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Tuesday, 31 May 2011

PERCY PIG ICE-CREAMS

In line with their summer roll-out of frozen variants based on their popular sweet ranges, Marks and Spencer have turned their most famous confectionary into an ice-cream.


It's a curious beast - attempting very hard to replicate the flavour of the Percy Pig gum, but not quite managing it. There's a slight medicinal after-taste here, leaving you feeling a little bit like you've just come back from the dentist.
He's clearly meant to look like Percy too isn't he? But while the Percy sweet has a look of eternal optimism with his cheeky side-ways grin, the ice-cream looks angry. (Especially when he's a bit melty. Above he looks a bit like a horrible decaying zombie pig crying 'Please help me I'm melting!' as he stumbles blindly towards you.)

ANYWAY in case you are unaware of the Percy Pig phenomenon, here's the low-down. There is:

PERCY PIG - the original grape and raspberry flavoured gum launched in 1995.
LEMON SHEEP - Lemon and Strawberry flavoured pal of Percy (more on him below)
COLA COW - Cola flavoured pal of Percy (curiously whereas Percy and Lemon Sheep's ears are different flavours to their faces, Cola Cow is all one flavour)
PENNY PIG - Life partner of Percy, lemon flavoured gum
PERCY PIGLETS - Presumably the offspring of Penny and Percy, these are smaller versions of Percy, either entirely jelly gum or foam gums.

Why Lemon Sheep and Cola Cow are not allowed to have Christian names like Percy and Penny has NEVER been fully explained by Marks and Spencer.

Of course, M+S have since released many variants, from fizzy pig tails to the mighty Reversy Percy - where the jelly based ear gum is swapped with the foamy gum that usually makes up Percy's face. These had the unprecedented good fortune to be even more delicious than the standard Percy!

In other Percy news, there's a new Percy product - Rosy Noses - marshmallows with jelly topping. Which means you can now enjoy eating Percy's nose, face and tail at your leisure! I look forward to the next body part of a pig that M+S decide to jellify.

More importantly, I've just learned that M+S have FINALLY come to their senses and changed Lemon Sheep. He is now ORANGE flavoured - not much better, but a slight improvement on his bitter predecessor. However, this does mean you can no longer make the Coke and Lemon sandwich. Here's the Coke and Orange sandwich (quite nice).

By the way - NEVER try this:
You have been warned.


Percy Pig Ice-Creams, Marks and Spencer, £1.29
Gobble Monkey says: 3 out of 7


To see the EVIL Percy imitators, click here AND here

Cadbury Dairy Milk Chocos

Imagine the most boring chocolate based product ever - you've just imagined Cadbury's new Chocos - designed for people too lazy to even break off a square of Dairy Milk.


These '11 delicious milk chocolate pieces' are round bite-sized portions of solid Dairy Milk chocolate, adorned lovingly with the Cadbury's 'C' - basically Rolos without the caramel in. JUST WHAT THE WORLD ALWAYS WANTED. A carameless Rolo. Good thinking Cadbury.


They have the same sickly taste of Cadbury's Dairy Milk, but now you can store the pack handily in your coat pocket and reach in when you get the urge for a mouth-sized goblet of choc. OH NO ACTUALLY YOU CAN'T BECAUSE THEY'LL ALL HAVE MELTED INTO ONE LONG HOMOGENOUS CHOCOLATE TUBE

And by the way, I can think of 12 better names for the Choco. Here they all are in full*:

Penny-Chocs
Chocco-Buttons
Bing-Bangs
Choco-Drops
Cadbury's Chocolate Pennies
Fat Buttons
Milky Chocs
Milky Melts
Milky Moments
Cadbury's Lazy Boys
Choccy Yum Yums
Cadbury's Bitz

*I have copywrited ALL these names Cadbury's so BACK OFF.
Cadbury Dairy Milk Chocos, 57p
Sour Level: zero
gobblemonkey says: 1 out of 7

Monday, 23 May 2011

OREO DOUBLE STUFF

Double Stuff Oreo's have been around for years in their home country of the USA (where they are called Double Stuf with one F!), but now they've made their way over to the UK. The 'stuff' in question is in fact "vanilla flavour filling' comprising of Whey Powder, Salt, Emulsifier, Vanillin Flavouring and Gluten.

