Indelacio.co.uk

Rants, Raves And Reviews

Browsing Posts tagged food

Tasting and giving my opinion on an oreo coated doughnut as well as a lemon lime and cucumber sprite that I got at bargain prices I decided to start up a new series called “tasting treats” where I would try out nice nibbles and give my opinions on them as I give them a taste.

Starting off with the oreo doughnut I found myself disappointed that it didn’t have the crispy cookie crumbs coating the doughnut as expected, and the cream filling was so disproportioned compared to the stodgy chocolate flavoured doughnut that the balance didn’t portray the expected flavour or experience of oreo cookies as expected, admittedly I did pay only 11p for both doughnuts at 90% off so there is something to be said that perhaps the short dated nature could have softened the crunch but the fact that there seemed to be none at all suggests that maybe they hadn’t intentionally put crunch into the topping which would have made a big difference to the taste.

This wasn’t the only negative with the doughnut though as the icing on the coating was so thin and lacking that it didn’t feel as much of a premium doughnut as expected and definitely not on level with krispy Kreme doughnuts which have a much better balance, with the doughnuts being lighter and having more of a treat feel with high flavour content, which is what I expected from something like this officially branded oreo but I was highly disappointed to discover differently.

The other bargain I obtained was two 2l bottles of sprite for £1.50, but this was no ordinary sprite, this was lemon lime and CUCUMBER flavoured sprite, yes you heard right cucumber in a carbonated drink. I’ve had cucumber flavoured crisps in a pringles like container before and they were surprisingly alright and again I was pleasantly surprised with the carbonated cucumber flavouring which although being very forthright actually seemed a refreshing taste that worked as a carbonated drink.

I could see why they might have designed a cucumber based sprite having served many pimms cocktails in my time working at a variety of events with alchoholic beverages and these always included usually fresh chopped cucumbers but I can see why having it also inside of the lemonade you might use would be good for depth of flavour progression for cocktails and I would also see how this might make an interesting mixer with other alcoholic beverages as well as being a summer based unique drink to enjoy in the hot weather.

All in all I was pleasantly surprised by the sprite cucumber lemon and lime variety as it did have a strong cucumber taste but after a few sips this fades to the traditional lemon and lime variety which gives an interesting drink on your palate that evolves as you drink it, and would definitely be an interesting weapon to add to your mixer arsenal for any summer events you might have, while the oreo doughnut just proved wholly disappointing, being too stodgy with the chocolate doughnut and a poor balance of flavours lacking the expected crunch of the oreo crumbs on top and just feeling like I would rather have had a fresh standard jam doughnut over it.

I received a voucher to try products from the tesco finest party food selection for review, and along with a 3 for 2 discount I got a major price reduction on the food selected to try.

The tesco finest party food range was all designed to cook at the same temperature and be easy to heat up with minimal effort for party food over the seasonal christmas holidays and parties in general. Located on the shelves next to tesco’s regular range of party food in very similar packages it perhaps wasn’t ideal for choosing items in the same discounted range but for a shopper wishing to choose their party food for the holidays the entire selection was available in one convenient location.

Although there was a selection noted on the website to try I found the range in store had other products not mentioned whilst also finding it impossible to seek out some of those nicer products which were stated to be in the range.

•Tesco finest* Posh Pigs in Blankets
A pork sausage with cinnamon and ginger coated in a port and cranberry glaze, wrapped crispy bacon.*
•Tesco finest* Bourbon Beef Waffles
8 mini Belgium waffles topped with shredded Aberdeen Angus beef, Bourbon BBQ sauce and medium Cheddar cheese*
•Tesco finest* Mini Steak Pies*
Mini pies with beef and a cornish ale gravy in crispy pastry.*
•Tesco finest* Butterfly Prawn Selection with a Mango Dipping Sauce
King prawns coated in coconut and black & white sesame seed crumbs.*
•Tesco finest* Thai Chicken Curry Pastries
Pastry pockets filled with green Thai chicken curry, or Panang chicken curry with lemongrass.*
•Tesco finest* Oriental Selection
A selection of ready to eat oriental snacks, prawn and coconut spring rolls, chicken satay cones and Mussaman crouton bites.*
•Tesco finest* Mini Strawberry Trifles
Strawberry sauce, diced strawberry, sponge cubes with vanilla mousse topped with freeze dried strawberry*
•Tesco finest* Lemon Sherbet bites
Mini cheesecake with biscuit base, lemon cheesecake topped with sherbert dust.*
•Tesco finest* Swiss Chocolate Truffle profiteroles
Swiss chocolate truffle mousse in choux pastry, topped with a swiss chocolate sauce with “gold sparkled” butterscotch pieces.*

