Sunday, 27 May 2012

Sandwich review: chicken and bacon comparison

Today, I shall be comparing two sandwiches.  Both describe themselves as chicken and bacon sandwiches - however, they are from different shops, and made by different companies.  How different can they be?

The first sandwich tackled is Morrison's Eat Smart Chicken and Bacon.  (Eat Smart is Morrison's range of "healthy" or "low-fat" sandwiches, and this review takes that into account.)

The official description for this sandwich is:
Chicken breast and smoke flavour sweet cure bacon with mayonnaise on malted bread.  30% less fat than Morrison's standard chicken and bacon sandwich.
My first impressions of this sandwich were very favourable.  Being a "low-fat" sandwich, I was expecting eating it to be quite a bland, uninteresting experience - I am pleased to say, however, that this was not the case!  Despite its attempt to be "healthy", this sandwich was still flavourful and enjoyable.  The chicken wasn't dry, and it combined with the bacon to make an excellent tasting filling overall.

There were a few small niggles with this sandwich.  The bacon, when tasted on its own (a piece fell out of the sandwich as I was eating it, so I had a chance to eat it separate from the other ingredients) had a slightly burnt flavour - I'm all for bacon being "smoky" (as this sandwich claims its bacon to be) but I think there has to be a distinction between "smoked" and "burnt", and this bacon, unfortunately, erred on the side of the latter.  When combined with the chicken, bread and mayonnaise, this was barely noticeable, and so it is not an issue that effects whether or not I would buy this sandwich again, however I felt it was worth a mention.

The only other negative thing I would have to say about this sandwich is purely a presentation issue.  The packaging is an entirely plastic carton - acceptable in the '90s, perhaps, but less and less so these days - and there were one or two blemishes on the meat in the filling.  None of these things affects the taste of the sandwich, nor enjoyment one gets from eating it, though, so I don't count them as problems with the sandwich.

The sandwich with which I shall be comparing the Morrison's Eat Smart sandwich is a Deli Club Chicken and Bacon Triple.

The official description for this sandwich is:
Chicken and bacon mayonnaise on malted brown bread.
It is with regret that I confess I could find very few positive things to say about this sandwich.  Unlike the Morrison's Eat Smart version, this sandwich's description fails to mention that the chicken is breast meat (indeed, it does not specify what part of the chicken this meat is from at all) and the makers' reticence in disclosing too much about their chicken meat becomes all too understandable once one begins to eat.  The chicken appears to be shredded (in some places, almost mashed) and the bacon is barely noticeable.  The chicken and bacon filling swims in a vast quantity of mayonnaise, which threatens to take over the entire meal.  (A quick glance at the ingredients list on the underneath of the packaging reveals that mayonnaise is the second most common ingredient - second only to bread - in the sandwich.)

The combination of the shredded meats with the extraordinary amounts of mayonnaise give this sandwich a strange, squelchy texture (which is really rather unpleasant) and also serves to remove any serious flavour which may have been in the ingredients to begin with.  If given this sandwich in a blind tasting, I would be hard-pressed to decided whether I was eating a chicken mayonnaise sandwich or a tuna mayonnaise sandwich - and the idea that there might be bacon in it would not even enter my mind.

This sandwich scores more highly than the Morrison's version on its packaging, coming in a much more modern, cardboard packet.  The designer of this packaging, however, can't have had much of eye for detail, as he failed to notice that the graphics on the back of the sandwich packet were actually upside-down!  See?

Overall, my comparison concludes in favour of the Morrison's Eat Smart sandwich on almost all counts.  The Deli Club Triple was not enjoyable to eat, and certainly didn't taste like a Chicken and Bacon sandwich should, while the Morrison's Eat Smart surprised me with its value for money, and better-than-expected general flavour and enjoyment.  The Morrison's sandwich, I would buy again; the Deli Club Triple?  Not a chance!

My thanks go to Alex Demetriou for assisting with research and analysis during the writing of this review.

"My pleasure, Kit" - Alex Demetriou, chief sandwich quality control for Regal House.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

A good read kit :) i couldnt help but notice the price of the less favourable sandwich being notably higher too!
also probably worth a mention. The fact that the graphics are upside down on the back of the pack is indeed done on purpose. its for Shelfing reasons. if you watch shop staff put these sadwiches out, you'll notice that they stack them together, face to face. so that the two triangles make a square and save space on the shelf... this would therefore show the Back that you speak about on one of the sandwiches, which if facing the customer would be upside down(had the designer not put it 'upside down')

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