What’s the count now? 50 years of hurt? That’s half a century since England won their only major international tournament when a Geoff Hurst hat-trick helped the Three Lions to lift the Jules Rimet trophy. Crazily, it’s now also 20 years since Euro ’96 – the last time England actually performed on the global stage when they came so close to winning the tournament on home soil.
Since then, it’s all been a bit crap. Despite much hype surrounding the ‘Golden Generation’, England fans have suffered disappointment after disappointment as the squad never reached their potential. With just three victories at International Tournaments in the last 10 years, you’d be forgiven for thinking that Euro 2016 will be the same old England.
However, this year, there’s less hype and a younger, pacier and more energetic squad. Yes, we have defensive frailties, but going forward, we look exciting, hungry and able to score. Chances are, it’ll be the same old England as we get knocked out in the Quarter-Finals, but Roy Hodgson’s men have an outside chance and I’m harbouring a quiet confidence.
Talking about outside chances, it’s always good to have a second team at tournaments like this. Whether it’s the team you’ve drawn in the sweepstake at work or an affiliation because you went on holiday their in 1998, cheering on a second team can add extra excitement to proceedings. This year, supermarket chain Iceland are urging England fans to get behind their namesake.
In a year when 5000/1 shot Leicester defied the odds to lift the Premier League title, can Iceland – who have qualified for the finals of a major International Tournament for the first time – channel the spirit of The Foxes to win Euro 2016? Remember, it’s been done before – outsiders Denmark won Euro ’92 and unfancied Greece were champions at Euro 2004.
To help me get behind the the 34th best team in the world, Iceland – that’s the supermarket, not the country – sent me some football merchandise and set me the challenge of creating a football feast. Although we make the majority of our meals from scratch, we do treat ourselves to the occasional fakeaway – rather than shell out £30 on a takeaway, we’ll buy pre-made pizzas, wedges and chicken goujons. So, as part of this #PowerOfFrozen challenge, we wanted to see what we could get from Iceland for our very own football fakeaway.
I’ll admit, I’ve not stepped into an Iceland store since I was a kid – probably when mum went to Iceland, ba dum tshh – so had no idea about what food was available. On looking around the shop, it soon became evident that there was a huge range of products, so choosing stuff for our fakeaway would be a challenge. With our £30 voucher, we bought the following feast:
- 2 x Doritos Tangy Cheese Tortilla Crisps
- 2 x Iceland Rising Dough BBQ Pulled Pork Pizza
- 2 x Iceland Let’s Eat American Boneless Box
- 1 x Iceland American Style Curly Fries
- 1 x Heinz Tomato Ketchup
- 1 x Cadbury Amaze Bites 14 Double Chocolate Brownie Cakes
- 1 x Mars Ice-Cream 6 pack
- 1 x Coca-Cola 24 can pack
Despite getting all of this food, we still didn’t spend the full £30 – the above came to just £26 which was massively surprising. What’s more, we duplicated the majority of products so that we could have two football feasts – one during the Wales vs Slovakia game on Saturday and one during Iceland vs Portugal on Tuesday. This means that we were able to buy crisps, pizza, fries, chicken, dessert and drinks for just over a tenner. Bargainous!
As you’d expect, cooking the frozen food was simple. The boneless chicken box and curly fries went into the oven on separate baking trays for around 25 minutes, whilst the pizza went in for just under 20 minutes. The added bonus of convenience food like this is that you can continue to watch the football as it cooks away – there’s nothing more annoying that leaving the room and missing a goal.
As we tucked in to the shared food in front of the TV, we were all really surprised at how nice the food was – I’ve always considered Iceland to be a budget supermarket, so thought the quality might be on the lower end of the spectrum. However, any preconceptions I had were soon proven to be wrong.
The boneless box was made from real chicken, the curly fries were tasty and the pulled pork pizza was the nicest store-bought pulled pork pizza we’ve tried (and we’ve had a lot of different ones). In fact, I’d happily state that this fakeaway was as good as more expensive ones we’ve bought from alternative ‘middle-class’ supermarkets, only much cheaper.
With the addition of crisps as snacks and chocolate for afterwards, we had plenty of food – in fact, more than two adults and a toddler could polish off in one sitting. When you buy a takeaway, a starter, pizza and dessert can easily cost £30.
For the same money – actually, £4 less – we had enough food for two fakeaways with additional bits on top. With the fakeaway arguably being healthier and just as tasty, it really is a no-brainer to buy frozen food and stick it in the oven yourself.
I think it’s pretty obvious to say that we passed the #PowerOfFrozen challenge with flying colours – or, should that be passed the challenge with the blue, red and white of Iceland. We were genuinely surprised at the choice, convenience and quality of the products we bought and look forward to doing it all again as we cheer on Iceland against Portugal on Tuesday 14th June.
N.B. This is a collaborative post written with Iceland.[jetpack_subscription_form subscribe_text=”Like what you’ve read? Want more? Pop in your email to get all of the latest posts.”]