“ Brand: Ginsters / Type: Chicken „
I find pasty's a real proper comfort food for those winter evenings when you need something piping hot and utterly tasty, that's usually when I turn to ginsters. MOST of their products are gorgeous and represent proper Cornish pasty's that we can't really get where I'm from. So when I was shuffling down the pie isle at my local Tesco supermarket I eye spied these ginsters chicken and bacon Cornish pasty's on offer and thought they would be a nice hearty dinner for one night in the week; that night was indeed tonight. I had never tried this flavour before, I usually go for the traditional pasty concoction of beef and potato, however I'm always open to a bit of a change!
~ About Ginsters ~
Ginsters make an extensive range of convenient, fresh foods. All of ginsters products are properly filled, using quality British ingredients and bursting with Cornish flavour. Ginsters ingredients are always fresh, sourced from local farmers and suppliers wherever possible. Ginsters make a variety of products including pasty's, hot pies, slices, sandwiches, wraps and savouries such as sausage rolls and pork pies.
~ Product and availability ~
As far as I know, ginsters chicken and bacon pastys are available all of time, even though dooyoo says their a special edition. They are available from most large supermarkets and many smaller shops sell the other more popular varieties. They are priced at around £1.69 for one pasty; other varieties are available in packs of four and two however I haven't seen this particular variety in either. I think £1.69 is a bit steep for a pasty although they are a decent size, I don't tend to buy these when they are full price as they can often be found on some sort of offer which makes them a bit more respectable price wise.
~ Packaging ~
Ginsters chicken and bacon pasty's come in a black, thick, good quality wrapper. On the front you will find a picture of the golden pasty broken in half to reveal a gorgeous looking deep-filled pie with plenty of meat. The ginsters logo in clear and printed on a red oval to make it stand out. Underneath this you will find the name of the product printed in a brown font. There is also a product description on the front; fresh British roast chicken and bacon with fresh potato and spring onions packed in light puff pastry. On the back of the packet you will find a full nutritional table, ingredients list, allergy information, heating instructions, freezing instructions and contact details. Inside the packaging the pasty is kept in a sleeve of cardboard to protect it from getting squashed.
~ Cooking ~
To cook you can simply place in the oven for 15 minutes at 180 degrees or microwave for 1 minute 30 seconds from chilled, from frozen you pop it in the oven for 25 minutes. Of course you can eat this cold as well if you prefer.
~ Apperance, smell, taste & Texture ~
Well, opening the packet I was greeted with the familiar sight of a very decent sized golden, flaky - looking, half-moon shaped pasty, which made me think this was going to be just as good as my traditional ginsters pasty...boy was I wrong! Whilst cooking I didn't get a waft of cooking meat pie, in fact I couldn't smell anything, but I thought to myself, not to worry its probably because chicken and bacon don't smell as strong as beef. Taking it out of the oven it looked as it should, nice and puffed up, slightly shiny and piping hot. Cutting it open was a different story. It cut nicely and the pastry flaked away but looking at the pasty, it was less than half full! Where was the lovely packed meaty filling of chicken and bacon? All I could see was chunks of potato and slices of onion. Now, if I had bought a potato and onion pie this would have been great, however I hadn't. Taking a closer look I could see a sparse number of chicken chunks which were nice and white and tender but there wasn't enough of them to get a proper taste! Then I played hunt down the bacon and I found TWO PIECES, (yes I did count them for review purposes only!). TWO PIECES!!! They weren't even nice pieces, they were extremely chewy and stringy. The potato was lovely and chunky and extremely plentiful, however it just overtook the whole objective of the pasty which was supposed to be chicken and bacon! I could see little pieces of seasoning but that was pretty mediocre really. Thankfully the pastry was bloomin' lovely and was the best bit of the pasty, if it wasn't for that I doubt I would have actually finished it. The pastry was lovely and flaky and crumbly on top which melts in the mouth and nice and tender and soft on the bottom, just how I like it. If you prefer a crispier bottom I would suggest cooking for a little longer.
