Tag Archives: Tesco




Guest blog by Dan Simpson


A cheeseboard at Christmas is de rigueur these days, and the supermarkets want to make it easy for you by offering a convenient cheese selection pack. Why spend two minutes choosing your own cheeses from the same shelves for a lovingly custom-made cheeseboard when you can just buy this and be done with it? I’ve eaten three of these atrocities over the holidays, and I’ll tell you why.

I have attempted to write individual reviews of the seven cheeses on offer in this selection: a difficult task, given that were you to spear a bit of any of these cheeses at random, you would not be able to distinguish one from another. The box says to “Remove from refrigerator 1 hour before serving to allow flavours to develop” – though you needn’t bother, since the flavours develop like a poorly-taken low-light night-time photograph: you wonder why you even bothered in the first place.


Brie is a bad karaoke version of cheese: the coward’s Camembert. And Camembert is itself a spineless cop out in the face of Vacherin. To choose Brie is to say: I don’t know what I’m doing, and I despise taste. But we have not chosen Brie: it has been chosen for us in this box of cheese-approximations. Which is appropriate, given your decision to buy this selection in the first place.


Some will say that cheddar – the most popular and, yes, often blandest of British cheeses – deserves no place on a civilised cheeseboard. Those people are snobs, and wrong: an aged cheddar, full of flavoursome bite and crunchy tyrosine crystals, is a strong part of the line-up, holding its own against the blues and soft Frenches. This cheddar is not that. This is a disgrace: not just to cheddar, but to all cheese.

Red Leicester

Indistinguishable from the cheddar, aside from the highlighter-pen-neon orange.


When chewing on this theoretically hard cheese, all rubber texture and polybutadiene taste, you may be forgiven for thinking that you forgot to remove the plastic that each of these cheeses comes vacuum-sealed in. Looking down to check and realising that no, this is it, this is the experience of this cheese, it may cross your mind to fish the packaging out of the bin and eat that instead.


This is acceptable, in the way that Stilton often is. It tastes like a blue cheese: no more, no less. Your cheese selection is in trouble if this is the best thing on offer.

Austrian smoke flavoured processed cheese

This cheese doesn’t even have a proper name, merely a description of what it is. It’s an obvious joke told by an observational comic – with a bad Austrian accent designed to cover the deficiency of thought behind it. Adding ‘Austrian’ to the name to give it some continental gravitas is a superficial marketing trick no one is fooled by. And, given what Tesco have already done to Edam and Brie here, I can’t blame the EU for wanting nothing more to do with us.

Wensleydale with Cranberries

Grow up and buy some chutneys, and allow people to decide what fruit-flavours they want with their cheese – instead of foisting dried-up bits of cranberries into our mouths, which have the consistency and appeal of dead flies.


The word ‘selection’ in this product is a lie – it implies that thought and care has gone into the choosing of these cheeses. This is a magnificent smorgasbord of sub-mediocrity, adding up to much less than the sum of their parts. A cheeseboard can be a glorious showstopper: a bountiful overflowing of colours and shapes, textures and taste. Thoughtlessly bunging out this greyed-out selection box wastes that potential, and makes a mockery of indulgence at Christmas. Am I saying that this cheese selection has the power to singlehandedly ruin Christmas? Bitter experience says: yes.


*It’s still cheese, and cheese is always welcome




A guest Average Food Blog by Mansour Chow

“When I acted like a liar, they called me a liar. When I acted like a rich man, they started the rumour I was rich. When I feigned indifference, they classed me as the indifferent type. But when I inadvertently groaned because I was really in pain, they started the rumour that I was faking suffering. The world is out of joint.”

So incredibly moved by recent books, articles and documentaries highlighting the environmental plight of our world, and the need to drastically change our lifestyles and replace the grossly unfair and corrupt capitalist system in order to save our planet, I’ve taken, over the last few months, to purchasing [mainly] vegan salads every lunch-break….

…from Tesco.

Hadouken! Take that capitalism!

Quinoa, couscous, falafel, beans, grains, olives, and some other salady shit. I should feel good about eating these salads, but they’re just so fucking uninspiring.

