Taste & Tell

Wagu wors to vegan bites: we taste test 24 new finds on supermarket shelves

Pick n Pay, Woolworths, Checkers, Food Lover's Market and Spar are constantly bringing out exciting and innovative new food products. Here's which ones are well worth buying

27 October 2019 - 00:00 By Hilary Biller
New from Food Lover's Market, from left: Wagu beef boerewors, Wagu beef burgers, vegetable kebabs, fruit and chocolate slice, and mini traditional fruit cakes.
New from Food Lover's Market, from left: Wagu beef boerewors, Wagu beef burgers, vegetable kebabs, fruit and chocolate slice, and mini traditional fruit cakes.
Image: Christoph Hoffman

SA’s five largest retailers each shared a handful of new items on their shelves for a blind tasting.

We asked a group of enthusiastic (and hungry) 2nd year Food and Beverage Operations management students at The School of Hospitality & Tourism at UJ to put them to the taste test.

Here is what they thought:

NEW FROM FOOD LOVER'S MARKET

WAGU BEEF BOEREWORS

Price: R69.99/kg

What our taste testers said:

  • Kabelo: The best. Juicy and tasty. This is a 'wors' to go with. Juicy and flavour is too awesome. I'm happy.
  • Nokwazi: Very tasty and very juicy. The filling has a quality flavour to it.
  • Mujinga: Tender, nice and flavoursome.

WAGU BEEF BURGERS

Price: 4 x 100g patties for R59.99

What our taste testers said:

  • Mujinga: Flavoursome product, perfect seasoning, well balanced.
  • Rudzani: Tastes really good, the seasoning and salt is well balanced. The burger tender and juicy.
  • Simphiwe: Seasoning good, aroma is that of a good beef burger. Only thing lacking was a little more time on grill, I prefer it more well cooked.

VEGETABLE KEBABS

Price: R34.99

What our taste testers said:

  • Simphiwe: Needs seasoning, there's no hint of flavour. Boring.
  • Kabelo: The appearance is good but taste is poor as there's no seasoning.
  • Nokwazi: Colourful appearance but just no flavour. Needs a marinade.
UJ student Tasneem Khan puts one of Food Lover's Market's vegetable kebabs to the taste test.
UJ student Tasneem Khan puts one of Food Lover's Market's vegetable kebabs to the taste test.
Image: Justin Barlow

FRUIT AND CHOCOLATE SLICE

Price: R69.99

What our taste testers said:

  • Mujinga: Really dense cake with quality chocolate over the top. There are lots of raisins.
  • Rudzani: Could be more moist. Sweet with lots of raisins. Liked the chocolate.
  • Kabelo: It looks good, has an appealing chocolate aroma but taste doesn't match the looks.

MINI TRADITIONAL FRUIT CAKES

Price: 4 x 80g cakes for R64.99

What our taste testers said:

  • Kabelo: Looks pretty, there's a pleasant fruit cake aroma. It tastes sweet.
  • Anthonia: The chopped glace fruit on the top looks pretty but overpowers the actual taste of the little cake.
  • Jenny: Pleasant early Christmas treat. Very dark cake but tastes pleasant.
New from Checkers, from top: coconut crumbed prawns, BBQ ribs, Gourmade beef pie, Greek Baklava, and The Menu chocolate and caramel dessert.
New from Checkers, from top: coconut crumbed prawns, BBQ ribs, Gourmade beef pie, Greek Baklava, and The Menu chocolate and caramel dessert.
Image: Christoph Hoffman

NEW FROM CHECKERS

COCONUT CRUMBED PRAWNS

Price: 300g for R79.99

What our taste testers said:

  • Simphiwe: No seasoning on the actual prawn. All it tastes like is coconut. The appearance is inviting but the taste disappoints.
  • Tasneem: The coconut is overpowering and it needs more seasoning to advance the flavour.
  • Kabelo: The prawns look pretty but the taste is not that appealing. It has a lot of coconut that hides the flavour of the prawn.

READY TO BRAAI BBQ RIBS

Price: 750g for R99.99

What our taste testers said:

  • Nomvula: Perfect seasoning, meat falls off the bone. Juicy.
  • Mashimbyi: The ribs have a very nice taste. I would have them over and over again.
  • Dintle: Well balanced flavours. Not too fatty with a pleasant sweet taste. Tender.

