Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Milka Choco & Rice Chocolate

מילקה שוקולד חלב פצפוצי אורז וקרם אגוזי לוז
As I mentioned in my review of Milka's Milkinis it seems to me that Milka is constantly adding more chocolates to our local candy aisle; with their latest addition being Choco & Rice Milka Chocolate.

The package said it's a milk chocolate bar with hazelnut cream and puffed rice. I absolutely tasted the soft and creamy milk-chocolate that Milka is known for, but I didn't notice the hazelnut cream at all. There was however an abundance of puffed rice throughout the entire chocolate bar.

I liked the soft air-filled texture and taste that the puffed rice added. It was very different to having rice crispy in the chocolate bar. I found the puffed rice to be a very interesting and enjoyable texture. Possibly because I'm so used to rice crispy in chocolate bars, don’t get me wrong that's wonderful too, but having puffed rice in the bar was a welcomed change. It's kind of the opposite taste and feel of eating a rice crispy filled chocolate bar.

It reminded me of a Kinder Chocolate bar that I recently tasted it also had puffed rice in it, I may have enjoyed the Kinder bar a little more but only because it was the first time I ever had puffed rice in a chocolate bar. I can't say that Kinder's was better or worse than this Milka's version and I don’t have Kinder's here right now to do a blind taste test. I do think if you liked one you would most likely enjoy the other as well.

One thing that kind of frustrates me with some of Milka's chocolate bars, this one included, is that they are not divided into squares but rather the "cutting lines" prompt you to cut it into rectangle, which I think end up being double the size of an average square of chocolate from most bars. It makes me automatically cut off a bigger chunk for myself and I would rather instinctively cut off a smaller bit, you know "portion control" and all, but hay I guess I don’t have to follow Milka's lines and I can cut it up however I choose.

The wrapper says it’s a special reclosable package that once opened can be pressed back together to keep the remaining chocolate fresh inside. I would not give them very high marks for that, yes I was able to re-close part of the packaging but the top did not remain "glued together". If one part doesn’t work properly it makes the whole "special wrapper" worthless.

Bottom Line : Although I didn’t taste the hazelnut cream and I had some issues with the packaging, I really did enjoyed the puffed rice in the chocolate Milka Bar and I think this Choco & Rice Milka Bar is a wonderful addition to the chocolate shelf here in Israel.
80 gram bar – 8.50 – 9.50 NIS

Kosher Dairy Triangle K D approved by the Chief Rabbinate Israel 
לאוכלי חלב נוכרי

Disclaimer: All items were purchased by me. No one is paying me for this review. All opinions are my own.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Tivoll's and OfTov's Toaster Schnitzel

The latest "trend" in the frozen schnitzel category is a schnitzel that can be prepared in a "pop up toaster". Just 3 minutes and you have a "cooked" schnitzel to enjoy. Both Tivoll and OfTov have such a schnitzel on the market right now. Tivoll's are vegetarian (corn) and OfTov's is made of chicken and turkey.

Tivoll's Corn Toaster Schnitzel

שניצל תירס קופץ להכנה בטוסטר קופץ
Tivoll has 3 Toaster Corn Schnitzels to choose from Corn, Corn & Cheese and Spicy Corn. I tried the plain Corn Schnitzel.

The Tivoll Schnitzels are thin enough to fit in your average pop up toaster and are shaped like a "slice of white bread". They are coated with bread crumbs and chock full of corn.

I found it very easy and quick to prepare it in the toaster. It was ready within a few moments. The outside was warm and crispy leaving the corn inside plump and juicy, yet fully "cooked" through.

I think those that like corn schnitzel will be very happy to with this new "cooking option", it is very easy to prepare and absolutely lives up to its promises.

The one issue I had with Tivoll's Corn Toaster Schnitzel was that it seemed to leave a "puddle" of oil at the bottom of my toaster. Overtime I think this can be a problem; it can possible ruin my toaster or cause it to "short out". I wonder if other people that tried this Tivoll Corn Toaster Schnitzel had the same problem.

420-490 gram bag – 26.00 NIS

Kosher Badatz

OfTov Chicken Toaster Schnitzel

עוף טוב שניצל קופץ
OfTov's Chicken Toaster Schnitzel is possibly the thinnest frozen schnitzel I have yet to taste. It was very easy and quick to prepare in the toaster; literally 3 minutes and it was ready. Just like Tivoll's corn schnitzel; the outside was crispy leaving the inside moist and completely cooked through.

