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Confirmed sighting: KFC Subs
Posted: 21:54 Wed 05-Oct-2005. Price: £2.99 per sandwich; slightly more for meal deal. Location: Leicester Square, London. Sub-flavours: Salsa, BBQ, or Seasoned Mayo. Nutritional unusualness: Unknown.
reports: Possibly a reaction to the currently-promoted McDonald's Toasted Deli Sandwiches (and of course Burger King Oven Baked Baguettes), but I actually prefer these to Mickey D's - you get a lot of chicken, a fair amount of salad, an option of the same old BBQ sauce (or two slightly subtler seasonings), all in a soft bread roll which (crucially) doesn't take ages to put together. They may even be part of a new 99p-ish KFC menu that features something that looks like a "Mini Twister" and a Strawberry Shortcake version of their Ice-cream Avalanche.
While, in other sandwich-style savouries, "KerryMaid" seems almost suspiciously well-informed about the launch of Kraft Philadelphia Splendips, announcing: Developed to provide consumers with a tasty all-in-one dipping snack that's a little more virtuous than many traditional snacking options, Philadelphia Splendips snacks are available in three flavours: Philadelphia Splendips Chives - crunchy chive crackers with reduced fat chive Philadelphia and tomato chutney dip, containing 160 calories and 4.4gm of fat; Philadelphia Splendips Nachos - crispy nachos, reduced fat Philadelphia and mild salsa dip, containing 150 calories and 6.5gm of fat; and
Philadelphia Splendips Cheesecake - crunchy mini digestive biscuits, reduced fat cheesecake flavour Philadelphia and raspberry coulis, containing 196 calories and [that's enough Philadelphia Splendips info - Ed].
Confirmed sighting: Heinz Baked Beanz with Cumberland Sausages
Posted: 11:29 Wed 17-Aug-2005. Price: 79p. Location: Sainsburys, Bothwell Street, Glasgow. Sub-flavours: Heinz Baked Beans with Non-Cumberland Sausages. Nutritional unusualness: 373 calories a can.
"Stephen Craig" reports: Er, not much you can really say about this update to this venerable prole-snack line. It's Beans with Pork Sausages. But now with slightly different sausages. They are nicer than the original though - actually tasting of something not unlike pepper and as if they contain more meat (offering slightly more resistance when chewed - but not much). And the beans themselves take on some of the vaguely peppery flavour of the sausages. Otherwise it's business as usual. However, unlike the originals which proudly boasted "8 Pork Sausages" on the tins, this new line makes no such promises. Indeed, my tin only featured six sausages - all of which were definitely smaller than their non-Cumberland
equivalents. The fact that there is no minimum promised on the packaging means that there may well be an uneven number of the "pork" filled tubes in every tin. BUYER BEWARE, or something.
In other hot-food hilarity: my local McDonald's is announcing that "To make way for" their "great new range of sandwiches", they'll be removing the Big Tasty, Quorn Premiere, McMinis, Fruit Toast, and Big Breakfast Bun from their menu "on August 19th" - while, over in Japan, you can apparently get Strawberry Milk Sausages, made of (what else but...?) "minced fish".
Confirmed sighting: Burger King The Angus Steak Burger
Posted: 14:24 Wed 03-Aug-2005. Price: £3.99. Or £4.29 if you decide you want Bacon and Cheese. Location: Burger King, Renfield Street, Glasgow. Sub-flavours: Bacon and Cheese. Nutritional unusualness: Probably woefully unhealthy.
"Stephen Craig" reports: The process of constantly downgrading a premium line and replacing it with an Even-More Premium Line ("You don't want that Whopper XL [rubbish]! You want this!" they may as well say) continues apace at Burger King, with the appearance of The Angus Steak Burger. The packaging itself haughtily insists
that the "The" is an essential part of the name. Tell that to the staff in your Glasgow branch who happily produced "an" Angus Steak Burger for me, sinister Burger King overlords. It's more of the same as far as these things go. Slightly bigger and thicker burger, slightly higher non-MRM meat content, slightly less hooves and horns, slightly more contempt from staff who have to make them specifically to order. However, it's actually not that bad comparatively, as
the bun and trimmings actually combine with the slightly meatier burger for a decent enough product. The bun itself is almost like a submarine roll - possessing that same semolina-y quality, while the onions are caramelised and surprisingly tasty. It's a fast food burger - you're never going to get much more than barely edible, but with that as a baseline standard, The Angus Steak Burger is not bad at all. Although it's stupidly overpriced.
I'm not sure if this heralds the end of BK's Premium Tastes experiment, though well done to "Stephen Craig" for getting a pic in before "Philip Thompson", who thinks it might be called the "*Aberdeen* Angus Steak Burger" at Gretna Services - as detailed in the "View comments" below...
Confirmed sighting: Unilever Pot Noodle Southern Fried Chicken flavour
Posted: 21:29 Thu 14-Jul-2005. Price: No idea sorry, I'm useless at money, less than a fiver I should have thought. Location: Tesco in Bournemouth, the large one near the hospital. Nutritional unusualness: None noted.
