Confirmed sighting: Lotus Caramelised Biscuit Spread
Posted: 18:05 Mon 24-Dec-2012. Price: £2.49/400g jar. Location: Waitrose, Glasgow, Scotland. Sub-flavours: Smooth or crunchy.
Zeddy reports: Stand aside peanut butter, there is a new kid on the block and it means to sweep aside all pretenders to its throne.
Remember those Lotus biscuits that you often are offered with a coffee in upmarket waiting rooms?
Remember how good they actually taste? That's the cinnamon in them.
Lotus bakeries have now launched the fabled spread that was mentioned a long while back on www.nicecupofteaandasitdown.com. I bought the crunchy variety and can announce that it is fabulous. Like the biscuit but as a spread with little crunchy biscuit pieces within it! They tell you to try it on toast but that for me will only be the beginning.
My other half has suggested "icing a cake" with it and that may be on my to-do list.
If you like the biscuits I think you will love this stuff.
...Thanks Z - if only "Matthew" had provided similar evidence of the Kit Kat Chunky Champion 2013 Editions (mint, hazlenut, chocolate fudge, or coconut), claiming he: "Just popped into my local [Norwich] newsagent and saw these all stacked up on the counter - different set of flavours this year. I have bought a coconut one, which I have yet to eat. Best sighting ever. The Facebook page is up too - http://www.facebook.com/kitkatuk/app_464212296957743."
Snackspot should be back next weekend for the usual review of the best and worst products of the year, so get your nominations in now - and, while you're not doing that (or even while you are), have a great Christmas!
Semi-international sighting: Milka Raspberry Cream
Posted: 10:33 Sun 18-Nov-2012. Location: Polish store.
"Kev's Snack Reviews" reports: I presume it's intended to be a Polish-only edition as there is no English on the back of the wrapper (but there is on the front, strangely). I can't help but wonder if this bar had a different recipe to regular Milka bars, because the sweetness totally overpowered any taste of chocolate.
The raspberry sauce was very artificial-tasting; the kind of flavor those cheap kiddies juice drinks used to have. And the "cream" pretty much just tasted of sugar.
...The search for nicer imports continues on "Kev's Snack Reviews blog", though he's not much more complimentary about Côte d'Or Speculoos Lait ("an awful musty smell with a hint of cinnamon") or the almost mythological-sounding Nestle Orion Margot Artemis ("Marzipan with out of date rum flavoring that's been left on a shelf for five years, then wrapped up and sold [...] DO NOT BUY.")
Elsewhere in the Kraft/Cadbury corporation: four "individually wrapped milk chocolate egg shells filled with a mousse" constitute Easter's upcoming Egg 'n' Spoon special; plus both Tesco and Asda are rolling out more in-store fixtures dedicated to imported US products, expected to include
"Hershey's chocolate, pretzels, mustard, squeezy cheese, macaroni cheese and cereals".
Confirmed sighting: Maynards Sour Patch Kids/ Cadbury Dairy Milk with Oreo
Posted: 11:21 Sun 14-Oct-2012.
A double-helping of Kraft creativity, with first-time spotter "M. Ainston" basically providing a link to this article on the Jelly Baby-like "fruity flavour quirky candy characters" (offering a choice of orange, lemon, raspberry, lime or blackcurrant, in the form of "tongue-twisting sour sensation, followed by a mouth-watering fruity flavour ending on a sweet note").
Still, it makes a change from the current relentless onslaught of Cadbury products - "Those Krafty chocolatiers can't seem to stop with the 'new' bars," said Zeddy regarding the Cadbury Dairy Milk with Oreo he paid £1 for in Scotmid, Hamilton, Scotland: "120 grams of Dairy Milk with Oreo pieces and vanilla flavoured filling. Tastes surprisingly good and has a nice crunch like Galaxy Cookie Crumble albeit with a vanilla undertone. One of their better efforts."
...Speaking of Cadbury, Grocery Gems has been working through their
Dairy Milk Mint Bubbly and
Halloween-themed Crunchy Spiders. But, back with fruity chews: Swizzels Matlow are transforming their "most iconic" brands - Love Hearts, Drumstick Lollies, Double Lollies and New Refreshers - into gum-based Squashies, while Wham Rockets are acquiring a Sherbet Dip Dab-style extension - or, as Marks and Spencer might put it, "a mix of sugar crystals and sherbet eaten with a raspberry foam dipping stick".
Confirmed sighting: Cadbury Dairy Milk Toffee Popcorn
Posted: 16:38 Sun 23-Sep-2012. Price: £1.50. Location: Tesco, Hayes. Nutritional unusualness: "Contains popcorn".
Foodstuff Finds has the lowdown on the same manufacturer's Golden Biscuit Crunch, but "Allan" fails to elaborate on whether this variant's as good as their bag of choc-coated popcorn, alleging that it's merely: "More American-inspired produce from the company formerly known as Cadbury."
