French’s Green Bean Casserole

November 20, 2010 by staff 

French’s Green Bean Casserole, Food & cover story this week makes a wine vintage spin on Thanksgiving, the revival of forgotten classics like Kiev and Rumak. Taster’s Choice is so retro, too, with a nod to green bean casserole, the dish holiday humble side made with green beans, mushroom soup and fried onion topping.

We intended this to be a diptych, looking first at the green beans (we tested the frozen last year, with C & W beans holders), then fried onion toppings.

But our Taster’s choice panelists had other ideas. Sampling 10 varieties of soft and dull green beans straight from the box, they could not find to recommend.

Both gave all zeros, with beans and summarizing:

“All the terrible,” the panel wrote in large letters in the comments section. “People should not buy or sell any of them.”

Enough said.

At fried onion toppings we go, with a familiar name to come first.

French of French fried onions ($ 5.79 for 6 ounces at Safeway) was everyone’s favorite – “. Pleasantly salty” golden and crispy “and other words, these” beautiful pieces, even “taste of the onion. Three panelists would buy this brand, while the two forces.

In second place was Fresh Gourmet Crispy Onions ($ 2.99 for 3.5 ounces at Cala Foods). These pieces of garlic and pepper was a “spicy kick,” if a tasters felt that there was “too much pepper.” Some thought that the onions were also “oily” with” fat mouth. “Three tasters might buy them and two would not.

Trader Joe’s Fried Onion Pieces ($ 2.99 for 8 ounces) came in third. Panelists liked its “very crunchy” texture, taste, but leave much to be desired. “Not enough onion flavors,” they wrote. Another found them “bitter and burned.” In addition, the size of the pieces were “too varied – some very big, others too small.” Again, three maybe you can buy and two would not.

Lars own ($ 3.39 for 4 ounces at Whole Foods) brought up the rear. Some tasters found it “good onion flavor, while others detected a” rancid “or” onion bitter end. “All agreed that the pieces were” very low “. As a panelist warned: “so small, they disintegrate.” Two tasters might buy these, and three would not.

Fried onion garnish

Fresh Gourmet 47

Trader Joe’s 40

Lars Own38

Panelists were Linda AN*Sasananan, food writer / consultant, San Mateo, John Carroll, cookbook author, San Francisco, Marc Halperin, culinary director, Center for Culinary Development, San Francisco, Emily Luchetti, pastry chef, Farallon, San Francisco, Roland Passot, chef-owner of La Folie in San Francisco and three banks left. All products are tasted blind; a perfect score would be 100. Prices shown are the lowest found, but products may be available in other stores.

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