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Old 31-07-2012, 04:10 PM posted to rec.food.cooking
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Default Taste test: pasta

I did a blind taste test on di Cecco penne (2.59 a 1 lb box) vs. Hannaford housebrand (.89).
DH helped by straining and plating it etc. I could NOT tell any difference. I am adding this to my list of OK housebrand items along with oatmeal and 'grapenuts'.


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Old 31-07-2012, 04:20 PM posted to rec.food.cooking
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Default Taste test: pasta

On Tue, 31 Jul 2012 08:10:57 -0700 (PDT), Kalmia
wrote:

I did a blind taste test on di Cecco penne (2.59 a 1 lb box) vs. Hannaford housebrand (.89).
DH helped by straining and plating it etc. I could NOT tell any difference. I am adding this to my list of OK housebrand items along with oatmeal and 'grapenuts'.


did they both cook in the same amount of time? How long was the
cooking time? Were either of them rough surfaced?
Janet US
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Old 31-07-2012, 06:01 PM posted to rec.food.cooking
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Default Taste test: pasta

On Tuesday, July 31, 2012 11:20:02 AM UTC-4, Janet Bostwick wrote:
On Tue, 31 Jul 2012 08:10:57 -0700 (PDT), Kalmia

wrote:



I did a blind taste test on di Cecco penne (2.59 a 1 lb box) vs. Hannaford housebrand (.89).


DH helped by straining and plating it etc. I could NOT tell any difference. I am adding this to my list of OK housebrand items along with oatmeal and 'grapenuts'.




did they both cook in the same amount of time? How long was the

cooking time? Were either of them rough surfaced?

Janet US


I used same amt of water, 12 minutes, both smooth surface.

ONE thing I confirmed about my stove: I used 4 cups of water in each pan (same size pans), and turned the burners on simultaneously. The front one came to a rolling boil a good minute sooner than that @$#% back burner.
( See my previous beef about non-uniform burners....). Now, whether the power consumed was vastly different, that's for someone else to say. I have no manual to show wattage rating. I'm sure it amounts to just cents.

I saw new stoves in HD recently - I see now a fifth warming burner on a lot of them. May be a good thing.
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Old 31-07-2012, 06:59 PM posted to rec.food.cooking
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Default Taste test: pasta

On 31/07/2012 11:10 AM, Kalmia wrote:
I did a blind taste test on di Cecco penne (2.59 a 1 lb box) vs. Hannaford housebrand (.89).
DH helped by straining and plating it etc. I could NOT tell any difference. I am adding this to my list of OK housebrand items along with oatmeal and 'grapenuts'.



It seems to be only Italians who make a big deal about the quality of
pasta, and as much as they comment about pasta being good or not, I have
never been all that impressed with the stuff they serve. AS couple
years ago we were cat sitting for our Italian neighbours and the cat had
been shut into a storage room in the basement. They had stockpiled all
sorts of cheap pastas and sauces that they had bought on sale.

FWIW, I get the Catelli Smart pasta, which has enough whole wheat to
make it a healthier pasta option, but not so much that it tastes like
that crappy whole wheat pasta.

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Old 31-07-2012, 08:08 PM posted to rec.food.cooking
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Default Taste test: pasta

On Tuesday, July 31, 2012 1:59:30 PM UTC-4, Dave Smith wrote:


It seems to be only Italians who make a big deal about the quality of

pasta, and as much as they comment about pasta being good or not, I have

A couple

years ago we were cat sitting for our Italian neighbours and the cat had

been shut into a storage room in the basement. They had stockpiled all

sorts of cheap pastas and sauces that they had bought on sale.



FWIW, I get the Catelli Smart pasta, which has enough whole wheat to

make it a healthier pasta option, but not so much that it tastes like

that crappy whole wheat pasta.


WHAAAAT? An Italian family not making their own SAUCE? Musta been 4th generation.

Btw, it's De Cecco in case anyone wants to grade my spelling.


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Old 31-07-2012, 09:02 PM posted to rec.food.cooking
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Default Taste test: pasta

The Other Guy wrote:

I can't imagine WHY anyone would expect any different result.
What POSSIBLE differences between pastas COULD there be?


Being mildly wheat intolerant I have pasta made from rice, corn, quinoa
and other alternate grains. I can tell the difference with such major
ingredients. To tell one refined wheat pasta from another would take
being cooked in nothing but clean water and salt, eaten side by side
with nothing else, and even then difference would be at best small.
Some difference in loose starch powder. Some difference in final
dryness.

I remember when a TV Network did a vodka taste test some years ago.

When people THOUGHT they were drinking high priced vodka,
they rated it best. The claimed cheapest was rated as bad.

In reality, they were rating the cheapest as the best.


In college we did a blind tasting of vodkas. The top shelf brands were
Absolute, Finlandia and real Stoli from across the iron curtan in the
Soviet Union. This was 1977 or 1978 so many of the current fancy brands
did not exist yet. There were also three discount brands.

