“ Brand: Iceland / Type: Fish „
I love scampi so when I was in Iceland with my mum a few weeks ago I bought a bag of their Sea Spray Scampi Bites, they were on offer at £1.99 a bag at the time but I don't know the proper price because I've never brought them before.
They tasted quite nice after I'd cooked them but I wasn't that impressed and even at that cheap price I thought the more expensive scampi was better value for money.
There's loads too much breadcrumbs on these scampi bites and the breadcrumbs are a bit puffed out and that makes them look bigger than they are. The scampi is very small inside the breadcrumbs and the coating has got a bit of a greasy flavour so I couldn't taste the scampi much unless I took the breadcrumbs off and ate them seperately.
I didn't think the scampi was very good quality and when it had cooked it went a bit dry inside, I usually have the Tesco Value scampi and that's the same price for a bigger bag but the scampi is lovely and moist and you get quite big pieces for the money.
These scampi bites are smaller than other scampi brands and I thought that would be better because I assumed you'd get a more intense flavour like that but I was wrong. All I could really taste from these was the grease off the breadcrumbs and that was cooking them in the oven, god knows how fatty they'd taste if I had deep fried them which is one of the cooking options on the bag.
I wasn't very impressed with these and even adding some mayo to dip them in didn't make the scampi any nicer. They're not disgusting and I'm not saying that I'll never eat them again, but there are better brands about for a similar price and if you compare these bites to Youngs (my fave but mega expensive) then they're showed up for the poor quality scampi they are.
I am very much the fan of fish and chips, I love having them as a treat and its also quite a reasonably priced takeaway compared to Dominoes etc.
I always have Scampi from the fish and chip shop so when I saw these Scampi Bites in Iceland which is the main supermarket I buy my dinners from I decided to try them.
The current price is £2 for a 400g bag which will last your family two or three meals.
Most scampi that you buy from a shop need to be deep fried but an advantage to this product is that you can cook these in your oven for 18 minutes at 230c.
You can deep fry them if you prefer though but I don't have a fryer so don't have that option. If you do want to deep fry thet take 4 minutes at 180c.
Each 100g of Oven Baked Bites has the following:
This is more of a fish bite than a scampi bite though with 37% fish content (but what fish??) and only 19% scampi.
Now if you have ever tasted Scampi and expecting the same quality from these then lower your expectations now, they do taste a little like real Scampi but the quality is much lower than traditional scampi.
I always leave mine in the oven for longer than stated to crisp them up but the fish inside still always tastes soft, it hasn't got the same bite you get from eating scampi, I think these would taste better if you could fry them to crisp them further as they just stay soggy from oven cooking.
The bread crumb coating is nice though and each bite is of a reasonable size.
For £2 they are good for keeping in your freezer for those nights you can't get to the chip shop but they don't taste half as good as real Scampi does and if I had a fryer I would go for the real thing so only 3 stars from me as I like them but not loads.
PRICE (for 400g) = £2
NUTRITIONAL INFORMATION (per 100g, oven-baked):
- of which sugars: 0.4g
- of which saturates: 0.8g
Fish (37%), scampi (19%), white fish (18%), E450, dextrose, salt, wheat flour, yeast, potato starch, skimmed milk powder, whey powder, water, rapeseed oil
Contains shellfish, white fish, gluten, wheat and milk
Free from artificial colouring or flavouring
Iceland's Sea Spray Scampi Bites come in a royal blue coloured plastic bag. The front shows a delicious looking plate of scampi with chips, peas and a parsley & lemon garnish, and on the rear, is printed the nutritional information, ingredients, dietary/allergy advice, plus storage and cooking instructions (oven bake or deep fry).
I personally find the ingredients list a little strange, in that although the product states to be scampi, it only actually contains 19%, whereas 55% of the product is made up from "fish" and "white fish". I wish the description of "fish" and "white fish" were more detailed, to state what types are actually used in the manufacture of this product. I can't understand why if they are just describing something as "fish", and why "white fish" is listed as a separate item - is "white fish" not simply just fish? All the same though, I suppose I can't expect too much or something to be pure scampi, costing just £2 for 400g. Perhaps to be more precise, the packaging should state that these are "fish bites with scampi", rather than giving the impression that it is just scampi.
The bag needs to be cut open with scissors, and is packed full of quite tiny, yet fairly uniform bite-sized pieces of what I assume is scampi mixed with various types of ordinary fish, white or otherwise. These little pieces of mixed seafood are coated with pale yellow breadcrumbs, that on first appearance, seem rather thick.
For the purposes of sampling Iceland's Sea Spray Scampi Bites, I decided to opt for the oven-bake method, as I usually do with foods that have a breadcrumb coating. I spread about a quarter of the packet over a non-stick, ungreased baking tray, and placed in a pre-heated oven at 230C temperature. The packaging recommends cooking for 16-18 minutes, but I opted for 20.
During the cooking process, there was absolutely no fish smell emanating from the oven at all, though I detected the aroma of toasting breadcrumbs.
Once the cooking time was up, I removed the tray from the oven to notice that the breadcrumbs hadn't really browned all that much. In fact, the scampi (fish!!) pieces did look rather insipid, but all the same I served them onto my plate with a jacket potato, broccoli, tomatoes and peas.
Then came the real test....the eating! I speared one of the scampi (fish!!) pieces with my fork, and noticed that the breadcrumb coating was thinner than it had previously seemed. Though each piece was only average bite-sized, I changed my mind about shoving the whole thing in my mouth, and cut it in half to see what the inside looked like.....and, it was a bit weird.
Nestling in the centre I found (and every piece was the same) a small nucleus of what I assumed was scampi, surrounded with some creamy-coloured mush that looked a little fishy. Maybe this was the "fish" and "white fish" mixed together? Though the filling did look rather confusing, it was moist, without being sloppy, and despite the differentiation in the ingredients list between "fish" and "white fish", the whole inside of the breadcrumb coating was in fact white!
It didn't really look all that appetising, and I had to persuade myself with a resounding "Go on girl, eat it". Inside my mouth, the whole combination of the breadcrumbs and filling felt quite soft, and on chewing, the little nugget of scampi in the middle was tender and succulent. Despite there only being a tiny percentage of scampi in this product, the actual scampi taste was quite strong - and the surrounding gunge that I assume to be the "fish" and "white fish", together with the breadcrumbs, all blended well together, having a nice consistency and a good flavour.
I did manage to finish and enjoy the product, to a reasonable level, and there is a fair chance that I'd buy it again - although it isn't a patch on more up-market scampi products; plus, the cost reflects this. Even so, bearing in mind that the scampi content is only 19%, the product tasted very much better than I expected it to.
I'd guess that a whole pack would serve 4 adults with average appetites, and a child's portion probably would be about an 8th of the pack, obviously depending on the age of the child.
This is an economical product, which though isn't as scampi-like as the packaging suggest, is quite pleasant - not gourmet standard, but adequate for a quick and somewhat tasty meal. I'd recommend buying this if you fancy some scampi, yet find it's out of your price range, as though the scampi content is low, it's still there, and the rest of the ingredients taste acceptably good.
Thanks for reading!