Like a dog returning to its vomit, here we are once again preparing three unappetising platefuls of instant pasta for this, our eighth yuckblog taste test. Thus far much of what we have tried has been of such a lamentable quality it can barely be described as ‘food’, so this time we have travelled further afield and purchased our specimens in Germany. Can the Germans do any better? Is their schnell-food superior to ours? Let’s find out.
All three scored an impressive 100% in the ‘Congeal Test‘
As before, preparation consists of tipping contents into a pan, pouring over boiling water and simmering for 5, 7 or 10 minutes.
First up the Dr Lange’s Riso Rapido
Number of ingredients: 29 including Geschmacksverstarker Mononattiumglutamal
Description: Waldpilz-Reis mit Risoni-Nudeln
Despite looking like the sweepings from the bottom of a hamster cage, this had a very strong and not altogether unpleasant smell of dried mushrooms.
Visually this inhabits the uncomfortable middle ground between risotto and swill and so is not the prettiest dish once cooked. Despite this the pasta still had a slight bite to it and the over-riding flavour was of mushroom. It was quite salty but unlike most of the products from the dehydrated pasta/rice canon, not too sweet.
At the time of the tasting we were (purposely) quite hungry and as a consequence we willingly tucked into our Riso Rapido with gusto, recording the following comments for prosperity: “Well I don’t think that was revolting” and “Not bad at all”
Conclusion: The best we have come across in these tastings.
Next the La Pasta di Maggi
Number of ingredients: 17 including Schmelzsalz Natriumphosphate
Calories: 249 per portion, they say
Description: Maccaroncini in Tomaten-KÃ¤se-Sauce.
Pre cooking this had a very strong smell of herby tomatoes with a slight hint of cheese.
Hmmm, this tastes like pasta struggling against the tide in a bowl of tomato cup-a-soup. The pasta has a reasonable bite to it but the sauce is overly sweet with not a hint of cheese. Once eaten it left a sour aftertaste which lingered most of the afternoon.
Conclusion: Not great.
Finally Knorr Spaghetteria
Number of ingredients: 19 including 4 types of cheese
Description: Pasta in KÃ¤sesauce.
Now this may boast 4 types of cheese in its list of ingredients, but the only olfactory sensation we could pick up was the overpowering sick smell of powdered parmesan.
The sauce was actually not bad – it had a well-balanced flavour, wasn’t too sweet and tasted of ‘real’ cheese. Less promising was the unpleasant metallic coating it gave to our teeth – similar to the effect of eating rhubarb or spinach. The pasta was a little overcooked and the whole thing congealed before our eyes at some speed.
Conclusion: Prolonged exposure would strip the enamel off your teeth.
Winner: We prescribe Dr Lange’s Riso Rapido
Overall Conclusion: Obviously the Germans lag way behind the UK when it comes to car production, engineering, recycling, renewable energy, public transport (our train replacement bus service is the envy of the world) and baked goods (not a single Greggs in the whole of Berlin!). However, thanks to our research scientists here at yumblog, Germany can now boast superiority to the British in the niche field of instant pasta snack food manufacturing.
All three of the above were far better than anything we have tested so far.