“ Brand: Iceland / Type: Other Ready Meals „
During a recent shopping trip to Iceland, I came across these Stuffed Peppers for only £1 and decided to give them a go. Normally I stick to standard frozen products from Iceland, and I'm always happy with the quality - chips, veg, ice lollies, and things like veggie burgers and pastry slices. But when I saw these I thought they might be a good thing to have in the freezer. I often make my own stuffed peppers, but I thought I would be good to have something interesting like this in the freezer for those days when I can't be bothered cooking.
The pack contains two half peppers, one red and one yellow. The filling is described as "Mediterranean style vegetables and rice". Sounds similar to what I would make myself, so I thought this would be tasty enough.
Preparation is easy. Take the peppers out of the packaging straight from the freezer, and put them in the oven. I put them into a low sided ceramic lasagne type dish, as I expected there would be juices coming off and I prefer not to cook things like that in my oven trays. The peppers should be cooked for 25-28 minutes in the oven, and I think I left mine in for about 30 minutes.
When I removed them from they oven, aside from not being obviously frozen anymore, I thought they looked more or less exactly as they had when I put them in. Not a very encouraging start, but nevertheless I put them on my plate. I noticed that I had been right in expecting there to be juices, but it was just slightly yellowish water, not thicker juices as I had expected. Again, not very encouraging.
I sat down to eat my meal, looking forward to my peppers. Being frozen and only £1, I wasn't expecting them to be as good as my homemade ones, but I thought it would be a tasty meal. Oh how wrong I was...
The first wasn't too bad. It was mostly pepper (yellow), and a little of the filling. It was bland, but not unpleasant. I did notice as I cut into the pepper that a lot more watery stuff came pouring out to flood my plate. I carried on eating. The second bite tasted a little odd, and by the third I was wondering what on earth was going on. The filling was horrible! There was a slightly spicy flavour which I can't put my finger on, and the vegetables (and a few grains of rice) were slimy and stringy. I ate half the yellow pepper, and just couldn't face anymore. I had a small taste of the filling from the red one, just to check, and it was just as unpleasant. I threw the whole red pepper and half of the yellow one in the bin.
I've since pored over the ingredients list, and I'm still not sure what that flavour was. The only odd ingredient in the main list is pineapple (I don't like pineapple but it wasn't that I tasted - anyway, what's pineapple doing in a Mediterranean veg stuffing???). I think the culprit must be in the "Mediterranean Style Seasoning" - most of it seems straightforward, but I think it must be the combination of all the ingredients and flavours. The main flavours were tomato powder, sweet basil, garlic powder, onion powder, soya sauce powder, paprika and parsley.
I can state quite categorically that I won't be buying these again, they were foul. I'm really disappointed, because I was looking forward to them and also because I have a high opinion of Iceland. I would strongly advise that if you notice these while in Iceland, don't be tempted by a fancy but easy frozen meal - these peppers are not nice at all.