I did think that this thin chicken schnitzel was quite bland; it didn’t have too much flavor on its own. I'm not sure that’s a big problem considering that most people eat schnitzel with a dip or a condiment of their choice.

I was happy to see that this OfTov's Chicken Toaster Schnitzel did not leave an oil residue at the bottom of my brand new (meaty) toaster, but it did leave some of the breadcrumbs coating that I was easily able to shake out and clean away.

OfTov's Chicken Toaster Schnitzel has no artificial food coloring, no preservatives, no MSG and they are low in cholesterol.

 700 gram bag – 33 NIS

Kosher Mehadrin
הרב אויורבך

I thought OfTov's ad was sweet and I read that 5 year old Yonatan was having trouble saying the tag line "Houston we have a Schnitzel" so after some 10 failed attempts they told him to say "Houston guava schnitzel" and that seemed to work, here take a look see J

Bottom Line: I have a feeling many college students have been using a toaster to heat up schnitzel for years (Hay, we used our iron to make grilled cheese, if we would have had a toaster I'm sure we would have used it for schnitzel and the like.) Although these "toaster schnitzels" may just be a gimmick, I guess it's OK that the schnitzel companies have made schnitzels that are just as tasty as their other products and still thin enough and properly shaped for kids or collage students to "officially" use their toaster to quickly and efficiently prepare a schnitzel meal for themselves.

Yes I put the remainder in a
 Sano Vacuum Zip-lock Bag 
to prevent from freezer-burn

Disclaimer: All items were purchased by me. No one is paying me for this review. All opinions are my own.

Monday, June 27, 2011

Chio's Sweet Chili Tortilla Rolls

 חטיפי טורטיות CHIO

Chio a popular snack brand in Europe launched a line of Tortilla Chips here in Israel. There are 3 tortilla chips to choose from; Hot Chili Tortilla Chips, Original Salted Tortilla Chips and Sweet Chili Tortilla Rolls.

I thought the Sweet Chili Tortilla Rolls sounded and looked the most interesting to me, so that's the one I chose to taste.

These Chio Sweet Chili Tortilla Rolls really lived up to their name; initially I tasted the "sweet" quickly followed by the "chili" flavor. I found this combination to be tasty and interesting but not overly addictive. At some point the hot chili "helped" me stop eating too many of them, no its not excessively spicy or way too hot but the hot chili does somewhat overpower the original "sweet" flavor. I'm sure there are many who love a sweet hot and spicy combo that will be happy that these tortilla rolls have as much of "a kick" as they do.

I found the roll shape to be fun and easy to eat as a snack but, I don’t think they are the ideal shape for dipping into salsa. Then again, the sweet chili flavor is tasty enough that I didn’t really want nor need a dip added to the mix. I do think however, that they are thick enough to "stand up" to any dip you may want to enjoy them with.

I have to say, compared to the Doritos Dip Chips, I recently reviewed, I thought these Chio's Corn Tortilla Rolls seemed to be quite a good quality tortilla; they were fresh, crispy & crunchy and not overly oily, just like I think a good tortilla chip should be.

Bottom Line: For me these Chio Tortilla Sweet Chili Rolls were a nice snack with a lot of flavor that I may enjoy from time to time. I think it's nice that they made their way across the Mediterranean but in my opinion they are way too overpriced to really become a snack cupboard "staple".

125 gram bag – 9.00-10.00 NIS

Kosher Parve KF and approved by Chief Rabbinate of Israel

Disclaimer: All items were purchased by me. No one is paying me for this review. All opinions are my own.

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Hubba Bubba's Apple Flavored Gum

Wrigley has a new Hubba Bubba gum on the market, here in Israel, it’s an apple flavored gum.

הובה בובה מסטיק תפוח

I was kind of curious where the name Hubba Bubba came from, I found a detailed timeline with the answer on Wrigley's Hubba Bubba page 
"1979: Hubba Bubba was the first bubble gum introduced by the Wrigley Company. The name comes from the phrase "Hubba Hubba" which was used by soldiers during World War II to express approval. "
I think it's cool to know that Hubba Bubba was actually their first bubble gum and that Wrigley only started making bubble gum in 1979, somehow I thought they were making bubble gum way before that. Back to this new flavor…

I would really call this new, light green colored, Hubba Bubba Gum "Green Apple" or "Sour Apple" because to me it has a green apple /sour apple flavor but Hubba Bubba just calls it Apple flavor.

