Written by The Human Dustbin and posted in Food, Tins and Packets

In what seems like almost a lifetime ago, I was a vegan. Vegetarian chilli with rice was a staple of my diet. Up until this review I had always cooked this meal from scratch, but after a request, I decided to try the cheapest canned varieties the supermarkets had to offer. With Tesco not doing a ‘Value’ canned chilli con carne and the Sainsburys ‘Basics’ variety costing 98p, double that of our two contenders, this was ruled out for review for being not basic enough.

Asda Smartprice Chilli Con Carne

Asda Smartprice Chilli Con Carne reviewDescribed on the can as ‘Minced beef with kidney beans, onions and textured wheat protein in a mild chilli sauce’, I was immediately drawn to the textured wheat protein. I’m sure this ingredient adds to the flavor and is not a cheap bulking agent to cover how little beef there is in this product (9%). Perhaps it would be like the old school TVP I used to eat as a vegan, but with added meat. I microwaved it for a minute and a half, stirred, and then gave it another minute and a half, as per the manufacturers mangled instructions.

Asda Smartprice Chilli Con Carne cookedSo what does it taste like? The description says it has a mild chilli sauce, which is in my view a bit misleading. It is quite spicy, probably to disguise the taste. The only real texture is from the kidney beans. You can’t identify any minced beef in it, but you sure can identify the ‘textured wheat protein’, that looks like flecks of beige matter. It looks particularly nasty when you identify a large piece. Overall the taste was just about palatable, but you eat with your eyes and this looks horrible. I put this down to the textured wheat protein, but this chilli con carne, repeated on me for the next six hours. So if you want to taste chilli con carne again, and again, then this is the can for you!

Appearance: 2/10
Taste: 4/10
Value: 3/10
Overall: 9/30

Retailer:
Asda Stores Ltd
Manufacturer:
Asda Stores Ltd
Cost:
£0.49
CPP:
528

Morrisons Value Chilli Con Carne

Described on the can as a ‘Prepared meal made of red kidney beans and beef in a spicy and chilli sauce’. It seemed as if it didn’t contain any nasty surprises like the Asda chilli. However, looking at the allergy advice on the can (like the sickly kid I am) apparently it contains sulphite, yet there is no preservative listed in the ingredients. Compared to the Asda chilli, you get an extra 1% beef and 10% more beans, which sounds like ‘Value’ to me.

So what does it taste like? It is not as spicy as the Asda chilli. I would describe this as ‘mild’, think school dinners or hospital food. I.e. It’s only going to offend the taste buds of those individuals who have never progressed beyond basic baby food tastes. You know someone like this, they find a Korma a bit spicy. Morrisons should have put some more chilli in this can as its lack of heat doesn’t disguise the slightly sweet taste, which is not what you want to taste in a chilli con carne. A can contains 19% of your sugar GDA, just imagine how bitter and nasty the tomato concentrate must have been, as this is the only reason I can see for this dish to contain any sugar at all. It’s better than the Asda chilli, that’s about it.

Appearance: 4/10
Taste: 4/10
Value: 4/10
Overall: 12/30

Retailer:
Wm Morrisons Supermarkets Plc
Manufacturer:
‘Produced in France’
Cost:
£0.49
CPP:
704