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Confirmed sighting: Muller Rice Rhubarb
Posted: 12:25 Tue 13-Nov-2007. Price: 42p. Location: ASDA, Darlaston.
"TalkShowHost" reports: I received an email from Muller on Wednesday telling me that these had been released, but on their website there was nothing about them. I kind of remember a poll a few months back where they asked visitors to their site to vote for their "most wanted" new Mullerice flavour. I think the choices were: Apple Strudel; Cherry; Rhubarb; Toffee;
Winter Fruits and another one that I can't remember. Anyway, I remember voting for Rhubarb and so was quite pleased when it was made apparent that the flavour had materialised in time for those cold winter nights.
Anyway, enough about that, it's how they taste that matters and I would have to say that they taste pretty good. The fruit isn't sour like in some rhubarb and custard monstrosities that I have tasted, which is good since the rice pudding isn't exactly sweet itself. I have only tried it cold so far and so would like to try it again after a whizz in the microwave. Until then, I will rank it as second best Mullerice flavour after the custard one.
...In other pudding-updatings: I think I prefer the Gu Autumn Edition Chocolate Black Forest Gateaux (£1.79 for 2, Tesco) to their Choc and Mascarpone "Tiramigu", while "peachy" seeks to avoid "Dr" Gillian McKeith-style controversy by providing a strictly-factual account of this You Are What You Eat Berry Good Snack Pot (£1.99, Co-op Swindon), ie: "A mixture of strawberries, blueberries, blackberries and raspberries. The packet is ready to eat with a handy spoon/ fork enclosed. All the berries look very fresh and there are no cheap grapes or apple slices bulking the pack up. Weighs 200g and counts towards 2 of your 5 a day."
Semi-international sighting: Walls Magnum Temptation
Posted: 22:15 Tue 18-Sep-2007. Price: Unknown. Location: Unilever House, London. Sub-flavours: Possibly a nut version. Nutritional unusualness: 268 calories each.
"robertster" reports: As part of a tour of Unilever's UK head office during the
Open House Weekend we were given free ice-creams. The most exciting of these was the Magnum Temptation [slightly mad Spanish website here]. The languages on the box suggest that it's only available in Italy, Spain and Switzerland. But yes, that's right, it comes in a box! Inside the box is a Magnum smaller
than normal with only slightly thicker chocolate. Within the casing it was pretty standard vanilla ice cream with a ribbon of caramel and some pieces of strong dark Belgian chocolate.
It was nice, but the bitter chocolate pieces were too overpowering for me. If it is ever released I doubt I'd be prepared to pay the premium it'll cost. They also had
Walls Frusi which looks like it is available here, though I've not seen it in the wild. It was rather good thanks to the amazingly strong tasting fruit pieces.
..."robertster" returns with this tantalising glimpse behind-the-scenes at Walls HQ - I can confirm that Frusi seems to be sold by Tesco (in Fruits of the forest, Mango and raspberry, or Pineapple and raspberry), and apparently contains "50% of your recommended daily allowance of Vitamin C", a claim only slightly more convincing than the "Every Pot Contains One Fruit Portion" of Muller One A Day, which is basically a Muller layered yoghurt with an extra "corner" of another fruit compote on the side (in Raspberry and peach; Blackcurrant and apple; Passionfruit, orange and apricot; Banana and strawberry; and oh you get the idea).
Confirmed sighting: Cadbury Dairy Milk with Creme Egg Ice Cream bar
Posted: 19:20 Tue 29-May-2007. Price: About £1. Location: Convenience store, Finchley Road. Nutritional unusualness: 24.5g "carbohydrate", 205 kcal per 75ml bar.
reports: First there was the Creme Egg. Then there was a bar of it. And some ice-creams, as well. And now this is a bar of those! Or perhaps that should be "was" - these were everywhere a couple of weeks ago, but have now completely disappeared so, although the Creme Egg Bar aims to let you enjoy its fondant effect all year round, the choc ice must have been an Easter-only thing. Anyway, it's no great loss - the "goo" isn't bad, but the coating wasn't as chocolatey as Cadbury's increasingly ubiquitous Chunky Choc Ice, and the whole thing less intriguing than the unexpectedly Dulce de Leche-containing Walls Cornetto Choco Disc.
...Casting our net a little wider, you can almost see the Balearic glow on the Magnum Essence which "Zeddy" found for 1.50 Euros in a "Tourist shop, Menorca", celebrating: "What a treat! Basically a dark chocolate choc ice with vanilla ice cream inside. The best bit however was a wedge of what I would describe as a
dark choc Wispa running through the ice cream.
Made in Italy, it says on the packet." - and, coincidentally, the oddest name I've heard for a dessert since the Chocolate Chaos was unleashed by Tesco.
Semi-international sighting: General Mills Lucky Charms
Posted: 21:27 Tue 22-May-2007. Price: £7.99 (312g box?). Location: Sweets From Heaven, Victoria Centre, Nottingham. Sub-flavours: Berry Lucky Charms, Chocolate Lucky Charms - confirmed on websites, yet not in the shop. Nutritional unusualness: "12 Vitamins and minerals, good source of calcium and only 110 calories per serving" - but more than 40g sugar per 100g.
