“ Brand:Grassington's / Type: Other Ready Meals „
When I was little we always had a lot of these at our house and they were one of my favourite vegi things (I'm talking mid 90s)
For a while they went out of production but a couple of years ago they started to re-appear in supermarket freezers, the recipe sounded the same; cauliflower and green beans in a cheesy sauce encased in breadcrumbs...so I was hopeful they'd taste the same as always.
The description "tender cauliflower florets, mature cheddar cheese with spring onion and green beans in a light crisp crumb" sounds mouthwateringly good.
Sadly they don't taste mouthwatering! The cauliflower used to be really tasty and flavoursome, now it's so mild you can hardly taste it and only apparent in TINY pieces so you don't get to chew it.
The sauce that is meant to be cheese is more like a white sauce; it has no flavour at all.
The green beans are visible every now and then but again there is no real
flavour to them and they are very small.
The whole of the filling is like a slightly cauliflower flavoured mush with no obvious difference between the 3 fillings.
The breadcrumbs on the outside used to be very crispy and crunchy, golden brown when cooked but now however long you leave it in the oven it still has a soggy texture to it and doesn't brown.
I have bought them more than once in the past few years especially when
the box told me 'new, improved recipe' and I hoped for the old ones back but to no luck so far.
Each Grill contains 157 calories and 4.6g of fat, this isn't bad as they are big and you'll only need one with your potatoes and veg to make a filling (if bland) meal.
A box of 4 is available for around £1.60 in most Supermarkets, definitely Sainsburys.
If you have never tried the 'old school' cauliflower cheese grills you might be
happy with this offering but if you have then don't even bother buying a box of these and save yourself the dissapointment.
Please Grassingtons, start using the old recipe again and bring back one of my favourites!!
The crumb on these grills totally overpowered the taste of whatever was inside them. I could not taste the inside at all, and certainly did not detect any cauliflower. I did find some green beans. The crumb took on a texture not unlike cornmeal and when grilled, became very dry. I found the experience of eating them disappointing and, most of all unpleasant. I will throw out the ones I have left as I cannot see anyone wanting to eat these and enjoy them. I will not give them any stars at all. It serves me right for being lazy and not cooking a decent meal. When I went to enter this review it seems that I have to give it a star but If I had the choice .... nil points.
COST: (Sainsbury's @ 13.11.08) = £1.69 for 4 grills
NUTRITIONAL INFORMATION (per individual grill):
- of which sugars: 3.4g
- of which saturates: 1.6g
Cauliflower, water, wheat flour, wheat starch, salt, breadcrumbs, turmeric extract, paprika extract, plain caramel, potato, vegetarian mature cheddar cheese, onion, green beans, spring onion, dried potato, pea fibre, seasoning, milk sugar, vegetarian cheese powder, maize starch, dextrose, yeast powder, autolysed yeast powder, mustard, citric acid, celery, onion powder, wheat protein
Suitable for vegetarians
May contain nuts
Free from artificial flavours
Free from artificial preservatives
PRODUCT DESCRIPTION ON PACK:
Tender cauliflower florets, mature cheddar cheese with spring onion and green beans in a light crisp crumb
Until very recently, Grassington's Cauliflower Cheese Grills came in a pack as shown in the above photo, but they have changed it and I'm not sure when the change happened - would have been in the last couple of months, at the most.
The front of the new style pack is white on top, with a strange green square-ish shape bearing the word Grassington in white letters, and to the right of that are the words "4 cauliflower cheese grills" in green lettering, with a brief description of the product in smaller letters underneath. The bottom half of the box is divided into two sections - the left-hand section is an image of a man and a child playing in a field with the basic product nutritional information underneath, and the right-hand side shows an image of a plate with a serving of 2 cauliflower cheese grills and a small selection of vegetables. A thin green strip above these two images states that each grill has 157 calories, and less than 5% fat.
The back of the box is largely white, and shows all the detailed nutritional information, ingredients, cooking instructions, manufacturer's details, and basic daily nutritional requirements for adults. It also states that the packaging is recyclable, and gives allergy warnings (as stated further up in this article under "Dietary Information").
I have been eating cauliflower cheese grills for a long time on a regular basis, but a different brand to Grassingtons. The brand I used to eat and greatly enjoy went out of production, so I had to give Grassingtons a try.
Grassingtons Cauliflower Cheese grills can be grilled or oven baked, and it is recommended that the product be cooked from frozen. I personally find I prefer them oven baked, as to me they burn very easily when grilling - the outer breadcrumb coating can cook too fast, leaving the inside sometimes still frozen. I have experimented with different cooking times and had the grill during the cooking time set at different levels, but I still found the breadcrumbs would cook far too quickly.
These cauliflower cheese grills are a little thinner than my old and now defunct brand, plus they don't look quite so appetising when removed from the box. The breadcrumb coating is a strange, tired yellowish colour, which seems lack-lustre and droopy somehow.....if a colour can be thought of as droopy (well, lol I know what I mean).
Though my old brand used to smell delicious bubbling away under the grill or in the oven, I find the Grassingtons brand give off very little aroma...in fact, there is no distinguishable cooking smell at all.
