Taste Twenty Trial – 9. Liquorice root

The one thing it is easy to forget when you have a blog is that people are occasionally reading what you’re saying. It really shouldn’t be a surprise when someone says “Hey, why don’t you try this food, I know you’re trying to taste new things, I saw it on your blog.”

I wasn’t keen, if I’m honest, because this thing is called liquorice root. I don’t like liquorice, and it looked like a tree branch, which I’ve not previously had a fondness for eating either.

But, I’ve expressed a willingness to try new things, and I was told it didn’t taste like the black sweet-like liquorice I know and dislike. So I tried.

It doesn’t really make sense to me as a food. Others were chewing on this root, saying how nice the flavour was once you get into it. Well, I couldn’t bite into the root because it was too hard (being a tree branch and all), and I didn’t like the taste long enough to soften it up (being liquorice and all).

A little further research suggests it should be used as a flavouring, but my companions were content enough to chew on it. For me, it wasn’t really a successful tasting, but hey, it’s another one off the list!

Taste Twenty Trial – 8. Lucozade Sport Energy Gel

Whilst watching Wimbledon this year, Mr C questioned what those tennis players were consuming when they squeezed little gel packets into their mouths.

I assumed they were some kind of gel thing for top sportspeople, but then I realised they sell them in the supermarket. We decided to try some.

Eww. I mean, I wasn’t expecting a sweet treat or anything but this was not good. It tasted like medicine, and as a gel it was all gooey and gross. I didn’t particularly feel any extra energy but then I wasn’t in the midst of a mammoth tennis game either.

I bought two, but after trying the Lucozade one, I couldn’t bring myself to try the other one. It is still sitting on my desk, flaunting it’s strawberry and banana label at me. I dread to think what that one is like.

If there weren’t a million other reasons why I could never be a tennis player, this certainly would be a deal-breaker.

Taste Twenty Trial – 7. Strawberries & Cream Sandwich

I love sandwiches. They are one of my favourite foods. I love perusing the new and exciting fillings that shops and bakeries come out with. I’m not all that adventurous though. I tend to stick to chicken, tuna or cheese, with the odd extra ingredient here or there to make a change.

As it is Wimbledon week, Tesco came out with a celebratory Strawberries and Cream sandwich. Amy pointed it out to me, desperate for someone to try it. I was reticent, but Amy added:

It sounds gross. But clearly strawberry jam sandwiches are awesome and jam and cream are awesome on pikelets and scones. Maybe its a mental blockage. Maybe they’re just gross.

We needed to find out one way or the other. So…

At first glance, it looks exactly like one of their salmon sandwiches, which I’ve never tried either. I had to look quite carefully for it, it was tucked behind some others – not proudly offered to you like the smiling woman in the Daily Mail article. I figured if they were embarrassed about it, then so would I be, so I went through the self-service checkout.

Anyway, opened it up. It looks and smells like any regular jam sandwich.

It had slices of real strawberry in, which I wasn’t expecting. I assumed it would all be jam, but no, there was the fruit. That definitely gave it an edge over the scone, although it depends how posh your scones are, I suppose.

It was nice, not too sweet, the filling wasn’t too overpowering. It was just like a scone, really, except without that pastry taste. The bread might as well not have been there, except otherwise you would just be eating jam and cream with a spoon.

I’m not against sweet-filled sandwiches, I’ve eaten plenty of jam ones, the odd chocolate spread one, I can even vaguely recall trying a sugar sandwich as a child. It’s not really something I would do on a regular basis as an adult, I prefer savoury to sweet most of the time.

Plus there was definitely something about this one that didn’t feel quite right.

It wasn’t offensive, the combination worked well, but even so, I wouldn’t go out of my way to seek it out again. It hasn’t made me want to be more adventurous with sandwiches either, which is a shame. Maybe I’ll try that salmon one at some point, though.

Taste Twenty Trial – 6. Goji Berry

I remember when Goji berries were the brand new health craze and all the serious doctors were coming out and saying there was nothing proven about the health benefits.

I’ve never had them before but figured it couldn’t hurt to try, and I found a pack of dried berries.

Initially, it was like eating raisins with no flavour, but then the aftertaste kicked in and it was like soap. Gross. I tried two and then threw them away, I don’t care how healthy they are.

Taste Twenty Trial – 5. Whyte & Mackay’s whisky

Now, I’m going to have to be upfront and honest here, it’s not proper whisky. It’s a whisky and cola, pre-made and sold to me in a can.

I’m sorry in advance.

I was browsing in the supermarket and stumbled across this whole section of alcohol that I hadn’t noticed before – the sort of pre-mixed cans as pictured above. There’s everything from rum to Jack Daniels to gin and tonic, and I was impressed. When I told Mr C about it, he was also impressed. In his day, kids drank cider. In my day, we drank Smirnoff Ice. Now there is a whole heap of choice out there.

Anyway, I’ve never drank whisky or rum before because… well because it sounds and smells pretty gross. I was browsing these shelves in the supermarket, and thought that one would make a good “new food” for me. Yes, alcohol counts as food, what of it?

I chose Whyte & Mackay’s simply because it has F1 connections, they’re a sponsor of Force India. This is the “Whyte & Mackay Glasgow Special Blended Scotch Whisky & Cola.” The can comes with cola pre-installed, and as a die-hard Coke Zero addict, anything labelled cola makes me nervous.

The can is shaped very much like a Red Bull can – the tall version with quite thick metal – and upon first taste, it’s worryingly like Red Bull cola. It has that sweet aroma that only “fake” colas can have. However, after a bit of further investigation, I can say that I really quite like it.

The longer I drank, the less cola I could taste and the more whisky I could taste, but I don’t think it would be a fair judgement on the whisky at all. It’s sweet and it’s aimed at people with a sweet tooth. It leaves no aftertaste, it has no burn, it’s just a pleasant, if rather sticky drink.

I can’t say I would ever actively seek this out again, but it has lowered my guard against the whisky inside. Perhaps I will graduate onto the harder stuff. Maybe just once. Maybe.

Taste Twenty Trial – 2. Goat’s Cheese & 3. Lardy Cake

If you remember back to the first brand new food I tried as part of my New Year Resolutions, it was a fruit that did not go down very well. Slippery slimy thing that lives on in my memory.

For the second two new foods I tried, I went for something I had at least heard of and understood what to expect when it came to the eating.

Goat’s Cheese

Eh-hem, other supermarkets are available.

I had a crusty bread roll and some creamy white goat’s cheese, and you know what? It was just like any other soft cheese, although perhaps a little bit stronger. It was slightly sharper, maybe even a bit sour, but not by any means bad. I probably wouldn’t seek it out as a must-have when I go down the cheese aisle, but it went down very well.

Lardy Cake

Well, the name isn’t exactly endearing, but lardy cake is a traditional kind of cake from Wiltshire, apparently. I like all the ingredients, sugar, currants, cake, but the way it’s laid out in a lardy cake doesn’t appeal. The layer of crunchy, lardy sugar at the bottom wasn’t nice at all – so much so that I cut that bit off and just enjoyed the cake bit instead.

It’s a bit like those cinnamon swirly bun things you can have, and I like those, but I didn’t like this.

Thank goodness there are only two more new foods to go!