“ Manufacturer: Asda / Type: Pie „
I went to visit my neice this morning and while I was there she offered me a mince pie to go with my cup of tea. Now, I am by no means a brand name snob (as can easily be proved if you look through some of my Tesco Value reviews) but when I noticed it was in a frankly vile Asda 'Smart Price' wrapper I was a bit worried about accepting her kind offer.
The pies, you see, look exactly like the mince pies above. The tops aren't on them properly and the edges were crumbled and tatty looking, I could see a little of the mince meat inside and it looked rather dry and unappetising. They are also much smaller than other mince pies I have bought this season, basically these mince pies look like a much poorer relation!
Looks can be deceptive however, and I found these Smart Price mince pies to have a nice fruity filling inside a buttery and very pleasant pastry case. The mince meat has a strange sweetness which is reminiscent more of artificial sweetener than sugar, it takes the first mouthful to get used to this sweeter-than-usual mince meat but once you're through it then you'll find it has quite an addictive flavour. The currants and raisins are nice and juicy and the filling is moist and full of fruity flavour.
I cannot comment on the calories in these mince pies because I didn't look at the wrapper closely, but based on the size of them I'd imagine they wouldn't be as bad per pie as the more luxurious deeper mince pies I usually buy. Six mince pies cost only 50p in this Smart Price range, which is a huge saving considering I usually pay around £1.49 for my mince pies.
Having said this I suppose I am somewhat of a brand snob as I cannot imagine buying these myself even though I thoroughly enjoyed the two I ate at my nieces house. This is partly because I don't tend to buy too many mince pies as if I need loads and loads then I'll make my own, but for the few boxes I buy each year I'd rather treat myself to a more luxury brand and spend the extra pound or so.
Also, I found these mince pies had a very strong aftertaste which wasn't particularly pleasant and took an awfully long time to die away. The aftertaste was one of artificial sweetener but there was also a slight metallic tang there which I didn't like at all.
Well, tis the season for all things Christmassy so when we were shopping in Asda last week I decided to buy some mince pies to munch while we put the decorations up. So there were all the usual makes - Mr Kippling, Asda 'deep filled' mince pies, etc and then there was the Asda 'Smart Price' variety. I'm always trying to economise at the moment so I thought 'why not?!' and chucked them in my trolley...
So what's good? Everything! These really are a fantastic buy! The mince meat is tasty and sweet - I thought it might be a bit dry but isn't dry at all and is really lovely. The pastry is also gorgeous- crumbly enough without making a mess and really quite thick. Best of all is the price - 53p for a pack of six! A HUGE saving compared to the £1.08 - £1.98 you would be paying for any of the other varieties on offer!!
And what's not so good? Nothing really. I suppose the packaging is a little dull but I'm buying them for the pies not the packet they come in so this doesn't put me off too much really. It's also nice as the packaging is clear so you can actually see the pies rather than them being in a box. They also aren't 'deep filled' so you get a bit less mince meat in these than you might in others, but, to be honest, I prefer this - I find too much mince meat can be a bit sickly but these pies have just the right amount for me!
Verdict? A great buy for Chrimbo - I will definitely be buying these again! And if you're embarrased about the Smart Price packaging simply chuck it in the bin before anyone sees it - I guarantee that your guests will be none the wiser as these pies taste so yummy!!