Review of Tesco’s Free From Chocolate Gateau

Being dairy free I never thought that it would be possible to eat a chocolate gateau that you could simply pick up from a local supermarket. So when I heard that Tesco’s free from range new chocolate gateaux was both gluten free and dairy free I got a little excited. My mission was then to find one to try. This was easier said then done as they always seemed to be sold out and my dedicated freezer space remained empty. Finally after several trips to various Tesco’s I managed to find one. I eagerly placed it in my basket to take home and save it until the weekend for a treat.

Onto the packaging of the gateau it was in the usual colour and style that you get with Tesco’s free from range. There is a large picture of the gateau to the front which looks highly inviting. It is clearly labelled as being gluten free, wheat free and milk free. It is also suitable for a vegetarian diet. Onto the ingredients list egg and soya are highlighted as allergens. There is also a may contain warning for peanuts and nuts.

On opening the box greeted by a fairly sweet faint chocolate aroma which intensified on my close up sniff test. On removing the gateau from the box I was a little disappointed as some of the topping had stuck to the top of the box. This meant that the swirly peak design to part of the gateaux was a little flat. It should be noted that I had transported the gateaux home safely in an upright position. The other piece of criticism I have around the packaging is that the circular plastic that holds the gateau in place is a good idea. The only downside as the the cream to the gateau is like mousse in consistency it meant that this stayed on the inside of the plastic and not on the gateau. This resulted in having bald edges to the gateau. On a positive note it did allow you to see all of the layers to the gateaux. Now the gateau itself serves 6 people is I planed to cut it up into smaller servings so that I could have it as individual treats. Sadly, this was not possible. Despite my best attempts with a good knife and lots of will power I was not able to cut out a piece of gateau to serve one person. This meant that I had 24 hours to eat a whole gateaux.

But how did the gateau taste? On biting into the gateau I was immediately struck by the varying three consistencies to the gateau. Initially you get the light airy slightly whipped texture from the mousse from the outside and top of the gateau. This is followed by the chocolate sponge underneath which was a little dry in consistency and slightly prone to crumbling. These layers were repeated throughout the gateau. Amongst this you get a hint just the right amount of what is described as a chocolate sauce which is a bit like a jam in consistency. This combined with the mousse helps balance a bit of they dryness out from the sponge. Onto the flavour this was nice but not as nice as I had personally hoped. The mousse was slightly artificially sweet in flavour but worked well with the slight bitter chocolate flavour from the sponge. The the richness from the intermittent hidden chocolate sauce just gave it that little bit extra rich indulgent flavour without it being too strong and overpowering.

So would I recommend this free from chocolate gateau? I am afraid not. The packaging design impacted on the presentation of the gateau. The chocolate sponge was a little to dry and crumbly even when combined with the mousse and chocolate sauce. Perhaps you make think that I am being a little harsh on Tesco’s or unfair. But when you have waited so long to have a chocolate gateau maybe your expectations are high. I hope that maybe Tesco’s will see my review and take some of my criticisms onboard. Because at the end of the day I think that it is great that you now have the option to be able to easily purchase a dairy free gateau at the supermarket.

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Review of Provamel Blueberry Yogurts

I enjoy a yogurt most days as part of my packed lunch or as an extra addition to fresh fruit. The choices of vegan yogurts seems to have rapidly expanded. You can now easily pick them up from your local supermarket. Despite this I tend to buy the same yogurts so I thought that was about time that I tried some new yogurts. My first choice was Provamel blueberry yogurt.

I liked the style of the packaging. It’s simple cream background with blueberries cascading into a thick creamy yogurt. Onto the ingredients list. The yogurt is clearly labelled as being gluten free and lactose free. The only allergen listed is soya. There is a may contain warning for almonds and hazelnuts.

On opening the yogurt I was greeted by a medium consistency creamy yogurt. I was a little disappointed by the lack of aroma I was expecting to smell an aroma that I associate with blueberries. Instead I got a slightly sweet artificial aroma that I would describe as berries. On placing the spoon into the yogurt it was slightly creamy in texture with pieces of blueberries intermingled within this. On eating the yogurt I was hit by two textures. The slight creamy texture from the yogurt itself which was very pleasant but this was combined by a horrible grainy texture from the blueberries. I found the grainy textures tad off-putting if I’m honest. I was expecting squishy slightly juicy blueberries not a grainy texture. I found this to be very disappointing. As for the flavour there was a hint of blueberries but nowhere near as strong as I had hoped. In fact I struggled to finish the yogurt, I did finish all four pots in the hope that maybe the grainy texture was a one-off sadly this was not the case. These have to be one of the most disappointing yogurts that I have tried in both terms of both flavour and texture.

