Sunday, 3 November 2013

Duchy Originals from Waitrose - Organic Mince Pies

Okay, I promise this is the last box of mince pies from Waitrose! I picked these up simply because they said these mince pies are organic. It seemed interesting, I won't lie. Do organic mince pies taste any different? Anything special? Lets find out.

Presentation - 6

This box looks very regal. The crest shaped logo and window looking into the box is a nice touch. There is a hint of Christmas on the box in the form of the green and red lettering with the words "Organic" and "6 all butter pastry mince pies". If you were really reading into the box's design, one could argue that the white dots all over the box resemble snow. I have my doubts, and feel this was just a pleasant coincidence.

As for the mince pies themselves, from above, they look large and well filled. No decoration on the mince pies themselves except a few pronged pokes. Looking below the lid and it appears that the mince pies are pretty regular in size.

Nutritional Content & Price - 5

At 216 calories, 7.6g of fat and 24.3g of sugar, these are very much standard for a mince pie. However, on closer inspection at the ingredients list, I have noticed that it contains "ammonium hydrogen carbonate" and "ascorbic acid", both of which would not be organic. Each of these ingredients has a little asterisk next to it leading to a little note at the bottom saying "Approved non-organic ingredient". Why have these still been called organic mince pies, when there are ingredients in there that can never be organic? A little more digging and I discovered that the Organic industry is rife with this false labelling. Apparently, as long as the amount of an approved non-organic ingredient is less that 5% of the total content, they can still call it organic.

I don't know about you, but I feel a little cheated. After all, I have just paid £4.00 for this box of 6 with the belief that I was paying a premium because these were organic.

Also noted on the box is the fact that a donation from every box sold is made to The Prince of Wales's Charitable Foundation. Brownie points given.

Pastry - 23

Crispy and crunchy are the words that came up often when we ate this one. That's the only way we can really describe it really. Other that those adjectives, the pastry is not bad. It's not too sweet and it is certainly well cooked all the way around. My bite resulted in the mince pie caving in on itself - almost shattering! I did my best to actually reassemble the pie for the picture, but eating this mince pie is a two hand job.

Mincemeat - 12

The box says that these have cranberry's inside. Maybe if this mince pie was filled to the top, I might have tasted one. Once again, this is another under filled mince pie. I struggled to taste the mincemeat over the pastry as there was so little of it. I eventually ripped the rest of the pastry lid off and took a bite out of solely the mincemeat. What I did taste was just sweetness and a little fruit. I could not taste that "tangy twist" or cranberries they speak of on the box. What was there is also a tad dry, resulting in a dry mince pie.

Overall Satisfaction - 3

I feel that this mince pie had potential, but the lack of quantity on the filling was a huge let down. It meant that the whole mince pie was quite dry and (for want of a better word) crunchy! The pastry was good, and served warm with a dollop of cream as they suggest, might moisten it up a little. However, eating one straight out of the box does not score it well.

Here are the scores from my fellow mincers;

Tester 1 
Presentation (8) Nutritional content & Price (3) Pastry (10) Mincemeat (20) Satisfaction Level (5)
"Didn't hate it, Didn't love it."
Tester 2
Presentation (7) Nutritional content & Price (7) Pastry (22) Mincemeat (28) Satisfaction Level (6)
"Nice pie, other than the crunchy lid + lack of filling."
 Tester 3
Presentation (8) Nutritional content & Price (7) Pastry (22) Mincemeat (28) Satisfaction Level (7)
"Nice, a couple of improvements and this would be excellent."


59.3 / 100

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