* Prices may differ from that shown
So, after going for a jog at 7 in the morning and then a full day at work, somewhat miraculously, I decide I want to cook something proper for my tea.
I whiz out to Tesco and, ignoring the strange lack of any good looking staff, start filling my basket with everything that may at one point in its life resemble the ingredients to a stir fry, my flat mate frantically trying to keep up.
Ingredients acquired, I head to the sauce isle. Me being me, I begin frivolously opening anything with a screw top to see what it smells like. What? It's not like I'm dipping a finger in...well...maybe once but hey! Between checking no one heard the incredibly loud POP of the vacuum sealed jars and convincing my flatmate not to walk off, I spotted Mr Grossman sitting on a shelf. He handed this jar to me and then skipped off merrily into the night.
Completely bowled over by the smell of the stuff, which is really similar to chicken tikka, I plonked it in my basket, adding a grand £1.70 to my total and headed for the checkout, avoiding the chocolate isle with all my will power.
Upon arriving home, stupidly proud of the fact that I had bean sprouts in my kitchen for the first time, I open up the sauce (again) and dip my finger in to taste it.
Shock number one. FISH!?!??! WHAT!??!?!?
I hate fish. This sauce doesn't smell, look, talk, walk or shake its ass on the dance floor like fish but it damn well tastes like it. It is however a very mild aftertaste, so if you enjoy smelling like a fisherman's handbag (they all have them) it's all good.
Given, there were small (and I mean SMALL) clues on the bottle that it contained fish. Hidden somewhere in the list of ingredients is anchovies and shrimp paste. Grossman also prattles on about how great he is while telling you this stuff goes brill with fish and chicken. However just because it GOES well with fish doesn't mean it should CONTAIN fish. At least that's my view. There is also a small allergy advice bit that actually took me a few minutes to find that says "contains fish and mustard". Seriously though, I have quite a good attention span and I managed to miss it.
I battered on anyway, now vaguely disappointed that I hadn't bought a back up sauce. Into the pan it went with a rather watery and unsatisfying whoosh.
Shock number two. Although the lid had a nice creamy lump of sauce stuck to it, the sauce its self is pretty much the consistency of dishwater. About the same colour too.
Yet I persevered, the gorgeous aroma making my stomach growl.
When the whole lot was cooked I served it up. The glorious smell left me expecting it to pack about as much punch as you would get it you took to rimming your marguerites with cocaine, however, shock number three was about to hit me.
It would seem I could have added the same amount of flavour to my stir fry had I poured in a glass of water. Not just any water though. Fishy water. Fishy water that took a minute to let you KNOW it was fishy water.
Mr Grossman, I have to say you annoy me more each day, what with your funny spelling of your name (how dare you) and your supposedly fantabulous sauces. I suggest you maybe try tasting what you bottle.
Normally this is where I'd stick in all the boring nutritional stuff. Not on this one. Why? It would, in short, be punishment for my eyes. The print is tiny and it isn't laid out in a neat little table, its bunched together in a running list. Confusing much.
The one good thing about this is, it makes you feel posh when you buy it. Its got Loyd Blooming Grossman on the front smiling like a berk, how can you NOT feel posh when ringing this through with your bean sprouts and this months issue of Attitude??
In short, this stuff was, I feel, a waste of my time, money, effort, burnt tongue (I dove into my plate a little too soon) and petrol. I now half a bag of bean sprouts I'm never going to use and breath that would not be out of place on a monster made entirely of fish guts. Now if you will excuse me, I'm off to drink some mouthwash.
Gently spiced, creamy curry sauce for seafood, chicken, fish or vegetables.