Good evening Twisties,
As of late, any time we’ve read about South Africa, it’s only ever been followed by one word – “variant”. South Africa, much like the UK, was home to a variant of the novel coronavirus that has swept the planet, causing thousands of deaths. As global cases decline and hope glimmers on the horizon, it was nice to be able to bring you something more fun and interesting.
Whenever we receive a new snack box, Matt and I like to play a little game where we guess where the snacks might be from, without opening anything first. It doesn’t have to be specific, and usually we name an entire continent each. This time, I said that I hoped for some snacks from one of the African countries – and I got lucky!
Naturally, there is some residual anxiety. Is it even safe to eat snacks from a country associated with a Covid-19 variant? I was assured that yes, it was. With my anxieties set aside, we could look forward to another exciting box.
Every month with SnackCrate, there is a recipe on the side of the included inserts and Matt and I are now endeavouring to cook them up each month. Unfortunately, we don’t have the inserts from previous boxes, but if you want to read more about our first taste of malvapoeding, you can read it at the bottom of this page.
But first… let’s check out the snacks!
Both the packaging and the flyer were about as useful as a chocolate teapot here! The packaging reads ‘original flavour’ and the flyer simpy describes them as savoury, We’re familiar with non-descript ‘savoury’ flavours after Spain’s Boca Bits, so what the heck?
Winner or Binner? There aren’t many in a pack which is a little disappointing, because despite an apparent lack of definition on what this flavour was, they’re actually pretty tasty! Think cheesesteak with a little extra added salt, that’s kind of what’s going on here. Your head wants to say cheese, then it starts to say beef or maybe just salt. Whatever the flavour was, we’d happily eat them again!
Okay, so strictly speaking, we get Mini Cheddars in the UK, too, Growing up, I can remember that my grandmother always used to have multipacks of these little crackers in the cupboard and I would always ask for a bag, which I would happily tuck into while I sat on her garden bench and watched the goldfish in the pond. They have a taste of cheddar cheese, which I am more than familiar with as a West country girl, but how does the fruit chutney cracker compare?
Winner or Binner? All things considered, we actually preferred the fruit chutney crackers! I was worried that the flavour would be too sharp, salty or mild, but actually they have a really nice, sweet, fruity, slightly tangy flavour, like a good chutney should be! These are definitely another Winner.
Mexican chilli flavoured? Well this could go a number of ways. Either we were about to be severely disappointed, or we were aboit to blow our damn heads off.
Winner or Binner? When we opened the bag, I have to say that we were pretty disappointed. They didn’t smell at all spicy, not even remotely like peppers, more salty and plain. When we tasted these chips though.. wow! At first, the heat doesn’t come in, but then it creeps up on you from the back of your tongue and suddenly you’re taken by surprise! They don’t have an awful lot of flavour but they are bizarrely fun to eat, and we made them a Winner just for that!
Eet- Sum – Mor
You know when someone gives you their name, but they spell it completely different to how you would normally write it? That was pretty much me making notes on these biscuits – they really threw me for a loop! Still, this girl loves a good shortbread, so the competiton is on!
Winner or Binner? When you try snacks from somewhere with a climate as warm as Africa’s. the last thing you’d expect is something that we have readily available here in the UK, yet it happened here. Shortbread is normally associated with Scotland, and it’s something that I buy at Christmas time every year. I had to put these to the tea-and-biscuit test, and they passed with flying colours! They’re golden, sweet, buttery.. perfect! A Winner.
Milky Bar Krackle
Mulky Bar Krackle? For whatever reason, I was loving this idea. We have Milky Bar in the UK, but it’s crackle-free and it’s so sweet that I only ever really buy it to curl on top of my citrusy limoncello cheesecakes. Today I’d be eating it as is, so what difference would the rice crispies make?
Winner or Binner? All things considered, the crispies were like the perfect antidote to all of that sweetness. It stops tasting so sweet and candy like, and actually feels almost like a breakfast bar! I had to stop myself eating the whole bar – it’s not breakfast! It just tasted like it. Another Winner for us.
Ever had a sense of dejavu? Yeah, us too. We were sure we’d had this bar before, but it turns out, we were thinking of Kex, the Swedish chocolate wafer bar. This bar is substantially longer and thicker (oh, hey!), but would it be as good?
Winner or Binner? This bar promises a centre of Aero, a bubbly aeriated chocolate bar available also here in the UK, but we weren’t really detecting it. Even without that though, this was definitely one of the better wafers. Rich, creamy, chocolatey and not overly sweet, we appointed this one as yet another Winner on the list.
I just love the name of this bar, it’s so.. relaxed. “Nosh” is a word we use in Britain too, to mean, very informally, food. I use “nosh” myself infrequently, usually sarcastically, when someone fails to understand a call to sit at the dinner table!
Winner or Binner? For our initial fears of this being crazily sweet, once again this bar delivers. Both the caramel and the nougat are slightly sweet and slightly salty, and they offer wonderfully contrasting textures! The creamy nougat, studded with hazelnuts, offers a tougher chew and some crunch, while the smooth caramel dances around and disappears almost without a trace. Wonderful, we’re sold on this Winner!
What surprised us most was...
I think any time we think of Africa, we think of a hot country, and we think of lots of hot spices and curries, but this was just not the case. Far from any hot and unexpected flavours we see lots of flavours that we’re used to here in the UK, which just goes to show – never judge a book by its cover!
That time we made… Malvapoeding!
Owing to the popularity of our snack posts, we decided to start cooking up the recipes that come with our SnackCrate boxes. We want to make sure we keep deliverng more of what you want to read and hopefully, we won’t destroy our kitchen in the process!
The first recipe is malvapoeding, a dessert from South Africa. “Malva” is said to be a word for “marshmallow”, and “poeding” is another spelling for “pudding”. Malvapoeding doesn’t contain any marshmallows, but it does have a creamy, bouncy texture, like a marshmallow.
How did it go?
Once I raided ASDA’s shelves for apricot jam, baking was surprisingly simple. Malvapoeding is essentially a basic sponge recipe, but with less flour, more sugar and an even more confusing assembly process. My milk soured when I added the vinegar to the mi;k-butter mixture as per the instructions. Would it be okay? It was.
My second concern was the consistency of the batter. Where cake batters go, it was scarily light and I was concerned that I’d got it all wrong. When I baked it for the prescribed 45 minutes though, it turned out absolutely fine.
And the verdict?
It’s not for us. The sponge itself would probably be fine, but the sauce itself made this far too indulgent. The sauce that is poured into the malvapoeding is made with cream, sugar, butter and water, and I could feel my stomach kicking up a protest at that fact! We were advised that we could eat it hot or cold, and we found it even worse to eat it cold as it had developed a grainy, greasy layer on the top. Thankyou for our first taste, South Africa, but we’ll stick with our great British spotted dick!
Alright lovelies, I hope you enjoyed this post. We’re still waiting for the next box which we’ll hopefully be sharing with you in two weeks time. Does anyone want to hazard a guess at where it might be from? Don’t forget, we’ll give a shout out for a correct guess!
Also, please let us know, how would you like us to include the ‘that time we made’ recipes in the future? Would you like us to photograph just the end result or he entire baking process? Would you like us to include it in the snack-tasting post, or create a separate post entirely? Please let us know your thoughts in the comments!
Until next time,
Stay safe & have fun,
Helen & Matt xx