Looking for Quality Control

I love basil pesto. It is my go to for several pasta dishes, especially when I use shrimp or crab. Usually I purchase Classico Traditional Basil Pesto. The cost is in the middle range and the taste is good. That said, I bought some gourmet pesto on sale (you know I love a bargain). It had to be frozen because it didn’t contain any preservatives and had to be consumed within 2 weeks of purchase. After finally exhausting the frozen stash I moved on to my usual stuff. So while Sparky had a tomato based sauce (with green peppers and sausage), I opted for some Classico pesto. The first bite was good but by the time I had that second bite in my mouth I was starting to experience some distress. This was caused by having a hard woody object in my mouth. I managed to extract it – it was a piece of stem from some part of the plant material in the pesto sauce. It got to the point where I sat and picked out pieces of sticks and twigs from my portion. I gave up after awhile. After dinner I was so disappointed in the quality of the product I took a couple photos of the twigs and of the lot number/expiration date to append to my consumer complaint. Well, Classico doesn’t really want any complaints. I jumped through several flaming hoops only to have my email disappear from their portal. So I tried again with a similar result. Third time was the charm and the email sent. It appears that the quality assurance department is slacking. I guess I’m going to have to spend some extra money to get better pesto…
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It is hard to tell but these bits are not that small. They measure about 5 to 10 mm long and were so hard that I couldn’t chew them up!!

54 thoughts on “Looking for Quality Control

    1. This is the first time I’ve encountered a problem. I ended up trying to pick out all the bits – because you know it is a sin to waste food. I ended up sinning by tossing the whole thing out.

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    1. Hi Michel! Yes they were a danger and it makes me angry that the company didn’t respond. They’ve lost a customer. Lucky for me I found a jar of Barilla pesto that was slightly more expensive in a slightly smaller volume but it was on sale. Now Sparky and I can both be happy! (and our teeth safe)

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    1. I once opened a can of Hunt’s tomato sauce and the can was only half full. I wrote to them and they gave me coupons for 12 free cans! I still use Hunt’s when it is on sale… Bugs would send me into orbit – probably put me off spaghetti sauce forever!

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    1. My basil plants in the garden are doing really well. I may end up drying some of the leaves when we get closer to the fall. I love the smell too and they really do give an extra boost to pasta dishes!

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    1. Thanks for the hugs Dodi! It was one of those meals that took me twice as long to eat and Sparky finished before I’d gotten half way done with the picking out of the inedible bits. Sometimes you do get better quality with a little bigger expenditure!

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  1. Yikes! I like most Classico sauces but haven’t tried their pesto. Now I probably never will. My hubby likes to make “traditional” soups where the end result has bones and stems and other inedibles hiding in the bowl. There’s nothing I hate more than having to isolate these bits of detritus with my tongue and spit them out, it’s gross and ruins the whole meal. πŸ™‚

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    1. Hehe! I hear you! I’ve banned Sparky from making soups. He really doesn’t understand the concept of “less is more” when we discuss barley. I made a beef barley vegetable soup (it has 1/4 c. barley) many years ago. He decided that there wasn’t going to be enough so he added a cup of barley to the crockpot after I left for work. When I got home I had barley with a few bits of meat and veggies trapped in the thick glop. It was the consistency of oatmeal that has sat in a bowl for an hour. Basically you ate it with a fork and knife. I always strain my broth first with the big colander and then with the sieve to get out all the little bones… nothing worse (and more dangerous) than crunchy bits in the soup!

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      1. Good for you! A Thai friend said in her country, it’s bad manners to serve food to guests if it is not eating-ready (boneless, detritus removed, peeled, seeded, cut into bite-sized pieces, etc). To them, eating is the ultimate pleasure, one that should not be compromised by breaking a tooth or needing to spit something out. I totally “get it” about the barley. The first time I cooked with it, I thought the same thing. How is a quarter cup ever going to be enough? LOL. I doubled it and had barley stew! Lesson learned. πŸ™‚

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  2. I may have to try making my own pesto sauce. I have fresh basil in the garden but only one bush. I’d imagine it takes quite a bit of basil to make sauce. My tomatoes are just now coming ripe and I’ll bet a little pesto drizzled over freshly sliced heirloom tomatoes would be delicious.
    BTW, if you have a Trader Joes nearby, their Rustica sauce is really good.

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    1. Ha! No Trader Joe’s here. We have a Whole Foods though. I’m considering making my own pesto – the old fashion way with a mortar and pestle (thus the name “pesto”). My basil plants are as big as the tomatoes! I’m going to harvest some tomorrow to make a pasta salad…

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  3. Smart move to post about it … I think when companies don’t deal kindly and swiftly with any complaints then they should know that we can go online to name and shame them!

    Our govt finally did this with those faith organisations who wouldn’t sign up to the retribution scheme … compensation for child abuse!

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        1. That was bound to get their attention! But did it help? I haven’t heard from the Classico people but then again maybe their pesto isn’t a big money maker and this is their plan to justify closing production…

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    1. I’m not sure if it was just a fluke or not. What irked me was the lack of responsiveness from the company. I may try it again in the future but in the mean time I’m going for the other brands…

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    1. I was not happy. I made my first attempt at pesto. I was not happy. I am now in the process of drying the basil leaves for later use. At least I won’t have to purchase dried basil this winter and it will be from my garden.

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