I liked this new apple flavored gum. I think I mentioned in my reviews of Must Cubed Gums , Mentos Gums and Five Watermelon Gum that I'm not a huge fan of fruit flavored gums, I much prefer the mint family of gums, but this apple gum was more sour than an overly sweet/"tutti frutti" flavor, so I actually enjoyed this sour apple flavor and thought it was a nice change.

The apple flavor did wear off fairly quickly but Hubba Bubba does not claim to be a long lasting gum so I didn’t expect the flavor to last more than a few minutes.  

Hubba Bubba is geared toward children and although it's far from the sweetest gum you'll find I'm sure there are kids that will enjoy this combination of sweet and sour in their gum. 

Hubba Bubba gums are known to be big juicy chunks of gum that are fun for kids to chew and make huge bubbles with, this new apple flavor gum is no exception. Each piece is a nice big mouthful and very conducive to blowing big bubbles.  

As with all Hubba Bubba gums this new apple flavored gum is made with all natural food colorings. I'm impressed that Hubba Bubba manages to give their gums a wonderful fun vibrant color using all natural food colorings.

Bottom Line: I liked Hubba Bubba's Apple Gum, granted it's not gonna be my "go to" gum; partly because it's far from long lasting and mainly because it is not a sugar-free gum, but for once in a while when I want a sour flavored gum I would choose Hubba Bubba's Apple Gum and have fun making huge bubbles long after the green apple flavor is gone.

Pack of 5 individually wrapped gum pieces – 2.50NIS

Kosher Badatz KF London

Disclaimer: All items were purchased by me. No one is paying me for this review. All opinions are my own.

Friday, June 24, 2011

Energy's 60% Dark Chocolate Cereal Bar with Banana or Cranberries

אנרג'י שטראוס
 חטיף דגנים עם חמוציות 

Strauss Energy has added 2 new flavors to their 60% Cocoa Solids Dark Chocolate Cereal Bars. One has Bananas added and the other has Cranberries.

Seeing that I don’t really enjoy when banana flavor is added to a product, like with Tnuva's Chocolate-Banana Diet Pudding, I decided to skip the banana one and instead I tasted the Cranberry Energy Cereal Bar.

I was somewhat disappointed in this new 60% Dark Chocolate and Cranberries Cereal Bar. Almost everything about it was mediocre at best. Yes is was soft and chewy and yes I thought it had the right amount of cranberries, not too many but the cranberry flavor was present. Still there was nothing very special about this cereal bar.

The 60% Dark Chocolate layer at the bottom of the bar left a waxy after taste, which really bothered me. Especially since I recently tried the Nature Valley Chewy Dark Chocolate Peanuts & Raisins Granola Bar, in comparison the quality of the dark chocolate that Nature Valley uses is just so wonderful and rich. It emphasized for me what a poor quality dark chocolate spread was used on this Energy cereal bar.

Once I tasted Nature Valleys Dark Chocolate Granola Bars there was no going back to an Energy or Fitness Dark Chocolate Cereal Bar.

This Energy 60% Dark Chocolate and Cranberries Cereal Bar had 95 calories per bar.

Bottom Line: Energy's 60% Dark Chocolate with Cranberries Cereal Bar is fine. There was nothing horrible about it, other than the waxy aftertaste, but nothing amazing about it either. I for one am sticking to Nature Valley's Dark Chocolate Granola bars. I really like their crunchy ones, but their soft chewy dark chocolate granola bar has actually become my "go to" cereal bar. I think it may be my all time favorite Granola/Cereal bar ever! All the components used in making the Nature Valley bars seem to be of much better quality than anything Energy or Fitness has ever used.

Update: Nature Valley Won a Product of the Year Awards 2013 for their line of Dark Chocolate Granola Bars, both the crunchy and soft bars are winners.

