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Wednesday 4 May 2011

Findus Chicken Fajita Wraps

OK, look, I know the expressed intention of this blog is to avoid microwave crap, but every so often you will discover microwave crap that's just too tempting to pass up... And, let's face it, when it comes to convenience food, and for the purpose of a blog called snacks & the single man, I've pretty much gotta try anything once, right?


Good. Glad we're on the same page.

Findus not only describe this 2-pack as "our delicious tortilla wraps filled with tender chicken, peppers and onions in a mild spicy tomato sauce" but they have a little flash on the front claiming this is "Britain's No.1 Mexican Meal". All that, and they reckon 2 minutes in the microwave to cook. Now that's really starting to sound tempting isn't in? Be honest, now.

Well, here's the thing... They're not really that good.

They're not terrible by any means, and as a cheap, very quick snack meal, they work pretty well... But even compared to the simplified, faux-Tex-Mex stuff you'd be served at a branch of Chiquito's, this is a bad attempt at Mexican food.

The tortilla is not half bad but, chances are, even if you follow the cooking instructions to the letter, part of at least one of them will have gone dry and crusty by the time the microwave goes ping. Other parts of it, naturally, will be a little soggy due to (a) the ice within the product and (b) fluid seepage from the filling. There's really no way to avoid this with a ready made, cooked-from-frozen product, so it's hardly worth considering. The biggest problem is that, by the time the insides have cooled enough to eat (and, yes, the packaging does bear the legend 'Caution: Filling will be hot'), much of the tortilla will be so soggy, it won't be very appetising.

The filling really does seem to be the big problem because, for all its fluid seepage, it's more of a gel than a sauce. I don't just mean that it's thick, I mean that it congeals quickly once liberated from the wrap, and ends up quite nasty. Looking at it, it just doesn't appear to be tomato-based to any significant degree - it's very yellow - and, while it's described as 'mild spicy', I personally would venture the opinion that it contains only the suggestion of mild spiciness. The flavour is good - if the tomato component is invisible, it's certainly noticeable in the flavour, as is the pepper... the onion, though, gets a little lost.

Again, comparing it (somewhat unfairly) to something you'd be served in a restaurant, it looks as though the pepper and onion component of the sauce were put through the blender, while a 'normal' tortilla would keep the fillings nice an chunky. The chicken comes in reasonably-sized chunks, but there's precious little of it within the wrap.

But, let's not forget that this is a cheap-and-cheerful, microwave snack. As far as they go, they're well-filled, to the point where some of the filling will inevitably burst out while cooking, but they are a little on the small side. They're sold two to a box, and the both of them were not quite enough for a truly satisfying lunchtime snack, but they'd certainly work well as part of a more extensive faux-Mexican feast, as long as one of the other components more ably fulfills the spiciness requirements.

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