Rants, Raves And Reviews

Browsing Posts tagged taste test

I received a voucher to try products from the tesco finest party food selection for review, and along with a 3 for 2 discount I got a major price reduction on the food selected to try.

The tesco finest party food range was all designed to cook at the same temperature and be easy to heat up with minimal effort for party food over the seasonal christmas holidays and parties in general. Located on the shelves next to tesco’s regular range of party food in very similar packages it perhaps wasn’t ideal for choosing items in the same discounted range but for a shopper wishing to choose their party food for the holidays the entire selection was available in one convenient location.

Although there was a selection noted on the website to try I found the range in store had other products not mentioned whilst also finding it impossible to seek out some of those nicer products which were stated to be in the range.

•Tesco finest* Posh Pigs in Blankets
A pork sausage with cinnamon and ginger coated in a port and cranberry glaze, wrapped crispy bacon.*
•Tesco finest* Bourbon Beef Waffles
8 mini Belgium waffles topped with shredded Aberdeen Angus beef, Bourbon BBQ sauce and medium Cheddar cheese*
•Tesco finest* Mini Steak Pies*
Mini pies with beef and a cornish ale gravy in crispy pastry.*
•Tesco finest* Butterfly Prawn Selection with a Mango Dipping Sauce
King prawns coated in coconut and black & white sesame seed crumbs.*
•Tesco finest* Thai Chicken Curry Pastries
Pastry pockets filled with green Thai chicken curry, or Panang chicken curry with lemongrass.*
•Tesco finest* Oriental Selection
A selection of ready to eat oriental snacks, prawn and coconut spring rolls, chicken satay cones and Mussaman crouton bites.*
•Tesco finest* Mini Strawberry Trifles
Strawberry sauce, diced strawberry, sponge cubes with vanilla mousse topped with freeze dried strawberry*
•Tesco finest* Lemon Sherbet bites
Mini cheesecake with biscuit base, lemon cheesecake topped with sherbert dust.*
•Tesco finest* Swiss Chocolate Truffle profiteroles
Swiss chocolate truffle mousse in choux pastry, topped with a swiss chocolate sauce with “gold sparkled” butterscotch pieces.*

The majority of this list was impossible to find in store, especially the frozen and sweet treats, only finding the pigs in blankets, a selection of differing prawn based products, the oriental selection, an indian selection pack and some crispy chicken skewers.

Obviously there were some products I would have tried had I been able to find then however the variation in the finest range in the store I visited was lacking choosing to only have traditional party fare along with the oriental and indian selections lacking the choices in varied party foods, this could be a sign of the area however being stagnant full of old people set in their ways unwilling to try new and different food styles and only including the oriental and indian selections for natives in the area.

The products I took were very tasty although the indian party food seemed to be rather toned down unless you dipped the products in the included sauce which doesn’t seem very indian as usually all of their food is filled to the brim with flavours and sensations, and for the most part the combination required the sauces in order to get the full indian flavour. The chicken skewers I took also had a very good crispy coating far beyond what you would find in most fried chicken and with the ease of cooking is a definite recommendation and would be perfect to dip into any of your usual dipping sauces you could include with a party selection or to eat separately on their own.

Now ideally as this was purchased to be used as party food where it would provide something of extra sustenance rather than the usual selection of cheese and crackers, sweets, crisps and nuts and even provide something warm and satisfying as a variation. I would even state that these would be fine to eat cooled down after cooking however my mother set in her ways didn’t wish to have these on the christmas table after everything instead choosing to just lay out a selection of the usual cold snacks, so I had these on a separate occasion, but it’s the thought that counts right? I personally thought these were an ideal small nibble selection to put out on the table for those who want a little warm treat and something more wholesome than simple snacks and something very tasty that would fit perfectly on a party selection table, this is also the reason I didn’t take the oriental selection even though it looked tasty I wanted to go for something which would be warmed and offer variation, not that if I’dve taken those they would’ve been included as they were too different for my mother to include on the table.

All in all the party food range is very tasty and ideal for party situations and with 3 for 2 often better in price than the regular party food, or competitors counterparts which will be lower in quality and flavour.

Parts of this video are pre christmas where the deadline stated 5 days (with the same number of days til christmas) however visiting the next day while still preparing this it stated 34 days so priorities got reshuffled, apologies to the lateness of the review being that christmas is over, however these are ideal for any party, including the chinese new year, birthdays or even easter, any excuse for a party.

* All product names and descriptions adapted from tesco orchard as they are relevant to the review, to show the range stated and products which could not be found, their direct descriptions are not used as they desire to hold the “marketed” terms under federal trade commission regulations and as a result the products are described but without using their buzz terms. As this is used in a review this fulfills fair use statutes.

I got sent some vouchers to try the bioglan superfoods range new in tesco for free, one in particular had to be used on the 100% raw organic cacao and the other was for £4.99 on any other product in the range, from the choices at that price I chose the chia + Flax seed product, which at 100g only half filled the package, it is worth noting that the £9.99 super-greens range doesn’t give double the quantity instead coming in at a lowly 70g compared to the 100g of product in those I chose, which definitely feels ridiculous and a hefty case of misleading packaging.