Box of 6 individually wrapped Cereal Bars – 17.90 NIS

Kosher Rabbinate Nazareth- Illit

Disclaimer: All items were purchased by me. No one is paying me for this review. All opinions are my own.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Goats Milk Gelato "The Smooth Side"

שף בועז קווינטנר
Chef Boaz Kwintner (שף בועז קווינטנר ) started a new company called La Luna and if I'm not mistaken this line of goat's milk ice creams is their first product to hit the shelves.

Instead of writing the company name on the containers Chef Boaz decided to give each flavor its own interesting name so we have; The Smooth Side, The Lush Side, The Light Side, and The Bright Side.

The four flavors are; coffee, chocolate, melon and vanilla coconut with chocolate chips.

Although I mentioned the other day in my review of Illy's Cold Coffee that I'm not a coffee drinker, I chose to taste the coffee flavor because it's only 1.9% fat; the lowest of the 4 ice creams. Compared to regular ice creams all of these goat's milk ice creams are low in fat; the melon ice cream has 2.8% fat, the chocolate has 2.9% fat and the vanilla coconut with chocolate chips has the most at 4.3% fat.

After enjoying Tzuriel's Goats-Milk Yogurt I knew that goat's milk products can be wonderfully tasty and are known to be much easier to digest, so I had high hopes for this coffee ice cream.

The first time I bought the ice cream happened to be a very hot Friday here in Israel, by the time I got home the ice cream had melted into a perfect milkshake texture. I was afraid if I put in the freezer at that point I would ruin the taste, so I decided to enjoy it as a milk shake. It was a delicious smooth and creamy coffee flavored drink. I actually really liked it but I thought if I wanted to write a review about this product I would have to taste it as an ice cream. I really did not mind buying another container and eating it as the chef intended.

As an ice cream "The Smooth Side" was just that; it was a smooth luxurious coffee ice cream.

I know some people and many children are hesitant to taste goat's milk products simply because they are so used to cow milk products, but to me this ice cream was absolutely wonderful and if I didn’t know it was made of goat's milk I don’t think I would have noticed a difference. I simply enjoyed the rich silky coffee ice cream.

The Smooth Side Coffee Goat's Milk Gelato is all natural, made with 100% fresh goat's milk which makes it lactose friendly. It is also high in dietary fibers and is packaged in a 100% recyclable container.

Bottom Line: The Smooth Side Coffee Ice Cream has become one of my favorite summer treats. I prefer it as an ice cream but even if by the time I get it home and it's melted into a milkshake I still thoroughly enjoy it. Knowing it only has 1.9% fat makes me feel even better about eating it.

500 gram container 30NIS

Kosher Dairy Cholov Yisrael

Disclaimer: All items were purchased by me. No one is paying me for this review. All opinions are my own.


Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Wissotzky Litchi Celebration Summer Tea

A few days ago I reviewed Illy's Cold Coffee so today its ice-tea's turn.

ויסוצקי חגיגת ליצ'י
Every summer Wissotzky introduces a new herbal tea that is intended to be enjoyed either as a hot cup of tea or cold as an ice-tea, this year's addition is called Litchi Celebration.

The others in the summer "Magic Garden" tea collection are; wild berry, passion fruit-mango, lemon-nana and cranberry.

Since the Vitaminchick Ice-Tea Syrup, I recently reviewed, didn’t impress me much and it had a tremendous amount of sugar added, I was interested in trying this Wissotzky Litchi Celebration tea. Partly because I have complete control over how much, if any, sweetener I added to my ice-tea and because I don’t think I have ever tried a litchi flavored tea, so it intrigued me.

At first I followed Wissotzky's instructions; I poured some boiling water into a cup added the tea bag for 3-4 minutes then poured cold water and ice into the tea (they suggest 5 tea bags for 1 liter of water).

In my opinion this litchi ice-tea was simply awful. I dont know why but it somehow tasted like cardboard. I thought maybe it was because of the "paper" tea bag. Many teas I've tasted recently like the Wissotzky's "Exotic Love Leaves" Tea  come in a satin-like/mesh tea-bag so I thought maybe I'm picking up on the "taste" of the regular tea bag and not on the tea itself.

So I opened a few tea bags and poured the content into a tea pot with a filter and tried again. I have to admit it was just as bad in my opinion. Something about this mixture of ingredients just did not work for me as an ice-tea.

I did give the tea a try as a hot tea as well, it wasn't awful but it was not all that good either. I didn’t hate it or particularly enjoy it but I didn't think it tasted like cardboard when it was hot.

