Product Type: Birds Eye Meat / Fish
Newest Review: ... nutritional chart stated as well as cooking instructions and contact details for Birds Eye are given. Nice enough and minimal packaging ... more
Birds Eye Breadcrumbed Bones
Birds Eye Simply Cod Fillets
Member Name: GentleGenius
Birds Eye Simply Cod Fillets
Advantages: The fish itself is very good
Disadvantages: Loads of bones, poor quality breadcrumbs, expensive
PRICE: £4.70 for 4 pieces, at my local Somerfield
NUTRITIONAL INFORMATION (per fillet, baked):
(of which sugars): 0.6g
(of which saturates): 1.2g
(equivalent as salt): 1.1g
Cod fillet, water, wheat flour, wheat starch, salt, mustard, turmeric, malt flour (from barley), vegetable fat, baking powder, E450, E500, yeast, whey powder, sugar, vegetable oil
Contains fish, wheat, barley, milk, mustard
E450 and E550 are the basic ingredients of baking powder (used to crisp the batter)
Some small bones may remain although great care has been taken to remove them
At the end of the day and overall, I prefer fish to meat, and do like to keep a plentiful supply of different brands and varieties in my freezer.
Never having tried them before, I recently bought Birds Eye Simply Cod, needing to sample them and see if they were better than, equal to, or worse than other brands of similar frozen fish products.
Birds Eye Simply Cod is a breadcrumbed product, and is to be found in the deep freeze of most supermarkets or local corner shops. The largely dark blue box shows two beautiful-looking breaded chunky cod steaks on the front, with a salad dressing, together with the standard Birds Eye logo. The rear of the box shows nutritional information, ingredients, dietary/allergy advice, freezing & cooking instructions, and Birds Eye's quality claim which also promises a money back guarantee if you feel that the frozen fish doesn't taste like fresh.
Inside the box, each cod fillet is loose - not inside any kind of cellophane wrapping, hence lots of breadcrumbs floating free, which if you're not careful, can scatter everywhere. The pieces of fish are thick and chunky, with a liberal coating of breadcrumbs that are rather orangey in colour.
I chose the oven-bake method of cooking (they can also be grilled or fried), and my accompaniment was jacket potato and a big green salad.
During the cooking, I didn't notice any smell at all emanating from the oven, but once the fish was done and I removed the tray, they looked nice - still thick, and the breadcrumbs had browned nicely.
So, for the taste test! The first thing was that the breadcrumb coating was thicker than I personally like, but the fish inside appeared succulent, white and chunky. Upon chewing, I declared the breadcrumb coating, aside from being a little too thick, was strange - it was hard in some places and soft in others, with a gritty, almost gravelly feel. The fish was superb though - juicy, tender and delicious, with a lovely subtle cod flavour. I decided to abandon the breadcrumbs as I wasn't keen on them at all - they had a very fried flavour - and I scraped them off of the fish and concentrated on that instead.
For the most part, I enjoyed the fish and felt as though I was eating a quality product, but then disaster hit! At the end of both pieces of fish was a huge wodge of bones, almost as if the filleting process had driven the whole skeleton along the length, accumulating at the end. There was a large amount of bones making up each of these clusters, and it really did put me off. I realise that Birds Eye do give a warning on the packet that despite efforts to remove them all some bones may remain, but I felt that for this particular fish product, not enough effort had been made in that area.
It was a good job that I'd eaten most of the fish before I found these wodges of horrid bones, because if they'd been the first thing I'd found upon cutting into the fish, then I'd have been put off eating it altogether.
Overall, I'd say that Birds Eye Simply Cod is a matter of mixed fortunes. The fish in itself is excellent, but the breadcrumb coating is less than satisfactory, and the accumulation of bones is a real no-no in my book - consequently, I shan't be buying this product again. It's a shame, because if more care were taken with the coating and the de-boning process, this could be a regular feature on my dinner plate.
I am giving two stars, solely for the quality of the fish, and say that it is the breadcrumbs and bones that have knocked off the other three stars. Had they have been good, then I'd have awarded a full house. Not a good experience for a rather pricey product! I'd recommend steering clear unless you like a tangle of bones in your fish, and not very nice tasting batter.
Thanks for reading!
Summary: A potentially excellent product let down by carelessness re: de-boning, and not nice breadcrumbs
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