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Archive for the ‘tinned crap’ Category

Five or Six years ago I was lucky enough to visit THE GREAT STATE OF TEXAS, one of the most amazing sights I saw there, aside from people wearing actual ten gallon hats and seeing steaks the size of a small child was being able to buy turkey sausages with bits of cheese inside. Seriously, that was a thing. It was also a thing I had to buy. Vicky put up a spirited fight, but there was no way I was going to let such a gastronomic wonder pass me by, it’s not like anywhere else on the planet is going to permit such a pairing of processed meat and processed dairy? Right? Wrong.

This is what the Turkey and Cheese Sausages looked like:

What a time to be alive!  Cheese?  In a Turkey sausage?

What a time to be alive! Cheese? In a Turkey sausage?

One of my friends even commented that “they where almost sick in their mouth” upon seeing this delight.

Six years later, back in the UK, I had given up all hope of ever finding such a travesty of processed animal by-product. But then I spotted these in the Polish section of Tesco. Costing a quid, this product is labelled as ‘best quality’ and if it says that on the label then this homogenised smoked cooked pork sausage with cheese and added soya protein must obviously be of best quality. Well the 77% pork leg must be anyway.

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My cookery teacher, a horrible shrew of a woman who did very little teaching and an awful lot of talking to other teachers, once screamed “The first taste is with the eyes now put that masher down you little shit, you’ll never amount to anything” and upon looking this shit my first thought was that this reminds me of what a human brain looks like. It’s a similar colour and what I imagine to be a similar texture. But I’ve never been one to shy away from a horrible colour or vile texture. I’m all set to tuck in.

I cut one in half and took a picture, the next day I took this picture into work and showed it to people, I asked my work colleagues what they thought it was. People reacted with what I can only call ‘shock and awe’. Asking things like:

  1. Is that pus?
  2. How old is that?
  3. OMG what is that?
  4. Did you send that to environmental health?
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I’ll admit, this is not attractive.

I explained it was processed cheese inside a mini hot dog, nobody seemed impressed. I was impressed though. So what did they taste like? They tasted like tinned hot dogs with bits of processed cheese slice inside. What’s not to like? Obviously this is something I liked, that is despite the weird colour. So I would imagine that these sausages are:

Good for:

  • Increasing your chances of colon cancer
  • Taking photos off and freaking out your work mates
  • Making your standard hotdog a bit different

Bad for:

  • Everything else.
  • Long term health prospects

This fine product from ‘Henryk Kania’ is exported to to the UK for sale to cheese infused mini hotdog craving Polish expats and weird bastards like me. It’s available from big assed Tesco shops that have chilled Polish stuff and probably from Polish Supermarkets in dodgy provincial towns like Glengormly and Coleraine.

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Weird looking.

6/10 Would smuggle into the house again.

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The custard cream is the most durable hard working biscuit in the history of biscuits. Who doesn’t like a custard cream? A Bastard, that’s who. You show me somebody who doesn’t like a custard cream and I’ll show you someone who doesn’t know a good biscuit (or someone who takes personal health seriously, one of the two). I’m a long time fan of the ‘cream, it is a very versatile biscuit. It’s good on it’s own, it’s good with tea, it’s good with coffee, it’s not over powering, pretentious, offensive or obscene. There’s no need for fancy wrappers or promotions, when was the last time you saw an advert on telly for Custard Creams? No needed, not like Foxes and their range of ‘biscuits of the future’ It’s an all round timeless, faultless biscuit. Fact.

The amazing thing you can do with a custard cream, and you’ve all done it, don’t try and deny it, is to pick out the custard cream filling (using either a piece of cutlery or a dirty finger nail) and enjoy that processed crud on it’s own. One of my favourite things to eat when I was a teenager was a custard cream sandwich. Get two slices of white toast, layer it with custard creams and get tore in. Some people might think that’s a bit weird or gross, but to hell with them. Having the biscuit bit in the sandwich wasn’t ideal, but who had time to pick out all that filling and put it on toast? This was back in the late 80’s and I was busy playing Dungeons and Dragons computer games and listening to Man-o-war. There wasn’t time to dissect a whole packet of yellow pack custard creams, and like hell anybody else was going to do it for me.

Thankfully though I wasn’t the only nutjob fantasising about vats of processed sugary custard cream flavoured goo because the good people at Tesco have come up with this:

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I hope it’s never discontinued. Ever.

