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barnstorm

barnstorm

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Reviews written

since 02/04/2003

13

Carlsberg Export Lager 29/04/2003

The Danes Can Probably Keep It

Carlsberg Export Lager I had had a hard day at work last week and so decided to stop by at the off licence on the way home. They had a special offer on Carlsberg Export. Export Strength lager will help me to forget my troubles I thought! Did it? Here goes.... Carlsberg Export comes in a 440ml can and cost me £2.99 for a four pack. The cans are a deep gold colour with the brand name and general details written on in dark green and there was a crown emblem above the name. This is because Carlsberg are apparently brewers "by appointment to the Royal Danish Court" The alcohol level was standard for all premium strength lagers at 5%. The selling spiel on the side of the can read as follows; "Carlsberg has brewed quality beers since 1847. Carlsberg Export is a superior, premium strength lager with a refined and satisfying taste". At this point I was thinking that as this product is strong and royally approved, I couldn't go wrong. So I cracked one open (after a painstaking 15 minute wait for them to chill in the freezer) and......... how wrong I was. I should state at this point that my preference is for milder tasting lagers such as Corona and Miller ie ones where you cannot taste the crop constituents (hops, wheat or whatever)as much. Unfortunately, with this product there was a distinctive after taste of hops which did not agree too much with my pallet. My troubles didn't stop there though. You know how some beers such as Stella taste as though the strength is merely a part of the ...

Walkers French Fries 16/04/2003

Delicieux

Walkers French Fries The basic rule of crisp production is surely that of colour coding the bags. When you're knee high to a grass hopper you learn that salt & vinegar come in a light blue packet, cheese & onion in a green packet and beef in dark brown. Walkers though have never read this rule, or if they have then they do not adhere to it (they put Salt & Vinegar in green packets for goodness sake!) Hence the reason why yesterday, I picked up a packet of what I thought to be Beef French Fries but which turned out to be Worcester Sauce (which I hate!) Anyway, I ate them (the things that I do for you guys) and here are my thoughts. They come in a brown foil packet and retail at around 30p from all good crisp sellers. There is no exact weight on the packet but judging by the nutrional information on the back, I would judge that there are 20 to 25 grammes in each pack. Although, I have decided to concentrate mainly on the Worcester Sauce variety, they are also available in original (red), salt and vinegar (green) and cheese and onion (blue!). They are also available to buy in a six pack with two packs of each of these flavours for around £1.19. The crisps themselves are, as you would expect from the name, long and thin. They are a lot thinner than their nearest competitors though (which I would say are Chipsticks) and are also a lot smoother. I think that this is because, as with a lot of the Walkers "gimmick range" they seem to be made of reshaped potato rather than just chopped and ...

Heinz Ravioli 15/04/2003

Like the dinner ladies used to make

Heinz Ravioli Spotted dick, packet mash, semolina, ravioli and lumpy pink custard were all culinary abominations which I thought that I had left behind in the dark days of school dinners. How wrong I was! Ever had one of those days when you get home from work too tired to go shopping and yet there's nothing in the house to eat for dinner? I had one last week except I was wrong about the food! There was a tin of Ravioli lurking in the corner of one of the cupboards. I was hungry and so I thought that it couldn't do any harm to give it a try. It couldn't, after all, be as bad as I remember! So here goes with the review. Heinz Ravioli comes packaged in a 410gm tin and retails at around 69p. The label is yellow with red and white graphics and a picture of the product on the front. (For those of you who have read my review of Heinz Spaghetti Bolognese, this tin is very simiar to both that product and Heinz Spaghetti Hoops - I personally think that Heinz are trying to cash in on the almost universal popularity of the latter by association!) The product itself consists of small (Approximately 1 inch square) pieces of pasta each stuffed with minced beef and served in a tomato sauce. It can be prepared in one of two ways. Either by heating gently on a hob (but be warned, like the Bolognese and the Hoops, it requires constant stirring in order to prevent the pasta sticking to the pan) or by microwave (2 minutes on full power, stir thoroughly and then a further 2 minutes!) I used the first ...

Lynx Deodorant Spray 11/04/2003

Quality Spray or just marketing magic

Lynx Deodorant Spray You know that moment when you suddenly take a step back and wonder just why the hell it is that you do something? Well, I recently had one of these with regards to Lynx Deodorant for men. I mean this is my brand of choice but do I purchase it for it's quality or because of the carefully, marketing generated cool image which surrounds it? So, I decided to objectively review the next can I bought to see if I could decide. Here goes; I purchased one can of Lynx deodorant from my local Boots for the princely sum of £2.59 for a 150ml can which is quite expensive for deodorant I think (apart of course from the stupidly priced proper designer ones!) Lynx comes in a variety of different fragrances but for my purposes I chose Atlantis which is my favourite and therefore they type upon which this review will be based. The product comes in a black cylindrical can measuring 5.5 inches by 2 inches with Lynx aswell as all of the product information written in silver and the fragrance's emblem marked in silver and blue. Lynx used to come in a can with a removable top and aerosol ciphon which was no use to me as I would repeatedly lose both thus rendering the can pretty much useless. However, perhaps to remove this complication, the top is now fixed to the can whilst the spray is depressed by means of a sliding button on top. It sounds stupid but this makes it so much easier to dispense that it can be done one handed which is really useful if you are in a rush to get out on the ...

