Sunday Times Food Awards 2018

Which supermarket's ready-made salads are worth buying?

So that you can make a wise buy, we rated lentil, chickpea, bean and pasta salads from leading retailers out of 10

14 October 2018 - 00:00 By Hilary Biller
From left: Lentil salad with butternut, beetroot  Lentil & chickpea salad from SPAR Freshline.
From left: Lentil salad with butternut, beetroot & feta cheese from Pick n Pay; Lentil & chickpea salad from SPAR Freshline.
Image: Christoph Hoffmann

HOW WE CONDUCTED OUR TASTE TEST

IT'S FREE AND FAIR!

Chefs-in-training make excellent tasters. They're curious about food; they have a well -developed sense of taste; and when it comes to rating a product, they pull no punches.

For this reason, we asked students from the Johannesburg Culinary and Pastry School to join us for a blind tasting of ready-made salads from leading supermarkets. Each salad was selected from a new range available at the retailers and judged individually.

All products for the tasting were purchased, stripped of their packaging and numbered by the Sunday Times team in the school's kitchen. Auditor Jade Craig monitored the process and added up the scores.

THE RESULTS

PICK N PAY: LENTIL SALAD WITH BUTTERNUT, BEETROOT & FETA CHEESE

Score: 8/10

Price: R54.99 for 600g

What the judge's said:

  • Kabelo: There are too many things in it. Needs more taste.
  • Mandy: Fresh, wintery flavours, like the dressing.
  • Mangaliso: I'm not a fan of salads but taste is good.
  • Rose: Quite earthy flavours.
  • Kumalo: Uniquely delicious.

SPAR FRESHLINE: LENTIL & CHICKPEA SALAD

Score: 9/10

Price: R 41.99 for 200g

What the judge's said:

  • Kabelo: Loved the taste and appearance and all the things in it.
  • Neo: All-time best, the mint and coriander complement the taste. Enjoyed the feta.
  • Mandy: Well-balanced, beautiful umami flavour and not too much dressing.
  • Busisa: Very refreshing, would buy this for my family.
From left: Smoky four-bean salad from Woolworths; Greek pasta salad from Checkers.
From left: Smoky four-bean salad from Woolworths; Greek pasta salad from Checkers.
Image: Christoph Hoffmann

WOOLWORTHS: SMOKY FOUR-BEAN SALAD

Score: 7/10

Price: R34.99 for 210g

What the judges said:

  • Mandy: Oily, although good smoky flavour and good texture.
  • Yolanda: Too much oil but tastes OK.
  • Rose: Mild taste but oily.
  • Gugulethu: Too much oil, moderate seasoning, although it tastes nice. It's edible.

CHECKERS: GREEK PASTA SALAD

Score: 5/10

Price: R34.99 for 450g

What the judges said:

  • Kabelo: No taste although appearance is good.
  • Kutloano: Looks nice but far from nice.
  • Neo: Appearance deceiving.
  • Yolanda: Disappointed. Looks amazing but taste is bland. Needs more seasoning.
  • Gugulethu: Unpleasant aftertaste. Too much oil.
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