I imagine you weren’t so different from me once upon a time. I imagine (like it used to be for me) that eating lunch is probably one of the few things that you actually enjoy doing during your working day – that and leaving. Well, that used to me before I started eating these salads.

Okay, the editors have asked me to talk about some positives (they haven’t), so what I can I say? I can at least say that they generally keep me full and I’m getting more nutrients than I would have if I had continued my previous eating habits. But at what cost? Is this all there is for me now? Am I reduced to eating lunch forever-after in depressed resignation?

“The weak fear happiness itself. They can harm themselves on cotton wool. Sometimes they are wounded even by happiness.”

I’m awfully unhappy. And the only thing I’m happy about it is how much less guilt I feel for my happiness, you know, given that I don’t have any anymore.

These salads are ruining my life. I’m increasingly viewing my existence and all existence as completely meaningless, which rather negates bothering to eat these salads in the first place, or turning up to work, or boring you with this nonsense, or even bothering with anything.

“Whenever I was asked what I wanted my first impulse was to answer ‘Nothing.’ The thought went through my mind that it didn’t make any difference, that nothing was going to make me happy.”

The entire purpose to my existence has been stolen from me and replaced solely by my need to instruct you about how meaningless life is, and how nihilism is the only looking glass through which we should see the world. And, as I’m sure you’ll understand, this makes my argument self-refuting because I have created meaning to my life in that I see some meaning and importance to telling you how meaningless life is.

This is a very messy concept to deal with and certainly not one which provides me with any comfort. When I think more about my existential-nihilism (or is it nihilistic-existentialism?), it actually makes me feel that life is even more meaningless than I did before (which is weird because I didn’t know it was possible for something to be more meaningless than meaningless), and it only increases my desire to warn you all of this for your own good. I’m in a horrible, spinning mess of self-refutation. I can’t even say for sure that I’m even human anymore, or that I ever was.

This is all from eating those fucking vegan salads from Tesco. But at least I am single-handedly saving the world (not that there’s any point to that).

Overall rating: 7/10

“Everything passes. That is the one and only thing that I have thought resembled a truth in the society of human beings where I have dwelled up to now as in a burning hell. Everything passes.”


This is not a picture of a Morrisons egg and cress sandwich

This is not a picture of a Morrisons egg and cress sandwich

Is it wrong to expect a modicum of taste from an egg and cress supermarket sandwich purchased for exactly £1? Is that wrong? Probably; at very least naive.

This was a bland, bland sandwich, so bland in fact that you’d rather it just tasted extremely saline, or of methane gas. At least that’s SOMETHING. I just want SOMETHING, damnit, UK supermarket pre-packed sandwich industry!

I will caveat this by admitting that my experience of Morrisons pre-packed sandwiches is insignificant compared with the vast wealth of similar Tesco fare consumed over my lifetime. Thus, I’m not yet prepared to cast the same across-the-board aspersions as I did against Tesco on a very similar theme.

At this early stage in the life of Average Food Blog I also do not wish to be seen as screaming a one-man campaign against the chain itself to an indifferent public.  A man from Yorkshire can’t just let Wm Morrison Supermarkets plc go that easily, but I need a show of intent soon – just throw in some pepper or summat, that’ll do.

I remain an optimist at heart, and I hope that a pop at, say, a ham and mustard option, perhaps in the next week to ten days, will bring extensive joy and lift the sense of passivity and gloom crippling not just the supermarket pre-packed sandwich industry, but the United Kingdom itself.

Sandwich rating: 2.5/10


Show me a Tesco sandwich that tastes of anything, anything at all, and I’ll show you a lying sandwich.

Mayonnaise minus any discernible acidic kick (necessary trait), meat that tastes like the Walker’s crisps flavouring carrying the name of that meat, and Tesco’s famously tasteless vegetable offerings: this all adds up to the fact that the Tesco sandwich is the anti-eating experience, a vortex for the salivary glands to disappear into.

The three out of ten is merely awarded for the satiation of hunger, and even at that they’re not particularly effective. Passable, perhaps, when thrown together with a tasteless banana and pack of Hula Hoops.

A close acquaintance has told me that the exception to this rating system is the supermarket’s offering in the genre ‘Ploughman’s’. This writer has not sampled this sandwich, but it’s too late for a hero. Far, far too late.