...Anyway, in other chunky chocs: I'm unsure if Nestle Lion Cereal has been continuously available for the last 9 years, but if not, it's back in Sainsbury's; while the UK-or-import status of these White or Peanut Lion Bars (60p, News Plus, Dundas Street, Edinburgh) remains tantalisingly unresolved, as "Phill" relates: "Found these in a shop near one of our offices on Wednesday, but had no money to get them. I was back at the other office today, so made sure I picked them up."
Confirmed sighting: Mars Bar Limited Edition caramel
Posted: 20:52 Sun 09-Sep-2012. Price: 59p. Location: Spar, Hamilton, Scotland.
Zeddy reports: I awaited this bar's launch with a little excitement. The Milky Way variety sold in the US is superb - like a normal sized Mars bar with the nougat layer taken out and the space filled with extra caramel. Plus, it has that malty flavour that once graced our own Mars products.
Alas, Mars UK disappoint once more. The Mars caramel resembles a flattened, smaller Mars (45g) that exhibits that oh-so-sweet flavour that has me thinking, "Is this a Mars analogue made on the cheap by another manufacturer?"
The lack of height compared to a standard Mars bar deprives you of the joy of sinking your teeth into a deep slice of gooey caramel.
Sorry Mars UK, not good enough. Go on folks, try a Milky Way Simply Caramel from an import store and compare with this.
...Yup, after the smaller-than-usual Snickers Maximus, this is more like a "Mars Minimal" (clever wording, I know, cheers) - fortunately Zeddy also got his teeth into these Rocky Chockas Toffee and Choc (£1.00, Tesco, Carluke, Scotland, also in Double Choc, or Honeycomb), alliterating: "More new fayre from Fox's. These lovely biscuits have the usual crunchy middle to them but have little pieces of the different fillings mentioned.
The toffee ones are my favourite so far but the honeycomb will no doubt win my approval (tasting pending). Come on Britain! Let's get out of this recession by embracing great new varieties of snacks (Take note Nestle!)"
Confirmed sighting: Cadbury Choc Full Of Pretzels
Posted: 21:11 Tue 28-Aug-2012. Price: £1.50 for what looks like their usual 100g-ish bag. Location: Co-op, Shepherds Bush. Nutritional unusualness: "Contains vegetable fats in addition to cocoa butter".
Only last week we heard claims of Penn State chocolate pretzels, but "Alex" harks back even further, reporting: Anyone who remembers Pretzel Flipz' short-lived UK appearance in the late '90s will no doubt be pleased to see Cadbury's latest offering - it's basically the same thing, mini pretzels covered in chocolate. Delicious.
...I'm expecting the usual debate about whether it's actual Dairy Milk on these (though, to be honest, the Popcorn sister product was so good I didn't even bother checking). Anyway, in other belated updates: you may have heard that Nestle are apparently replacing KitKat Caramel with a GPS-enabled Cookies and Cream flavour, targeted at "young families looking for exciting new news from their favourite biscuit brands".
Plus - more from Zeddy in an upcoming sighting, but for now he weighs in on Rocky's Limited Edition Fizzy Cola biscuits, inferring that they aim to: "Take a standard Rocky, add a layer of 'cream' to the top of the biscuit and cover in milk chocolate. The cream however is nice and cola flavoured with some fizzy tartiness to add some authenticity to proceedings."
"If your first reaction to reading this is 'Eew!', then consider if you have ever eaten a chocolate bar whilst drinking a coke. If you thought that OK then this should hold some appeal. It actually works and is a nice alternative to the usual toffee and praline varieties so favoured by chocolate manufacturers."
Confirmed sighting: Nestle Vice Versas (yes, again)
Posted: 20:31 Sun 22-Jul-2012. Price: £1.59/126g bag (or currently 2 for £3) on Old Kent Road, for example. Location: Asda. Nutritional unusualness: "Part of the Smarties family".
"Wes" reports: Working in a large supermarket chain has its advantages. As well as the obvious ones, such as discounts and room for promotion, we also get to see what stock is to be sold before it goes on the shelves. Today, I witnessed something special.
Nestle have decided to bring back their Vice Versas sweets, which have previously been discontinued twice. For those of us who don't know (or are too young to remember), Vice Versas were similar to Galaxy Minstrels in size and content, but had an interesting twist. Inside the pack there were milk AND white chocolates in crispy brown and white shells. However, inside the white shells was the milk chocolate, and inside the brown shells was the white chocolate.
No word on prices yet, however I've recently heard they are on sale in Golborne Asda for 89p per bag.
...And if you're wondering, "Wes" is presumably referring to these being discontinued before and after their 2004 relaunch, as there's no firm evidence they ever reappeared in July 2007.
