The last time I wrote about a Mary Berry product, I wasn’t too complimentary. My harsh words have made it the most read blog post I’ve ever written, so it’s tempting to be mean about her again just so I can benefit from more views. However that’s not my style, I have to be fair and judge good old Mary on her products not for selfish reasons. I’m happy to write the awful carrot cake mix off as a minor blip on the Mary Berry landscape. The sugar levels present in a packet cake mix, would not be there in a salad dressing, of that I was confident. So however good or bad the dressing ended up being at least it wouldn’t put my teeth on edge.
Just looking at the packaging you could tell that the salad dressing was in a different league to the carrot cake. The packaging is all royal blue with gold lettering and proudly boasts that it has been “approved by the vegetarian society”. Generally if something has been given a green light by a vegetarian it puts me off, but I think salad dressing is a fair exception.
It needs a good shake to emulsify the dressing and I’ve always found it intensely satisfying getting the thick gloop that sits on the top to mix with the oil below. The end result is a light mustardy colour, flecked with mustard seeds and herbs. I tipped the bottle and some dressing wobbled out onto the leaves.
I had a taste and couldn’t quite believe it – after all that work distancing herself from the carrot cake low point, Mary has created another product that is so sweet it would take Mr Cadbury by surprise. Yes there is a bit of heat from the mustard and some sharpness from the vinegar but even they could not fight against the wave of sugar.
I took a look at the ingredients and sugar came second in the list, which I’m pretty sure isn’t right for something meant for a salad. So I then looked at the nutritional information and found that sugar made up 27.4g of every 100g. Yes you read that right over a quarter of the ingredients in a Mary Berry salad dressing is sugar!
If you’re a regular reader of this blog you may have gathered that I’m more hedonistic than to care about nutritional content. For me flavour is the most important thing. I’d have a blatant disregard to my arteries and happily chew on a block of lard if it tasted good, and therein lies the rub. The salad dressing does not taste better for all that sugar, a little less of it, a bit more mustard and Mary would be onto a winner. I’m sorry Mary but you’ve let me down again.
Mary Berry Salad Dressing 260g (can’t remember the price – about £3 I think)