We tried new flavoured 'pap sticks' – and the BBQ carrot one was a hit
- Papstix are ready-to-eat rolls of pap with a tasty, relish centre.
- They come in three different flavours, and you can eat them either hot or cold.
- Our tasters were instantly drawn to the BBQ Carrot and Chili Soya flavours – but one flavour needs some work.
- For more stories, go to www.BusinessInsider.co.za
Pap has officially entered the ready-to-eat food market, with pre-packaged rolls filled with a tasty relish centre.
Papstix, a small company based in Heidelburg, launched the product about seven months ago, in a first-of-it's-kind adaptation of the South African staple pap en sous.
The on-the-go meal comes in a 250g serving, with 70% pap and 30% relish, and is available in three flavours: BBQ carrot/ carrot chakalaka, tomato and onion, and chili soya.
Each maize-and-relish roll costs R11.
The meal can be enjoyed either cold or hot and is fairly easy to heat up, either by microwaving for 45 seconds or placing the sealed package in a pot of water and boiling for two minutes.
A sealed pap stick can last for up to 90 days at an ambient temperature of 25 degrees Celsius or below, its manufacturers say.
According to the company, “the convenience and hygiene of PapStix allows for the feeding of large crowds of people efficiently”. This includes feeding schemes, outreach disaster relief and public events such as “religious gatherings, music festivals, concerts and election campaigns”.
Business Insider asked three women – who cook pap regularly – to taste them.
Here is what our pap experts say about Papstix.
Two flavours - the BBQ carrot and chili soya flavours - clearly stood out.
“I like the chili flavour and think the taste is well balanced. Everything just goes well together,” said one taster.
Another taster preferred the BBQ carrot flavour because “the vegetables are not overcooked and that means the nutrients are still in there”.
The Chili Soya flavour's pap and spicy mince taste was a also a hit.
But our tasters were unanimous that the Tomato and Onion flavour was a miss.
“It’s like something is missing. They either put in too much salt or too little. I can’t really say, but it’s the least enjoyable,” said one taster.
Another said it lacked salt, while the third believed the attempt to make it taste like tomato sauce ruined the flavour.
Our bonus 6-year-old taster enjoyed the flavour – but said it was a little too spicy.
Our testers weren't entirely thrilled by the texture, which lacks that home-made feel.
Although all three tasters agree that the pap was not too bad, they said the texture was a little too soft, "almost like soft porridge," one said. “You can feel the grains while eating, as if it is not well-cooked like pap we make at home.”
Overall, the on-the-go meal scored between seven and eight out of ten all around.
"I'd like more flavours like mogodu and a bit more meat, otherwise, the [meal] is okay," said one tester in the final verdict.
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