Product Type: Linda McCartney Ready Meals
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Linda McCartney Cheese, Leek & Red Onion Lattice
Member Name: ryeb
Linda McCartney Cheese, Leek & Red Onion Lattice
Date: 24/09/12, updated on 26/09/12 (122 review reads)
Advantages: Nice pastry, plenting of filling
Disadvantages: Very very high fat content, cheese doesn't taste mature, not enough onion for me
I like the taste combination of cheese and onion, so the Linda McCartney cheese, leek,and red onion plaits was a vegetarian food I was really lookimg forward to trying. I decided to do so when they were on special offer in Sainsburys, cosying £1 rather than £1.89 for two. [340g total weight] I am glad I tried them at a reduced price because at the full one I don't think they are fantastic value..
The plaits are described as a "Delicious blend of mature cheddar and mozzarella cheese, potato, leek,and red onion in a light pastry lattice." Being frozen they do have to be cooked before use, but once you have they can be eaten hot or cold. I like this versatility because I think the majority of pastry products taste best hot, but I also like them cold with salads or as part of a picnic. As I bought two packs of two, I could try these plaits both ways. Being frozen also gives them a longer "shelflife" than a chilled pastry would have, which is useful. They come in a simple cardboard box, so it is easy to open and slide out just one, and keep the other frozen until you want it.
Once I had removed the packet, I was a bit surprised to see how small each plait looked. They do seem to appear bigger in the picture on the front of the box, but perhaps that is because it is in extreme close up. Apart from that, I liked the appearance of the pastries. The plaited top is loosely done so you can see plenty of filling inside. I thought this open texture may result in the contents spilling out while they were baking but the pastry expands to close most of the gaps and this is only a small problem. Cooking takes 25 minutes, and by that time they looked puffed up and crispy. They also smell satisfyingly cheesy.
On breaking one open, I was pleased to see the cheese had melted well and looked deliciously gooey. I had high expectations of the flavour because the cheddar used is described as mature and there seemed to be plenty of it. I couldn't see much red onion, or leek for that matter but I thought that was fine as they also have a strong flavour and a little can go a long way. Unfortunately, I found the actual taste rather boring. There was nothing horrible about it, but the cheese seemed very mild to me, and I could scarcely tell there was any leek or onion there. I It could have been so much nicer considering what good taste partners the ingredients are. The filling is soft and creamy which makes for a nice contrast with the crispy pastry, and I did like the fact the plait's base was also well cooked rather than soggy. However, taste is the most important thing, and that was disappointing. I actually prefered these cold, which is the opposite to how I usually feel. The pastry kept it's texture well, and the cheese taste seemed to come through a bit more strongly. I enjoyed eating one as a snack, but I don't feel they are substantial enough to qualify as the chief part of a main meal. On their own, one kept my hunger pains away for a few hours but that's all. That is a shame because the very high fat content means that having two would actually exceed your daily recommended RDA of saturated fat. [Each plait has 76% of your RDA alone!] I am not very happy about the salt levels being 1.0g per plait either.
It is easy to find similar vegetarian pastries, even outside of special veggie areas in the supermarket, usually in the chiller cabinets. They tend to be cheaper than these Linda McCartney ones, and I am afraid to say that they taste nicer too. The plaits have one of the worst fat contents I have seen in similar products, and for this reason they would have to have been very delicious to tempt me to eat them again. As they aren't, I won't re-purchase even if they are on offer.
Summary: A o.k but not very exciting pastry, that is also very high in fat.
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