Nasty tub of suspiciously artificial french cheese studded with olivesAggresively pushing its Frenchness by spelling words in a French way, Boursin Salade & Apertif is another attempt at the snacking cheese holy grail. Okay, not so much a holy grail as a on the wholly bad idea, it was at least partially solved by Babybel and Cheese Strings. Partially cos they are not all that posh and not made by Unilever – brand genius behind washing up liquids and its cheese form Boursin.

 Boursin, if you remember, is a foil wrapped roulade of very soft French cream cheese studded with fine herbs* Boursin Salade & Apertif are nuggets of Boursin flavoured with either fine herbs* or finely diced olives (green and black). These nuggets are put in a pot as shown, and were handed out to unsuspecting passers-by in Battersea Park yesterday. Now you may wonder how said nuggets don’t melt and become one gloopy Boursin cheese-shake. No idea, maybe they are sprayed with some “ambient temperature sealant” to stop them all sticking to each other. They leave a slight but not catastrophic residue on your fingers when you pick them up. Unfortunately for the food scientists at Unilever, they also leave a slight but wholly catastrophic residue on the inside of you mouth.

It is unclear that they are for. Perhaps for people who like cream cheese filled olives. For people who have never used Boursin or Philadelphia as a dip. The tub (and the website) suggests sprinkling them into your salad(e) as a delicious alternative to Feta (also not made by Unilever). Almost everyone else at the picnic refused them, and they made me feel a bit quesy after a while. The judgement: Unilever, this is a brand extension TOO FAR.

*Or more likely some sort of “fine herbs flavouring powder” that the scientists at Unilever have rustled up).