Tasted: Biona Organic Curry… in a can?

By Veggie Tom
Curry in a can is hard to pull off. There’s a lingering background flavour of slightly raw spice, but otherwise this is a pretty good effort.

The product:
Biona has had a conscience since before it was cool. The concerns which the country’s more free-thinking food producers have been harping on about for decades have gone mainstream via lots of little scandals: pesticide scares raised the profile of organic food, battery farm videos shocked customers into demanding free range, and hidden horse meat put traceability in high demand. But as the big companies (seemingly) start changing their ways to chase the ethical pound, you have to take your hat off to the ones which have always know where their morals are.

The verdict:
I tried three Biona products – a nice mixed nut butter with a good roasted flavour, a lovely agave syrup in a squeezy bottle and a Thai veg curry in a can. That last one’s the most interesting, because curry in a can is very rarely a thing which works. The ingredients are usually too squashy and the flavour’s too preserved. It’s one of those foods which microwave dinners just do much better. But do you know what? Biona’s canned curry is not bad at all. Chickpeas provide the bulk, which is perfect, because they keep their texture when they’re canned. There’s a nice touch of heat to the spices, too, and – for a curry with coconut cream in it – the calorie count is pretty good (it’s on a par with baked beans). The only shortfall, and it’s a big one, is that the spices taste a bit raw – there’s something about them which doesn’t feel quite integrated, an almost powdery edge which would tell you instantly that it’s canned. Four forkfuls in, mind you, and it’s not so jarring. All told, there’s plenty to like – and for storecupboard curry, it’s pretty good.

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Ingredients: Water, Chick Peas* (20%)*,Tomatoes*, Potatoes (13%)*, Coconut Cream*(7.5%)*, Peas (7%)*, Sunflower Oil*, Curry Powder (2%)*, Tamari (Water, Soya Beans*(46%))*, Sea Salt, Koji (Aspergillus Oryzael). Garlic*, Coriander Leaf*, Sea Salt, Thai Basil (0.3%)*, Ground Coriander*, Apple Juice* *Organic

Can you eat it? Veggie, vegan and gluten-free – but it does contain garlic and soya.

Barcode: 5032722312524

Biona Organic Thai Vegetable Curry
Curry in a can is hard to pull off. There’s a lingering background flavour of slightly raw spice, but otherwise it’s a pretty good effort. Tasted by Veggie Tom.

Not forgetting: 

Barcode: 5032722305120
Biona Organic Agave Syrup Light 
Some are drawn to agave syrup as an alternative to sugar – but I’m a sucker for the gorgeous caramel flavour which can almost rival maple syrup. Biona’s is a great example, so buy it if the price fits. Tasted by Veggie Tom.

Barcode: 5032722307285
Biona Organic Mixed Nut Butter
You can taste the almonds and hazelnuts in this good quality nut butter. Buy it if the price fits. Tasted by Veggie Tom.

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