Saturday, November 24, 2012

Hormel Canned Beef Corned Review

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I'm hoping that Hormel's Canned Beef Corned -- what an awkward name -- will be much better than Hormel's Lean Smoked Ham, which I reviewed earlier. Hormel is a huge corporation with many products, and it is virtually impossible to walk through a grocery store and not see one of their products. Hopefully Hormel's Canned Beef Corned will redeem Hormel.

 Upon opening I smell a scent that is similar to canned dog food, not good so far! the canned beef comes out in one large, slimy can-shaped hunk which is obviously chopped bits of beef formed into a loaf. The meat keeps its form well and is easy to slice into thin slices. I suppose this can be fairly presentable if cut into slices.

Meat Obelisks
The mouth feel is somewhat mushy after it yields to the initial bite. The taste of sodium phosphates and sodium nitrites is very powerful and allows the product to imitate traditional corned beef to some extent. However, the fact that this is a formed patty made out of processed beef and pumped with preservatives means that the taste and texture are only a poor imitation of real corned beef. Furthermore, all the phosphates and nitrites in this product aren't too good for your health.

I sliced this up and fried it along with a riced potato to make some corned beef hash that wasn't bad. The taste of Hormel's Canned Beef Corned is much better after browning on a skillet. I give this two and one half obelisks of meat out of five. Not good nor bad, but rather just an average canned meat product.

At least the cat loved it.


Thursday, November 1, 2012

Chicken of the Sea Pink Salmon Traditional Style Review

 Nutrition Facts:
Serving Size: 1/4 Cup (63g). Servings Per Container: 7.
Calories 90, Fat Calories 45
Total Fat 5g 8% Daily Value (Sat. Fat 1g 6% Daily Value, Trans Fat 0g)
Cholesterol 40mg 13% Daily Value
Sodium 270mg 11% Daily Value
Total Carb. 0g
Protein 12g

Vitamin A 0%, Vitamin C 0%, Calcium 10%, Iron 2%

Ingredients: Pink salmon, salt.

I thoroughly enjoyed Chicken of the Sea's Canned Baby Clams so it is reasonable that I was looking forward to cracking open this can to see what waited inside. Inside was salmon fillets that were kept in an aseptic environment, just waiting for me to pull them out. Was I disappointed or overjoyed upon feasting on the contents inside this can? Did my cat enjoy it? Dear reader, read on.

After opening the can there was a nice, deep earthy smell. The smell was not fishy, but reminiscent of a good quality can of tuna packed in water. Firm fillets of salmon were packed generously inside of the can, so much so that the meat retained the curves of the can when removed. The fact that they were packed in water makes the meat a bit firmer and more crumbly than fresh salmon.

 The taste and smell are excellent.The bones will be noticeable in a fish this large, but removing the spinal cord can remedy this at the cost of some calcium. The salmon kept its pinkish hue through the canning process so the presentation is very good. My cat absolutely loved eating this, he couldn't get enough!

This is a very good product that I will definitely buy again if on sale. Chicken of the Sea's Pink Salmon Traditional style has earned five cylinders of canned salmon out of five.

Friday, August 31, 2012

Sink or Swim: How Good are Goya Sardines in Olive Oil?

 Nutrition Facts for Goya Sardines in Olive Oil:
Serving Size: 1/4 Cup. Servings Per Container: About 2.
Calories 130, Fat Calories 80
Total Fat 9g 14% Daily Value (Sat. Fat 2g 10% Daily Value, Trans Fat 0g)
Cholesterol 20mg 7% Daily Value
Sodium 280mg 12% Daily Value
Total Carb. 0g
Protein 13g

Vitamin A 2%, Vitamin C 0%, Calcium 20%, Iron 10%

Ingredients: Sardines, olive oil and salt added.

I am a big fan of many of Goya's products. Their canned chipotles in tomato sauce are excellent and I also like their seasoning packets and Sazonador Total seasoning. These sardines are imported from Spain so I hope that this review of Goya Sardines in Olive Oil will be enjoyable.

