I did my weekly food shop at New Zealand Wines and it was better than Sains
A lot of my dinners were carb based
Ah, New Zealand wines. The only place where you can buy 6 brands of condoms and only 1 brand of soap. It’s always there for you when you need a cheeky K cider or three for AU, or two bottles of wine for a fiver. This gem of Fallowfield won’t leave you like your ex did. But in terms of groceries what does it provide? I decided to find out.
After extensive research (and feeling too lazy to walk all the way from Owens Park to Sainsburys), I concluded it was indeed possible to get many of the essentials from NZ. Despite their lack of vegetables, I felt fairly confident in the assumption that placing my nutrition in the hands of everyone’s favourite store would not result in rickets or death.
One thing that has to be said for New Zealand Wines is that their snack selection is an absolute game-changer. They stock all kinds of weird and wonderful treats that you'd never find on a Sainsbury's shelf (Mars ice cream!!) The top pics featured heavily in my shop – white chocolate chip cookies, faultless. Amazing. Inspired. Chocolate and hazelnut spread – actually much cheaper (by £1.15 if you want to be pedantic) and in some ways better than Nutella, this underdog channeled the sweetness of the bougie Malteser spread while maintaining enough nuttiness. And finally, Mars ice cream – gal’s time of the month is incomplete without a family sized ice cream tucked in bed next to a film on Netflix. It’s just a fact.
On day one I started ambitiously with some of the finer ingredients I had on demand from my haul to make a truly bangin’ toastie. I produced a beautiful cheese ‘n’ pesto toastie with sun dried tomatoes, the taste of which I’d place a close second to orgasm. 10/10 meal and I am looking into legally marrying myself.
Ask anyone my favourite meal and they’ll all say beans on toast. NZ offer all the ingredients (except cheddar, but who needs those extra calories anyway?) 7/10, can't beat it.
Scrambled eggs on toast. The bread-base component of pretty much every meal so far has made for a very carb-heavy week. But I’m delighted to say NZ's eggs are both free-range AND organic. 8/10.
Breakfast was coco pops with almond milk. I’m not vegan but nor am I a fan of cows milk, and I have to say I was impressed with the range of products that were free from your typical allergens. Vegans, the lactose and/or gluten free, the nut allergists (soy and oat milk was also in stock) are free to spread their wings down this aisle, assured in the knowledge that they have a safe space here. Big up NZ wines for catering for us minorities out there.
Fish finger sandwich. Timeless classic. A delicacy that simply puts any other meal to shame, the modest cousin of more refined seafood palates, yet a step up from your usual chip barm/butty. 9/10 meal.
I embodied a student cliché and ate pesto pasta out of a saucepan while procrastinating a whole load of reading. Again, cheese was sorely missed and the carbs took their toll. But all in all, pretty good. 6/10.
Super noodles. Just don’t talk to me about Sundays. They are cursed. My motivation plummets, as does my serotonin and it didn't make me feel particularly great dining on freeze dried noodles. I'm pretty sure the spork I used to eat them with had a greater nutritional value, a Sunday night Chinese takeaway was sorely missed.
All in all, NZ is a more expensive shop than Lidl, Sains and Tesco, and due to the lack of fresh fruit and veg available, probably only best for the essentials (like red stripe and ice cream.) However, any small range of groceries that caters for a variety of dietary requirements has to be applauded. With a little creativity, I got some bangin’ meals this week. I’m rating New Zealand Wines' groceries a 6/10 overall.