"Philip Buckley-Mellor" reports: I was excited, I love Pot Noodle, I love Southern Fried Chicken - this union could surely only be for man's greater good. I raced to the kettle to begin the delicate preparation of this fine meal - the true macrodiet. It was hard not to dip in early for a taste but I held out until it was ready. It came with a "Tangy Tomato" sauce by the way, with some inane flavour-specifc strapline printed on the back, I can't repeat it. The first mouthful, unremarkable but welcome, more tomato flavour than chicken disappointingly. Further investigation proved me wrong as the word on my lips was indeed "Chicken" - watery, tomato'y chicken but chicken none-the-less. Something of an opportunity lost but a worthy addition to the "regular" range.
"Philip" may be "useless at money" but he's clearly not bad at recreating noodle-eating experiences - while, in other plastic-packed poultry, I recently paid £1.15 for an Oriental Chicken Flavour Blue Dragon Noodle Wok at a convenience store in St John's Wood, London. Apparently "suitable for vegetarians and vegans", these at last address the now-famous Campbell conundrum and, in what may be a first, now offer the option of microwave-cooking your instant noodles (once you've added cold water, and the vegetable and seasoning sachets).
Confirmed sighting: Batchelor's Super Noodles Cheese and Ham flavour
Posted: 23:22 Thu 30-Jun-2005. Price: 50p-ish. Location: Asda, Wrexham. Sub-flavours: Loads of them. Nutritional unusualness: 7g fat per 100g.
"Daniel Thornton" reports: I don't like Super Noodles usually. They're ludicrously expensive for what they are and then usually taste like cardboard distilled through a tramp's spare sock to me. And Asda do their Smart Price noodles for 9p, and they taste only slightly worse, so I may as well be 40p up on the deal, eh? Surprisingly then I did enjoy these, despite the worrying orange glow afforded them by the big pack of cheese flavouring. Tasting like cheese and onion crisps mated with smokey bacon there is almost no residual tramp sock flavour which is a bonus. They don't absorb the water too well in the microwave though, so a couple of slices of white bread may be required to mop up the residuals. Of course, the fact that I enjoyed them doesn't answer why I bought them in the first place when I usually hate the blasted things.
In other savoury celebrations: Delicious! You can really taste the baked beans (in tomato sauce) Nice big fat bangers! was "Zeddy's" verdict on the long-elusive Heinz Pork and Baked Bean Sausages located for £1.49 in Asda, Hamilton, Scotland, while fellow Scottish export "Stuart Campbell" may already be on the case of Walkers' imminent "Chicken and Heinz BBQ", "Classic Sausage and Heinz Tomato Ketchup", and "Classic Heinz Tomato Ketchup" flavoured crisps (from 28p).
Confirmed sighting: Peperami Noodles
Posted: 21:50 Thu 12-May-2005. Price: 39p/ 89g. Location: Sainsbury's, North London. Sub-flavours: Original Peperami, Fried Chicken, Hot and Spicy. Nutritional unusualness: Noodles contain almost the "full house" of vegetable oil antioxidants - Gamma-tocopherol, Delta-tocopherol and, my personal favourite, Alpha-tocopherol as well.
reports: Damn, forgot to mention that I've been "helping out" the free London railway station newspaper The London Line with their snack coverage, this week describing these Super Noodles-alikes as "the closest you'll get to the meaty aromas of a Mongolian barbecue without using more than [just] boiling water". I haven't tried the Fried Chicken ones yet but the other two are mysteriously delicious, though (as "Stuart" pointed out before), the Super-Noodles-style preparation ritual seems hilariously convoluted to our modern eyes. I mean, if I had as much as 10 or 15 minutes to spare, then I might seriously consider microwaving a real meal (with vegetables and everything), wouldn't I?
Anyway, in other meaty mischief: The Grocer reports that UK food companies are seriously looking into a new form of microwaveable steak packaging which combines
"a self-venting polypropylene co-extrusion", "Magic Marinades", and a "special" injection of brine; while there's a still few days left to try and catch New Covent Garden Soup Company's "The Clangers" Spinach, Pea and Mint soup (as made by "The Soup Dragon", rather than out of actual Clangers, but you never really know, do you?)
Confirmed sighting: Heinz Mean Beanz
Posted: 23:01 Tue 19-Apr-2005. Price: roughly around 49-59p. Location: Morrisons Supermarket, Skipton. Sub-flavours: Sweet Chilli, Tikka Masala, Mexican Chilli, Jalfrezi. Nutritional unusualness: None noted.
"Martin Rake" reports: I came across these in my local Morrisons, I thought I hadn't seen them before, but was interested being a fan of adding things to beans myself, such as a spot of curry powder or Worcester sauce.
I tried the Jalfrezi variety yesterday morning with a full English. WOW!!! What a great Sunday morning hangover cure these are. Not only a spot of added spice to the beans, but also small pieces of red peppers, and onions, but not large amounts to overpower the fact that you are eating the finest beans to man, Heinz Baked Beanz! I can't wait to try the other varieties in the range - they could be almost a meal in themselves, of course with a nice thick slice of white toast.
