“ Brand: Tesco / Type: Potato „
Potato waffles remind me very much of my childhood and give me that very homey nostalgic feeling. I always remember going to my grandmas and she'd always treat me to a meal with my favourite side - potato waffles, whilst the adults had their more sophisticated (and to me at the time boring) new potatoes or something along those lines. Similarly they have the same effect on my children as they always ask for them and leave me with nice clean plates! But with the economy being how it is, and the amount of potato waffles we go through I didn't fancy paying through the nose for something which is essentially just another form of potato so I thought I'd swap my usual branded version for Tesco's as there was a considerable price difference.
~ Price & Availability ~
Tesco's potato waffles are sold at Tesco's (state the obvious) and come in one size of 12 waffles (680g), for a mere 95p! Which works out at less than 8p a waffle! Compared to the competitive brand birds eye which would set you back £1.20 for just 4 or £1.48 for 10, so opting for Tesco's version gives you a fair saving!
Tesco's potato waffles come in a very eye catching, bright red, rectangular box. On the front of the box you will find the tesco logo in white writing and beneath this the words '12 potato waffles', with the word waffles in yellow to stand out against the red background. Below this in paler red writing it says 'delicious crispy lattice mashed potato'. Next to this there a picture of the waffles themselves topped with a fried egg as a serving suggestion and below this a very useful at a glance nutritional values table and cooking time from frozen.
The longer sides of the box have this same design repeated and the shorter sides just have the name of the product.
The back of the box gives you a full list of ingredients, Tesco's promise, cooking instructions, a full nutritional information breakdown, allergy advice and frozen guidelines.
To cook these waffles, you have two choices. You can either cook them in the oven from frozen for 15-20 minutes at 220 degrees (reduce e if you have a fan oven) or on the grill from frozen for 8-10 minutes.
I usually cook mine in the oven and find that 20 minutes cooks them perfectly, I guess it's down do your cooking preference to which method you choose. I imagine cooking them on the grill would make them crispier and it's clearly quicker than using the oven but I daren't take that chance with my grill as it's a bit a temperamental and I do still want the waffles to be edible once cooked!
~ Appearance, smell, taste & texture ~
When frozen the waffles are a very pale yellow. Each waffle is about 6x6 cm roughly and within them they have little square holes which is where they get the name 'waffle' from.
During cooking you will begin to smell the potato being baked/grilled and a slight hint of sunflower oil.
Once cooked the waffles smell to me, very much like chips which is really what they are but just bigger, squarer ones. The waffles turn a nice golden colour without them looking under or over done (baring in mind you stick to the cooking guidelines). They do not look at all greasy or smell particularly fatty or unhealthy. Cutting into one, the outside of the waffle is nice and crisp and gives a nice bite, which then reveals the light, fluffy , mashed potato inside. They are not at all dry but aren't swimming with that horrible oily taste either. The textures complement each other perfectly; having the nice crisp outer coating and the smooth velvety potato inside.
The only down side I find is that they are slightly bland and could do with slightly more seasoning, but that's not really a problem for me as I just add my own salt and sauce depending on what I'm serving them with.
~ Other information ~
Each Tesco potato waffle oven baked contains; a mere 85 calories, 0.2g of sugar, 4.4g of fat, 0.5g of saturates and 0.1g of salt. So on the calorie front these are very low and the other values really aren't that bad either!
Tesco potato waffles are cooked in sunflower oil
The potatoes they are made with are 'specially selected'
There is no information given about artificial colours or flavours which could be slightly alarming
Tesco potato waffles are suitable for vegetarians
Allergy advice: Contains wheat and gluten
Ingredients (not full list) include; potato (84%), sunflower oil, dried potato, potato starch, salt, dextrose etc.
~ Overall opinion ~
I undoubtedly would buy these again without hesitation, they leave my dinner plates clean all round, aren't too unhealthy even though they are fried (definitely a healthier alternative to chips) so I don't feel too guilty giving these to my children and don't cost the earth!
