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Confirmed sighting: Branston Bloomin Big Baked Beans
Posted: 19:00 Tue 01-May-2007. Price: 46p. Location: Morrisons Supermarket, Cleveleys, Lancashire. Nutritional unusualness: 16.1g carbs (5.9g sugar), 0.4g fat, 5.5g fibre, 0.3g sodium (all per 100g).
"BarryM" reports: Just bought some today, easy to spot. Branded 'Limited Edition' with a silver label all round. Marked with a bubble stating "50% bigger than ordinary beans". Don't know if they're any good yet though.
..."BarryM" doesn't add much to the great Branston debate here, while
"Terry" was similarly quick off the mark regarding the Heinz Big Eats which he "Found on Sainsbury's online website, they have an introductory price of 99p for a 350g pot. Haven't actually bought any so I can't comment on how they taste, but they sound nice enough. There are no pictures on either Sainsbury's or, strangely enough, Heinz's sites, so we'll have to wait awhile for when they get those in." Fortunately, both of the various flavours I've tried so far have been appropriately "Heinz-y" (and less than 5g sugar/100g) - if only the tubs were as entertainingly decorated as the USA's much-discussed Natural Balance Eatables for Dogs, product of
"the very same [factory] that makes food for humans".
Confirmed sighting: KFC Cool Mexican Toasted Twister
Posted: 17:35 Mon 19-Feb-2007. Price: £2.89, £3.89 for meal deal. Location: KFC, Swiss Cottage, London. Nutritional unusualness: No info available, though "Lime not included", apparently.
reports: Further to my widely publicised
struggles with vegetarianism, I've been forced to try these as a direct result of
the UK's industry-wide houmous recall.
Obviously it's just the standard Toasted Twister with the bold - yet successful - addition of Lime Salsa, Sour Cream and Chive Sauce, yet overall a more substantial offering than McDonald's rival Chicken Snack Wrap (just over a quid, "tender chicken breast strip in a soft tortilla with Hellmann’s Extra Light Mayonnaise") or the return of our old friends, the Chicken Selects from May 2003.
...Things obviously move fast at Mickey D's, as the last two products seem to have already replaced January's Caramel Apple Pie Sundae (£1.29) - literally a caramel ice-cream sundae with an apple pie stuck in it. Still, in other frozen fruitiness, there's talk of a ice-cream yoghurt arriving this summer called Nestle Fruitcrunch, plus a raspberry flavour of Cadbury's Cornetto-style Flake 99 Cone.
Confirmed sighting: Unilever Pot Noodle Reduced Salt Chicken and Mushroom
Posted: 14:51 Tue 02-Jan-2007. Price: about 77p. Location: Sainsbury's, Hayes. Nutritional unusualness: "33% less salt than standard Chicken and Mushroom flavour" - ie, 1.99g per pot.
"Nick Stark" reports: Found the new reduced salt Pot Noodle in Sainsbury's the other day. New 33% reduced salt version! This product was very disappointing, no flavour at all. Did not taste anything like the original. Will not recommend to anyone.
...An inauspicious start for anyone with a New Year's resolution to cut their sodium intake - especially as this (Chicken and Mushroom-only?) variant is usually sold alongside the (comparatively) more flavoursome full-salt one. In other just-add-water weirdness, "Has anyone tried the new improved Smash instant potato - it's now flakes, not the chunky bits?" wonders "Flo", while I suspect "bernadette" may actually get more queries about Sudan 1 than any "beef" component when she asks: Hi I need some help! I'm British and live in New Zealand, I'm opening a UK foods shop here and a container load is on its way as we speak, aboard is Beef and Tomato Pot Noodles, the food and safety people here are requiring a declaration as to where the beef was purchased from! Please help, they won't let me sell the items until I have the declaration.
Confirmed sighting: McDonald's Summer menu
Posted: 15:20 Thu 13-Jul-2006. Price: From 99p. Location: McDonald's, Swiss Cottage, London. Sub-flavours: Onion rings; Summer quarter pounder with cheese deluxe; Chicken deluxe with bacon; BLT with cheese Deli Sandwich; Rolo Milkshake; Flake Deluxe McFlurry. Nutritional unusualness: "Buckets and spades not included"; 51.3g of sugar, 16g fat (8.55g saturated) per Flake Deluxe McFlurry.
accordance with prophecy, there are ads for these all over the place now - the tomato-salad-packed Summer Quarter Pounder seemed to be
just another BK Whopper wannabe (though on a slightly more sensible scale this time), while the Onion Rings were every bit as disappointing as you might expect from a branch of Burger King. I haven't tried the other sandwiches or the Flake Deluxe McFlurry yet, but the "Limited Edition" Rolo Milkshake is quite a revelation, with an interesting burnt-sugar caramel flavour that's surely more Toffee Crisp than Rolo?
