Thursday, October 23, 2014

Pumpkin Squash Ravioli - Target: Cherry Hill, NJ

Pumpkin Squash Ravioli - Target: Cherry Hill, NJ
I guess this flavor is getting pretty popular, because this will be the fourth pumpkin themed ravioli I've reviewed in the last three years. To be fair, I think this flavor is available year round, and not a seasonal product like the others, but what better time to give this a try than October?
This isn't my first Cafe Steamers review, I'm quite fond of this line and I think it's pretty interesting as far as microwavable food goes, but I've talked about the packaging before so I'll try and keep this as breif as possible. The package design and layout are quite busy, but it's still appealing, and the worst thing that I can say about it is that it takes up a lot of awkward room in your freezer. Other than that, this product is (mostly) recyclable, which is really nice, and you feel as if you're eating something that is a bit healthier than a typical microwave dinner. 

The instructions are ridiculously easy: remove the cardboard packaging, microwave for about 4 minutes, combine the steamed veggies from the upper tray with the sauce in the lower bowl, grab a fork and it's dinner time!

When everything was cooked, it looked pretty nice for an instant dinner. My only complaint would have to be that the sauce looks a lot like pureed vegetables, like the kind you would feed an infant or a toddler. It might not be a very visually appealing sauce, but it smelled herbaceous and buttery.

I took a bite of the ravioli first, and I was pretty impressed with the filling. The filling is definitely pumpkin and some kind of filler, maybe ricotta cheese? It had a cheese-like texture, but it was also heavily spiced with nutmeg, cinnamon, and a hint of all spice. I wasn't expecting the insides to taste so sweet, which they did, but the savory sauce helped to balance things, and when they were eaten together, they were quite enjoyable. The sauce is rich, considering it was frozen and microwaved, and the ravioli texture is a little on the soft and over cooked side, but overall, this wasn't bad. Not as good as the Trader Joe's version, but a lot better then the microwavable one I got at Aldi last year.

As for the rest of the meal, everything was fine, except for those awful chunks of apple. What did they do to these apple bits? They were hard, bitter, and practically sour. Were these Granny Smith apple slices? Or were they treated with some kind of chemical soak to prevent browning? I ate about half of the apple chunks, since there were quite a few, but I starting picking around them halfway through the meal. I can understand why they would add a sweet and fruity aspect to this dish, but these apples weren't the right choice.

On a Pumpkin Scale of 1-5
(5 being the most pumpkin-y) I’d give this a 3, the filling has a fairly strong pumpkin flavoring, although it's heavily spiced, and the sweetness of the ravioli works well with the savory herb sauce. (Although those apples have got to go.) I don't think I would buy this flavor again, if I'm craving pumpkin ravioli, I'll stick with Trader Joe's, but this wasn't all that bad, I'd eat it again if it was offered to me. (I'd just pick the apples out of it.) 
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