Story and gyoza photo by Manos Angelakis
Package photos by Feel Good Foods
Feel Good Foods
I’ve always had a problem with gluten free, sugar free, alcohol free, salt or sodium free etc. products.
When I see “something-free” on a package, my immediate reaction has been …”and taste free!” I have tried numerous of these products through the years, even had “meat free” dishes during a Korean food exploration. Perhaps it’s my personal prejudice but having worked for many years within the advertising industry and having tasted many “something-free” products, I find much of the promotional verbiage on packaging and advertisement pages insulting. They try to baselessly persuade you that the tasteless products they peddle are good for you… thank you, I’ll relay on my taste buds to tell me if something is good for me or not!
Having said all that, I still try different products in the hope that I will find things I don’t mind eating or, in the vain hope, of finding things that are “something-free” but taste good.
I recently found a line of low-alcohol wines that actually tasted good (see Oeno File article.)
I also stumbled onto the “Feel Good” pre-packaged appetizers.
The first thing I did was bake the Uncured Pepperoni Bites and have them for a quick lunch. They were little pillows of dough to be oven backed, filled with mozzarella, ground uncured pepperoni and tomato sauce. The ingredient list on the side of the package was long but, honestly, all I cared about was taste!
I have to admit, they exceeded my expectations. They tasted good!
If I ever need to, I would not hesitate to serve them together with pigs-in-a-blanket as finger food at a party.
Next sample we tried were the Chicken Potstickers. I always keep in my freezer potstickers from East Asia, mostly Gyoza pork and leek with scallions that I purchase at my local Asian supermarket. I either fry them or steam them, depending on how I feel that particular day. Since I have no access to a gas stove – my stove is all electric – I can’t use a wok, but I use a bamboo steamer quite often. I line one level of the steam basket with parchment, poke a few holes in the parchment to let the steam through, and put the basket over a sauteuse with boiling water. Then, I have an easy and tasty lunch. These Potstikers had a nice taste… so it was another sample on the plus side!
I also tried the Truffle Mac and Cheese Bites box.
Again… success! Good tidbits with an intense winter truffle taste. Great for a snack and as a side dish accompanying grilled bauernwurst with whole seed mustard.
Those were three good tasting frozen products.
Of all the samples that we tried, there were two that I might not consider any further as the taste was almost nil. First were the Eggrolls. They did not taste bad; they were just lacking taste. I love a good, fried Thai Spring Roll made with vegetables. I tried one “Feel Good Eggroll” plain, one with a beat and horseradish relish and one with “village-style kimchi” on the side, and those additions added taste. Still, the plain eggrolls were nothing to write home about!
The other were the Uncured Bacon & Cheddar Mini Pierogies. Again, initially there was very little taste when we boiled the pirogies; however, after we added white onions sautéed in butter on top, they were just fine. One thing we did not taste was the uncured bacon. We broke apart a couple, to look for the bacon; unless it was dehydrated and mixed with the potato filling, it was nowhere to be found. The other thing that was not pleasant about the pirogies was the very thick kreplach that enclosed the filling.
So, in a sea of tasteless supermarket “something- free” products, there is a glimmer of hope. “Feel Good” frozen appetizers… a number of these packages tasted good!
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