My constant mewling about being skint seems to be paying off. The other day Abel and Cole sent me a box of freebies to sample in return for a review. It was only a small box mind you, but it was gratis nonetheless. I would love to be the sort of gluttonous liar that might declare it all to be utterly delicious, thereby ensuring a steady supply of organic goodies from them and indeed other purveyors of fine grub. Unfortunately that sort of back scratching sycophantic nonsense just isn’t for me. Furthermore, I can just picture the look of utter horror on my old BJ (broadcast journalism) lecturer Martin Shaw’s face and I have to kill the thought stone dead in its corrupt little tracks.
I do happen to really like Abel and Cole as they tick all the right ethical boxes with me, so I was mildly excited to receive their surprisingly over-packaged box containing some free hand picked white Cornish crab from the “Seafood and Eat it” company, some Laverstoke Park Farm mozzarella, some black olive hummous and some thin, white maize tortilla chips from Garcia.
This was quite literally a mixed bag, in the sense that half of it was positively manna from above and half of it was quite possibly the worst stuff I’ve ever put in my mouth since that fateful time I was tricked into eating basashi (otherwise known as “horse sushi” –I spat it out as soon as I realised what it was).
The tortillas were far too salty (and I like my salt). They were also vaguely reminiscent of stale Mazola. The hummous was a pot of indistinguishable grey sludge with no discernible flavour whatsoever. It was crying out for garlic or even just salt. I couldn’t work out why anyone would create anything so tasteless, let alone send it for review.
The mozzarella on the other hand was some of the best I’ve ever had. Milky and creamy with a grassy undertone, it was the freshest I’ve sampled on these shores. We had it simply with a twist of pepper, a dribble of avocado oil and some fresh slices of tomato. The crab was also exquisite, but came in quite a titchy portion. I had to stop the fiance from scoffing it all straight from the tub (no easy feat as he is about 6ft tall and I am erm, not). To stretch it out I added it to a mixture of sautéed onions, garlic, chilli, basil, lemon juice and peas before gently forking it through some fresh linguine and parmesan slivers. It appears my life might not be so Dickensian after all.
According to their website Abel and Cole currently charge the following for these products:
White maize tortilla chips (Garcia) – £2.45, Laverstoke Park Farm mozzarella – £2.89, Black olive hummous – £2.20, White cornish crab (Seafood and Eat it) – £4.99