Sunday, 17 November 2013

Costco - Kirkland Signature - Mince Pies

After spending the past 2 years being told that Costco mince pies are really nice and not one of those people being able to get me some, a quick tweet and facebook post brought out a colleague at work who had membership and was heading to the members only store that same day. With my order placed within moments of her response the excitement was settling in. I had them delivered and without any further delay - lets get reviewing!

Presentation - 1

This is not a great start. A sheet of cardboard with 11 giant mince pies on top, wrapped all around with cling-film. There is nothing Christmas about that I'm afraid. I'm aware Costco is the place to go for buying in bulk to save loads of money, but if what you are selling doesn't look appealing, then why would anyone buy it? These have to be amazing mince pies to come so highly recommended.

Each mince pie is giant. But not that deep, compared to it's diameter. There appears to be a very very generous sprinkling of icing sugar on each mince pie. I guess this could be interpreted to be snow - 1 point.

Nutritional Content & Price - 7

While they lack any sort of nutritional information other than a collection of notices, such as "Contains: Preservative, Colour and Flavourings" and "Allergens: Wheat, Egg, Milk, Sulphites", we can safely say that these are pretty high on the sugar front judging by the amount of icing sugar on top!

These come at the very reasonable price of £4.49 for 11 mince pies. That's just over 40p per giant mince pie. Not bad value at all.

Pastry - 29

It's not really pastry to be honest. I would say it is more like a cake, but boy is it good. There is plenty of it too. From the moment you remove the foil base you realise very quickly that you will have to support the base of the mince pie from beneath as it feels like it might simply collapse in on itself. You should also not breath too hard as you will dislodge the icing sugar and you will either be sat in a icing sugar dust cloud or have it simply fall off (see picture below). The "pastry" itself is quite plain - it draws all its sweetness from the icing sugar on top - however, that is not to say that the "pastry" itself is not good. I could happily eat this alone. A bonus of it being like a cake is that you are not left with large holes where mincemeat should be.

Mincemeat - 30

The mincemeat is fantastic. It appears quite moist, but this compliments the slightly dry pas... ahh to hell with it... cake, really well. The mincemeat itself has just the right amount of citrus taste along with large whole vine fruits and just the right amounts of cinnamon and sugar. It is wonderful. However - and this is where it looses marks - it is inconsistent. We had a number of people try these mince pies in the office (we did have 11 of them after all!) and the amount of mincemeat varied greatly. If you look at the picture of the tray, you can see circles where the icing/cake appear to have sunk slightly. This is the mincemeat. On average, you get about a tablespoon full in the middle. For me, this is not quite enough as I like a good helping of the stuff and compared to the size of the pie, it could do with more. It could also do with spreading out as you could take a couple bites from this mince pie and not get to the mincemeat yet. If the cake wasn't so good too, this would be a completely different review.

Overall Satisfaction - 8

Sometimes things can be hyped up so much that when you eventually try it, you feel let down. It is not the case here. I absolutely loved them. I loved the mincemeat, but there could have been more. Loved the pastry/cake, but there could have been less icing sugar. A few niggles here and there, but other than that it is a quality mince pie. Let's work on the packaging for next year Costco, ok?

Here are the scores from my fellow mincers; 

Tester 1 
Presentation (7) Nutritional content & Price (6) Pastry (26) Mincemeat (30) Satisfaction Level (8)
"This cakey mince pie was a nice change from the norm, but they need to get a little more consistent! p.s. wear a bib!"
Tester 2
Presentation (7) Nutritional content & Price (5) Pastry (33) Mincemeat (33) Satisfaction Level (9)
"More of a cake than a mince pie, but lovely, lovely, lovely (other than too much icing sugar)"
Presentation (2) Nutritional content & Price (6) Pastry (33) Mincemeat (34) Satisfaction Level (8)
"Would have scored 9 if not for its structural intergrity collapsing the pie after each bite."


81 / 100

Look at where these fit in on our leader board.
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