It is heaven in a jar. It is custard cream filling. In a jar. IN A JAR. And it is versatile. Here’s some of the uses of this fine product:

  1. Eat it out the jar using a spoon like the animal you are. In a pinch you could even use a finger.
  2. Get two Digestives, Rich Tea, Penguins (could get messy) or any combination of biscuit and work away. You can’t fail here. Cream in the middle and then bam!
  3. Two wholemeal crackers. It’s like a healthy custard cream, practically one of your five a day. Crackers. Yep, get two Tuc crackers and fill the middle with Custard Cream, now you have a savoury custard cream. Want to gross it up? – Use a pre-made Tuc sandwich! You get the strange creamy cheese bit, your own custard cream bit and another Tuc on top. Three layers of Tuc, one of cheese and one of custard cream.
  4. Put it on bread. Not very exciting, but it is good. Very good.
  5. The jar says something about waffles. Probably not the Birds Eye ones from Iceland. Although I bet that would be alright.
  6. Do what you want with it. It’s that good.
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Between an oatmeal cracker and a Tuc Sandwich? – It’s impossible to make Custard Cream Spread gross.

Oh and there is a Bourbon one too. I intend to mix them together as soon as I get the house to myself.

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Belfast has a Hungarian Supermarket! Who knew? The cities Hungarians obviously. Now, not only does it carry all kind of Hungarian gear it also has a lot of Slovakian and Czech stuff. This was my first visit and I decided to stick with Hungarian stuff.

First up, Hungarian Horse Sausage. Remember when everybody shit themselves because they may have accidentally eaten horse meat instead of proper bits of cows innards scraped of the slaughter floor and mashed into a burger shape? Well now you skip out the cows eyelids and go straight to the horse leftovers. Turns out horse meat is no big deal in Hungary and horse sausage takes pride of place in the chiller. I got two lengths (like your mother at the weekend) and it cost about £1.80 (opportunity for 2nd mum joke goes here). It’s cooked (smoked, cured or something) and ready to go. Taste wise it is a bit like venison, slightly sweeter and a bit stringy and rather chewy. There is also a good bit of paprika in here and that gives it a strange dark red colour inside. It’s good though and some healthy eating website says it’s high in protein and low in fat and ‘not bad for you’.

Horse sausage (includes lard).

Horse sausage (includes lard).

The Curd Cheesecake desert, word is this is wild popular round Budapest and the nice people in the shop asked me if I wanted to try one, I was a bit sceptical at first (and this from the guy who just selected two huge lengths of horse sausage), but holy shit! This is easily one of the tastiest things I have ever tasted! Why are we not eating these all of the time? Why is this not popular the world over? This chocolate covered sweet roll of whatever is so awesome I bought three packets. That’s 18 bars of tasty goodness. Now, research tells me that the Turo Rudi, as the Hungarians call it, is made slightly differently for us Capitalism loving westeners, our version is apparently sweeter and comes with milk chocolate instead of dark. Also it’s not chocolate, it’s cocoa powder, hydrogenated vegetable fat, sugar and butter, and several grams of trans fat” Thanks widipedia. There’s strawberry filled, apricot filled and plain. Each one is awesome. This will become a regular purchase.

AMAZING!

AMAZING!

I asked for some recommendation in the canned department, and was show to this:

At this point it looks alright.

At this point it looks alright.

“Put it on bread, grill some cheese on top and it’s lovely, Hungarians love it, its my favourite” – SOLD. I wasn’t sure what to expect here. The picture on the label showed some nice burger meat on crusty bread with cheese and a bit onion. I’ll have a crack at recreating that. But first how do I cook it? The directions are in Hungarian. I tried google translate but maybe I messed up or something got lost in translation but the translation came out “grill in oven bake” or words to that effect. I had a bit of a poke around the internet and the general (translated) suggestions seemed to be oven baking.

Cat food?  slope?  I was having second thoughts.  Trust me, it looks better when cooked.

Cat food? slope? I was having second thoughts. Trust me, it looks better when cooked.