~ Other information ~
Each pasty provides you with 458 calories, 2.5g of sugars, 29.0g of fat, 13.0g of saturates and 1.84g of salt. The calories are no surprise as most of ginsters products are naturally high in calories, afterall it is a pasty! But, the shocking amount of fat, sugar and salt is a bit scary. I would understand if it was packed full of luscious pieces of bacon but it's not, so where does all the salt come from?
Ginsters chicken and bacon pasty's contain milk, wheat, gluten and egg.
Each pasty weighs 180g.
The first few ingredients are as follows; potato (NEVER?!), wheat flour, vegetable oil, British roast chicken (12 %) WHAT?!, milk, spring onion, British sweet cure smoked flavoured bacon (2.5 %) sounds about right..., corn flour, egg salt and butter along with a huge long list of other things.
~ Over all opinion ~
I'm really disappointed with this product, it's from a brand that I would usually trust 100 % but this has made me think twice before perhaps purchasing a ginsters product I am not experienced with. I guess the good sides to it are that it's very convenient for a quick snack/lunch as it can be eaten cold or heated quickly in the microwave and the pastry is of a very good standard. But there are many things that need improving before I will be buying it again, it needs more bacon, more chicken and generally more filling full stop! Minus all the potato. They are also pretty bad for you so wouldn't recommend eating these on a regular basis, not that you would want to anyway unless you want a half empty pasty. I wouldn't recommend ginsters chicken and bacon pasty, its not worth the price or the amount of fat, calories and salt. Although I would strongly recommend giving the traditional pasty a go if you're looking for a convenient snack or warming dinner as I have had renowned success with the original beef.
I give ginsters chicken and bacon pasty 1/5 stars, the one star being awarded for the good quality pastry.
Last night feeling in the need of something different and desperately wanting to stray from the diet, we went to Asda. We wanted something to go along with chips and spotted this Ginsters Chicken and Bacon pasty. As we'd previously experienced their 'honest food' and found it to be filling and delicious, we bought 2. They base this claim on their use of sole British meat in their products. Their recent 3.5 million advertising campaign has a scarecrow keeping an eye on the local ingredients, implying the products are not tampered with. The fact that they were on offer also swayed our opinion, and at £1 per slice, we couldn't complain (they are usually sold at £1.59, which does seem exorbitant, considering how it doesn't do what's said on the tin).
As a company, they are based in Cornwall and have been going strong for 40 years. They specialise in pasties, pies, sausage rolls and other savoury titbits. I have seen these on display in many petrol stations, serving as a quick convenience meal.
Being a forerunner when it comes to the field of pasties & pies, Ginsters do their fair share of sponsoring. Plymouth Argyle F.C and Launceston Rugby Club are supported by the company. In order to gain publicity, in 2003, Ginsters joined the Kit Kat campaign to get people to take a break - the idea behind it was to give people a more nutritional and filling lunch (but i beg to differ).
The packaging was distinctively Ginsters, with the black background, the red label and the image of the delights stored inside. The actual golden semi circular pasty came on a little cardboard tray. The smell of the pasty made my stomach cry out in hunger as it could foresee that it would soon be satisfied.
We followed the instructions and heated the pasty's in the microwave (you can also heat it in the oven, but due to my stomach gnawing itself, opted for the quicker option). They were blasted with heat on full power for 1 minute and 30 seconds and left to stand for a further minute. Having high expectations, we began tucking in.
My initial reaction when I opened the packaging was that it looked very appetising. Had i been more ravenous, i would have finished it off there and then - luckily i waited. Once i'd made an incision into the pasty and saw the delights, i was quickly turned off. The colour of the ingredients was bland and did not look fit for consumption. Like i've mentioned, we had the accompaniment of chips, so, having squirted some Heinz sauce over the pasty, it was made more edible.
The light puff pastry, I can't fault, it lived up expectations, it was crisp, buttery, flaky and light. However, the main ingredient was sliced potato's and onions! Having looked at the list of ingredients (afterwards), we did notice that potato came first and foremost, meaning that that was the main ingredient. I found this to be deceptive and very disappointing. I discovered one minute piece of chicken in mine and a tiny pigs ear (the bacon). Now, considering the claim that this is a Chicken & Bacon pasty, is it such a big deal to ask that there be chicken and bacon in there. I know times are tough, what with the recession etc, but seriously!?!?! To be honest, I won't be buying this particular item again, and may also reconsider their other products, as this was definitely not 'honest' in my opinion.
