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Review – Rizo by Jeavons

Jeavons Rizo - the vegan toffee crisp - from vool.co.uk

Rizo was recommended to me as the vegan answer to Toffee Crisp cravings. It’s been a long, long time since I’ve eaten one. But I have vague recollections of an ad campaign with a bar the seemed to spontaneously contract in the middle while making a crunch sound. So with this image in my head, I sat down to put it to the test. Naturally, the boyfriend assisted me in my work.

Jeavons Rizo - the vegan toffee crisp - from vool.co.uk

The wrapper

It’s a fairly standard wrapper for Jeavons. Clear plastic with a sticker. It is good to be able to see the product. I stock any number of items that have beautiful wrappers but no indication of what the product inside looks like. Rizo looks chocolatey!

Jeavons Rizo - the vegan toffee crisp - from vool.co.uk

The product

The boyfriend and I spilt a bar so we could compare reactions (and because he really wanted to try it).

Him: So it’s rice crispies, toffee and chocolate

Me: That right.

Him: not caramel?

The test is paused for several minutes while I explain the difference between soft toffee and hard toffee. Plus the differences in naming conventions in the UK and the US.

Him: I’m going in. (takes a bite)

Me: I mainly remember it being crispy. (takes a bite)

Him: That’s good. It’s got a nice crunch.

Me: It’s got a great toffee flavour. I don’t remember there being much toffee taste in a Toffee Crisp.

Him: Lovely sweet chocolate.

Me: Ooh the crisp is spot on and the toffee is just chewy enough. Mmm vanilla.

Him: I like it.

Good to know

Free from gluten and nuts and made in England.

You can pick up a Rizo bar from Vool for just £2.60. Order online or visit a Vool pop-up (and hope we’ve got some left).

Vool Verdict

A spot-on blend of soft toffee and crunch with a sweet coating. Satisfying for vegan sweet tooths.

Jeavons Rizo - the vegan toffee crisp - from vool.co.uk
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Review – Mallow Out

Vegan Mallow Out bar from vool.co,uk

We’ve tried out chocolate-coated mallow before. Remember those glorious mallow puffs with their Belguim chocolate coating? But this time it’s different. It’s in a bar.

Vegan Mallow Out bar from vool.co.uk

The packing

It’s a pretty, eye-catching pink wrapper featuring the signature sloth from the Freedom brand. It’s not generally recyclable. Possibly it would fall under the Terracycle scheme?

Vegan Mallow Out bar from vool.co.uk

The product

Once again I had assistance in trying out a product. Guess I can’t keep all the good stuff to myself.

Him: I can hear the wrapper being opened!

Me: Yes just cutting you a piece.

Him: What is it? Oh, it’s pink.

Me: It’s chocolate-coated mallow.

Him: Mmmm. That’s good. It reminds me of something.

Me: We’ve had chocolate coated mallows before. (takes a bite) That’s nice.

Him: No those coated things.

Me: (somehow knowing just what he meant) Teacakes?

Him: Yes!

Me: Or those biscuits topped with mallow and coconut.

Him: The ones with biscuits and jam.

Me: Teacakes. But they do remind me of the pink biscuit things.

Vegan Mallow Out bar from vool.vo.uk

Good to know

Mallow Out bars are gluten, nut and soy free.

Buy yourself a Mallow Out bar from Vool for £2.

Vool Verdict

A tasty vegan treat with a hint of teacake.

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Review – Smootch by Jeavons

Smootch by Jeavons - the vegan rolo - vool.co.uk

One of the items I’m regularly asked about a vegan alternative to is Rolos. Well it would seem I now have an answer. Hello Smootch! Delighted to make your acquaintance. Do make yourself comfortable.

And is Smootch up to the job?

The packaging

Smooch are wrapped in a light card tube and clear plastic sleeve. There are 7 Smootchs in each packet

The product

I recruited help to test these (eg it would have been cruel to leave the boyfriend out). It’s been a while since either of us us ate a rolo. Our conversation went like this:

Him: Are we splitting a packet?