And, speaking of savouries: "I've searched on the site and can find no reference to the current story of HP sauce to be moved from its home in Birmingham to Holland?" raged "Martin Rake". "This story needs as much highlighting as possible, as I for one shall be boycotting HP sauce until this is decision is reversed, and Heinz products too if it goes ahead.
HP is part of England's heritage and it should not and cannot be HP if it's made overseas! I am currently searching for an alternative sauce to replace my HP, one which is not owned by the [alleged] demons at Heinz!"
Confirmed sighting: KFC Toasted Twister
Posted: 21:34 Fri 12-May-2006. Price: £2.69; "Meal It" for £3.69. Location: KFC, Swiss Cottage, London. Sub-flavours: Salsa, or Normal. Nutritional unusualness: 53g carbohydrate, 27g fat per Twister.
reports: Obviously just a toasted version of KFC's previous Twister wrap thing - not bad at all, plus it doesn't seem to take too long to make (unlike, say,
McDonald's Breakfast Bagels or Toasted Deli Sandwiches). Also: isn't "Toasted Twister" what they call the biker bar in "edited for family viewing" versions of From Dusk Till Dawn?
Oh never mind - in other fast-food frolics: McDonald's appear to have reinstated the Toasted Ham and Cheese Melt as the (unexpectedly David Dickinson-endorsed) Ham and Cheese Toastie (99p, price and participation may vary). Also, "KFC has just recently sent out a bunch of coupons for different offers, one has an upcoming promotion", announces "John" regarding their current Deluxe Boneless Box offering ("8 Mini fillets, 2 Regular Popcorns, 4 fries, 4 dips, 2 large sides, 1.5 litre [drink]" for £11.99) - as described as "macabre" by internetsdairy, though I assume he hasn't stumbled across this trade ad for a "state of [the] art chicken processing facility" capable of "processing" 500,000 chickens a day, and apparently named Plant TH144, perhaps in homage to George Lucas' THX 1138 dystopian nightmare?
Confirmed sighting: Cathedral City Lunch Pack
Posted: 21:44 Wed 01-Mar-2006. Price: "Dunno - wifey bought it". Location: "Probably Asda, as she works there!". Nutritional unusualness: Packaged in a Protective Atmosphere.
"ymmit" reports: Four slices of medium flavour cheddar cheese, a generous pot of Branston, and four Jacobs Cream Crackers - this is the Dairylea Lunchable for Grown Ups. Found it in our fridge, hope wifey didn't want it for itself ["herself", surely? - Snackspot] as it didn't last long - very more-ish. Branston tastes like Branston, the Jacobs crunched nicely despite being refrigerated, but the cheese was very Cathedral City - just mature enough not to be labelled "mild". Still a very pleasant experience and the ultimate in convenience cheese!
"ymmit's" first official sighting highlights increasing competition in this field, what with the recent arrival of Kraft Philadelphia Splendips, and Kerry Foods adding a Cracked Black Pepper and Spiced Onion Chutney option (£1.69/ 90g) to their Golden Vale Brunchettas range. While, in other Branston-related randomness, "Rich" discovered the "With Sausages" version of those controversial Branston Baked Beans for 79p in Sainsbury's, Calne, Wiltshire, announcing: Haven't tried em yet, they're for my tea later - followed by a possibly ominous lack of any further news.
Confirmed sighting: Princes Quick Eat
Posted: 22:25 Mon 19-Dec-2005. Price: £1.98/ 330g. Location: Morrisons, Camden, London. Sub-flavours: Tikka Masala with rice; Chicken in Mushroom Sauce with pasta; Beef Bolognese with pasta; Green Thai Chicken Curry with rice; Tomato and Mascarpone Sauce with pasta (tested). Nutritional unusualness: Unspecified salt content in nutritional info.
reports: Regular readers will know that I can't resist anything that you put in a microwave, and Princes even go so far to claim that these are "the first long-life ambient light meals to include a mix of protein and carbohydrate food in a single microwave-ready plastic pot". The Tomato and Mascarpone Sauce certainly tasted OK, but was a bit dull in appearance when I took the lid off - it's also a bit pricier than Pot Noodle, which I think would be offset if the container's metal rim actually lived up to expectations and produced some sort of spectacular microwave-powered indoor fireworks display.
