Comments: Frozen Wonders

Comments

controversial? this is great, very much appreciated... very useful. thanks for posting!

I have to agree with you that there is good frozen food out there for food lovers. Amy's lasagna is awesome. period. A lot of other Amy's entrees are good to. And there is an Indian Brand they sell at whole foods which is also reliable. In a pinch, this stuff is better than fast food.

Right there with you on the good frozen food train. Technology has made possible the freezing of foods at their peak flavor. (See my post on this: http://ninecooks.typepad.com/perfectpantry/2006/07/frozen_artichok.html)
Yes, some frozen food is loaded with sodium, so read the labels carefully. But the best quality brands, like Amy's, are low in sodium, and high on my pantry list.

Oooooooooooooh, those look gooooooood.

Frozen food! On a cooking site! Very controversial.

I visited him and the Redhead and witnessed the stock, so I can say he's given this post a lot of sensory input before the thought. I'm glad they're tasty.

I have a bad confession. My kids really like frozen veggies much better than fresh in things like peas. I'm puzzled, but I buy them. How can one judge a pea so that fresh tastes better than the frozen?

Barrett,
I'm betting that when you & the Redhead were here in Paris visiting Meg, you had some Picard products.
Picard is a French chain store with over 95% of its product line being frozen. It's gourmet quality at very reasonable prices and every American I've ever served it to says "why don't we have this in the States?!" For busy families that don't like to sacrifice taste, it's a lifesaver. I will certainly miss it when we move back!
On a separate note, since you like Indian veg food, have you tried Tasty Bite brand? It's not frozen but vacuum-foil packed & excellent.
Taina

Bryan, I think that on the peas issue it's because they lose enormous amount of flavour and the texture goes woody really quickly after a) being picked and b) being shelled. My Critic is a huge fan of peas and I've tried over the years to convince him that fresh can be "as good as" frozen - to no avail. We also keep a bag in the fridge!

For potatoes and carrots and zucchini and eggplant and most other veggies, though, I think the fresh keeps well and is much better. Green beans are okay frozen, though - we keep those too.

Taina, we do indeed shop at Picard from time to time. But my biggest "why don't they have this in the US?" moment was when I discovered frozen spices. I am completely addicted: they are very nearly as good as fresh spices and a thousand times better than dried or the stuff that comes in jars. If only I could find a frozen lemongrass source...

Oh, and Barrett, I'm amazed that you managed to write this piece without once mentioning Francis Bacon, who died of pneumonia after experimenting with stuffing a chicken with snow to see if it would preserve it - an early martyr to food preservation science!

Wiki article on Bacon

As both a busy grad student and a vegetarian foodie, I completely concur on all counts. Thanks for the great recommendations. I'll have to give a few more of those Amy's options a try.

On a related note, there's a blog devoted to this very topic at HeatEatReview.com. Many of the posts are your standard Lean Cusine fare, but there are many veggie/vegan/organic options in the archives, and they're helpfully arranged by brand name.

I'm often surprised at the more than acceptable quality of frozen foods.

What really surprised me about this particular write-up is seeing those tostones with tomatilla sauce and red salsa! Having grown up with tostones (frozen and fresh) it would have been perceived as an unacceptable choice to serve tostones with either one of those sauces as an accompaniment. This is combining Cuban food with Mexican food and just would not have made cultural sense at all for my family and might have been taken as an insult. It would be like serving a cheese burger with finely chopped escargot on top. Not standard, somewhat repulsive, possibly interesting, not authentic. let's not go there.

I have to admit the tostones with the salsas do look good. I just had to write in at the culture shock I got hit with when I saw the pic and read the text.

In any case, yes, these Goya frozen tostones are quite good. And if the lesson to be learned is that not all frozen food is bad, then these are a good example to check out.

Barknot, I was similarly amazed when an old Aussie boss I had told me they put beetroot and egg on their hamburgers. As an all-American kid, that just seemed wrong, but I tried it and it was pretty good.

It's a fusion world we live in, these days.

frozen lemongrass can be found at phillipino/chinese markets.

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