“ Brand: Schwartz / Type: Other Spices „
Schwartz Mexican jalapeno and coriander fajita mix is a spice mix that is available to buy without the rest of the "kit" (i.e. tortilla wraps and salsa) in order to re-create the Mexican dish of fajitas.
The packet boasts that this mix is with roasted spices for a fuller flavour. I think the fuller flavour comes from the copious amounts of herbs and spices that are included, many of which I think are unnecessary.
The mix comes in a 27g packet and serves four people. Schwartz also claims that the product is free from hydrogenated fat, artificial colours and flavours.
This comes in an attractive looking yellow packet with some tasty looking fajitas on the front.
Once the packet is opened there is a really strong aroma. It is very over powering and whilst it is difficult to identify the ingredients that are included you can definitely tell that this is going to provide a hot and spicy dish.
The smell is citrus like and, in my opinion, awful. It does not smell appetising at all and if I were doing the cooking prior to knowing what it tasted like then I would not even contemplate using this spice mix and it would be binned immediately.
Like the smell the taste of this is very strong which is not surprising given the amount of powerful ingredients in this mix. Personally I think there are too many spices and it produces a confused taste, there is just too much going on.
There is a distinct citrus taste, provided by the dried orange and lemon peel along with the citric acid and this is very over powering. In my opinion this obliterates the taste of all the other ingredients.
Old El Paso and Tesco fajita spice mixes are a really fine powder and give a thin coating of flavour on the meat, peppers and onions. The coating, whilst really tasty, does not have much substance or consistency to it.
In contrast this spice mix is more coarse and grainy and leaves large particles of herbs and spices on the meat and vegetables. This is very noticeable and crunching on mustard seeds and having herb leaves stick in your teeth is not a pleasant experience.
This spice mix contains some seriously powerful ingredients including;
Red and green bell peppers, dried garlic, roasted cumin (10%), dried onion, coriander seed (6%), coriander leaf, dried orange and lemon peel, citric acid, mustard seed, dried jalapeno (3%), ginger, dried chillies, black pepper and garlic oil.
In my opinion there is far too much in this spice mix and, whilst I am no chef, I don't think all of these flavours work with each other.
The 27g pack provides;
i) Energy - 73 Kcal
ii) Protein - 3.3g
iii) Carbohydrate - 16.2g
iv) Fat - 2.4g
v) Fibre - 6.5g
vi) Sodium - 0.8g
This packet serves four people so, bearing this in mind, this spice mix is not that bad for you. It is high in carbohydrates, and unsuitable for those following the Atkins or any other low carb diet, but other than that it is OK, and with that high fibre content it should get the wheels in motion rather quickly (so to speak).
The back of the packet gives a recipe suggestion which is the basic fajita, so if you have had fajitas before or know how to make them then this is of no real use. For those that do not know then making fajitas is really easy and involves four simple steps:
i) Heat some oil in a pan and stir fry some chicken and onion for 10 minutes
ii) Add some pepper strips and continue to cook for another 5 minutes
iii) Add the fajita mix and continue cooking for a further 5 minutes
iv) Serve in a flour tortilla with salsa
The packet also suggests using steak, pork or prawns (amending the cooking times as appropriate). There are no recommendations for a vegetarian alternative, although I think that this seasoning would be absolutely disgusting with vegetables.
The back of the packet also suggests squeezing the in the juice of a lemon. The mix is citrus enough, so much in fact that it over powers all of the other flavours so why anyone would want to add any more is beyond me.
This spice mix is available in Tescos for around a pound. I bought this on a buy one get one free, being the primary reason for trying it.
I would not recommend this fajita mix at all. It is nothing like any other fajita spice mixes I have had before and is just wrong.
There are too many spices and flavours that just don't work. It is not easy on the palate at all. The citrus flavour is just too over powering and drowns out the other flavours, yet the packet still suggests adding lemon juice!
This mix does not leave a nice thin coating on the meat and vegetables like other mixes do. It is coarse and harsh and there are lots of mustard and coriander seeds to bite in to and bits of other herbs that get caught in your teeth. This is not nice at all.
The mix doesn't smell right. It is very strong and unpleasant. Looking back I should have listened to my nostrils and just binned it, but I persevered and wrecked some good chicken by coating it in this rubbish.