Me: Yes.

Him: How many are we getting?

Me: 3? No 3 and a half each. There was one left in the packet.

Him: They look bigger than Rolos.

Me: they do. Did Rolos have toffee in them?

Him: Yes. Can I start eating?

Me: Wasn’t it more like a caramel?

Him (chewing): Mmm they’re just like Rolos.

Me: Oh my mmmm this is just how Rolos were.

Him: Mmm only bigger.

Me: mmm Rolos definitely had toffee.

Him: Are there any more?

Good to know

Smooch are gluten free and made in the UK

Pick up a packet from Vool for £3 either at a pop-up or online.

Vool verdict

Possibly even better than Rolos. Do not be fooled into sharing a packet. Get one each.

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Review – Rabble by Jeavons

Jeavons' Rabble - vegan toffee and peanuts coated in chocolate - vool.co.uk - Vool Vegan Cool

Customers kept asking me about products from Jeavons. When was I going to start stocking them? They did look tasty. Then Jeavons began selling to other businesses. I was delighted. My customers would be happy. And in the near future, I would have try all of their products in the interests of research and quality control.

Jeavons also turned out to be absolutely delightful to work with!

Anyway, this review looks at the Rabble bar. Jeavons suggests that this peanut, toffee and chocolate combo will appeal to Snickers lovers. No shortage of those!

Jeavons' Rabble - vegan toffee and peanuts in chocolate - vool.co.uk - Vool Vegan Cool

The packaging

The two fingers of the bar are packed in a simple clear plastic sleeve with the brown Rabble label attached. It’s simple and allows the product to be viewed. It’s not recyclable. I’m aware of the challenge that all companies face around packing that is sustainable and affordable. And it needs to protect the product and look attractive.

Jeavons' Rabble - vegan toffee and peanuts coated in chocolate - vool.co.uk - Vool Vegan Cool

The product

Inside the wrapper are the 2 fingers of the bar. Jeavons started out making toffee so I have high hopes for this bar!

It’s good. The toffee is chewy and creamy. It works well against the chunks of peanut and the chocolate. While Snickers tend towards caramel this is definitely toffee. It makes for a more satisfying eating experience. I’d cut one of my fingers in half. I chewed away for a satisfying few minutes. And I still had the other half of the finger to enjoy.

Toffee slows things down. Who would have guessed that vegan toffee might be the answer to taking life a less rushed pace!

Good to Know

Rabble is gluten-free.

Rabble is available from Vool priced at £2.75. Buy at a Vool pop-up or order from the online shop.

Vool Verdict

Consider Rabble for toffee/chocolate/peanut cravings and set aside time to chew through the soft toffee.

Jeavons' Rabble - vegan toffee and peanuts coated in chocolate - vool.co.uk - Vool Vegan Cool
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Review – Ciocofrutta Chocolate Coated Cherries

Vegan chocolate coated cherries from vool.co.uk - Vool Vegan Cool

Chocolate coated fruit. It brings to mind dried raisins (probably coated in carob). Italian Ciocofrutta with their bright packing and higher price point suggest a different experience…

Vegan chocolate coated cherries from vool.co.uk - Vool Vegan Cool

The packing

The packaging shows luscious looking cherries being coated with dripping chocolate.

The packet has a recycling number of 7. This means it’s unlikely to be suitable for curbside collection. But it may be ok for the Terracycle scheme.

Vegan chocolate coated cherries from vool.co.uk - Vool Vegan Cool

The product

The bag contains a weight of 50 grams. This equates to around 8 cherries. So think of this like a bar of chocolate with 8 squares. The smell is delicious!

The taste and texture are awesome! These are really juicy! And the sour flavour referred to on the packet isn’t much in evidence. The chocolate coating is smooth and not bitter. Each bite needs to be savoured. This is not a case where you can just empty the bag down your throat. Indeed, each bite should be savoured. These would be great to serve with coffee after dinner.

