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Old 06-07-2019, 12:11 PM   #1
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Pasta Brand Differences

Does it really matter?

What kind of dried pasta do you prefer? I my area we have several brands commonly available as well as offering from Costco and house brands at various stores. I usually buy Barilla (for no particular reason) but have been wondering if it might be worth doing a taste test or switching up brands. They all seem to have about the same ingredients but there is a wide price difference.

I'm especially partial to Pappardelle but haven't found any dried variety that's worth the calorie hit.

What do you purchase or prefer?

Do you shop by price, pretty package or flavor?

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Old 06-07-2019, 12:58 PM   #2
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We buy Prince. It's made by the same company that makes Ronzoni. I've tried our store brand pasta but find it unacceptable.

I try to stay away from Barilla for non-food reasons.
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Old 06-07-2019, 01:07 PM   #3
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We usually buy the Kroger house brand because of the price. I sometimes get the premium house brand Private Selection for unusual shapes like cavatappi; they're bronze-cut and made in Italy. I haven't noticed a difference in flavor, except that the different shapes contribute to mouth feel. I don't think the brand matters.
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Old 06-07-2019, 01:21 PM   #4
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I used to just buy whatever was on sale until my friend suggested Barilla ( about 25 years ago). He told me that it always cooks al dente, ( has a large margin of error).

Im not sure if coincidence, or if I just got better at cooking pasta over the years or plain old luck, but I have noticed a consistency over the years when cooking.

Taste-wise, I don't notice much or any difference.

And although barilla is my go to, I will go with what's on sale if the sale is significant ( Ronzoni being my second choice, and the brand most likely to be on sale).

I do stay away from no name brands, as Ive found several to kinda fall apart later on in the cooking process.

All above from my experience over the years. Ive since cut back significantly on pasta/ carbs for health reasons. I went from 3 times a week to maybe 1 or 2 times a month.
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Old 06-07-2019, 01:27 PM   #5
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I try to stick to whole grain pasta.

I had a case of Ronzoni Whole Grain Penne Rigate and liked it a lot. I think Kroger brand 100% Whole Grain Penne Rigate is just as good. I'm looking at a box of it as I write this and the only listed ingredient is whole durum wheat flour. Same goes for a box of Kroger Whole Grain Spaghetti and Lasagna. Semolina is more coarsely milled durum wheat and if I could get pasta made from it at a competitive price I would. But for now, I'm pretty happy with what I'm using.

In my experience, the worst tasting is Hodgson Mill. When I last checked they were using Graham flour.
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Old 06-07-2019, 01:29 PM   #6
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Here's ATK's opinion on dried pasta....



Andy - I think you would find this article interesting.

https://www.bloomberg.com/news/featu...national-pride

We don't eat much dried pasta. I have a Philips pasta machine, and recently picked up a pasta roller for my KA stand mixer for ravioli and lasagna. There is quite a difference between fresh and dried pasta.
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Old 06-07-2019, 02:44 PM   #7
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First off, I always get whole grain wheat pasta. My favourite is pasta from Bionaturae. It's so good that I have to stop myself from nibbling too much of it before there is even any sauce on it. But, I usually buy pasta from Fellicetti, which is cheaper, but still really good. They are both imported from Italy.

I haven't tried any North American made pasta in many years, with the exception of Catelli wholewheat lasagna noodles and they are fine (Catelli is a Canadian brand). Decades ago I discovered that most wholewheat pasta didn't taste very good. I also discovered that any imported wholegrain pasta from Italy was good. I have no idea if local wholewheat pasta has improved since the 1980s.
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Old 06-07-2019, 03:29 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tenspeed View Post
Here's ATK's opinion on dried pasta....



Andy - I think you would find this article interesting.

https://www.bloomberg.com/news/featu...national-pride

We don't eat much dried pasta. I have a Philips pasta machine, and recently picked up a pasta roller for my KA stand mixer for ravioli and lasagna. There is quite a difference between fresh and dried pasta.
Thanks, tenspeed. I had seen it on TV. I have a manual pasta machine too and I can make pasta that's much better than store-bought but don't always want to take the time to make the dough, set up the machine and crank out pasta for a quick dinner. I do have some fresh pasta dough frozen.
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Old 06-07-2019, 05:43 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Janet H View Post
Does it really matter?

What kind of dried pasta do you prefer? I my area we have several brands commonly available as well as offering from Costco and house brands at various stores. I usually buy Barilla (for no particular reason) but have been wondering if it might be worth doing a taste test or switching up brands. They all seem to have about the same ingredients but there is a wide price difference.

I'm especially partial to Pappardelle but haven't found any dried variety that's worth the calorie hit.

What do you purchase or prefer?

Do you shop by price, pretty package or flavor?
Trader Joe's Pappardelle is wonderful. I use Barilla, Ronzoni and the bagged Colavita pastas.
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Old 06-07-2019, 05:49 PM   #10
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I'm not loyal to any particular brand of pasta.

