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Scan Meatballs

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      15.11.2009 00:28
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      I love swedish meatballs - I have done ever since my younger years when my parents would take me to Ikea for dinner every now and then . So, when I saw these on offer at just £1 a pack, I decided it was too good an offer to pass up, and seeing that the pack had quite a long date (fine until the end of december) I actually picked up two .

      These lovely little balls, (Made by Scan but branded as Swedish Kitchen) are as convenient as convenience food can get . For a start, they are pre-cooked and ready to eat, so you can just nibble them cold right out of the box. In fact, this is how half of the first pack perished, being eaten as a lazy midnight snack.

      If you prefer your meatballs hot, there are a range of ways to cook listed on the the pack - bake in the overn for 15 minutes, dry fry (no oil) for just 5 minutes, or slap the entire pack into a microwave dish and cook in just 2 minutes. Instructions are also provided for cooking from frozen, so you can always just chuck them into the freezer for later use .

      Eaten cold, directly from the pack, there is a lovely meaty flavour to these , which is a mixture of pork and beef. There is a slight peppery flavour, and the texture is smooth without being completely textureless, with no fatty or gristly bits . These contain 73% meat, which is a pretty good meat content, and no artificial flavours or preservatives. My one complaint is that they are perhaps a little bland, a could do with a hefty dose of herbs and spices!

      So, I tend to cook these in a spicy tomato sauce and stir through pasta before topping with some grated cheese . This takes just 10 minutes to knock up, and really brings out a lot more flavour in the meatballs . A 350g pack contains at a guess roughly 25-30 bitesize little balls, and with pasta and sauce can easily stretch to be a very satisfying family meal .

      At the current price of just £1 in Asda these are amazing . Even at their usual price, which is closer to £2, they are good value and make a decent standby product to keep in the fridge or freezer and bung into a meal , or just to nibble on as a bit of a snack .

      4 stars - a very handy food that tastes good!

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        07.05.2009 11:35
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        Try a taste of scandinavia...

        Scan 'Swedish Kitchen' meatballs are something that have been enjoyed by my family this week, thanks to the fact they were available from Sainsburys on offer at half price. The normal price is £2.18 for a 350g pack which I would say is four portions worth.

        I have had them several times before, but they're not something I really think to buy that often. I do think they are a bit expensive at the normal price, but they are convenient and quick for a nice meal.

        These little meatballs (or footballs as my son seems to call them) are pre-cooked and come in plastic packaging. This means you can eat them straight from the pack, cold, which is handy for when my little boy wants a snack. You can also microwave them or cook them in the oven or in a pan on the hob.

        They comprise of a mixture of meats, chicken, pork and beef which gives them an interesting taste compared to other ones which I've tried. We like them with pasta, done on the hob in a nice tomato sauce made from tinned chopped tomatoes, garlic and olive oil. I would imagine they would be nice with mashed potatoes, peas and gravy too!

        If you have ever been to eat in an Ikea, and had their famous meatballs, that is exactly how these ones taste. You usually have them in Ikea with a rather odd looking pale gravy and chips. I'm not sure whether this is particularly authentic to the Swedes!

        The taste of Scan meatballs is lovely, they have a nice amount of onion flavour in them, and I'm sure someone more imaginitive than me could think of hundreds of recipes to use them in. They do taste quite salty though, and I think they are probably not the healthiest choice and so wouldn't recommend to eat them that often.

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          03.02.2009 08:15
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          A versatile product that can be eaten hot or cold or frozen for those lazy days

          Modern day life is stressful and busy, and whilst I would love to cook 'proper' nutritional and wholesome food for every meal it is just not possible and there are times when we have to rely on quick meal solutions. One great product I have found is the humble meatball and my ones of choice are those distributed by Scan Foods of Sweden.

          These meatballs are labelled as Swedish Kitchen but produced by Scan Foods AB in Sweden. The label states that they are premium pork and beef meatballs that are made using an original Swedish recipe, made with premium quality ingredients.

          ****Packaging****

          These meatballs come in a plastic container with a thin plastic lid over the top. Half of the lid comprises of the nutritional information, ingredients and other blurb about the product, whilst the other half shows a photograph of some cooked meatballs on a skewer with a side salad. The lid looks really good and suggests that this product is going to be good.

          This is not a product that a consumer would buy on impulse since it is not possible to see the label whilst the product is on the shelf. This is a product that consumers would actively be looking for.

          ****Ingredients****

          These meatballs are made from 52% pork and 21% beef. Whilst the meat content is not the highest when compared to other types of meatballs it is by no means the lowest. The content is acceptable but given the taste of these I am not really bothered. I know how processed foods are made and that they do not contain the best cuts of meat and it would be naivety of me to think otherwise.

          As well as pork and beef these meatballs contain water, potato, potato flour, onion, idozied salt, spices, yeast extract and meat bouillon extract.