"Deadpool" reports: After years of lazy searching for my childhood favourite, with their wholegrain oats and marshmallow bits, I found them at last. For a price of £7.99 these can be purchased in Victoria Centre in a small shop called "Sweets from Heaven" - it imports sweets, drinks and cereal from America and Southern Africa then it sells them off in its shop. £7.99 for a box of cereal? Yes but I have purchased mine and have yet to eat them.
...Well "Deadpool", you may be kicking yourself to learn that all 3 varieties are currently available from Cybercandy - at a slightly cheaper price, or as little as £1.40 for a 49g plastic tub (shown here) if you'd rather sample their intricately-engineered sweetness before splashing out on a box. In other weird cereals:
Weetabix are aiming to get into the
Alpen Groove (in Sassy Strawberry, Lively Lemon and Nutty Chocolate, £2.38/ 6) - they've got to prove they're better than Masterfoods' Frutasia (in apricot or strawberry), for a start; while "Tomato, Garlic and Basil (or Cheese) All-Bran" seems to be the unique consumer proposition behind
Nairn's Oat Bakes (Waitrose introductory offer 29p/ 30g).
Confirmed sighting: McVitie's Heat To Treat
Posted: 12:44 Thu 03-May-2007. Price: £1.29/ box of 2. Location: Sainsbury's, Finchley Road. Sub-flavours: Double Chocolate and chocolate sauce; Jamaica Ginger and custard; Lyle's Golden Syrup and custard; Zesty Lemon and lemon curd. Nutritional unusualness: No hydrogenated vegetable oil, nearly 30-40g sugar per cake.
reports: No doubt inspired by the "actual consumer behaviour" of putting muffins (briefly) in the microwave, these come in futuristic cardboard containers that you irradiate for 20 seconds, then "leave to stand for 1 minute" to ensure the filling's still hot enough to burn your mouth on. Thanks to a recent "Buy 2 for £2" offer, I think I've tried all the flavours, both hot and cold - the Lyle's Golden Syrup one isn't quite as successful as the similarly branded Flapjacks (Camden Morrisons, £1.99/ box of 6), while the Zesty Lemon and Lemon Curd cake intriguingly resembled a hot Mr Kipling Fondant Fancy.
...In other potential pudding-misunderstandings: Vimto is diversifying into a range of indulgent dessert drinks (all less than 20 calories, in 6 flavours including "apple and cinnamon pie, summerfruit trifle and rhubarb custard"); Burger King make some sort of claim about real fruit pieces in their latest Bramley Apple Crumble ice-cream; and I've seen the chocolate and vanilla varieties, but does anyone know what the third flavour is of Nestle Little Pots Of Heaven (ie, the dessert version of their Heaven Truffle bars, themselves also available in strawberry according to these Australian imports from Cybercandy)?
Confirmed sighting: Walls Magnum Ecuador Dark
Posted: 14:12 Thu 26-Apr-2007. Price: £2.49/ box of 3. Location: Tesco, Pollok, Glasgow. Nutritional unusualness: 264kcal per bar, 62% cocoa solids.
"Zeddy" reports: Mmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm!
I think that says it all. No? Ok, very very nice with a creamy vanilla centre contrasting the dark choc.
...Another straight-to-the-point observation from "Zeddy", though there doesn't seem to
be half as much interest (or even TV advertising) for its coffee-flavoured Colombia Aroma contemporary. Still, if 62% cocoa solids isn't enough for you, Gillian McKeith apologists Green and Black are launching an "extra dark" 85% Cocoa variety, possibly to counter the imminent threat of Nestle's much-rumoured Black Magic bar. Or, back in ice-cream, there's no shortage of upmarket non-chocolate options, from Carte D'Or Strawberry and Yoghurt Delice, to Bensons' "pure fruit"
Chilly Billy Ice Pops, or even frozen "yoghurt, wholegrain cereals and real fruit" combo Walls Frusi (in Fruits Of The Forest, Mango And Raspberry or Pineapple And Raspberry, from 99p for 2x 68g).
International sighting: Mamie Nova Gourmand Saveur Violette (Violet-flavoured yoghurt)
Posted: 13:12 Thu 19-Apr-2007. Price: 1 Euro. Location: Galerie Lafayette, Paris.
"Chubworth" reports: This needed to be bought - the flavour of that most disappointing of seventies sweets: Parma Violets, with the creaminess of full fat yogurt. It was a grey-lilac in colour and almost (but not quite) impossible to finish a 150g tub because it was, on the whole, by and large, bloody horrible.
