Unveiling Food24’s store-bought custard of choice
Indulge in a delectable journey as we embark on a tantalising custard taste test. In this mouth-watering article, we delve into the world of creamy delights, pitting different store-bought custard varieties against each other in a quest to discover the ultimate custard perfection!
Ultra Mel has always been the custard of choice when it comes to store-bought custard in South Africa, but is it still truly the best custard to buy? We looked at a few different brands to determine just this! We also included two lactose-free options because no jelly should ever be served without custard.
To keep things fair, all the samples were divided into nondescript containers and, without any packaging in sight, we set off and blindly tasted and rated five different brands of store-bought custard.
Our deep dive into store-bought custard produced rather unexpected results. And don’t worry: we were just as shooketh as you’re going to be! So, it is with the greatest compassion that we issue a warning to all Ultra Mel fan – please proceed with caution when reading the results.
If you love a custard that’s thick and super creamy, Ultra Mel is absolutely the ONLY custard you should buy as the creamy, thick texture simply cannot be rivalled. But, when it comes to flavour, our tasting panel preferred another brand in this taste test…
The lactose-free varieties also out-performed in this taste test, proving that brands are putting considerable thought into making high-quality lactose-free products to create a more inclusive range of products for consumers to enjoy.
On taste alone, this store-bought custard from Woolworths was dubbed the favourite on the day of the taste test.
However, while it has a velvety, smooth consistency, tasters noted that the sample wasn’t as thick and creamy as some of the other samples.
One taster commented: “Good pouring consistency; some samples were thicker, though. A perfectly sweet custard with subtle vanilla flavour. My favourite for sure; just tastes superb.”
Other comments some tasters left: “This was MY FAVOURITE! It has all the balance of flavours,” and “My winner … this is as good as store-bought custard gets. Creamy, not overly sweet, and a natural custard flavour, rather than the more artificial flavour in most of the others.”
2. Ultra Mel
While the original offering scored less favourably than the winning sample, tasters were impressed with Ultra Mel’s lactose-free sample. It was characteristically thick, velvety and luscious, in the signature Ultra Mel way.
In fact, most tasters guessed the lactose-free Ultra Mel to be the original well-loved offering from Ultra Mel, while failing to pick up that it was actually the lactose-free variety!
Some comments tasters left on Ultra Mel lactose-free vanilla-flavoured custard: “Tastes good, could this be Ultra Mel? Love the consistency and creaminess,” and “Are you Ultra Mel? Sooooo good!”
While scoring full marks on texture, some tasters unfortunately felt it lacked somewhat on the vanilla custard flavour, noting: “It was pretty decent, but I felt like it needed more vanilla,” and “Nice and creamy texture, but lacks custardy flavour.”
Overall, the lactose-free option was identical in texture to the original, a commendable triumph when it comes to a first-class lactose-free product!
When it comes to the original Ultra Mel, tasters scored the sample highly for its creamy, thick consistency. But they found the flavour to be somewhat lacking.
Comments tasters left on the original Ultra Mel: “Super-thick, satisfying gloop to the consistency. Not overly sweet but nice balance to the flavours. Also tastes like custard, not necessarily vanilla, but I’d be happy with this sample,” and “Really liked this … creamy, not too sweet and tastes more like actual custard than store-bought custard,” and lastly, “Nice creamy, thick texture, but lacks flavour.”
While tasters were quite happy with Parmalat’s lactose-free offering, they noted that the consistency could have been thicker and the flavour could have been more intense on the vanilla-custard notes.
But, overall, as with Ultra Mel, the lactose-free option fared more favourably when compared to the original offering from Parmalat.
Comments tasters left on Parmalat lactose-free vanilla-flavoured custard: “At first it just tastes like custard, but then some vanilla comes through. I would happily chug this custard without too many complaints,” and “Tastes coconutty! I actually enjoyed the flavour here, but the consistency is too thin,” and lastly, “I would give this 6/10. I wish it was a bit more vanilla and creamier but overall good.”
Tasters felt the original Parmalat was sweeter than they would have preferred with a slightly overpowering artificial taste to it.
Comments tasters left on the original Parmalat: “A bit too sweet … in an artificial sweetener way. And a bit too runny,” and “Tasted very sweet and a bit on the artificial side,” and lastly, “A bit too artificial and sweet for my liking. Good attempt, though!”
Tasters found this sample to be rather average, noting: “This is quite nice – creamy with a hint of vanilla.”
Tasters also noted that the sample was a little thin when it came to the consistency, especially when compared to some of the velvety, thick varieties, noting: “Looks like custard … but that’s about it. Too thin, too sweet…”
Tasters found this sample to be creamy, but sadly noted that it was very sweet and had an artificial vanilla flavour to it, which left an unpleasant aftertaste.
Comments tasters left: “Nice and creamy … but the sweetness is too artificial,” and “It has a very fake ‘vanilla’ flavour and a horrible aftertaste.”
Prices correct at time of publishing
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The rules of Food24 Taste Tests:
– All tasters tasted and scored all samples. Each individual taster’s preference impacts the score they give.
– The samples were tested without packaging and were not easily identifiable.
– The samples were not labelled and were tasted in random order.
– This article is not sponsored in any way, and Food24 was not paid to come to any particular result.
Our taste tests are always unbiased and intended for your information. You may, however, have come to this article through various paid-for advertising.