hEAT ‘EM UP Chicken Tikka Wrap: a frozen microwaveable monstrosity

If you thought Iceland was the go-to place for microwaveable snack horrors, financially strapped Tesco, have decided to get in on the action with its new ‘hEAT ‘EM UP’ range (see what they did there?), giving shite food aficionados a welcome new avenue in the frozen section to explore. I fully intend to taste their entire range but first up, is this little beauty that caught my eye with its gaudy packaging and a picture photoshopped expertly for utter disappointment.

Chicken Tikka Wrap unboxed
Unwrapping them and plopping each half in a microwaveable dish, a strange sense of ennui washed over me. I can only imagine it was, on some unconscious level, empathy with the migrant worker bussed into a soul-destroying factory, putting a scoop of tikka slop in each wrap for 10 hours a day* As I put them in the microwave, even still frozen, the scent of generic curry hit my nostrils. It’s not Tikka, it’s not Korma, it’s just ‘curry’ as featured in the legendary Iceland Chicken Tikka Lasagne. After a one minute blast on each side, my Mumbai meets Mexico snack was ready.

Chicken Tikka Wrap microwaved
As you can see, despite the humectants in the wrap, it could not mop up all the water and fat from microwaving. On the box, you can be fooled into thinking that there are large chunks of chicken breast in this, but like the Lasagne filling, all you get it small pea size pieces of chicken in a curry matter (rice and onions apparently). Despite that, the smell was slightly appetising, so it was time to get tasting.

Thinking about what ‘Chicken Tikka’ actually is, boneless chicken tandoori with yoghurt/cream/coconut cream (or with a tin of tomato soup chucked in with it, if you’re from Glasgow), I took a bite. The filling was spicier than I expected, which I thought was good. I could not detect any kind of creamy element, just a quite acidic tomato base. Finishing the first half, given the way a wrap is folded, you get the inevitable microwaved hard piece of bread which was the only other texture apart from mush (the chicken bits are just watery rubber and the bread is sticky stodge). Ploughing into the second half, the wrap started to stick to the roof of my mouth making it even more arduous.

Eating one of these wraps is like being forced to listen to Coldplay while doing your tax return. It’s not torturous, but not that pleasant either and the sooner it’s over the better. If you are a curry fiend and think this is going to hit the spot for a quid, don’t even think about it. I’d like to say I gave some to the dog, but I didn’t, I ate it all like the dirty food slag I am!

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

Tesco Stores Ltd
hEAT ‘EM UP (Tesco)

* This is just my imagination. I have no idea what the wages or conditions are like in the frozen tikka wrap factory. It probably pays top money and is a high tech food preparation environment, where the salaried full-time British workers fill the wraps with gumdrop smiles.