The majority of this list was impossible to find in store, especially the frozen and sweet treats, only finding the pigs in blankets, a selection of differing prawn based products, the oriental selection, an indian selection pack and some crispy chicken skewers.

Obviously there were some products I would have tried had I been able to find then however the variation in the finest range in the store I visited was lacking choosing to only have traditional party fare along with the oriental and indian selections lacking the choices in varied party foods, this could be a sign of the area however being stagnant full of old people set in their ways unwilling to try new and different food styles and only including the oriental and indian selections for natives in the area.

The products I took were very tasty although the indian party food seemed to be rather toned down unless you dipped the products in the included sauce which doesn’t seem very indian as usually all of their food is filled to the brim with flavours and sensations, and for the most part the combination required the sauces in order to get the full indian flavour. The chicken skewers I took also had a very good crispy coating far beyond what you would find in most fried chicken and with the ease of cooking is a definite recommendation and would be perfect to dip into any of your usual dipping sauces you could include with a party selection or to eat separately on their own.

Now ideally as this was purchased to be used as party food where it would provide something of extra sustenance rather than the usual selection of cheese and crackers, sweets, crisps and nuts and even provide something warm and satisfying as a variation. I would even state that these would be fine to eat cooled down after cooking however my mother set in her ways didn’t wish to have these on the christmas table after everything instead choosing to just lay out a selection of the usual cold snacks, so I had these on a separate occasion, but it’s the thought that counts right? I personally thought these were an ideal small nibble selection to put out on the table for those who want a little warm treat and something more wholesome than simple snacks and something very tasty that would fit perfectly on a party selection table, this is also the reason I didn’t take the oriental selection even though it looked tasty I wanted to go for something which would be warmed and offer variation, not that if I’dve taken those they would’ve been included as they were too different for my mother to include on the table.

All in all the party food range is very tasty and ideal for party situations and with 3 for 2 often better in price than the regular party food, or competitors counterparts which will be lower in quality and flavour.

Parts of this video are pre christmas where the deadline stated 5 days (with the same number of days til christmas) however visiting the next day while still preparing this it stated 34 days so priorities got reshuffled, apologies to the lateness of the review being that christmas is over, however these are ideal for any party, including the chinese new year, birthdays or even easter, any excuse for a party.

* All product names and descriptions adapted from tesco orchard as they are relevant to the review, to show the range stated and products which could not be found, their direct descriptions are not used as they desire to hold the “marketed” terms under federal trade commission regulations and as a result the products are described but without using their buzz terms. As this is used in a review this fulfills fair use statutes.

I was sent a voucher to get £4 of fish from the tesco orchard, and decided to use it only on the fresh fish counter although I could have used it on any fish in the store, and see what the counter had to offer and just how fresh the produce was.

My idea initially was to find fish to use to create sushi with some sushi wrappers to make your own which you could purchase in store, however it was quickly established by the counter operative that the fish was not fresh enough for this purpose (and you could see that even though it was stored on ice obviously it was not freshly cut to order or of a suitably fresh standard) I then decided to see if they had some sashimi grade salmon, although usually served raw is ideal for lightly toasting, however having a number of varieties of salmon this was sadly lacking from the counter.

Instead I decided to them look what was on offer, along with the usual cod, haddock, several types of salmon I opted instead for the more unusual varieties, firstly trying some manta ray fin, and secondly taking a piece of rainbow trout, where there were two colours white and yellow and I opted for the yellow fleshed variety.

