8/10 · Coffee

Tesco Finest Popcorns

It was only a matter of time before Tesco jumped on the gourmet popcorn bandwagon. And they’ve done so in style with not one, not two, but five new fancy bags of popcorn. I’ve got two today, the other three aren’t quite my cup of tea but they might be yours; Mango & Coconut, Fiery Ginger (actually this is, why didn’t I get this too?) and Peppermint Cream.

Each bag has the same blurb:

We specially select ‘mushroom’ shaped corn because its smooth, spherical shape is perfect for coating in a lovely even layer of toffee. 

We only produce small batches, so every pack is of finest quality, and we choose unexpected flavours and textures to keep life interesting. 

Toffee Nut Latte 

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If I could create my own snack, it would 100% contain coffee, nuts and chocolate, I don’t have to bother now because Tesco have done the hard work for me.

This gourmet popcorn has been tumbled into a kettle of creamy coffee flavour toffee, sprinkled with hazelnut pieces and hand-drizzled with creamy Belgian white chocolate. 

Perfect with a cup of coffee or as an after dinner treat with a cheeky coffee liqueur. 

They’re 170g bags so perfect sharing sized. The last few Butterkist bags, I’ve moaned that he steals all the good stuff at the top and I’m left with the unpopped kernels and flavour dust, but this wasn’t a problem at all with the Toffee Nut Latte bag. In fact if you’re sharing this with someone let them go first, the only thing at the bottom of this bag were bonus chunks of white chocolate and nuts..Result!

The smell is a combination of sweet popcorn and white chocolate, none of the much longed for coffee.

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The kernels are all large and whoever had hand-drizzled my chocolate had been feeling generous, there was so much that between that and the toffee some of my pieces had been superglued into massive popcorn clusters – but you’ll see, I wasn’t complaining. The toffee is mega sticky and the hazelnuts are in small pieces embedded in the toffee, so although I couldn’t really taste hazelnut above the other flavours the texture was certainly noticed and appreciated – a new and different type of crunchy alongside the softer crunch of the popcorn.

I didn’t expect, but I was ridiculously happy, to taste the coffee first. It’s subtle but rich – strong enough for me to taste and enjoy (and coffee flavoured products rarely are) but mellow enough for Mr.1T (who just doesn’t like coffee full stop) to enjoy too. The fact it’s in a sweet toffee probably helped from his point of view, but I really liked the coffee flavour. On every piece of popcorn was a thick white chocolate,  it’s pretty nice stuff actually, as always with a white chocolate its super sweet but it had a decent chocolate flavour and is smooth and milky, perfectly complimenting the rich coffee and turning that coffee into a latte! Nice quality and better than I expected.

Rating:

I really liked this flavour from the milky white chocolate, the delicious coffee flavour and the crunchy nut pieces, there was nothing bad about it. The ingredients are of a higher quality and it shows. The nicest popcorn I can remember having for a long time (including all of the seasonal Butterkist!)

8/10

Strawberry & Dark Chocolate 

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This gourmet popcorn has been tumbled into a kettle of smooth toffee and strawberry pieces, sprinkled with cracked black pepper and hand-drizzled with bittersweet dark Belgian chocolate.

Perfect alongside a G&T or tall glass of elderflower cordial. 

I don’t like that Tesco are telling me what to drink with my popcorn. I know it’s “finest” but it’s popcorn not a tasting menu, I don’t need drink pairings thanks!

Once again the popcorn was nice and big and the dregs of the bag weren’t unpopped kernels but smaller chunks of dark chocolate and dried strawberries. Unlike in Toffee Nut Latte though, I couldn’t smell popcorn at all and instead a delicious dark chocolate and sweet strawberry tempted me in.

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The popcorn was a little less crunchier than before but only due to a lack of anything nutty, it was still perfectly popcorn textured.

The ingredients weren’t as evenly distributed either, I doubt I’d have noticed if we’d opened this bag first but there were a couple with no chocolate and just strawberry whereas every piece previously had chocolate, coffee and nuts. This meant for my first few pieces I intentionally picked out some chocolate-less pieces just to try the strawberry and I’m torn on the flavour. Its very strong, very sweet and very strawberry. Unfortunately this is because it’s very artificial tasting, I know they’re freeze dried strawberries but they literally taste like the cheap strawberry syrup you buy in the supermarkets to pour over ice cream at home. These pieces weren’t that great to be honest.

We all know chocolate improves everything though and things got much better. The chocolate is of a surprising quality actually, rich and dark tasting. I wouldn’t call it bittersweet as it wasn’t bitter at all, maybe semi-sweet would be a better description but it was definitely a darker tasting chocolate. The deeper flavours really complimented the sweet strawberry pieces and while the chocolate toned the artificial flavour down the syrupy sweet taste of the strawberries only made the chocolate taste deeper and richer than it did alone. At the time the strawberry is the stronger tasting of the two but the chocolate is the lingering flavour left long after I’d finished.

I can’t say I noticed the black pepper too much, there was a slight warmth to the popcorn every now and then but it was drowned out by the other stronger flavours for most of the time.

Rating:

Toffee Nut Latte is the nicer and more addictive of the two but this was still a decent effort! I’d have liked a more natural strawberry but it did pair well with the chocolate in the end.

7/10

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