Thursday, February 7, 2013

Saffron Road - Simmer Sauces

I really love Saffron Road's vegan frozen entrees. So when they introduced two vegan flavors of their simmer sauces, I couldn't wait to try them too.  Unfortunately, though, the simmer sauces were very disappointing.

I tried the Lemongrass Basil Simmer Sauce first. I cooked a combination of carrots, mushrooms, spring onions, baby corn, and tofu in the simmer sauce and served it over jasmine rice. Although there was a hint of lemongrass, it mostly had no taste. It came out of the pouch kind of clumpy and oily and really didn't taste natural at all. Then, I took a look at the package and noticed it was made with modified corn starch. *Gasp!* Did I really just eat a modified food product? So what is modified corn starch? It is a food additive created by treating starch, causing the starch to be partially degraded. Modified corn starch can be used as a stabilizer, thickening agent, or an emulsifier. Starches may be modified to change the texture of a food, increase their stability, decrease viscosity, or to lengthen or shorten gelatinization time.

So, is it bad for you? There does not appear to be any research indicating that modified corn starch is dangerous to our health. But, that doesn't mean I necessarily believe that. That said, Whole Foods is still selling this product so they must deem it safe. I felt slightly better after my research, but not much. I almost ceased writing the review, but decided to proceed with the other sauce anyway.

The second sauce was an Indian sauce -- Rogan Josh. This one I cooked with seitan, button mushrooms, and spring onions. It was slightly better than the Thai sauce, but only slightly. I have to compare this sauce to the ones I've gotten from Sukhi's and theirs are 100% better. This sauce was missing the aromatic spices that make Indian food delectable. It also tasted fake, probably because it was filled with modified corn starch, soy lecithin, and xantham gum.

Overall, I was pretty disappointed. This won't keep me from enjoying their frozen entrees here and there, but I won't be buying the simmer sauces again anytime soon. To try them for yourself, click here.

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