Once cooked, these grills seem to look even more dead than they do when raw, and when plonked on the plate, I can almost hear them sighing. The breadcrumb coating goes rather dry, and their cooked appearance is even more tired-looking than when first removed from the box. To keep referring to my previous brand, as I miss them so much, they used to bubble and sizzle, would turn a lovely shade of golden brown, and added an attractiveness to whatever was accompanying them on the plate. The Grassington ones I'm afraid don't look in the slightest appetising or inspiring.
As I constantly seem to keep repeating though, the proof of the pudding is in the eating. If you cut into a Grassingtons Cauliflower Cheese Grill, instead of being met with a scrumptious-looking bubble of melted cheese, little white cauliflower florets, potato, moist pieces of onion and succulent strips of green bean, what you will find is a rather stiff pale yellow-coloured gunge that strongly resembles lumpy pease pudding. That in itself is enough to put me off, as I hate pease pudding.
Once inside my mouth and chewing on the gunge, I notice that the breadcrumb coating is unpleasantly hard, and has a cardboard-ish taste that I don't find at all appealing. The middle tastes nothing like cauliflower, nothing like cheese, nothing like onion, nothing like potato and nothing like runner beans....so, what does it taste like? Nothing! The inside of my much-missed brand was cheesy, with noticeable little florets of cauliflower, well-formed little chunks of onion, smooth mashed potato and succulent little pieces of runner bean.
There is no comparison really - I occasionally buy Grassingtons Cauliflower Cheese Grills - like say once a year - because they are a very good source of protein, and despite how it seems, I'm not a great meat eater....but, I used to eat my old and much missed brand at least 2 or 3 times a week.
In their favour, I will say that Grassingtons have produced a cauliflower cheese grill that is lower in calories and fat than my previous variety, but it seems that taste and consistency have been compromised in order to keep the product just marginally healthy.....but despite the overall "low fat" claims, they still do have a high fat content - less than 5% doesn't sound much when you say it quickly, but each grill has a stonking 4.6g of the stuff, but that's still lower than my previous brand. Grassingtons do have the advantage of being a fair bit cheaper than my old brand, and.....it shows!!
Though Grassingtons Cauliflower Cheese Grills aren't the worst food I've ever tasted in my life, they certainly aren't the best. I personally would prefer to pay more and maybe have a higher fat and calorie content and enjoy what I'm eating - so, it's thumbs halfway down to Grassingtons. If the recipe for these grills was tweaked slightly, like perhaps using a better cheese/cauliflower ratio plus making the breadcrumb coating much more palatable, this could be a five-star product....but as it stands, I'm afraid it only gets 2 stars from me.
Thanks for reading.
Following my tale of woe regarding Tesco Meat Free Cauliflower Cheese Grills, things got worse. I often had to start grilling a second due to the first falling to an irrecoverable mess beneath the grill grid, and so I was prompted to act: I began a search for other brands.
The search was easier than I had initially expected, for this same product was available in every supermarket even if under a different guise. I was going to try Asda's version, but, with the use of mysupermarket, I found that Sainsburys was offering these at a price that, at the time, was beating the rest. I found a few other reasons to head off to the store and did so, picking up two packets of Grassington's Cauliflower Cheese Grills while there.
Upon inspection, I was much relieved to find that online data regarding this product had been out of date and it was clear that, over time, it had become quite a bit healthier than it was originally (with its new "improved recipe", allegedly). My determination not to like them merely for this reason was shoved away and I glanced at them in utter neutrality, or, perhaps more than that, as I opened the packet to find a rather appealing set of breadcrumbs. I'm not sure if it's an observation unique to myself through ignorance of variety, but I really did find the breadcrumbs interesting: they were not 'normal' breadcrumbs and pale in colour, but rather a neat, dark brown. This was enough to convince me of my liking them, for I'm easily swayed.
But what was the nutritional information? I sped off that point for some bizarre reason, but it is one that deserves attention. Each grill contains 157 calories, 3.4g of sugar, 4.6g of fat, 1.5g of saturated fat and 0.9g of salt. I don't consider this all too bad, myself, though it isn't much of a point of interest for me: there's little variation between the brands, and Grassington's version is much the same as Tesco's as far as nutrition goes.
Only because of past experience with the dreaded Tesco grill, I feel compelled to mention that this grilled exceptionally well and without the collapsing into ruins I had prior become accustomed to. This wasn't the only difference, though: the taste was also different. I supposed I dug in with the idea that it would be much the same, but it wasn't so; and, although I wouldn't call myself disappointed, it did lack a certain crunch. I daresay there was no crunch, contrary to what the breadcrumbs had had me believe. The grill was done well, so this was not the issue; I suppose it was just not the texture they had aimed for.
It was a nice texture, regardless of the above, which I somewhat cruelly regard as a fault. A grill contains mature cheddar cheese, cauliflower florets, spring onions and green beans. Again I lack the knowledge to identify which is which in regards to the resultant mixture, but I do like coming across what I assume are the green beans, and detest coming across the same solid blocks I encountered in Tesco's own. Once more the onion is my guess (or, now that I look at their website, perhaps it's the cauliflower? It does describe it as containing "chunky cauliflower florets"...). They're less impenetrable, but still off putting, and I still remain dutifully picking them out. If I disregard these chunks (which, I may add, are of a more natural shape than the cubes of Tesco's), the texture is not overly soft, but chewy. It's, well, what can I say? It's nice.
At the time of writing, these grills are on offer at Sainsburys with a two for £2 deal, which I have to say is an utter bargain with the usual four in a pack.