I had a food delivery from ASDA today. It was a lot better than the last internet order from ASDA, and the driver was a source of much information. He told us, for instance, that during the height of the panic-buying people were buying so much food that on one delivery run he was only able to fit three deliveries on the van. No wonder they ran out of both food and capacity.
For a while I started to feel sympathy for ASDA. Then I began to unpack the order and look at the substitutions.
I had ordered two packs of bake at home baguettes. I did this because I want to finish off the baking at home and be able to have fresh bread in a week’s time. It’s nine days until the next delivery.
I didn’t get that. They substituted ready-cut white bread rolls, the sort we call burger buns in the UK. They are never good quality bread. And, being cut, they are already well on the way to being stale by the time you get them. Poor quality, stale, soft, cotton wool and unappetising. We have limited freezer space and though we have frozen one pack we will have to eat the other as quickly as possible. Unfortunately, eating them will delay the eating of the sliced loaf we also ordered, and that will start to go stale, or even mouldy, before we finish it.
There is nothing like a nice, crusty, warm baguette. And, as we say in the UK, the substitute buns are nothing like a nice, crusty, warm baguette.
Who thinks a pack of burger buns are an acceptable substitute for a nice crusty baguette?
If they were out of vinegar would they send me battery acid as a substitute. They are, after all, both acids, but they have very different effects when sprinkled on chips.
I also ordered a couple of Sicilian Lemon tarts as a treat for dessert one night. They sent profiteroles. I like profiteroles, and if I wanted them I’m quite capable of ordering them. But I wanted the sharpness of Sicilian Lemon tarts, even though I doubt that the lemons have ever seen Sicily. We had the profiteroles tonight – they were short of chocolate and cream. I don’t know about you, but I don’t buy them because of the choux pastry, I want chocolate and cream. Or, to be accurate, I want Sicilian Lemon Tart.
Better than the bread substitution but not ideal.
Then there was the coriander. I wanted fresh coriander leaves for some recipes I’m going to try. So I ordered fresh coriander leaves with soil so that they would sit in a pot and last a week or two. I thought I was getting a pot too, but they have stopped doing that so they save plastic.
What did they send?
Did they send cut coriander, which would give you the flavour without the longevity? No.
Did they send Ground Coriander or Coriander seeds from the spice section? No.
They sent me flat leaf parsley. As I had already ordered some, I now have two lots of flat leaf parsley.
So, no coriander, and a double helping of parsley. If I’d wanted two, I would have ordered two.
I really should stop believing them when they say they have things in stock, and I should start saying that I don’t want substitutions. Then, of course, I would end up with no bread and no pudding.
To be fair, I should say that they did substitute a couple of things which were more expensive than the items I’d ordered, and didn’t charge me extra. But I’m not feeling very fair after the bread substitution, or last week.