“ Brand: Tesco / Type: Other Fruits „
Having found myself somewhat addicted to sweets and chocolates following the glut of confectionery left over at our house after Christmas, I have been trying to wean myself off high-sugar snacks by trying to convert to eating dried fruit instead.
Tesco Whole Foods Tropical Mix sells in 150g bags for £1.99 each, although it quite regularly features as something that can be bought on one of their two for £3 offers. It's a mix of slabs of dried fruits and shavings of coconut with nothing else added (apart from sulphur dioxide as a preservative): 30% each of mango, papaya and pineapple and 10% dried coconut. Unlike the little candied papaya and pineapple squares you find in similar dried fruit / health food mixes (such as 'trail' mix and so on), the fruit here has no added sugar, so it's dried to a tough, leathery texture. This takes a bit of getting used to at first, especially in the case of the dried papaya, which has such a challenging consistency when dried that it really takes some getting used to: encountering dried papaya au naturelle for the first time, it's immediately obvious why they usually sugar-encrust it for human consumption: once you've managed to chew the stuff in this mix enough to make it swallowable, it turns out to have a slight but distinctly slimy texture which isn't completely appealing, and it doesn't taste of all that much either.
The other constituents of the tropical mix are very tasty however, and I find if the dried papaya is eaten along with a shaving or two of coconut, that improves the overall flavour no end. The mix doesn't immediately look appetising - the mango and papaya mostly come in long, dried-out 'tongues' of dark-coloured fruit that have a tendency to clump together - and overall the stuff could be very easily mistaken for pot pourri - but it's good to eat and has quickly become a firm favourite at our house.
Portion sizes aren't properly indicated on the pacakging, but the nutritional values are broken down to 50g, which at 1/3 of a pack seems if a bit generous. The health benefits of eating this dried fruit, according to the Tesco labelling, largely relate to it being a high-fibre foodstuff; of the fat in the mix, a fair proportion - I think about 15% of the fat in a 50g serving or something like that - is saturated fat, on account of the coconut, but as there is only 3g fat in a 50g serving of the mix, this doesn't seem such a disaster really. The approach to labelling fat content and types of fat in the nutritional info blurb (this was also broken down to % of a person's RDA per serving) was a bit confusing I thought.
The only slight negative point about this stuff is that through a natural process of settling, the contents in the bottom of the bag end up being predominantly dried coconut shavings and nothing else, which isn't great to eat. You can add that to museli (or just bin it, like I've started to do) I suppose.