bottom of the can is some ‘best before’ information. Packaged: 22 08 2014. Ends: 21 02 2017. So I am now aware I drank something canned nearly a year ago. It is probably the same case with other canned goods but you are never made aware of this…


There are a few misspellings on the packaging which is concerning. When it was on the shelf it was just by itself amongst the other ‘foreign market’ items including snacks and cooking ingredients so I guess they don’t have much confidence in it. I don’t get the impression it is something that keeps fresh for very long. It was quite gross but now you know what it is like if you were ever curious.

I wonder what the next review will be…

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.

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.