Review of co-op Free From Mince Pies

It’s time for another mince pie review. I recently popped into my local co-op to get some last minute dinner and passed by the Christmas display selection. To my utter surprise I noticed their free from mince pies and next to their regular ones. As I had not tried these I accidentally placed them into my shopping basket to give them a try.

I liked the design of the packaging. It keeps to their simple free from range design but there is an addition of a pretty plate full of mince pies. I also like the addition of the clear window to the top. You can clearly see one of the mince pies inside. Onto the ingredients list egg is highlighted as an allergen. There is a may contain warning for nuts.

On opening the packaging I was greeted by a sweet aroma of what I would associate with fruit pies rather than a mince pie. The mince pies are of a good size. They are quiet pale looking in appearance and did not match the colour of that on the packaging. The top the pies have a sprinkling of sugar. The pastry looks slightly dry and becomes more compact towards the bottom of the pies. On checking underneath no soggy bottom was noted. It appeared dry I mean this in a nice way, and wasn’t greasy.

On biting into the mince pie I got an initial slight crunch from the sugar from the top. This was followed by slightly dry and compact pastry. It didn’t take long to discover the filling as it was certainly plentiful. It was worth the wait. It was slightly juicy and moist. The quantity of the filling was just right, you needed the generous amount to try and counteract the slight dryness and hard texture from the pastry. On a positive note I personally liked the subtle flavour from the spice that hit my taste buds.

So would I recommend these mince pies if you follow a dairy free, gluten free or a vegetarian diet? I’m afraid not. They have a nice Christmassy aroma but only once you bite into them but the pastry is dry and compact. The filling is very generous and tasty but this is lost by the texture of this pastry to these pies. Sorry co-op but these mince pies just weren’t for me.

Review of Tesco’s Free From Spiced Pear Pies

This year I decided that I should make it my mission to start my Christmas reviews early. So when I discovered that Tesco’s had launched their Christmas free from range I had to pop in store and find out more. Sadly, a lot of the section was already out of stock. There were no mince pies or Christmas puddings but there were 2 boxes of spiced pear pies left. So I grabbed a box of the spiced pear pies to take home and try.

I liked the simplicity of the packaging and was drawn to its purple colour scheme. The pictures of the pear pies tease you and I just wanted to give them a try. Onto the ingredients the pies are clearly labelled as a free from product and are both gluten free and milk free. Therefore perfect for dairy free me. Egg is highlighted as an allergen in the ingredients list. There is a may contain warning for peanuts and nuts.

On opening the packaging I was greeted by an aroma that I associate with fruit pies. Nothing special if I’m honest. I was hoping for a spicy aroma that I associate with Christmas, maybe I am being a tad harsh. The pear pies the are a good size. To the top you have a slightly crunchy looking short crust pastry topped with a light dusting of sugar. This becomes thinner towards the bottom of the pies. On checking underneath no soggy bottom was noted. On biting into the pear pie I got a slight crunch followed by a light crumbliness from the pastry.  It didn’t take long to discover the filling. This was a combination of pears coated in a what I would describe as a lightly seasoned winter syrup. The fruit was crunchy and worked perfectly with the gluppy syrup encasing it. The flavour of the filling was delightful. It was slightly sweet from the syrup but this was nicely complimented from the winter seasoning. As for its quantity this spot on anymore would have resulted in a soggy pie. I couldn’t believe just how nice these pies were. A great alternative to the traditional mince pie.

So would I recommend these spiced pear pies if you follow a dairy free and or gluten free diet? Yes I would. They are a great alternative to a traditional mince pie. I loved everything about these pies from their flavour through to their texture. They exceeded my expectations. So thank you Tesco’s for producing a delicious sweet Christmas treat that I can enjoy.

DIY Daddy
ethannevelyn.com
Le Coin de Mel

Review of Tesco’s Finest Pigs in Blankets Crisps

I quickly Tesco’s to treat myself to some of their Christmas free from treats. I saw their Christmas range of crisps at the end of aisle and fell for the packet of pigs in blankets. I was feeling optimistic so I decided to pick them up and check their ingredients. Sure enough they were suitable for a dairy free diet so I decided to have them as a little treat as part of my lunch.