But Stuff sounds better.

OK SO WE ALL LOVE NORMAL OREOS - BUT ARE DOUBLE STUFFS TWICE AS GOOD??? After all who doesn't like double Whey Powder and Gulten? OK Let's see. For a start, the packet makes the bold claim that:

"Each oreo double stuff cookie contains double the creme filling (in grams) versus a standard oreo cookie."

IS IT TRUE?

Well Gobble Monkey carefully disected a normal Oreo and a Double Stuff Oreo to remove the 'creme' filling. Each 'dollop' of 'stuff' was then weighed in some blue scales.


UNFORTUNATELY OUR SCALES WERE NOT SENSITIVE ENOUGH AND FAILED TO REGISTER THE WEIGHT OF EITHER 'CREME' FILLING. Anyway, it looks like the Double Stuff is roughly twice as big as the normal one doesn't it?

As for the taste, by doubling the filling Oreos are taking a MASSIVE RISK. Yes, the vanilla creme was always the nicest bit of an oreo, but is this too much of a good thing? Mayonaise is everyone's favourite part of a sandwich, but would you eat a mayonaise sandwich? No you wouldn't. Luckily the double creme isn't overpowering, and delivers just the right amount of creamy sweetness to off-set the slightly salty chocolate biscuit.

But if doubling the filling improves the taste of an oreo by 100% - what if you TRIPLED the filling?
Or even QUADRUPLED the filling?
SADLY THE EXPERIMENT COLLAPSES AS THE CREME REACHES CRITICAL LEVELS. Look at this graph:
Gobble Monkey can confirm that the optimum stuff level is indeed 'double', and therefore Double Stuff Oreo's recieve the full 7 out of 7 rating.

Double Stuff Oreo Cookies APPROX £1.50
INTERESTINGLY VAGUE INGREDIENT: Ammonium bicarbonates
SOURNESS LEVEL: Zero
GOBBLE MONKEY SAYS: 7 out of 7

Sunday, 22 May 2011

COLIN THE CATERPILLAR ICE LOLLIES

As part of M+S's expansion into frozen treats, they're releasing these ice lollies based on the popular Colin the Caterpillar range of sweets.


Colin's M.O. is that he adopts the flavour of whatever he has just eaten - a bit like a chameleon does when it sits on a twig and turns brown - only with flavours instead of colours. I don’t know why M+S didn't just make him Colin the Chameleon really. Anyway, he has a strange diet for a caterpillar - mainly marshmallows and cola bottles - but now somehow he's found his way into the freezer and conveniently gobbled a load of sour ice, just in time for summer!


Similar to the Fruit Pastilles and 'Rocket Ship' lollies, these ices comprise over-lapping layers of different flavours - in this case, blackcurrant, raspberry, orange, apple and lemon.

It's incredibly disappointing when you unwrap the lolly only to find it ISN'T shaped like a caterpillar. Instead, it's more like a sort of multi-coloured road bollard, which is much less exiting.


Interestingly billed as a 'sours ice lolly' only the 'lemon' section really delivers on this promise, providing a satisfactory tart punch. The other flavours, sadly, are not quite as intense, leaving Colin's lolly feeling rather unambitious. I'm still holding out a big hope for the upcoming Percy Pig Ice Creams though...

Colin the Caterpillar blackcurrant, raspberry, orange, apple and lemon flavour sours ice lolly, Marks and Spencers £1.29

INTERESTINGLY VAGUE INGREDIENT: Invert Sugar Syrup
SOUR RATING: A little sour
GOBBLE MONKEY SAYS: four out of seven