After peeling back the tin's lid I smell a scent that is very similar to canned tuna, yet stronger and deeper. After I completely peel back the lid I am greeted by the sight of three fish that are large for sardines. However, I am dismayed that the tails are not still attached to the fish because they are a good source of nutrition. I also notice that the skin and scales are still present on the fish.

The fish break apart when speared with a fork. The mouth feel of the fish is a bit too crumbly for my taste, and since the fish are large the bones are a bit more noticeable than most sardines. I am not able to notice the scales during the taste testing. The taste is not bad, but certainly not spectacular either. They have a fairly good plain old sardine taste to them. My cat came up to me and begged for some so I gave him a fork full, which he ate with gusto.

Delicious fish, I must eat them! Om nom nom!

These are not bad, but there are definitely better tins of fish out there. Rugenfisch Smoked Kieler Sprats and King Oscar Finest Brisling Sardines come to mind. Goya Sardines in Olive Oil get three big sardines out of five.

Saturday, August 25, 2012

A Review of Bumble Bee Premium Select Wild Fancy Whole Baby Clams

Nutrition Facts for  Bumble Bee Premium Select Wild Fancy Whole Baby Clams:
Serving Size 2 oz (56g or about 1/4 cup) Servings Per Container about 3 
Calories 45, Calories from Fat 10
Total Fat 1g 2% Daily Value (0g unsaturated fat, 0g Trans fat, 0.5g Polyunsat. Fat, 0g Monounsat. Fat)
Cholesterol 70mg 23% Daily Value
Sodium 290mg 12% Daily Value
Potassium 5mg 0% Daily Value
Total Carbohydrate 0g
Protein 9g

Vitamin A 2%, Calcium 6%, Vitamin D 0%, Vitamin C 0%, Iron 20%, Selenium 30%

Ingredients: Whole baby clams, water, salt, citric acid, sodium acid pyrophosphate, calcium, disodium EDTA

 This is my first review of a product from Bumble Bee Foods. They only get once chance to make a good impression so without further ado let's try some baby clams. The can is attractive and brightly colored, clearly labeled is the Net weight of ten ounces and a drained weight of five ounces so you get five ounces of clams and five ounces of brine for your money. The price is not posted because prices are rapidly changing at this time.

Upon opening I am greeted by a faint yet unpleasant odor, a smell that reminds me of fish that have stayed out a bit too long by the seaside. So I would describe the smell as bad seafood and brine. The clams are visually appealing because they maintained their colors well, which are tan with orange-yellow highlights and a darker tan in the body of the clam. The clams are intact as advertised and they are each about the size of a penny.

Looks can be deceiving.

Surely they should taste good, right?

 The clams have a firm yet yielding consistency with a good mouth-feel, but they are disagreeable to both my sense of taste and olfactory system. They are not too salty but they smell like they sat out too long before the canning process. The taste of these clams reminds me of seafood that is a little past its prime and was not purged properly before being prepared for sale. There was a lingering aftertaste and scent that was reminiscent of old fish that made this sampling an unpleasant experience. The aftertaste was still strong a full twenty minutes after sampling, and I'm sure that the clams tainted my breath with their less than stellar aroma.

I was hesitant to offer a few clams to my cat, but I did and even he refused to eat these clams. Two spiked phalanges down!

I apologized to him afterwards.

I cannot recommend this product because there are better canned baby clam products on the market at competitive prices. Bumble Bee Premium Select Wild Fancy Whole Baby Clams get one and a half clams out of five. These are bad and border on being wretched. You may be able to finish them, but you surely will not enjoy it. Food should taste good, especially if it is labeled as premium!

Monday, July 23, 2012

Tyson Premium Chunk White Chicken in Water

Tyson Premium Chunk White Chicken in Water

Nutrition Information for Tyson Premium Chunk White Chicken in Water
 Tyson Premium Chunk White Chicken in Water comes in a short cylindrical can that is decorated with chunks of white meat chicken. The picture on the can is appetizing and I was hoping that this review would not turn out like the one I did on Hormel's canned ham product. Many meats have a drastic change in consistency when they are canned in water instead of oil. They tend to have a dry mouth-feel and a stringy texture.

