Product Type: Alpro Dessert / Yoghurts
Newest Review: ... "normal" powder I tend to make it a bit thicker than this because that is my own preference. As the the Alpro product is ready m... more
Who wants crumble and custard?
Alpro Soya Custard Vanilla Flavour
Member Name: ryeb
Alpro Soya Custard Vanilla Flavour
Advantages: Tastes delicious, good hot or cold and with a great variety of puddings
Disadvantages: Not for those who like a really thick custard.
I was curious to try Alpro Soya dairy free custard because I really enjoy some of their other vegetarian and vegan desserts. I am always a bit apprehensive about trying a new soya based product though because I don't like the taste of soy milk and I don't want my puddings to taste the same! My sister who is a vegan promised me I would like it so when I saw it for £1 in Sainsbury's I decided to give it a go.
As mentioned above Alpro Soya make a number of dairy free desserts. They are readily available in the supermarkets, and health food stores such as Holland & Barrett. I found the custard was in the "free-from" section in Sainsburys but it is positioned next to the regular custard in my nearest Tesco. It isn't chilled, which means it doesn't take up room in the fridge until you have opened it at which point it does need refrigeration. It has a helpfully long shelf life too - the most recent packet that I bought is good to use until January 2013. The custard comes in a Tetra pack style carton measuring 500ml. I would have prefered a type of packet that can be easily recycled locally but at least the minimum amount of packaging is used. It isn't overfilled either, so opening it doesn't involve too much mess.
As the custard is ready made, no preparation is required if you want to eat it cold bar shaking it prior to opening.The pack gives you heating instructions for the hob and microwave and both methods are quick - 2-3 minutes. I have found the custard tastes nicer if you chill it if you are going to eat it without heating, but it isn't absolutely necessary.
On opening the pack for the first time, I was hit by a strong and pleasant smell of vanilla. The texture is what I would call a pouring consistency which makes it easy to use on top of puddings like roly poly or crumble. If I make my own standard custard using "normal" powder I tend to make it a bit thicker than this because that is my own preference. As the the Alpro product is ready made, you can't adjust it to taste but that is true of any similiar product. That is a minor quibble though!
THE TASTE TEST
Most importantly, the Alpro custard tastes fantastic and very like traditional custard. The vanilla flavouring is quite strong but not overpowering, and there is a lovely creamy sweetness to the taste overall. It has a smooth texture, and it soaks in to sponge puddings perfectly. I detected the faintest soya aftertaste when I had the custard cold, but none when it was heated. Nothing to put a soy milk hater such as myself off! I intended to keep a carton in the cupboard to serve to my vegan sister when the need arose, but I actually use it myself just as often. I also serve it to my meat eating family members and they say that they enjoy it too. I would say that one carton comfortably serves 4 people. I am happy to use it in every way I would any other custard, for example with fruit or with a hot pudding. I was curious to see if I could use it as a base for a vegan ice but I thought the vanilla flavour may not work with other flavourings and that the texture would be too thin. I was wrong about the texture. With frequent beating, the frozen dessert was nice and smooth. I was right about the vanilla taste though, which seems to intensify on freezing as many flavourings do. I tried it at first with a maple and pecan flavouring so I intend to experiment further and see if I can find a better one.
WOULD I RECOMMEND IT?
I would recommend this custard especially to vegans who may be missing the regular kind. The taste is excellent and the £1 cost makes it good value compared to that of some "free from " products. It is good to have a vegetarian and vegan product that is readily available in the supermarket too. It is also a useful product for those with certain diet restrictions as it is free from lactose, gluten, and wheat and it is made in a nut free factory. Calcium and vitamins B2, B12 and D2 have also been added - 15% of an adults RDA of each. All in all, a clever and well thought out product.
The soya used in this desert is not harvested from rainforest regions, and is from non G.M beans.
No artificial colours, flavours or preservatives.
[This review is also posted on Ciao, under my user name.]
Summary: A tasty custard that can be enjoyed by just about everyone.
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