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Ragu Pasta Sauce Spicy Bolognese

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1 Review

Brand: Knorr / Type: Sauces

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      06.03.2009 08:07
      Very helpful
      (Rating)
      23 Comments

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      There are so many good alternatives that you may as well walk past this

      The current economic climate has really changed my shopping habits and it has introduced me to many products that I would not usually buy. I now actively seek out supermarket brands and promotions/offers in order to get more 'bang for my buck'.

      During a recent shopping trip I was lured in to buying a jar of Knorr 'spicy' Ragu bolognese sauce. I love spicy food and I love spag bowl so I thought that this would be worth a try, and since it was half price it was even better.

      ****The jar****

      The jar is pretty boring and uninspiring. The jar is your typical clear glass, enabling you to see the colour and consistency of the sauce, with a very small purple label on the front with a picture of a tomato on it.

      The only thing that distinguishes this from the 'normal' Ragu is the word 'spicy' that is in small white writing in a boring font. Surely the 'spicy' aspect is the unique selling point of this product. It should be this that is used to encourage potential consumers to buy this product, but it is not being used in this way. What are Knorr's marketing department doing?

      It was not the jar that attracted me to this product at all. It was the supermarket's own marketing ploy to sell this sauce that got me to pick up a jar. It was the bright yellow signs stating half price that lured me in and made me buy on impulse. Without this I would easily have walked past this sauce and not given it a second glance.

      ****Ingredients****

      As well as the usual ingredients (tomatoes, sugar, cornflour and the like) this sauce contains some additional and powerful ingredients including garlic puree, red chillies, paprika and black pepper.

      The label on this jar claims that this sauce is made with 153g of tomatoes per 100g of sauce. I am struggling with the maths here and can only assume that quite a lot of the tomatoes is waste, especially when the other ingredients are taken in to consideration.

      The additional tomatoes used in this sauce (although not all of the goodness makes it) supposedly means that there's more lycopene, which is an antioxidant.

      The producers also claim that this sauce is free from artificial colours, free form artificial flavours and free from artificial preservatives.

      If all the claims on the jar are true then this sauce should be really good for you

      ****Smell****

      I was quite disappointed with the smell when I opened this jar. Given the powerful ingredients, as detailed earlier on in this review, I was expecting there to be a rich, spicy and 'hot' smell. However, all I could smell was the tomatoes and a slight smell of vomit. It was quite off putting but I thought that I would give it a go any way.

      During cooking the vomit type smell did not disappear. In fact, it got stronger and stronger the hotter the sauce got. The smell is not at all appetising and it really is a challenge to try and block it out.

      ****Colour and consistency****

      This sauce is a deep, rich red colour with a ting of orange. Given that the main ingredient is tomato, and there is some paprika added in for good measure this colour is as expected.

      As you pour the sauce out of the jar it is a thick, creamy consistency that appears really good. It is much better than other spaghetti bolognese sauces I have tried in the past.

      Once you start to heat the sauce up it goes rapidly down hill. As it heats through it thins out and becomes quite watery. At first I thought it was the fat in the minced beef but my other half uses the leanest minced beef available since fatty meat does not agree with her. I would hate to think how thin this sauce would get if you were to use fattier mince.

      ****Taste****

      The smell was almost enough to put me off eating this, but since I had already poured it over some mince beef there was no way I was not going to eat it. I am not that wasteful and given the current economic climate I cannot afford to waste food like that.

      Once I had pegged my nostrils I ate the sauce covered minced beef and I must say that I was really disappointed with the taste. Given the name of the sauce, as well as the powerful ingredients I was expecting it to be really hot and spicy and make my mouth tingle. Unfortunately it did not do this.

      It tastes likes any other tomato based sauce and is bland and boring. One thing I did find strange was that once I had finished my meal there was a very slight tingle on my tongue that I didn't feel when I was eating. Whilst eating there was no heat at all.

      I should stress that whilst the sauce smells like vomit it does not taste like it, so I suppose that is one positive thing.

      ****Nutritional information****

      Typical values per 100g of sauce are as follows;

      i) Energy - 44kcal
      ii) Protein - 1.3g
      iii) Carbohydrate - 9.6g (of which 7.0g are sugars)
      iv) Fibre - 1.1g

      When added to 350g of mince this jar is meant to be enough to feed four people. It will stretch this far if all four people are:

      a) Children; or
      b) Very small eaters; or
      c) On a very strict and calorie controlled diet; or
      d) Wanting a snack

      In my experience a jar of this added to the recommended amount of mince will provide a 'normal' sized meal for three adults

      Considering this the nutritional values needs to uplifted accordingly.

      Looking at the nutritional information it appears that this sauce is not that bad for you and is pretty much the same as other sauces. The worrying thing is the amount of sugar, but then there is a high sugar content in all ready-made jar sauces.

      ****Price****

      The 500g jar of this sauce is currently on offer at Tescos. It cost 66p (usually £1.40) and that is the only reason that we bought it.

      Even at 66p I think that this sauce is awful value for money and I am glad that we did not pay full price for it. I would have felt really cheated if we had.

      ****Conclusion****
      As you have probably guessed I was very, very disappointed with this sauce. Whilst the label claims powerful ingredients such as red chillies, paprika, garlic and black pepper you cannot taste these at all, which is a shame. I was expecting a hot and spicy dish but ended up with a bland, boring and tasteless one. I may as well just added a tin of tomatoes and some chilli powder. It would have been hotter.

      The vomit smell is very off putting and is unappetising. This smell is present as soon as the jar is opened and heating up the sauce just causes it to get stronger.

      The consistency of this sauce looks good as it is poured out of the jar but as with everything about this sauce it soon goes down hill and gets thinner as it is heated up.

      I would not recommend this sauce at all, even at 66p. It is thin, tasteless, smell of vomit and is a real let down. It may be better if you add some chilli powder but I wouldn't want to risk wasting decent chilli powder on what is crap sauce.

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