I liked the simple black and pink background with a picture of a four pigs in blankets to the bottom. You knew what sort of festive flavours you should be getting with these crisps. Onto the ingredients list there are no allergens highlighted on the ingredients list and there is no may contain warning. They are labelled as being suitable for vegetarians.

On opening the packet I was greeted by a fairly strong aroma of what I would describe as bacon. This strengthened on my famous close up sniff test. The crisps themselves were of a good size and had a good scattering of flavouring on them and looked slightly great in appearance. On biting into the crisps a nice crunch was noted. As for the flavour well if I am honest this was not what I expected. It tasted like bacon crisps that had too much flavour added to them. This was quiet rich and artificial tasting. In addition to the overpowering flavour they left with a slightly greasy and powdery residual on my fingers.

So would I recommend these crisps? I am afraid not. I just didn’t enjoy anything about these crisps from their overly artificial aroma though to their greasy and powdery residiual and their artificial flavour. Sorry Tesco’s but these crisps just weren’t for me.

DIY Daddy
ethannevelyn.com
Le Coin de Mel
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Review of co-op puff mince pies with brandy

I know that it’s a tad early for a Christmas review but I decided to start very early this year. I popped into my local co-op to get some dinner and passed by the bakery section. My other half fancied doughnuts. Sadly, they were sold out. I noticed their puffed mince pies and as some of their bakery items are dairy free I thought that I would grab some on the of chance. As it turns out it was a good call to make.

I liked the simplicity of the packaging. You can clearly see the mince pies inside. There is a simple red label to the centre of the front of the packaging. There are two allergens highlighted on the ingredients list wheat and sulphur dioxide. There is no may contain warning.

On opening the packaging I was greeted by a sweet aroma of what I describe as sweet pastry and sweet mince meat. The mince pies are of a good size. To the top you have a flaky pastry topped with sprinkles of sugar. This becomes more compact towards the bottom of the pies. On checking underneath no soggy bottom was noted. It appeared dry I mean this in a nice way, and wasn’t greasy. On biting into the mince pie I got an initial crunch from the sugar from the top. This was followed by thin layers of nice light flaky pastry. It took a little while to discover the filling. It was worth the wait. It was slightly juicy and moist. There was a good quantity of fruit and I personally liked the subtle flavour from the spice that hit my taste buds. This helped break down the richness from the fruit and brandy. The quantity of the filling was just right otherwise it would have been too rich and impacted on the lightness of the pastry.


So would I recommend these mince pies if you follow a dairy free diet? Yes I would it is great to find a mince pie which is not in the free from range. I liked everything about these mince pies from the aroma through to the flavour and texture. So thank you co-op for producing a nice mince pie that I can enjoy.

DIY Daddy
ethannevelyn.com
Le Coin de Mel
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Bridie By The Sea

Review of Lidl Mince Pies

On a recent trip to Lidl I found myself in their Christmas section. Now, if I’m honest I didn’t expect to find anything suitable for a dairy free diet. I was proved wrong as their own brand mince pies were indeed dairy free. There was only one thing for it accidentally place them in my shopping basket to try later on as a sweet treat.

I liked the simplicity of the white and gold colour of the packaging. To front of the packaging is a picture of the mince pies pies, one of which is open with the mincemeat cascading out. I just wanted to dive in and give them a try. Onto the ingredients list wheat, sodium metabisulphite, sulphur dioxide are barley are highlighted as allergens. There is also a may contain warning for nuts.

On opening the packaging I was greeted by an aroma that I associate with apple pies. I thought that this was little strange as they were mince pies. This did not change on my famous close up sniff test. I was the therefore a little confused as to what I was about to eat. The mince pies are a good size. To the top you have a slightly crunchy burnt looking short crust pastry topped with a little dusting of sugar. This becomes thinner towards the bottom. On checking underneath no soggy bottom was noted. I always check this as I don’t like a soggy bottom. So this was a positive.

