Trader Joe’s Traditional Marinara Sauce – Food Review

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Thoughts can be dangerous.

The dangerous thought as I noticed the $1.29  price on the jar was, “This costs less than my home-made sauce.  Maybe I should try it?”  And so I did.   And so  I learned two jars later what Dorothy always knew, there’s no place like home … made tomato sauce.

It’s not that the home-made sauce is really expensive or even difficult to make, it’s just the pure efficiency of being able to open a jar and use it in whatever endeavor,  that makes jarred tomato sauce attractive.  And attractive it must be judging from the many many and different brands of jarred sauce on the shelves.

This sauce, like other store tomato sauces, is relatively thin with relatively weak flavors.  Even though the ingredients look just fine, the sauce does not have a rich tomato taste as one might wish.  The garlic, oregano, basil on the label were just that, on the label but it didn’t seem they were  in the sauce itself.

The taste did have a bit of earthy intrigue to it which reminded me of a clam sauce.  Clam sauces tend to be on the thin side, letting the clams do the talking and not the tomato.  So before writing a stunning obituary for the sauce, I thought I’d give it a second try.  The second try would simply throw a small can of minced clams into the sauce and simmer the sauce for about 30 minutes to thicken it up a bit.

That didn’t work much better than just using the sauce out of the jar.  Even after this treatment, the sauce still lacked flavor.  The thickening didn’t help the sauce  “stick” to the pasta.  I could actually see plain water start to accumulate at the bottom of the plate.

If you can’t follow the yellow brick road to home-made sauce then look for a better jarred sauce.  While still on the thin side, TJ’s Tomato Basil Sauce gave some better results.

TJ claims this product is “vegan” and  “no gluten ingredients used”.

Price $1.29  Calories  50 per half cup (225 per jar)

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