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Spaghetti's best friend? Kash n' Karry sauce

Published March 23, 2005

Kash n' Karry's spaghetti sauces

At the first grocery store we visited, Taster's Choice found 14 spaghetti sauces. That was a clue that most of us probably aren't simmering fresh tomatoes on the stove all day to top our pastas. We bought two more jars at other stores and decided that 16 varieties would give our panelists plenty of choices.

To stack up, spaghetti sauces had to have good color, thickness and a pleasing flavor.

All of the samples were labeled "tomato and basil" or "traditional," as opposed to others on the shelf with onions, roasted red pepper, cheese, garlic and meat.

The winner was Kash n' Karry's brand ($1.79), receiving 58 of a perfect 80.

Three panelists said they would buy the sauce.

"It has good flavor and a kick of fennel," said one panelist. "With a little salt and Parmesan, this would be wonderful."

Another liked the spiciness and the "nice little bits" in the sauce.

"Perhaps a splash of wine or a knob of butter to smooth it out a bit would make it even better," one judge said.

Taster's Choice decided that most consumers probably start with the jarred sauces and build their own family favorites. We would do the same with most of the samples we tasted.

Second place was an organic sauce from Seeds of Change ($4.69), purchased at Publix. Usually, our panelists turn up their noses at organic foods. Not the case with this sauce, which received 52 points. Seeds of Change was praised for its color, chunky texture, somewhat sweet flavor and homemade appearance.

"Mama Mia! This tastes as if it was made with a good meat stock," said one judge. "It's complex, classic and yummy and would not require much doctoring."

Like the first two choices, three of the four panelists said they also would buy the sauce from Bertolli ($2.39), the third favorite with 37 points. Bertolli was slightly sweet and had a "great, home-style simmered look."

One judge described it as comfy.

Most of the sauces we sampled came in 24- to 26-ounce jars. And price didn't seem to produce taste. The most expensive, Mom's ($6.69 at Publix), received only 4 points, the lowest score our judges, collectively, have ever given.

Also sampled were sauces from Hunt's (99 cents); Walnut Acres ($3.99); Publix ($1.59); Newman's Own ($2.39); Barilla Basilico ($2); Classico ($1.99); Muir Glen ($3.95); Healthy Choice ($1.89); Prego ($1.89); Light Ragu ($1.59); Albertsons Essensia ($2.94); and Patsy's ($5.38).

Panelists were Jim Yockey, aesthetician, Tierra Verde Salon and Day Spa; personal chef Julie Overton; Bob Devin Jones, artistic director of Studio@620 and Nan Jensen, registered and licensed dietitian with Pinellas County Extension. All products were tasted blind.

Send suggestions for product testing to Taste section, St. Petersburg Times, 490 First Ave. S, St. Petersburg, FL 33701 or e-mail them to Please put TEST SUGGESTION in the subject line.


No. 1: Kash n' Karry.

No. 2: Seeds of Change.

No. 3: Bertolli.

[Last modified March 22, 2005, 09:38:05]

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