So would I recommend this yogurt? I’m afraid not. They seemed to lack any real blueberry flavour and the intermittent grainy texture from the fruit pieces wasn’t very appetising. So if you follow a dairy free, gluten free or a vegan diet I would perhaps try a different yogurt instead. Sorry Provamel this yogurt just wasn’t for me.

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Review of Sainsbury’s 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 Sainsbury’s own brand almond milk instead. I personally didn’t like the colour or design of the packaging design with the light blue and brown colour scheme with a glass of milk. The only positive is that is clearly labelled as being milk free and suitable for a vegan diet.

The ingredients list is on the back of the carton with 2% almonds noted. The almond is clearly highlighted in bold as an allergen. There is a note that it is not suitable for individuals with an allergy to other nuts due to the manufacturing methods. The milk is labelled as being milk free, and suitable for vegans.

On opening the carton there was a subtle nuttiness aroma to the milk. I’m personally not keen on milks that have a sweet artificial aroma and this didn’t so that was a big positive for me. It poured easily into a glass it was cream/brown 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 subtle nutty flavour to this milk, but if I’m honest I wouldn’t say it tasted of almonds. 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 aroma didn’t change. It was absorbed easily by the Weetabix. On tasting the Weetabix it tasted just as a Weetabix should the milk did not impact on its flavour. This may sound a little strange but a couple of milks that I have previously tried have made my Weetabix have an artificially slightly sweet flavour. I personally don’t like this and like to add my own sugar to my Weetabix should I want to.

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 or a vegan diet why not give this almond milk a try. So thank you Sainsbury’s for producing an almond milk that I can enjoy.

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Review of Hartley’s 10 Cal Cranberry & Raspberry Jelly

I have always enjoyed jelly and it was often the only safe dairy free treat I could have at parties. I love the fact that you can easily pick up ready-made jellies from supermarkets. I recently purchased some Hartley’s 10 cal jelly as it was on offer to try.

I liked the simplicity of the packaging with a Purple Heart and circles. The jelly itself comes in a cup style plastic container meaning that you can see the jelly inside. There were no allergens listed on its ingredients label it was therefore suitable for a dairy free diet. It is also labelled as being suitable for a vegetarian diet.

On opening the lid and a very faint aroma of what I would describe as being similar to summer berries. I wouldn’t describe as cranberry and raspberry but it was still very pleasant. This didn’t change on my famous close up sniff test. I placed my spoon into the pot. The jelly had a nice wobble noted. However, it did have the tendency to fall of my spoon back into the pot. As for the flavour of the jelly it was very similar to the aroma. It tasted a bit similar to summer berries I could taste a hint of raspberries but struggled with the cranberry. To be honest I enjoyed the flavour so this didn’t bother me at all.

So would I recommend this jelly? Yes I would. I enjoyed everything about this jelly from the aroma through to its flavour and texture. It’s also a bonus that it is low in calories. So thank you Hartley’s for producing a jelly that I can enjoy.

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Review of Valsoia Ice Cream Lollies

I have to confess to being a tad excited about the sudden availability of new vegan ice creams that are becoming readily available. My personal mission is of course to try as many as possible. So when I saw on Ocado that Valsoia did a chocolate coated vegan ice cream lollies I just had to try them.

I liked the pale blue colour of the packaging with the inviting picture of a partially eaten ice cream lolly to the right. As the ice cream lollies are from Italy an English label is placed over the original. They are labelled as being non dairy ice cream with cover. They are clearly labelled as being dairy free, gluten free, and 100% plant based. Onto the ingredients list soya is in bold as an allergen. There is no may contain warning.


On opening the box I was greeted by 3 large sized lollies in the same style packet as the packaging. On removing this I discovered a thick chocolate covered lolly. The initial aroma was a nice chocolately one. This aroma intensified slightly on my famous close up sniff test. On biting into the lolly I got a nice crisp crunch from from a nice thick chocolate coating. This was followed by the what I can only describe as a smooth ice cream centre. Onto the taste the chocolate layer was spot on it was strong but not too rich and overpowering. I certainly got my chocolate hit. This was followed by a neutral flavour from the ice cream. I was expecting a little vanilla element or something similar to this. This may be a tad unfair on reflection as vanilla is not listed on the ingredients list. That said I enjoyed this as it makes for a nice change from artificially flavoured ice creams.

