Last week I hopped on to the train down to London for the day. Whilst it was cold and chucking it down with rain in Durham, when I arrived in the city it was absolutely glorious, and roasting hot.
I had been invited to attend the Iceland Foods showcase of their Christmas products, which on a scorching hot day in July, felt a little weird. I guess that’s how our friends in the southern hemisphere must feel when actual Christmas rolls round!
Until I worked with Iceland a few weeks ago on this post featuring a really delicious Goan Green Chicken Curry, I have to admit, I had been a bit of a food snob when it came to the brand. I hadn’t shopped in an Iceland for many years, and the impression I had was that it wouldn’t have much available in terms of healthy whole foods. I was very wrong in that assumption and have really been surprised by what they offer.
Their Christmas in July event showcased some amazing products which could genuinely rival much higher end stores in terms of their flavour, ingenuity and quality. They also had examples of some of their whole food options like fish, lobster, chicken and steak.
They have over 200 different products coming out for this coming Christmas and I was very lucky to get to sample some of them!
Chicken Nacho with Luxury Smoked Salmon with Beetroot and Orange – the chicken nacho was one of my favourite bites, really tasty!
Extra Mature Cheddar Souffles – this was one of my favourites, really light and fluffy.
This was lobster, fish and cured ham, absolutely delicious!
This was a sample of their Gilded Whole Turkey which is baked in the oven with a muslin and butter cloth to keep the meat moist and prevent browning which is then finished with a honey and mustard dressing to add that golden touch. The turkey was served with some of their Luxury Christmas Tree and Baubles – romanesco broccoli and round carrots!
Reveal Snowflake Cake – this was amazing (and the whole cake itself really is a show stopper!) The cake has an all butter chocolate brownie base and is topped with Belgian Chocolate Rose Gold Snowflake Shell. You then pour over hot chocolate sauce to reveal the chocolate mouse inside. Divine!
Macaroons and Fruity Eclairs – I would have never expected something like these from Iceland, they tasted fab and would look so amazing on display!
Everything I tried was absolutely delicious and looked amazing, plus there were many more other dishes on show that we didn’t sample such as a vegetarian Roast Parsnip & Portobello Mushroom Pithivier with puff pastry, Luxury Pork, Honey and Rosemary Stuffing Parcels and much more. You could serve this up at Christmas and look as if you’d been to a much more expensive store, no one would know the difference!
Given that I cooked Christmas lunch for the first time myself last year, and as a busy Mum, I can absolutely see why having a bunch of great quality affordable options to hand is a great idea. I love cooking so I do think I’d still cook up a few dishes, but I would certainly be looking to reduce the stress and panic. Having a few of Icelands Christmas products in the freezer ready to go would help me be a good host to whomever we have round, but better still, let me actually enjoy the season without totally stressing out.
Alongside healthier staples for any season, I’ll definitely be serving some of Icelands Christmas products this coming December, well impressed!
I know it’s a bit early to talk about Christmas, but what do you love to serve for festive meals? Has this sneak peak made you think about Iceland in a different way than before?
*Post in collaboration with Iceland Foods
I used to work at Iceland when I was at uni- yes they had a load of processed stuff and ready meals, but they also had a big range of things like frozen veggies, and they did stock fresh fruit and pantry staples. I think they still need to shake off their ready meal image though. The ones near me are a bit out of the way so it’s not somewhere I would tend to go. Having just started the summer holidays, I am not ready to think about Christmas yet!
Haha it was very weird thinking about Christmas! Too early even for me! I agree, I think they are working on changing that association with programmes like the Eat The Week which was more about recipes.