Friday, March 27, 2009

Truth in Advertising?

I often find that the best things come in relatively unappealing packages. Take Tom Petty, for instance. Between the teeth and the sideburns and the slow Southern drawl, not an attractive man. But as soon as he puts on the Rickenbacker and launches into "Refugee," he transforms into a rock and roll Superman. The only real difference, actually, is that (as far as I know) Tom Petty can't leap tall buildings in a single bound. Then again, he did tell us that he was learning to fly without wings so who knows what he's truly capable of. The point is this: not all good things are good to look at, and TastyBite Kerala Vegetables are no exception.

Looking at the photo, two things should be apparent. First, on a purely visual level, this is the Tom Petty of microwavable foods. Second - and relatedly - the meal on the box does not look like the meal in my bowl. From the packaging, you'd think you were about to get giant chunks of potato and carrots; this is not the case. The largest potato was about the size of my thumbnail and there were only about six of them. Ditto for the carrots. Mostly, it's a lot of sauce and vegetable mush. Not surprising, perhaps, given that the top three ingredients are water, tomatoes, and coconut, but I'm still taking points off for the misleading package.

Visuals and composition aside, this one really redeems itself in the flavor department. The coconut sauce is thick and rich, and quite spicy. The potato and carrot pieces didn't get overly saturated by the sauce, they maintained a perfect balance between firm enough to hold together and soft enough to lose their crunch. Like I said before, there wasn't anywhere near as much vegetable as sauce, but if you have a nice naan or injera alongside it, the abundance of sauce is definitely a good thing. Sadly, I wasn't so prepared and instead had to soak up the sauce with a piece of multigrain Whole Foods sandwich bread, which was OK but a little less than authentic, to say the least.

Once I got past my irritation with the deceptive cover photo, I enjoyed this meal. So long as you understand that you're not going to get what's shown on the box, you probably will, too. Recommended. [[justin]]

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