Friday, October 22, 2010

Review: Buitoni frozen pasta, with Lobster.

Once upon a time, the late great writer David Foster Wallace was called upon by a prominent food magazine (which is now also, sadly, deceased) to cover the annual Maine Lobster Festival.

The resultant article, Consider the Lobster, remains one of the most brilliant food-related writings of all time. The piece, beginning innocently enough with an actual description of the festival and its goings on and degenerating into a long bemused foray into whether lobsters feel pain in true DFW ultra-notated fashion, is simply exquisite.

It's my favorite food essay of all time for two reasons:
I love David Foster Wallace, and I also love lobsters.

I love their clicky-clacky claws.
I love their googly eyes on stalks peeking every which way.
I even love their spidery little legs, which is really a departure for me as I abhor spiders themselves.

I love lobsters so much, in fact, that I can never, ever bring myself to cook one.
Last time I was presented with a live lobster, I named him Mr. Pinchy and lovingly brought him home with me to California, where he was promptly eaten as soon as my back was turned.

So when I was presented with a very nice coupon for a free meal of Buitoni Lobster Ravioli, (full disclosure, thanks FoodBuzz), I thought, well, why not, I don't often get the chance to eat lobster anything, and certainly not for free. That and the fact that I'm rather consistently on 3.5 hours of sleep a night means that something I can make in 5 minutes, for once, had a certain kind of appeal.

Frozen pasta normally represents all that I hate about the world of processed food: the overly bright lights of the Safeway I rarely walk the halls of; the stink of desperation that lingers in the frozen food aisle. The fact that pasta is by essence something one can make, from ones pantry, in the space of 5 minutes anyway, with a delicious sauce to boot. The wierd plastic bag of sauce that you boil with the pasta instead. It feels so alien to me.


....this frozen dinner is surprisingly good. The pasta is toothsome, the sauce is not overly salty and the filling has nice chunks of meat in it, neither mealy nor squishy.

I was fully prepared to hate this, but I find that I can't.

Perhaps the lobsters, whether they feel pain or not, are turning over now in their watery graves at the fact that something containing (HOW MUCH?) ridiculous amounts of sodium and probably lots of preservatives could, in fact, be pretty good.
Perhaps they will do the same in my stomach later, who knows.

But..and I can't believe I'm saying this...I'd buy this again.

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