The manta ray fin was very large and essentially came with two portions per fin, although on bones the bones were very large and once cooked easily separated to serve a boneless and tasty white fish, not only was the fish very tasty it also had a very creamy texture while maintaining a familiar white fish cod like flavour. I think this would be a good option for battering and deep frying as not only would it taste a lot like cod but also the creamy texture would lead to a higher flavour retention against the oils coming in during the cooking process and make a very delicious fried fish option which may even be healthier as it would likely minimize the oils being absorbed.

The rainbow trout variety I chose surprised me quite a bit as it tasted like a high quality cooked salmon, which is usually hard to get to this standard even with a high quality cut. As a result this would be an option for anyone wishing to have the high quality salmon flavour with little effort and would also save a lot of money, sure you would have to deal with some bones and a softer flesh which breaks apart easier, but for the convenience and ease of cooking for the same flavour I believe this is a suitable compromise to make

Over all I think it is a little disappointing that the counter isn’t as fresh as it might put accross, had I not asked the counter operative I would have assumed that any fish purchased would have been suitably fresh to make sushi with and possibly risked food poisoning as a result, and the varieties on offer were average, but you can understand that most people would be seeking the “usual range” of cod and haddock and salmons that were displayed, as opposed to seeking something different or special, but there was the manta fin as a little excitement and something different so it also caters a little towards that. I just wish that there was the option to get a truly fresh product if requested, that the fishmonger could cut a fresh fish right then and there suitable for creating sushi with, or freshly cut upon request for those who want a freshly cut slice of fish, while leaving the display for those who wish it and don’t have the truly fresh requirements.

Other than the “fresh” issues the counter is a nice option and good to go to if you want some advice or to try something a little new, and perhaps may be fresher than the shelved produce. Either way you can have a free garlic or chilli butter to cook your fish with so there are bonuses to visiting, and if you like fish I think you should consider looking at the fresh counter first in case something catches your eye.

With the festive season coming soon you might be wandering what to buy for those close to you and where to go where you won’t see the same old chain stores with the generic products you see every year, maybe this year you’re looking for something a little more meaningful and origonal. Sure you can look online but where would you begin with that, and then you have postage costs to pay on top of that from every different place you see.

What if there was a place where you could see a variety of different products, unusual, specialised, more thoughtful? All under one location, and not only that have a good time in a festive themed environment and really get into the xmas spirit?

The festive gift fair in birmingham may be exactly what you are looking for, promising over 325 different exhibits with shops ranging from well known brands to lesser known and varied gifts, festive food stalls to sample and a selection of entertainment and music (which I would presume to be merry jingles, possibly even xmas kareoke which would be fun, but I couldn’t tell you besides music being promised along side other entertainment) There is plenty on offer to entice you to visit, and the best part is you don’t have to pay shipping for your items.

Key Points

  • Entry will vary between £8.50-£9.50 when booked in advance
  • Open between 9:30 and 5pm from the 21st to the 24th of November (ideal to start the xmas season)
  • “wonderful, unusual and affordable presents”
  • Festive theme and entertainment
  • Eat drink and be merry with festive food and drink to sample and purchase
  • Santa will greet you when you arrive, so yes he has taken time off to come to this event because this will be where xmas begins in birmingham.

I have been provided press access to the event so I will be able to provide a much more in depth review showing the highlights and hidden gems of the event, along with photo’s and video’s from the location to give you an idea what is happening at the event, along with my personal favourites and recommendations as to what to visit and special gift idea’s from the merchants of the event.

I personally think birmingham should advertise this event more as it offers a wider selection than the german food market which takes up the streets in the city center, and beyond that is actually festive and will get people in the christmas spirit ready for the spirit, exploring a whole kingdom of festive stalls and would make a great day out for the family, and not only this it will be a great place to escape the high street and to explore new idea’s and gifts you might not have seen or considered.

If you are interested in seeing it all close up yourself I would recommend you purchase a ticket, available now from http://www.festivegiftfair.co.uk/

In this video I unbox and try my final graze box, as usual signup and use the code to get yourself a free box and the second one half price with £1 for each code used going to charity.

