In the blue corner, weighing in at 295 calories and boasting no artificial colours or flavours we have ‘Dairylea Lunchables’. And in the red corner, 117 calories lighter but armed with a free plastic handy spreader fork ‘Brunchettas’
‘Lunchables can make a fun change to a sandwich’
First up: Dairylea Lunchable
Number of ingredients: 41 including Calcium Stearoyl-2-lactylate
Description: Contains 2 white and wholegrain subs, formed ham slices and Dairylea slices, with no artificial colours or flavours.
The packaging is obviously aimed at kids. The grinning cow proudly declares the content to contain a third of a child’s RDA of calcium and an unspecified amount of vitamin D. The salt and saturated fats figures are less encouraging and when combined with the inevitable packet of crisps, creme egg and sugary drink, this fun alternative to a sandwich will ensure your child gets off to fat and malnourished start in life.
Enough to make even a gynaecologist blush
The first thing you notice when you peel back the hermetic plastic seal is the welcoming smell of stale porky air given off by the ‘formed ham slices’. The sub is dry, both sweet and salty and has the texture of stale cake. The (s)ham slices are ‘surgical appliance’ pink and flecked with what I suspect has been mechanically-reclaimed from the more obscure parts of a pig. Taste? Cheap ham to start, nothing to finish.
Unfortunately the ‘cheese food’ is not the much-loved Dairylea used in the triangles, but a rather average plastic cheese compound which coats the mouth with a greasy residue.
Once assembled it does actually look like the photograph on the packaging, although in truth this is due to the ingredients being so pre-formed and plastic. Like Lego.
Eaten together the only thing you can taste is the bread – that sweet, dry, dry, dry bread. If I hadn’t seen it with my own eyes, I wouldn’t have realised there was any filling.
In a word: Synthetic.
Incidently, Kraft have a website called ‘Kraft Health Living’ which offers health and nutritional advice. A cynic might call this cynical.
If Ryanair served food, it would probably be like this.
Next the Brunchettas
Number of ingredients: 23 including Potassium Sorbate
Description: Delicious medium mature Cheddar cheese on crunchy Italian bruschetta with red pepper, onion and tomato relish. Each pack contains 5 wedges of medium mature Cheddar cheese, 5 slices of toasted bruschetta and a portion of relish with a handy spreader fork to help you make your perfect Brunchetta anytime snack.’
Although considerably cheaper, this is marketed as a much more sophisticated product and is primarily aimed at women. Firstly I have to confess that before peeling back the foil I was giddy with excitement about the prospect of the included free plastic handy spreader fork.
There isn’t anything particularly suprising about this ‘anytime’ snack. The ‘delicious medium mature Cheddar cheese‘ is average supermarket fodder, the heavily salted ‘crunchy Italian bruschetta‘ is indeed crunchy but neither Italian nor anything resembling bruschetta, and the ‘red pepper, onion and tomato relish‘ is an unsophisticated schlem of red pepper, onion, tomato and Potassium Sorbate.
On the plus side there is the ‘handy spreader fork‘ with its sensual moulded curves, brushed steel effect finish and embossed Brunchettas branding. I’m sure it will have many more uses than the prescribed spreading and forking and would make a handsome addition to any chef’s cutlery drawer.
In summary: Salty and average.
The winner: Brunchettas – but only because Dairylea Lunchables are so offensive.