Tesco: Who Stole the Macaroni?

1050x400 Tesco Macaroni Cheese



Recently, I had to have a tooth removed and so I needed some easy to eat food.  Macaroni cheese I thought.  

Stupid idea!

Tesco Customer Relations
PO Box 73
Baird Avenue
Dryburgh Industrial Estate
Dundee
DD1 9NF

Dear Customer Relations,

 Tesco Italian Macaroni Cheese

Earlier this week I had a wisdom tooth removed and very unpleasant it was too.  I spent the rest of the day at home feeling terribly sorry for myself and leaving trails of dribble everywhere from my the lop-sided and comprehensively anaesthetised face.  That evening, my wife considerately prepared a spaghetti bolognese so that I would not have to indulge in excessive chewing.  Unfortunately, the humungous crater in my lower jaw, where my wisdom tooth had lived very happily for the last forty years, turned out to be the perfect place to start my own private minced meat bits collection.  Now everyone who has ever had a wisdom tooth removed will tell you that you are simply not allowed to rinse out your mouth until the next day so as not to dislodge the little blood clot that will eventually allow your gums to heal.  My little crater full of minced meat had to go to bed with me.  It wasn’t very nice.

So at lunchtime the next day, my freshly rinsed mouth and I wandered into the nice little Tesco Express store near my workplace determined to find myself something for lunch that didn’t involve a lot of chewing and most especially, didn’t have any ‘bits’ in.  It proved to be a lot harder than it sounds.  Sandwiches were out of the question and so was my usual packet of salted peanuts.   The moussaka, the lasagne and the chilli con carne were all made almost entirely of bits.  There were lots and lots of pasta salads – made with pasta layered attractively with mayonnaise – and bits.  Even the soups had bits in – Chicken with bits, mushroom with bits and country vegetable with all manner of bits.

Finally, I spotted the perfect dish.  Tesco Italian Macaroni Cheese.  “Italian macaroni pasta in a deeply cheesy, thick and creamy sauce, scattered with gratings of tangy mature Cheddar“.  Nothing but easy-to-swallow-without-even-chewing pieces of macaroni in a completely bit-free  sauce.  Whoopee!

I danced across the store to the self-service check-out, paid my two pounds and skipped joyfully back to the office to pop it in the microwave.  Once I had removed the cardboard sleeve however, I could see immediately that there was a problem.  Well’ actually, there were two problems.The second problem was the “gratings of tangy mature cheddar scattered” on top of the dish.  “Scattered” was a well chosen word.  Had I had the patience to lay all the little bits of cheese side by side with the aid of tweezers and a magnifying glass, they would have failed to cover my thumbnail.  Quite how I was supposed to get that golden brown toasted cheesy topping in the photograph on the sleeve I’ll never know (ignoring for a moment that I was using a microwave).  Cheese apparently made up 19% of the dish.  I can only assume that the other 18.9% was in the sauce.

The first problem – the really big problem – was that this Macaroni Cheese didn’t in fact contain any macaroni.

Now perhaps I am being unreasonable but I’m pretty sure that usually, Spaghetti Bolognese has some spaghetti in it.  Mushroom Risotto usually contains some pieces of mushroom. Potato Lyonnaise more often than not contains some potato.  Onion Bhajee isn’t made out of turnips.  There are exceptions of course – Shepherds Pie and Toad in the Hole spring to mind – but for the most part, the name of these prepared foods is generally a very good guide as to the principal ingredient.

So why in God’s name is your Tesco Italian Macaroni Cheese actually Tesco Italian Penne in Cheese sauce?  Do you not realise – there is a reason that Italians make Macaroni Cheese with macaroni and not with penne pasta?  It is the sauce, you blithering idiots.  The little hole in a piece of macaroni retains the sauce whereas the great big hole through the middle of a piece of penne pasta pours the cheese sauce straight down the front of whatever you happen to be wearing in much the same way that a gargoyle ejects water from a cathedral roof.

Have you ever tried to eat this stuff?  By the time you have finished, you look like a three year old child after its first ice cream cornet!

So for the sake of accuracy, and to eliminate the blatant breach of the Trade Descriptions Act 1968 for which you could be prosecuted, can I suggest that you rename this product correctly.  ‘Tesco Italian Squirts Hot Cheese Sauce Down Your Front  Penne Pasta with Bugger All Grated Cheese On Top’ would seem to be about right.

Yours Faithfully,

Anthony.

God bless Tesco.  They replied quickly and politely to my letter:

Well, I could hardly leave it there could I.  They clearly weren’t going to do anthing about the new name and there was that careless mention of ‘consumer panels’!………

Dean Warden
Tesco Customer Relations
PO Box 73
Baird Avenue
Dryburgh Industrial Estate
Dundee
DD1 9NF 

Dear Dean,

Tesco Italian Macaroni Cheese

Thank you for your letter dated 27th July and the Tesco Moneycard to the value of £10.00 which I shall give to a local charity.  I shall recommend that they use it to buy several boxes of your Tesco Italian Macaroni Cheese so they can hold a sponsored cheese sauce squirting competition.  I think it would prove very popular and raise lots of money.  With the practice I have already had, I also stand a good chance of winning!

I was delighted to hear that you have contacted your supplier and have asked them to look into my complaint.  I hope you will keep me informed of developments.

In the meantime, I was also intrigued to learn that you invite consumer panels to review product samples in your kitchens.  That sounds like an opportunity too good to miss.  Would I have to travel to Dundee or do you have kitchens elsewhere in the UK where such events take place?  A customer panel event in the North of England would be ideal.  Perhaps you could let me know when the next one is taking place.

Yours sincerely,

Anthony

PS.  My gums are healing nicely and I am once again able to eat food with bits in.

 

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