Thursday, January 19, 2012

Taste Traditions of Omaha–Offering Comforting and Convenient Cuisines (Review)





Right after I arrived home from the hospital with our second daughter, I was greeted with a box of boil-in-a-bag meals from Taste Traditions to review.  It came at a good time, as the last thing I wanted to do was spend hours in the kitchen cooking and cleaning up.  My husband could even warm these pouches, so I didn’t have to rush in the kitchen to help.  Below are my comments on the four meals I was sent:



48 oz., Serves 6

Our Price: $15.98

Taste Traditions’ Gourmet Macaroni and Cheese is officially approved by kids and parents alike. Our chefs craft each batch of mac and cheese from scratch using quality ingredients like wholesome durum wheat noodles and a proprietary real cheese blend that’s shredded daily. This isn’t your average box mix, it’s cheesier in flavor, creamier in texture, and easier to prepare, just heat over your stovetop. Taste Traditions’ Gourmet Macaroni and Cheese is the ultimate in comfort food, leaving you with a full stomach and a smile.

My Thoughts:

My daughter is a huge mac and cheese fan, but for some reason she didn’t take to this meal.  I tried it and loved it.  I loved the creamier, rich cheese flavor, and the soft macaroni.  I am guessing because of the excess cheese overload, this is why Savannah was not a huge fan.  She is used to a milder and less creamier cheese when she has her mac and cheese.  It was great having a big bowl of this mac and cheese, as it reminded me of the good old days when my mom would prepare a big batch of mac and cheese with melted Velveeta cheese.  If you love creamy and oh so gooey mac and cheese, then you will love Taste Traditions’ Gourmet Macaroni and Cheese.


48 oz., Serves 6

Our Price: $16.98

Chicken Wild Rice Soup offers the same comfort as Chicken Noodle, but enhanced with the nutty flavor of wild rice. This creamy broth combines an elegant flavor with a hearty texture of white meat chicken, wild and white rice, and savory vegetables. Whether you’re pairing it with another dish, or featuring it as the main course, Taste Traditions creamy wild rice soup is a perfect comfort dish enjoyed all year round.

My Thoughts:

I am a huge soup fan, so I couldn’t wait to try out this soup.  When the cold weather sets in, there is nothing better than making a large pot of chicken soup.  A family favorite is my chicken wild rice soup.  But, with a new baby in the house, I don’t have the time I used to, to spend whipping up a large batch of soup.  So, we have resorted to buying soups from restaurants or at the market.  Unfortunately, these soups lack the home cooking feel we like, and are full of salt and added preservatives.  So, when I was sent Taste Traditions’ version of Chicken Wild Rice soup, I couldn’t wait to see how it compared to my recipe.  Just by looking at the soup in the package, I knew it was going to be creamy.  And, after it was heated up and poured into bowls, the smell alone drove my husband and I crazy.  While the babies slept, we quickly devoured the soup, and had seconds, along with a crusty French bread for dipping.  This soup was amazing.  It had just the right amount of cream and the wild rice was soft enough to enjoy. I will definitely be ordering this soup again soon.



48 oz., Serves 6

Our Price: $17.98

We haven’t entered any chili cook-offs, but Taste Traditions’ Hearty Chili is guaranteed to win over any crowd. This savory dish is made with select lean beef, pinto beans, chunky vegetables and a special combination of spices. Our chefs carefully handcraft each kettle in small batches to maintain the rich and hearty flavor our customers have come to love. Enjoy our beef chili as a meal or use it as a side or topping on a favorite dish.

My Thoughts:

I don’t know how many chili cook-offs we have been to over the years, but by far one of my favorite foods is chili.  I love to make it and sample other people’s versions.  The spicier the better!  So, when I saw Taste Traditions’ had their own version of hearty chili, I had to try it and see how it stacked up against award-winning chili dishes I have tried.  I loved how they incorporated pinto beans with chunky vegetables, along with select lean beef.  You would never expect a chili to have chunky vegetables, but it really made the chili taste great.  The beans were nice and tender and the beef not was chewy.  Even though the chili was not spicy, I was able to add a few jalapenos and cayenne pepper powder to it, and make it spicy to my liking. Overall, a great chili and one that would do well at a chili cook off.


48 oz., Serves 8

Our Price: $10.98

Taste Traditions’ Refried Beans are a great companion to any Mexican dish. Our pinto beans are slowly cooked and seasoned with jalapeños, onions and a combination of spices for a rich flavor. You don’t need to soak these beans overnight, Taste Traditions’ Refried Beans are cooked and seasoned for easy preparation, just heat and serve. Add our Refried Beans in burritos, dips, or on top of your nachos.

My Thoughts:

My husband is of Latin descent, so he turned me on to Latin/Mexican foods.  It is hard to find good, authentic restaurants near us, so when I had a chance to review the refried beans from Taste Traditions, I was hoping I would find a great side dish to accompany homemade enchiladas and burritos. And, did I!  These beans were so smooth and creamy, and tasted like they took hours to make, and were made from real Latin cooks.  Out of all the packages sent, this was was consumed in one sitting, and there were no leftovers.

Overall, these are my pros and cons of the Taste Traditions boil-in-a-bag meals:

1) Quality of product was great for a boil in the bag meal
2) Taste was exceptional -- didn't taste large amounts of salts or unnecessary add-ins like other brands/products
3)  Soups were great overall

1) Wish serving size options were available.  Because of the large bags,  I ended up having to store half the meal, and sometimes forgot it was in the fridge and wasted it.
2) Wish the pouches were smaller in size -- had to use lobster pot to boil
3) For busy families, would have loved to have seen a microwave option
4) Meal selection -- wish there was a larger offering of products

As you can see, these meals are great for families and  those looking for a healthy alternative to meals on the go.  You simply throw a pouch into boiling water and let cook about 40 minutes.  Once done, it is ready to serve. And, you can refrigerate any leftovers for the next day.  Click here to check out the meal selection from Taste Traditions


Special Offer:

Taste Traditions is giving 1 FREE Soup with Your Purchase of ANY 3 Soups!

How to Buy: Add any 4 soups to your shopping cart and enter promo code: "SOUP" on step 2 of 2 of checkout.

*Offer valid for 1 free soup per order valued at $17.98. Not valid with other offers.

*Expires 1/31/12


Disclosure:  I was sent samples from the vendor in order to write up an honest review.  The views above are mine and mine alone.

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