Opening the can I had second thoughts, things did not look good. It was a red mush, I’m no stranger to odd stuff in cans but this was not pleasant looking at all. This was also a damn big can. I emptied it onto two bits of crusty bread and stuffed in the oven. I now had two rather ample piles of funny coloured red animal by product on top of bread. I wasn’t convinced by this. I probably should have did a bit more research because it turns out this can feeds about 8 and it should be spread thinly, between 2mm and 4mm. I had about 6cms. Baking in the oven turned the stuff a more pleasant browny cooked looked colour. Things where looking up. I melted the cheese on top, added a bit of ketchup and was ready to go! I bit in and two things happened, first I burnt my mouth, tongue, lips, throat and face. The stuff (that’s all I can call it) inside was still rather sloppy as well as incredibly hot, and since it’s sloppy and I have way more piled on the bread than the world advises it immediately fell off the back of the bread and spilt down my shirt and squirted all over my hands. I’m glad I was on my own because I now resembled a 8 month only child trying to eat a red/brown ice cream sandwich (but with more swearing). Disasters aside, this stuff is actually really good, remember those Heinz Toast Topper things? This is it, only in a bigger can! It’s also available in pizza variety and Mexican. I’ll be getting those.

Finally comes Hungary’s number one candy bar. This is it, this is their Twix, their Mars bar, their Snickers. Fifty Six million of these things are sold every year. Back in the socialist days the company struggled to keep up with demand, so much so that factory managers ended up working in the packing department. These things have been around for over 60 years. But Sport is a weird name for a chocolate bar. Turns out this bar was made to celebrate the opening of the Ferenc Puskás Stadium in Hungary, that’s where Hungary plays it’s home football games, and Queen and AC/DC have also played there, oh and it’s also where England suffered their worst (yet) defeat, being battered by 7-1 by Hungary. But back to the bar. It’s small and looks more like one of those health bars you see these days, you know those protein bars and the slimming world bars, that kinda muck. It’s soft and chewy and also, for some reason, has a rum flavoured fondant type filling which makes this a full on chocotastic rum infused Chomp.

The King of Hungarian confectionery.

The King of Hungarian confectionery.

Plenty more available in the shop and I’ll be back for more. Busting to try some of the Slovakian stuff too.

http://www.belfastabc.com – one hell of a great shop.

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At last! Processed chocolate dairy slices, in the format of a processed cheese slice. Who hasn’t dreamt of this magical coupling? Most people probably. Thankfully the good people at Tesco share my dream and came up with this:

Boke, Foul, Hell - Facebook people.

Boke, Foul, Hell – Facebook people.

I posted a picture of this on facebook and the responses where not great, the public it seems, are not impressed; “Looks, and sounds rank”, “I think I just puked in my mouth” and so on. Not a great start.

The most important question, and one the people at Tesco Research and Development probably didn’t ask was “What are you supposed to do with this?” My pal Catface suggested “ruining a good burger”.  And aside from that I was struggling to think of a use.

So what is this shit?

According to the back of the packet, it’s a ‘Processed chocolate dairy slice made with a blend of chocolate, milk proteins and vegetable oil’ – So there’s no cheese, but there is vegetable oil, so it could potentially count towards your five, sorry 7, a day.

And it tastes like?

Chocolate milk shake. Fact. These things are brilliant, absolutely brilliant. To all the naysayers I say; “You’re missing out!” This is a fantastic product, and one the world has needed. More things need to come in processed cheese style format. Banoffee, Southern Fried Chicken, Eggs Benedict etc.

And what disguising ideas have I got for this?

Since biscuits have been banned by the other half I’m struggling, I’ve had to improvise with things like Rice Cakes, which taste like dry cardboard. Unwrap one of these fellas and slap it on a rice cake! Marginal improvement. Well I paid for them so I better use them. Apart from that I can’t think of any other use for this by product of the Tesco Chemical Engineering department. It would be rubbish on toast because jars of chocolate spread are so much more awesome.

It's hard to make a rice cake tasty or look good.  Best I could do.

It’s hard to make a rice cake tasty or look good. Best I could do.

 

Will this be bought again? – If I can think of any other uses for it then yes.  But in the meantime I’ll sit on the couch unwrapping the remaining 6 slices and shoveling them in.  It’s good, but processed chocolate can be done so much better.

 

And…

1.  Catface plays in No Matter.  They’re good: http://www.nomatterband.com/

2. I got a bottle of Algerian Sarsaparilla.

3. Level 49 in Skrim – Sniff that!

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If you’ve seen this blog before then you might know that I have a bit of a weakness for odd things in tins. On a recent browse of the old Home Bargains shelves I found something that really made me think twice.

