What I thought of as my first food Nemesis had been quietly sitting in my cupboard, staring at me for over a week. Every time I went to get a can of beans it would be there and send a shiver down my spine. Yesterday around 6.30pm, with a mixture of hunger and misplaced courage that only an empty stomach can give you, I tentatively got out my can opener.
Asda Smartprice Meatballs in Tomato Sauce (I’m just grateful it wasn’t the gravy variety) were a request from Mr. Stone of Canterbury. He regaled the tales of how he used to go past these cans of Meatballs in his local Asda and say to his girlfriend how disgusting they must be. Well Mr Stone, you are about to find out.
Once I had decided to ‘step up to the mark’ as Jeremy Kyle would say, I took the top off the can as quickly as possible and was greeted by the stench of what I thought was slightly rancid chicken. The can is very coy about what these ‘Meatballs’ are made of but the list of ingredients and the Asda website is less so, they are made of Chicken, that’s right fowl, no beef or pork at all. I emptied the can into a microwave dish and nuked them for a minute and a half before stirring then giving them another minute, as per the manufacturers instructions.
As you can see, there is a lack of a pre-cooked image in this review, but frankly you don’t need one. Just imagine the cooked dish to the left without the orange flecks of chicken fat and you have it. So it was time to try one of these little brown fish, sorry, I mean lovely chicken meatballs. I’ll be honest, first time, I bottled it and went for the Tomato Sauce instead like a complete girl. I was kind of expecting a vaguely Italian tomato sauce, but it tastes just what it looks like, cream of tomato soup, with a little more sugar added for good measure. Not what you would want to put on pasta.
It was time for the meatballs. I took my first bite. As you can see from the picture, they have no texture at all. The chicken has been rendered to such a level that they are like a semi-hard gelatinous lump. Imagine a meaty marshmallow and you nearly there. It is quite obvious, that this is as soft as they could make them out of the chicken slurry without them falling apart. There is no discernable taste of chicken. You get the odd hint now and again, but I’m sure that is just your brain desperately searching for something, anything. My palate did find Mace and white pepper, which somehow cons your brain into thinking that you maybe eating a sausage.
After consuming this beast (yes, thorough testing requires this) I started to have a feeling of nausea. I was not going to vomit, but my poor guts were doing cartwheels. This could be down to the product itself but it could have been psychological, a mixture of guilt and my brain repeatedly asking ‘Can you imagine how these were made and you ate them?’. For legal reasons I have to point out that it was the latter (you don’t want to rile the mighty Walmart).
In conclusion, these meatballs are spectacularly awful. Not inedible, if you can detach yourself from what you are consuming. I just count myself lucky that Mr Stone did not pick the gravy variety, as they would probably have been my first food nemesis.
|Asda Stores Ltd|