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Taste test: Alfredo sauce

Taste Test | Alfredo sauce

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We've all rushed home at the end of a busy day and stood staring into the pantry in search of a quick dinner option. That's when jars of sauces and soups come in handy. Over the holidays, our panelists figured some cooks might want to jazz up some pasta for weeknight fare. Instead of red sauce, we sampled eight brands of Alfredo sauces in jars from local grocery stores. At first, judges turned up their noses at the idea of serving pasta sauce from a jar. But, a couple scored pretty high. We heated all on the stove or microwave, according to the directions.

Kathy Saunders, Times correspondent

Product/Score

(out of 100)

Great Value Classic / 85

Classico Creamy / 73

Bertolli Garlic / 32

Serving size

One-fourth cup

One-fourth cup

One-fourth cup

Calories

110

100

100

Fat/Fiber

10g / 0g

9g / 0g

10g / 0g

Sugars/Sodium

1g / 360mg

1g / 410mg

0g / 320mg

Carbs/Protein

2g / 2g

3g / 2g

2g / 2g

Judges'

comments

Great Value

Balanced flavors made this the favorite of our panelists. They liked the combination of cheese, salt and seasonings. "It's the thickest and the best of all the sauces," said one judge. "This actually had a pretty authentic flavor," said another. "I could see this being served by a nice grandma," he said. "It had a hearty, real garlic flavor." Judges liked the way the sauce held together after heating, compared to some in which the cheeses seemed to break up. "Mamma Mia, now that's an Alfredo sauce," said one. "I love the Parmesan flavor. I'm sold!"

Classico

Judges described this sauce as traditional. They liked the robust Parmesan taste and the hint of salt. Panelists said Classico's sauce would be a great start to a pasta meal. "I would add veggies, shrimp or chicken and doctor this up with healthy additives," said one. "I think it would be good as a dipping sauce," said another. "I also would add fresh herbs for a bit of color and create an attractive side dish of pasta and white sauce."

Bertolli

Bertolli's sauce lacked the consistency of the others, but judges awarded some points for the pleasing color, creamy texture and smoky taste. "This one is missing something, but I can't quite figure it out," said one. Another said she thought it looked and tasted more like mayonnaise. "But it would be a good party dip with some fresh celery, carrots, broccoli florets or chips," she said.

Would

they buy?

Great Value

All four judges said yes.

Classico

All four judges said yes.

Bertolli

One of the judges said yes.

Shopping information

Great Value

$1.33 for a 16-ounce jar from Walmart.

Classico

$2.39 for a 15-ounce jar from Publix.

Bertolli

$2.99 for a 15-ounce jar from Publix.

Also sampled: Publix Premium ($2.49 for a 15-ounce jar, 28 points); Fresh Market ($3.99 for a 16-ounce jar, 26 points); Market Pantry ($1.32 for a 15-ounce jar from Target, 21 points); Ragu Classic ($2.59 for a 16-ounce jar from Publix, 18 points); and Newman's Own All Natural ($2.69 for a 15-ounce jar from Publix, 17 points).

Panelists: Kay Bell, personal chef; Rachel Smith, dietetic intern; John Hehn, owner of All Brite Lighting & Power Design Inc.; and Jeff Jensen, public information officer for Treasure Island. All foods were tasted blind.

Serving size ¼ cup ¼ cup ¼ cup
Calories 110 100 100
Fat/Fiber 10g / 0g 9g / 0g 10g / 0g
Sugars/Sodium 1g / 360mg 1g / 410mg 0g / 320mg
Carbs/Protein 2g / 2g 3g / 2g 2g / 2g


We've all rushed home at the end of a busy day and stood staring into the pantry in search of a quick dinner option. That's when jars of sauces and soups come in handy. Over the holidays, our panelists figured some cooks might want to jazz up some pasta for weeknight fare. Instead of red sauce, we sampled eight brands of Alfredo sauces in jars from local grocery stores. At first, judges turned up their noses at the idea of serving pasta sauce from a jar. But, a couple scored pretty high. We heated all on the stove or microwave, according to the directions. Kathy Saunders, Times correspondent

Product/Score

(out of 100)
Great Value

Classic 85
Classico

Creamy 73
Bertolli

Garlic 32
Judges'

comments
Balanced flavors made this the favorite of our panelists. They liked the combination of cheese, salt and seasonings. "It's the thickest and the best of all the sauces," said one judge. "This actually had a pretty authentic flavor," said another. "I could see this being served by a nice grandma," he said. "It had a hearty, real garlic flavor." Judges liked the way the sauce held together after heating, compared to some in which the cheeses seemed to break up. "Mamma Mia, now that's an Alfredo sauce," said one. "I love the Parmesan flavor. I'm sold!"Judges described this sauce as traditional. They liked the robust Parmesan taste and the hint of salt. Panelists said Classico's sauce would be a great start to a pasta meal. "I would add veggies, shrimp or chicken and doctor this up with healthy additives," said one. "I think it would be good as a dipping sauce," said another. "I also would add fresh herbs for a bit of color and create an attractive side dish of pasta and white sauce."Bertolli's sauce lacked the consistency of the others, but judges awarded some points for the pleasing color, creamy texture and smoky taste. "This one is missing something, but I can't quite figure it out," said one. Another said she thought it looked and tasted more like mayonnaise. "But it would be a good party dip with some fresh celery, carrots, broccoli florets or chips," she said.
Would

they buy?
All four judges said yes.All four judges said yes.One of the judges said yes.
Shopping information$1.33 for a 16-ounce jar

from Walmart.
$2.39 for a 15-ounce jar

from Publix.
$2.99 for a 15-ounce jar

from Publix.


Also Sampled: Publix Premium ($2.49 for a 15-ounce jar, 28 points); Fresh Market ($3.99 for a 16-ounce jar, 26 points); Market Pantry ($1.32 for a 15-ounce jar from Target, 21 points); Ragu Classic ($2.59 for a 16-ounce jar from Publix, 18 points); and Newman's Own All Natural ($2.69 for a 15-ounce jar from Publix, 17 points).

Panelists: Kay Bell, personal chef; Rachel Smith, dietetic intern; John Hehn, owner of All Brite Lighting & Power Design Inc.; and Jeff Jensen, public information officer for Treasure Island. All foods were tasted blind.

Send suggestions for product testing to: Taste section, St. Petersburg Times, P.O. Box 1121, St. Petersburg, FL 33731 or e-mail them to jkeeler@sptimes.com. Please put TEST SUGGESTION in the subject line. To read past Taster's Choice columns, go to food.tampabay.com.

Taste test: Alfredo sauce 12/13/11 [Last modified: Tuesday, December 13, 2011 3:30am]

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