Friday, 2 September 2011
In what way is a tub of cheese sauce 'essential'?
Coming back on the ferry from France yesterday I spotted two full page ads promoting Waitrose's budget 'essential' range and how easily you could run up a ham and leek pasta bake with it.
Most of the ingredients were fair enough. A pack of penne, a pack of sliced ham and a couple of leeks (though £2.70 a kilo isn't particularly cheap) but then I spied not one but two 350g tubs of ready-made cheese sauce at £1.59 each which would bring the cost of the dish to well over a fiver.
OK, I get where Waitrose is coming from - we're all short of time these days but how long does it take to make a cheese sauce? Particularly if you use the Delia all-in-one method which couldn't be easier. And which instead of costing you £3.18 would probably work out just over £1, even allowing for the fact you'd have to buy a pack of cheddar.
The fact that Waitrose is spending so much promoting this way of cooking also underlines how determined supermarkets are to wean us off low value basic ingredients and onto 'value added' ones. By implying we don't have the time or knowledge to make a cheese sauce they undermine less experienced cooks' confidence in their ability to make a meal from scratch and make them spend more than they need.
I don't know about you but I think that's a shame.
PS another thing that's odd. How come the recipe has a five star rating when no-one appears to have rated or commented on it? Just askin'.