The overall rating of a review is different from a simple average of all individual ratings.
Share this review on
This review refers to the M&S Deli range 'Tomato and Mozzarella Salad' which I picked up at lunchtime from my local high street M&S for lunch.
It's a 220g pack, so quite small for a lunch. Couldn't, as usual, see any prices anywhere but again, as usual, there weren't enough salads on the shelves to meet demand, so I hastily grabbed this salad and headed for the checkout. I was amazed to be charged £2.99 for such a small salad, even if it does contain mozzarella cheese - tomatoes and a bit of lettuce don't cost much.
So I've settled in back at my desk and these are my thoughts about said salad. I've opened the 'lid', which is actually a pull away almost polythene-like top to the plastic see-through container (a flimsier version of the top of meat packets), and a layered salad lies beneath.
The tomatoes, five of which are very red and juicy looking baby plum cherry tomatoes and three of which are not so red and delicious looking ordinary cherry tomatoes, make up the first layer of the salad. The green stuff, which at this moment looks like basil or rocket (I'm yet to taste) is next, followed by a bottom layer of cheese balls (about thirteen in total) which are covered in an oil dressing.
Having now checked the bottom of the packet, the green stuff is spinach and the dressing is basil oil dressing.
Onto tasting then. The tomatoes were nice and ripe, which is good as often in salads they're too hard, particulary when they've been chilled. However, I'd urge M&S to ditch the three ordinary cherry tomatoes and stick with the baby plums which are more full of flavour than the others. The spinach has been shredded, so while it tastes great it can be tricky to get onto my fork. Finally, now that I've reached the bottom of the salad and the cheese, it's quite divine. However, either the cheese hasn't been drained properly or it doesn't like the heat we're experiencing today, as the basil oil, now I've reached the bottom of the salad, is beginning to go cloudy from the cheese, and I can't really taste the dressing.
I'm not going to dwell on the nutritional information given that every nutritionist's opinion of what's good and what's bad varies, but from a personal point of view I don't think it's too bad: 260 cals a pack, 6.1g carbs and 16.6g fat (this'll be the cheese I expect).
All in all, I've enjoyed the salad but for a lunch for one it's extravagant. It's not quite enough at 220g for a complete lunch: you have to have something else to go with it. While I'll admit to not being skinny as a rake, and I haven't eaten anything since my breakfast, this small salad won't suffice for my skinny friends either. I am going to have to eat something else as well: probably the raspberries that I have on my desk, so this will push the cost of today's lunch into excess of £5. While the raspberries are my choice, if you compare this salad to the cost of a sandwich and a pack of crisps/bar of chocolate/yoghurt, that will win on size and value on most occasions, especially when there are so many sandwich deals around.
However, if you want something a bit different at home and don't want to prepare it, then this could be a solution, especially if you wanted to do a selection of small but more unusual salads than the normal green everyday salad.
Personally, while I'll probably buy it again for lunch I'd need to be feeling flush - if I bought this every day of the working week, based on a four week month, just this salad would set me back £59.80 - when my usual lunch is a 250g tub of low fat cottage cheese at 79p a pot, ths is an extravagance that I (and I suspect most people) wouldn't be able to afford.