Vegan chocolate coated cherries from vool.co.uk - Vool Vegan Cool

Good to know

Cherries in chocolate do not contain gluten or nuts.

You can buy cherries in chocolate in the Vool online shop for £2.

Vool Verdict

A classy treat that will make you rethink chocolate-coated fruit.

Vegan chocolate coated cherries from vool.co.uk - Vool Vegan Cool
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Review – Golden Crunch, the vegan crunchie

Golden Crunch bar, the vegan alternative to Crunchie from vool.co.uk

It’s December so time for all things glittery. Hence a review of the vegan Golden Crunch bar seems pretty appropriate. Developed by Vegan Store, this honeycomb based bar is intended to be the answer for Crunchie bar cravings.

Golden Crunch bar, the vegan alternative to Crunchie from vool.co.uk

The Packaging

Look at this striking gold wrapper. You just know that something amazing is inside! It’s clearly labelled as vegan and plant-based.

However, the wrapper is made from a shiny plastic so probably not recyclable through local collections. However, it could go in an ecobrick – and it looks like it would be accepted by the Terracycle scheme.

Golden Crunch bar, the vegan alternative to Crunchie from vool.co.uk

The Product

Golden Crunch looks a bit like a Crunchie but it bigger and not as smooth looking. It weighs in at 49g which is considerably bigger than a standard Crunchie at 32g.

The dark chocolate coating is an obvious difference from the Crunchie. And how does that work out? Time to take a bite.

First, I’d forgotten how hard you have to bite to get your teeth into this type of bar. And how great it feels when your teeth break the surface and splinters of honeycomb dazzle your taste buds. Secondly, the chocolate to honeycomb ratio is absolutely spot on. That it’s dark chocolate rather than a vegan version of milk chocolate matters not a bit. It’s about how the cocoa flavour tastes against the honeycomb.

This is a glorious bar to eat. Each mouthful is filled with great flavour and texture. Also, some customers have mentioned not being able to finish the bar in one go – which is probably a good thing!

Good to Know

Made in the UK, Golden Crunch bars are gluten and nut-free.

You can buy Golden Crunch bars from the Vool Online Shop for £2.

The Vool Verdict

Buy it! Delight in it! Set aside a time to indulge in this worthy successor to a Crunchie bar. Savour the texture, and chocolate to honeycomb ratio.

Golden Crunch bar, the vegan alternative to Crunchie from vool.co.uk
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Where to find Vool in December

where to find Vool - the vegan pop-up shop in December 2019 - vool.co.uk
where to find Vool - the vegan pop-up shop in December 2019 - vool.co.uk

Vool has a packed December coming up. The travelling shop will be popping up in different locations every weekend giving you loads of opportunities to stock up on vegan goodies.

If you are also expecting December to be a busy month then why not order from the ? We can post goodies out to you, or you can pay online and collect from a pop-up event.

The end of November and start of December sees Vool appear 3 times in the town centre. We’re so busy that Saturday 30 November is our last Saturday on Colchester Market until 21 December!

But Vool will be at the Friday market on the High Street every week. You’ll also be able to find us in Colchester on 14 December at the Essex Vegan Festival, and at Caffe Sala on 1 December as part of the South Lanes Christmas Market. And as usual, the Shop-in-a-Suitcase will appear at Colchester Vegan Drinks.

Otherwise, our vegan goodies will be finding their way to Southend, and Norwich – and it’ll be Christmas before you know it! Keep up to date with where to find Vool on our website and on Facebook.

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Review – Schnouggi

Meet Schnouggi. Schnouggi is a chunk of hazel praline and is soooo cute. But at 28g isn’t Schnouggi a teeny bit on the small side? Or does he punch above his weight?

Schnouggi hazelnut praline from vool.co.uk - Vool Vegan Cool

The packing

Schnouggi is served in a little tray with a clear plastic sleeve and a paper sticker. Given that Schnouggi isn’t that exciting to look at – it’s brown and smooth – a less opaque wrapping would be fine. Or may that’s the point?

