Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Chicken Pot Pie

Okay, when I was younger my father used to make pot pies, like meat pies, where he would take whatever leftover meat we had, mix it with some vegetables and a gravy and bake it in a pie shell and crust.  It was great as it was a time when even mushrooms tasted good.  (I'm still not a huge fan of mushrooms now)

So, for fun, I noticed that at the store there was two kinds or brands of personal chicken pot pies.  One was from Swanson and the other was from Banquet.
So, is there any difference between the two?  Depends on what you are shopping for.  The Swanson has less calories than the Banquet, more ingredients and less taste.  It is also only 89 cents while the Banquet pie was $1.25.  So, I did mention taste and this is what that was all about:

Sure, both products had mechanically separated chicken as the main protein source, the stuff that nuggets are made of, and both had plenty of other vegetables in there as well.  The Banquet pie had more sodium and even had potassium in it.  It overall had a better taste, as the potatoes tasted like potatoes and the carrots tasted like carrots.  The gravy, tasted like chicken, almost as good as real chicken stock or chicken soup.  The company started in 1953 and it was in 1955 that Banquet's frozen meals first hit store shelves.

Swanson has most of the same ingredients as the Banquet version, except it also has about 100 more and in different orders.  Whereas the Banquet pie had their filling or gravy made with chicken stock as the first ingredient, Swanson has water as their first ingredient.  So, already you have one tasting better than the other.  Sure, the Swanson pie is about 45 cents less than the other so if you had one dollar to live, this would be the one to get.  But the lesser cost clearly shows and indicates a lesser value.  As mentioned earlier, this one tasted like someone watered down a can of chicken soup and the first tasted like fresh chicken soup.  I couldn't stomach this pie at all.  Swanson started in 1905 but it wasn't until 1950 that their first frozen meal hit the shelves.

So, my choice, as it seems painfully obvious, is that the Banquet one is better tasting.  And, if the amount of ingredients is any indication, the Swanson brand had many fillers, like whey protein and carrageenan and xanthan gum.  Now, would I serve these to other people?  No.

If you get either one, let me know what you think. 

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