After getting the products themselves I have no problems with the actual products, they deliver what they state although the portion sizes it recommends seems rather ridiculous adding 2 teaspoons of cacao or chia+flax becomes rather overpowering very quickly, and at 1/10th of the product it uses it up very quickly. Instead I would recommend 1 teaspoon per use as an ideal flavour adding technique rather than overpowering your dish with whatever you’re adding.

I tried the cacao in a few different dishes, and found it rather bitter at the quantities stating needing some added sugar in equal quantities to make the food edible after use, but I can understand the health benefits being put across, a major problem I have however is that you can get 250g of cocoa powder from tesco for £1.99 not only 2.5X the quantity but also significantly less than half price, so essentially you could get around 6 times the quantity for the same price, of course there is the debate on wether cocoa or cacao are the same thing, the “organic” debate, when it’s an organic product itself, and the “added value” of a brand, I do not personally place much relevance on a brand when it comes to a food product, and you’ll get the same health benefits and taste for simply using the standard cocoa product.

When it comes to the flax this was very difficult to decide how to use, with it recommended to be used in smoothies and a few other products I would never use it in, as granular smoothies are really disgusting. Instead I used it as a coating to some burgers, which as it states itself as a vegan protein source could be considered sacrilege. However you think of it this made a very tasty coating, giving the burgers a good crisp surface and a nice added flavour combination behind the bite. Other uses I considered were adding it to some cereal, but with the nature of the product it would have to be with either wheetabix or a granola cereal of some sort so the seeds themselves do not just float and clump together in what could be a not very nice experience. The final option would be to add to a curry base, again this would cook away some of the “goodness” portrayed in eating the product raw but at least would make an edible product.

With the chia and flax seeds as well I think there are more convenient and cheaper sources of vegan protein also, which if you’re purchasing this as your mainstay the quantities of protein you would require would become a very expensive matter indeed if you were relying upon the bioglan range to be your entire source of protein, instead as a healthy person you would choose the other options in order to be able to survive and have money for other foods, rent and your bills, and would not purchase these products as a daily essential.

Personally I cannot find how these would become a mainstay of a healthy routine, and if you’re looking for the health benefits alone then there are other cheaper options for exactly the same benefits and same or if not very similar products, as especially you can get 1k of chia seeds for £9.99 immediately upon a simple google search, and a kilo of flax for £3.99 all organic, getting a grinder to powderize them would be a simple matter indeed. You would have to be a particular fan of the bioglan brand in order to wish to purchase these on a regular basis.

I have to wonder if the range is being introduced to tesco as the bioglan range itself is struggling to make money in this economy with other options for the same products being available far cheaper elsewhere, and this attempt to gain a new customer base would even work, what I can say is that when I went to purchase my 100g raw organic cacao all of the products on the shelves having their “anti tampering” seals opened would have prevented me from buying this as a regular customer, and it was only because I had the voucher and the requirement to try this that I purchased these, as with them open I would have never taken them even if I wanted to pay that price simply because anything could have happened to the products and anything could have been placed in the powder, or even scraped off the floor from a spillage back into the product or whatever else your mind can come to.

Personally I would not purchase any bioglan products instead opting for the cheaper alternatives of the same products, because again although they are good and tasty and have uses, and health benefits the price itself rules itself out of the market, on a compound scale 2k of chia+flax is £100, when you can get it for basically £15 on a lazy first search result online price which if you shopped around you could probably find even cheaper.

Pact Coffee is the new coffee equivalent of the weekly boxes which have become very popular, but in this instance you recieve a different roasting of coffee from the selection available. You can choose to have the same type every time (initially weekly or bi-weekly but you can postpone delivery for longer periods)

Choices will be recommended when you sign up based around the method of brewing you use and wether you include milk and sugar, and the option will be given as to wether you would prefer whole beans for home grinding and the freshest taste, or wether you desire pre ground for convenience and easier ability to brew at home but maybe with a compromise to that freshly ground quality.

Coffee’s are roasted in very small batches so bear that in mind when placing an order as you may have your order changed should supplies be short, although there is a variety from wet and dry roasted varieties it is hard to say wether they stick within this as I have insufficient data but if you have a problem with the coffee they select you could always specify to hold off delivery until you get the type you desire.

Gifts are rewarded for referring others to the site, from very basic items to much larger coffee themed essentials such as grinders, coffee pots and the like which is a very fun way of rewarding you for spreading the word, but also giving out a discount to your friend to try the coffee where naturally it would cost far more.

If you like what you see and want to try the coffee for yourself use the link below, where you’ll get a coffee bag of 250g for £1, and it would seem your next bag half price with it regularly being £6.95 per bag, however you can cancel at any time and place delays if you haven’t quite got through the last delivery.

The coffee I chose was a chocolate chip cookie variety, well I chose sticky toffee but that proved too popular so I got this instead, and I could definately taste the fullness of body specified with the “chocolate” consistancy rather than a chocolate flavour, I would have been interested to taste the stickyness or sweetness of the toffee, but maybe another time, I would note that your setup will stay with whatever variety they changed you to rather than your initial selection, so if you got changed due to thier shortage be sure to change that within your account section, otherwise you will get another delivery of what obviousely wasn’t your first choice.

All being said though the coffee does feel and taste high quality, even pre ground so for £1 why not try some for yourself, and if I get any of the goodies I’ll be sure to show them off on camera for you.