The ingredients are as follows:
Potato, Wheatflour, Vegetable Oil, British Roast Chicken (12%), Semi Skimmed Milk, Spring Onion (3%), Onion, Sweetcure Smoked Flavour Bacon (2.5%), Cornflour, Egg, Salt, Butter, Chicken Bouillon, White Pepper.
Roast Chicken Contains: Chicken, Cornflour, Salt, Water.
Sweetcure Smoked Flavour Bacon Contains: Pork Belly, Invert Sugar Syrup, Salt, Smoke Flavouring, Preservative: Sodium Nitrite.
Chicken Bouillon Contains: Natural Flavouring, Salt, Chicken Powder, Chicken Fat.
Contains Gluten, Wheat, Wheatflour, Eggs & Milk
Nutrient per 100g per 180g (pasty)
Energy kCal 254 kCal 458 kCal
Energy kJ 1,061 kJ 1,910 kJ
Protein 8.0 G 14.5 g
Carbohydrate 19.3 G 34.7 g
of which sugars 1.4 G 2.5 g
Fat 16.1 G 29.0 g
of which saturates 7.2 G 13.0 g
Fibre 2.8 G 5.1 g
Sodium 0.40 G 0.72 g
Salt Equivalent 1.02 G 1.84 g
The statements made on the packaging, of 'wholesome, satisfying food' are, in my eyes far from the truth. From now on, i think i'll stick to my Pukka Pies!
As a bit of an aside, James Edwards has created a Facebook page - if i can get 10,000 followers, will Ginsters make me a 30th birthday pasty? Clearly someone who hasn't had the pleasure of this potato & onion pasty!
Thank you for reading.
Today, in between classes, I found myself feeling really really hungry as I had not had time for breakfast, which I have come to love of late. So I wandered down to the university shop to see what was on offer. They have a massive range of Ginsters products and this limited edition pasty caught my eye; chicken and bacon. It was priced at £1.99 which in my opinion is pretty steep for a pasty but I was desperate so just bought it. The student shop is quite reasonably priced and so I can't imagine the price differing too much in other places.
The packaging is exactly as described above and the pasty is sat in a cardboard tray when you open it. On the back it described the pasty as "British roast chicken with sweetcure smoke flavoured bacon and spring onions with vegetables wrapped in a light puff pastry"; a description well written enough to make any mouth water, am I right?
The nutritional information per 180g pasty is as follows:
Calories - 458
Protein - 14.5g
Carbohydrates - 34.7g
Fat - 29g
Fibre - 5.1g
It doesn't include percentages of RDA on the packet unfortunately. It also includes cooking times if you wish to heat up your pasty: 1min30 in an 800W microwave and 15 minutes from chilled at 180 degrees in the oven and 25 minutes if it is frozen. Given that I was at uni, it was cold or nothing and I quite enjoy cold pasties.
On opening the packet you are hit by a tantalisingly smoky smell. It really does make your stomach rumble! The pastry looks golden and it is a traditional semi circle pasty shape. The filling, it has to be said, was not delicious. It tasted of an artificial smoked flavour and it was full to the brim with thin square slices of potato and onion. Everything inside the pasty looked pale and unappetising, completely. It was all the same colour. Nevertheless I ploughed through the pasty as I really was starving, and to review it I had to give it a fair chance. I can honestly say that there was perhaps 1 small piece of chicken that I came across in the entire pasty. There was the occasional microscopic piece of bacon but I'm talking tiny, tiny pieces.The pastry was probably the best bit and even then I have tasted better pastry on own brand economic pasties and suchlike. I was less than impressed to say the least.
The one good thing about it? it stopped me feeling hungry for maybe 2 hours, but a proper meal would have done the same for longer. In fact, a packet of crisps would have probably filled me up for longer. It was enough to get me through my class test though, thankfully.
I can honestly say I wouldn't recommend this to a single person unless you want to knowingly pay almost £2 for a pastry full of poor quality potato.....