Your Last Mouthful

Cardiff based food blog

Category Archives: Food product review

To The Door- April 2014

Thank you to everybody who has sent me products this month. Here is a run down of what we received with our verdict.

Easter box- Sainsbury’s

A great package from Sainsbury’s in time for Easter. Hot cross buns, carrot cake, loose leaf tea, a little bottle of sparkling wine, some Easter eggs and a cook book. I also have another cook book to give away as a prize in a competition next month.

Easter at Sainsbury's

Abrahalls Cider- Thundering Molly

Celtic Marches sent us their latest bottle of Abrahalls latest cider Thundering Molly. Crisp and fruity, it went down very well. We particularly loved the branding. Very quirky.

Thundering Molly- Abrahalls

Coco Cafe

Coco Cafe is a ready to drink blend of coconut water, organic fair trade coffee and semi skimmed milk. We had an original blend and a mocha. Both were delicious. I can’t say that I could taste the coconut but they were light and refreshing. Something I would definitely buy again.

Coco Cafe

Canton Tea– Canton Chocolate blend

I already shop at Canton Tea but I had never tried this particular tea. It was sent to me following a tweet about how I didn’t like the sound of chocolate tea in the hope that I could be converted. I am, it is delicious.

Canton Tea

 

To The Door- March 2014

As usual I’d like to thank everyone who has sent me products this month. I can’t review everything but I always do a round-up of what I have received. So here goes…

Aldi Diplomat Teabags

Own brand tea might be a no-no to some people but when it comes to tea bags, I think many of the super market brands are just as good as the leading brands, including these Aldi tea bags.

Aldi Diplomat tea

Steenbergs Loose Leaf Tea

More tea, this time from Steenbergs. I struggled with this one because nowhere in either of these products was any actual ‘tea’. The mint variety was just two types of dried mint so I decided that I would probably be more likely to cook with it.

Steenbergs tea

Funkin Hollywood mixer

Inspired by the Hollywood award session, this is a mixer for use in cocktails. It’s a blend of raspberry, blueberry and acai berry. It’s incredibly sweet but nice mixed into a cocktail. I tried this one:

The Great Beauty Cocktail

50ml Aperol (although I used Campari)

50ml Funkin Hollywood

100ml sparkling wine

Funkin Hollywood

Steenbergs stuffing

I don’t use packet stuffing so this product isn’t something I’d use on a regular basis but if you do, these Steenbergs ones were some of the nicest I’ve tasted, especially the chilli one.

stuffing

Sweet Freedom Choc Shot

I was quite excited by the prospect of a chocolate shot. Unfortunately, although nice, it is more of a chocolate sauce than a liquid chocolate. At 14 calories a spoonful, I did find myself squeezing it into my mouth on more than one occasion and it’s nice with milk as a hot chocolate but not a cupboard essential as suggested.

My Homage to The Perfect Patisserie

So close to my idea of patisserie perfection, Cocorico’s take on a Religieuse is everything I want from a sweet treat. A French favourite of choux buns traditionally filled with creme patisserie and covered in chocolate ganache, has been transformed with delicious violet flavours.

Light choux pastry filled with smooth creamy floral creme patisserie topped with dried violets. Absolutely delicious. I’ve been begging for this to make a return for a long while and here it is. All I need now is the return of their pineapple and coconut tart and I will be very fat!

violet religieuse

To The Door- March 2014

Thanks to everyone who has sent me products this month and last. Here is a run down of what I have received.

Teapigs Matcha Green Tea

I am a fan of Teapigs and this is an attractive little product. Easy to make and it has slimming properties apparently. Always grateful for a Teapig product to add to my tea collection.

Tea Pigs Matcha Green Tea

Nakd ‘Fancy a Break’ box

I was sent a lovely little gift box from Nakd containing hand cream, a mug and tea bags and a bag of Chocolate Orange Fruit and Nut Bits. The ‘Bits’ were very tasty and a more health conscious snack than chocolate (although I won’t be giving up chocolate…)

Nakd Take a break box

Matcha Green Tea Kit Kats

Continuing with the Matcha Green Tea theme…These were sent by a friend who had been on a business trip to Japan. You can read about them here.

Matcha Green Tea Kit Kat

To The Door- December 2013 and January 2014

Welcome to another ‘To The Door’ post. This one covers December and January as I wasn’t blogging in December. Thanks to everyone for sending me your products.

Flapjack Fairy

Cardiff based Flapjack Fairy sent me some lovely Christmas themed flapjacks. I had Christmas Spice, Christmas Fruity and Triple Chocolate. You can read the full review HERE.