Schnouggi vegan hazelnut praline from voo;.co.uk - Vool Vegan Cool

The product

As previously mentioned Schnouggi is small, smooth and brown. It looks like a naked Miky Way or an escapee block of Vego bar that rejected being filled with nuts.

Happily, it makes up for all this in taste and flavour. The tantalising aroma as the packet is opened was amazing. I couldn’t decide whether to instantly gobble the whole thing or just sit there sniffing the wrapper for the next our.

As far as the taste and texture goes it’s rich smooth praline but without out any of the chocolate nonsense that normally coats it. It slips down the throat far too easily. While it’s tempting to take large bites a thin slice delivers the same flavour experience!

Good to know

Schnoggi is free from gluten and soy.

You can from the Vool online shop for £2

Schnouggi vegan hazelnut praline from vool.co.uk - Vool Vegan Cool

Vool Verdict

Schnouggi is small but powerful. Ideal for serving in small slices and savouring.

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Review – Vego Dark with Nuts and Berries

Vego Dark with nuts and berries from vool.co.uk - Vool Vegan Cool

Yes, it’s a new Vego. It’s only been a few months since Vego white was launched. Yet now Vego have gone off in the opposite direction – and joined the dark side. But will this new bar be as popular as the classic bar?

Vego Dark with nuts and berries from vool.co.uk - Vool Vegan Cool

The Packaging

Vego has chosen a shade of plum for the wrapper for this bar, presumably to flag up the addition of fruit to Vego Dark. Unlike Vego white the wrapper isn’t recyclable. Or if it this isn’t indicated anywhere on the packet. This feels like a step back. It’s chocolate – it can be wrapped in paper and foil.

Vego Dark with nuts and berries from vool.co.uk - Vool Vegan Cool

The product

Vego Dark is much chunkier than Vego White. However, it’s a far cry from their original bar which rivalled the Yorkie Bar! It’s divided into 15 squares and does look pretty appetising. It breaks into pieces easily enough making it good for sharing. It weighs in at 85g which 20g more than a Vego Mini.

What about the taste? The initial bite wasn’t great. The cocoa taste was very heavy and rather bitter. But it does improve after the first square. As you adjust to the taste there is a good note of cocoa followed by a pleasing sharp fruity taste.

I struggled to work out which fruits and nuts were in the bar and looked at the pictures on the packet for help. However, even with this visual assistance picking out the individual flavours was tricky. Possibly this is a result of the nut and fruit pieces being rather small. Hence the almond and hazelnut flavours mixed in with the fruit.

On the subject of the fruit, the bar contains cranberries, raspberry pieces and blueberry drops. The drops are made from blueberry puree, apples and sugar. Hence a general sweet note with a tang rather than clear individual flavours.

Vego Dark with nuts and berries from vool.co.uk - Vool Vegan Cool

Good to know

Vego Dark with Nuts and Berries is gluten-free.

You can buy Vego Dark with Nuts and Berries in the Vool Online shop for £3.

The Vool Verdict

If you’re looking for a vegan alternative to a Cadbury’s Fruit and Nut this isn’t necessarily it. But it’s a bar with chunky leanings and pleasant cocoa and fruit taste.

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Review : Tuno, Vegan Tuna Alternative

Tuno, vegan tuna alternative from vool.co.uk - Vool Vegan Cool

Tuna was pretty much the last thing I gave up when I became vegetarian aged 13. I rarely ate it alone but would mix it with cold pasta, mayonnaise, gherkins and spring onions to make a pasta salad. I regularly took a bowl to an event if it was uncertain that there would be food that didn’t contain meat. And this subjected me to all kinds of conflicting views about whether or not fish was vegetarian.

Anyway, I gave up fish and learned to love pasta salad with other ingredients. So the arrival of Tuno on the UK market was a cause for excitement. How would it measure up?

Can of Tuno, vegan tuna alternative from vool.co.uk Vool Vegan Cool

The Packaging

Tuno comes in a blue tin. I got 2 generous servings out mixed with other ingredients. A number of