Ahh Portugal, who can forget Britain’s oldest ally? So often, when people think of England’s allies, they quite often mention the USA. Whilst the USA might be Britain’s biggest ally, they are in fact not our oldest. Instead, Portugal proudly takes that spot with a diplomatic alliance reaching back to the 1300s!
Going back some many years ago and in the early years of us, Matt set up a lucky dip ahead of the 2008 World Cup, and who should I draw but Portugal?! I had every faith in Portugal to deliver me with that £20 prize money as I hope Portugal will deliver to us some wonderful flavours today. They didn’t, but it’s not down and out just yet!
So, Portugal, what have we got?
To keep us hydrated today, we have this wonderful sparkling pineapple drink. Along with guessing where the the snacks have come from prior to opening the box, we also like to guess what the colour of the canned drink might be. Matt imagined it to be light yellow and clear and owing to the presence of pineapple pulp, I said it would be more like cloudy lemonade. Who was right, and moreover, how does it taste?
Winner or Binner: I was right, but is it a Winner? Eh… it’s far too sweet for me. There is a taste of pineapple, but it’s so sweet, it’s almost syrupy. It is carbonated, but only very slightly and it almost feels like it might have gone flat in transport. A winner for Matt, but back to the “‘bena” for me.
Oh lordy! Normally, Google Translate works pretty seamlessly and we can learn a thing or two along the way. Imagine our surprise then when, as we scanned over these snacks, Google gave us a rather humorous translation! Fortunately, Matt has a Portuguese gaming friend and so we were able to clear up the confusion, but it wouldn’t have been right of us to keep this giggle to ourselves. Translation issues aside, this apparently translates more closely to “countryside”, and the leaflet itself says that they have a tomato flavour, so let’s check out what “peasant women” taste like, shall we?
Winner or Binner: Normally when we think of a tomato flavour, we think of a spicy, tangy, ripe tomato flavour, but not here. These have more of a grilled vegetable flavour, more reminiscent of my chargrilled Medittereanean vegetable pasta recipe, sans courgette, that has been passed down through three generations. It’s grilled, it’s sweet, it’s slightly smoky and generally great. Of course, there are numerous jokes to be had about this being my first taste of a woman, but for now I’ll behave!
Super Douradas Chouriço
I’m a little perturbed by how puffed up this bag is, so I’m hoping that what’s inside is worth it. Unlike the Lay’s which looked a little deflated and sad, this packet looked rather inflated! These are crinkle-cut crisps that are flavoured with the taste of the Portuguese chouriço sausage, but will they deliver or are they really all just air?
Winner or Binner: Just look at the golden colour on these! Immediately, I’m thinking of the orange and yellow hues of a Mediterranean sunset, and the smell of smoked pork greets you immediately, too. Taste-wise, these are great and we will definitely have to try and hunt them out again, they’re porky, they’re garlicky, they’re grilled – delicious! It’s a Winner.
I just love that something that feels so British is really so ironically… European? Maybe even global? I mean… who doesn’t love a jam tart?! Unlike the British varieties which are usually deep-filled, these biscuit-like strawberry tartlets are so small, they almost look like they were meant to sit next to a cup of tea!
Winner or Binner: These are just so charming! Unlike the British variety, you’d have a struggle to make a mess of yourself with these. The strawberry jam stays in place and the pastry base is just enough that it’s not going to fall apart the second that you bite into it. They’re sweet but also flavourful, I love them. Portugal, you got me! Another Winner.
Just when you thought croissants were only something you see in France, it seems that every European country has a version of this baked goodness! This one feels dense, soft and light, but will it rival the Italians, who knows?
Winner or Binner: The two are very, very similar, but we felt that the Italians had the edge. This croissant has the same sweet, flaky, yeasty dough, but the cocoa cream filling doesn’t reach the end in quite the same way and as such, we found the ends quite dry. Sorry, Portugal, but it’s a Binner from us.
We’re curious about this bar. It’s called nougat and the leaflet says it’s nougat, but it doesn’t look like nougat that we know! It’s nougat made with honey and peanuts, but we can definitely see whole peanuts in there. Interesting!
