Thank God for Heston at Waitrose. When one is adrift scrabbling about to find a celebrity endorsed product to review, there’s always something from Heston to fill the gap. What is more his products ususally taste good so it doesn’t feel like I’m putting myself through some kind of gross food experiment in the name of blog writing. What is even better is that this weeks product was on a discount shelf and cost £2.49 instead of £2.99. I’m a fan of a discount. I’m less of a fan of Waitrose discount though as they tend to be crap (see above). If you go to Morrison’s and they’re trying to shift some horrid tuna pasta bake that goes off in the next 24 hours you’ll normally get it for half price or better. Not so with the guys at Waitrose, sure they’ll knock a bit off to tempt you, but it’s more a token gesture than a bargain. I once saw a loaf of bread reduced from 99p to 92p – sorry Waitrose that is just not good enough. I think we all agree we’d rather sacrifice the 7p and get a couple of extra days from our loaf.
Anyway we’re not here to discuss the discount policy of supermarkets, much as I’d love to hear any thoughts you may have on the subject, we’re here to look at Heston’s fishy offering. A prawn cocktail is great Heston fayre, he’s always promoting historical and nostalgic foodstuffs so a 70s classic should be right up his strasse. I have high expectations and think this should be damn near perfect considering the research he has done into such things.
This is the most straight laced of the Heston products I have seen. There are no odd flavours, no gimmicky cooking instructions, nothing to add in yourself at the last minute for an extra boost, there are no claims on the box that it is trying to break the mould it is just a plain and simple prawn cocktail. But interestingly it costs £1 more for 20g less than a non Heston prawn cocktail so there must be something special about it right?
The first thing I noticed is that there was a lot of sauce. I thought it was going to be a case of all sauce no prawns, but that wouldn’t be fair, as it turns out there was a very generous prawn contingent. The prawns were also a decent size and robust, meaty blighters. The marie rose sauce was rich, creamy and very thick, with an acidic bite and a hint of heat. The whole things was delicious. It tasted very much like a luxury version and whilst I haven’t tried the bog standard Waitrose one I imagine the extra £1 is justified. There was no watery prawn juice, no flaccid meagre prawns and all in all it was a success. If I had one criticism, it was that it was almost too rich, especially if eaten straight from the pot. I reckon if eaten with some shredded lettuce (as the pot suggests) the extra texture and freshness would be a welcome addition. Well done Heston – you’ve done it again!
Heston from Waitrose Prawn Cocktail £2.99 for 180g (£2.49 with a crap discount)
PS I know my usual photography is shonky, but extra apologies for today’s effort – they were taken in a gloomy office at work!