A few years ago, halal ready-to-eat snacks were quite difficult to find in the UK unless you were picking something up from a restaurant. But things have changed, and now, most major supermarket chains stock a few brands of halal snacks that are suitable for a picnic, as an on-the-go meal or as a protein fix before and after the gym, which is great if you regularly travel to the UK and want to avoid carbs.
But just how good are they? We picked up the four most popular brands and put them to the test.
CHARGRILLED CHICKEN MINI FILLETS BY HALOODIES
Founded by Noman Khawaja and Imran Kausar in 2014, Haloodies has cemented itself as the UK’s first halal food brand to win shelf space in nearly every mainstream supermarket chain. And it’s not difficult to see why. Premium-quality meats are matched with attractive packaging; it’s the first time we’ve seen a halal brand that can actually appeal to the masses.
These chargrilled chicken mini fillets are made from 100% chicken breast and can be eaten hot or cold. They offer just the right mix of seasoning and are very tasty. A winner.
Halal factor: According to the packaging, the product is produced using hand-slaughtered halal chicken from Thailand and is accredited in the UK by Halal Consultations.
SLICED CHICKEN WITH HERBS BY NAJMA
It’s easy to take delicatessen meats like sliced turkey and mortadella for granted in Muslim countries, but here’s finally something that’s suitable for lunchboxes and sandwiches and even as a protein snack on its own. Najma is another UK brand making it to supermarkets nationwide, with an ethos of offering “simply packaged convenience foods that suit busy Muslim families”.
Here, we were pleasantly surprised by how the herb mix made it palatable, as sliced meat can sometimes be a little “icky” on its own.
Halal factor: Najma is produced in Belgium, and the company has certifications from the Halal Food Council of Europe (HFCE), Halal Certification Germany (HCG) and Halal Food & Quality in Spain.
SALAMI SNACK BAR BY DELISIA
There’s now a halal version of Pepperami! Delisia, which is owned by Germany’s ZMG, offers a variety of products, including the salami snack bar. Made from EU-approved turkey meat, it can be eaten on its own or chopped up on a pizza to give it a pepperoni feel. Don’t expect it to taste like turkey meat, obviously; this is very, very processed.
Halal factor: Delisia is produced and packed in Germany and certified halal by the Islamic Centre Aachen.
JERK CHICKEN JAMAICAN CRUST PATTIE BY ISLAND DELIGHT
Those who’ve always fancied a warm Greggs pasty on a cold day can now have the next best thing in the form of Island Delight’s Jamaican patties. Offered in shortcrust or flaky pastry, these are filled with minced chicken mixed with herbs, spices, fresh ginger and onions, and we were pleasantly surprised at how good they were.
While they can be eaten cold, we recommend popping them in the oven or microwave to heat them up. The microwave will make it softer, while an oven will give it a nice outer crust.
Halal factor: According to Island Delight, the brand does not have halal accreditation. However, it states that it is BRC Grade A accredited and that all meats used are certified halal.
(Images provided by Rachel McArthur)
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