Wednesday, March 30, 2016

A Trio of Posh Pop

I randomly found a small brand of soda from the UK in a kitchen store in Bruges. The flavors were intriguing, so I grabbed a few to try. I saved them for a while, waiting for just the right time. But that was silly and they were just taking up space in my fridge.

Up first, Pear & Elderflower.  This is delicious. The crisp pear flavor is prominent, but it's perfectly complemented by the lighter elderflower. The combination somehow manages to capture the taste of a fresh asian pear. The carbonation is light, but present. Very refreshing. If this is a sign of things to come, I'm quite pleased.  I only wish these were easier to get.

Cloudy Lemonade. Lemony, lightly carbonated, not too sweet. This is pretty good. I love tart lemon things, especially lemonade. This doesn't pack quite the punch I was hoping for, but it's quite nice.

And finally - Ginger Beer with Chilli. The ingredients for this, just after carbonated spring water and sugar, is whole lemon and orange fruit concentrate. So the main taste I'm getting is citrusy - like the lemonade. There is the 'burn' in my throat I associate with ginger, but the flavor itself is a muted afterthought. As for the chilli, I'm having a hard time pinpointing that as well. I guess I get a little bit of chilli flavor in the heat of the ginger, and the heat lingers in a chilli-like way. The more I drink the more burn I get, and the longer the burn lasts. I wish I had some french fries to eat with this; I think it would cut the greasiness fantastically.

Overall I'm pleased. These pops are all less aggressively carbonated and sweetened than many sodas I've had. I wish they were available here, because I'd love to try Strawberry & Rhubarb, Plum & Cherry, and Sloe Lemonade.

Tuesday, March 15, 2016

Random New! Things

As I may have mentioned, I have a problem when it comes to new things. These don't belong in a group or really have anything to do with one another, but they've been waiting and I might as well, right?

I was mildly concerned when I saw these, but some persuasion from my mom convinced me to give them a try. My feelings did not lead me astray. They have the same texture/mouthfeel as a yogurt raisin, which I do like. A light caramel flavor seems okay at first whiff, but the salt. Oh, the salt. Ugh. I like salt, I do, but this is unbalanced and heavy. No thanks. Now what do I do with these?

Confession time? I don't like persimmons. I haven't since I was a child. We had a few persimmon trees in our back yard and every year when they ripened we'd try them, convinced that maybe the previous year's fruits were a bad fluke. Always gross. So again, I went into this with some apprehension. The flavor is overwhelmingly orange. Not bad. But there is just a lingering wrongness that I assume comes from the persimmon that meant I won't be eating the rest of these. 

Yay! New Capri Sun! This is Superdrink, y'all. It was Minions last year, so tying in to Batman vs. Superman makes sense. This is pretty great. Apple, orange, lemon, cherry. They combine well. The cherry flavor shines through. Plus it's exciting to have a Supergirl pouch. 

Tuesday, March 01, 2016

Box 1 Part... 3?

There has been a lot of Valentine's-related snacks going around, so I haven't gotten back to the Korean snacks really. Also, if I'm honest, I am not as excited about the rest of this package (with the notable exception of the honey and butter kettle chips, which I'm saving because I just got one small bag).

Up first:

So. More chips. These are shaped as shown on the package, like rigatoni and elbow macaroni had a baby. Hollow inside, the chip is thin like a noodle as well. I had to cut open the bag (this is not the first such occasion, Koreans like tough snack bags I guess). My first impression of these is the smell from the bag - it took a minute to place it, but it really reminds me of hot hush puppies. Not what I was expecting. There is no tomato flavor at all. The picture lies. I didn't get much flavor from the chip itself, I don't even know what it's made of. It is very crunch, though. Good texture. The coating is bright red and oddly sweet. A spicy note pops up on occasion. These are sort of confusing. They're definitely not moreish, but they are pretty unoffensive so it's easy to keep eating them. 

I let someone else try these and she suggested that the flavoring was like "Oriental" flavored ramen. She's right. The chip itself being sweet hides that.

Onto the worm? aliens?. They are gummi candies, as I guessed. All of them orange and green or yellow and red. They can't be worms because they have fishy tails and little fins? about halfway down their wormy torsos. Big surprise at the bottom of the bag: you see how the king alienworm is bigger than the rest of his crew on the packaging? That's true to life. Most of the worms are 2ish inches long. The worm king is twice as big, and cola flavored.  The gummis are soft, which is nice. More tart than an american gummi worm. These are good.

I've been putting these off since I first read the package. I just couldn't get behind the idea of putting broccoli in a candy. Who does that? (Korea, obviously.) 

Following my lifelong habit of eating the least good thing first and saving the best for last, I tore open a Broccoli & Kiwi. "Mmm.. kiwi! This is actually pretty goooooo...oooh. Oh. Broccoli. They weren't kidding. Yikes. This is bad. They ruined it. Maybe if I give it a little longer the flavors will balance and it will make sense? Nope. Nope. Nope. Nope." I had to spit it out. It tasted like someone distilled the most sulfurous, bitter notes from broccoli and smeared it all over a fake kiwi. 

"Tomato & Grapefruit. That will be better. I like grapefruit candy and I love tomatoes. Mmm... grapefruit candy! This just tastes like grapefruit. ... .... Wait, I think another flavor is coming through... Ugh. This is not what tomatoes taste like. Why? Who did this? Maybe these ones will balance? Nope. I can still taste the bad tomato flavor and it distracts from the grapefruit too much."  So I guess I just expected fresh, delicious, summer tomato flavor. Who knows, maybe that would have worked. What they did instead is that concentrated, tinned tomato juice/v8 tomato flavor.

"Alright, Carrot & Apple. Apples are delicious. Carrots are naturally sweet. Surely they can't have ruined this too. Okay, concentrated apple juice. I can work with that. This is pretty pleasant. Where's the carrot? Hmm.. I think if I really try maybe I get a hint of that dirt flavor carrots can have. But it's a stretch. This is actually pretty good." This is the only good one. Thank goodness there was at least one palatable flavor in the bunch.

The coveted Honey & Butter Kettle Chips. It's finally time. They smell buttery. Amazing crunch. Touch of honey, buttery notes and mouth-feel (how did they do that?). They were not lying when they named these. After a few chips the flavors coalesce and it tastes just like that whipped honey butter you can get at some restaurants with their free yeast rolls. I have to admit that I am disappointed, though. They just aren't balanced. There is something missing, or too much of something. I ate maybe 5 or 6 and then I just couldn't have any more. Ah, well.

The disappointment of something not meeting expectations is tempered by the fact that I've officially tried everything in this box and now I can move on to the next one! Woo!!! There is some great looking stuff yet to come. :)