Shapes Light and Crispy – Sour Cream and Chives

December 8, 2016 at 20:15 | Posted in biscuits | Leave a comment
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shapes-light-and-crispy-boxShapes. It all seems to be about Shapes in biscuit-land at the moment. New Shapes, Original Shapes, New-but-now-original-again Shapes – it has been dominating the biscuit community for months.

And into this maelstrom comes yet another Shapes variant – the ‘Light and Crispy’ range. I snapped up a box to see what they were like.

Well, you will remember some time ago when we started on this whole ‘savoury biscuit’ thing. At that time, I was nervous about the whole cross-over with ‘savoury snack’ thing. When does a biscuit become a snack? Well, it might just be with Light and Crispy Shapes, as these are definitely dipping a toe into the waters labelled ‘snack’, if not going for a full swim.

shapes-light-and-crispy-biscuitsThey are very light (which, I suppose, given the name is hardly a bad thing), thin, crunchy ‘biscuits’. Yes, the packet still has them labelled as ‘biscuits’. So that’s OK then. You can very easily shovel several at a time into your mouth, which to me is a definite sign of ‘snack’. And when you eat them, they crunch down quite quickly.

For all that, they have a nice enough texture, and the sour cheese and chive is pretty standard for the genre. Nothing stand-out, but quite pleasant. As a snack. I’m going to give these four out of ten.

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Arnott’s Chicken Drumstick Shapes

July 13, 2016 at 16:04 | Posted in biscuits | Leave a comment
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shapes chicken drumstick boxAnother day, another savoury snack biscuit to try. These are Chicken Drumstick flavour, although they are unaccountably shaped like cola bottles.

Arnott’s make quite a variety of Shapes, in all sorts of, erm shapes. And flavours – although many of the flavours kind of blur into each other. Truly I think if they switch round the packaging not that many people would notice – ‘chicken’ flavour tastes much like ‘BBQ’ flavour tastes much like ‘pizza’ flavour and so on.

This makes for somewhat problematic reviewing. I mean, a strawberry Tim Tam is clearly quite a different beast to a mint one, so there’s plenty to say. But for these – well, it gets a bit harder. They are a savoury snack biscuit. They are too salty, taste rather artificial, and are very addictive. Oh, and they have flavour you can see. Whatever that means.

To be honest, I’d steer clear of the whole regular Shapes thing, and go with the ‘shapes chicken drumstick biscuitsExtreme‘ range (which actually aren’t ‘extreme’ at all, just more tasty).

I’m going to give these a four out of ten.

 

Postscript
I
 wrote this post before I realised that Arnott’s had revamped their whole shapes line – to considerable controversy! Anyway, this review is now somewhat historical, as this is one of the flavours that was discontinued. I intend to come back to the Great Shapes Controversy very soon!

Arnott’s Letter Jumbles

August 9, 2015 at 18:53 | Posted in biscuits | Leave a comment
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letter jumbles packWell, that was a surprise. I opened the kitchen cupboard to find something for the kids to eat, and discovered a new and hitherto unknown Arnott’s biscuit.

Like that other scholarly biscuit in the Arnott’s range, these are evidently designed to assuage parental guilt about sugary kids snacks. Hey, they’re educational!

They are also exclusive to Woolworths, I note. It seems this is a growing trend. I hope Arnott’s also make some biscuits ‘exclusive to small corner shops‘ and the like, rather than just our grocery behemoths. I think that would be nice.

So what are Letter Jumbles? Well, they are small biscuits with letters on. They are actually tiny Milk Arrowroot, and seem to be exactly the same recipe as their larger brethren. As well as being smaller, though, they are also a little bit thinner, which yields a slightly crunchier texture.

letter jumbles biscuitsI opened just one small packet for the junior Chillikebab’s to share, and it contained eight biscuits. Thankfully, it contained an ‘E’ and an “B’, so both the little darlings were both able to have the first letter from their name. I assume all the letters are equally represented, although this would take some significant research to verify.

All in all not bad, but all that packaging for so few biscuits seems a bit over the top. Why can’t parents just buy a regular pack of Milk Arrowroots, and put one or two of them into a kids lunchbox, perhaps wrapped in a little twist of  greaseproof paper? And for that matter, why don’t we still wear flat caps, and why do school children have to wear shoes, and why aren’t kids allowed to clean chimneys any more, at least on the weekends?

I’m going to give these four out of ten. Bah Humbug.

 

Shapes – Barbecue

February 16, 2014 at 13:30 | Posted in biscuits | 1 Comment
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bbqshapespackIs this a step too far, I wonder? I have begged your indulgence to write about savoury biscuits, and you have responded magnificently,with an overwhelming response asking for cheesy reviews. But this? Sold in a bag, and clearly not meant for putting with a cheeseboard? Well, dear readers, let me know what you think as we step into the dangerous waters of the savoury snack biscuit.

