This post documents a menagerie of Heston at Waitrose products that I have eaten recently but that have remained unblogged – so it’s time to play catch up. Unfortunately in the wide chasm of time that has opened up between the eating and the blogging I have replaced my phone and lost all my photos so this will be an image light post. However I will aim to provide links to photos where appropriate. So here goes…
A couple of months back I did the most middle class thing I’ve ever done. I had a Waitrose based picnic whilst sat in the grounds of Hampton Court Palace before watching a Burt Bacharach concert. The concert was great, Burt had some cheesy backing singers to belt out the numbers for him and he even tried to sing a couple himself. His voice cracked through Alfie and for a man nudging 90 he did a great job. At one point he nearly swallowed a cough sweet and started choking, I was worried I was about to witness his final moments but he pulled through.
However I don’t imagine you’ve found your way here for music criticism you’re probably more interested in my middle class picnic. So not to disappoint you I can reveal it consisted of a baguette, some olives, chorizo, sun dried tomato, chips and dips, a pot of Heston’s chicken liver parfait and a chocolate Gu pot. The Gu pot was really crap and I only wish it was celeb endorsed so I could write about it here but alas it’s not so you’ll hear about a parfait instead.
The parfait comes in a mini kilner jar (which fitted right in at Hampton Court Palace) and when I popped the lid there was a satisfying yellow top of hardened butter. I plunged my knife through and scooped out a dollop of parfait and a bit of the butter and spread it onto my baguette. When it first hit my tongue I found it a bit strange, it tasted more of alcohol and sugar than anything else, but that soon melted into a rich, smooth as silk parfait that packed a real punch. The parfait didn’t reach the dizzy heights of Heston’s Meat Fruit (as served at Knigtsbridge Restaurant Dinner) but it did only cost £3.99 when packaged in a jar as opposed to £17.50 when it’s served disguised as a tangerine. If chicken liver parfait is your thing then you could do a lot worse than this one.
Heston from Waitrose Chicken Liver Parfait – £3.99 for 80g
Next up are a couple of recent additions to the Heston range – his Spicy Mary Tomato Sauce and his Ultimate Barbecue Sauce. Both of them are far less successful than the parfait. The sauces are fresh, have short shelf lives and they need to kept in the fridge. I’m not sure what the main difference is in the production of Heston’s tomato sauce and a bottle of Heinz Ketchup, but I do know that ketchup will quite happily sit there for over a year without any cause for concern and Heston’s version needs to be eaten within a week. Maybe Heston was hoping that the short use by date would mean people would get through it quicker and buy more bottles, but in reality I don’t think that anyone would return for a second bottle once they tasted the first.
In the Spicy Mary Tomato Sauce – Heston has gone for a riff on a Bloody Mary and incorporated some vodka into the mix, the result is like the product of a late night student experiment that was conjured up for a dare. It tastes like he has taken tomato puree, mixed in a splash of vinegar and then stirred in the vodka. It’s cold, raw, grainy and nasty and shouldn’t be inflicted on any unsuspecting food stuff – I stuck it on a burger that I was very much looking forward to and consequently ruined my dinner.
A couple of days later it was time to try the Ultimate Barbecue Sauce and this time I erred on the side of caution. The packaging suggested that the sauce could be used either as a marinade or applied directly, I poured some out and dipped in some bread to test the water. It did taste like barbecue sauce so it made it out of the starting blocks, but as a sauce it failed in much the same way as the tomato version had – it was grainy and raw and felt like it needed cooking through to be enjoyable. I suspect that if I had gone down the marinade route this would have been passable but in it’s straight from the bottle-gloopy-over sweetened-claggy-made-me-want-to-sick-in-my-mouth form it was not an appealing prospect.
Once again Heston has proved himself to be hit and miss, but that’s all part of the fun. I’ll keep on eating his stuff, he’ll keep on producing it and our merry dance will continue. With Christmas around the corner there’s bound to be plenty more in store.
Heston from Waitrose Spicy Mary Tomato Sauce £1.49 for 175ml
Heston from Waitrose Ultimate Barbecue Sauce £1.49 for 175ml