Sunday, 22 November 2015

Confiserie Firenze Appel Strudel

Price: 89p(!!!)

Score (out of 5): 3 1/2

Review: ahh that German staple of Apfel Strudel. We've traveled quite a bit in Germany and Austria, which probably explains most of my devotion to Lidl. I've also tried a lot of (quite variable) apple strudel. 

As such a Germanic tradition, if Lidl couldn't manage a decent apple strudel, you'd be concerned. This falls squarely into the "Lidl frozen food that isn't amazing, but is quite good and you'd happily serve it to friends." As the Germans might say "Alles in Ordnung" when it comes to Lidl Apfel Strudel. 

It's not too sweet, has a load of apple and sultana filling, a nice little bit of cinnamon spice and crispy light pastry. I was cooking it while watching Strictly so I was a little bit worried about leaving it in the oven while a dance was being performed and accidentally burning it. Therefore I think ours was slightly undercooked, so the pastry still had a buttery flavour to it. I think if I'd left it in for five minutes more (vierzig minuten, not fünf und drießig minuten, the upper range of the instructions) then it would have been cooked to perfection. 

A sprinkle of icing sugar over it afterwards made it look wonderful.

And if you're wondering if I speak German after the post, I had to check with my partner what 30 and 40 were and I'm sorted if I ever go to a fancy dress party in Germany dressed as a rabbit as I can also say "Ich bin ein Kaninchen". Other than that, I know nothing.

Wednesday, 18 November 2015

Formil Biological Washing Liquid 3L

Price: free (for viewers in Scotland, for a limited period)

Score (out of five): 4

Recently in Scotland, Lidl have been running a promotion where customers get a wee bonus for shopping there, some money off when you spend £x amount or a free item. One week it was this product.

We’ve been a washing powder family for many years, Persil bio usually. I’m naturally clumsy so there is usually a trail of powder from the massive vat of it under the sink to the machine, and in all of the wrong parts of the dispensing drawer. Lidl bestowed on us a huge bottle of this washing liquid, which we lumbered home with, having decided to nip in for a few bits whilst out with our toddler in his pram but leaving with a week’s worth of deli meats, fourteen plant pots and an electric blanket. [editor's note: a similar tale resulted in a similar acquisition of 3L of Formil Biological Washing Liquid.]

After resting up to recover from the carrying back of the beast, I was most taken aback to discover that you don’t have to put the liquid into a ball like in the 1990s and in fact it goes straight into the machine dispenser once you flip a flippy thing. (This might just be our washing machine.) It cleans your clothes and for clumsy feckers like me it is easier to transition gloop compared to powder from washing substance container to machine. So this may be more of a Lidl changed my life, or at least my washing habits, kind of review.

It’s a lurid green colour but if used with the “summer breeze” Lenor fabric conditioner that is currently making an appearance on Lidl’s washing products shelves you get a delightful lemon and lime effect in your dispenser, which is enough to brighten anyone’s day.

I’d be willing to buy it in future.

[Editor's note: we were forced to use this for a Saturday's worth of washing after we ran out of Ariel Excel Gel. I loved it. It smells exactly like you'd imagine clean linen to smell if something was called "clean linen". However, this strong, homely, heart-warming smell is exactly why we won't be buying it in future - alas the smell is too strong for my partner].

Tuesday, 10 November 2015

The blind tasting - Kania Tomato Ketchup

So, I'm branching out in my style of blog reviews and having a go at a blind tasting. My long suffering partner who's been subject to all sorts because of this blog (horrible hummus, mockery for buying a blender, force fed marzipan chocolate bars, etc.) came home to dinner one night to be faced with a blind taste - two ramekins of tomato ketchup to taste. I did my absolute utmost to now sway the results. I'm a policy analyst, I know how to run an RCT (and, no, pendants, I'm not willing to double-blind them!).

I've been accused of being sponsored by Lidl because so many of the reviews on here are positive, but I swear this is the god's honest truth as to what happened. Honest. Believe me.

Yes, my partner thought that the Kania ketchup was Heinz tomato ketchup. Specifically because it had a thicker texture and a richer red colour and he preferred the flavour, initially. I actually preferred it to the Heinz myself. Alas, brand loyalty has won on this one, so I've been forced back to buying Heinz, but I keep a look out for it sold cheaper in Lidl, so I don't have to spend half-an-hour being confused by the pricing in Tesco to try and get the best deal.