Saturday, 27 May 2017

Japanese KitKat - Sakura Matcha

If you follow me on Instagram you'll know that I'm obsessed with all things matcha, it's a flavour that I absolutely love and the fact it's used in abundance in Japan absolutely delighted me. Another flavour that was also being used a lot whilst I was over there was Sakura, due to it being the start of Cherry Blossom season.

KitKat Sakura Matcha

For those of you that don't know Sakura = Cherry Blossom and it delivers a light, floral flavour as opposed to being anything like the fruit with the similar namesake - Cherry. 

KitKat Sakura Matcha

I found this KitKat at Narita (Tokyo) airport as it was an airport exclusive (along with a few other flavours I picked up) and unlike the other unusual flavoured KitKat I found this came in a small box as opposed to the large multi-pack. Due to the packaging format being a similar size to our 4 finger KitKat, I thought that is what it would be - 4 fingers; however on opening it up I found once again that it three mini  individually wrapped 2 finger bars.

KitKat Sakura Matcha

The KitKat is covered in Matcha and Sakura flavoured white chocolate and has a light green colour, much lighter than the Matcha KitKat I've tried in the past.

KitKat Sakura Matcha


KitKat Sakura Matcha

The lightness in colour was also consistent with the lightness of the eat, this certainly isn't a KitKat that's strongly flavoured, it has a light, sweet floral flavour with a very,very subtle Matcha flavour. It was pleasant but nothing I was particularly blown away by and I think unless you were told what the flavour was you wouldn't really have much of an idea what you were eating. I maybe would have liked the flavours a bit more punchy but it was still another fun KitKat to try!

KitKat Sakura Matcha

Taste - 6.0/10
- A bit too subtle for my liking, I know Sakura isn't a really strong flavour but I think the flavours could have been dialed up a bit.
Texture - 7.3/10 - Classic light KitKat wafer paired with a good coating of chocolate.
Appearance - 7.2/10 - The box was pretty; although I would have liked if the KitKat had come in 4 finger format.
Price - 7.1/10 - I paid about ¥170, around £1.20.
Overall - 6.9/10 - Another fun sounding KitKat but it didn't massively deliver in terms of flavour.

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WHO FOR? 
Still fun to try if you like trying different flavoured KitKat.

WHERE TO BUY? 
An airport exclusive in Japan, not sure whether you can pick them up at all major airports but I got mine from Narita (Tokyo).

Monday, 15 May 2017

M&S Spirit of Summer The Gastro Travel Book

If you've been into a M&S recently you'll have certainly noticed all of the new Spirit of Summer products sitting on shelves. As always I'm drawn to new chocolate products and this 'The Gastro Travel Book' really caught my eye. It looked really visually appealing on shelf with eye-catching modern/geometric prints on the chocolates.

M&S Spirit of Summer The Gastro Travel Book   

Taking inspiration from fruit, herbs and floral flavours you get 4 different flavours, 3 of each, in the box...book?


M&S Spirit of Summer The Gastro Travel Book


Lemon & Basil - "A zesty Italian lemon flavoured filling enhanced with basil flavour encased in a dark chocolate shell"

I'm sometimes slightly adverse to the use of basil in chocolate, sometimes it can be overpowering and sickly. However this chocolate was really well balanced, the sharper lemon balanced well with the sweet herb notes of the basil and the slightly bitter dark chocolate. I

Raspberry & Rose Water - "A white chocolate shell encases a rose water ganache with delicate flavours of raspberry and rose"


Unlike basil I adore the flavour of rose and so this was the chocolate I was most looking forward to trying. It did not disappoint. A creamy, sweet white chocolate shell with very subtle notes of raspberry and rose, it tasted so delicate and exuded flavours of summer. I could have quite easily eaten a box full of this flavour.

