Berry Blend Little Penguin Bites
In one box of Berry Blend Little Penguin Bites you get six small 18 gram packages of this treat, which as you can see in the little bowl, is not a lot.
Which is actually probably a good thing. Because of the thickness of the “bites” and its pointy design, I found these quite a hazard to eat and I am a grown woman. These could easily choke a child. Although not “geared” to children in the Insider’s Report, I can see kids wanting to eat these cute $1.99 per box snack.
Plus, it tastes just like their other fruit-leather-inspired treats. Nothing new here except these are kind of dangerous for kids and add “shellac” as one of the ingredients…!!! This $1.99 product deserves zero out of five wooden spoons.
Tangerine Guava Pink Peppercorn Salad Dressing
The Tangerine Guava Pink Peppercorn Dressing smells weird upon first opening. I noticed it right away. The only thing I can compare it to is… it smelled like the Bulk Barn. I thought I must be losing my mind or something until Reg said, “What is that smell?”
So, it wasn’t just me! I asked him what it reminded him of and he said, “Pier 1 Imports” which I found hysterical. It was true. It smelled like an exotic store. But! The second time we had the dressing, there was no weird smell which helped me enjoy it a lot more.
Reg adores this dressing. He gives it 4.5 out of 5 and said, “I have never had a 5/5 salad dressing” so that is as high as he pretty much goes. Me? Believe it or not, I find it a little too subtle. Yet there is also a harshness from the white vinegar that rubs me the wrong way. I will say that it seems to bring out the natural beautiful flavours in the salad and does not mask them in any way.
That said, finding a healthy store-bought salad dressing Reg loves and I like is a bit of a miracle. As a result, I give it four out of five wooden spoons and will be buying this $1.99 salad dressing regularly.
The Pineapple Juice Beverage was a treat for me. I did pick up the Artichoke & Asiago Dip that you voted for in my poll but I had enough money leftover to get this “beverage”. What is it with them using that word all the time? Anyway…
I used to get No Name frozen pineapple juice concentrate from my store all the time. It was a great way to add the flavour of pineapple juice to my favourite smoothie: strawberry, banana and pineapple without having to pay $5 for a pineapple. Well a few months ago, that product disappeared and now this one has shown up.
How do they compare? My smoothie was good but not as good with the concentrate. Not as… pineapple-y. I found drinking this juice/beverage on its was a bit little weird tasting although Reg thought it was great.
I used the juice in my banana mango smoothie and it was excellent. Then I made a pineapple (with real pineapple since it was on sale), mango and banana smoothie with this juice and it was fabulous!
Apparently it contains 40% less sugar than their pure pineapple juice but I often wonder if that is a result of adding water and in this case, water is the second ingredient. Apparently they are made with Costa Rican pineapples which naturally contain less sugar so that is a bit of a relief. Maybe that is why it tastes a little different to me?
Still, $3.49 is a lot more to pay than for concentrate and a heck of a lot harder for this foodie to carry home. I might as well buy a pineapple instead. I give this product four out of five wooden spoons.
Fibre Plus Bran Flakes – Whole Grain Cereal
This was the biggest shocker so far for me. When someone markets a cereal by telling me how much fibre I will get as the big selling point for a cereal… I cringe. I am not a big “branny” breakfast kind of gal. I am more a mueslix with some of my own ground flax seed kind of woman.
Fibre Plus Bran Flakes sounded like a granny cereal to me, I have to be honest. I did not see a lot of those clusters inside my bowl and those sharp twigs looked a little lethal.
When I added milk and took a bite, I could not believe it. It has a lovely sweetness I was not expecting. Later I looked at the box and saw sugar is the second ingredient. That makes sense now. They are seducing me to eat bran with sugar.
I have to agree with the Insider’s Report, this is not a boring cereal. I liked it but hey, that is what happens when you cover fibre with sugar. At $2.99, this was a happy surprise. I give this cereal four out of five wooden spoons unless you are diabetic. This cereal has 220 calories in just one cup (55 g).
I promised myself as I took this photograph that I would not use the fact that I had the Pad Thai Cooking Sauce all over my kitchen and dining room moments ago against the sauce itself. I will do my best.
Once again, this sauce is way too sweet! Blue Menu has reduced the fat and sodium and left the sugar (first ingredient) and added tamarind on top. There is no heat which would have balanced the sweetness. Despite there being oyster sauce (which was impressive) in the sauce, I really could not distinguish a seafood-y flavour. It was not a bad sauce but for me, this is not Pad Thai. I would not pay $3.99 for this sauce at all. I give it two out of five wooden spoons.
The first time I made this Pad Thai I was grateful for having it in my kitchen. I was down to only firm tofu in my fridge. I tossed it in some soy sauce and Sriracha hot sauce, then rolled it in cornstarch and shallow fried it. OMG, so delicious! I finally found a way to make tofu that I don’t just like, I love! So I am thrilled with that foodie discover and was relieved to get to eat that night.
Black Label Taste #5 Umami Paste
There will be more PC Blue Menu product reviews to come but I wanted to finish of the Black Label product reviews with their Taste #5 Umami Paste. I used it as a spread in my grilled cheese sandwich, I added it to an egg dip for dredging chicken (wouldn’t recommend that one but Reg did not notice it which is impressive) and have used it in meat sauces for manicotti and spaghetti.
What I love about it is that it is the perfect replacement for when I am out of my anchovy paste. I use it all the time for tomato sauces because it adds that umami punch that I love. The difference here is it has anchovies but so much more: tomatoes, olives, porcini mushrooms, Parmigiano cheese… When you need a little extra flavour because something is boring, use this! I give it five out of five wooden spoons.
So we went from the worst to the best and there are more Blue Menu product reviews to come!
OMG you made me laugh, sounds like you really enjoyed your “granny branny!”
Your smoothie and pad thai pics are totally awesome, especially the above the blender shot, with the bananas and mango, I’m so making a smoothie this morning.
The Penguin Bites are a bit confusing to me, if I saw these on the shelf I would assume it’s for kids. Mine are big enough to handle these, but you’re right could definitely be hazardous to a much younger child or pre-schooler. Anyway, my guys are into the Fruit Loop Fruit Snacks at the moment and I have to say I kind of like them too 🙂
Debra She Who Seeks says
Great reviews — very informative! Mmmmm, sugary fibre, my fave.
I always like reading your reviews of PC products.
I was going to pick up some of those penguins treats the other day, as a special treat for my kids. I picked up the box in the store and checked the ingredients. I noticed the shellac listed and put it right back down. I just didn’t understand why shellac was in there. I won’t buy it.
Suzie Ridler says
Thanks Ava! I worked hard on those photos. 🙂 I’m fine with the penguin bites because I am an adult but I know of adults who would have problems with these and kids? I just think it’s a bad idea. Glad your kids are enjoying Fruit Loop Fruit Snacks instead!
Thanks Debra! Yes, well, coating flakes with sugar always makes them more tasty I’m afraid. But for those who despise this kind of cereal, it is more than just edible.
Alex, I know, why shellac? I haven’t seen that on an ingredients package in so long. I didn’t think they even did that anymore!