Bisto - Curry Sauce Mix

A Review in Cuisine - 25/05/2024

  • £3.00
  • Tesco
Here, in my little dusty nook of this new and instantaneous world in a universe brimming with videos on demand, lightning-fast data access via the information superhighway, and instant copy-and-paste face upgrades, there has always been a sacred pocket of simplicity that only poked at the rapid future we steamrolled into - a time where only food preparation was instant. Coffee had been dried and crumbled down to a pitiful jar of mud-looking granules and sold as a convenience, gravy that would blanket a Sunday roast from whence it was born was now dehydrated into particles of savoury crumbs waiting to be watered, and custard that would suddenly spring into existence with a dash of hot milk, which in turn could've also been previously powdered. Everything else took time. But with the time saved by getting AI to do my day job (before ultimately losing my day job due to cheaper employees also using AI to do their day job), I sauntered over to my local supermarket and grabbed a grubby tube of that old-timey instant curry sauce.

Housed within a powdery cardboard tube that could have previously held warehouse materials, the "Bisto Sauce Mix Curry" curry sauce mix beckoned me to skip the nonsense of creating something from raw, Earth-borne materials, and invited me just to add water to a dusty helping of granules. I have no idea how to make 'chip shop' curry sauce and have never been at a point in my life where I've needed to. I've only ever had it served in teeth-shiveringly squeaky polystyrene cups from a chip shop. So, to follow on from ancient British tradition, I whipped up the foamy crumbs with boiling water and watched as a murky swamp of muted orange thickened into life. The same sort of life one might find atop an abandoned pond.

Lowering the heat for it to simmer down, I scooped everything else I had prepared out of the oven (organic potatoes, sliced and massaged with oil and herbs...chips basically) and onto a plate, then gently poured the thick sludge into a separate bowl as I wasn't brave enough to not have them segregated.
Before I had moved the bowl of orange mix from the stove to the table it had thickened to that of silicone sealant. Somewhat deterred by this rapidly solidifying mutation, I dipped my fork in, gently slid the filmy top to the side, and sampled the mysterious goop within. As chip shop curry sauce goes, I thought maybe this wouldn't be so far off the mark as the chip shops I very rarely visit in my home town are certainly not Michelin Arnold-starred establishments and therefore would be using the cheapest shit they could find. But this curry sauce was so far off the sub-par standards I use as a marker that it almost fell into the slightly spicy baby food category. This Bisto curry sauce was like a corrupted memory of actual curry sauce. As if someone was preparing some high atop a misty mountain and I was sniffing the air 4 mountains along, except the mountains weren't real and I never existed. 

I kept having to sample the product fork-dip by fork-dip as it was such an enigma to me. I couldn't understand the effort the mighty Bisto's R&D division went to in getting the colour and consistency correct but completely forgetting to add the correct flavour profile. Merely the idea of curry sauce whispered into pureed carrots is what I had hastily written down in my digital notepad before discarding the lot down the drain in an embarrassed hurry. I just assumed that with all the chemicals and science we have in today's world of ultra-processed food that this could've been the powdery answer to all my curry sauce problems. Alas, this just created more problems, chief of which was a £3.00 deficit in my dwindling bank account.

Although the wonderment of the taste kept sirening me back to its rocky outcrop to sample it over and over, and soon as my ship cracked and sank, I couldn't remember what I had just tasted.

An enigmatic flavour but still quite very shite