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Taste test: Prepared lobster ravioli

Lobster ravioli is good for scrumptious yet low-fuss dinner.

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Lobster ravioli is good for scrumptious yet low-fuss dinner.

Sometimes we want a quick dinner that doesn't taste like it came right out of the ice box. One option for a scrumptious yet low-fuss dinner is lobster ravioli. The trick is to find a brand that doesn't feel gummy after the refrigerator- or freezer-to-stovetop preparation. We sampled five brands of lobster ravioli from local grocery stores to see how they held up. We boiled all on the stove, according to package directions. Afterward, our judges said they likely will continue to keep lobster ravioli on their short list of full-flavored dinner options.

Kathy Saunders, Times correspondent

Product/Score

(out of 100)
Joseph's Gourmet 72Trader Joe's 59New York Ravioli

& Pasta Co. 55
Judges'

comments
These oval-shaped pasta pockets with nicely scalloped edges were filled with minced seafood and chunks of lobster. Judges appreciated the smooth texture of the ravioli, saying they could easily cut the pieces with a fork. One panelist said the real test was the taste and smell of the product. "I like it because it doesn't have a fishy flavor," she said. Another said the ravioli was a hit because it had a hint of sweetness balanced with just the right amount of saltiness.Trader Joe's refrigerated ravioli was striped in saffron and terra cotta colors. The pillows were oblong and not overstuffed. Some judges favored the size and thickness of the pasta, but craved more filling and bolder flavored lobster. One said the ravioli had "a nice, musky taste."Judges admired these heart-shaped, pink-tinted ravioli pieces, but wanted more flavor from the dish. All four said they would add lots of melted butter or heavier sauces to give the pasta some heartiness. The pasta on these was thicker and harder to cut than the competition. It also was a bit on the gummy side. However, as one panelist said, "If you covered this in vodka sauce and topped it with a large lobster tail, it would make a beautiful and delicious dinner."
Would

they buy?
Three of the four judges said yes.Two of the four judges said yes.Two of the four judges said yes.
Shopping information$8.96 for a 16-ounce bag from Walmart.$3.99 for a 9-ounce container from Trader Joe's.$7.99 for an 8-ounce container from Mazzano's Italian Market.


Also Sampled: Seviroli ($8.98 for a 16-ounce box from Walmart, 49 points) and Drake's Homestyle Pasta ($14.99 for a 14-ounce box from the Fresh Market, 50 points).

Panelists: Nan Jensen, registered dietitian; Bob Devin Jones, artistic director of Studio@620; chef and former restaurant owner Cheryl Schaefer; and Laura Reiley, Times food critic. All foods were tasted blind.

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

tampabay.com/things-to-do/food/tastetest.



Serving size6 ounces4.5 ounces6 ounces
Calories330290260
Fat/Fiber6g / 2g8g / 3g6g / 3g
Sugars/Sodium3g / 790mg1g / 310mg2g / 150mg
Carbs/Protein48g / 18g41g / 13g37g / 18g

Taste test: Prepared lobster ravioli 03/07/16 [Last modified: Monday, March 7, 2016 5:02pm]
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