The first rule of food it to make it sound good. Cue over the top descriptions on packaging and press releases. Sometimes though you look at the ingredients list and think "actually that does sound quite tasty" or you something in the design of the packaging makes you want to dive straight in.
So I am going to put my money where my mouth is and actually buy some of the finer-sounding products online with my own money and conduct my own personal taste tests.
Watch this space...
Brew Tea Co- English Breakfast tea
As featured in Fine Food Digest's upcoming tea feature (http://www.finefoodworld.co.uk) Foodservice specialist The Brew Tea Company has just launched its first retail packs, targeted at consumers on a quest for a “Proper Cup of Tea”.The range includes familiar blends such as English Breakfast, made using rolled, handpicked leaves. Each bag contains up to 50% more tea than other pyramids, the company says. English Breakfast, RRP £4.25 15 bags www.brewteacompany.co.uk
The verdict: I am a tea addict, now down to only four cups a day. But old habits die hard so obviously my first review is of a cup of tea. This tea is very satisfactory, it has a real nutty flavour. But you need to brew them for a long time. The pack says 3 to 5 minutes but I would go more like 6. I like a strong cup of tea and the first two I had failed the coppery colour test. Also a bit pricey once you include postage, but on the plus side I was one of the company's first 10 retail customers so I got two free party poppers. I am going 3.5 stars out of 5 here.
Watch out for this in Fine Food Digest's September Savoury Snacks feature. New Bloom’s Popcorn is made by hand, in Essex, using jumbo mushroom kernels from the American Mid-West. These giant-sized kernels, cooked in traditional pans, make crunchier and more satisfying popcorn pieces than standard gourmet popcorn, according to the company. There are four flavours available, Sweet and Salty (with Maldon sea salt), Hot and Smokey (with chipotle and bird’s eye chillies), Sesame and Salt (sprinkled with whole sweet sesame seeds) and Nutty and Sweet (with roasted monkey nuts) www.bloomspopcorn.co.uk
The verdict: Bloom's kindly sent me three packets. The plan was to pay for samples with my own money to taste so that there was no potential risk of bias. Plan B is to review anything sent to me that I particularly like as well as buying samples in when they sound tantalising. These giant popcorn kernels were good. As the kernels used are jumbo sized the coating was not evenly spread, I would describe this as tastebud tickling. There were only a couple of unopened kernels in the bags. A wholesome little retro snack and handmade in Essex is a nice touch- lol they looked a bit orange in places. 3.5 out of 5 again, which means like and would recommend but won't be going back for more as I can live without.