There are a number of things about these that Arnott’s are very keen you should know. Firstly, they are ‘baked not fried’. Well that’s alright then. Clearly slathering fat all over something and then putting it in the oven, rather than merely dipping it into hot oil is to be applauded. After all, potatoes baked in duck fat are practically a health food.

The other thing is that they have ‘flavour you can see’. This seems strange to me. Personally I prefer flavour you can taste. Maybe it’ one of those post-modern things, like paintings you can hear. I looked at the flavour long and hard, but didn’t really get any hint of barbecue – more pencil shavings or bits from the dust-pan. Nothing to suggest burned sausages or parrafin lighter fluid.

bbqshapesbiscuitsTo eat, though, you do get some flavour. It seems the flavour is not just for looking at after all. The biscuit is crunchy and quite OK texture-wise. The flavour is of the generic ‘barbecue’ type, which is to say it really has very little to do with barbecues, and a whole lot to do with monosodium glutamate. Salty, spicy and slightly sweet tasting with a chemical edge that strips your tongue. Oh, and very addictive. The packet will be gone in a flash.

Of course, they are terrible. Artificial, gimmicky and lacking all depth and subtlety, But, for all that, they do deliver on expectations for the genre.

I’m going to give them a four out of ten.

Sultana Fruit Slice

July 10, 2011 at 14:17 | Posted in biscuits | Leave a comment
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The Snack Right Sultana Fruit Slice. A biscuit that reminds us of Italian feats of derring do; of swashbuckling adventures on the high seas, a handsome hero entering into battle and overthrowing tyrannical monarchies, stealing the hearts of beautiful women along the way and being feted by society figures across the world.

You don’t get all of that? Well, you should, as the Snack Right Sultana Fruit Slice is a Garibaldi biscuit, plain and simple. I don’t know why the Garibaldi name never caught on in Australia, but the combination of lots of sultanas squashed between two layers of soft biscuit is a classic, right down to the large slabs it comes in, with each slab being marked into five pieces for home disassembly.

The strange thing about this biscuit is that Arnott’s make another very similar product, but one that is not marked as ‘Snack Right’. Kind of  ‘Snack Wrong’, if you will. And indeed, the Snack Right product is the better of the two; juicier sultanas, a more structured, moreish biscuit and it seems better for you too.

Go and grab a red cape and sword and give them a go. They are really rather good. I’m going to give these a nine out of ten. (And don’t miss the chocolate coated version either).

 

TeeVee Snacks Original

July 3, 2011 at 11:32 | Posted in biscuits | Leave a comment
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Today we look at the Original TeeVee snacks, as opposed to the wafer version we looked at previously. They consist of small, crunchy biscuits covered in milk chocolate. The major excitement is that each biscuit is a different shape; there are dozens of different ones that defied all my attempts at categorisation.

I notice from the packet that the name ‘Tee Vee’ is trademarked. I wonder how far Arnott’s have gone to secure that trademark internationally; as it also appears to be the name of a Chinese manufacturing company that manufactures, amongst other things, beauty items, massagers and ‘battery operated items’. Hmmmm. I may never look at a TeeVee snack in the same way again.

For all that, they are quite nice; the biscuit is nothing special but they are quite chompable, and I can see that they would go down well whilst watching a movie or something. I’m going to give these a solid seven out of ten.

 

Sultana Choc

November 16, 2010 at 18:41 | Posted in biscuits | 2 Comments
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One should always be slightly suspicious of biscuits that claim to be healthy. The whole point of a biscuit is that it is not healthy, but is a treat. The fruit slice range fro Arnott’s, however, are labelled ‘low GI’ and are part of the ‘Snack Right’ range (but kudos to Arnott’s for resisting the oh-so-modern temptation to label them ‘snak rite‘).

The first thing you notice when you open them is that there are only four biscuits in a pack, with each biscuit coming in at a whopping 20cm long. I have to say I approve of this; it allows me to eat half a packet whilst legitimately claiming that ‘I only had two’.

Each biscuit is divided into five sections, and it has been suggested that the idea is that one breaks them off one at a time – yielding twenty small biscuits. This is clearly nonsensical; the dividing lines are purely ornamental as evidenced by the fact that when you break them apart they often fail to separate cleanly along the joins.

The biscuit is fairly soft, almost cake-like, and really only serves to bind together a large quantity of sultanas. They are then topped with a generous coating of milk chocolate.

And they are very good. Very good indeed. Ignore the warning bells that go off when you see the health claims on the packet because these are yummy. The soft biscuit and abundance of fruit lends a seasonal air to the Sultana Choc, and then the chocolate topping adds an additional indulgence. It’s very very easy to eat a whole packet of these. And who can possibly say that eating four biscuits is over indulging? Especially when they are good for you.

I’d give these a nine and a half out of ten. I’ve even been known to choose these over the awesome Mint Slice, especially when I’m hungry and fancy something a bit more substantial to eat. A top-notch effort from Arnott’s.

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