FOOD: Iceland – The Power of Frozen

Have you seen the new Iceland ads? Close-ups of great looking food – buttery croissants and plump seasoned prawns. For a while, forget chicken drumsticks, mums, Peter Andre and I’m A Celebrity idents –  this is seriously good gourmet food at astonishing prices.

Iceland Power of Frozen campaign


“Food I’d be proud to serve at a dinner party.”

Iceland were the first to come out in the horse meat scandal,  not having to say sorry, but firmly grabbing the bull, ahem, by the horns with a “Food You Can Trust campaign” –  a long list of firsts in food such as first UK supermarket to remove all artificial colourings, flavourings, and non-essential preservatives from own brand products, no MSG, no genetically modified ingredients, no mechanically recovered meat etc. Good for them that only 0.1% trace level horse meat was found in a couple of burgers. They’ve moved on big time.

Iceland is now firmly positioned as the UK’s leading frozen food retailer, asserting ‘Iceland does not sell cheap food,’ but high quality own label frozen food. Now they’ve gone one better with specialty meat, game, fish and frozen bread and pastries.

Expect to find kangaroo, venison, rabbit and sea bass alongside those flaky croissants, pain aux raisins and just-out-of-the-oven sourdough loaves.

Iceland laid on a dinner party for foodies at a West End restaurant to showcase their new range. We tucked into tempura king prawns from Vietnam,  hand-dived Indonesian king scallops, whole tiger prawns and chargrilled ostrich skewers. Not your average starters, and no sign of shredded lettuce and a Marie Rose sauce.

Iceland Frozen Scallops

King scallops on champ potato – a long way from Smash!


Tiger prawns in chili, garlic & parsley with grilled sour dough bread

Chairman of Iceland, Malcolm Walker, was there to tell us that fish at the fishmongers is likely to be already 12-days-old by the time you get it home. Put on ice in the trawler and shipped onwards through the supply chain frosting and defrosting as it goes. Although he admits it’s a bit of an industrial operation, Iceland’s fish gets pulled out of the sea and deep frozen on their boats only to defrost once  – when you actually get it home and want to cook it. Another tip we picked up was to put a frozen leg of lamb into the oven to cook, saving you from losing any of the juices or flavour when it defrosts.

For mains we ate oven baked seabass on parchment paper with rosemary, tomatoes and olives – a sheen on its skin and firm juicy flaky flesh – not mushy or dense.

iceland Specialty Fish Range

Oven baked seabass from Iceland

Having launched with a bit of fanfare a few years ago ostrich ran into quality and sustainability problems but it’s firmly back on the menu, in admittedly, the unusual surroundings of Iceland. Low in fat, high in taste and this ostrich fillet steak Diane – served on spinach in a mushroom cream sauce was dinner party quality.

Iceland Frozen Foods Speciality Meat and Game

Ostrich Steak Diane from Iceland – 125g fillet for £1.39

Even the wine, a crisp New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc and ruby red Cotes Du Rhone had great finesse and a £6.50 bottle of Prosecco was a stand out winner.

What’s a good dinner party without a fizz finale  – we got that in the shape of prosecco poured over a lemon sorbet in a coupe glass. Classy and little dent in the wallet.

Iceland has really pulled the rabbit out of the hat with this specialty range and that’s why I am going to Iceland. See you there.

Iceland wine and prosecco

Cheers! Prosecco from Iceland £6.50

@IcelandFoods #poweroffrozen

Read about Iceland’s history from 1970 here and read about the new specialty products here

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