Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Marie Callender's Home-Style Creations Classic Stroganoff

Made By:  ConAgra Foods Inc.
Tools Required:  Microwave, eating utensil(s) of choice
Light Meal size (310 calories per package)
Rating:  :b

(available online through

I do realize that this is a little far afield from the products I usually review.  However, it is a shelf-stable convenience lunch, and I did eat it with chopsticks.  (Yes, I also realize I am in the tiny minority of people who would eat it that way.)  I actually don't know why I bought this, it doesn't seem like I got an especially good deal... maybe I was just looking for some variety.  In any case, this is lunch today, so Marie's stroganoff is going to get compared to instant ramen.  Hope she's ready!

We open up the package and find a tray of shelf-stable sauce and a helping of fairly plain-looking egg noodles.  We are supposed to fill the bowl to the fill line with water, and tear the label off of the lid to reveal some strainer holes and put it back on.  Then the noodles get microwaved for five minutes, and while we turn the bowl upside down over the sink to drain the noodles, we heat the sauce separately for 30 seconds.  (The instructions say to vent the corner of the film, which ended up requiring a knife to get done.)  Peel the film off the rest of the way, stir the sauce into the noodles, and it is ready to serve!

The aroma is fairly straightforward mushroom soup, except that I am smelling an odd plastic undertone for some reason.  It makes me want to not Google "plastic leaching into food."  Fortunately the food itself doesn't taste like plastic, but it really isn't that amazing either.  The noodles are similar quality to the really cheap store-brand egg noodles you find on the bottom shelf of the pasta aisle.  I greatly preferred the egg noodles in the Nissin Bowl Noodles I had, both in texture and in flavor. The sauce is basically a thick, oddly-tangy version of condensed mushroom soup; the bits of real beef and mushroom were nice, but overall it was just not that great.  When I add the fact that for the same price, I could get at least four packs of some really delicious ramen, I really can't give this any kind of positive recommendation.

Bottom line:  Not horrible, just horribly overpriced.  :b

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