“ Brand: Asda / Type: Other Vegetables „
Marketed for children, Probably. Bought by me for myself in a moment of weakness wishing to feel all babyish and without the pressures of my final year disseration, Yes. A mistake, Definitely.
That pretty much sums up how I came to have these stars cooking away in my oven at about midnight having stayed up all evening and missed dinner, writing about 100 words of usefulness towards my 16,000 word target. I was EXCITED!!
These are from ASDA (bless its 24 hour opening policy!) and they cost I think £1 for a 750g bag (might be wrong, I promptly emptied it onto a baking tray and threw the bag away sorry) which is full of about 40 'happy stars' I cooked the whole bag (in a slight moment of insanity) on oven trays at about 190 degrees C for 10 minutes. You could deep fry them but at that time in the morning I didn't want to be getting all messy with oil and pans, plus, throwing these happy looking darlings into a pan of hot fat just seemed pure evil!
When they were cooked and all golden brown I was so hungry and excited that I got my housemates down to have them with me (and I had made a massive bag full so they needed sharing..). They too are working hard at uni work at the moment so it wasnt hard to persuade them. Unfortunately, as I previously suggested, these stars were preeeetty tasteless. We were fully expecting the asda version of McCains potato smilies but we were definitely let down. They seemed to have no flavour what so ever and even the potato flavour was lost.
For those of you who perhaps I have not made this clear enough, these are mashed potato shaped inside a sort of crusty outside coating. I found that this outside came away from the potato too much and also had no flavour which was really dissapointing.
The only actual way we could make these edible was to load them up with salt, ketchup and sweet chili sauce which isn't really what we were expecting to have to do. I think also, some of them despite our hatrid of wasting food, and their happy little faces, actually ended up in the bin!!
I wouldn't try these really, pay a bit more and go for the McCain ones!
On first inspection ASDA happy stars seem like the best fusion of stars and potatoes we have at a very reasonable price, but at exactly what cost?
ASDA farm happy stars in alarming, batch farming conditions. The stars cannot move, often with 8 of them to a cage and are pumped with potatoes from an early age. You might be wondering how ASDA manage to get these poor potato based victims to smile? After they have been fattened up and drowned in sunflower oil they literally turn that frown upside down. Using old dental equipment they rip the stars frown out and shove it back in the other way. No stars deserve this.
At such a low price you might think that they are a good alternative to say Waitrose Organic Happy Stars, which are farmed in natural intergalactic conditions. Once the star is ready they are caught in Crouton Dolphin friendly nets. Although Waitrose's stars cost around 200 times the price of Asda's at least you have the piece of mind that the smile you are consuming is the result of a good, natural life and not an upside down frown.
We always like to have some back up meals in the freezer and cupboard so that there's always something to have if there's nothing in the house; we generally have them the day we go to Asda to stock up. Its always nice to try a variety of meals, so we are always looking for new things. We spotted asda happy stars and since they weren't very much, we thought we might as well try them.
They are basically very similar to potato products such as chips and potato wedges, the main difference being that they are in the shape of stars; something that I haven't actually seen before. If you think of a product such as smiley faces then it is the same as them. The potato is mashed then covered in the breadcrumbs that coat it. I really enjoy the taste - there is a crispy outer coating before you get to the warm, delicious filling! However, they aren't the best thing ever and sometimes I feel that they are a bit off or a bit greasy - there are other things that I would definitely prefer, but they aren't as cheap or quick.
For a bag that almost weighs 500 grams the cost is 75p which I believe to be very good value as we have managed to serve 3 people many times with just one bag.
It is also something that is very easy to cook, there are also different ways of cooking. You can either put them in the oven at 200 for around 12 minutes, or deep fry them. However I prefer the oven option as this is obviously a lot healthier, and the greasiness of the deep frying doesn't really appeal to me.
Generally, they seem to turn out quite well as long as you keep an eye on times - a few minutes either side will have a major effect and leave them either blackened or very undercooked and inedible. Other than that, they are a great accompaniment to most things and most sauces - serve them with a piece of fish and some salad to make them healthy!