Anyway, in other melty centres: "Allan" didn't submit a picture of the Tango Demolition Balls ("Milk chocolate balls with orange truffle centre and popping candy pieces") he says he saw in Tesco, Hayes; "Yo Snack dude!" began "Jim Chocolate Mission" with the news that he's "reviewing all three of the new Cadbury Dairy Milk Limited Editions made especially for the Olympics"; and I officially apologise for not paying more attention to Dark Chocolate Peanut M and Ms in the past, as I found these (Polish?) Intense 65% Cacao ones in the Peckham Poundland yesterday and they are the best M and Ms I have ever tasted.
Confirmed sighting: McVitie's Galaxy Slices Cookie Crumble
Posted: 09:01 Sun 08-Apr-2012. Price: Some introductory offers of £1 for pack of 6 individually wrapped slices. Location: Bourne, Lincolnshire. Nutritional unusualness: 150 calories, 12g sugar, 7.8g fat per slice.
"Allan" says he saw a resurrected from several years ago Limited Edition Yorkie Honeycomb for 70p in Tesco, Hayes - but today's main freezer-cake-resembling sighting comes from what may be the international web-activism collective "anon", who show their softer side with the report: A very nice soft chocolate biscuit base with chunks of Galaxy milk chocolate and a milk chocolate layer. Extremely addictive!
...To be honest, I haven't been particularly inspired by this year's Easter ranges, though there have been some interesting-looking Cocoa Deli eggs in pound shops, and I think I saw a giant Tango Egg and Mug in Morrisons. So I'll leave it to the ever-reliable gobble monkey to wish you a Happy Egg Day 2012, hopefully not excessively haunted by the prospect of Marks and Spencer's "Percy Pig flavour" Hollow white chocolate pig with dried raspberry and strawberry concentrates and decorated with sprinkles (2%), complete with (gobble monkey description) "edible thong".
International sighting: Toblerone Crunchy Almonds
Posted: 20:28 Sun 18-Mar-2012. Price: 11.20 Swiss Francs. Location: Geneva airport. Nutritional unusualness: Double almond hit.
"alan witthoft" reports: Found this at Geneva airport - was a bit sceptical at first as I am not crazy about almonds but then remembered Toblerone already has almond in it, so large crunchy bits of the stuff don't really change the taste, just the texture! It's really very nice. Toblerone with crunchy caramelised chunks of almond, it's a winner, I say get some!
...Further jet-setting here from "alan" while, in other Kraft Corporation concoctions, "Phill" provided this pic of the previously mentioned-in-passing Philadelphia blended with Cadbury Milk Chocolate, which he found for just 78p (introductory offer) in Best Buy, Winchburgh, admitting: "I've not tried this, but my girlfriend seems to be enjoying it." Oh and I naturally assumed there were almond pieces on the outside of Walls' for-once entirely-accurately-named Magnum Infinity (Tesco, something like £2.20/3), but they turned out to be cocoa nibs, contributing to an overall effect that should be advertised, Dirty Harry-style, as "Magnum Infinity, the most chocolatey icecream in the world - chocolatey enough to blow your head clean off."
Confirmed sighting: Dairy Milk Bubbly/ US Dark Chocolate M and Ms
Posted: 12:29 Sun 12-Feb-2012. Price: £1.00 introductory offer. Location: Sainsbury's, East Kilbride, Scotland. Sub-flavours: Milk chocolate; or Milk chocolate-covered white chocolate.
Zeddy reports: Shock horror news! Cadbury make an improvement to an existing bar. Yes, the Bubbly bar has a new outer texture and has dropped to 100g in size BUT it is for the better (well not the size, obviously). The new knobbly outer surface makes for a visually appealing bar and actually improves the bar's feel in the mouth. The other variety has white chocolate encased in milk chocolate.
Now Kraft... if you can do a Bournville version and a Bournville with mint, they will steal a march on Nestle and their waxy Aero offerings.
...for what it's worth, I thought the bar looked a bit like something you might spray on the outside of a punctured spaceship in a 1980s scifi film, but in other blobs of chocolate: gobble monkey got stuck into Cadbury's Bitsa Wispa; while Zeddy also located two kinds of Dark Chocolate M and Ms for $3.50 in a CVS Pharmacy, Davenport, Florida, elaborating: "I obtained these when looking for some medicine to clear up the 'nasty infection' I caught whilst on holiday. (It turned out to be Norovirus, since you ask.) I think they are a progression into standard pouches from the special editions that they launched a couple of years ago in the US. They both have dark chocolate inside (the 'semi-sweet' variety that the Americans love - think Mars Midnight)."
"The raspberry ones do taste fruity, although whether I would say real raspberry is another thing. I don't like fruity chocolate 'and so for me, I'm out.' Others may like this sort of thing. The mint ones are great with the nice contrast of sweet dark chocolate and not too overpowering mintiness. My mint-hating other half actually likes them (she will happily eat After Eights, so she changes like the wind). Mars should do us a favour and bring them to the UK but when did they ever listen to the consumer?"