I’m always game to try new foods, so when a package arrived from Van’s Foods packed with snacks, pastas, and some fun kitchen accessories, I knew it was going to be enjoyable putting it to the “Taste”!
The first products we sampled were the brand new Van’s Granola. I actually didn’t realize that these were gluten free until after we finished the bag, so it definitely did not affect the taste in any negative way! I thought they were good and Jai thought they were positively delicious, so I tried to save most it for him because he liked it so well! He said it was so good that it was more like eating cookie dough than eating a “Health food”. I asked him if he had a flavor preference, and he said that the Blueberry was a slight favorite, but, “I don’t want to make it sound like the Cranberry was anything less than loved!” He actually checked our local grocery store to see if he could find more bags of it after we finished them, but was a little disappointed to not find it. Van’s Foods are carried at retailers such as Whole Foods and Natural Grocers, none of which we have in our small town, unfortunately; but they have a request form on their store locator page that you can fill in and drop off where you shop as a suggestion if you can’t find them!
Next, we tried out Van’s new pasta line. I took the 3 varieties over to Grandma’s house for the whole family to taste, as a sort of pasta progressive dinner! We all had fun sampling the different flavors. The first one we tried was the Ultimate Cheddar Penne, which my cousin dubbed “A more grown up mac & cheese”. My aunt loves mac and cheese so we specifically started with this one!
We also sampled Van’s Rotini & Red Sauce Pasta, which my cousin didn’t like that well – “It needs wine,” she said, which I agree with because I think every pasta needs wine! 😉
Finally, we tried the Creamy Herb & Garlic Pasta, which everyone agreed was good. I’m crazy about garlic so I suspected this would be a favorite for me!
Although flavor preferences varied, the five of us tasting these three varieties all agreed that they were pretty good overall. None of us have a gluten free diet, so I think I could safely say that this is a pasta I could serve that would appeal to wide variety of tastes and needs. After my aunt tried these, she said, “I guess I don’t need gluten in my pasta after all!” The main difference that we noticed was that the pasta has a stodgier, more dense consistency than typical pasta dishes. All of the pastas were easy and quick to make, with sauce packets included; the Rotini & Red Sauce didn’t need any additional ingredients, while the other two call for the addition of fat free milk and butter. These pastas are a perfect addition to your pantry any time you need a quick meal, and especially thoughtful if you have guests that are gluten free, because they’re so good!
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