Thursday, 4 September 2014

Top foodie picks for September

As a foodie blogger and someone who's generally seeking new food products and experiences, I am forever on the lookout for new products. I am most likely a perfect target audience for many new brands, as my curiosity often makes me buy a product which I haven't seen before. Sometimes it is a lovely encounter, sometimes I wish I didn't bother. Some of the products have been on the market for a while but I only recently discovered them, so they are new to me. There is not enough time for me to do a separate review for each and every product I have tried recently, so I will do a list of foodie things worth mentioning.

It might be odd to start with a discontinued product, but I wanted to alert you while you still have a chance to try and find it before it disappears completely. Puerh Mandarin from Whittard of Chelsea is a superior tea. I don't know why they decided not to produce it any longer, I will definitely bemoan its demise and beg Whittard to reconsider. It is still available on offer in our local store, reduced to £3, and I bought several boxes, but obviously once they are gone, I won't be able to restock my supply.

Puerh tea has many health benefits. It has a distinct earthy taste and a strong smell. To put it kindly, it smells like old socks shrimp soup. Yet the addition of orange flavouring (you can actually see the pieces of peel in the teabag) has removed its fishy smell. I love the taste of this rich full-bodied tea. It is also an excellent aid to digestion, and is perfect after heavy meals. I also read that puerh tea is a great hangover cure, but cannot vouch for that (I don't drink enough to get a hangover). Please, Please, Whittard of Chelsea, could we have this tea back?!

Arla Lactofree a blend of lactose free butter and vegetable oil. Contains milk, not suitable for milk allergy sufferers  suitable for cooking, baking, frying and home freezing. I bought it earlier this summer, when I wanted to bake a batch of cupcakes for my son's nursery teacher. It is a good substitute for butter in baking. My cupcakes were well risen and moist. We also tried some in plain butter sandwiches, and my kids didn't notice the difference with their usual brand of butter spread.

Green garlic (I mean fresh bulbs not the scapes or garlic leaves) is very aromatic. My shopping bag had a lingering smell of garlic a few days after I bought it in Waitrose. Lovely in salads, and it's great roasted whole too, drizzled with the olive oil. I also cooked a stuffed chicken with it, by slicing in two halves horizontally and putting in the cavity.

New Muller De Luxe Corner/Irish Cream is a truly luxurious yogurt. Believe me, it is very-very naughty. Not only you get a smooth Irish cream yogurt with real alcohol, there is a layer of chocolate hidden below. And the corner compartment comes with cocoa dusted milk chocolate balls. It is very moreish.

At 186kcal, this is not exactly a diet food, but actually I'd rather start a dull day of fasting with a treat than a boring porridge which will come to 130-150kcal anyway. I might as well have an uber-healthy spinach salad later and save on calories then. Simply fabulous, this creamy dessert is pure indulgence in a plastic container. Big round of applause to Muller for creating such a scrumptious yogurt.

As a complete and total chocoholic, I cannot pass the chocolate aisle without studying what new treats have appeared. Our local Waitrose started selling a new brand of chocolate called Madecasse. How could I resist? It's all in the name of research, I tell myself. As a foodie blogger, I must try it. Sea Salt & Nibs looked especially enticing. I do love chocolate with sea salt, and have tried several different varieties. It is on offer at the moment for £1.99 per bar.

The chocolate bar from Madecasse (Madagascar chocolate) contains 63% dark chocolate, cocoa nibs and a touch of salt, promising fruity notes with a savoury crunch. This is not a kiddy chocolate bar, thanks goodness. It has a rather grown up taste. Sea salt works beautifully with dark chocolate, and the cocoa nibs add an interesting texture to the smooth chocolate. I also loved the design of the wrapper. Now I really need to try another variety. Just to compare, you know.

If you are a fan of chewy sweets like Percy Pigs, you might like a new range of sweets called Candy kittens. Again, we discovered them in Waitrose. There are several flavours available, and we picked soft pink Eton Mess, which is one of our favourite desserts. These sweets are a gourmet candy.

Chewy and flavourful, they were a bit hit with my guys. Alas, they are not suitable for vegetarians as they contain beef gelatine. On the plus side, they are gluten free and have natural flavours. And they taste lovely too.

And the last treat worth mentioning is a box of Dark Chocolate Marshmallows from Baru. If you love marshmallows, these are a true joy. Coated in rich chocolate, with the soft chewy fluffy marshmallow inside. There are four pieces in a box, each wrapped individually for freshness. I discovered them in Waitrose but they might be available elsewhere.

Have you tried any of my top foodie picks for this month?

P.S. I bought all these products myself, just wanted to share my discoveries.


  1. What a lovely selection! I've been hearing great things about Madecasse chocolate, I really need to give them a try. The Toasted Coconut flavour looks good!

    The Candy Kitten sweets and Baru marshmallows are all interesting too, looks like a trip to Waitrose is in order!

  2. Great selection and I have to say I love your mug. Its perfect