So would I recommend these ice cream lollies? Yes I would. The thickness of the chocolate outside is spot. This combined with the smooth ice cream makes for a nice treat. So thank you Valsoia for producing a delicious ice cream lolly that I can enjoy.

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Review of Tesco’s Free From Garlic Baguette

Now I am bit partial to garlic bread and frequently make my own. It is often impossible to find ready made garlic bread which is dairy free. So when I heard that Tesco’s had just launched a free from garlic baguette as part their new free from range I had to investigate further. To be honest I didn’t hold up much hope as free from generally means gluten free with other food allergens included if you are lucky. To my surprise it was indeed suitable for me.

I liked the packaging as it is the same style as the rest of the products in their new updated free from range. I liked the pictures of the inviting pieces of garlic baguette on the front. I hoped that mine would look like this when cooked. The front of the packaging it is clearly labelled as being egg, gluten, milk and wheat free. On the back it is labelled as being suitable for vegans. Onto the ingredients list, there are no allergens highlighted and there is no may contain warning.

On opening the packet I was immediately hit by a pleasant aroma of garlic with a hint of mixed herbs. This did not change on my famous close up sniff test. I placed the baguette in the oven and cooked the baguette as instructed. Once cooked the aroma of the garlic intensified and seemed to mask the smell of the mixed herbs. I tore the baguette into a couple of sections and undertook my close up sniff test. At this point I was able to smell a faint undertone of the mixed herbs intermingled with the garlic. I couldn’t wait to dive into this baguette. It looked liked a regular garlic baguette nice and crunchy to the outside and light and fluffy inside. On biting into the baguette it was indeed crunchy on the outside and had a lighter fluffy texture inside followed by the slight moistness from the margarine. The texture was perfect, it was just like eating a regular garlic baguette. So a massive thumbs up to Tesco’s because I certainly wouldn’t have been able to tell that it was gluten free. Onto the flavour this the garlic element was definitely the prominent flavour without being too strong. This intermingled with a hint of mixed herbs made for a delicious garlic baguette.

So would I recommend this free from baguette? Yes I certainly would. I was especially surprised by the baguettes texture it was just like a regular garlic baguette. As for the flavour this was also spot on. I will no doubt be having many more of these baguettes in the future. So if you follow a dairy free, gluten free, and or a vegan diet give this garlic baguette a try. I’m sure that you will be pleasantly surprised. So thank you Tesco’s for producing a delicious garlic baguette that I can enjoy.

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Review of co-op Tomato Ketchup

I have to confess to being a lady who enjoys my tomato ketchup. It is one of my guilty pleasures in fact I have it with most of my meals. It is a safe dairy free food that I use a dip or as part my tomato based sauces. So when I had to make an emergency dash to the co-op to get our regular Heinz ketchup I was a little surprised to see that it was out of stock. The only alternative was co-op own tomato brand ketchup. As we were having fish and chips for tea I just grabbed a packet to have with our dinner.

Onto the packaging. It comes in a 470g sized plastic bottle that I now associate with most tomato ketchups. You can clearly see the sauce inside if I’m honest I didn’t think much to the design of the label on the front of the bottle. There is a picture of a burger with the wording great with a burger. The ketchup is clearly labelled as being vegan. On a positive note the traffic light system is very clear as is the fact that there is an allergen update. Onto the ingredients the ingredients list wheat is clearly highlighted as an allergen. There is a no may contain warning.

On opening the bottle I got a nice aroma of tomatoes, the slightly sweet aroma that I associate with ketchup was less distinct. Instead a slightly more tomatoey aroma was noted. This remained the same on my famous close up sniff test. I squeezed the sauce out of the bottle it was slightly smoother and thicker in consistency than what I expected. Some ketchups that I have tried can separate slightly but this was not the case, so this got a big thumbs up from me. I tried the ketchup as an accompaniment to a variety of meals as a crafty dip. It had a nice tomatoey taste with a slight sweetness noted. I also used the ketchup as addition to tomato based sauces it worked really well and the reduced sweetness added a slightly different flavour to the dishes. I have to admit to being surprised by this tomato ketchup. I really enjoyed it and would happily have it instead of our regular Heinz tomato ketchup.

So would I recommend this tomato ketchup? Yes I would. I enjoyed the aroma, consistency and flavour of this ketchup. It works well as a dip and as part of sauces when cooking. So if follow a dairy free or vegan diet why not give this ketchup a try. So thank you co-op for producing a nice tomato ketchup that I can enjoy.

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