Sunday Times Food Awards

Sausage rolls to samoosas: where to buy the best snacks for a party platter

Our taste testers have spoken: here's which supermarkets make entertaining easy with irresistible savoury snacks

12 November 2017 - 00:00 By Hilary Biller
What's not to love about a pint-sized pie?
What's not to love about a pint-sized pie?
Image: 123RF/galiyahassan

HOW WE CONDUCTED OUR TASTE TEST

It's free and fair!

Taste is a subjective thing, we know, but if you gather a group of people together — as we did with Sunday Times readers — and ask them to blind-taste a range of readymade snacks from four of the big retailers, you are bound to find winners and losers.

The readers were asked to score the snacks according to appearance, taste, suitability as a cocktail snack, generosity and whether they would buy the item.

To be sure of fairness, auditor Jade Craig oversaw the event, tallied the scores and gave the tasting her stamp of approval.

We discovered that although the variety of savoury, store-bought snacks available has increased, convenience comes at a price — plus a mountain of packaging that is discarded. Come on guys, surely you can come up with packaging that is more environmentally friendly?

THE RESULTS

Chicken chipolata sausages: Checkers, left, and Woolworths.
Chicken chipolata sausages: Checkers, left, and Woolworths.
Image: Christoph Hoffman

CHICKEN CHIPOLATA SAUSAGES

FIRST PLACE: Checkers

Price: R49.99 for 250g

Judges's comments:

  • Roy: A really good sausage.
  • Despina: Appearance, taste, flavour and texture excellent. Would recommend it.
  • Joy: Well-seasoned, texture good

SECOND PLACE: Woolworths Chicken Chippos

Price: R45.99

Judges's comments:

  • James: Looks pale and undercooked.
  • Yvette: Very dry and unappealing.
  • Nthabi: Too light in colour, tastes bland and oily.
BBQ pancakes: Pick n Pay, left, and Woolworths.
BBQ pancakes: Pick n Pay, left, and Woolworths.
Image: Christoph Hoffman

BBQ PANCAKES

FIRST PLACE: Pick n Pay Mini BBQ Chicken Pancakes

Price: R17 for 4

Judges's comments:

  • Shantal: The pancake part was perfect but I'd have liked more filling.
  • Rory: Doughy pancake but nice filling.
  • Nigel: A little sweet for a savoury.

SECOND PLACE: Woolworths BBQ Chicken Pancakes

Price: R69.99 for 16

Judges's comments:

  • James: Distinct aftertaste.
  • Nthabil: Too thick and filling not nice.
  • Cheryl: Filling grainy and soft and no real chicken flavour.
Chicken samoosas left to right: Checkers, Pick n Pay and Woolworths.
Chicken samoosas left to right: Checkers, Pick n Pay and Woolworths.
Image: Christoph Hoffman

CHICKEN SAMOOSAS

FIRST PLACE: Checkers Chicken Samoosas

Price: R39.99 for 270g

Judges's comments:

  • Despina: Excellent taste and texture. These are recommended.
  • Joy: Flavours good, crispy & spicy.
  • Yvette: Nice and golden on outside but little filling.

SECOND PLACE: Pick n Pay Chicken Samoosas

Price: R48.90 for 13

Judges's comments:

  • Nthab: Yummy, great taste.
  • Caroline: Very spicy.
  • Andrea: Pastry too thick, little filling.
  • Nyakallo: Small but good flavour.

THIRD PLACE: Woolworths Mini Chicken Samoosas

Price: R52.99 for 16

Judges's comments:

  • Liz: Pastry was floppy, not crisp.
  • Cheryl: Pastry and filling were dry. Filling looks like sawdust.
  • James: Bland, not a real samoosa.
Sausage rolls left to right: Woolworths, SPAR, Pick n Pay and Checkers.
Sausage rolls left to right: Woolworths, SPAR, Pick n Pay and Checkers.
Image: Christoph Hoffman

SAUSAGE ROLLS

FIRST PLACE: Woolworths Beef Sausage Rolls 

Price: R59.99 for 24

Judges's comments:

  • Yvette: The filling is quite compact but the flavour is good.
  • Laura: Pastry is nice and crispy.
  • Caroline: Good size, oily, but tasty.

SECOND PLACE: SPAR Mini Sausage Rolls

Price: R34.99 for 12

Judges's comments:

  • Joy: A meaty, moderate attempt.
  • Anita: Good texture but too salty.
  • Santal: I would buy these.
  • Caroline: Very meaty, needs less fat.

THIRD PLACE: Pick n Pay Beef Sausage Rolls

Price: R34.90 for 12

Judges's comments:

  • Puleng: Neatly folded, tastes okay.
  • Yvette: Good flavour.
  • Linda: Tasty filling, too much pastry.

FOURTH PLACE: Checkers Cocktail Beef Sausage Rolls

Price: R44.99 for 400g

Judges's comments:

  • Joy: Looks dry, poor value for money.
  • Laura: The pastry is quite nice but dry.
  • Liz: Doesn't rock my world.
Chicken Pies left to right: Pick n Pay, Checkers and Woolworths.
Chicken Pies left to right: Pick n Pay, Checkers and Woolworths.
Image: Christoph Hoffman

MINI CHICKEN PIES

FIRST PLACE: Pick n Pay Roast Chicken Cocktail Pies

Price: R49.90 for 9

Judges's comments:

  • James: Looks great. The filling is tasty but there's not enough.
  • Nthabi: Delicious but a bit too salty.
  • Shantal: Too little filling for the size of the pie.

SECOND PLACE: Checkers Mini Chicken Pies

Price: R49.99 for 350g

Judges's comments:

  • Rory: Decent filling, doughy pastry.
  • Liz: Yuck! Chicken drowning in sauce.
  • Nyakallo: Looks fair, bland filling.

THIRD PLACE: Woolworths Chicken Puffs

Price: R42.94 for 8

Judges's comments:

  • Puleng: Too salty and flakey.
  • Cheryl: How can it be called a pie when it's more like a biscuit?
  • Nigel: It's quite flat and greasy but it tastes good.
Beef curry vetkoek left to right: Pick n Pay, Woolworths and Checkers.
Beef curry vetkoek left to right: Pick n Pay, Woolworths and Checkers.
Image: Christoph Hoffman

BEEF CURRY VETKOEK

FIRST PLACE: Pick n Pay Beef Curry Vetkoek

Price: R49.90 for 12

Judges's comments:

  • Wynand: Sweet bun, good curry.
  • Despina: Delicious.
  • Puleng: Sweet taste, looks good.

SECOND PLACE: Woolworths Beef Curry Vetkoek

Price: R69.99 for 15

Judges's comments:

  • Liz: Quite greasy.
  • Yvette: The filling is nice and fragrant.
  • Joy: The curry powder was not cooked sufficiently with the mince.

THIRD PLACE: Checkers Beef Curry Vetkoek

Price: R44.99 for 350g

Judges's comments:

  • Kathryn: Too big and too much dough. Little filling.
  • Nyakallo: Generous portion with lots of flavour but you taste the yeast.
  • Betsy: Very doughy, sweet taste.

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