Adele Franghiadi reports on the recent Food Standards Agency audit of Marco Pierre White Steakhouse Bar & Grill, which was given only 1-star out of 5.Written by Adele Franghiadi on 19th May 2018
Review: M&S Cauliflower Misteak
Comment Editor Kat Smith reviews the quickly discontinued M&S cauliflower steak, finding it both an underwhelming concept and meal
As a long-term veggie and food enthusiast, M&S’s Cauliflower Steak has got me thinking. If you hadn’t heard, the luxurious food retailer Marks & Spencer recently began selling a ‘Cauliflower Steak’. It’s essentially two slices of cauliflower with a lemon and herb dressing, packed in an excessive amount of plastic. It was on an introductory offer for £2, but usually, it was going to be £2.50. They have since stopped selling the ‘steak’ after ridicule on social media from their customers.
So, what have I been thinking? I’m usually a big fan of M&S – their veggie Percy Pigs are a joy and their meal deal is good value for the quality. But this is a step too far – I even thought it might have been a joke before looking into it properly.
“I love my vegetables, but if I was ever tempted by a steak, cauliflower wouldn’t exactly be my first choice
I’m not angry, but amused. My astonishment surpasses the ridiculous price – it’s the entire thought of selling a cauliflower as a steak. It’s funny that even now, with the rise of Veggie Prets, Wagamama’s new veggie and vegan menu, and an abundance of plant-based Instagrams, M&S still don’t get it. Yes, I love my vegetables, but if I was ever tempted by a steak, cauliflower wouldn’t exactly be my first choice. I can imagine a corporate board of meat-eaters genuinely thinking ‘Yes, this will definitely satisfy the growing demand for alternatives to meat’. Honestly, it’s hilarious – who even likes cauliflower?
With the abundance of meat-free alternatives (side note: Linda McCartney sausage rolls have changed my life), surely M&S should’ve known to up to their game. While they’re not exactly renowned for budget-friendly prices, I would like to think they never compromise on quality.
“With the abundance of meat-free alternatives, surely M&S should’ve known to up to their game
I’m also confused how retailers like Sainsbury’s and Tesco have consistently catered to vegetarian or vegan diets in an affordable and delicious way, yet this is M&S’s laughable attempt. Surely it doesn't take too much market research or common sense to know the way to a veggie’s heart?
Even if the price was significantly lower, the product would remain ludicrous. It’s especially ironic seeing how much packaging was used when firstly, cauliflowers can be sold loose, and secondly, a lot of people go vegetarian or vegan for environmental reasons.
“It doesn’t take a lot of time to cut up a cauliflower and drizzle some lemon on it
M&S even had the cheek to say to BBC Three that the product was created for customers wanting to buy a ‘quick and convenient vegetarian meal option’. It is also a case of convenience going way too far. It doesn’t take a lot of time to cut up a cauliflower and drizzle some lemon on it. If you have to fry it then it’s not exactly an on-the-go meal either – what were they thinking? I don’t know if I just have a big appetite, but a slice of cauliflower isn't a meal.
If you feel as if you’ve missed out on the short-lived chance to try a cauliflower steak, then check out Felicity Cloake’s recipe to make your own.