Sunday, 19 February 2012

Tayto Titanic

2012 marks the centenary of the Titanics fateful journey. Now here in Belfast we're very proud of the fact that we built what was at the time a sensational piece of engineering and  ship that's lived longer in the memory than most. This year is a big year in Belfast with the opening of the landmark new visitor centre being the centre-point of a big year planned for the local tourist board.

This has lead to local Crisp company Tayto launching a commemorative bag of hand cooked lightly salted crisps.

The bag itself is Titanic, I heard the groans I promise it's the only time I use that, weighing in at a whopping 150g. I love the design actually and it certainly makes it stand out from the crowd in your local store.

The crisps are luxurious. Hand-cooked will craft images of kettle chips to you and that's not far away except these don't have that sort of greasy sheen on them of other hand-cooked crisps also they aren't as rigid as some. Maybe it's just me but some hand-cooked kettle chip style crisps almost shatter on biting and you get these rock hard shards that then stab at the lining of your mouth. These aren't like that. They have a really reassuring bite and texture to them. You also can't taste any sort of fat or anything akin to that from them. Seasoning is spot on here too with large grains of what seems like Sea Salt but there's not too much of it. It doesn't dry your mouth out or dull your taste buds it's just enough to have you craving more and more and more of these crisps.

These crisps somehow manage to ooze prestige and luxury without trying too hard. Fantastic. Like the ill-fated ship they also went down a bit too easy. Urgh even I feel a bit repulsed by that joke.


To find out more about what's planned in Northern Ireland this year visit the following link


I sample a delightful drink called Portemo from a local soft drink manufacturer Maine. I think the first thing to say is the bottle itself is a work of art. The kind of camp font on the label and the fantastic thick glass bottle combine to give you something that feels a bit special.

The next thing is a confession. I don't really know what Portemo is. If you search the internet you don't find much information. The name doesn't mean a lot to me as a local so I decided to dig a bit more. I believe this is a version of a drink called Portello which is local to the United Kingdom but now lives it life in sunnier climes like Sri Lanka and Australia.

Now I have never had Portello so this is a guess and it will remain only a guess unless I can get a Sri Lankan colleague to confirm for me there is a similarity. Why you might ask the name change, I found a cryptic blog that indicates Coca-Cola owns the trademark for the name Portello so this would go some way to explain the change in identity.

Now onto the maine version itself

As you can see from the photo it has a really lush deep purple colour to it. The smell of it is berry, strong berry. To me I would guess raspberry and blackcurrant as there is a definite Vimto note to it. Taste wise again there are similarities to Vimto but sweeter. It's highly carbonated which is common with Maine and this makes it really crisp and light. It's a real winner.

Really nice drink but one which still has questions over it's true identity.

If you are from Northern Ireland I would recommend trying this out. Maine is having a bit of a resurgence lately and is available in a lot of convenience stores.

Rocky Road Rice Krispie Square

Rice Krispie squares eh. Bloody great bunch of lads in my view. Not only have they managed to market and sell something that is quite easy to make but they've done such a good job of it that nobody even thinks anything of it. I like them, a lot. I think the Caramel one is probably my favourite of the branded ones and so I was quite happy to see a Rocky Road flavour in a local shop.

I probably should have left it there. Now the make up of this treat is a bit different to what I would normally think of as rocky road. It's white chocolate, marshmallow, raisin, shortbread and milk chocolate. I know the thing with Rocky Road is there's so many variations so I can't really take issue with this collection on ingredients but I did feel the white chocolate was going to get a little lost.

That probably wasn't the case actually I had a lot of the chocolate on the top so it definitely held it's own but the shortbread biscuit on the other hand was such a disappointment. Flavour wise it was good but texture wise it just confused the whole thing. You have a bit of crunch and bite from the Rice Krispies themselves so the biscuit just kind of is screaming me too me too and ends up being annoying. The marshmallow is used to bind the Krispies together but you feel a bit short changed. Rocky Road should have chunks of marshmallow and the texture of only marshmallow right? Isn't that one of few consistencies with all the varieties.

I'll be honest I was only this disappointed because I like the other varieties of these a lot. This did feel like a dud thought. Real shame

Do yourself a favour if you get a rocky road craving go to Marks and Spencers buy one of these tubs and just be happy

Why do you think they call it Fruit Juice?

So I was watching Celebrity Juice, yeah I'm beginning to think I might have been programmed to like things with the word juice in them ok, and the idents for want of a better term are for Oasis drink.

