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Thread: Cooks Illustrated Ranks Jarred Pasta Sauces

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  1. #1
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    Talking Cooks Illustrated Ranks Jarred Pasta Sauces

    This may be old news, so pardon me if it is. But I'm feeling quite smug right now because my favorite jarred sauce was #1 among the testers. BARILLA

    They did a blind test of a quick homemade sauce, several national brands and some specialty brands. The only one they really loved was the homemade one. They approved of 3 jarred sauces, Barilla (#1), Five Brothers (#2) and Classico (#3), and dissed the rest.

    You can find the story, "Jarring Discoveries" at www.cooksillustrated.com You will need Acrobat Reader to read the full chart of sauces.

  2. #2
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    Very interesting - thanks, Makedah. I must admit, I was disapppointed to see Muir Glen so far down the list. Its my favorite pasta sauce.

  3. #3
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    Unhappy

    i know.... i love Muir Glen. its the best!!

  4. #4
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    I caught a whiff of Classico's sauce, and it stinks up the whole house (not to mention a person's breath) for several hours! However, I despise the flavor and smell of garlic, especially mixed with all that oil and herbs. I prefer just to heat some canned crushed tomatoes and basil for my spaghetti.

  5. #5

    Thumbs up

    The last time I was out of town, I bought a jar of Barilla sauce (can't get it in my town) and we really liked it. I will stock up the next time I'm out of town. I like their pastas, too. If I remember right, I don't like Classico.

  6. #6
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    This is probably for east coasters only, but Bove's makes an excellent sauce. It's based on an awesome restaurant in Burlington, Vermont. I just saw it in our stores in Western NY. Look for it and try it!

    I'm a dissenter on the other sauce. I found the Muir Glen sauce to be bland.

  7. #7
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    Schuh-

    As a former UVM student, I can agree about Bove's - ultimate college food- cheap and filling!

  8. #8
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    Only one store in my town sells Barilla. I don't eat pasta that often, but I make sure I always have a jar in the house. I like their mushroom and garlic for spaghetti and used their basil for stuffed pasta shells.

  9. #9
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    I tried the Cooks Illustrated link and it indicated I had to be a paid subscriber to the web site to read their reviews. Did I read it wrong?

  10. #10
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    Originally posted by junietoo:
    I tried the Cooks Illustrated link and it indicated I had to be a paid subscriber to the web site to read their reviews. Did I read it wrong?
    I just tried it without a problem, and I am not a subscriber.


  11. #11
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    How odd. I just tried it again and had no problem. In fact, jarred sauces was not even offered when I tried it before. I had to go to "tastings" and that's when it indicted that I had to be a member.

  12. #12

    Post

    Now tell me... does Barilla contain sugar?

    Five Brothers does, for sure -- it's sweet stuff! Classico contains sugar, but not quite so often.

    This makes me wonder if there's a connection. Did they print the recipe for the homeade sauce they used? ** Never mind ** I just looked on the site and discovered it

    1 28-ounce can diced or whole tomatoes (not packed in puree or sauce)
    2 medium garlic cloves, peeled
    3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
    2 tablespoons coarsely chopped fresh basil leaves (about 8 leaves)
    1/4 teaspoon sugar
    1 1/2 teaspoons salt

    Seems to me there are so many variables when "rating" a sauce. Personal preference has got to weigh in pretty heavily -- and so I'd like to know what their "preferences" are. I'm definitely not knocking BARILLA (never tried it), but if it's going to put me in sugar shock, I think I'll abstain



    [This message has been edited by lorilei (edited 04-02-2001).]

  13. #13
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    lorilei,

    Barilla does contain some sugar, but one of the reasons that the testers liked it was that it wasn't sweet-tasting.

    Tomato & Basil ingredients:
    Diced tomatoes, tomato puree (water, tomato paste), onions, olive oil, basil, sugar, salt, garlic, natural flavoring.

    Mushroom & Garlic ingredients:
    Diced tomatoes, tomato puree (water, tomato paste), mushrooms, onions, olive oil, garlic, sugar, salt, lemon juice concentrate, parsley, basil, oregano, black pepper.

    Both varieties have 7g of sugar per 1/2 cup serving.

    Hope this helps!!!

  14. #14

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    Thanks makedah -- exactly what I wanted to know. I was turned off to (most) Five Brothers sauce because it TASTES sweet ... since then, I've been somewhat skeptical.

    I'm happy to hear they use a variety of herbs in their sauces -- I'm always adding extras to jarred sauce... yes, even extra garlic to that "STANKY" Classico

    lorilei
    "a spicey sauce girl"

  15. #15
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    Thumbs up

    I love Barilla too. It's a jarred sauce I got hooked on in Naples Italy!! though the flavor selections are a bit different. I was so happy to find it in the good ol' USA.

  16. #16
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    When my daughter was vegan (she's now ovo-lacto veg.), I bought Barilla by the case (literally) when it was on sale -- both the pasta and the sauce, especially the Green and Black Olive (aka putanesca.)

    I use the Mushroom and Garlic for a quick lasagna.

    The pasta is is first-rate and comes in lots of shapes. The lasagna noodles work really well in no-boil lasagna.

  17. #17
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    Hey, that stinky Classico is my favorite! We like the tomato basil, the four cheese and especially the sausage and peppers one! I do prefer to make my own sauce, but it works well when I'm just too tired!

  18. #18
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    As for the Cook's Illustrated site, you do have to be a member (I think it's $19.95 a year for membership and since I love the magazine do subscribe) to access all of their recipes, reviews, tastings, etc. but there are some you can get to without becoming a member.

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