M&S Spirit of Summer The Gastro Travel Book

Orange Blossom  - "A white chocolate ganache with a zingy Persian lime oil married with orange blossom flavour in crisp dark chocolate" 


Like the basil flavour I wasn't too sure how I was going to feel about this chocolate, orange + dark chocolate wouldn't be my normal flavour profile of choice. However because the interior is white chocolate based and using orange blossom + lime as opposed to orange it offers a more delicate, floral eat which is absolutely divine.

Lavender & Pomegranate - "A white chocolate truffle filling infused with French lavender and pomegranate flavours smothered in milk chocolate"


The only milk chocolate in the box I was really looking forward to this one. As with all of the chocolates in the box the balance between fruity and floral is spot on, with tangy flavours of pomegranate contrasting against floral lavender. Delicious.

M&S Spirit of Summer The Gastro Travel Book

All of the flavours and textures, the ganaches are silky smooth and chocolate shells just the right thickness, are absolutely spot on in this box of chocolates and I really think they offer an accessible offering for customers to explore more unusual flavour profiles.

Taste - 8.7/10 - Really well balanced and the way the flavours are executed aren't too polarising for consumers not used to more floral flavours in chocolate.
Texture - 8.5/10 - Silky smooth ganaches, crisp chocolate.
Appearance - 8.5/10 - Chocolates look modern and sleek, presented in a lovely book style format.
Price - 8.0/10 - £5 for the box (70g)
Overall - 8.4/10 - A delicious summery chocolate offering.
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WHO FOR?
Anyone looking to try some more unusual flavour profiles but wants a more accessible offering.

WHERE TO BUY?
Marks & Spencer stores nationwide.


Sunday, 7 May 2017

Cadbury Dairy Milk Oreo Peanut Butter

After being seriously impressed with the new Cadbury Dairy Milk Peanut Caramel Crisp Big Taste I thought it was about time I got around to trying the new Cadbury Dairy Milk Oreo Peanut Butter - despite having heard some bad things about the product I always like to try things for myself, as I'm sure you know, tastes can differ.

Cadbury Dairy Milk Oreo Peanut Butter

I'm so pleased to see that peanut butter is starting to become bigger in the UK, it's one of my favourite flavours; however I was skeptical straight away when I saw the product didn't actually contain any peanuts whatsoever. In fact the packaging stated "this product MAY contain nuts"....may?!? It's a peanut butter product - it SHOULD be containing nuts. Skim reading the ingredients list it seemed to be that the peanut butter element was coming from a flavouring. Oh no.


Snapping a strip off you could see the filling was flecked with good sized Oreo pieces but it was the light brown peanut butter flavoured filling that I was worried a bite. I took a bite..oh dear, just as I expected. It tasted so artificial and certainly not reminiscent of that creamy, satisfying, rich peanut butter flavour you would expect.

Cadbury Dairy Milk Oreo Peanut Butter

If you've ever tried the Walden Farms Peanut Spread this is what the filling tasted like, a heavy artificial chemical taint that unfortunately the Oreo pieces couldn't make up for, combine this with the fairly sweet Cadbury milk chocolate and you're left with a product that is rather awful unfortunately.


Cadbury Dairy Milk Oreo Peanut Butter

I don't know why Cadbury have opted to use a flavouring - costs I would presume, I don't understand when they'll realise that we would prefer to pay slightly more for a decent product than less for one that tastes awful!! I most definitely will be sticking to the Peanut Caramel Crisp Big Taste!

Taste - 1.5/10 - Awful, artificial peanut butter flavour.
Texture - 7.0/10 - Fairly smooth filling, crunchy Oreo pieces.
Appearance - 6.3/10 - Standard Cadbury chocolate bar.
Price - 3.0/10 - Not priced too highly with you generally able to pick this up for £1 somewhere but even then I'd feel I'd wasted my money it was that bad.
Overall - 4.5/10 - Only the moreish texture really makes up for this bar tasting disgusting.
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WHO FOR?
Honestly can't really recommend it - especially not if you're a big peanut butter fan!!

WHERE TO BUY?
Most major retailers should be stocking this.