I would certainly recommend these to anybody who isn't brand loyal and wants to save some pennies without sacrificing any of the taste as me and my family can't tell the difference at all!
Tesco waffles nutritional content is actually better than Birdseye's with their waffles coming in at 105 calories instead of 85, have 1 more gram of fat compared with Tesco's (which is a considerable amount) and have a larger amount of salt coming in at 7% of your daily allowance instead of Tesco's 2%! This doesn't sound much but it's still a fair difference to those who find nutritional content important like me!
Potato Waffles make a good change from chips or French fries to eat when creating an easy to prepare meal. I hadn't eaten them for a long time but when putting together an online order with the good people at Tesco I ending up being delivered a red coloured box of 12(680g) for one pound which are incidentally the Tesco own brand variety.
Despite being an own brand version I can't imagine how a more expensive branded offering would be too much better as after all they are just mashed potato in flat squares with a lattice or criss cross pattern. In the oven these take at most about twenty minutes to cook and once taken out they are crispy and golden on the outside with hot reasonably soft mashed potato in the centre. These are probably mostly marketed towards younger ones but can obviously be enjoyed by anyone. They are ideally plated up next to other oven prepared foods like sausages, burgers, beans and spaghetti, great to give to children after school for their tea like I used to have in moderation of course. Also you can use these waffles to makes sandwiches, I have been thinking recently about placing bacon and eggs between a couple, although I imagine the egg yolk will be a nightmare dripping an leaking from the square holes in the waffles.
Each waffle contains roughly 106 calories and just over 5g of fat so eaten in moderation and not every day I really think these are a tasty and also interesting food product that are especially great for children.
I almost always cook myself and my partners meals from scratch. I believe that not only is it healthier, it is also cheaper and alongside this I enjoy cooking so it really isnt any bother to me! However, my partner works two jobs so some days he wont get in from work until 4.30 and then have to leave again by 4.45 to get to job number two! Therefore for days like this I always like to have a back up, something I know I can bung in the oven quickly ensuring he has a decent meal before he goes out to work again.
Now when I was younger we always used to have Birds Eye potato waffles. These used to be one of my favourite meals when I was a child so when recently in Tesco I thought I would pick some up. When I was browsing the frozen aisle my eyes fell on these, there were 12 waffles in a box for just 87p, the Birds Eye equivalent was £1.23 so I decided to give the Tesco ones a try as we are trying to save every penny at the moment.
The waffles come in a red cardboard box with a good sized picture of the product on. The box also tells me that the product is new and the weight of the box is 680g. Tesco describe the product as 'Delicious Crispy Lattice Mashed Potato'. Opening the box the waffles are a good size, being over 3 inches square.
Now you can cook these in a number of ways including the grill, oven and in the toaster. I always cook them in the oven or in the toaster and have found equal results from both cooking methods. Cooking them in the toaster is a brilliant way if you want a quick snack as they only take a couple of minutes. If you put the toaster on the highest setting they usually pop up crispy and golden brown, however sometimes they need to go down again for an additional 30 seconds. These are great for teens left on their own for lunch as it means they dont need to use the oven/grill but can still have something hot and filling.
So onto taste. Well I think these taste really nice and are a sound rival to their Birds Eye competitors, the coating is crispy and golden brown and the inside is mashed and soft. They taste fresh and the potato is creamy and the coating has a lovely seasoned flavour.
Now obviously these are a processed food and shouldnt be enjoyed every day, we probably have these once every two weeks and wouldnt like to enjoy them too much as I doubt theres any nutritional goodness in them! Tesco say a serving (which I assume is one waffle) contains 105 calories, trace of sugar, 5g sugar, 3g saturates and 0.2g salt. Now the saturates are quite high and one waffle contains 13% of your daily saturated fat allowance.
In conclusion I think these waffles are really nice and will be buying them again as a quick solution to dinner! They are great quality and represent really good value for money. Recommended.