Upon opening the can I was greeted with the pleasant smell of concentrated chicken broth. The chicken was packed well in the can and the large, white chunks of meat are visually appealing. This meat is obviously complete chunks of chicken and not some reformed patty of butcher floor scrapings. I was hoping that the meat would taste as good as it looked.

It looks appealing
The meat crumbled after I stuck a fork in it, the texture change from the canning process was evident before even tasting it. Upon placing the chicken in my mouth the scent and taste of chicken - along with a not trifling amount of salt - was evident. The chicken is dryer than I would like and crumbly with a stringy consistency, yet the taste is good. This would be good to take on trips where refrigeration is not available, or perhaps to use to make some chicken casserole or chicken salad. The broth is flavorful, even if it is too salty, and would be good to cook rice in.
The texture is lacking but the taste is good
I had to let our mascot give it a try, and he absolutely loved it!

Our mascot enjoying a chicken dinner
This product is good but, like many canned products, the saltiness and less than ideal texture holds it back from perfection. However the taste, visual appeal, and smell are all excellent - which is something our mascot agrees with. Tyson Premium Chunk White Chicken in Water gets 4 chunks of tasty chicken out of 5!

Monday, July 2, 2012

Northern Catch Wild Alaska Pink Salmon

  Northern Catch is a label for seafood products that is exclusively sold through the privately owned company Aldi. Aldi's stores offer a no-frills and very basic shopping experience with most brands unique to the store. The shopping carts require a quarter to unchain and you get your quarter back after returning the cart. There are very few employees compared to traditional grocery stores, you must bring your own grocery bags or purchase them at the register, bag your own groceries and Aldi is able to pass the savings from these cost-saving methods down to the consumer. These stores are run very efficiently -- no big surprise considering it is a German company.

The smell of this salmon upon opening the can is pleasant and nearly indistinguishable from the smell of canned tuna. However, the scent of this canned salmon is a little bit stronger than tuna. This can is PACKED with firm pieces of salmon, including the skin and bones -- good if you like your fish full of vitamins and minerals. The taste is very similar to tuna except that this salmon has a deeper flavor that I find quite enjoyable, my cats like it as well.

The flesh is firm and the bones are definitely noticeable, one could probably pick the spinal cord of the fish out if it really bothers them. This fish is not too salty and would be well suited to making salmon patties with breadcrumbs, egg, and a little bit of lemon juice. A good can of fish that packs a good amount of omega 3 fatty acids. I will buy this again for sure.

The only problem with this product is a problem that exists with all salmon products; salmon, being fairly large carnivorous fish, tend to collect large amounts of pollutants like mercury in their bodies. Therefore, people who are susceptible to these pollutants, like pregnant women and very young children, may want to avoid large carnivorous fish.

However, this product is graded by me only by the merits of what it is, and it is an exceptional product that Aldi sells through the Northern Catch label. Thus, Northern Catch Canned Pink Salmon gets 5 cylinders of salmon out of 5. I definitely recommend trying this product, and don't forget the quarter for your cart!

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Chicken of the Sea Whole Baby Clams

 Price: $1.59 for a 10 ounce (5 ounces drained) can.

The clams are intact and have a scent of ocean brine. The smell of brine fills my nasal cavity and conjures up thoughts of the ocean as I bite into a clam. The salt is evident but not overpowering and the meat is very tender for a clam, almost as tender as an oyster. There is a nice taste of brine that accompanies the mild flesh of these baby clams.

This is a good product with a fair price. These would be good in a clam chowder or mixed with rice and vegetables. The product is about as aesthetically pleasing as it can get when we consider that they are clams, which are not natures most beautiful creatures outside of the shell. Furthermore, these are much more tender than most canned clams, and they taste better than what you will find in many clam chowders sold at the supermarket.

These tender little clams are well above average and earn 4 baby clams out of 5.

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