6 March 2011

Balancing Flavours - Mangajo drink & Wilkin & Sons Marmalade [by @NLi10]

Taste is an acquired thing.

Everyone has a scoville point, a range between which the spiciness of food is to their liking. This is recognised in the food industry and simplified to Mild, Medium, Hot and Very Hot. Like in ladies clothing each store or brand means a slightly different thing with these labels so other than using them as scale to move along when the first item is wrong they aren't a great help. Unfortunately we don't even have this luxury when choosing foods based on the strength of flavour, unless we are buying cordial to dilute ourselves then past experience is our only guide.

Mangajo Pomegranate & Green Tea

I bought this for alongside sushi at lunch one day. Sushi has delicate flavours and I was very light on the ginger, yet this tasted like water. I like water, I drink lots of it, but when picking up a new exciting drink with both Pomegranate (I love this!) and Green Tea (I also love this) I expect to taste at least one of them (this I like less). If I bought a bottle of ready diluted Ribena and then drank it, then refilled the bottle with water it would taste similar to this. Maybe my tastes have shifted due to all the strong juices I drink and all the cordial that I've under diluted over the years. I've no idea how something that tastes like water with food colourings in is a double detox either...

Wilkin & Sons Ltd. "Tawny" Orange Marmalade

Thick cut peel, proper marmalade with the names of the people who made it on it - great! I'm under no illusions, this company may be huge as it was a Sainsbury's purchase, but the plain and simple look of this hooked me in like Kettle Chips did back in the 90s when you could only buy them in health food shops. I toasted myself a couple of bagels and spread this nice and thick all over (no spread so I didn't mingle the taste) and then took a bite.


I never knew that Tawny owls were renowned for their strength, this is probably the orangiest thing I'd ever tasted. It was stronger than orange fruit pastels strong. Tthe flavour was nice when I had tiny bits, thinly spread over the bagel, but in my customary large chunks to enjoy the texture style of spreading I struggled to finish it. On a repeat eating (a repeating?) I spread it much, much thinner as if I was adding dangerous chemicals or marmite and it was much better. 454g of this stuff could last me a decade at the rate I'm eating it so I may see if my mother likes it and donate it to her. I'll probably eat it just as quickly on weekend visits.

So in summary, we need a flavour meter for food. I'm sure if you like these food products at the strength these are made at then both are perfectly fine. To me though I'm just Goldilocks in the bears kitchen cupboards complaining that everything isn't made just for my individual tastes. Strong drinks, and mild spreads are my preferences but I'm sure everyone reading will have other ideas.
by NLi10


Lot-O-Choc said...

Sorry you didnt enjoy these so much, Im the same with drinks, if i buy a "flavoured water" i dont want it to taste like a squash thats been diluted a million times over, its just not nice!

Meg said...

Wilkin & Sons isn't that big, actually. Well, it wasn't when I lived in Tiptree (Maldon Road!) from 1976 (when I was two) to 1998.

We referred it as "the jam factory", partly as a joke because it didn't look like a typical factory. It looked like a cluster of residential houses or a typical farm with a few rows of white plastic rectangle domes. It provided the core employment, but it didn't dominate the village. It was just there, on the edge of the village, sometimes to the point where its existence is forgotten. Such as when I'm in a supermarket and see rows of Tiptree jam jars and I think, "Oh, yeah. Tiptree does make jam." Weird!

I could never eat any of their jams though because it can be so rich or strong. I think the only one I could eat without reaching for a glass of water is Gooseberry. It's a little sharp, but so lovely on a toasted bread or bagel.

cinabar said...

I have quite a tolerance for sweet and strong flavours... having said that your description of the Gooseberry jam sounds lovely, so I will give it a try.

Thank you for sharing your happy memories, it sounds an idyllic place in which to grow up. :-)

bob said...

Tawny is ace in my book.
Definitely a cult favourite, sort of like Fortnum & Mason's Sir Nigel's Marmalade.
The Tiptree Orange and Malt Whiskey is fantastic stuff as well.

NLi10 said...

I've learned to use a tiny amount of this compared to the usual marmalades and it's not so powerful. I still have my original jar though!