GOURMADE BEEF PIE WITH CARAMELISED ONIONS

Price: 580g for R79.99

What our taste testers said:

  • Lerato: The pie is bland and the onion smell overpowering. It is chewy and the pastry is too thick.
  • Thabana: The pastry tastes like biscuits. It needs a bit of salt and the meat is chewy.
  • Nangamso: The pastry is good though this is not a pie pastry. The filling needs salt and spices. Meat has a bitter taste.

GREEK BAKLAVA

Price: 300g for R54.99

What our taste testers said:

  • Nokwazi: I taste the cinnamon, there's lots of sweet syrup and the pastry is nice and crunchy.
  • Kabelo: Very eye catching, a bit hard to chew with a sweet but sharp cinnamon taste.
  • Dintle: There's a smell of cinnamon, the pastry is nice and crunchy and I can taste all the flavours. Very sweet with nice shiny look.

THE MENU CHOCOLATE & CARAMEL DESSERT MADE WITH BAR ONE

Price: 450g for R69.99

What our taste testers said:

  • Itumeleng: The flavours are well balanced but the cocoa is a bit too much and tastes raw. Sugar is well balanced.
  • Dintle: Tastes amazing, the chocolate and cocoa are well balanced and the sponge is tender though very rich.
  • Simphiwe: Has that chocolate taste, the base brings the mousse together. A bit too sweet but in an amazing way.
New from Spar, from left: Sriracha sauce, chocolate fantasy, peri-peri chicken livers, custard puffs, and apple and raisin dessert pastries.
New from Spar, from left: Sriracha sauce, chocolate fantasy, peri-peri chicken livers, custard puffs, and apple and raisin dessert pastries.
Image: Christoph Hoffman

NEW FROM SPAR

SRIRACHA SAUCE

Price: R59.99

What our taste testers said:

  • Nomvula: The smell is strong, it burns one's nose and is strong at first but leaves the palate quickly.
  • Mujinga: Really spicy at the beginning then you get a sweet taste then it dies. Not pleasant on the palate.
  • Kabelo: The sauce is nice and complex, the aromas tell the mind that it's going to be too chilli but it tastes a bit sweet but it doesn't last in terms of taste.

CHOCOLATE FANTASY

Price: 397g for R29.99

  • Anthonia: More caramel than chocolate and too thick for a pudding. No aroma.
  • Tasneem: Very rich and creamy, however, the caramel taste is more overpowering and one can hardly taste the chocolate.
  • Nokwazi: Too sweet, too thick with a caramel taste.

PERI PERI CHICKEN LIVERS

Ready cooked

Price: 500g for R39.99

What our taste testers said:

  • Simphiwe: It's very hot (spicy) but an enjoyable hot. It could use some starch in the sauce that would neutralise it. Sauce is very overpowering and you can't taste the livers.
  • Rudzani: Way too spicy, you cannot taste the chicken livers which are too dry and the texture crumbly.
  • Kabelo: The livers are well 'chillied' and the product is eye-catching and mouthwatering.
UJ students Nangamso Lusaseni and Lerato Ramanyatsa were part of the judging panel for this taste test.
UJ students Nangamso Lusaseni and Lerato Ramanyatsa were part of the judging panel for this taste test.
Image: Justin Barlow

DESSERT PASTRIES

24 custard puffs

Price: 535g for R49.99

What our taste testers said:

  • Nomvula: The pastry just melts in your mouth and the filling is not too sweet.
  • Simphiwe: The smell is very inviting, the custard melts in the mouth, the pastry is done amazingly and you can feel all the layers. Just absolutely amazing.
  • Mujinga: Perfect product, rich flavours and the custard filling is amazing.

DESSERT PASTRIES

24 Apple & Raisin

Price: 480g for R49.99

What our taste testers said:

  • Kabelo: The pastry smells freshly baked but I find it too sweet.
  • Nokwazi: The filling is too sweet with a hint of sourness. Crunchy pastry, I can taste the butter and cinnamon.
  • Simphiwe: The apple isn't prominent. I'm just tasting the icing glaze and cinnamon. Disappointing.
New from Pick n Pay, from left: vintage cheddar cheese, hummus deluxe, antipasto platter, vegan chickpea and corn bites.
New from Pick n Pay, from left: vintage cheddar cheese, hummus deluxe, antipasto platter, vegan chickpea and corn bites.
Image: Christoph Hoffman

NEW FROM PICK N PAY

VINTAGE CHEDDAR FULL FAT CHEESE

17 months matured

Price: 200g for R67.99

What our taste testers said:

  • Thabana: Love the cheese, melt-in-the-mouth with strong flavour. It's tasty.
  • Thabelo: Breaks easily, easy to chew with a strong bite.
  • Itumeleng: Buttery taste, salty and strong aftertaste.

