We’ve been teasing you with this one all week and finally the day has come. I was super excited about this box because from quite a young age, I have a love for Spain. When I was young, I was quite often conflicted in my passions and understandings, but as time has gone on, I’ve come to realise that my loyalties lie on the Western side of the Mediterranean sea.
As I aged, I was besotted with Spanish music and dance and the Pasodoble still remains a particular favourite of mine which I love to see done well on Strictly Come Dancing/ My father was a dance teacher, so when it came to dance I loved passion and intensity, and where more do you find that than a Pasodoble? Perhaps it was dance that made me who I am today ,I craved the same kind of passion in relationships that I liked to see in dance. I was drawn to Spanish passion, not hearts and flowers and teddy bears. One of my favourite musical artists (ahem, that would be Mr Iglesias!) is Spanish, and his hit “Bailamos” remains one of my top played tracks to this day. Guilty secrets are out now, what am I like? 😉
Not so long ago, Spain was on our to-visit list after our wedding. Unfortunately, because we’d not long got our first home, finances didn’t allow and we spent our honeymoon on the English Riviera instead. I’m not complaining though. In fact, if it wasn’t for the nasty 12-day head cold and the three witches who made my poor, newly married husband move their luggage on and off the train for them while they laughed at us, it would have been pretty perfect. He got his own back though, because when they got off at the same station as us and mockingly asked him for help again, he wasn’t nearly so careful with their belongings the second time. Lesson learnt, nobody messes with Mr S!
You’re probably wondering then, can a girl speak Spanish? Well.. ¡Si! Hablo un poco de español!
I’m actually trying to learn Spanish at the same time as learning Italian, which is quite the challenge. Why? Because while I want to visit Spain, my husband still insists that we head for the roads of Rome. I think my Italian is doing better, but my Spanish and Italian together are far better than my French ever was, or will be! At school, we had to learn French, there wasn’t an optional other language. I have nothing against France or the French people, I just associated France with Paris, and Paris with romance/ I wasn’t interested in romance, I liked passion, the kind of passion I’d seen in Spain, and Spanish-speaking countries on the whole.
Alright, enough of me and my love for Spain, let’s get onto today’s snack tasting! You might be excited, but not as excited as I was – trust me!
According to the pamphlet, La Casera is one of the most popular soft drinks in Spain. Not much is said about it, but it is apparently often mixed with wine or beer. How does it taste on it’s own? Let’s give it a go!
Winner or Binner? The gut reaction to this drink is to think it is, or treat it as, lemonade. It is not lemonade. At first, La Casera has a slight citrus lemon taste, but that quickly disappears and what’s left is just a slightly bitter, but very refreshing. drink. More than anything, what stood out to us was the crystal clear qualities of this drink – holy cow, I’ve seen distilled water look foggier than this! However, the real question was how was it mixed with a drop of red wine? There’s no doubt about it, mixed with red wine, La Casera is a few slices of fruit away from a perfect sangria and after just one sip, I was instantly taken to the Spanish coast at sunset. Drink it on it’s own or with red wine or beer, it’s still a Winner for us!
Lay’s Boca Bits
Out of curiousity, we decided to get a translation for “boca”, which translates in English to “mouth”. The pamphlet says these are salty and meaty, so there was lots of guesses as to what these snacks would actually taste like. “Meaty” can mean any meat, from beef or pork to poultry or even game meats like pheasant or hare. Enough guessing, let’s try!
Winner or Binner? Okay, so neither of us could work out anything particularly “meaty” about these, more “malty”, maybe. Either way and whatever the flavour is, it’s dark, slightly salty and delicious. According to Matt, they would also work well with a beer. Typical! A Winner.
These cute crisp potato snacks come in spooky shapes and a cheese flavour. Being a lover of all things spooky (but not gory!), I couldn’t wait to try these out.
Winner or Binner? Okay, so apart from the bat, we couldn’t really work out the spooky shapes. It’s a novel idea for sure, but we felt like the shapes got lost quite a bit in the frying process. There was a salty taste too, but sadly we have definitely had far cheesier snacks than these. Sorry Spain, it’s a Binner.
This puff pastry treat has a double-scroll shape and a sugar crust on the outside. Unfortunately, they didn’t travel too well so we left them in the pack for the photograph so that you could better see the shape. Apparently enjoyed with coffee, we couldn’t wait to give this treat a taste. There are two in a pack too which makes them perfect for sharing!
Winner or Binner? If La Casera and wine had taken me to a Spanish sunset, Palmeras with coffee took me to a cool morning on the Adriatic coast. Oh Spain, what are you doing to me? This treat is buttery, slightly salty, hard, sweet and a real siren’s call when enjoyed with coffee. An unquestionable Winner.
Okay, my Spanish isn’t that good and even I know this relates to the Pink Panther! Even without seeing the packaging, I know which cartoon character this is about. This snack is is a pink cake with what appears to be a cream filling, completely different to hat we have here. In the UK, Pink Panther wafers are pink wafers with pink vanilla filling, which look a bit like this:
Interesting! Let’s see how this treat from our Spanish friends compares!
