8: Only the finest things
Today we continue to explore the high-end of the gigantic box-shifting supermarket brands. This time we tackle the big names, perhaps the biggest. That’s right, we’re in Tesco, we’re rich, we’re decadent, and not to put too fine a point on it we’re coming home with a box of Tesco”s Finest. Specifically “Tesco’s finest Rich and Decadent All Butter Pastry Mince Pies with French Brandy and Port”
Crikey. They’re really trying there. All Butter (Vegan Unfriendly). I’m starting to wonder a bit about what the word “all” is doing in that tag, but it appears to be a thing. Not just brandy, but FRENCH brandy. And port, from somewhere. Perhaps France, although I’m not sure that's where port comes from. Portugal? Anyway, double booze, they’re not skimping.
Technically speaking I’m at war with Tesco. They are actually the nearest supermarket to us geographically, and I did have quite a regular shopping habit, but I gradually became more and more aggravated with their shortcomings, mostly the limited stock, the constant price manipulations, and the dumb BOGOF deals, and the persistent steering of everything towards ClubCard membership. Having finally succumbed to the relentless unsubtle nudging to join the points program, I eventually ran out of patience trying to manage my member account with an endlessly glitching and unreliable phone app which had a regular ability of failing to start up or login.
Typically this would happen as I attempted to use it at the final stage of scanning my shop at the awful robo-till, meaning all the questionable member “bargains” I’d been enticed into were now charged at full price unless I pressed the assistant call option, and waited awkwardly at the head of an exasperated queue of shoppers for someone to arrive and rollback the whole thing. Something I never really want to do. It felt like a scam, and after the third or fourth time it happened, I pulled a classic nerd ragequit. I pledged to boycott Tesco forevermore, @-ed them about that on Twitter, and blocked them so I didn’t have to read their social media support team’s pointless apologising. And then I started shopping at Londis. Tesco is dead to me.
Pie quest trumps all however and here we are, with our box of tryhard pastries, grudgingly bought from our mortal foe. I’m not really predisposed to enjoy these. But I have a higher purpose to serve. The blog is calling.
Extremely disappointingly, I have to report that these are AMAZING.
The pie lid is another one that’s not a full seal, they’ve used a snowflake motif, and we get a peep of filling nipping between the cracks. Powdered sugar again, but somehow this time I can taste it, as a hyper sweet first hit. The pastry is smooth, creamy, rich, and hits all the best dairy notes. And the filling is heavenly, there is a really broad profile here, extremely fruited, the alcohol is background notes, and there’s a prevalent nutty subtext.
Truly superb. I didn’t want it to be, but I cannot lie. We are not friends Tesco, but you have my respect. Well played.