By Holly Dove
Our taste team finds some nice surprises in a gourmet versus budget food test
When it comes to “party” food, such as salami or olives, many might like to pay the extra few dollars to get added flavour and better quality. But when it comes to the bare essentials, budget food such as milk might taste just as good, if not better, than its gourmet rival. This week the Weekend Herald put gourmet food to the test against budget counterparts as a group of discerning food-lovers – including a Ponsonby chef – took part in a blind tasting. The seven-strong team tried a combination of essential foods and “party” foods – milk, olives, cheese, chips, salami, bananas and peanut butter. Comparing budget, mid-range and high-end foods the tasters sampled food from each category while blindfolded.
Without the packaging and brand-name hype, they were able to judge food based solely on taste – with no distractions.
Mainland Tasty Cheese, valued at $7.70 for 250g
“More crumbly [than the other contestants] and lots of flavour”, according to Herald’s Bite food editor Jo Elwin.
Ponsonby chef Dean agreed with the top spot, grading it a four out of five and describing it as “vintagey”.
olives valued at $8.99 for 300g.
A unanimous winner here, the Waitrose olives were described by tasters as big, juicy and full of flavour. “Succulent and herby”, said Dean, while fellow taster Lizzie Sullivan said they were “delicious and flavourful.”