Corona Extra 11/04/2003

THE lager to drink

Corona Extra I admit without hesitation that when I drink lager, this is my first choice when its available so I'm afraid that this may not be the most balanced opinion on Ciao. Corona Extra is available from bars priced at around £2.50 per 330mt bottle. The bottle itself is transparent with an etched on white label and the brand name is then painted on to this in blue. Whilst I find most Budweiser to be basically horrible and Becks is a bit hoppy for my taste, Corona has a verry mild, almost Shandy like taste (although it is 4.6% alcohol) hence the reason why it is hard not to drink loads. This drink should be served with a slice of lime in the mouth of the bottle which makes it even tastier and smoother to drink. (Almost like Lager and lime but with more of a natural taste due to the lack of a synthetically strong, tasting cordial. Its ideal lager drinking weather at the minute so go out and get yourself a bottle of Corona. I defy you to stop at one!

Findus Crispy Pancakes - 3 Cheese Flavor 09/04/2003

Why did they have to change them

Findus Crispy Pancakes - 3 Cheese Flavor I used to love Findus Crispy Pancakes but then they changed to Cross and Blackwell and before long the range was reviewed. Out went plain Mince Beef, in came Beef Bolognese and out went Cheddar Cheese to make way for the subject of this review - Three Cheese! I am also informed that they launched a sweet pancake range with chocolate filling and stuff but I have not yet encountered these and, to be frank, I don't think that I want to! The boring bit - Three Cheese Pancakes come packaged in a red and green box and are in the frozen foods department of all major food retailers. They sell for around £1.79 for a box of six but I have seen numerous buy one get one free offers on them. You can grill them, shallow fry them or cook them in the oven and they take a maximum cooking time of 18 minutes. I used to love this line's predecessor (the Cheddar Cheese ones) as they tasted really nice and cheesy (basically like a cheddar cheese toastie but in breadcrumbs!) Now that they have changed the filling, it has a stronger, more pungent smell and the cheeses are more like foreign ones (though Cheddar is thrown in for good measure!) I suppose that it comes down to how you like your cheese! I would still have these as a quick snack. I would warn anybody that tries them to watch out though as the filling can get awfully hot!

Heinz Spaghetti Bolognese 09/04/2003

Mamma Mia Eesa Pasta

Heinz Spaghetti Bolognese Heinz Spaghetti Bolognese is a relatively cheap, easy to prepare tinned snack. Ideal for when time is running short and you need a bite to eat. I generally have it when I get home from work and I need to be out again quickly. THE PRODUCT AND PACKAGE This comes in a 400gm can, has a yellow label and the graphics are white and red. The whole package is, in fact, not too dissimilar to that of Heinz Spaghetti Hoops, if you are familiar with that product. The can itself has a ringpull on top to save any messing around with tin openers. It retails at around 79p and is available from all major supermarkets. PREPARATION It can either be heated gently on a hob or microwaved on full power for two minutes, stirred and then put back on for another two minutes. I usually prefer it by the former method though but be warned, it does need to be stirred constantly as there is more pasta than sauce. INGREDIENTS Spaghetti (46% made from wheat), water, concentrated tomato puree, Beef (5%), Textured Wheat Protein (contains Roasted Barley Malt Extract), cornflour, sugar, vegetable oil, spirit vinegar, salt, herb extracts, modified cornflour, garlic salt, colour - plain caramel, spice. NUTRITIONAL INFORMATION Typical Values per 100gm; Energy 335kj/79kcal Protein 3.5g Carbohydrate 12.7g Fat 1.6g Fibre 0.5g Sodium 0.4g 80 calories 1.6g fat QUALITY I am not a fan of home cooked bolognese as I don't particularly like tomatoes and so most sauces are to tomatoey ...

Warburtons White Loaf 08/04/2003

The Best Bread Bar None

Warburtons White Loaf In my younger, more naive student days I would stock up on the cheapest bread available (usually the supermarket's value range) foolishly believing that bread was bread no matter who it was made by or how much you paid for it. That was until I ate Warburtons at a friend's house and realised just how wrong I was! This is quite simply, in my opinion the best bread that money can buy. Warburtons loaves come in two sizes, 400g (in a bag) and 800g (wrapped in grease proof paper) and three varieties that I am aware - Medium sliced (blue wrapper), thick sliced/toastie (orange wrapper)and Extra thick (green). They all taste the same though I prefer the medium just a matter of personal preference. They retail at around 89p for the 800g for just about any bread retailer which is expensive but I would say that they're worth it All of the varieties taste great though whether you use them for sandwiches, toast, soup dunking or whatever. Each slice is really soft and fresh. Fantastic. Infact I think that I'll go and get some now! I'm also reliably informed that they do work with schools if you need another reason to buy some! Update - I now note that these products are also available in a half loaf pack. I will post more information when I have it