 

I had to sneak these into the house and then hide them in the back of the cupboard, for fear that Vicky might bar me from entering the house with my canned treat or worse, find my prized tin and chuck it in the bin. I then had to wait until I had the house to myself to sample the delights within. My cunning rouge was rumbled though and the tin was found. I was allowed to keep it though as long as the following happened:

If this product is too disgusting for even me to get through I am not to throw it in the kitchen waste recycling bin. I am to place it in a biodegradable bag and take it straight out to the garden waste bin.

So, day off, waiting for the plumber to come and service the boiler (not a euphemism) and there’s no better time for my left over pigs organs. Rip open the tin and dump that gross slop into the pot. There’s that gross sucking noise you get when something cheap and unpleasant eventually splats out of a tin and then there’s the thump as the slop hits the pan. That’s the moment of regret right there. As the contents heat a smell starts to waft through the kitchen. I’ve smelt this odour before, it’s the zoo. It’s the monkey house to be exact. This is not pleasant. I don’t think it’s going to get any better….

Taste wise it’s the fatty greasy gravy that has the upper hand, that’s probably a good thing. The kidneys themselves are sliced nice and thin so there’s no danger of an unpleasantly strong piece of kidney, it’s all swamped by the gravy. Thankfully it’s only a small tin. I struggle through, one piss smelling piece of slaughterhouse leftovers at a time.

The odd thing is that this is not the worst thing I’ve found in a tin. That title still belongs to the mini burgers in onion gravy, where leftover bits of kidney where probably the better cuts of meat.

Pork Kidneys in gravy makes the never buy again list.

Next day I came downstairs and could still smell that rancid piss odour.

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Crap in a can.

Crap in a can.

I’ll not lie to you, this was unappealing from the off. Mini burgers, in onion gravy, in a can. What’s to like? Should a burger EVER be in a can? Something tells me no. But, like an Aftershock at 1am after a full days drinking you know it’s a bad idea and won’t end well, but you still buy it. Well that’s what I was thinking as I picked this from the shelf at B&M. How do you serve something like this? On the cover of the can they where in a wee bowl and that’s what I opted for. I opened the can and popped them out, gross bit number one. The gravy had the consistency of snot and the burgers looked more like some kind of dog treat. I checked the can to make sure this was fit for human consumption. It was. After a bit of heating I tucked in. The ‘mini burgers’ looked like reformed pork chops but at least they where burger coloured, sorta, they even had fake grilling lines on them, believe this was not a good look.  They actually looked worse than you see on the can.  The texture and taste could be described as cheap alternative to a Campbells meat ball, more like a Tesco value meatball. If you’ve forgotten what’s like (since most normal people stopped eating meat balls at 8 years old) then imaging soft gooey reformed processed slop. As vile as it sounds. The gravy didn’t taste like any gravy I know, it was thick ad gooey, like snot during a bad cold. The burgers tasted nothing like a burger. Again I rechecked the packaging for signs of dog food, but this was tragically still people food. I suffered the lot.  I struggled, it was hard work.  It was gross.

Later I went to the gym, this was unpleasant. My body was trying to sweat, but couldn’t. And I knew why. My pores where clogged with fake onion gravy. I could feel it. The gravy was trying to escape via the sweat pores in my skin. I didn’t think it was medically possible for a man to sweat cheap canned gravy, but I was. It was a horrible feeling. A horrible end to a horrible canned food experience.

Have I learnt from this? Oh no. There’s more gross stuff hidden at the back of the cupboard…

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Foco Tamarind Juice:

As vile as it looks.

As vile as it looks.

Now this has covered a fair few miles, from Thailand, via Germany and then finally plonked onto the shelf in a small Belfast supermarket. So, prior to picking this of the shelf in the weird foreign supermarket I’d never even heard of a Tamarind. It’s an horrible looking wee thing, kinda like a monkey nut crossed with a dog turd. It does not look like it would make for a tasty drink, and of course it doesn’t. It’s like drinking the syrup from a can of tinned pears. Super sweet, really sticky and a bit thick. It’s also a funny colour, think morning after seven tins of Harp piss colour. Of course that didn’t stop polishing off the can and thinking; “I’ll get another one next time I’m I just to make sure”.

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