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Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Frozen Lasagna Dinners - Taste Test Comparison

A few weeks ago I was contacted by the PR department that represents Michael Angelo's and asked if I would participate in a frozen lasagna dinner - taste test comparison blogger program for all of you. As you probably guessed, I said yes!

I first want to give you some information about the company who sponsored this. In addition, just because Michael Angelo's sponsored the taste test comparison, that in NO WAY influenced any of my opinions.

About Michael Angelo's: The company was founded in 1982 in San Diego and has been based in Austin, Texas since 1993. All of the Michael Angelo's frozen Italian meals are prepared with love, using the highest quality ingredients. You can find the company's products in grocery stores, club stores and natural food stores across America. Once the frozen dinner has been made, it is quickly shipped to stores within 36 hours through a made-to-order process that eliminates the need for a warehouse and guarantees freshness unmatched in the frozen food aisle.

For this taste test comparison, I was sent a $35 GC to Walmart and a blogger program folder to outline the comparison taste test guidelines. I used the Walmart GC to pick up 1 frozen Michael Angelo's Meat Lasagna and 1 frozen Stouffer's Lasagna with Meat & Sauce. They also recommended that I pick up a Marie Callendar's frozen lasagna but I skipped that since my family already knows that they dislike that brand of lasagna. In addition to the 2 frozen lasagnas, I picked up ingredients to make a nice side salad, 2 dessert pies, Texas Toast and some beverages.

The following evening I placed each of the frozen lasagnas into the oven and baked them according to package instructions. If you are pressed for time, these lasagnas can also be made in the microwave but we chose to use the oven.

While the lasagnas were baking, I prepared our fresh salads, made some homemade Italian salad dressing and baked the Texas Toast in my toaster oven (which we top with tomato slices, minced garlic and Mozzarella cheese).

Once our meal was done baking it was time to serve the family. To make this a genuine taste test experience, My family had no idea what the two brands of lasagna were. I knew, but they did not.

We were asked to evaluate each brand of frozen lasagna on the following criteria:

* Ingredients
* Nutritionals
* Aroma
* Appearance
* Texture
* Taste

(the dinner plate above shows a piece of the Stouffer's brand lasagna).

I had 5 adults here for dinner and 1 child. I served each person a small piece of lasagna #1 which happend to be the Stouffer's brand. After they were done I asked each of them to evaluate that lasagna based on the 6 criteria and I wrote down their answers. I then served each of them a small piece of the Michael Angelo's lasagna and waited until they were done. Again, I asked them to answer the 6 criteria questions and I wrote down their answers.

My Family's "HONEST" Results are below:

Ingredients - The winner was Micheael Angelo's because their lasagna contains no preservatives and all of the ingredients are ones we could pronounce. We also felt that you could taste some of the individual ingredients in the lasagna better than you could with the Stouffer's.

Nutritionals - This was something my family wasn't too interested in but I was! According to the nutritional panel on each package, the Michael Angelo's lasagna had less fat and less calories.

Aroma - For this one...3 out of 5 adults preferred the aroma of the Stouffer's lasagna over the Micheal Angelo's lasagna. Both smelled delicious but 3 out of 5 adults felt the Stouffer's lasagna had a stronger aroma.

Appearance - For this one, I would say that it was pretty much a tie. Both of them looked delicious and had evenly distributed ingredients, ie. cheese and sauce.

Texture - For this one, 4 out of 5 adults preferred the texture of the Micheal Angelo's lasagna over the Stouffer's lasagna. The Micheal Angelo's lasagna was softer and easier to chew.

Taste - For this one, 3 out of 5 adults preferred the taste of the Michael Angelo's lasagna over the Stouffer's lasagna! I was really surprised about this one because we have eaten the Stouffer's brand before and thought it was delicious but had never tried the Michael Angelo's brand until this taste test. Looks like we have a new winner in our house!

(dinner plate above shows a piece of the Michael Angelo's lasagna).

Regarding price...when I purchased the 2 frozen lasagna dinners there was only a .08 cent price difference so in my opinion, price doesn't play a factor in this at all.

While we all have different opinions and taste preferences, this was my family's experience and opinion while conducting this frozen lasagna dinner taste test comparison. To be honest, we will be purchasing the Michael Angelo's frozen lasagnas again as we really enjoyed them!

You can check out Michael Angelo's on Facebook and/or follow Michael Angelo's on Twitter so that you can interact with the company and chat with fans! If interested, you can also check out the Online Michael Angelo's Community too!

Disclaimer: Shelly Hill has personally reviewed the product listed above. Shelly has not received any monetary compensation for her review. Shelly did receive a free product to try out so she could evaluate and use it for her review. Her thoughts & opinions in this review are unbiased & honest and your opinions may differ. The Shakin N Bakin Blog is not responsible for delivery/shipping of giveaway items won from this blog nor are we responsible for mis-use or injury caused by items won from this Blog. Content on this blog is copyrighted, all rights reserved. We reserve the right to legally pursue anyone who violates our rights and/or steals our copyrighted material.

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