what is the point and what are its possible advantages

what is the point and what are its possible advantages

Any new food product always attracts the attention of the consumer, and if it bears the Mercadona signature with its white brand Hacendado, it is cannon fodder to go viral. This has happened with the new microwaveable frozen pastawhy even Alberto Chicote showed interest a few days ago when a twitter thread went viral who mocked the invention a bit.

It is not yet available in all stores, but it is likely that it will soon spread throughout the country after a few weeks of tests in which the response of customers – or “bosses”, as the company likes to say, is analyzed. Juan Roig chain. The product has lifted many critics and generated jokes because of the apparently absurd nature of the proposal, but the truth is that it is not that new.

Many will remember another similar food that was in Mercadona’s frozen food catalog for years, then simply called “deep-frozen precooked pasta”, in the shape of propellers. This product he retired back in 2018to the regret of some faithful-, and now it seems that it returns in a renewed form of striped macaronibut it is still essentially the same.

What is it and who makes the new Hacendado pasta for microwaves

The product itself has little mystery. Under the trade name of “Haciendado Deep-Frozen Cooked Pasta”, 600-g bags with three separate bags containing, each, 200 g of precooked pasta, in the format of macaroni, pen or penny lined.

Its ingredients are, therefore, concise: durum wheat semolina (with origin inside and outside the EU), water, sunflower oil and salt. Any package of normal dry pasta usually only contains durum wheat semolina, but in this case, as it is a pre-cooked product, the other elements can be considered ingredients added during cooking. We do not believe that the oil is added to the cooking water as Daviz Muñoz does, rather it will play the role of an additive to improve the texture after microwaving.

Turning to the nutritional analysis we see that the amount of fat is very low (1.1 g, with 0.1 g of saturated fatty acids), and that the salt content corresponds to the usual for a traditional cooked pasta dish. Any dry pasta already contains a small part of fat and sodium naturally.

The old propellers of Hacendado only carried durum wheat semolina, from which it can be inferred that the new product responds to a improvement of the formula to deliver better results. But essentially it is the same: pasta already precooked, preserved deep-frozen, which you only have to heat in the microwave to have it perfectly ready to use.

The previous version of Mercadona’s frozen pasta, already withdrawn.

The instructions indicate placing each bag, we understand that one by one, unopened and directly on the microwave plate, flattening it a little and with the print facing up. You have to heat them 2 minutes and 30 seconds, at about 800 W, or maximum power. In addition, the package indicated that it should be consumed immediately after, so it is not recommended to store or reheat it.

If the removed propellers were manufactured by the Spanish company Ultradondes Vitro (Azagra, Navarra), supplier of other Mercadona frozen foods, the chain has now resorted to a well-known german multinational, Ebrofrost, with factory in Offingen. Ebrofrost is a specialist in deep-frozen food and dishes that also manufactures to the letteradapting the recipe and the packaging to the needs of the client.

Read:  the best bars and restaurants in Las Ventas

Does such a product make sense?

Twitter users who responded to the viral thread threw their hands over the absurdity of the product, yet another example of those industry inventions that seem to want to turn us into useless or lazy from the kitchen. Is it so difficult or how long does it take to cook pasta in the traditional way?

Penny

Obviously, under normal circumstances, no. But neither should we take out the torches to attack Mercadona for launching such a product. Let’s remember that the food industry only offers what the consumer demands or wants, responding to the trends or needs of the moment in society. If you are not interested, it is not sold; if it is not sold, it will cease to be manufactured.

Precooked pasta for microwaves follows the same format as cups of rice, quinoa and other cereals, with the only difference being that it is deep-frozen. Cooking pasta in the traditional style has its technique, but it is undoubtedly one of the easiest things that a novice can start to learn in the kitchen. However, it must be admitted that there are days when heating up a pot of macaroni is an uphill battle.

Penne2

These products can be criticized, but their advantages must also be recognized. In addition to saving time, it allows save water and energy, since using the microwave for less than three minutes hardly involves energy expenditure. It is also a very convenient format for guess the amounts; each 100g sachet can be perfect for a single dish serving, as a side between two or to enrich a salad or leftovers from a soup or stew.

And of course it is more recommended than unhealthy precooked, with sauces and other less healthy additions. The consumer has to complete the dish with the accompaniment they want, and it can help to change their habits to banish ultra-processed foods from the diet. For example, with leftover ratatouille, a sautéed vegetable or a couple of preserves you can already have a very nutritious pasta dish.

Finally, one must highlight added benefit of pre-cooked pasta. As Alberto Chicote, who suffers from type 2 diabetes, was rightly pointed out, foods rich in carbohydrates such as pasta or cooked potatoes develop resistant starch after being cooked, with prebiotic effect and lowering the glycemic index.

Directo al Paladar Newsletter

Subscribe to receive our recipes, nutrition information and gastronomy news every day.

It is a good resource to help lose weight, increase satiety and improve intestinal flora, also having benefits for both prevent type 2 diabetes and obesity, as well as to control both pathologies. Always within the framework of a healthy diet and lifestyle.

If this product seems absurd to you and you do not find it useful, it is clear that you are not its target customer. No one forces us to buy itwe will always have our traditional pasta waiting for us in the usual pantry.

Direct to the Palate | Tips from an Italian cook to solve the mistakes that we Spaniards make when cooking pasta
Direct to the Palate | Lizards and cinnamon pastries: these are the Portuguese cookies that are now successful in Mercadona