Here is a video of me unboxing my first graze food box and showing you what is inside and what you can expect to recieve, as well as showing you my seeds which were delayed almost a month by royal mail.

If you wish to recieve your first graze box for free and a second one for half price (with absolutely no obligation to even purchase beyond your first free box as you can cancel your order at any time) then please join with the following link and the code P58JV7B3

http://www.graze.com/p/P58JV7B

Was watching river cottage earlier today… and he was busy making a lamb curry… no big deal, he decides to taste the curry, puts his spoon in eats from it, talks to the camera, then he proceeds to put the spoon back in his mouth give it a good suck then dip it back into the curry for another taste… And this curry he proceeded to provide to the public at his haloween party thing, I mean if youre cooking for yourself no problem but if youre serving it to other people double dipping is a cardinal sin, everyone will have whittingstall germs from his curry.

I dont think I could ever eat something made by him knowing that, where is the hygiene sense? And if youre going to cook on tv have some intelligence, its bad enough watching all the people cooking with all thier stylish hair loose, no chef hats, no hair nets, I wonder how much of thier food ends up with hair in it? They would need an immense ammount of hair gel or spray to keep thier hair so solid that not even a strand will fall into the food, and hair is supposed to be one of the major food poisoning problems.

On a different note though, it was good to see that cookalong live wasnt rehearsed and gordon ramsey was truly shocked at the start of the program to see a lookalike as one of his cookalongers, and amanda holden desperate for attention crying to gordon why arent you paying attention to me, when live on the webcam his lookalike is off with his wife, what does she expect he’s just seen his wife off round another guys house, of course he’s going to be preoccupied, and with his reaction at the start of the program you know that he didnt know that was coming up.

I also think its quite clever with his invasion of the cooking classes, but fair play to him, rubber prostetics all over your face will make your face hot enough, but in the heat of a kitchen, he must be sweating beyond belief. But it does get to show you what youre paying for with your expensive classes, and you do at least want to get some cooking in if youre paying so much, just being talked to doesnt really do anything for me at least anyway. And that other guy he was talking to who “hates tv chefs” but is one himself lol, its amazing really because if they hated it so much you know they wouldnt go on tv, they love the attention really. But gordon’s a sinner in that respect too, he previousely had a cook book amnesty to burn the cook books, but he releases books himself, but what can you say the worlds hypocritical.

Working for creative events at the NEC the companies acceptable employment policy is that you will be happy to work from 7am no matter where you live up until 4pm with no break and no food, then have 20 minutes (or as long as it takes you to eat a tiny sandwhich a packet of crisps a kitkat and an apple) then have the supervisor come and say youve finished eating get back to work, where you are then expected to work for another 2 hours minimum up to 4 hours, or up to until 10pm or later sometimes on closedown days.

Or course for me to make it there that early I have to wake up at 4am and set out at 5am to make the transportation links to get to the NEC in time for 7am. All the time getting hungrier and lacking the energy to actually do a decent days work, of course I get comments about being one of the best barrista’s they have but it doesn’t matter that I’m being starved and I’m not exactly one of the biggest people in the world far from it, I actually need to keep my energy levels maintained at a reasonable level or I do get highly irritable.

Doing this as a daily job day in day out in the middle of winter being frozen in the mornings even though Im wearing 4 coats on top of things I still catch a cold, being weak from lack of food of course I was bound to get ill, but they don’t consider that so I guess Ill just find somewhere which actually understands that if you want someone to remain well and still do a good job you’ve got to treat them right rather than just a body to fill the space, no wonder I was one of the best workers, I actually made an effort rather than being a spaced out zombie lacking food, or stealing all the cookies to eat.

Besides isn’t it a legal requirement that you get 30 minutes break for 6 hours work, 45 for 7, an hour for over 8 hours work… hmmm I’m pretty sure I only signed out of the 48 hour working week, not all of my legal rights. But hey the law doesn’t care everyone seems to break it even ITC who are supposed to keep your tv clean before 9PM dont care anymore.