I have a confession to make: I'm a slave to Tesco. Yup, it's where the majority of my had earned money that isn't being spent in restaurants goes, on an almost nightly basis at this stage! Whilst other Dublin foodies are off buying fresh ingredients from the various markets and high quality food halls dotted around the city in their ample spare time, I walk the aisles at midnight looking for somebody, anybody to tell me where I might find stem ginger. Instead of haggling for a discount at the weekends, I tear my hair out as I once again am told that an unexpected item is in the bagging area. It's the predicament you find yourself in when you live bang in the middle of the lamentably market-shy North Side and work until between seven to ten on most nights.
Thankfully, I'm not alone; most of you will find yourself in a similar situation. Even better is that it isn't really a bad one at all; Tesco, in general, offer a suitable range of ingredients with special emphasis on the exotic in some of their larger stores. You aren't going to find them selling a wheel of Bluebell Falls cheese or jamon Iberico freshly cut from the leg, but everything you need to make a varied sushi platter is ready and waiting. There are also any number of gems you can discover in the 'Finest' range, a line of food products that are touted as being just a slight cut above the rest. In many cases this is true, some not so much. The gems I speak of are those that exceed any and all expectations; some making you question why they aren't being served in your standard restaurant for treble the price!
One such gem is the Finest freshly squeezed orange juice ice lollies. Yes, the name is a mouthful and looks to be sexed up M&S style to deceive, but there actually is a surprising amount of orange juice in there. 83% to be exact! You can deduce as much from the first taste; the flavour is remarkably close to that of a real, tangy orange. This sensation is enhanced by the amount of pulp in each lolly, a lot of which you'll find accumulated at the bottom (top?) of the stick as you get further down. The ice itself is extremely delicate once slightly thawed, and crumbles delightfully where other ice lollies tend to flake and fracture.
Personally, I've found these little frozen delights to be a fantastic way to deal with a hangover; they're light, cold and refreshing, without offending your stomach too much. Also noteworthy is the fact that, for a treat, they're rather healthy! All of that orange juice is your standard source of vitamin C, and each lolly contains just ninety calories.
With summer having already shown its head peeking around the corner and it looking to be very much a good one, we're going to need ice lollies. Lots of them. The Finest orange ice lollies will never quite catch on in the same way that a Tangle Twister has, but they will cost you less in the long run at only €2.45 for a box of four. That works out at sixty cent per lolly; effective time travel back to the early nineties. You'll get a much better and more refreshing taste experience for your buck as well, so what are you waiting for? Head on down and stock up for the summer!