“ Brand: Tesco / Type: Onion and garlic dip „
I've had a big craving for fresh fruit and veg lately - more so than normal. And one thing I truly resent is my working lifestyle often pushing me towards "convenience" good - ie a M&S sandwich with about as much soul as a doorhandle, and at vastly unjustifiable price to boot. That's before you take into account how free range the eggs might actually be, how well treated any meat, sustainable the fish...and ultimately when you do stick to the more moral-friendly options (poor pickings) they only go and slap the contents between two shockingly horrible excuses for bread slices anyway.
As a result I have been often dodging this sandwich hell by picking up a bag of carrot batons and a dip or similar, and with this insanely insufferable weather we're having (take your sun and shove it), light, refreshing and nibbly has been the order of the evenings at Rarr Towers.
As such, when Mr Rarr was dispatched to the shops recently to pick up provisions for what was effectively a living room-based picnic, this came back with him - Tesco Onion & Garlic dip.
Now sporting a slightly different cardboard sleeve to the Dooyoo photo, 211g of this creamy dip will set you back £1. Is it worth it?
***THE FACTUAL BIT***
To get to the good stuff you pull off the cardboard sleeve and peel back a plastic film top to the lid which sits under the clear plastic cap.
Inside you have a white, thick dip with flecks of green. What this substance is comprised of is as follows...
Mayonnaise, Soured Cream, Onion (8%), Vegetable Oil, Double Cream, Garlic Puree (1%), Cornflour, Chives.
According to the packaging, the base mayonnaise is made of Vegetable Oil, Water, Pasteurised Egg, Spirit Vinegar, Cornflour, Salt, Sugar, Citrus Fibre, Rice Starch, Potato Fibre and Dried Egg White. So its not exactly the refined version you see the likes of the Hairy Bikers whip up with a free range egg and some oil.
Per 100g you will take on board 17.6g mono-unsaturates, 8g polyunsaturates, 0.2g fibre, 0.4g sodium, and a puzzling 1g of "salt equivalent".
One quarter of a pot will give you 175 calories, 9% of your "guideline amount" - although this differs for men and women so I assume they have taken the lower female rating. 1.2g of sugar at 1% warrants a pink warning label, fat combined of 17.6g - 25% of daily recommendation! - somehow has a green colour behind its label but then the calorific one has a blue background so I wonder what the basis is that Tesco have coloured their nutritional key point labels. Saturates are 3.2g and 16% and salt has a orange label with 0.6g - still 10% of your daily recommendation.
Hmm. But then a £1 dip from Tesco was never going to be the most natural or healthy.
You are advised that this contains milk and egg, has no nuts but cannot guarantee nut free status, but no nuts are used in the factory. Use within two days of opening and before advised usage date. Keep refrigerated.
The cardboard sleeve is recyclable, the pot you are advised to check with your local recycling policy, and the film you peel back is not currently recycled. You can't freeze this product. It claims to have no artificial preservatives, flavours or colours, which correlates with the ingredients list. So that's something in its favour from a health perspective.
The product is clearly marked as being vegetarian suitable.
***OKAY, THAT'S THE SCIENCE. IS IT ANY GOOD?***
Actually this is surprisingly pleasant. I have a pretty dim view of Tesco; in fact I struggle to think of anything I like about this corporation apart from the fact that the Express that opened a ten minute walk from my house is very convenient when you work stupid hours and sometimes need to shop at last minute. I still resent giving them any money, though.
But anyway, we did, and here's my take.
First off, as I said, the taste is pleasant. Its not overly moreish but that's a good thing for me - I have little enough willpower as it is!
The low percentage of garlic component comes through - its not a strong-tasting dip by any stretch, but both onion and garlic are present and just - just - strong enough to counter the richness of the soured and double cream ingredients.
The product is not runny and if you're careful shouldn't drop off the end of a carrot baton. If you're dainty you can dip and get a nice gentle covering of the dip, or if you're a gluttonous oaf you can scoop up a fair bit.
On carrot batons this is pleasant, on cucumber sticks over time I find this starts to become a bit rich with the cucumber not able to stand up to the creaminess, but with spring onions this is really nice - the stronger onion taste cuts through the creaminess and stops it becoming heavy. A very nice combination.
Because this product is quite thick, a pot goes a long way - I would struggle to eat a quarter of a pot in one sitting unless I was breaking it up with other picnic-type nibbles such as bread and salad - I couldn't just sit and eat it on vegetable batons on its own for that long because it does become rich that way. But the texture is creamy, the taste pleasant, and there is no nasty after taste. I suppose the advantage of the low garlic content is that you don't breathe toxic fumes at those around you if this is a social nibble.
The green flecks of chives aren't that prevalent so the majority of this cream is white - personally I love chives so could have taken a far higher content of them. In this mentally hot weather, this and some veg is a nice refreshing light nibble, particularly when this is fresh from the fridge - the cream is cooling and I think this is far better suited to the combined taste when eaten with vegetables than say a dry breadstick. One thing I have noticed is that, as I sit here quality control testing with my carrot nibbles, it does start to taste a little salty over time - again long before a quarter of a pot has been eaten, so something to bear in mind when served with other convenient nibbles which tend to be high in salt.
But overall this has a pleasant taste and the list of ingredients isn't exactly a horror story akin to The Exorcist. I would also be surprised if the product overall made your head spin and inspired massive vomiting - unless you don't refrigerate it of course.
So in short you can't live off it but for light summer grazing this is a nice dip to serve beside a big plate of nice, healthy veg. I would imagine it would also go well with radishes and other slightly sharper, more robust flavoured veg. For £1 a pot lasts well - more than a day between the two of us - and I suppose that when we must shop at the emporium of mass-produced, over-priced produce of often questionable origin that stocks it because nowhere else is open when we finally get home, then I suppose we may well be purchasing again - only grudgingly because of our thoughts on the company, not the product itself. Therefore losing a star or two for being a little salty and a little rich and not the healthiest dip that it could be.
I love dips to obviously dip things into! Rather often I buy tortilla chips and things to munch through whilst watching dvds and more often than not just buy a variety pack of dips and have done with it.
However the other day I spotted this in my local Tesco Express reduced from its usual price tag of 95p down to 25p (with a very short use by date on it) and decided it was certainly worth a go!
Well the dip comes in a round see-through plastic tub and over that you have a pull on/off lilac coloured cardboard sleeve and on the top of that there is a photograph of a broken cracker and we are told that it is Tesco Onion & Garlic, there is an at a glance nutritional chart shown and the use by date is clearly stated. On the bottom of the sleeve other information stated includes ingredients used and allergy advice, the size is stated which is 200g, a full nutritional chart is given and contact details for Tesco are given. Nice minimalistic packaging this is and informative enough...there is even a recipe suggestion for this dip on the inside of the sleeve should you want some inspiration to make a bacon sandwich with a difference!
The Dip Itself:
Moist, smooth and glossy this is not a drippy dip but one you need to spoon out of the tub. It looks like mayonnaise which of course it is with a strong aroma of garlic and onions to it. This is a nice, smooth tasting, none greasy and full of flavour as smooth as it looks dip. With no bits in it at all you can taste creamy mayonnaise blended nicely with garlic and onion though you can't see those ingredients and there is a slight sour tang to it too. Nicely seasoned with a really creamy taste (this does also contain cream) this is a great additive to put into sandwiches and the likes and of course you can just use it as a dip should you fancy it. The negatives are the fact that this dip contains 170 Kcal per quarter of a tub along with a whopping 16.7g of fat and that it gives you right stinky breath after consumption however I like it...my hips don't lol.
Only avaailable in Tesco stores.