          ****Smell****

          As you open the packet there is a really strong smell of, what I can only describe as turd. It really is strong and can be quite off putting. I can assure you that this smell does disappear as soon as the meatballs are heated up and I strongly recommend that you don't let the odour put you off.

          As the meatballs are heated up they begin to smell like beef burgers and they start to become really appetising, however, the smell is not as strong as that of beef burgers and it doesn't seem to cling to your clothes as much as it does when cooking beef burgers, which is a good thing.

          ****Taste****

          The combination of pork and beef in these meatballs is great and they taste absolutely gorgeous. I can only liken them to beef burgers, although there is a subtle difference that is not surprising given that these meatballs include both beef and pork.

          ****Nutritional information****

          100g of these meatballs contains the following:

          i) Energy - 200kcal
          ii) Protein - 14g
          iii) Carbohydrates - 6g (of which 1.4g are sugars)
          iv) Fat - 15g
          v) Fibre - 2.6g
          vi) Sodium - 0.7g.

          The net weight is 350g and usually consists of 28 meatballs. I will usually eat 7 meatballs at a time, which is about 87.5g of meatball content.

          These meatballs are really bad for you, but then considering they are effectively spherical beef burgers it is not that surprising. The fat and calorie content is the largest worry, although I am a firm believer that something bad is good for you once in a while and if they are eaten as a treat then I can't see the nutritional content is that big of an issue

          ****Cooking****

          It should be noted that these meatballs can be eaten cold and straight out of the packet, although I would not recommend this. I definitely prefer them hot and can't stomach them cold.

          These meatballs can be cooked in a variety of ways including:

          i) Oven cook- Cook in a preheated oven at 180 degrees Celsius, 350 degrees Fahrenheit or gas mark 4 for 15 minutes.

          ii) Microwave - This is for a 750 - 900W microwave. Put 8 meatballs on a micro-waveable dish and heat up for 1 minute (from chilled) or 3 - 5 minutes from frozen.

          iii) On the hob - Heat up with a little butter or oil and cook for 5 minutes.

          Personally I prefer to cook the meatballs on the hob, although I do not cook them in oil or butter. I find that cooking them in a non-stick wok on their own works really well and they a re bit healthier as well.

          I have tried the alternative methods of cooking these meatballs and found that if cooked in the oven they develop a hard skin around the outside, which is not that nice. And, if cooked in the microwave I find that they cook on the outside but are cold in the middle.

          ****Recipe suggestion****

          These meatballs go great with pasta. The following suggestion will serve two people and tastes absolutely great.

          Ingredients:

          i) 14 meatballs
          ii) A chopped onion (how coarse is down to personal preference)
          iii) A finely sliced clove of garlic
          iv) A tin of chopped tomatoes
          v) Dried herbs (to taste)
          vi) 150g dried pasta

          Firstly boil some water and cook the pasta. Once cooked, drain and put to one side.

          Put the onion and garlic in a non stick wok/frying pan, with a dribble of vegetable oil, and put on the hob on a medium heat. Proceed to cook for 3 - 5 minutes (or until slightly soft), periodically stirring the contents.

          Add the meatballs, turn up the heat and cook for a further 5 - 10 minutes, periodically stirring the contents.

          Add the tinned tomatoes and stir. Bring to the boil and then reduce the heat right down and allow to simmer. Add the herbs. Basil is the most popular choice with tomatoes although I tend to use mixed herbs for some additional flavours.

          Once the tomatoes are hot add in the drained pasta and toss to ensure that it all gets coated in the sauce.

          Serve in a bowl and sprinkle on some grated cheese. Remember to divide the meatballs equally otherwise it will only lead to arguments.

          ****Other uses****

          Whilst meatballs are traditionally eaten with pasta I find that they are a very versatile item and can be eaten with almost anything.

          For a quick and tasty snack these meatballs are great in a bread roll with ketchup or, if you want a bit of a kick, some Reggae Reggae sauce.

          A further suggestion is cooked meatballs, cut in half and laid on some lightly toasted bread. Sprinkle grated cheese over the top and then grill until the cheese melts. This cheese and meatball on toast is great either on its own or served with ketchup or Reggae Reggae sauce.

          ****Price and availability****

          A packet of these meatballs is £1.99, and whilst not cheap compared to other meatballs they are definitely worth the extra money.

          I actually find them great value since a packet of these will do two meals for me and the other half, so they are not really that expensive.

          One thing I do find annoying is that I cannot find these in my local Tescos, and this is where I do my weekly shopping. Because of this I have to make special trips to Sainsburys to buy them. I am just glad that these meatballs can be frozen so I can stock up.

          ****Conclusion****

          These are by far the best meatballs that I have ever tried. Whilst they smell awful when the packet is first opened they taste really, really good.

          They are not the healthiest food item you will ever eat but then compared to other food items in the market they are not actually that bad for you, besides if they are eaten as part of a balanced diet then I can't see these meatballs doing much harm at all.