In the freezer over night, shots marked by letter.

Only half could tell the discount from the top shelf. None could tell
any of the top shelf brands apart nor any of the discount brands apart.
Ever since i've gotten whatever top shelf brand happens to be lowest in
price and moved it to the freezer if I expect guests.

I can easily imagine everyone being tricked if we told them what was in
the shot instead of doing it blind.
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Old 31-07-2012, 09:08 PM posted to rec.food.cooking
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Default Taste test: pasta

On 7/31/2012 4:02 PM, Doug Freyburger wrote:
The Other Guy wrote:

I can't imagine WHY anyone would expect any different result.
What POSSIBLE differences between pastas COULD there be?


Being mildly wheat intolerant I have pasta made from rice, corn, quinoa
and other alternate grains. I can tell the difference with such major
ingredients. To tell one refined wheat pasta from another would take
being cooked in nothing but clean water and salt, eaten side by side
with nothing else, and even then difference would be at best small.
Some difference in loose starch powder. Some difference in final
dryness.

I remember when a TV Network did a vodka taste test some years ago.

When people THOUGHT they were drinking high priced vodka,
they rated it best. The claimed cheapest was rated as bad.

In reality, they were rating the cheapest as the best.


In college we did a blind tasting of vodkas. The top shelf brands were
Absolute, Finlandia and real Stoli from across the iron curtan in the
Soviet Union. This was 1977 or 1978 so many of the current fancy brands
did not exist yet. There were also three discount brands.

In the freezer over night, shots marked by letter.

Only half could tell the discount from the top shelf. None could tell
any of the top shelf brands apart nor any of the discount brands apart.
Ever since i've gotten whatever top shelf brand happens to be lowest in
price and moved it to the freezer if I expect guests.

I can easily imagine everyone being tricked if we told them what was in
the shot instead of doing it blind.

Do you remember the Consumer Report on vodka? They included a ringer:
pharmaceutical pure alcohol diluted to vodka strength and it was rated
top by the board of eminent tasters.

--
Jim Silverton (Potomac, MD)

Extraneous "not" in Reply To.
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Old 31-07-2012, 09:44 PM posted to rec.food.cooking
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Default Taste test: pasta

On 7/31/2012 1:59 PM, Dave Smith wrote:
On 31/07/2012 11:10 AM, Kalmia wrote:
I did a blind taste test on di Cecco penne (2.59 a 1 lb box) vs.
Hannaford housebrand (.89).
DH helped by straining and plating it etc. I could NOT tell any
difference. I am adding this to my list of OK housebrand items along
with oatmeal and 'grapenuts'.



It seems to be only Italians who make a big deal about the quality of
pasta, and as much as they comment about pasta being good or not, I have
never been all that impressed with the stuff they serve. AS couple
years ago we were cat sitting for our Italian neighbours and the cat had
been shut into a storage room in the basement. They had stockpiled all
sorts of cheap pastas and sauces that they had bought on sale.



I think the main difference you will find is that Italians treat sauces
as an accent and others expect the pasta to be swimming. Similar to what
you see in Asian rice eating countries. Dishes have sauce as an accent
while others want the rice drowned in liquid. So the quality of the
pasta and rice makes a much bigger difference if not swimming in sauce.


FWIW, I get the Catelli Smart pasta, which has enough whole wheat to
make it a healthier pasta option, but not so much that it tastes like
that crappy whole wheat pasta.


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Old 31-07-2012, 10:18 PM posted to rec.food.cooking
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Default Taste test: pasta

On Jul 31, 1:44*pm, George wrote:
On 7/31/2012 1:59 PM, Dave Smith wrote:

On 31/07/2012 11:10 AM, Kalmia wrote:
I did a blind taste test on di Cecco penne (2.59 a 1 lb box) vs.
Hannaford housebrand (.89).
DH helped by straining and plating it etc. *I could NOT tell any
difference. I am adding this to my list of OK housebrand items *along
with oatmeal and 'grapenuts'.


It seems to be only Italians who make a big deal about the quality of
pasta, and as much as they comment about pasta being good or not, I have
never been all that impressed with the stuff they serve. *AS couple
years ago we were cat sitting for our Italian neighbours and the cat had
been shut into a storage room in the basement. They had stockpiled all
sorts of cheap pastas and sauces that they had bought on sale.


I think the main difference you will find is that Italians treat sauces
as an accent and others expect the pasta to be swimming. Similar to what
you see in Asian rice eating countries. Dishes have sauce as an accent
while others want the rice drowned in liquid. So the quality of the
pasta and rice makes a much bigger difference if not swimming in sauce.


