Taste & Tell

Which supermarket's ready-made Greek salad is the freshest?

To help you buy the best, we put salads from five major retailers to the taste test

10 February 2019 - 00:00
Did you know a traditional Greek salad doesn't include lettuce?
Did you know a traditional Greek salad doesn't include lettuce?
Image: 123RF/chandlervid85

HOW WE CONDUCTED OUR TASTE TEST

IT'S FREE AND FAIR!

The Taste & Tell series is a monthly feature where the same or similar supermarket items are put to a taste test by a panel; we gather a different group of people to be part of the panel for each tasting. (This one was made up of chefs from Capsicum Culinary Studio in Randburg, Joburg.)

A theme for each tasting is selected by Sunday Times food editor Hilary Biller, who goes out and shops as a consumer would.

The tasting takes place at a facility that offers a professional kitchen and a room where the panel can evaluate the food.

We work with chefs who assist with any preparation that's necessary; reheating and cooking is done strictly to package instructions. Items are categorised, numbered and stripped of all their packaging before being served. A food expert in the kitchen oversees the entire process.

The tasters undertake a blind tasting and the food is judged on a score sheet and is rated according to appearance, taste, quality of ingredients and whether the taster would consider buying the product. Each category is judged out of 10 points: 10 is excellent, 5 average and 1 extremely poor.

An auditor checks each score sheet and collates the results.

THE RESULTS

FIRST PLACE: FOOD LOVER'S MARKET

Take home Greek salad

Price: R50.

What the judges said:

  • Nico: Love it, nice fresh ingredients. Love the feta, it's nice and creamy.
  • Tyrone: Very fresh, crunchy and yummy.
  • Andrew: Good selection of lettuce and Danish feta.
  • Awande: An array of ingredients with beautiful colour and three different kinds of lettuce.

SECOND PLACE: CHECKERS

Freshmarket Greek salad with sachet of olives and feta

Price: R54.99 for 400g.

From top: Greek salad from Food Lover's Market, Checkers, Woolworths, Pick n Pay and SPAR.
From top: Greek salad from Food Lover's Market, Checkers, Woolworths, Pick n Pay and SPAR.
Image: Christoph Hoffman

What the judges said:

  • Pierre: Very good salad, very nicely balanced.
  • Tyrone: Above-average salad.
  • Andrew: Good selection of lettuce. Feta was a poor quality.
  • Awande: I found the pieces of lettuce too big.

THIRD PLACE: WOOLWORTHS

Crunchy & fresh Greek salad

Price: R44.99 for 285g.

What the judges said:

  • Tyrone: Not my favourite.
  • Andrew: Too much lettuce, not enough of other ingredients.
  • Yolanda: I enjoyed the freshness of the salad.
  • Awande: Lettuce pieces too big and more of other ingredients required.

FOURTH PLACE: PICK N PAY

Greek salad bowl with sachets of feta cheese and olives

Price: R59.99 for 450g.

What the judges said:

  • Pierre: Feta could be of a better quality and the balance of ingredients too.
  • Nico: Nice freshness, needs more variety and less lettuce.
  • Andrew: Too much lettuce, too few garnishes.
  • Awande: Lettuce overkill.

FIFTH PLACE: SPAR

Greek Salad with a sachet of dressing. (Purchased at Pineslopes Spar, served on February 2, sell by date, February 3.)

Price: R34.99.

What the judges said:

  • Tyrone: Unpleasant, the ingredients are slimy and off.
  • Andrew: Very poor quality.
  • Yolanda: Lettuce was old, feta tasteless.
  • Awande: Forgettable.
  • Nico: Not fresh at all.

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