Value for money
Compiled by CONOR POPE
Big Al’s Home Style Burgers €3.49 for 400g, €8.72 per kg
“This is the oddest tasting and looking beef burger we have ever had,” we thought, as we bit into this with a heavy heart. We looked more closely at the box and were most relieved to discover that we had bought a pork burger. While these are a long way from nice, they are still marginally better than some of their beefy cousins. There were some spicy flavours in the mix and, unsurprisingly, perhaps, it was reminiscent of a fairly ordinary sausage. On the box, Big Al suggested we “try it with a simple stir fry”, which seems kind of insane to us.
Verdict: Less horrible
Star rating: **
Spar €2.49 for 400g, €6.22 per kg
On the box, Spar assured us we were getting “seasoned cuts of prime beef”. Now, we can’t be sure what “prime” means in Sparland but if this is the best they’ve got, we are not impressed. Spar should also look up the definition of “seasoned” and “tasty”. These burgers were anything but. Ours shared the same spongy texture as Bird’s Eye’s Big Bites but was perhaps a little greasier. It was mercifully small but still managed to sweat a worrying amount of fat as it cooked. Far from being “seasoned” our burger was almost entirely devoid of flavour. The thought of ever having to eat one of these again is too much to bear.
Star rating: *
Aldi Specially Selected Oakhurst Beef Burger €1.99 for 454g, €4.38 per kg
These burgers actually look like meat. They are pink and bleed when undercooked. They are made with 99 per cent beef and carry the Bord Bia seal of approval. As with all Aldi burgers, this one came from Larry Goodman’s ABP Meats although we are sure the German discounter is hoarse telling people this particular line has not been tainted by the recent, um, unpleasantness. While we can’t imagine a circumstance when we would willingly eat this again, it is not the worst thing we have ever tasted.
Verdict: Comparably good
Bird’s Eye Big Bites €4.99for 583g, €8.59 per kg
These burgers are absolutely massive. And absolutely vile. The makers promised us “the perfect antidote to a rumbling stomach” but that is not what we got at all. What we got had the texture of a soft greasy sponge and the colour of a cadaver. It was made with just 69 per cent (British) beef, filler and some beef fat for added deliciousness. A single slab of this grimness would have accounted for a third of our daily allowance of saturated fats had we managed to eat it all. It was utterly bland but still left an unpleasant aftertaste that we struggled to shake.
Verdict: Never again
Star rating: *