Winner or Binner? So it’s not a pink cake, and it’s actually more like a Twinkie with a pink chocolate coating. Unfortunately, for us this wasn’t a good experience. The cake is very sweet, the cream is very artificial and the chocolate was very waxy. We were hesitant about giving this one ago, and sadly, it lived up to what we were expecting. A Binner.
I have to admit, when I saw these I had a twinge of sadness. One of our readers whom we hear from often (big love to Mr A!) is Filipino, so naturally there was a sort of mild guilt. I even said to Matt that I’d feel bad, but you know, I had to do what I said I’d come here to do, and so here I am. Emotions aside, these chocolate biscuits are covered in a white chocolate coating. Let’s try them out!
Winner or Binner? I don’t know that they’re that chocolatey, and yet they’re not bad, either. There is a chocolate flavour, but it’s not rich like you might expect. They’re quite hard with a distinctive snap and a crumbly centre, and the coating isn’t that thick on them, either. They kind of made me think of the Victoria chocolate biscuits selections we get here in the UK at Christmas time. Who doesn’t love a good chocolate biscuit?! It’s a Winner.
Sigh.. another wafer bar! What is it with countries and wafers? Why can’t we just agree on one international wafer bar and have done with it?! I joke of course, the world is precarious enough without any breakdowns in relations over these light and chocolatey biscuits. This one is topped with puffed rice though – interesting!
Winner or Binner? On opening this bar, the first thing that’s very noticeable is the smell. It’s not just chocolate, it’s intensely chocolate! If it tastes as good as it smells, then we we were in for a treat – and we were! The rice crisps really amp up this bar and make it even crispier than a standard wafer. Taste wise, it’s similar to the UK’s Time Out bar, but we think this is better. Another clear Winner!
Fini Galaxy Mix
This bag of treats is deceptive, because my gut reaction tells me that they are sour, and yet nothing in the pamphlet says as much. I love the cute little characters, but are the sweets themselves sour? Only one way to find out, I guess!
Winner or Binner? Okay, so they’re not sour, and actually these sweets are really juicy with a great variety of fruit flavours going on. More interestingly though, Some sweets have a firm chew, some are softer (more like Haribo) and some offer almost no resistance at all! Not only is this bag a mix of flavours, it’s a mix of textures, too – the whole experience really does feel out of this world! I think I prefer FIni to the German Haribo, though just when our minds were made up, I bit into a spider that tasted an awful lot like the way pool cleaner smells. That was a cruel trick, Spain! Still, it’s a Winner.
We’ve seen similar looking things to these Fini Sparks in the UK for sure, but with one caveat – they were chewing gum. We couldn’t remember what they were exactly, just that they were sour and gum. I’m not personally a fan of sour so I tried to sit this one out but Matt was having none of it – the things I do!
Winner or Binner? For all of the talk of these being sour, these aren’t that sour at all. They’re a bit sharp in a similar way to Nerds, but they’re not sour as such. They’re crunchy like nerds too, but without so much of the sweetness at the centre and definitely no large sugar crystals that you can nibble off if you’re so focused. I did think that the orange ones tasted like a vitamin C supplement and the cherry ones are my absolute favourite. That cherry flavour is to die for. The colours are nice and vibrant too and would be a great way to glam up a cupcake! Another Winner.
I really wanted to get my mitts on these ahead of time, but that mean man that I’m married to wouldn’t let me. I was fascinated with the words and symbols on these – I’ve never seen anything quite like it before! Is it some kind of game perhaps? Spanish readers, do let me know!
Winner or Binner? You know, when it comes to the really challenging “Winner or Binner?” decisions, I like to ask myself one simple question: “Would I be willing to go out of my way to have this again?” and in the case of Lacasitos, the answer is no. In the UK, we have M&M’s readily available and we have our own chocolate-beans-in-a-tube called Smarties, too, and when we compared the two, we felt that Smarties are fuller in shape, and perhaps even slightly richer in flavour as well. The printing is fun, but is it enough to make us willing to pay for international shipping? Sorry, it’s a Binner.
These sweets apparently have a crispy outside and a gummy cherry centre. They’re certainly quite solid and and definitely looked like they were going to take some chewing over, but we shall see.
Winner or Binner? Oh Spain! The last time a snack tasting made me squeal with delight was the kaneelstok from the Netherlands, but now you’ve truly managed it! At first I was expecting a hard candy with a chewing gum centre, but these are more like crystallised sugar and a jelly core that bursts with a wonderful and intensely cherry flavour. I am in love! Matt’s a lover of all things cherry too, so we really couldn’t say it enough – please can we have some more?! These are a mega Winner fpr us!
What surprised us most was.. Do we have to pick just one? I think the way Spain managed to take us from sunset to sunrise in the space of one hour was something, or maybe it was the Fini Galaxy mix. This hasn’t just been a taste exploration, it’s been a textural journey too – one that I don’t think I’ll forget in a while!
Alright lovelies, that’s it for today’s snack tasting. Don’t forget to leave your thoughts and comments down below and as always, I will do my utmost to get back to you. I’ve had some great chats with some of you lately which is always fun. I love hearing your thoughts and reading your stories so if you have something you want to share, please do!
Alright lovelies, that’s it from us for today!
Until Saturday, stay safe and have fun,
Helen & Matt xx