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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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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

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Review – Shakaloha

Shakaloha vegan chocolate from vool.co.uk - Vool Vegan Cool

This is the second review of the Shaka range from Vantastic Foods. A previous post has considered the creamy Shakalotta. A review of the strawberry Shakaberry will be forthcoming. Today we’re trying the exotic-sounding Shakaloha with its raspberry and calamansi flavouring!

Shakaloha vegan chocolate from vool.co.uk - Vool Vegan Cool

The packet

Shakaloha comes in a cardboard box with 8 fingers of chocolate individually wrapped in silver paper. Take a moment to admire jaunty illustrations of the main flavours dancing in grass skirts. No, the green one isn’t a pear. It’s a calamansi!

Shakaloha vegan chocolate from vool.co.uk - Vool Vegan Cool

The chocolate

Testers simply said ‘Revels‘ when asked for their impressions. But they were unable to articulate anything regarding the flavour in any detail. The Revels like flavour and texture has been noted in regard to other bars in the Shaka range. Maybe Vantastic Foods will take note and introduce a coffee/orange/coconut filling.

The taste while hard to pin down is rather lovely. It’s sweet but not too sweet. There is an initial taste of raspberry before the tart calamansi taste kicks in. And what is calamansi I hear you ask? It’s a citrus fruit largely grown in the Philippines. So a sharper taste to counter the sweetness of the raspberry which works splendidly.

Good to know

Shakaloha is palm oil and soy-free.

You can buy Shakaloha from the Vool online shop for £3.

Vool Verdict

An unusual flavour but it makes a delightful addition to the Shaka range.

Shakaloha vegan chocolate from vool.co.uk - Vool Vegan Cool
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Review – Go Max Go Mahalo bar

Mahalo bar from vool.co.uk - Vool Vegan Cool

Mahalo with coconut filling is the vegan bar of choice for those who miss bounty bars. It’s apart of the range from Go Max Go which are similar to certain popular non-vegan chocolate bars. For example, the Jokerz bar as an alternative to Snickers.

Mahalo bar from vool.co.uk - Vool Vegan Cool

The packaging

The turquoise wrapper with pink flowers references the tropical nature of the bar. It doesn’t appear to be recyclable; so another one for the eco bottle.

The bar

Mahalo is chocolate coated and has a somewhat bumpy appearance. It smells of coconut and very much the way I remember a bounty bar to be.

The chocolate has a creamy taste but it’s the texture that makes this work. The filling looks closer packed than a bounty but it isn’t really noticeable once you’re chomping away. And there’s something else that’s not very noticeable…

Mahalo bar from vool.co.uk - Vool Vegan Cool

An interesting addition is the almonds that run along the length. While in the UK we think of this as a Bounty it’s actually based on the American Almond Joy. I’ve never eaten an Almond Joy so I can’t make a direct comparison. Maybe it enhances the flavour in some way? However, you could quite easily – and I have – eat this bar without even noticing the almonds.

Good to know

The bar is gluten-free.

Mahalo bars can be found in the Vool online shop priced at £3.50.

Vool Verdict

An excellent alternative to a Bounty with a great texture – and see if you can taste those almonds!

Mahalo bar from vool.co.uk - Vool Vegan Cool