In traditional Italian households, pasta is just one of many courses.
Turning pasta into a meal is an American thing.
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Old 31-07-2012, 10:39 PM posted to rec.food.cooking
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Default Taste test: pasta

On Tue, 31 Jul 2012 14:18:55 -0700 (PDT), spamtrap1888
wrote:

On Jul 31, 1:44*pm, George wrote:
On 7/31/2012 1:59 PM, Dave Smith wrote:

On 31/07/2012 11:10 AM, Kalmia wrote:
I did a blind taste test on di Cecco penne (2.59 a 1 lb box) vs.
Hannaford housebrand (.89).
DH helped by straining and plating it etc. *I could NOT tell any
difference. I am adding this to my list of OK housebrand items *along
with oatmeal and 'grapenuts'.


It seems to be only Italians who make a big deal about the quality of
pasta, and as much as they comment about pasta being good or not, I have
never been all that impressed with the stuff they serve. *AS couple
years ago we were cat sitting for our Italian neighbours and the cat had
been shut into a storage room in the basement. They had stockpiled all
sorts of cheap pastas and sauces that they had bought on sale.


I think the main difference you will find is that Italians treat sauces
as an accent and others expect the pasta to be swimming. Similar to what
you see in Asian rice eating countries. Dishes have sauce as an accent
while others want the rice drowned in liquid. So the quality of the
pasta and rice makes a much bigger difference if not swimming in sauce.


In traditional Italian households, pasta is just one of many courses.
Turning pasta into a meal is an American thing.


That make no sense whatsoever... Italians don't eat plain pasta,
neither does anyone else. Pasta entrees are often served as a main
course and/or an entire meal.


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Old 31-07-2012, 11:28 PM posted to rec.food.cooking
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Default Taste test: pasta

On 31/07/2012 3:08 PM, Kalmia wrote:

FWIW, I get the Catelli Smart pasta, which has enough whole wheat to

make it a healthier pasta option, but not so much that it tastes like

that crappy whole wheat pasta.


WHAAAAT? An Italian family not making their own SAUCE? Musta been 4th generation.




Nope. Italian born. Our next door neighbour was born in Italy. Her
parents own the house next to them (two doors down from us). They
arrived here in the 1950s and still have such strong Italian accents
that it is hard to understand them.

There are a lot of Italians here in Niagara, and throughout southern
Ontario. Italian cooking here is basically pasta.

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Old 31-07-2012, 11:31 PM posted to rec.food.cooking
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Default Taste test: pasta

On 31/07/2012 5:18 PM, spamtrap1888 wrote:

In traditional Italian households, pasta is just one of many courses.
Turning pasta into a meal is an American thing.

Perhaps that is the case with some Italians back in the old country. I
know a lot of Italians who consider pasta to be a main dish. Take
spaghetti with tomato sauce and add a couple of meatballs and you have a
main dish. Through ground meat into the red sauce and it is a main of
Boulangaise sp? , or some sausage withe the penne ... main course.
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Old 01-08-2012, 01:36 AM posted to rec.food.cooking
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Default Taste test: pasta

On Jul 31, 3:31*pm, Dave Smith wrote:
On 31/07/2012 5:18 PM, spamtrap1888 wrote:

In traditional Italian households, pasta is just one of many courses.
Turning pasta into a meal is an American thing.


* Perhaps that is the case with some Italians back in the old country. I
know a lot of Italians who consider pasta to be a main dish. *Take
spaghetti with tomato sauce and add a couple of meatballs and you have a
main dish. *Through ground meat into the red sauce and it is a main of
Boulangaise *sp? , or *some sausage withe the penne ... main course..


In the restaurants we visited in Italy, you are usually served
antipasti, followed by a first course and then a second- it is an
overwhelming amount of food!
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Old 01-08-2012, 07:44 AM posted to rec.food.cooking
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Default Taste test: pasta

In article ,
The Other Guy wrote:

--snippage --

I can't imagine WHY anyone would expect any different result.
What POSSIBLE differences between pastas COULD there be?


The kind of wheat they're made from. How the wheat is ground (to what
fineness and how much variation in particle size). The method of
extrusion (high speed/high pressure can make the pasta get pretty hot
going through). The method of drying (slow and cooler vs. hot and fast).

And differences may be not so much taste as texture. Lower quality
pastas can go from crunchy to gummy in just a few seconds; better ones
give you a longer "window" where you get a nice texture.

Here's an educational video put out by the BBC some time back; it's old
but still well worth watching:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GXmaS1ZzpA8

--

FWIW, I like the buck-a-pound stuff I get at Trader Joe's.


Isaac
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Old 01-08-2012, 10:57 AM posted to rec.food.cooking
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Default Taste test: pasta

Dave Smith wrote:

It seems to be only Italians who make a big deal about the quality of
pasta, and as much as they comment about pasta being good or not, I
have never been all that impressed with the stuff they serve. AS
couple years ago we were cat sitting for our Italian neighbours and
the cat had been shut into a storage room in the basement. They had
stockpiled all sorts of cheap pastas and sauces that they had bought
on sale.


Cheap pasta on sale and sauces? Those weren't italians, just "can't cook
anything" italians





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