Tuesday, 29 September 2009

The Goulash of Doom

That'll teach me. I should have realised it was too good to be true. I could have read the signs. They were all there.

I'd needed something quick and easy as I was going out not long after coming home. And microwave ready-meals really aren't that bad, these days, are they? They normally fall into two categories, as far as I'm concerned
  • Type 1 - simple. Stick it in, dial a number and nuke it.
  • Type 2 - complex. As per type 1, but requiring you to stop halfway, lift up the cellophane and stir.
I'm vaguely aware that there is a Type 3 that requires you to do things like sprinkle water over rice, etc, but I'm sorry, that's Gordon Ramsay territory. Before you know it I'd be getting all sweary with sous-chefs and that's just too much hassle.

The ready meal in question was an Aldi Hungarian goulash, from their 'Around the World' range. The bright packaging tantalised me; I was ready for the rich beef stew, herbs and fluffy dumplings. Quick check, yes it's a Type 1, and all for less than two quid. Bish bash, and, as they say, bosh.

After eight minutes irradiation I peeled back the plastic, ready for the waves of paprika to wash over me. Hmm. This wasn't looking quite like the pack shot. In fact, if I'm not mistaken, what I had here was essentially a dirty protest in a plastic tub.

Manfully, I proceeded. After all, lots of food can be great even if it looks bad. I've eaten plenty of baltis that prove this point. The goulash slid onto the plate like so much East European ectoplasm. I could sense the entire Hungarian nation eyeing me disapprovingly, asking: "Ön nem haladó eszik amit?"*

Gulp.

I took a forkful. There was what food critics call 'mouthfeel'. At least I think that's what they call it, assuming they're in the habit of consuming beef-flavoured frogspawn.

Maybe a dumpling instead?

When seas have risen and governments have crumbled, I'll still be chewing my way through that dumpling. I'll be at it when I'm old and grey. "Christ on a bike," I thought, "this isn't food, this is something Amnesty International would campaign against. "

Be afraid, good people. There's a bad meal out there. Hear my warnings. It's a service I like to offer.

*("You're not going to eat that, are you?")

3 comments:

Le laquet said...

It sounds like the Tesco low-fat* Cottage Pie I made Simon eat one evening last week - I was going out to partake of bigger and better things. They should give dishes of it to our troops ~ wars would end because people would be very afraid!!!

* We'll remove the fat but we'll also remove anything remotely resembling meat and flavour and give you pulped newspaper as a topping too - aren't you lucky? Huh?

City Girl said...

Beef Flavored Frog Spawn

I think I've heard of that band. Don't they sing, "Ptomaine"?

Rebecca said...

With any luck, the entire nation of Hungary will bring suit against the manufacturer.

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