In my area, Colavita and DaVinci are usually available at bargain prices.

I use Dreamfields for some things because it is supposed to be slow carb.

I've used Barilla with good results in soups and it stands up to reheating in a dish like lasagna.

I'm more concerned with the shape of the pasta that I use in various dishes than I am with the brand of pasta.
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Old 06-07-2019, 08:29 PM   #11
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I think there is a difference in dried pasta brands. I notice it more in mouth feel than flavor.

I generally go with Barilla. It is consistently good. I've gotten some good pasta at COSTCO under the Garofalo brand name. It is organic, and made in Italy, but there are very limited "shapes."

As for "non-food" reasons, Barilla has made huge changes in certain controversial policies. They now have a perfect score on the Human Rights Campaign annual Corporate Equality Index.

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Old 06-07-2019, 09:20 PM   #12
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...As for "non-food" reasons, Barilla has made huge changes in certain controversial policies. They now have a perfect score on the Human Rights Campaign annual Corporate Equality Index.

CD

Do you believe the owner, who is still deeply involved in the company financially, has changed his views?
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Old 06-07-2019, 09:29 PM   #13
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Do you believe the owner, who is still deeply involved in the company financially, has changed his views?
I can't read minds. I can only see actions. Company policies have changed radically -- in a good way.

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Old 06-07-2019, 10:34 PM   #14
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I have one that I won't buy - San Giorgio - as it seems to cook up soft in 5 minutes. Barilla and Ronzoni cook up best for me, and are often on sale for 69˘ or 79˘. One of the local store brands here must be made by one of them, as it cooks up the same (I stocked up on a bunch of those for 49˘/lb), while the other one is made by SG (or it's simply made with similar flour), as it also quickly comes out soft.
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Old 06-07-2019, 11:13 PM   #15
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I usually get Barilla. Not sure it's for any particular reason, I'm just used to going for the blue box.
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Old 06-07-2019, 11:40 PM   #16
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I can't read minds. I can only see actions. Company policies have changed radically -- in a good way.

CD
Exactly. As the article stated, these are efforts to scrub the company's image. It doesn't mean attitudes have changed. They told the principal owner to keep his opinions to himself and let others clean up his mess.
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Old 06-08-2019, 06:18 AM   #17
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Exactly. As the article stated, these are efforts to scrub the company's image. It doesn't mean attitudes have changed. They told the principal owner to keep his opinions to himself and let others clean up his mess.
Quite possibly not, but the policies put in place have made it clear that his views are not acceptable in the operations of the company, so that's a positive.
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Old 06-08-2019, 11:39 PM   #18
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I grew up on Creamettes rand pasta and it was just fine for a durahm wheat pasta. When I began trying whole grain pastas, as an adult, I found that different brands had significantly different textures and flavors. Hodgeson Mill was listed as a pasta that one of our posters didn't like. I found its texture to be more like white pasta, and therefor more pleasing to me. Then, I found better pastas like Barilla. Sadly, I can't eat whole grain foods anymore, and not much tomato. Thankfully, there are many pasta dishes that don't have tomato in them. It's just that I've always been a tomato based sauce lover.

With semolina pastas, there is little difference in flavor, if any, between brands. Texture will depend on how well you cook it, and flavor will depend on the seasonings added to the water. Alsom the type of pasta will affect the flavor of the finished recipe. Heavier, or thicker pasta will have a sweeter flavor as like all wheat products, pasta is slightly sweet. Also, certain pasta shapes hold onto sauces better, which is why I like cavatappi, rottini, rigatoni, and penne pastas, but am not as fond of angel hair pasta. DW likes bow-tie, or Farfalle, and shells. She doesn't carefor elbow macaroni, except for Kraft mac & cheese.

Try different shapes and observe the flavor and textural differences then make in your recipes. Just don't buy pasta in a can.

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Old 06-09-2019, 12:28 AM   #19
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I have tried whole wheat pastas, and once again, it was a texture issue that turned me off. For lack of a better description, whole wheat pastas feel "gritty" to me.

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Old 06-09-2019, 02:16 AM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chief Longwind Of The North View Post
I grew up on Creamettes rand pasta and it was just fine for a durahm wheat pasta. When I began trying whole grain pastas, as an adult, I found that different brands had significantly different textures and flavors. Hodgeson Mill was listed as a pasta that one of our posters didn't like. I found its texture to be more like white pasta, and therefor more pleasing to me. Then, I found better pastas like Barilla. Sadly, I can't eat whole grain foods anymore, and not much tomato. Thankfully, there are many pasta dishes that don't have tomato in them. It's just that I've always been a tomato based sauce lover.
...
I'm not eating tomato sauces anymore either. There's a whole thread about that. http://www.discusscooking.com/forums...ml#post1578535
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