I'm not really sure why Wissotzky chose to call this tea Litchi Celebration, the ingredients lists natural litchi flavor as the second to last ingredient after apples, rosehip, hawthorn berries and elderberries but before citric acid. I guess litchi sounds unique and inviting so they picked that name even if it's not near the main flavor of the tea.   

All the herbal teas in Wisotzky's Magic Garden collection including this Litchi Celebration tea are solely based on fruits, plants, flowers and natural spices. They do not have caffeine, preservatives or calories and are suitable for young and old alike.

Bottom Line: Hot or cold this tea did not impress me at all and as an ice-tea I thought it was simply terrible.  

Box of 25 tea bags - 15.99 NIS

Kosher Parve Mehadrin

Disclaimer: All items were purchased by me. No one is paying me for this review. All opinions are my own.

Monday, June 20, 2011

Elite Strauss's White-Chocolate Kif-Kef

עלית כיף-כף לבן
In case you're not familiar with Kif-Kef, it's Elite's answer to Nestlé's Kit-Kat chocolate covered wafer fingers.

"Kef" in Hebrew means fun, so I think it’s a really good name for a chocolate bar and Kif-Kef is a cute "take off" on the Kit-Kat name.

The idea for this White-Chocolate coated Kif-Kef came from the fairly new "MY STRAUSS" campaign where the public is being asked to leave suggestions, on a special Strauss web-page, of any ideas they may have for new Strauss products. Someone by the name of Mor suggested a "vanilla covered Kif-Kef" after some back and forth with Strauss it turns out they meant a white-chocolate covered Kif-Kef. Strauss-Elite liked the idea and ran with it. So we now have a White-Chocolate covered Kif-Kef.

This new Kif-Kef has a white-chocolate coating over the wafer fingers and a layer of milk-chocolate on the bottom of the wafers, as opposed to the regular Kif-Kef that is completely covered in a milk-chocolate.   

Kit-Kat already comes in a white-chocolate version, so it's not all that innovative, but it is new for Kif-Kef.
After some thought, I decided that a comparison between White Kit-Kat and White Kif-Kef would be the best way to review this product.

For starters the chocolate coating on the Kit-Kat is thicker than that of the Kif-Kef. For me, that gives Kit-Kat its first "point" over Kif-Kef.

While the Kit-Kat is completely covered in white-chocolate the Kif-Kef, as I mentioned, has a layer of milk-chocolate at the bottom. I actually preferred the all white-chocolate version of the Kit-Kat. I think Elite should have made it an all white Kif-Kef. I don't know why they so often seems mix in some milk-chocolate to their white bars, as with their new White Summer Chocolate they also put a layer of milk-chocolate at the bottom of that bar, I would have preferred the White Summer Bar to have been all white-chocolate coating as well. Regarding this white Kif-Kef is seemed to me that the layer of milk-chocolate at the bottom sort of dominated the bar and the white-chocolate flavor got somewhat lost in the mix.

This opinion was strengthened when a friend suggested that I "re-taste" the original Kif-Kef to see how it compares to this new white version. The two Kif-Kef bars actually tasted way too similar and I believe it's due to the fact that the new bar also has some milk-chocolate, which I thought took away from the white-chocolate flavor. 

Although neither Kit-Kat or Kif-Kef chocolate bars, have the highest quality chocolate, the Kit-Kat's white chocolate is definitely better, it's richer, smoother and had lots more flavor than Kif-Kef's chocolate.

Both wafers were fresh and crispy but again the Kit-Kat's wafer was a little better so I have to give that point to the Kit-Kat as well, I thought it was tastier more crunch and over all a slightly better quality wafer.

Bottom Line: In a way I think summer an odd time to début a chocolate bar here in Israel (see my review of Elite's Summer Chocolate Bars for the reason) still I think it's a good thing that Elite Strauss is listening to its customers ,and actually developing a product they suggest.
Although the White Kit-Kat is "that much better" than the White Kif-Kef, I think it's nice that those who only eat Cholov Yisrael now have a fairly descent "dupe" for the original White Kit-Kat bar.

45 gram bar (4 fingers)

Kosher Dairy Cholov Yisrael OU - Rabbanut Nazareth-Illit

Disclaimer: All items were purchased by me. No one is paying me for this review. All opinions are my own.