On biting into the mince pie I got a slight crunch from the pastry followed by crumbliness then a slight doughiness as I reached the bottom of the pie. To be honest I would rather have a soggy bottom rather than the doughiness that I experienced. Onto the filling there was a good quantity of mincemeat coated in what I would describe as a slightly seasoned syrup. The mincemeat filling was slightly crunchy and worked well with the syrup. Sadly the flavour of the mincemeat filling was quiet bland. The only real flavour that I could distinguish was apple. The other flavours from the rest of the fruit and mixed spice just seemed to be lacking. It was not really the mincemeat flavour that I had hoped for.

So would I recommend these Lidl mince pies if you follow a dairy free diet? I am afraid not I just didn’t enjoy anything about these mince pies from their aroma through to the flavour and texture. Sorry Lidl but these mince pies just weren’t for me.

DIY Daddy
ethannevelyn.com

Review of Alpro Unroasted & Unsweetened Almond Milk

Well my mission to try some new dairy free milks has not been that successful. So I am trying really hard to find some new dairy free milks to try. One of my favourite milks is almond as I like it’s fairly neutral flavour and that it’s low in calories. So when I saw my regular almond milk was out of stock I decided to try Alpro’s unroasted and unsweetened almond milk instead.

I liked both the colour and design of the packaging. It’s cream background with almonds with the milk cascading outside. Onto the ingredients list with 2.1% almonds noted. The almond is clearly highlighted in bold as an allergen. There is a may contain warning for nuts. The milk is labelled as being milk free, gluten free and suitable for vegans.

On opening the carton there was a subtle marzipan like aroma to the milk. I’m personally not keen on milks that have a sweet artificial aroma but I was intrigued by this aroma. It poured easily into a glass it was cream/faint green in colour. It was slightly runny and wasn’t really creamy in consistency. On sipping the milk it was slightly smooth but not creamy in texture. There was a pleasant faint but subtle marzipan flavour to this milk. That said it didn’t taste artificially sweet compared to other brands that I have previously tried. I also warmed the milk for 90 seconds in the microwave ready for my famous Weetabix test. It microwaved well and did not separate or form a skin to the top of the milk. Its marzipan like aroma intensified slightly. It was absorbed easily by the Weetabix. On tasting the Weetabix the milk impacted on its flavour. This may sound a little strange but the Weetabix tasted a little like an almond based cake. The subtleness of the flavour was spot on and it added a great flavour to my Weetabix. It made for an enjoyable breakfast.

So would I recommend this almond milk? Yes I would. I liked everything about this milk from its aroma through to its flavour. So if you follow a dairy free, gluten free or a vegan diet why not give this almond milk a try. So thank you Alpro for producing an almond milk that I can enjoy.

DIY Daddy
ethannevelyn.com
Le Coin de Mel

Review of Chocologic Free From Christmas Chocolate Lollies

This year I decided that I should make it my mission to start my Christmas reviews early. So when I discovered that Tesco’s had launched their Christmas free from range I had to pop in store and find out more. Sadly, a lot of the section was already out of stock. However, there was chocolate and I love chocolate so I decided to grab some to try. The first festive chocolate I decided to try was Chocologic free from lollies.

I personally liked the packaging, simple clear cellophane which means you can tell exactly what you are going to eat. To the back is a white label with the ingredients list. It is clearly labelled as being dairy free and suitable for a vegan diet. Onto the ingredients list with regards to allergens soya is highlighted. There is a may contain warning for peanuts and nuts.


On opening the packaging I was immediately greeted by a subtle aroma of sweetness that I associate with free from the chocolate. I was looking forward to trying this chocolate Santa. The actual chocolate is made up of one piece which was impossible to break into pieces. On biting into the chocolate my taste buds were first hit by the sweetness from the chocolate. Onto the chocolates texture. The chocolate was slightly hard to initially bite into. This soon became smooth in texture and melted slightly in the mouth. I ate this chocolate in one sitting and confess to licking the stick it was on to make sure that nothing was left behind.

So would I recommend this chocolate Santa? Yes I would It is a great value festive chocolate with the right balance of flavour and texture. So if you like chocolate and follow a dairy free, gluten free and or vegan diet give this festive treat try. So thank you Chocologic for producing festive chocolate that I can enjoy.

DIY Daddy
ethannevelyn.com
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