Batchelors Cup a Soup 08/04/2003

Hot, warming soup - shame its summer

Batchelors Cup a Soup I have just been reading the reviews of Batchelors Cup a Soup on here and was surprised to see that the majority of them were negative or at best mediocre. This surprised me somewhat as these as one of my favourite snacks so I'll set about trying to set the record straight. These are available from virtually all food retailers and come in packs of four (retailing at around 75p), packaged in blue cardboard boxes (measuring about 3.5 inches by 5 inches by 0.75 inches) They are divided into three main categories; original, slimming and extra but as I only consume the first type, that is what my opinion will be based on. Original cup a soup comes in 4 flavours; chicken, golden vegetable, tomato and beef and tomato. They are prepared by simply opening one of the paper sachets, pouring it into a mug and then adding approximately three quarters of a pint of boiling water. Simply stir to ensure that all of the powder has dissolved et voila - how easy is that. A brief synopsis of the flavours; Chicken - This is whiter in colour than most chicken soups and, by nature of the product, is thinner as well. It has a slightly more herby taste than most other varieties too but tastes none the worse for that. Tomato - Again thinner than other soups and more pink than red. Also tastes more like tomato and herb. Probably my least favourite of the range but I would say that for most Tomato soups so if you do like this kind then do try them Golden Vegetable - I don't like ...

Pepsi Cola 08/04/2003

Take the Pepsi Challenge

Pepsi Cola Does anything split the consumer world so remarkably as preference for either Coca-cola or Pepsi? A couple of years ago, I took the Pepsi challenge and won myself a pack of Cheetos for correctly identifying Pepsi but I don't think that it was much of a challenge. I personally find that Coca-Cola has a very sweet taste whilst Pepsi, although undeniably sweet has more of a flavour to it. This in a nutshell is why I prefer it. I know that it's rotting my teeth and doing them irreparable harm but if I can't taste the sugar as much then I can put it to the back of my mind more! Both drinks are ideal when ice cool to quench your thirst. Pepsi is available from all soft drinks retailers in 330ml cans (40p) and 500ml (59p) or 2 litre bottles (£1.29)! If you've never tried it go out and get some now especially if you are thirsty and if you've never challenged yourself why not have a go. Once you put aside any brand bias, you may be surprised with what you pick! 08th April Update - Nobody has told me if they have tried the challenge yet. Come on folks!

Chicago Town Ham & Pineapple Deep Pan Pizzas 08/04/2003

Can you microwave a tasty pizza

Chicago Town Ham & Pineapple Deep Pan Pizzas Chicago Town Pizza's come frozen in packs of two. They differ from most pizza's on the market currently though in that they are relatively small (roughly 5.5 inches in diameter) and they are microwaveable. They retail at around £1.89 for the two pack in most frozen food outlets although multi-buy offers do seem common if you shop around. The pizzas themselves come loaded with lovely string cheese and tomato sauce which is a tad tangier and spicier than other pizzas but none the worse for that. The Ham and Pineapple come in very small chunks on top of this and although they are tiny, they are numerous enough so that the overall taste is not affected. Now for the moaning part, if you cook them in a conventional oven they take 18 to 20 minutes and taste great. As I said before the cheese is nice and stringy and the base is relatively soft. However, if you cook them in a microwave (for which purpose a silver cardboard tray is provided)in my experience the topping hardens a little and base becomes almost unbreakable! My recommendation therefore is that these pizza's are well worth a try but only if you can wait the extra 15 minutes for them to cook in a conventional oven

Sensodyne Total Care Toothpaste 07/04/2003

Sodium Lauryl Sulphate Free

Sensodyne Total Care Toothpaste A while ago I had a couple of painful mouth ulcers and was advised to try a Sodium Lauryl Sulphate free toothpaste. I trawled through all of the brands at my local pharmacy and finally managed to find this one by Sensodyne. It was rather expensive but I thought that I would give it a try. I took if home and unfortunately found the texture of the paste to be a bit powdery. You know when after brushing your teeth, you put them together and feel little particles crunching between them? Well that is how I felt once I had finished using this. The minty taste was quite pleasant though. My ulcers disappeared after about a week and have not been back since (even though I have subsequently stopped using this product) so unfortunately I cannot say if it was definitely this which eradicated them. If you have ulcers though then it is surely worth a try. If not, then I realy wouldn't

WKD Vodka Blueberry 07/04/2003

Is this really alcoholic

WKD Vodka Blueberry First of all, I should lay my cards on the table, this is my drink of choice when I am out painting the town red and so I am more than a little biased. I love the stuff! WKD is an alcopop which comes in two flavours - original and blueberry. The original tastes just like Iron bru whilst the Bluberry is just like the bubblegum flavoured cup drinks you had when you were a child (You know that you remember them!) I should state that although I do drink the latter variety from time to time by way of a change, my favourite is actually the original! These come in 330ml bottles and are available from most bars and pubs for around three pounds each. I believe that you can buy them from off licences in larger bottles as well though I have never had one of these. Go out any buy yourself a bottle of the original now if you have never tasted it and you drink alcopops. Tastes just like when you were a kid with the added value of the alcohol to help you forget the stressful, adult world. Magic! I've noticed that this now also comes in a silver flavour. More info to follow once I have tried it
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