There have been a number of articles and news recently about food items that are made to sound more exotic than the actual food itself. Courgetti aka just courgettes. Squash fusilli aka butternut squash cut in the shape of fusilli pasta. Golden latte aka turmeric powder mixed in milk. Apparently the more glamourous the food sounds, the more likely we are to buy it. Many food items are trying to appeal to the various different eating styles now around e.g. vegetarian chicken, cranberry crunch for paleo followers, coconut fat bombes for those following a ketogenic diet. It’s marketing at its best!
I must admit I was and (still am) one of those that is a food marketer’s dream. I buy into the whole quinoa crisps and courgette bread. Yet I am going through a change with my attitude towards food and starting to realise I may be being taken for a ride, especially at the cost of some of these items. The sensible voice in me says “hmm really, you REALLY want to try courgetti? Don’t you think it’s a little bit wet and slimy? Is it really satisfying you? Why not just have spaghetti?” But there’s another voice saying “this is so cool, you’re getting the benefits of eating well in a funky way”. However as I’m finding out it’s usually better to just eat the original spaghetti as it’s more likely to satisfy a craving for you and to have a more healthier attitude towards eating rather than substituting food items just because, well they sound exotic. I hasten to add that this is only my stance and for those who can’t or choose not to eat certain food items due to their own personal reasons it’s always interesting to mix it up and keep it different so that your palette gets a variety of foods and flavours.
However, like an addict who needs to break bad habits I do get sucked in and keep coming across weird and wonderful foods. And sometimes they turn out amazing and other times I’m like “pass me that pizza slice!” Yet there’s a little bit of a buzz when you come across new concoctions and I think so long as you have a balanced attitude towards eating and food, it’s always fun to try new ideas.
Rating: 6 out of 10
The packaging is eye-catching for sure. A large bright luminous pink bag, with a photo of a rather enticing-looking salad on the front certainly catches your attention. Then your eye is drawn to the wording of seaweed bacon which just raises your curiosity. The fact you can see the product through the packaging is always a bonus I think, especially with a product like this which is very far from the norm. I also like the logo picture of bacon frying in a pan, it’s just quite cute I found. The name of the product and the information is also easy to read and provides all the information you need if you’re allergy-conscious.
€6.95 – from the company website. This is equivalent to around £6. This is a reasonably fair price point because the packaging states 10 servings are provided and it is a large bag which to me appears to be value for money, especially as you can have as many or as few seaweed strands as you fancy depending on the dish you’re making or whether you’re having it as a snack.
I have to say I was mightily intrigued when I saw this product. I have cut down on bacon for various reasons but do enjoy the taste. So this product played very much into my target market as someone who wants to eat healthy yet still enjoy tasty flavours. I must admit when I tried this as just a snack, so no cooking, it didn’t deliver on flavour for me. It was hard to chew and whilst it had a salty flavour to it, it wasn’t bacon-tasting. It was only when I cooked it in oil, as recommended on the instructions, did the flavour come out for me. Now it was softer to eat and digest and there was a definite bacon taste that lingered in your mouth. It also didn’t need a lot to add that flavour to my dish (a veg stir fry) which I really liked. So from a delivery perspective, this product delivers on what it says – seaweed that tastes like bacon. However it DID leave me craving real bacon afterwards. So I’m not sure if it delivered on its promise for me in particular, and probably goes back to my original statement that sometimes it’s better not to substitute the real deal. For those of you however that don’t eat bacon for whatever reason or want a different taste to your dishes, this product does deliver.
Verdict: In a word – interesting. I say this because the product does offer a distinctive taste and is probably not the most instinctive item you would reach for. However would I replace it for real bacon long-term? Probably not but it’s fun to try.
Keen to hear your thoughts and comments if you have tried this product or any other exotic sounding foods!
Guest Blogger: Mrs M.
As a person with a recently diagnosed sensitive digestive system, I’m now on a path to make sure I eat well whilst still enjoying myself. Having been fearful of food, I now love finding new products, going to new restaurants to try new twists on dishes and am constantly looking for quirky items to consume. I’m a huge supporter of simple food that is made tasty with the right combination of ingredients and more importantly enjoying your food and diet in a balanced way. That means I always have room for my favourite item – chocolate!