Monday, 19 May 2014

Tesco Finest Feature Flavour Beef Bourguinon

British beef braised in red burgundy infused with fresh herbs says the label.  Oh yes?

I wonder what makes these crisps beef bourguinon as opposed to boeuf bourguinon, or indeed beef stew? Because honestly, if they taste of anything I think beef stew covers it perfectly well. Stew with rather a lot of red wine. But I'm not terrifically impressed.

I do have to admit that the tested packet is past its sell-by date - but not massively so. And the bag is in prefect condition so the crisps haven't gone all soft and nasty. But I don't feel this is a very good crisp. And the behatted Canadian ski instructor we have staying with us wanted to make his feelings known too; he's not that mad about them either.

As usual with Tesco's crisps these are quite a good size, with quite a hard crunch and plenty of flavour dust. But the aroma is not good, and the flavour? The flavour is actually a bit piano by Tesco's normal extravagant standards.

But guess what? According to the Tesco website these crisps are made with lamb shank! Lamb? That's a more expensive meat than beef isn't it? Somehow this feels worse than reading that a sausage or flame grilled steak flavour crisp is suitable for vegetarians.

The flavour, says the website, is made from lamb shank and red wine seasoning, which in turn is made with red wine powder and lamb powder. I dread to think how you produce powdered lamb. Also in the mix are sugar, salt, "flavouring" (MSG perhaps?), herbs (it doesn't say which), onion power and yeast extract. And the red wine is chianti.

So what you ask. Well, the thing is that my packet of crisps claims to be made with burgundy (not chianti) and Aberdeen Angus beef powder not lamb at all. Also on my packet but not on the website are tomato powder and mushroom powder. So when did they change the recipe, and why? Because it sounds like quite a different crisp.

The potato variety is Hermes, the field they were grown in was called Roundwood and it's in Devon. Tesco recommends you drink Cotes, Catalanes or Grenache wines with this crisp. I expect that's where I've been going wrong.

If I'm in Tesco any time soon I'll try and remember to take a look at a packet and read the ingredients. See if they really are so different. But I'm not sure that I want to try another bag.

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