Oh So: Brownie Oh No

Brownie Basics

You know when you leave the office on a Thursday evening with a two-hour commute ahead of you, and it’s not quite late enough that you feel justified in having dinner first, but you’re definitely justified in having a snack? That was Thursday. This brownie was the snack.

Due to the uniquely crappy nature of Greater Anglia trains, I had to put this on my thigh to photograph it. Technically this is therefore the first photo of me to appear in this blog.

Brownie Backstory

I’m finding brownies relatively few and far between in Southend at present, although in all fairness it’s likely that this is at least partly because I’m not really finding the time to range properly in search of brownies, and a lot of the low-hanging fruit (i.e. supermarkets, chain coffee stores) has already been plucked. But this was a new one that I found on a spur-of-the-moment decision: there’s a Nisa Local in Southend Victoria train station, and while waiting for a train to arrive I perused it briefly and found this brownie.

This appears to be the chocolate brownie in a range of snacks from “Oh So”, as in, maybe, Oh So Tasty? Oh So Chocolatey? Oh So Cheap? I have to be honest: as much as I try to remain neutral before eating a brownie, I’m unconvinced by this one straight away. It’s entirely in plastic packaging… it comes from a shop that’s totally unattached to any bakery… it cost 89 pence…

Still, it’s useful to keep my brownie-eating-muscles in use in the lean periods between delicious brownies. So while I might still really be craving another cookie dough brownie I’ll at least give this one a shot.

Brownie Points

Taste: And it immediately goes wrong. Something’s rotten in the state of a brownie when you bite into it and immediately pull a face. It tastes fake, falsely sweet, chemically, with no real trace of the chocolate supposedly in it. I managed two bites, and then honestly I put the rest in the bin, because I had no desire to continue. 1/10

Texture: This brownie made me realise it’s kind of hard to perfectly separate texture from taste. Which is to say: the texture wasn’t too bad – it was soft and chewy rather than crumbly – but there’s only so far that that can go when the taste is so awful. 5/10

Presentation: Looks like a decent brownie. Comes in a plastic wrapper, which is not ideal, but I accept that there’s not an obvious alternative for this brownie in this shop. 3/5

Value: At 89p I think it must be the cheapest brownie I’ve bought (not counting, for example, the fact that Sainsbury’s did three brownie slices for £1. I guess this means that there’s something to be said for quantity over quality, but I mean, the brownie’s pretty bad so the value isn’t that high still. 3/10

Fudge Factor: I don’t want to shit all over this brownie, and maybe you should set your expectations low if you’re buying a brownie that’s obviously been made in a factory somewhere and shipped around the country in plastic. But on the other hand, Thornton’s must have done that and somehow their bites are pretty damn good. So I think that’s not much of an excuse. This brownie was bad, and I refused to suffer through finishing it. -3/5

Go Go Brownie: 9

Should I Buy And Eat This Brownie?

Save your 89p for something worth your time.

Closing Thought

So I think I’m going to go vegan in January. Not necessarily permanently (in fact, I assume not) but maybe not just a ‘Veganuary’ thing either. There are lots of arguments in favour of veganism, let’s be honest: I’m very interested in the environmental factors, somewhat interested in the health factors, and (perhaps problematically) not-very-but-at-least-a-bit interested in the animal welfare factors. But perhaps the biggest benefit will be learning how possible it would be for me to be mostly or entirely vegan going forwards. I foresee potential difficulties with my current lifestyle that drives me to eat out in restaurants for most of the week (expenses lifestyle, am I right) but on the other hand veganism in the UK, at least in parts of it, is much more common and better understood, so maybe it’ll be possible. I guess… I guess I’ll find out!


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