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"To read a book about a country's cuisine isn't simply to go looking for 'good things'; it is also to better know - by means of the recipes - the customs and the richness or poverty of a place, and the spirit of those who inhabit it. It is above all, to participate in the symbolic celebration of the shared repast."

~ Ginette Olivesi-Lorenzi, La Cuisine Mentonnaise



Savoring Tuscany : Recipes and Reflections on Tuscan Cooking

Savoring Tuscany : Recipes and Reflections on Tuscan Cooking (The Savoring Series)
by Lori De Mori

Part of the Savoring Series, which is one of my favorite series of books about Regional Cuisine, Savoring Tuscany is a beautiful book filled with sumptuous recipes and delectable writing about the cuisine and culture of Tuscany. As with all the books in the series, Savoring Tuscany is put together beautifully and all of the recipes are well written and presented. The recipes that we tested were all superb and the book is an excellent source for fans of Tuscan cuisine.


All text, graphics, recipes, and articles copyright Regional Recipes 2001-2010, unless otherwise attributed. Please do not reprint or distribute any of the material on this website without permission. For reprint permission, information about recipe or menu development, recipe and article submission guidelines, advertising quotes, or for information about how to get your product or book reviewed, please e-mail us. Thank you.
 
Product Review - Thai Kitchen Hot & Sour Noodles
by

Regional Recipes Review Staff

Regional Recipes reviews Thai Kitchen Hot & Sour Noodles. Check out our mixed review of a product we really couldn't help but like encased in packaging we really did not like.


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Product Review - Thai Kitchen Hot & Sour Noodles

Ease of Preparation - 4 stars

Taste - 3 stars

Authenticity - 2 stars

Appearance - 2 stars

Value - 4 stars

Overall - 3 stars

Price - $2.99

Size - 4.25 ounces

Servings - 2

Serving Size - 60 grams

Nutritional Information (per serving) - 230 calories, 30 calories from fat, 3.5 grams total fat, 0.5 grams, saturated fat, 0 grams cholesterol, 900 mg sodium, 47 grams carbohydrates, 2 grams protein.

Ingredients - noodles (rice flour, water), seasoning sachet (lemon grass, salt, unrefined cane sugar, onion, amino acid, chili, glucose), flavored oil sachet (vegetable oil, garlic, chili). This product may contain peanuts.

Thai Kitchen Hot & Sour Noodles PreparedThis is kind of an odd review in that I really actually liked the product by itself. I know many people like these noodles and they are addictive. They have a spicy-tart taste that makes for a great, simple side dish. The noodles and soup were very easy to prepare and the steps were extremely simple.

The real problem I had with the product was in comparing the final product to what the packaging represented the product to be. I have rarely seen such misleading packaging…especially on a product I actually liked. I expect the product to tout "great taste" and when I am forced to deal with a less than great taste I do not get upset about product misrepresentation. In this case I did get upset and felt that I was seriously misled.

Let's start with the front of the packaging. Wow! What a great looking soup…I see mushrooms, shrimp, peppers, basil, and all sorts of yummy looking ingredients in what looks to be a rich golden colored broth. Oh, it says "Serving Suggestion" in tiny little letters. OK, we can deal with that, but I bet the dish still looks great. Hmmm…as you can see in the photos, the results were pasty white and very boring. No color, no bits of ingredients, just kind of bland and white. This is certainly not what I think of when I think of "Bangkok's noodle stands". But before we continue on with other impressions of the finished product, let's head back to the front. In a bright yellow circle on the front of the packaging it says "Just 5 Minutes". Which to me implies just five minutes to prepare…a pretty logical assumption I presume. So as I started to prepare the noodles, expecting them to be ready in five minutes. First step: Soak the noodles in hot tap water for 3 minutes and then drain. OK, easy enough. I soak the noodles. Second step: Bring water to a boil. Add the noodles and seasoning packets. Reduce the heat. Cover and simmer for 3-5 minutes until noodles are soft. Whoa! All of these minutes do not add up to five. But I gamely continue on and boil, cover, simmer, and stir. After three minutes I check the noodles. Nope, not soft. I try them again at five. Still not soft…and seven was the same. At about 13 minutes of cooking the noodles finally softened and were ready to serve. Between soaking time, bringing the water to a boil, and cooking time I had spent over 20 minutes preparing the noodles. Glad I wasn't on a deadline!

I would have easily forgiven them for the above two if it wasn't for the taste of the noodles. As I said before, the noodles taste good. But with no stretch of the imagination would I call them "authentic Thai". Maybe "authentic Thai restaurant on a bad day"…The flavor of the noodles is very straightforward. They are indeed hot and sour, with a much greater stress on the hot versus the sour. But that is all they are. True Thai cuisine is a wonderful mix of flavors and ingredients, and the very popular Tom Yum Soup which these noodles are compared to, is an excellent example of that blend.

In a nutshell, if you are looking for authentic Thai flavor…then you might want to skip these noodles. If you are looking for a quick and easy side dish to eat with a variety of dishes that is quite spicy and just a bit sour, then these noodles make an excellent choice.

You can visit the Thai Kitchen website at http://www.thaikitchen.com.