Friday, 3 July 2015

Degustabox June: Surprise Foodie Box & Discount Code!

The June Degustabox arrived last week and it has a 'Picnic Box' theme with lots of refreshing drinks and snacks to enjoy. Degustabox is a monthly subscription box that delivers a surprise selection of foodie products directly to your door. Opening up the Degustabox each month has become a much anticipated event (usually known as "Degustabox Day" in our house!) and the June box was no exception.

Discount Code: OWC2W

Each Degustabox costs £12.99 a month, which includes delivery. There is no fixed contract involved and you can cancel at any time. Degustabox have kindly provided my readers with the following Discount Code for £3.00 off your next Degustabox, bringing the cost to £9.99 delivered. Simply enter the code - OWC2W.

Here's a closer look at all the products in this months Degustabox:

Rekorderlig Strawberry Lime Cider: Rekorderlig is a premium Cider that is made with pure Swedish spring water. The summery combination of freshly picked strawberries with a hint of lime peel is a perfect refreshment for this time of year. It's easy to see why this is the Degustabox Product of the Month. 

Icycl Vodka Ice Pops: These freezable Ice Pops are available in a selection of fruity flavours, such as Lemon & Lime and Orchard Apple, and contain a 6.4% kick of vodka. This is not really my kind of thing at all so I'll be passing it on to a family member who I know will enjoy it! They're available to purchase from 

Zeo Drinks: Zeo are lightly carbonated soft drinks that blend 98% spring water with naturally extracted fruits and botanicals and a little stevia and sugar for sweetness. I like the fact that each bottle has less than 30 calories. I received two varieties: Peach & Grapefruit and Zesty Lime.

Both drinks have a light, fresh flavour that is very refreshing without being sweet at all. The Peach & Grapefruit in particular is fruity and crisp with a unique flavour. I also enjoyed the zingy taste of the Zesty Lime which was similarly very refreshing.

Vybe 100% Natural Coconut Water: There are many health benefits associated with coconut water and Vybe 100% Natural Coconut Water is described as being full of electrolytes which help to hydrate and maintain a healthy PH level. Vybe's coconut water is made from sweet coconuts from Thailand and is fat free and cholesterol free. I don't really like coconut water on it's own, only the flavoured versions, so I enjoyed this Vybe with a dash of orange & mango cordial.

Pitch Chocolate Brioche & Choc Chip Brioche: I'm sure most people are already familiar with these individually wrapped Brioche rolls - they're useful as a lunch box treat. My favourites are the chocolate filled ones which have a delicious hint of hazelnut. Brioche Pasquier are currently running a new promotion to try a Free Sports Session with each pack.

Love Chin Chin: Apparently "Chin Chin" is a type of sweet snack that is popular in West Africa. Love Chin Chin have taken a family recipe to produce their take on this classic snack that 'crunches like a biscuit and tastes like a cake'. There are four varieties available: Vanilla, Cinnamon, Lemon or Chilli. 

I received the Cinnamon flavour which, happily, is exactly the one I would go for. Each snack has a super crunchy texture, I would say crunchier than a biscuit, but not too hard. The cinnamon flavour here is quite strong but is also joined by a taste of clove. The overall snack is not sweet and is almost bordering on being a savoury one. Regardless, they're very tasty and it's difficult to stop nibbling once opened!

Kallø Rice Snacks: Kallø is a popular brand of rice snacks from the Netherlands that are already well-known in the UK. I was really pleased to see a couple of Kallø products in the Degustabox as I've been switching to rice cakes for snacking purposes in the last few months! 

The Sea Salt & Vinegar Corn & Rice Snacks have 91 calories per bag and have a deliciously strong malt vinegar flavour. Each pack has less than 3% fat with no artificial, colours, flavours or preservatives. They make a very tasty alternative to crisps with a light and crunchy texture.

Kallø Rice Cake Thins: These are my favourite product from the June Degustabox. These Belgian Milk Chocolate with Caramel Pieces Rice Cake Thins have 65 calories per thin and are suitable for vegetarians and coeliacs.

I absolutely loved the flavours here - the chocolate is really smooth and delicious and the caramel pieces add a lovely extra sweetness. The plain rice cake base is boosted by this gorgeous topping and each one feels like a decadent treat, even though it's much healthier than a chocolate bar. I'll definitely be tracking down my nearest stockist!

Coconom Organic Coconut Sugar: This is a natural alternative to sugar that is made from 100% coconut tree blossom sap. It can be used in baking, on cereal and porridge or in smoothies and hot drinks. So far we've only used it on cereal and have found it to be similar to brown sugar with a dark colour and strong burnt caramel type flavour. Let me know in the comments if you have any suggestions for baking with coconut sugar!

Melba Multigrain Thins: A wholegrain version of the classic Original Melba toasts - these are now available at Tesco. 

I really enjoyed the slightly nuttier flavour in these multigrain thins and they make a great base for lots of different toppings, although I kept it simple with cheese and pickle!

Overall it's another great selection in the June Degustabox. My favourites this month are the Love Chin Chin snacks, Melba Multigrain Thins, and the Kallø Rice Cake Thins. If you're a subscriber then I'd love to hear your thoughts on this months Degustabox selection in the comments below.

For more details on Degustabox:

Degustabox website:

I received a Degustabox in order to provide an honest review.

