The distinguished members of TATTGOC sure do love their curry, as evidenced by their outdated title of Curry Lovers Of The Year 2010. But their ongoing quest for spicy satisfaction isn't merely limited to TATTGOC's regular excursions to some of Glasgow's hidden-gem curryhouses. If they happen across almost any curry-related foodstuff or product, Trampy and The Tramp feel compelled to take it for a spin – and thus was born the irregular feature Tastin' With The Tramps, where TATTGOC's burly founders crack open the Kingfisher and get their laughing gear round something fiery. What curry-related foodstuff or product is in the hot seat this time? It's relatively new ground for the Tramps, as they pit their own bad selves against Waitrose's Hot And Fiery Salad ... with special guest reviewer, Mumbai Me A Pony!
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The Product: This brand-new seasonal salad has just landed on Waitrose shelves, and will be available all summer long at £1.49 a bag. The Hot And Fiery Salad contains nasturtium leaves, Greek cress, inferno rocket and red coral leaf. While Trampy was browsing the Waitrose salad aisle, he also popped a bag of Inferno Rocket Salad into his basket since that also sounded quite hot and manly. (For the record, Trampy had only previously ventured into Waitrose to purchase two of his desert island luxury items: St Peter's India Pale Ale and Barry Norman's Pickled Onions.) The Inferno Rocket Salad – also priced at £1.49 a bag – contains, rather predictably, sheafs of inferno rocket but also red chard and red butterhead. None of these are particularly familiar-sounding ingredients, so the Tramps were excited! (And nervous!)
The Pitch: From the press release introducing Hot And Fiery Salad: This mouth-tingling new creation by Waitrose is dubbed "man-salad" linking it to the macho trend in trying to find the hottest curry dish or chilli sauce on the market. Waitrose experts have carefully selected a mix of leaves to give the new Hot And Fiery Salad the biggest possible taste kick. The eye-watering combination contains inferno rocket and nasturtium leaves that are exclusive to the supermarket. Greek cress and radish leaves complete the peppery mix whilst butterhead leaves give the salad added crunch and texture. Waitrose Salad Buyer Rhonwen Cunningham said: “British food tastes have changed drastically over the past 60 years and hot, spicy foods such as curry have become a staple part of our diet. Salads are changing because of this trend so we decided to man-up our bagged salad aisle by launching what we believe is the hottest mix of leaves ever sold by a supermarket.” Them's fighting words!
The Packaging: Just yer usual clear salad bags, albeit with "new" stickers on them to attract the roving eye of passing shoppers. The names of the salads are also printed in red, to identify and underline their inherent hotness, presumably.
The Process: Clearly, the Tramps weren't just going to sit down and nibble salad like a pair of goddamn rabbits. They needed a suitably spicy foil for these extravagant leaves. Waitrose seemed confident that their fiery arrangement could compete alongside proper curry flavours, so the fragrant Mumbai Me A Pony arranged a delivery of mixed grill tandoori from the nearby Southside takeaway Cafe Serena, which had come highly recommended from a credible source. How did she arrange this delivery? By getting The Tramp to pick it up on his way home from work. And so these three currynauts sat down to a delightful spread of tandoori treats, rich curry sauce, rice, naan, ice-cold Kingfisher ... and two bowls of "man-salad". How did it all go down?
Trampy says: "The only salad I associate with curry is the often tired-looking garnish that turns up alongside a portion of mixed pakora, which I usually refrain from consuming. But I was happy to make an exception in this case as the salad bowls gave our tandoori feast a patina of healthiness it may otherwise have lacked. The Hot And Fiery Salad had more of a kick to it, I thought, with some of the smaller leaves having unexpectedly powerful effects. These salads are apparently only available for the summer so I would consider buying them again, but if I was down to my last £1.49 in Waitrose I'd probably bank it and put it towards a future jar of Barry Norman's Pickled Onions, which were introduced to me by Rogan Josh Homme. Those onions are really spicy, and awesome."
The Tramps says: "I like salad anyway but I don't like to mess around with tomato or cucumber. I just like rocket, onions, peppers ... the spicy stuff. So it's good to see Waitrose rocking the hot leaves. I can see why they're marketing it as man-salad but I really don't think it's that hard to get guys to eat their greens. But if I was standing looking at a whole cooler aisle full of salads in bags, I would probably be drawn to these two. Especially the Inferno Rocket. That's a great name! It sounds like a motorcycle from hell. I wasn't familiar with all of the leaves in these selections but I was generally impressed by the spicy kick. But as much as I'd like to recommend the salads, I'd also recommend Cafe Serena, our new favourite takeaway. Their mixed grill is dynamite."
Mumbai Me A Pony says: "I thought the little lilypads or four-leaf clovers – maybe it's the Greek cress? – were particularly spicy. There were also a few sweet leaves in there too. I was impressed that these salads held their own against the mixed grill. They certainly helped freshen the palate, but if forced to choose I would probably rate the Hot And Fiery over the Inferno Rocket."
The Verdict: Remember that press release? Where they called the selection of salad leaves an "eye-watering combination"? Turns out they were right, 'cos when Trampy foolishly rubbed his right eye after handling Hot And Fiery Salad, much redness ensued (a quick eye-bath soon soothed away the pain). "I think it's particularly amusing that this salad gave Trampy a bloodshot eye," said The Tramp, repeatedly, into the official TATTGOC Dictaphone, to ensure his views were accurately recorded in the write-up. So, even with minor injuries, it's a pretty strong thumbs-up from the Tramps for "man-salad" ... and a hearty cheer for Cafe Serena too!
Do you have a curry-related foodstuff you're launching into the crowded modern marketplace where a recommendation from appropriate enthusiasts might help? If so, drop us an introductory line at firstname.lastname@example.org and see YOUR product featured on ... Tastin' With The Tramps!
PREVIOUSLY CONSUMED ON TASTIN' WITH THE TRAMPS
The Pot Noodle GTi!
Mr Singh's Curry Pies!
The Pot Noodle Fightback!