Sunday, 9 August 2015

Smokin' Hot!

When my coupons arrived for the latest campaign for Orchard that involved Tesco Finest Cheese, I was excited to see what the range had in store.

My local store however only offered a small selection of the range and with being 4months pregnant I was only able to try the hard cheese as normally I would have gone straight for Tesco's Finest Goat's Cheese.

The first cheese that I opted for was the Smoked Extra Mature Cheddar which I have learned is produced by Wykes Farms in Somerset.

This cheese appealed to me as I am a fan of Applewood and as this promised a similar balance of flavours it was an easy choice.

The cheese is tightly packed and is not resealable, one of my main frustrations with cheese as you end up with lots of little packages made up of aluminium foil in your fridge, especially at Christmas time.

The cheese was fairly dry when I opened the packaging and it was clear the cheese had been smoked with the aromas that wafted out of the packet and the clear smoked tinge on the edges and throughout the block of cheese.

I cut a few slices off to try and was overpowered by the flavour. The strong mature flavour of the cheddar with the smokiness hit me straight away and I was unsure if I liked the taste. I had expected more hints of the cider to flow through the cheese but the actual taste was masked behind the smoked flavour.

I went for good old cheese on crackers to try out this cheese to begin with and was a bit unsure, I sliced it thinly, the cheese then went from the dry texture and found that it was a little wet and stuck to the knife when cutting which I think if left out to get to room temperature would make it more of a softer cheese such as the similar tasting flavour of Applewood, I did however, find that the cracker complemented the richness of the flavour of the cheese and would infact be a great addition to a cheeseboard.

I added a few slices of Black Garlic cloves to see how the combination worked with the cheese as it offered a sweet flavour and found it a tasty combination but again the actual cheese is very overpowering and when teamed with other foods can be a little overbearing.

I did find however that the taste stayed with me and left a pleasant aftertaste and would definitely be a cheese I would consider having in the future for special occasions.

As an everyday cheese however, I would have to avoid.

Friday, 7 August 2015

Sweet meets Savoury

I was invited to join the latest Bzz Agent Campaign to review the latest offering from Jacobs in their snacking range 'Cracker Crisps'
In my box of treats I recieved 1 of each flavour of the 150g Share Bag and some coupons to pass along to friends who would like to give them a try for themselves.
First up was the Thai Sweet Chilli Flavour.
I was expecting the flavour to be somewhat overpowering but found it more mellow and subtle but extremely tasty and after each bite wanting more and more.

As someone who has followed a healthy eating plan for years and maintained my weight for a while now and cut out most of my snacking habits but when the weekend arises, I do find it hard to resist the share bags of popcorn or crisps so as a 'healthier alternative' these really fill a gap in the healthy snack market in my opinion.

I decided to try creating a dip for my cracker crisps and opted for the reduced fat creme fraiche which was really a great combination with the cool flavour combined with the sweet flavour of the chilli.
Another idea would be to chop up some fresh chives and combine with the creme fraiche for a healthier cream and chive dip.
The recommended serving is 25g which would work out to be 3pp.
For me, these are my new treat at the weekend and a new found snack that isn't so sinful.
Back to review the other flavours shortly.....