Sunday, 27 September 2009

When cheap food is too cheap

Pride comes before a fall they say and my smugness at my bargain buys these week met with an appropriate reminder that even experienced cooks can make mistakes. My £3 rabbit was inedible. Or, to be precise, since it smelt so bad we didn't eat it I'm pretty sure it was inedible. Bad enough to have to chuck the whole dish away, along with the bacon, onions, carrots, apples and very nice cider I'd added to it.

It wasn't off otherwise I'd have picked it up before I cooked it. It just had that unappealing whiff of stale meat you get from meat that's been kept too long in the freezer. My suspicions should have been aroused by the fact that there was an unusual amount of blood with it, usually a sign that something's been frozen. The pieces were also quite large which led me to suspect it might be tough (usually remedied by slow cooking) though not that it would be rank

The total cost of this disaster - £5 odd on the rabbit and other ingredients, another £5 on picking up a pizza and a pack of rocket to have instead. (Yes, I know I could have made my own and that would have been cheaper but I'd been out all day - and looking forward to my rabbit casserole)

Together with the woolly peaches I bought for a song the other day (largely to write about for this blog) it's a timely reminder that cheap food has its price . . .

Have you had any let-downs from buying so called 'bargain' ingredients?

6 comments:

fran39 said...

I bought some cheap squid once - huge mistake. It had been frozen, it didn't taste great and it gave me food poisoning for two weeks. The kind of food poisoning when you really don't want to know what the symptons are...On a better note, I bought a couple of fresh octopus yesterday for two quid and they were wonderful. My blog has more details!

Jackie said...

I find mussels (here in Melbourne about $4/kilo AUD) can often be touch and go - usually half of them don't open then I get paranoid about the rest and end up having cheese on toast instead :(

James said...

How annoying! Off rabbit has to be one of the worst things ever. The memory of the smell still lingers 20 years on - put me off rabbit for years.

Same thing happened to me with cheap chicken earlier this year. Price was too good to miss. Till I opened it. Hate waste. Resolved to stick with what I know..... my friend knows the local game beater. Fresh and cheap at the same time!

Fiona Beckett said...

Well your octopus certainly sounds - and looks - a good buy, Fran but you bought it from a good source. Steve Hatt is great. Goes to show - as James says - that you should as far as possible stick to suppliers you know.

Gerry said...

Bag of mangoes bought from charming Mayan woman at the side of the road. So stringy the only conceivable use for them was as dental floss!Still I only lost 5q around 30 pence!

Fiona Beckett said...

Oh, I know, Gerry - sometimes you just get overwhelmed by the excitement of what you think is a great bargain ;-)

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