          Whilst meatballs are traditionally eaten with pasta, I find these very versatile and have many uses. I always keep a packet of these in the freezer since they are ideal f you fancy a quick and tasty meal.

          A highly recommended product.

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            30.12.2003 21:31
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            skip this first bit to be able to read the review with capital letters intact. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. <
            br> Balls. Meatballs. Fascinating stuff. Scan Swedish Meatballs (branded as Swedish Kitchen) are pretty good for a convenience food, dontchaknow. They're already cooked, so they need no more from you than heating through. They bake in the oven in only fifteen minutes. They "dry fry" (no fat needed) in five minutes. They microwave in a 750 watt appliance in just two minutes. You'll find them in the supermarket chiller, but you can keep them in the freezer and cook them without defrosting. You can even eat them cold, so my mother says, although cold meatballs don't sound very appealing to me. Taste-wise the flavour is, well, it's a meatbally kind of flavour. Think "proper" meatballs, not the ones that come from cans. They taste meaty! For me, the overall impression is rather bland and under-seasoned, but then I like strong flavours. However, the Scan meatballs have a good, heavy texture and very few pieces of fat or gristle. They don't taste of puréed pap; they taste of reasonable cuts of pork and beef, minced together with some carbohydrate binder, which is exactly what they are. A whopping 73% of each little meatball is meat - 52% pork and 21% beef - with the remainder being made up from potato, meat stock and flavourings. There isn't an E number, an additive or a preservative in sight. I think this explains how "authentic" they taste - like a home-made meatball, but from a cook afraid to experiment with a few herbs and spices. They're versatile little bods, too. We don't eat them often at Murphy Towers, but we do keep a packet or two in the freezer, for the rare days when we really don't have the time or the inclination to cook properly. Warmed through and added to a tomato-based sauce, they go well with spaghetti or rice. On a cold day, we eat them with mashed potatoes and onion gravy. Scan meatballs also make an easy, stress-free addition to a hot buffet, if you
            ever do that sort of thing. We keep them also for the various little "fussy eaters" who come to tea as guests of my children. On a "fussy eater" day we cook them with baked beans and chips for a meal none of the horrid, vegetable-phobic little blighters has yet turned down and without giving in to the evils of the chicken nugget. Hurrah! They come in packs of 350g and you'll pay £1.99 for them at www.tesco.com. For your two quid, you'll get over thirty meatballs ? I did tell you they were little! However, one packet will happily feed two adults and two children if they're not being greedy. And it's perfectly possible to use part of a pack, provided you reseal the remaining meatballs into a freezer bag and don't leave them open in the tray. As you can see, they're not expensive. I think many so-called convenience foods are over-priced items, packaged in amounts that wouldn't fill a mouse, let alone a hungry Murphy. Scan meatballs aren't like that - they're a reasonably-priced, quick-to-prepare convenience food that will actually satisfy your appetite. They have a reasonable flavour and aren't stuffed to the brim with flavour-enhancers and additives. Unlike most of their cousins on the convenience food shelf, they're actually quite nice! They are no replacement for good, home-cooked meatballs, but they're certainly not rubbish. Better still, they're gluten-free and dairy-free, so suitable for people with intolerances (bear in mind, though, that the meatballs are made in factories which also use dairy and gluten ingredients, so it's a guide, not a guarantee). They're not outrageously heavy on the calories, weighing in at 200kcal per 100g, neither are they outrageously heavy on the salt at 0.7g per 100g. I'd say both those statistics would put Scan meatballs on amber alert for the healthy dieter's menu, but keep them safely off the red on a junk food indicator. And
            lastly: I know, I know, I go on about the evils of transporting food from country to country. I know Scan meatballs are made in Sweden. I know it's wasteful of resources to bring them all the way over here. But we don't eat them very often, and they are a useful stand by. Also, they come with the SPA logo which means they're right-on enough for me to buy and not feel too guilty. The SPA logo means Scan meatballs are "Swedish Farm Assured". According to Scan, "This initiative encompasses all the very best practices in animal farming including good animal care, health care and no use of hormones or antibiotics. So you can be sure that your meat has come from a healthy animal". Don't believe that's worth anything? Well suck it and see when you buy a pack. Next to the Use By date, you'll find a code number. Go to www.healthy-tasty.com (the site of the SPA's accrediting body) and enter the code number. I've just entered mine. From here, I can now read all about the farmers rearing the pigs and cattle for my meatballs ? they're from Halland in Sweden, work as a collective, and I even know their names! I can find out about Scan, the processor, and I can even find out which haulage firm transported the product to the UK, and what measures they're taking to ensure their trucks are the cleanest environmentally that they could be. Cool, huh? Thassit. Cook "properly" when you can. Buy locally when you can. Eat Scan meatballs when you can't!

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