"Martin Rake" returns with this long-awaited confirmation of "Jon's" earlier sighting - plus a glimpse of what the UK's Sudan I-deprived population are currently reduced to ("I love Sweet 'N' Sour Super Noodles, but since the Sudan food-dye scare, I can't find them anywhere", comments "Amy". "I checked the affected foods list, but they aren't on there. Where have they gone? Please help me find out... I'm starving!") Heinz also appear to have launched the semi-upmarket Baked Beanz with Cumberland Sausages - or, for those who prefer the combination the other way around, Heinz Pork and Baked Bean Sausages - "premium pork sausages with a [28%] baked bean filling through the centre".
Confirmed sighting: McDonald's Toasted Deli Sandwiches
Posted: 14:30 Sun 10-Apr-2005. Price: from £2.79-£3.19. Location: McDonald's, next to London Charing Cross. Sub-flavours: Roast Beef and Mature Cheddar; Cheese, Ham and Pepperoni; All Day Breakfast; Sweet Chilli Chicken; Chicken Salad; Chicken Tikka; Grilled Veggie Melt. Nutritional unusualness: None noted.
reports: The mysterious Mediterranean Pitamac seems to have been and gone already, replaced by a "Caesar" version of 2003's Chicken Flatbread, plus this would-be competitor to Subway sandwiches and Burger King's Premium Tastes Oven Baked Baguettes. Having tried the Sweet Chilli Chicken variant, I've no complaints about the product itself (which was literally packed with KFC-ish breadcrumbed chicken and cucumber slices) - though, inevitably, it seems to take McDonald's staff absolutely ages for them to be "Freshly made when you order". On the plus side, there's very little overt McD's branding on the "shame-reduction" packaging, too.
In other meaty malfeasance:
Bernard Matthews has launched a new turkey roll addition to
his Princess Dreams range for young girls; Unilever are combining their Peperami and Pot Noodle-making skills to create Peperami-flavoured instant "Block" noodles (in Chicken, Barbeque, Peperami Original, or Hot and Spicy flavours); while Ko-Lee Noodles appears to be taking a leaf out of "Kaptain Korolev's" recipe book with their Crunch + Munch product which you can enjoy as "a traditional noodle soup or a noodle dish - or eat them dry as a crispy seasoning snack".
International sighting: McDonald's "New" Chocoballs
Posted: 20:41 Thu 17-Mar-2005. Price: about 3.50 Swiss Francs for 5. Location: Zurich Airport. Nutritional unusualness: "Funf Chocoballs mit heisser Hasellnuss-Nougat-Fullung".
"Diarmuid Mallon" reports: A rather novel product from the land of chocolate. These are a truly bizarre snack. Each Chocoball contains a rather small, but quite tasty dark-ish chocolate filling. What is odd is the coating. Imagine "Happy Shopper" scampi, with the scampi-centre scrapped out, and replaced with Nutella. The coating is way too thick, and too savoury for a dessert. Apologies for the rather out-focus camera-phone pic. I was having a rather serious meeting with colleagues, and had to sneak a photo - and also explain away why I choose a dodgy McD over the other food on offer!
Snackspot's very own hidden cameraman returns with this surprising Swiss alternative to the annual arrival in the UK of the Cadbury's Creme Egg McFlurry. And in other McDonald's musings, "Dave Brandon" announced that he had "Not so much a 'sighting', as a question" regarding the new 99p McDonald's Curry Chicken Sandwich, theorising: I assume these were created 'cos the [KFC] 99p Chicken Sandwich was cannibalising their McChicken Sandwich and McChicken Premiere business. Do you think they'll do you one of these with mayonnaise instead of curry sauce if you ask for it, thus cleverly subverting their plan..? I know I could just go in and ask. I just wondered if you already had.
Confirmed sighting: McCain Anytime Ciabatta Bread with Steak and Caramelised Onions
Posted: 22:44 Mon 07-Mar-2005. Price: £1.69, buy one get one free. Location: Tesco in Bordon, Hants. Nutritional unusualness: Energy 1159KJ/ 276KCAL, Carbohydrate 30.9g, Fat 12.3g of which Saturates 2.6g.
"Sue" reports: This is really delicious!
First-time spotter "Sue" provides an unusually succinct sighting of this upmarket extension to McCain's ever-expanding microwaveable range. And in other savoury surprises: I've only seen this poster for the "Pitamac Mediterranean" in one branch of London McDonald's so far (the one between Marble Arch and Edgware Road), but googling for it reveals that they feel compelled to point out that it "contains a special blend of beef, onions, herbs and spices" in the small print underneath almost every other product on their recently-redesigned "sandwiches" page, and that it appears to originate from Belgium, that well-known centre of Mediterranean cuisine. Meanwhile, eagle-eyed "Lee Taylor" observes: Spotted in Morrison's that Posh Noodles have been reformulated. Comparing with the original version the reformulated ones now come in a standard Pot Noodle-style pot without the cellophane wrapper and the word "New" had been removed. Also they are now made "in the EU" instead of Thailand and have a different ingredient list. The most noticeable change is a 66% reduction in the amount of vegetables in the pot :-<
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Smarties Party Ice Cream/ Calippo Fizz
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