Teapigs

I have been sent Darjeeling tea temples and Earl Grey Strong tea temples. I love my loose leaf tea but for a quickly I use a bag and Tea Pigs are a cross between the two.  The biodegradable temples contain whole leaf tea so it is only a step away from loose leaf. Both of these flavours are good, especially the Darjeeling.

Simply Cook

The latest in subscription food boxes, Simply Cook is a meal kit complete with recipe cards and ‘hard to find’ ingredients. I will be reviewing this later in the month so keep an eye out.

Simply cook

Bannister’s Farm Foods Jacket Potatoes

I received a few different types of potato from Bannisters:

Ready Baked Jacket Potatoes Ready in the microwave in about 4 minutes, these ready baked jackets come drizzled with olive oil and are even cut ready to eat. While they tasted ok, I felt that they lacked the crispy skin that you can only get when you oven bake them. It saved time but I prefer the real thing.

Fully Loaded Jacket Potatoes- These jackets filled with 5 different fillings are for lunch on the go or ‘cheats’ dinner. I tried the Chicken Tikka and Mature Cheddar Cheese flavours. They are marketed as ‘good wholesome food when you need it fast’ but they take 14 minutes in the microwave. It would be quicker to make a sandwich. If you like convenience food you could do a lot worse but these weren’t for me.

Jungle Dogs

Jungle Dogs by Pek are pork hot dogs for kids. They are supposed to be guilt free for mums because they are made with quality cuts of pork, naturally smoked and contain no artificial colours or flavours and no MRM.

That may be but they are still processed and have that ‘fake’ quality. My daughter is too young to eat solids but personally, I won’t be feeding her this type of thing if I can help it. Non processed food is better for her and significantly tastier. However, if this kind of thing is your bag, you could do a lot worse.

Sainsbury’s Roast Recipe Collection

I’m working with Sainsbury’s to create a recipe for leftovers from my Sunday Roast. First I need to cook a roast so I have been sent a book of recipes to try.

A Classy Delivery from Teisen Deg

I love going out for afternoon tea, it is one of my favourite pastimes. I love everything about it; the cakes, the tea, the dinky sandwiches, the beautiful china and the pretension of it all (this is assuming it’s done right!). Something I’ve never done is have afternoon tea at home although I have been collecting the china in anticipation for a while now.

As far as I know, although offered elsewhere, afternoon tea delivery is new to Cardiff and is being pioneered by Jayne of Teisen Deg in partnership with Vintage Hope. I was asked to be the very eager guinea pig and sample tea for two with a love theme to celebrate St. Dwynwen’s Day (the Welsh equivalent to St. Valentine’s Day).

Afternoon Tea was delivered in a compact box containing everything we needed right down to sugar cubes for the tea! The food was individually wrapped with labels on each package describing the contents and the china was supplied in a retro picnic hamper. I had to assemble the vintage cake stand, unpack the food and boil a kettle to make the tea and voila! Afternoon tea for two in my living room.

I did have my reservations about creating the right atmosphere at home but the box of China I received was beautiful and came with some vintage style bunting which was a lovely touch and allowed me to make the room look really special. Vintage Hope gives 100% of the profits made from renting out china to Tiyamike Mulungu Children’s Home in Malawi.

I have reviewed Teisen Deg before. Jayne makes fantastic cakes. Her style is very traditional which is a perfect recipe for creating afternoon tea. On this occasion, because it was St. Dwynwen’s Day, everything bar the cheese muffins were cut into heart shapes; the sandwiches, Welsh cakes, scones and chocolate and raspberry brownies. The brownies were some of the nicest I’ve had.

Teisen Deg and Vintage Hope are looking to start offering delivery (or collection) of afternoon tea in time for Valentine’s Day in the Cardiff area. They are also offeringafternoon tea for parties of 6 or more. Maybe an idea for Mother’s Day or a hen party?

Despite not having the atmosphere I would have if I went out for afternoon tea, I was impressed because of the quality of what I received. The china was beautiful and the bunting made a big impact. The food was delicious and showed real attention to detail in terms of flavour and design.

Prices for Valentines Day Afternoon Tea start at £13 excluding delivery with the option of collecting and returning the china yourself for no extra charge. You are expected to wipe and repack the china after use.

The Flapjack Fairy’s Festive Fancies

I first met the Flapjack Fairy at a farmers market in Penarth. I was pregnant and suffering from terrible morning sickness and the Fairy’s flapjacks were one of the few things I actually wanted to eat so I bought a stock to keep me going.

In the run up to Christmas I was very pleased when a little parcel arrived with some festive editions to try; Christmas Spice, Christmas Fruity and Triple Chocolate. All were delicious, especially the two Christmassy varieties, packed full of flavours including cloves, cinnamon, brandy and cranberries. I was surprised how different each one tasted when you consider the ingredients of a flapjack.