Morrisons turned out to be something of a microwaveable minefield for a "pretend vegetarian" such as myself, with fresh temptations in the form of Eatwell Fast Feaster sandwiches (2 for £2 offer) and two kinds of
Ginsters Mozzarella Bakes (£1.49, buy one get one free) that I hadn't seen before - now I can't wait to try the likes of Global Cuisine's microwave Ready Roast ("the enjoyment of a cut roast but with the ease of a ready meal"), or Premier Foods' self-heating Crosse and Blackwell Hunger Breaks ("By pouring a pouch of salty water on to a heater pad, a chemical reaction is started that heats the food in 10 minutes"), possibly a technology that could be combined with Tesco's musical Christmas Sandwich which "
plays a medley of Christmas tunes when the packaging is opened".
Confirmed sighting: Findus Flips
Posted: 14:39 Mon 28-Nov-2005. Price: £1. Location: Tesco, Edinburgh. Nutritional unusualness: None noted.
"Taras Young" reports: Bizarrely tasty combination of soft, sweet pancakes with a hot savoury filling. Ironically, they're very much like Nestle Pretzel Flipz in that the taste of the sweet/ savoury combination is really quite bizarre but you keep going back for more. Comes in a box of 6, but you have to microwave them two at a time according to the instructions. Despite having the same fillings, they taste virtually nothing like Findus Crispy Pancakes.
And appear to be currently available in Cheese and Ham and possibly also "Chilli Beef" varieties, possibly to distance them from the "Raspberry Ripple" or "Milky Chocolate" Findus Sweet Pancakes of early 2001. Meanwhile, in other crepe-shaped creativity: I quite enjoyed the microwaveable Wha Wou! Chocolate Crunchy Crepes I found recently in Waitrose, at least compared to the Gordon Brown-endorsed Kingdom Bakers Pancake Pods (in strawberry, raspberry or blueberry, 49p)
that I had to go all the way to Edinburgh to track down - finally locating them in the same Scotmid branch that was promoting Cuisine De France's interpretation of that noted Gallic delicacy, the "Ambient Sausage Roll".
Confirmed sighting: Branston Baked Beans
Posted: 14:26 Fri 25-Nov-2005. Price: 44p. Location: Tesco's, Bishop's Stortford, Hertfordshire. Nutritional unusualness: 0.8g fat per 210g.
"Julie Johnson" reports: So here it is my confirmed sighting, apologies to Snackspot the first time round but a bit new to all this IT stuff! I saw them recently in Tesco and after my son completely cleared his plate for the first time I have opted to buy them in in bulk! I picked them up instead of my normal beans brand because the packaging was eye-catching with a mix of colour. Branston describe them as classic baked beans in a rich and tastey tomatoe sauce. Not sure exactly why he seems to love them so much, but I do think the beans seem a lot more firmer and the sauce has a tomatoey kick to it, delicious!
And apologies to "Julie Johnson", but I must instruct the jury to take her comments with slightly more than a "recommended daily allowance" of salt, as she shares the same name as
this poster who, along with
and "Patty B", all appear to be posting from the IP address of Phipps PR - an ingenious exercise in "astroturf" fake-grassroots promotion which, at time of writing, has made the the top Google search result for Branston Beans... a page discussing "Heinz Baked Beanz with Cumberland Sausages". Performance-linked bonuses all round!
Confirmed sighting: Burger King Fiery BBQ Beef Baguette
Posted: 22:28 Fri 18-Nov-2005. Price: £1.99. Location: Christchurch, Dorset. Sub-flavours: Part of an extensive baguette family. Nutritional unusualness: None noted.
"Phil Buckley-Mellor" reports: Many of you may be aware of the BK baguette family (chicken, different type of chicken, something salad/ veg-based, possibly). Many of you may be aware of the delicious BK Rodeo Cheeseburger. Well, the stars have finally aligned; BK have combined these two legends - this delightful sandwich is simply a Rodeo Cheeseburger Baguette! All your close friends are here - two burgers, two slices of cheese, two breadcrumbed onion rings, lettuce, a little mayo and BBQ sauce all in a warm baguette. BK burgers have always worked great in combination with their cheese and BBQ sauce, now we've got them in a chewy baguette, I genuinely can't imagine this sandwich ever being more perfect. I am slightly worried that this may be a limited edition item, that would be a crime. Run, don't walk, to your nearest BK and demand a "FBBQBB" now!
Meanwhile, in other meaty mouthfuls: selected BP and Total petrol stations are trialling Grampian Foods'
Grabits "Chicken On A Stick" snacks (in Original, or Nice and Spicy, £1.49), but there's still not much sign of PPM Foods' roast chicken flavour Snakstix (scroll down that page a bit) - made possible via "groundbreaking Myofibre technology" which, I think I read somewhere, actually means something like "made from the necks of turkeys".
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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Super Size Me (DVD)
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