READY TO EAT HUMMUS DELUXE

Price: 120g for R29.99

What our taste testers said:

  • Daryl: Delicious creamy flavour, I could eat the whole tub.
  • Mashimbyi: I enjoyed the lemony taste with the hint of paprika on the top.
  • Thabelo: It is creamy with a lemony flavour and needs a savoury biscuit or bread to spread it on.

ANTIPASTO PLATTER

Italian Salami, prosciutto, crudo and coppa

Price: 150g for R89.99

What our taste testers said:

  • Thabana: Enjoyed the taste, so nice. Beautiful appearance, layers of thin slices of meat, great used as a wrap or a starter.
  • Dintle: Appearance is good but meat is fatty but there's a nice balance of saltiness.

VEGAN CHICKPEA & CORN BITES

Price: 300g for R29.99

What our taste testers said:

  • Tanya: Nice bits of corn in a creamy chickpea filling. Lacks seasoning. Convenient snack for vegetarians.
  • Lerato: One cannot pin the flavour down, one gets the corn but not sure about the other flavour, which doesn't last on the palate. Needs seasoning.
  • Moteme: I can't get the taste. I can see and taste corn but nothing else. Lacks salt.
New from Woolworths, from left: carrot juice, freeze-dried blueberries, passion fruit lamington dessert, ultimate roosterkoek, and butter curry.
New from Woolworths, from left: carrot juice, freeze-dried blueberries, passion fruit lamington dessert, ultimate roosterkoek, and butter curry.
Image: Christoph Hoffman

NEW FROM WOOLWORTHS

CARROT JUICE

Price: 300ml for R23.99

What our taste testers said:

  • Mashimbyi: Looks so appetising, it tastes just like carrot. Great for those wanting a healthier lifestyle without the work.
  • Thabana: Nice taste, it's sweet. I can taste lots of carrots. It's a little bit watery, but a healthy drink.
  • Nangamso: Not too sweet, a hint of saltiness. I could feel the carrot bits on my tongue.

FREEZE DRIED BLUEBERRIES

Price: 10g for R17.99

What our taste testers said:

  • Lerato: Doesn't look or taste appetising. There's more air than flavour. However, can be used as a garnish for breakfast.
  • Dintle: I couldn't identify the product at first. It tastes sweet leaving poor aftertaste. Inside it's empty.
  • Thabelo: It tastes sour but not like a blueberry. I could use it to decorate a cake.
UJ student Itumeleng Kekana samples some carrot juice from Woolworths during a blind taste test.
UJ student Itumeleng Kekana samples some carrot juice from Woolworths during a blind taste test.
Image: Justin Barlow

PASSION FRUIT LAMINGTON DESSERT

Price: 780g for R99.99

What our taste testers said:

  • Nangamso: It's not too sweet, I can taste granadilla and flavours are balanced.
  • Mashimbyi: So yummy, best dessert for a summer day. The granadilla curd in the bottom has a coconut aftertaste.
  • Thabana: Tastes so nice, jelly very fruity. Good appearance, it's so nice I will buy it.

ULTIMATE ROOSTERKOEK

Price: R39.99

What our taste testers said:

  • Itumeleng: Soft on the inside and nice and crunchy on the outside. Well-balanced flavour, it is very nice.
  • Thabana: Tastes just like a croissant, not roosterkoek which is a yeast dough. Crust is tasty.
  • Thabelo: Tastes nice, it's not hard to chew. Not too salty or sugary.

BUTTER CURRY

Spiced soya strips in creamy curry sauce

Price: 350g for R74.99

What our taste testers said:

  • Moteme: Tastes so nice, great seasoning. Can't believe it isn't chicken but strips of soya.
  • Itumeleng: Flavours are well balanced, perfect seasoning, loved the rice.
  • Mokoena: Lots of aroma, smells great. Tastes amazing, spices are well balanced. Is this really soya?

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