Christmas Spice

The thing that sets these flapjacks aside from others I have tried is that they are so gooey and moist and incredibly sweet. They taste sensationally naughty and are not pretending they are a healthy option because they are largely made of oats. The Flapjack Fairy uses condensed milk which I think is key. It adds an extra stickiness and almost a creamy taste.

Since trying the Christmas flavours, the Flapjack Fairy has also added peanut butter flavour to her repertoire which I can confirm is also fantastic. Flapjacks are £1.50 each or 4 for £5 and are also available in a gift box.

Lets get Smokin’!

The sun’s been out, it’s been hot hot hot, there’s whiff of burnt sausages in the air and the barbeque hungry people of the UK have been very, very content. With barbeques being the most popular of alfresco cooking, we have recently been sent a Brinkmann smoker from the Garden Giftshop to contend with and perhaps add a little sophistication to the proceedings. This is something I have been thinking about for a while, although being a carpenter and hence hands on, I do like to try and make stuff rather than buying it. However the phrase, ‘a builder always lives in an unfinished house’ applies here and my plans for building quite an elaborate and over the top smoker made from various items of old household appliances will remain in the dusty corner of my workshop.

So, time to assemble the smoker. Like any proper barbeque chef, however, there must be a cold beer present. But, as it’s a smoker, I kept the door to the fridge closed and poured myself a glass of 2009 Bordeaux.

Instructions and assembly were very straight forward with only handles needing to be attached.

The smoker is not the conventional smoker where the charcoals are in a separate container and it’s just the smoke that cooks the meat/fish etc. For this smoker the charcoals are placed in the bottom container and lit. Once they get to that magical condition ready for cooking as if on a barbeque the middle section is placed over the base. Next in goes a basin of water, suspended over the charcoals to keep the hot air moist, then a grill where i placed my whole chicken and then another grill above that where I placed some quarters of chicken. After that, the purposely ill-fitting lid (to allow smoke to escape) is placed on and I sit back, enjoy the sunshine and sip my wine.

assembled smokerAfter 4 hours, all the chicken was perfectly cooked. In preparation, I simply rubbed the skin with olive oil and seasoned although the smoker does come with recipes that you could try out. The chicken skin went a delicious looking dark brown and the meat just fell off the bone. It had a nice smokey flavour but wasn’t overpowering at all. I aided the charcoal every so often with some off-cuts of cherry wood which generated more smoke and flavour. The instructions do suggest that chippings of hickory, oak and fruit tree wood will aid the flavour of the meat.

cooking chickenI can whole heartedly recommend this smoker as it cooks well, gives a good taste and you could fit at least 4 whole chickens in there at one time. The charcoals also stay hot enough for 8 hours.

cooked chicken

It’s a simple device, requires minimal effort and looks good in the garden. There is also plenty of scope to what you can cook including whole fish and marinated hunks of meat. It is priced at £109 which I think is fairly priced. I enjoyed my chicken very much and will be off to the fishmongers for some trout before the clouds come rolling in.

Post by Mr V of Your Last Mouthful

Nutribox- Healthy Snacks Through My Letter Box

You may have noticed from previous posts that I do like a subscription food service. I love the excitement of opening a box of edible goodies and not knowing what is going to be inside. Nutribox is the latest one I have been sent to sample.

As subscription boxes go, Nutribox is very reasonably priced. You can choose between the Nutribox for £21 per month (if you sign up for 6 months or more) or the Nutribox Mini at £10.95 per month. I sampled the Nutribox Mini and I have to say I thought it was the larger option until I checked because there was certainly nothing mini about it.

When I tipped the contents of the box out on the table it all looked very appealing and colourful. Nutribox market themselves as providing healthy snacks and each box contains a mix of fruit and nut mixes, snack bars, savoury snacks and treats.

nutri

However, I did find the contents a bit of a mixed bag (or box!) and some of it wasn’t to my taste. Below is a run down of what I received.

Miss Wallflower Candy- Energise

This was a Goji, Flax and Maca Superfood Raw Fruit cookie. I can honestly say I’ve never had anything like it. I wouldn’t describe it as a cookie, other than due to it’s shape but it was nice all the same. There were some very unusual, interesting flavours with a strong undercurrent of coconut. The texture was soft with some crunchy texture. Although I enjoyed the flavours and it was meant to be raw, I couldn’t help but feel I was eating cookie mix that was waiting to be cooked.

Nutribox 3

Ombar- Goji Berry Chocolate bar

I had high hopes for this because I love goji berries and I thought it sounded like a very good accompaniment to chocolate and something I hadn’t tried before. The goji berry and chocolate mix was good but I didn’t like the chocolate. To keep with the healthy theme, the bar was made with 60% raw chocolate and sweetened with coconut sugar instead of cane sugar. This resulted in a dry and crumbly texture that wasn’t for me I’m afraid.

