A few weeks back I wrote of my trip to San Sebastian and how I had a coffee and pastry from James Martin Kitchen whilst at Stanstead. I wasn’t expecting the best snack I’ve ever tried, but neither was I expecting one of the worst – both coffee and pastry were disgusting. I’m not easily dissuaded though so while I was there I also picked up a Yummy Bar which I think is meant to be James’ version of a Pret Love Bar.
With the pastry the James Martin Kitchen website made claims about the freshness of the product – it was baked at 3am etc blah bah blah. The Yummy Bar did not go down that route and was open about the fact that they are actually made by a company completely unrelated to James. The packet boldly states that the Yummy Bar has been made by http://www.traybakes.com so whilst it may be covered in James Martin branding the packaging is the only bit he’s involved with.
Still James is happy to put his name to the bar and has used descriptions like “no half measures” and “a proper indulgent treat” so it is worth giving him the benefit of the doubt and putting his claims to the test.
I pulled off the wrapper and the bar looked appealing, it had distinct layers, firstly an oaty base, then a layer of “luxurious caramel” and it was topped with cranberries and nuts. Putting aside James Martin Kitchen’s track record and the farming out of the product to the folks at traybake.com I was looking forward to trying it and so I got stuck in.
The first thing to say is that the name is misleading – this is far from yummy. In fact it is devoid of anything that would normally be described as flavour, it was a bland, exceptionally sweet brown slab. Considering the extensive list of delicious ingredients it is startling how they can have been used to such poor effect. All being well I should have tasted luxury caramel, jumbo oats, salted butter, dried cranberries, flaked hazelnuts and almonds but all I did taste was sweetness and sugar. The sweetness was no doubt down to the following ingredients that were in addition to the aforementioned caramel, they are – glucose syrup, golden syrup, sugar, golden syrup (again) and brown sugar which is a pretty impressive list and reads more like a diabetes warning document than the necessary components to create a Yummy Bar.
So once again James Martin Kitchen was a blistering disappointment. I suspect the reason it exists within an airport is because it has a captive audience, it isn’t really dependent on repeat customers or regulars, it is dependent on unsuspecting travelers being duped into thinking they are getting a quality product because that Yorkshire bloke from Saturday Kitchen has whacked his name and face all over it. Well be warned people, avoid it at all costs, walk around the corner and go to Leon or even Burger King and you’ll eat better.
The one positive from all this is that the packaging says “Enjoy and do let me know what you think.” with a link to their Facebook and Twitter pages so that’s exactly where I’m going to post this blog. I do hope they’ll get back to me.
James Martin Yummy Bar £2.75 per bar