...Cheers "Chubworth" - it might just be me, but I don't think I've met anyone who actually enjoys this flavour, whether in the form of
Australia's Lifesavers Musk or Canada's
Wonka Thrills. In somewhat less-perturbing dairy produce: Masterfoods are adding a
Maltesers Super Frothy drink to an ever-growing range that also includes Galaxy ThickShake; Frijj's Limited Edition Toffee Caramel seems very reminiscent of 2003's Mount Caramel; while older drinkers may enjoy Baileys Irish Cream Liqueur with 4 Milk Chocolate Cups, continuing the promising containers you can eat trend also followed by the perhaps unfortunately-named Butt Foods Bread Bowls.
Confirmed sighting: Nestle Oats And More
Posted: 20:54 Thu 12-Apr-2007. Price: £1.49/ 375g (intro offer), normally £2.49. Location: Tesco, Lanark, Scotland. Sub-flavours: Honey or Almond. Nutritional unusualness: From 17.5g whole grain, 13.9g sugar per 30g (plus milk) serving.
"Zeddy" reports: "Crispy yummy wheat and oat flakes covered in baby oats with oat clusters sprinkled with tasty almonds" - I think there are oats in there somewhere.
Remember those hot sugar-glaze-coated almonds found at Continental markets? That is what these remind me of. Absolutely delish! Crunchy Nut Cornflakes are the poor man's version IMHO. Very, very moreish.
...I agree they're not bad, "Zeddy", (at least for a Nestle cereal), but do you really prefer them to
Crunchy Nut Clusters - or even Kellogg's confusing new Cornflakes Hint Of Honey? We're surely just months from some supermarkets going completely all-cereal, as Kellogg are also launching Special K Sustain (to "keep you satisfied for longer"), Weetabix are diversifying into
Oatiflakes (or, for the kids, Power Rangers Star Force and Disney Princess Stars), plus you can add "Crunchy dessert topping" or "Granola" to either Muller Simply Desserts or Rumblers Bio Yoghurts, respectively.
Confirmed sighting: Cadbury Creme Egg ice cream tub
Posted: 18:56 Tue 20-Mar-2007. Price: £2.79/ 900ml. Location: Costcutter, Kentish Town. Nutritional unusualness: 20.5g sugar, 5.7g fat per 100ml (with a handy guide that a "54.6g serving is equivalent to 100ml of ice cream").
reports: To answer "Rose's" question - this isn't a bad "Vanilla flavour ice cream with chocolate pieces and fondant sauce topped with chocolate sprinkles" (or, as the packaging puts it, "Delicious ice cream with added goo"). As the description implies, there's no shortage of chocolate pieces and authentically odd-tasting fondant, but it lacks that extra edge of the Creme Egg McFlurry (out now, 99p, price and participation may vary) - which, incidentally, the Islington McDonald's pioneeringly made for me using Orange Matchmaker pieces just the other week.
...Meanwhile, in other non-cone-shaped icons, you've probably seen that Colombia Aroma and Ecuador Dark are this year's new Walls Magnums, taking on the might of Masterfoods' ice cream Twix 'Xtra and "Exclusive to Tesco" Maltesers Ice Cream Bites - the Twix promises "a crunchier biscuit" than previous incarnations and the latter comprising "15 bites of Maltesers ice cream dipped [in] milk or white and dark chocolate" for around £2.99.
Confirmed sighting: Ben and Jerry's Bohemian Raspberry
Posted: 21:06 Thu 08-Mar-2007. Location: Morrisons, Southampton. Nutritional unusualness: Contains more blackberry than raspberry.
"choccieman" reports: Well this was a bit of a surprise, no mention that I could see on the B+J web site so another flavour comes out of the blue. This Queen-inspired flavour (10p per tub going to the Mercury Phoenix Trust) contains some very nice fudge brownie pieces and some so-so raspberry swirls (anyone have an idea of how this is connected to Queen in any way?). Overall it's up to B+J's high standards but not quite magnificooooo (sorry, couldn't help myself). The fault lies with them yet again using their vanilla ice cream as the base, yes it's good as vanilla goes but it's beginning to feel like all they make is vanilla or chocolate with various different bits chucked in. How about rum and raisin?
..."choccieman" concedes this is "probably" just another version of last year's disappointing Glastonberry, perhaps with "improved" brownie pieces - though, as Queen themselves pondered: Is this the real life, or is it just fantasy? Elsewhere, first-time spotter "Joan" sounds overjoyed to have found these Cornetto Chocolate (Family Size - Pack of 6) for £1.99 in Sheffield ("Really nice, I'm surprised they didn't come out sooner and are a great addition to the range") - now joined by
a near-terrifying array of new Walls products, including Mint Feast, Milk Time and the distinctly continental-sounding Cornetto Choco Disc.
Raspberry Cheesecake/ Coconut/ Rum and Raisin Carte D'Or
Dormen luxury handmade crisps
Betty Bassett's Red Liquorice Allsorts
Wrigley's Extra Ice Mint tins
Mr Kipling's Big French Fancy
Smarties Party Ice Cream/ Calippo Fizz
Jelly Belly Sport Beans
Ginsters microwavable ready meals
Carte D'Or sorbets/ Raspberries and Meringue Haagen-Dazs
Minara Micro Meals in a jar
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