“ Brand: Young's / Type: Fish „
I used to love these seafood sticks but a couple of years ago I saw a programme ( Sky - How it's Made) & it really put me off! However, when I saw some today In Tesco I realised how much I'd missed them & decided if I saw how everything I ate was made I'd probably never eat anything ever again lol!
I found them in the chilled section & they are packed in a smart cardboard sleeve which is clearly marked 'no artificial colours' & 'less than 2% fat'. It's also marked as being 'responsibly sourced' & has a website - www.youngseafood.co.uk which has their conservation policy plus fish recipe ideas.
Unlike many products the ingredients & nutritional information is clear & easy to read. Each stick contains only 15 calories & 0.2g of fat so I feel I can pretty much stuff my face with these without feeling guilty.
Once the sleeve is removed the bright pink & white sticks can be seen through the thick heat-sealed plastic. I had to use scissors to cut through this plastic (good to know if you're out & about/ on a picnic etc) & once removed you'll see that each one is individually wrapped in cellophane.
I'd say each one is slightly smaller than a fish finger & they certainly smell & taste fishy. Although the product contains white fish there's a definite taste of the crab flavouring & extract.
The texture is good too as they don't fall apart when you handle them as some cheaper ones do yet if you're cooking with them or preparing dishes they are easy enough to slice, chop or shape ( I made a fake sushi with 2 or 3 of them). However I think they're nice on their own as well as in salads & baguettes etc.
If you are a 'true' fish-lover then I wouldn't really recommend them but if, like me, you like the idea of something a bit fishy, quick, versatile, cheap & which require no cooking, then these are well worth a try.
As a source of protein I reckon £1 for 16 sticks is good value but beware they contain crustaceans, egg, fish, gluten, milk, soya, wheat & yeast - so not good for those with allegies I'm sorry to say.
I use loads of Youngs fish products but didn't know they made their own seafood sticks, when I was looking for prawns that didn't cost a zillion pounds in Tesco the other day I noticed they had the packs of 16 Seafood Sticks for 99p so I got a pack because I haven't had them for ages and think they're delish!
They come in a cardboard sleeve and the seafood sticks are all kind of shoved together in a thick plastic wrapper. They are also all individually wrapped in crinkly plastic. They look nice against you've took them out of the main wrapper and given them a minute to spread out a bit, the red top of them is quite vibrant and the seafood sticks look lovely and fresh.
They've got a delish flavour, kind of like crab and just FISHY if you know what I mean! It's mega hard to describe! lol All I can say is that the flavour is the same as most other seafood sticks and actually a bit better than some I've tried recently.
The only bad point about these is that they're very dry, I ended up putting these into a container with a bit of vinegar sprinkled over them just to give them a bit of moisture. They're not that dry that they feel off or anything like that it's just that they do feel like they should be a bit wetter.
I just eat these on their own so can't tell you anything about how they are with other food. I sometimes put seafood sticks in crabmeat and sweetcorn soup but I haven't made any of the soup for ages so didn't use these Youngs seafood sticks for that. I reckon they'd probably be wicked in that actually because the soup would mean the seafood sticks wouldn't be dry! lol
PRICE: 95p for 220g = 16 sticks (from my local Sainsburys)
NUTRITIONAL INFORMATION (per 100g):
(of which sugars): 3.9g
(of which saturates): 0.3g
(of which trans): NIL
(equivalent as salt): 2.0g
Crab extract, crab, E635, soya protein, egg white powder, cochineal, lactose, paprika extract
Contains gluten, wheat, crustaceans, eggs, fish, milk, soya/soybeans, yeast
Free from artificial colours
Though I appreciate that a lot of people don't like them, I am partial to a good crabstick now and again. I find they make a good salad, good sandwiches, and they are something which I enjoy as they are, straight from the packet.
I've tried many different brands of crabstick/seafood sticks over the years, but it wasn't until recently that I dipped my toe into the water of sampling the Young's variety. Hoping these sticks would be up to the standard of what I overall expect from Young's, I performed the crucial taste test.
Young's Seafood Sticks are to be found in the deep freeze department, and come in a bag which is very similar in design to their other products - the standard blue and white plastic bag - with a picture of a few crabsticks nestling amongst some lettuce leaves on the front. The rear of the pack shows nutritional information, ingredients, allergy/dietary advice, storage/freezing/defrosting instructions and Young's usual quality claim.
Inside the plastic bag, the sticks are individually packed in little thin tubes made of the same material as the serve-yourself vegetable bags found in most supermarkets. They are easy to undo in order to get to the sticks inside, but I find the process of undoing each one rather laborious - this isn't peculiar to Young's though, as it's across the board standard packaging for crab/seafood sticks.
Each stick is about 4" long, having the appearance of a block of blackboard chalk as regards the shape. The flesh is basically white, with cochineal providing the rather vivid pink colouring across the upper surface of each stick. To look at the ends of each stick, it appears that the fish is very tightly rolled rather than being compressed flakes.
There is a reasonably strong crab smell which emanates when all the packaging is removed, and it's an authentic, rather than a manufactured smell.
On sampling, the flesh feels rather spongy and is far less firm than other brands of seafood stick. They felt rather strange in my mouth....pappy and floppy, which I wasn't too keen on as I prefer a firmer consistency. I felt as though, just from the texture, I had globs of fat from meat in my mouth and I found the experience rather unpleasant.
The taste though was fine - a nice, fairly sweet and reasonably authentic crab flavour. I tried to ignore the unpleasantness of the consistency, as I enjoyed the lovely crabby, fishy taste - finding it refreshing and moreish.
Crabsticks/seafood sticks for me are a good thing to keep a stock of in the fridge or freezer, as I find them a very satisfying and tasty snack which isn't too high in calories, has good protein content and is very low in fat. The only complaint I have as regards the ingredients, is the use of cochineal for colouring purposes, but crabsticks/seafood sticks aren't by any means the only example of the use of cochineal.
The price is very reasonable and when using for meals or sandwiches rather than solo as a snack, one packet will easily serve two adult appetites. The outcome is a nice cheap way of having a good intake of protein without all the trappings of high fat and an overdose of calories.
If you try these and find the consistency/texture a little dubious as I did, it might be that another brand of crabsticks/seafood sticks may be more suitable for you.
Though the taste of Young's Seafood Sticks is fine and I have no problem at all in that area, I don't think I'll be in a hurry to buy them again because of the rather dubious consistency. I shall quite likely concentrate on brands that I know are firmer and don't have that floppy, gloopy feel to them.
Thanks for reading!