Mad as a brush pans and pots-man Heston Blumenthal has emerged from his research kitchen with a new Spring Essences range of cook-chill dishes for the top people’s supermarket Waitrose.

However one of the new offerings, Essence of Spring Solstice, with a portion size that makes the average nouvelle cuisine offering seem more like a full English is certainly dividing opinion among the store’s customers.

One furious shopper said yesterday: “My wife Tamara and I wanted something special to celebrate our first anniversary so we bought two of these, but when we opened the packets there was just a balloon inside each with a tube sticking out.”

“Apparently you’re supposed to suck ‘Spring Solstice-infused air’ from the balloon. Tasted of nothing and cost us £25 a box. Bloody rip-off! We were starving after our “dinner” and had to send out for a Deliveroo.”

Quick to defend his latest offering Heston said: “I refute the suggestion ‘Essences’ is a rip-off. That dish took me over three years to develop and is perfect if the diner approaches it correctly. You must release a little puff at a time, instead of sucking it all down in one big gulp like some lardy-arsed greedy-guts.”

“One then gets an ‘experience’ of Spring Lamb and new potatoes with hints of dappled early sunlight in a wooded glade with an evocation of clear mountain streams babbling over flinty waterfalls.”

So is it a rip-off or the very pinnacle of haute cuisine? Well if you want to make up your own mind you might have to wait quite some time, all branches have currently sold out. However one thing is for sure, life continues to be a gas for Heston.