I’ve been a bit lazy in my blog writing over the Christmas period, it is somehow difficult to find the time to write when you have nothing to do all day apart from eat chocolate, watch crap TV and play bananagrams. But now it’s back into the work routine, stress levels are beginning to rise and because I’m much busier I manage to sit down and blog.
As I’ve mentioned before on here, Christmas means Heston when it comes to food, so these pages will be Heston heavy over the next few weeks as I play catch up, writing about seasonal offerings that nobody will be interested in as Christmas and New Year will feel like a distant memory.
Heston started this Christmas badly with the horror of Prawn Cocktail Mousse Shots which garnered the lowest mark I’ve ever awarded. I knew things could only improve from there, so with some confidence I purchased a tub of his cranberry sauce. The quote on the front says “A dash of mandarin, a touch of vodka – the classic cranberry sauce gets a makeover for Christmas” Heston has a fondness for vodka this year – it also appeared in the aforementioned mousse shots and it did nothing to make them palatable, but even as a concept the idea of cranberry and vodka seems better than prawns and vodka.
I open the tub and the sauce is a vibrant red colour, the cranberries are large, plump and left whole rather than becoming blitzed into a red mush. It is aromatic with a waft of cinnamon and orange embodying the scent of Christmas. I decanted it into a ramekin and delivered it to the table ready for judgement.
The sauce is fragrant and very sweet, the sweetness is tempered slightly by the tartness of the cranberries but I’d prefer it to be sharper overall. Initially it tastes overwhelmingly of cinnamon, which then subsides into more fruity flavours of which the most prevalent is orange not cranberry. Subtle it is not, but that tends to be a feature of Heston’s Christmas fare, (see his shortcrust mince pies for evidence of that) personally I was a fan of the smack in the face unsubtle mince pie, but that is a stand alone thing, this cranberry sauce is playing a small part in a Christmas feast and it shouldn’t be such a flavour show off.
Overall I like it, but I think it would be nicer as a Christmas compote rather than a cranberry sauce, with a spot of rebranding and sticking it in a larger pot Heston could have a winning product on his hands for Christmas 2014.
Heston from Waitrose Cranberry Sauce 200g for £2.49