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Guess The Food

Guess the Food: Flavor and Spices!

by Nick

There are a lot of things that annoy me about food labels.

Many of the items that I feature in the Guess the “Food” series have statements on them that are not exactly false but are at least bending the truth.

Even if there are no blatant marketing gimmicks and the product is actually something good that uses mostly whole foods, there are still some things that annoy me.

Even a lot of upstanding products (like this one) list as ingredients two things that bug me: Spices and natural flavors.

This tells me next to nothing about what’s going on.  I’m not really sure why they have to even list those two things because they are just so broad.

It’s kind of a pet peeve of mine and while their are probably bigger fish to fry in the food labeling arena, this one gets to me.

With that in mind, do you think you can guess this “Food”?!

Nutritional Facts

There’s nothing too horrible about the nutritional facts for this product.

As I mentioned in the intro, I actually think this is a pretty solid product and one that I’ve used on occasion.

I bought it at the natural foods store in town if that helps at all.

The serving size for this is pretty accurate to what I would use and not all distorted like you sometimes see.

There’s some fat in this product, but not a crazy amount.

There are some carbs in product, but most come from sugar and fiber.  The stuff is actually gluten-free.

Most significantly, there’s 410 grams of sodium.  I don’t consider this too excessive for a single serving but if you were on a low-sodium diet you may want to watch out here.

Like I said, I generally think this product is pretty good for what it is and I’ve used it before.

The Ingredients

Sometimes the nutritional facts don’t give you much to work with to help with the guessing unless something really obvious sticks out.

The ingredients are always helpful though!

One thing I like about this product and something that I always look for when buying food products is that I can recognize and pronounce every single ingredient.  Let’s go through them though anyway because some of them are hard to read.

Water – A great first ingredient!

Tomato – Not any sort of tomato paste or processed tomatoes – just real tomatoes.

Onion – Again, not dehydrated onion or any other such nonsense.  Real onions.

Yogurt – A pretty main ingredient here, but it’s just normal yogurt made with milk and yogurt cultures.

Cream – Real cream plus the yogurt is where most of our fat is coming from in this product.  Doesn’t bother me at all.

Canola Oil – I wasn’t shocked to see some oil in this product.  Ideally, I would’ve liked to see peanut oil, but they probably wanted to make the product safe for people with peanut allergies.

Concentrated Tomato Puree – I guess they are just using this to beef up the tomato flavor a bit.

Vinegar – Plain old vinegar.

Spices – UGH!  My pet peeve makes an appearance.  What I don’t get about this is that the ingredients then go on to list other spices so why don’t they just list them all?!

Corn Starch – Maybe the most processed thing in the ingredients list besides the oil.  Just used as a thickening agent.

Sugar – Some sugar for sweetening.

Garlic – Delicious garlic. I wish it would’ve been higher on the list just because I love garlic!

Sea salt – I was shocked to see actual sea salt in this list rather than just normal salt.  Normally, when products use sea salt they also plaster it all over their labels that they are using sea salt.

Ginger – Again, I wish this was higher on the list just because I love ginger.

Paprika (color) – I think this means that they add paprika mainly for color, but I’m not sure why this doesn’t just fall under the generic “Spices” that they add.

Lemon Juice – I can see how this product needs a little acid.  Lemon juice is a great way provide it.

Turmeric (color) – More colors. You can really see the turmeric color in this product actually.

Paprika Extract (color) – What’s the difference between paprika and paprika extract?  Your guess is as good as mine!

Cumin Seeds – Yum.  Still not sure why this is listed separately from spices, but yea… cumin is a strong flavor in this thing.

Black Pepper – Good old black pepper.

Coriander Seeds – More spices that needed to be listed outside of the “spices” label for some reason.

Cilantro – We are getting near the end of the list here so there isn’t much cilantro.  Just enough to give this product that soapy flavor if you are a cilantro hater!

Natural Flavor – BOOM!  My second pet peeve.  What does this mean?!  Nobody knows.

Dried Crushed Chilli – Also known as chili powder, but you can definitely taste this in this food.  They don’t use much of it, but the ones they use have a kick to them for sure.

Guess the Food!

There’s not a lot to complain about this food.  It has mostly real ingredients that you can pronounce and minus my two pet peeve ingredients, you could pretty much make this at home.

Can you guess this “food”?! Leave a comment!

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17 comments on “Guess the Food: Flavor and Spices!

  1. One of the Patak’s jarred sauces or pastes I’m guessing. I would have said the tomato and coriander one but coriander seems quite low on the list!

  2. I would say it’s a jar of tandoori marinade. The reasoning for the “spices” label, and not a listing of what they actually are? It’s because that’s where they hide their proprietary mix of spices.

    “Spice, natural flavor, and artificial flavor may be declared as “spice”, “natural flavor”, or “artificial flavor”, or any combination thereof, as the case may be.”

    In terms of the Tumeric and the Paprika, the law states:

    “Paprika, turmeric, and saffron or other spices which are also colors, shall be declared as “spice and coloring” unless declared by their common or usual name.”

    Hope that sheds some light on the matter.

  3. jarred Tikka Masala sauce. Pataks brand, I would guess. I say jarred only because of the sharp curve of the label in the picture that prevents me from reading the ingredients on the edges of the picture :)

    1. Nailed it! The photo shape was a good clue. I tried to peel the label off to make it harder, but it was pretty impossible without ruining it. It’s the creamy tomato variety.

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