Taste & Tell

Scones & strawberry jam: which supermarkets sell the best

To help you buy the most delicious teatime treats, we put baked goods and own-brand jams from major retailers to the taste test

05 May 2019 - 00:00 By Hilary Biller
The scone was invented in England.
The scone was invented in England.
Image: 123RF/rubinowadama

HOW WE CONDUCTED OUR TASTE TEST

IT'S FREE AND FAIR!

We know that taste is a subjective thing and what’s good for one may not be for someone else. But it is interesting that, when a group of tasters come together, the results are usually consistent — there’s always a favourite and least-favoured item.

For this taste test, we invited a group of mothers to attend a blind-tasting of supermarket products in Johannesburg.

To ensure the taste test was free and fair, food expert Jenny Kaye was in the kitchen to supervise as products were removed from their packaging, numbered and, where necessary, cooked or reheated according to package instructions.

Auditor Jade Craig oversaw the entire process: she checked the products in the kitchen, sat in on the tasting, and collated the scores.

THE RESULTS

SCONES

FIRST PLACE: CHECKERS

Bites of Love Real Butter Scones

Price: R27.99 for 4

What our judges said:

  • Maureen: Excellent scone. Tastes fresh and not crumbly.
  • Simone: I enjoyed these scones. Good size and fresh. Loved the authentic taste.
  • Kim: Looks good, tastes good although a bit on doughy side.
From top to bottom: scones from Checkers, Woolworths, Food Lover's Market, Pick n Pay and Spar.
From top to bottom: scones from Checkers, Woolworths, Food Lover's Market, Pick n Pay and Spar.
Image: Christoph Hoffman

SECOND PLACE: WOOLWORTHS

4 All Butter Scones

Price: R34.99

What our judges said:

  • Misha: Nice size, good appearance fair taste.
  • Simone: Has that tongue-tingling taste of bicarb.
  • Megan: Tastes like a scone, good shape and texture.

THIRD PLACE: FOOD LOVER'S MARKET

Scones

Price: R11.99 for six

What our judges said:

  • Joy: Very small and too sweet.
  • Caren: Too small and top of scone too dark.
  • Maureen: Small, sweet and cake-like.

FOURTH PLACE: PICK N PAY

Baker's Butter Scones

Price: R34.99 for 4

What our judges said:

  • Misha: Very hard scone, difficult to swallow and floury.
  • Joy: Very dense and heavy, too much bicarb/baking powder.
  • Simone: Didn't taste fresh, super doughy and has that bicarb and salty taste.

FIFTH PLACE: SPAR

Large scones

Price: R5.99 each

What our judges said:

  • Joy: Too huge and over-risen. Tastes like an instant scone mix.
  • Danielle: Far too big, leaves an unpleasant taste in the mouth.
  • Caren: Too big, very doughy. Tastes synthetic.

STRAWBERRY JAM

FIRST PLACE: SPAR

Strawberry Jam

Price: R29.99 for 450g

What our judges said:

  • Misha: Looks like jam, a little too sweet but enjoyable.
  • Joy: This jam has colour and is much more jammy. Moreish.
  • Maureen: Excellent jam, good texture and taste.
From top to bottom: strawberry jam from Spar, Checkers, Pick n Pay and Woolworths.
From top to bottom: strawberry jam from Spar, Checkers, Pick n Pay and Woolworths.
Image: Christoph Hoffman

SECOND PLACE: CHECKERS

Strawberry Jam

Price: R25.99 for 450g

What our judges said:

  • Megan: Nice taste and consistency. Works on a scone.
  • Caren: Tastes good even though you can't identify fruit. Quite thick.
  • Simone: It doesn't look the best, fruit pieces not visible but it tastes like strawberries.

THIRD PLACE: PICK N PAY

Strawberry Jam Extra Fruit

Price: R33.99 for 450g

What our judges said:

  • Maureen: Smooth jam, nice enough taste but don't like it.
  • Megan: This is too sweet. Can't decide which fruit it's supposed to be.
  • Lorraine: Jelly appearance, not a good "jam look".

FOURTH PLACE: WOOLWORTHS

Smooth Strawberry Jam

Price: R31.99 for 450g

What our judges said:

  • Misha: More like a jelly and looks like a mixture of fruits.
  • Simone: Not great, looked and tasted artificial.
  • Kim: Almost no fruit visible or fruit taste.

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