Monday, 31 August 2015

Watties for babies: pumpkin and sweetcorn

Back when I started blogging about baby food, one of the comments I heard a bit was 'why are you doing the fruit based foods, everyone's going to like them anyway. Do more savoury foods!' So today I decided to branch out into the adventurous world of puréed pumpkin and sweetcorn. What an adventure!

Contains: Pumpkin (64%), Sweetcorn (24%), Water

Initial thoughts: Had Warhol decided to paint cans of Watties baby food instead of Campbell's soup, this could've been his Mona Lisa. After plain apple and plain pear, this would be the most ubiquitous of the stage one range, a classic kiwi staple that I imagine would rival only baked beans as one of Watties' top grossing products. On opening the can, a gelatinous ochre mass greets the eye, not dissimilar to a slightly discoloured lemon curd, if you will.

Emily's reaction: I missed Emily's feeding time due to working late. However, I am reliable informed that once she was distracted from the rampaging toddler brother, it went down a treat. A small coating at the bottom of the can is all that is left for my testing.

Bouquet: Not surprisingly given the ingredients, pumpkin features predominantly on the nose. A strong, sweet scent, most likely raw, or lightly cooked and mashed at best, certainly not oven roasted. The sweetcorn remains disappointingly in absentia, hoping to be discovered on tasting.

Taste test: Once spooned out and spread around a plate, the gelatinous glop originally encountered disperses to reveal a slightly coarse purée, with small sinews evident within the substrate. However, the solid elements are not evident within the mouth, and the food glides down the tongue smoothly. Again, the taste is overwhelmingly pumpkin, sweet and strong, with initially dissapointingly little sweetcorn. However, after holding in the mouth for thirty seconds, the maize elements do reveal themselves, but perhaps linger on the taste buds slightly too long for my liking: the flavour remained for ten minutes after my ingestion. Unsurprisingly, the third ingredient, water, does not feature heavily at all on the palate.

Overall, this took me back to the concentrated pumpkin soups of my childhood, which I would enjoy the anticipation of consuming, but then leave long enough that they would go cold. However, because my parents had paid good money for this soup, they were going to be damned if I didn't finish it.

Overall: 5.5/10. I feared the savoury, however the sweetness gifted by the pumpkin makes this a palatable, if slightly in your face offering.

Goes well with: A pinch of black pepper mixed in to season. To drink, water (tap), the size of the pumpkin flavours would overpower the nuances of a more delicate beverage.

Sunday, 30 August 2015

Watties for baby: Apple, peach and mango

Have you ever wondered what your baby's food tastes like? I know have, so I decided to do something revolutionary today and I tasted it, and it was amazing! So much so that I felt I needed to let other parents know what they were missing out on! Over the coming weeks and months, as my six month old graduates from stage one purée, on to firmer solids, formula, and what not, I'll endeavour to keep up with the play and have whatever she's having. Hell, if my two and a half year old picks up something interesting, I'll try grab a bite of that, too. Like stealing candy from babies, except with mushed up fruit, vegetables, grains, dairy products and shit. So, without further ado, tonight this little monster: 

Is eating this stuff:  

Contains: Apple (72%), Peach (14.9%), Mango (13%), vitamin C

First impressions: a safe start, I know Emily has eaten this without too much bother in the past. Three fruit, all of which I would eat in the native form, surely it's going to be at least palatable?

Emily's reaction: loved it. Had just woken up, and was particularly unhappy about having done so, so attempted to placate with food on the basis that it's the quickest way to my heart. The novelty of eating faced some strong competition from staring at the dog initially, but focus was quickly redirected. Chugged down, and ate the whole thing except for two teaspoons, which were surrendered to Dad for tasting purposes. Emily was not pleased by this at all.

Bouquet: The smell of this more than anything else made me think that tasting baby food would be a good idea to try. A pleasant, floral bouquet, with strong hints of mango particularly lingering on the nose.

Taste test: a smooth, almost fluid texture, not unlike a slightly thickened chocolate milkshake, but with a different flavour. Apple fans beware, the apple appears to be only here as a base to bulk out the product, with the taste being nigh on non-existent. The mango, once again, is the overpowering component, with quite a pleasing peach aftertaste lingering on the palate.

Score: 7/10, a pleasant bouquet leads you in, but the mango tones tend to overpower.

Would go well with: a chilled Chardonnay, or a light lager, on the deck on a lazy summer's day.