Have you ever noticed that we live in a pretty darn judgemental and snooty world? From the clothes we dress our kids in to the grub we slap on the plate, and never any more so than at Christmas. There seems to be a culture that we have nurtured in this society where everyone is trying to beat the other person. My husband and the men in his family do it. Who has the best TV? Who has the newest gadget. Drives me mad.
Food is something that I have to confess I’ve partaken in the snobbery with before. I can’t abide poor quality food, and I’m pretty confident that (in my head) I am a food critic. I just LOVE food. It’s reflected in my waist line but I can’t help it. Christmas brings good grub to life for me, from decadent desserts and delicious nibbles to the full spread and the leftovers mashed up for bubble and squeak the next day. I just love it.
So when Iceland asked me to come down to London to go to their #IceXmas17 event I can honestly say, after working on their Eat the Week campaign, I wasn’t even slightly hesitant because I knew that the food would be high quality, delicious and exactly what you wouldn’t have expected when you surrounded yourself with food snobbery that played into the misconception that Iceland isn’t great food.
I’ve seen a lot of negativity around Iceland in the past, people claiming it’s the place for “pot noodles and poor people” ( how offensive is that?!) and that their products are lower quality and that you “pay for what you get”… well, having never been to an Iceland before I took on their Eat the week project, I went and bought myself a beef joint, cod fillets and pies. Stuff that my family would eat every day. I did it because there was no way I was going to promote something that wasn’t good quality – I have built this blog on honesty and there is a lot behind the scenes that I just turn down because I don’t think it is up to standard. The truth is, Iceland surpasses the standard in a lot of ways for me. The meat was delicious, the cod was fresher than fresh because it was frozen on site and the pies were chocka-block with meat and tasty sauce.So as you read this, I want you to leave the snobbery at the door, put down any previous thoughts you had about Iceland and just LOOK at the offerings, because I can tell you hand on heart that we will be using Iceland to cater our Xmas dinner, our pre-xmas canapes and our New Years Eve party (which I’m currently pitching to Adam).
My favourite main course option was the delicious looking hand stuffed chicken cushion. Ever noticed how when you buy something that is a wrapped chicken dish it falls apart and can often taste quite… bland? That’s because it’s purely breast. Iceland have taken the darker meat, the more favoursome meat and used it to make this cushion as well as the breast. No waste, no blandness. It’s then stuffed with sage and onion and wrapped in bacon. It looked amazing, smelt amazing and WAS amazing. I was also a big fan of the Roast Parsnip and Portobello Mushroom Pithivier – I love that so many brands are working harder to make Christmas more inclusive for people with a different lifestyle – it really makes it easier to feel special at Christmas.
But wait, I missed off all the trimmings that make everything so special at Christmas! I LOVED their Christmas tree & baubles veggie selection. I love that the romanesco broccoli looked *just* like Xmas trees and the carrots were turned into little baubles. It raised something very basic to make it something special and unusual. The pork, honey and rosemary stuffing parcels would 100% be a HUGE hit with Reuben.
I’m still not done. One of the things my mum always used to teach me for Christmas was that you could make every aspect of Christmas lunch, but buy your dessert. It’s quicker, it’s easy and 9/10 the ones you buy are awesome. Never been truer with the Reveal Snowflake Cake. A brownie base, a chocolate shell that hides chocolate mousse, which then melts away when you cover it in hot chocolate sauce.
Lastly, if you are a fan of fish, did you know that Iceland is the UK’s no1 in speciality fish? No, neither did I, but it speaks volumes about what we’re missing out on as a society of snobbery. These people are on to something, and I for one would rather step back and realise that actually, this is really delicious, high quality food for less than half the price (in some instances) of other supermarkets.
This year, give Iceland a go for Xmas.