Nothing odd there you say. Coca-Cola have been pushing Oasis a bit recently but it's in an odd place isn't it. They don't want to sell it as a healthy option right as it's quite high in sugar so they decided to take it in the direction of hinting that it was having sex with a lot of food.

* the eagle eyed among you will notice this isnt the celebrity juice adverts. Can't find them at the minute. Point still stands.

Yep. Now that's weird but what's really weird about it is, this isn't the first time someones done that. Take a look at this advert for Fruice

So why do people want to indicate that their juice likes to have sex with food. Is the thought of a baked potato getting a different kind of stuffing supposed to make me want a drink. Don't get me wrong I'm sure we've all found a sandwich or a scotch egg to be sexy in the past but it's not making me thirsty right? So then it struck me the problem is they don't want you to think Fruit Juice indicates anything about your sexual preference. It's kind of a you are what you drink scenario I think. The juice does protest too much I think. I mean think about it in all these adverts do the juice drinks ever go for same sex companions? Didn't think so.

You know what though it's ok drink companies I think most of us realise that fruit juices aren't only the drink of choice of homosexuals.

So to any advertisers reading this blog, it's ok we get it. Fruit Juices are not gay. Thanks.

Saturday, 4 February 2012

Alinamin V Drink

This isn't a review, this is an answer to a cry for help. A weak minded friend of ours was in tears the other day. I put my manly arms around him and said "HUSH WHY THE TEARS" and he looked me deep in the eyes and said "My long search for a specific drink has left me feeble of mind and painful of heart"

So I did what anyone could do and laughed at him. Later that night in Fizzness towers I was amazed to find my usual easy sleep was disturbed by those haunting words and so I decided to help a brother out.

This is the information he had for me. A youtube clip featuring Arnie. This advert was apparently pulled from a lot of sources and made the terminator a very unhappy man. This is only one of a series of adverts

Yeah just soak that up. I question why a grown man has become so fixated for the advert but that's a conversation we will save for another time.

So other youtube videos indicate this is Alinamin V energy drink a B vitamin energy drink. Wikipedia is failing me a bit on this name.

So I found a store selling them though but I'm not quite sure what they are yet.. er

What I do know is
  • For supplementation at the time of the physical fatigue!
  • Nutrition and invigoration, weak constitution

And really isn't that enough? Ohh no wait that's not enough they supposedly contain nicotine, according to my good pal anyway and there is an ingredient named nicotinic acid included in the list. Looking into that as bit more I found the following

Niacin was first discovered from the oxidation of nicotine to form nicotinic acid. When the properties of nicotinic acid were discovered, it was thought prudent to choose a name to dissociate it from nicotine, in order to avoid the perception that vitamins or niacin-rich food contains nicotine. The resulting name 'niacin' was derived from nicotinic acid + vitamin."

So I don't think the rumours of this nictone fueled energy drink really hold up to much but I guess when we get him some we can get him to confirm or deny.
In the ingredient list we also found  Ethanol hehe. These do sound pretty healthy I guess so will probably go about ordering some soon

Is anyone aware of any other stockists or suppliers who might be able to help us out rather than getting hit with £30 postage? Does anyone want us to try and source or find other drinks? Let us know

Can't help but feel he'll be coming to me with this next

Brisk Strawberry and Melon

Up today we have another flavour from the people of unilever. It's again from their Brisk range of non-carbonated soft drinks but this time we've something a little different.

Now I enjoyed the lemonade and orangeade flavours quite a bit but with them being a) common carbonated drinks and b) common cordial flavours here in the UK it did leave me feeling, not unlike the drinks, flat.

Today is a different type of beast. The flavour today is Strawberry and Melon. Look at it, isn't it a beauty?

I mean that can is something else. I love the artwork on these cans.  They look fantastic and they taste fantastic. This is no exception. I talked about the others being common carbonated drinks well that's not a massive problem here the only one I am familar with that shares this lineage is the incredible Mountain Dew Supernova. Not bad gene pool to share right? Sadly we don't quite hit those heights although I don't think many ever will.

In terms of it being like a cordial well that's not quite as clear here, yes Strawberry is common but the melon flavour, and you can pick up the melon flavour, is what sets it apart. You won't be drinking this feeling like you got mugged off.

I think this is my favourite of the Brisk range so far. I would love to give it the seal of approval but I think Mountain Dew Supernova has maybe set the Strawberry and Melon a bit too high for that.