WInner or Binner: Okay, so this is where it gets a little but complicated. In the UK, we’d normally call this peanut brittle, and we’d normally make it with hard caramel, not honey. It’s hard, it’s crunchy, it’s sweet and it’s nutty, but is it a Winner? Sorry, Portugal, as someone who makes my own peanut brittle, I think my own recipe has the edge. Just a crack of salt, and you might have given me some competition. Sadly, it’s a Binner.
This bag promises good things, very, very good things. With almonds, chocolate and a dusting of cinnamon? It has to! They look heavy with chocolate and who doesn’t love the sweet, creamy taste of almond? When I was young, my grandmother used to get brazil nuts at Christmastime and they were coated in thick milk chocolate, and then dusted in cocoa powder. They were incredible, and I’m sure these will be too!
Winner or Binner: Oh my goodness, the chocolate on these is just silky smooth and oh so rich! The leaflet says that they’re coated in cinnamon and we couldn’t detect the cinnamon, but to be honest, we didn’t miss it anyway. Even without it, these are really moreish! A Winner.
Regina Milk Chocolate
Curiously, this milk chocolate bar is flavoured with passion fruit. The leaflet says it is either pineapple or passion fruit flavoured, and we were sent the passion fruit variety. I’ve not seen the two combined together before, but hey, let’s check it out.
Winner or Binner: This sounds really strange, but I don’t personally care for passion fruit. Most likely, it comes down to my anthophobia, with passion flower being one of those flowers that provokes the biggest phobic reaction of all. For Matt, it was quite a delicious and smooth chocolate, but for me, it was one of the hardest treats to swallow. A strong passion fruit flavour, if you like it.
Oh, just look at this thing! These adorable chocolate parasols are apparently given to children in Portugal, and what a simply adorable treat?! We really didn’t want to demolish this thing, but alas, we must. Sometimes, these tastings can be really difficult!
Winner or Binner: Okay, so you can tell that these are made for children because the chocolate is distinctively of a cheaper, waxier quality to the almonds and the passion fruit bar. We’d give it points for the creativity, but not for the chocolate quality, so it’s just about a Winner in that regard. Regardless, I’m totally finding a way to re-draw my Sobrinha into my scrapbook!
We were only sent three pieces of this gum and in three different flavours, so we had to half each piece to both be able to try them all out. Available in passion fruit, tutti fruiti and banana, there were certainly some curious new gum flavours for us to try.
Winner or Binner: Sadly, this gum didn’t deliver much on the flavour front. The passion fruit gave way to something more artificial and chemical-tasting quite quickly and the banana had only the mildest taste of banana. We were agreed on the tutti-fruiti, but it wouldn’t be something we’d go out of our way to have again. The little collectable gorilla images were somewhere between cute and creepy for us, and in a time when we’re supposed to be cutting down on our packaging, aren’t they even a little bit unnecessary, anyway? It’s a Binner.
This tube of fruit chews has a variety of flavours that are familiar to us in the UK, but also different from Starburst. With flavours like pineapple and cherry, we were really curious to try them out. Could they really rival Britain?
Winner or Binner: Mind blown! These sweets are fruity, creamy and smooth, like Starburst but with a variety of other great and wonderful flavours. The cherry is incredible, luscious and dark and the pineapple is juicy and fresh-tasting, too. It’s a Winner for us!
These cute little chews have a variety of fruit flavours, but ones that are familiar to Portugal. They were personally recommended to us, so we kept the best until last. There’s no blackcurrant here, and instead, we have some new and exciting flavours like pineapple and blueberry to try.
Winner or Binner: Some flavours are better than others, and while the blueberry took me by surprise, the strawberry didn’t deliver at all. Still, I liked the variation and the pineapple is mouth-watering, so I can agree on a Winner just for that!
What surprised us most was… How much these amazing snacks made us want to put Portugal on our bucket list! I guess because we generally focus on the larger and more famed countries of France, Spain and Italy, Portugal sort of gets forgotten about. Now though, it feels as though Portugal has certainly garnered our attention!
Alright lovelies, that’s it from us for now. Which of these snacks would you like to try? Have you ever visited Portugal? What are your favourite memories?
Until next time,
Stay safe & have fun,
Helen & Matt xx