“ Brand: Hovis / Type: Bread „
Times are hard, and like many others here I suspect, one of the first ways in which we have been cutting household costs is in buying cheaper bread. As regards consumables, my wife and I probably buy this more than any other foodstuff. Where would we be without a quickly-done slice or two of toast and marmalade in the mornings, or a hastily-made round of sandwiches to take into work for lunch, and so on? But there's a limit to the number of times you can (or make that 'should') be grabbing a cheap and, ahem, cheerful but terminally tasteless sliced loaf of white at the Co-op for 56p or so.
Allow me to present to you the Hovis Wholemeal Medium Bread, or to quote all that it says on the loaf-shaped logo in the centre of the bag, 'Hovis Best of Both Medium, Great taste more naturally, no artificial preservatives'. (Well, if you were designing a bag of bread, you would hardly come over all modest about it, if you really wanted to keep your job). Wild claims? Let's see.
For a price of £1 or so, you end up with 750g worth of bread, and twenty slices of what I would describe as medium thickness, including both crusts. I'm one of those possibly strange people who will cheerfully eat the crusts, which sets me at odds with my wife and her family who seem to regard them as part of the packaging and more often than not put them in the bin if I'm foolish enough not to help myself to them first.
I was one of the generation who was brought up to believe that Hovis was synonymous with brown, and we rarely if ever had white bread in the house while I was growing up. Hovis and wholemeal bread, we were assured, were good for you. While I don't object to decent white bread, I've never lost my taste for Hovis and wholemeal. It has been around since around 1890 when Richard Smith, a miller, believing that wheatgerm was good for you, and went into business with a partner to produce 'Smiths Patent Process Germ Flour', which was later named Hovis. (Rolls off the tongue more easily). So it has stood the test of time. The brand, that is, not the loaf I'm reviewing (which would have cost much less than £1, but that's another story).
Now, at the risk of cheating by padding this review out - smack my wrist in cyberspace if you must - comes the nutritional information. Each 38g slice contains:
* Energy 369 Kj/87 kcal
* Protein 3.8g
* Carbohydrate 15.2g, of which sugars 1.5g
* Fat 0.8g, of which saturates 0.2g
* Fibre 1.9g
* Sodium 0.13g
* Equivalent as salt 0.32g
* Calcium 191mg (24% GDA)
For the benefit of those of you with any allergies, it does contain wheat, gluten and soya.
As a part of the good old staple bread and butter, it tastes pleasant. Arguably, with just butter or margarine spread on top, it may be a little bland for some tastes. But if used for toast or sandwiches, it does the job very well. I'm one of those people who will cheerfully spread more or less anything on toast, though marmalade, crunchy peanut butter and marmite tend to be my favourites. As for sandwiches, the world is your oyster - cheese and pickle, ham and mustard, marmite and lettuce, tomato and lettuce, sausage and tomato sauce, to begin with. Hovis is pretty accommodating to the whole lot.
On balance I find that this tends to stay fresh a little longer than white bread. We have an Aga on 24/7 all the year round, so our kitchen tends to be a little warmer than average. In summer I tend to put unopened bread, well-wrapped in the fridge instead of in the breadbin, in order to prevent it from going mouldy too quickly (or at all, come to that). Is there anything more frustrating than finding that the slice on which you have just lip-smackingly placed a small quantity of spread, cheese and Branston or something similar is beginning to reveal those unsightly little patches of blue? My wife doesn't, on the grounds that it tends to go hard - but my mother always used to do so, and when she comes to say, so does my sister-in-law. Even so, if it has a better shelf life than other brands, this may not be necessary, except in really warm weather.
It is suitable for home freezing, and the manufacturers recommend that it should be eaten within three months. In our household there's not much danger of it lasting that long.
It tastes good, it's good 'on its own' or as toast, and makes very good sandwiches. The potential allergy warning above apart, it's pretty healthy, and ticks all the right boxes. You can't really say anything against it.
This is my sliced bread of choice.
Hovis wholemeal bread is soft but not cloying. It is the perfect sandwich bread as it is a nicely uniform rectangular shape for each slice and each slice is a good size. It toasts evenly and well too.
The flavour is not too strong or nutty and is not overpowering as some wholemeals breads can be. The texture is not too rough either which in my opinion all goes towards making it the wholemeal bread of choice.
It lasts really well too. I can buy a loaf at the beginning of the week and can still get soft sandwiches out of it by Friday. It's never gone mouldy on me either which is great as it says it contains no artificial flavourings or preservatives. I often freeze a loaf too and find that it thaws well and you can't tell it's been frozen.
Nutritional information is:
Energy 387 kJ 92 kcal
of which sugars 1.6g
of which saturates 0.3g
Equivalent as salt 0.40g
I have never really liked white bread, and have always eaten brown or wholemeal bread since I was a child. I like my bread to be good quality, and I have tried many a bread over the years, but I keep on coming back to Hovis Wholemeal.
I prefer the medium thickness of this bread, as it makes perfect toast and sandwiches, without being too much of a mouthful. It is even the perfect size for a random slice of bread and butter now and then. The texture of this bread is lovely. Nice and soft, but without being doughy or tough, and even the crusty ends are soft enough for a sandwich. I have never had any problems spreading anything on this bread, no tears or clumps.
This bread comes in a partly clear, partly yellow bag with the hovis logo on it. There is also the nutritional information on the back, and some information about Hovis themselves. You can buy this bread in all good supermarkets for just over £1, and I find it usually has quite a long shelf life on it compared to some cheaper breads, so truly worth its price. Recommended to all.
Hovis began in 1886 when a miller - Richard 'Stoney' Smith changed the way flour was milled. He believed that wheatgerm was good for people and found a way to separate the germ from the flour, lightly cook it then add it back to the flour without it losing any nutrients.
He then teamed up with the owner of a large milling business (Thomas Fitton). They registered 'Smiths Patent Process Germ Flour' in 1887.
In 1890 they held a competition for a new name, the winner got £25 and the name 'Hovis' was found.
My favourite bread is thick white warburtons but I decided we need to be a bit more healthier so when I spotted Hovis wholemeal on offer 2 for £2 I thought I would give it a go.
It's medium so it would be less calories than we are used to and it would also be adding a bit more fibre in to our diet. Each slice has 92 calories in which is 19 calories less than the warbies. This might not sound a lot but if you eat 4 slices of bread a day it means you will eat 76 calories a day less and 532 less per week.
As I bit into this bread I thought it was quite nice and didn't have too much of a wholemeal taste. I find some brown bread has a strong taste but this seemed to be just right and was nice and soft too.
The spread went on quite ok, no ripping of the bread (which upsets me a little if this happens).
The bread is obviously thinner than a thick slice like I am used to so didn't fill me up quite as much but I found if I went really healthy and added some lettuce and tomato it did the trick. This doesn't take a lot more effort when I am making a sandwhich to eat at home but I find if I am rushing to make them for work and school then it seems a lot of effort for me (ok lazy I know).
On the whole I quite liked this bread and I would buy again as I think wholemeal bread is better for you than white so it makes a nice change. Also it tended to stay fresher for longer than white bread.