Ombar- Dark

This was obviously similar to the bar above although I did prefer this one. It may have been the 72% chocolate that I liked.

Pulsin’ Energy Bomb

I liked the packaging of this product. It was bold and exciting, but unfortunately the taste of the product didn’t match the wrapping. It fit with the concept of what Nutribox are delivering as it was vegetarian, gluten free, had no added sugar, no transfats and no gmo. Unfortunately, for me this didn’t translate into a very tasty product. In fact it was dry and sapped the moisture from my mouth. It had very little flavour at first but left a musty aftertaste and it smelt like something you might buy in a pet shop. I felt like it was something I should be feeding to my hamster rather than eating myself. I don’t like to be negative but I couldn’t even finish it.

Bounce Natural Energy Ball

Ok, time to be a bit more positive. I liked this product. I was sent the Cashew and Pecan variety which for me is an excellent flavour combination. It was nicely packaged, looked appealing and was packed full of nuts. It tasted healthy but still like a sweet treat. It was sticky and had a chewy texture but was juicy rather than unnecessarily sweetened.

Braw Apple and Pear Bar

This product was gluten free and dairy free. It was very fruity without being too sweet and had a nice chewy texture. It’s the kind of thing you could give a child as a treat without it actually being too bad for them.

Fruit and nut mixesHot Cross Bun, No Choc Fruit and Nut and Tropical Mix

I enjoyed all of these mixes. For me this is what a healthy snack is all about. Clean, simple and nothing added. Just dry fruit and nuts in interesting combinations.

Nutribox 2

All in all I think Nutribox have a good concept. There are other companies out there doing a similar thing but they do have some fairly unique products that I haven’t come across before. Unfortunately, not all of the products were for me. I have an issue with taking ‘treats’ and turning them into healthy options. I believe a treat should be just that, something you have once in a while in moderation. I don’t think they need to be made healthy. There are so many delicious healthy snacks out there, why not work with what we already have?

This is my opinion though and I’m sure many of you will love the products. The price is right, the packaging is good and fits through your letter box despite being a very good size. Nutribox’s website is effective too, very easy to navigate and clearly laid out.

My Last Mouthful was: Bounce Natural Energy Ball

Service- small spoon-green40

Presentation- small spoon-green40

Quality of products- small spoon-orange40

Diversity of product- small spoon-green40

Value for money- small spoon-green40

Overall rating- spoon-green80/ spoon-orange80

If you’d like to try a Nutribox, I have kindly been given a code for 10 of my readers to receive 50% off  their first box.

The code is YOURLASTMOUTHFUL50

All you need to do is enter the code when ordering your boxes on www.thenutribox.com/join

To The Door- May 2013

I’ve been very lucky again this month and had lots of goodies through the post to review. Thank you to everyone who has been kind enough to send me their products.

Sainsbury’s Salt and Vinegar  and Smoked Paprika Popcorn


I generally don’t eat popcorn, it’s not something I would buy but that doesn’t mean I don’t like it. On the odd occasion that I do indulge, I choose the sweet variety but I was pleasantly surprised by these savoury flavours. I really enjoyed the Salt and Vinegar flavour and if I was to buy popcorn, I would probably pick it again. I wasn’t so keen on the Smoked Paprika flavour but it’s a nice idea.

popcorn

 

Nutribox

I was very excited to receive my Nutribox full of exciting looking snacks! Everything in a Nutribox is made from natural ingredients and has some nutritional value. I think it’s a great idea and as there were nine individual products I am going to review this item separately.

nutri

Nonna’s Homemade Pasta

I was sent two varieties; Original Tagliatelle and Porcini Mushroom Tagliatelle and we enjoyed both. The quality was far superior than a standard super market quality and although more expensive at £2.10, it is worth the money if you really enjoy pasta and it isn’t just something you use for a quick fix.

I particularly enjoyed the porcini mushroom variety. The flavours were subtle and worked perfectly with a simple sauce.

pasta

Weight Watchers

I’ve never reviewed diet products before and haven’t really ever purchased any so I was interested in trying this package of goodies which included chocolate digestives, Jaffa cake bars, marmalade and part baked bread.

The digestives were nice, there was a generous layer of chocolate so I wouldn’t necessarily have  guessed they were lower in calories than your average type apart from the fact that they were a little smaller. The Jaffa cake bar had a nice layer of orange jelly but the cake texture was a bit soft and flavourless.

WW

All in all, if you’re on a diet the products were good but I prefer to follow the rule of eating healthy with the odd treat. I’d rather have what I enjoy as occasionally combined with healthy eating than substitute them for options that compromise on flavour.

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