Flaky is good, OK?

Since my last two blogs have constituted a bit of supermarket bashing, I may as well have a go at another one.

The first of the new season’s Jersey Royals are in the shops.  I love Jersey Royals; other new potatoes just can’t compete with that fresh, nutty taste and those lovely little flaky bits of skin that are so characteristic of the variety.

But if you buy them from Marks and Spencer, they come pre-packed and all the little flaky bits have been scrubbed off.  Why do they do that?  It’s so annoying!

Down on the (non-existent) farm

I’m having a go at supermarkets again; this time it’s Tesco, that well-known purveyor of inflatable jacuzzies (no doubt a snip at £400) amongst other things

I noticed a while ago they were selling vegetables bearing the label “Redmere Farm”.  My suspicions were aroused for a number of reasons.  Firstly it didn’t say where Redmere Farm is.  Secondly, given the enormous quantity of Redmere-branded produce in that one store and assuming it was replicated in other shops, at least regionally if not nationally, it seemed improbable that all the stuff actually came from the same place.  Lastly the prices were definitely towards the budget end of the spectrum, suggesting again that it was unlikely to be sourced from a single grower.

It seems my suspicions were justified.  Tesco has just won the “Total Bull Award” from those good people at Feedback.  It transpires that Redmere Farm is merely one of several fictitious names invented by Tesco.  Actually one of the names, Woodside Farm (used on some probably indifferent sausages), happens to be the name of a real pig farm whose owner is understandably not at all happy with the confusion this has caused to his customers.

The marketing people didn’t get it entirely wrong.  Most of us do tend to have a positive reaction to names which evoke images of natural wholesome food lovingly produced by jolly folk in some idyllic rustic setting.  The thing is – these days we expect it to be genuine.