Consumer Reports Tastes & Rates Celebrity Chef Food Products

Whose Soup, Sauce & Dressing is the Best?

Posted by Sharon on Sep 11

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These days, it's not too hard to enjoy a celebrity chef's culinary inspirations. Patrons can choose from gourmet restaurants and popular chains to specialty food products available at thousands of grocery stores in the nation.

When shopping for those celebrity chef-endorsed foods, it's extremely common to see increased prices due to the name association, plus the assumption that a professional chef would create a superior recipe. But are these products really worth their price tag?

Consumer Reports recently tested celebrity chef pasta sauces, soups, and salad dressings against other popular brand names and grocery store generic brands. According to CR's Kim Klemen, "about half of the celebrity products were no better than cheaper mainstream brands."

Mario Batali and Giada De Laurentiis both earned high ratings for their marinara and tomato basil sauces, respectively. De Laurentiis' tomato basil sauce was also awarded as a Best Buy, retailing $5 less than Batali's sauce.

However, sauces from Emeril Lagasse and Newman's Own didn't rank so high. Klemen pointed out that they didn't fare any better than the less expensive Ragu pasta sauce. Their reason? All three products list tomato puree as the first and primary ingredient (tomato paste mixed with water).

Celebrity chef canned soup products didn't make the cut, save for Wolfgang Puck's tomato basil bisque -- not too shabby from someone with the title of Wealthiest Celebrity Chef.

Interestingly, Consumer Reports didn't find any salad dressing products that stood out from their less expensive competitors. Klemen recommended making simple salad dressings from home with fresher, healthier ingredients instead.

Source:  NewsNet 5

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