Thursday, 2 July 2015

New Review: Cheetos Relaunched in the UK - Cheetos Crunchy & Cheetos Twisted

Cheetos have been fairly easy to find in the UK, usually imported via the US or from other European countries. Depending on whether you go for a bag from Poland or from the US they can be quite cheap or very expensive. Apparently it's been a fairly long time since they were last launched here, it seems that 1990 was the last time the UK saw a Cheetos release.

This time around there are two varieties available - Cheetos Twisted Flamin' Hot and Cheetos Crunchy Cheese Flavour. Both bags contain 30g but are very different in actual pack size.

The first thing that struck me about the new Cheetos Twisted are just how massive each snack is. The bag literally had 8 snacks in total in the bag, but they're so big that the pack still felt very full. These snacks are fairly basic maize based corn puffs with a flavour that is not too dissimilar to Monster Munch Flamin' Hot. The only real point of difference is the massive size of each individual puff. I've reviewed Cheetos that are bug shaped, but these Cheetos Twisted will now rate as the wackiest shape I've tried so far.

The Cheetos Crunchy Cheese flavour look like the classic, knobbly, Cheetos Crunchy snack that I'm sure most people are familiar with. The cheese flavour however, tastes different to how I remember, although I have to admit that I haven't bought these types of Cheetos for quite a few years now. These have a cheese flavour that is quite creamy and not too overpowering (unlike most cheese puff type snacks). The flavour reminds me more of Quavers than anything else, but just alongside a much crunchier texture.

The Cheetos Crunchy and Cheetos Twisted are available in price-marked 39p bags, with a 3 for £1 offer, making them almost half the price of the other big brand crisp packets in my local newsagent. It's good value but it must be said that these packets are quite small - the Cheetos Crunchy bag in particular felt like a very small portion. For bigger appetites, the Cheetos Twisted will also be available in larger sharing bags for £1.00p each.

Grocery Gems Review: Cheetos Twisted & Cheetos Crunchy UK

RATING: 7 out of 10.
Buy them again?: Maybe.
Nutrition: Cheetos Twisted - 160 calories, Cheetos Crunchy - 165 calories.
Purchased: Local Premier Store.
Price: £0.39p each or 3 for £1.00p.

Tuesday, 30 June 2015

Review: Minion Ice Cream Lollies

With the UK currently basking in a mini-heatwave I made a trip to the supermarket just to stock up on ice cream and ice lollies. Since I've reviewed quite a few Minions related products already I though it was about time to give the new Minion Ice Cream Lollies a try.

I was actually surprised by how cute the ice lollies are - sure their mouths look a bit weird but they're a lot more recognisable than previous character ice lollies I've reviewed (anyone remember the Star Wars Stormtrooper Ice Lollies?). They really do look like Minions and the eye being an actual hole in the ice cream is quite a cute touch. The texture of the ice cream is very light and fluffy, almost airy, so they do melt quite quickly. The flavours here are surprisingly good, I was expecting bland, but instead there is a strong vanilla flavour at the top and a clearly differentiated fruity flavour on the bottom. It's a fairly simple ice cream overall but the kids really enjoyed them (and so did I!). 

Grocery Gems Review: Minion Ice Cream Lollies

RATING: 8 out of 10.
Buy them again?: Yes.
Nutrition: 71 calories(per 60ml ice lolly)

Purchased: Sainsbury's.
Price: £2.00 (box of 6).

Monday, 29 June 2015

Around the World - Korea: Nonghyup Korean Rice Punch

I picked up this little can of Korean Rice Punch in my local Tesco and was so intrigued I had to buy it for my Around the World reviews. The ingredients list is reassuringly simple, consisting of; water, malt extract, nonglutinous rice, sugar and ginger extract. 

The drink itself has a cloudy pale yellow colour with a small amount of rice floating around in it. The flavour is extremely sweet but still surprisingly refreshing. The flavour is hard to describe but it's a bit like a sweet rice pudding without any creaminess. Even though the rice flavour is sugary sweet, the drink itself is still quite watery. The rice grains are very small and soft, and add an interesting extra texture to the drink. Overall, this was a very unusual drink but one that is worth trying if you have a very sweet tooth!

Around the World: Nonghyup Korean Rice Punch

Country of Origin: Korea.
Purchased: Tesco.
Price: £0.39p (238ml can).
Nutrition: 35 calories (per 100ml).

Saturday, 27 June 2015

Around the World - Sri Lanka: Elephant House Orange Barley Drink

I recently picked up a few drinks from a local Asian supermarket for my Around the World reviews - I'm trying to pick up the pace on this challenge in 2015! There were quite a few products from this Elephant House brand which are all produced in Sri Lanka (such as lemonade and ginger beer) but I decided to go for the Orange Barley drink as it seemed a bit more unusual. 

The drink itself has a bright orange colour and is lightly carbonated. The flavour was much sweeter than I was expecting. At first it reminded me a bit of original Lucozade but I think that may just be the combination of the bright orange and sweet flavour. Once I drank a bit more it revealed a much fruitier flavour, with a bit of orange but also an artificial bubble gum sweetness. I couldn't really detect the barley aspect of this drink, although there is a slight wheaty flavour. Overall, this drink was far too sweet for me to enjoy but I still appreciate that it has a very unique flavour. 

Around the World: Elephant House Orange Barley

Country of Origin: Sri Lanka.
Purchased: Local grocery store.
Price: £0.49p (330ml can).
Nutrition: 50 calories (per 100ml).

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