Thursday, 31 August 2017

New foodie discoveries (August)

The summer is officially over today. The school is looming, and we look back at the summer with nostalgia and fond memories.
Last month we also tried a variety of new foods and drinks
New food products appear on the shelves of supermarkets on a daily basis. It's impossible to try them all. Some are limited editions and are available only for a short time, some come to stay, some get discontinued after a while, perhaps due to a lack of demand.

Here are some of our food discoveries that merit a mention this month.

Palacio de Oriente Squid Pieces in olive oil octopus style was one of the foods which appeared in the Mediterranean food promotion in Waitrose recently.
These specially selected large premium quality squid with tentacles are cut in the traditional "Octopus" style. Can be enjoyed either hot or cold in any dish which uses Octopus or Squid as an ingredient.
Surprisingly low calorie - 120kcal per 72g (drained weight of the tinned squid)
Produced in Spain.

tinned food

Very handy to have in the pantry for quick salads and pasta.

Another product which I have spotted and bought in the same Waitrose Mediterranean promotion was Merchant Gourmet Smoky Spanish-style grains & rice. It is a combination of wholegrain rice, wheatberries and black barley, cooked with red peppers and a good pinch of smoked paprika.
This is one of my new favourites. I have already bought several packs to have in the kitchen as a base for quick meals.

I have tried it with chilli prawns, and it was delicious. Use it as a base for either vegetarian or meaty/flexitarian meals.
It has low saturated fat, it's a good source of fibre and is suitable for vegans.
Allergens alert: it contains gluten (wheatberries and barley).

Recipe suggestion: heat up the rice with a dash of water, mix with tinned (drained) octopus, slice hard boiled eggs and avocado and arrange on top of the meal. Serves 2.

Most Sundays I go to Waitrose an hour before closing time. There are rarely big savings to be had, nothing like I see on Instagram of one blogger who buys a whole trolleyfull of food for a couple of quid in Tesco before closing time. Our Waitrose is rather stingy at giving good discounts.
But whenever they have sushi at reduced price, I buy it. I love sushi. A couple of weeks ago I have found an Aloha Poké next to the sushi.
I have never heard of the Aloha Poké, but as it had sushi rice and seaweed, I couldn't resist buying it.

This is a Hawaiian salad/Salmon Poké - a poke bowl with sushi rice, raw salmon, wakame seaweed salad, edamame beans, rocket & spring onion with soy sesame dressing & avocado mousse.
It's a delicious flavourful salad.
Don't think I'll be buying it often, but if it comes at a reduced price, I'll gladly buy it again.

Skyr yogurt has been around for a while, but there are so many good yogurts in the shops that I haven't had a chance to try it until recently.
This Icelandic-style yogurt is a source of high protein, it's fat free and has reduced sugar.
The tubs promise -  "It's a delicious way to stay healthy"
Smooth and not sweet at all, even with a layer of berries.

Yollies have recently added a new flavour - chocolate - to their range of yogurt lollies. When Eddie and I spotted them in Sainsbury's, he was very excited to try them. However, after eating just one he mentioned that he prefers the strawberry flavour.

healthy snacks for school lunchboxes

Yollies are a good source of calcium and vitamin D. They contain no artificial colours, flavours or preservatives. Suitable for vegetarians. A lovely snack to add to a school lunchbox. There are 200kcal per 100g pack, which makes it 50kcal per yogurt lolly.

This summer we have been enjoying Paul Hollywood Ready To Bake Crusty Rolls a lot.
These part baked flour dusted white rolls with added rye flour are very handy to have in the pantry.

We don't have access to fresh bread in the village where we stay in Cornwall, and cannot have grocery deliveries on a daily basis. These delicious rolls, made with a slow fermented starter, are easy to bake, it takes about 8-10 minutes in the oven. They have a crispy crust and soft inside, which is just perfect for a butter and jam sandwich.

pre-baked bread

We ate them hot, straight from the oven, with a warning "Very hot, eat carefully or you'll burn your tongue!"
Each roll is 120kcal. The packs are suitable for home freezing
Though pre-baked, these rolls contain no preservatives.
A bit ironic that Mr Hollywood has a range of pre-made bread, when he's extolling virtues of bread made from scratch, but we are glad he did it. These rolls are fabulous. Big well done, Mr Hollywood!
There is also a seeded variety, which we haven't tried yet.

Talking of bread creations, if you are in Waitrose, pick a few of Waitrose 1 Seeded Cheese Straws, they are very moreish, though not cheap, at £1.35 for a small stick.

Another big favourite of the last summer is Hellman's Australian Sweet Grill sauce. We first sampled it on a Bank Holiday in May, when we had friends over for a BBQ.
It is an excellent sauce which can be used as a marinade, glaze or dip.
Made with honey, molasses, white wine vinegar, sugar, tomato paste, anchovies, spices and more, it has been inspired by Australian recipes.
It's great with sausages, grilled meat or even fish. I found it in Tesco, but it might be available in all major supermarkets.

best BBQ sauce

Tesco Finest is a range, where we have quite a few family favourites.
Their recent addition to the range includes Tesco Finest Tri-colour Tomatoes on the Vine.
They look so pretty and taste sweet and tangy.

These tomatoes are great in salads, but also tasty just on their own, as an accompaniment to fried potatoes.

Since our Italian from bean to coffee machine has died over a year ago, we acquired a small Nespresso, and I have been buying different brand varieties to find the one we love the best.
I'm not a big fan of Starbuck's, but I was curious to test its nespresso capsules.
Starbucks Guatemala Antigua Espresso (Nespresso compatible capsules), with cocoa & subtle spice, medium roast was not too bad, but not my favourite either.

And I'm finishing my eclectic round-up of the latest foodie discoveries with a delightful Cornish chocolate. I love dark chocolate, ginger and Cornwall, so for me it was a win-win purchase. We bought a few bars on our trip to Penzance, to take home as souvenirs. But one of the bars has conveniently got broken in the suitcase, so we ate it.
I also adore the design on this chocolate bar, it's so cute and makes me smile.

Did you discover a food product recently which made you smile?


  1. Lots of new products that I hadn't noticed before - love the exotic ones in particular ... and the chocolate ! :)

    1. The chocolate is uber cute, even if it's clearly designed to appeal to tourists like me.

  2. I like Skyr a lot, it has such a lovely texture without fat. I usually buy plain one and I would add a couple of teaspoons of jam, but I like these ready made pots too.

    1. I haven't tried the plain Skyr, but have seen big tubs. Must try it too.

  3. Mmmm......
    Looks so delicious!
    thanks for sharig this recipe§
    Im sure my last ost would interest you, you re wecome to check it!
    Enjoy your weekend!

  4. Not seen the hellmanns australian, must look out for that. I am not sure about the octopus though!