“ Brand: Ye Olde Oak / Type: Meat „
PRICE: (in Sainsburys @ 7.10.08) = £1.49 per 227g can
NUTRITIONAL INFORMATION (per 100g):
Added salt: 2.8g
Pork tongue, water, salt, sodium polyphosphates, sugar, gelling agents (carrageenan, gelatine), preservative (sodium nitrite)
NB: I'm sure most people are going to emit a chorus of resounding YUK noises at the subject matter of this review, but unlike most, I love the stuff......and I hand out a WARNING to vegetarians and vegans that you may find a little of the following quite repugnant.
Ye Olde Oak Lunch Tongue can be found in the tinned meat products section of any supermarket and some smaller grocery outlets.
It comes in a tin that is mostly white, with a dark green circle around the top. On the front of the can in olde English style lettering and with the image of an oak tree behind, are the words "Ye Olde Oak". Underneath in red are the words "Lunch Tongue", and at the bottom of the can there is a picture of slices of tongue arranged in a half circle. The back of the can shows the manufacturer's details, and bears the nutritional information in small black lettering.
On opening a tin of Ye Olde Oak Lunch Tongue, the contents appear something like the aftermath of the St. Valentine's Day Massacre, but I promise it's not as bad as the first sighting reveals. The contents of the tin are pieces of cooked and pressed pork tongue (presumably from pigs!) which are held together by a mass of amber-coloured aspic jelly. The tongue itself is a reddish brown in colour, and needs to be eased carefully out of the tin using a knife or spatula.
A knife will slide very easily through the aspic covered tongue as it is extremely tender in consistency, and with a little practice, you can cut some very neat circular slices. On eating, the whole mixture is rather too salty for my own tastes, but the tongue has a lovely delicate, gentle meaty flavour which bears a marked resemblance to corned beef, but not quite so strong tasting.
Tongue is something which, back in the 1950s and early 1960s, I can remember being a food served for the sit-down meal part of wedding receptions, and though I don't think it was actually viewed as a luxury food as such, I believe it was considered something a little bit special, and a borderline delicacy.
Ye Olde Oak Lunch Tongue for my own tastes, has far, far too much aspic jelly around it and as I really don't like it, I have to scrape all the jelly off and discard it, before I can enjoy the meat underneath. It goes great served in slices with jacket potato and salad, plus it makes brilliant sandwiches either on its own or with sliced tomato. As a main meal, I like slices of Ye Olde Oak Lunch Tongue (aspic removed of course!) served with jacket or mashed potato, peas and a few cherry tomatoes.
Though a very rich source of protein, sadly Ye Olde Oak Lunch Tongue is higher in salt than is healthy, and I do feel the product would benefit greatly from considerably reducing the salt content. It is fairly high in fat too, but bearing in mind that just 2 or 3 slices are ample for one person, it isn't too unkind for those trying to watch their weight - it works out to about 60 calories for 3 thickish slices, and that I believe is less than the weight equivalent of lean grilled steak.
I think most importantly of all, especially bearing in mind how lots of us lately are having to tighten our belts and purse strings more than usual when it comes to food shopping, Ye Olde Oak Lunch Tongue is a very reasonably priced way of the carnivores amongst us being able to take in our daily protein requirement.
I wonder if the public en masse will regain their tastes, as it was decades ago, for tongue as a palatable - actually enjoyable - way of eating meat? I would like to think so, as it truly doesn't taste at all like liver, kidneys etc.....it is rather delicious. I also wonder how many people turn their nose up at tongue, saying they hate it, when they've never even tasted it??
A good and value for money product - but, shame about the salt!
Thanks for reading.
Eyeryone enjoys a bit of tongue now and then.