Processed Food Reviews: Birds Eye Steamfresh Ranch Broccoli
I love the grocery store. Food companies are always coming out with new, exciting products that we absolutely do not need. I spotted one such item, Birds Eye Steamfresh Ranch Broccoli, at Stop & Shop this past Tuesday. (No, Birds Eye does not appear to use any apostrophe in their name. Go figure.) I usually enjoy Birds Eye's many sauced creations, so I imagined this ranch broccoli would be a creamy flavor explosion.
I prepared this lazy side dish when I found myself alone for dinner on Friday night. If you are not familiar with the Steamfresh line, the whole bag just goes into the microwave for the allotted time based on your microwave's wattage. The bag makes some disturbing hissing sounds that make you think you have definitely done something wrong (wait, which side goes up again?). However, everything turns out fine in the end as long as you can ignore the fact that the plastic bag will probably give you cancer.
As you can see, the broccoli is not coated in a ranch sauce but rather a ranch seasoning. Actually, it's closer to a ranch... water? I was a bit alarmed at the amount of ranch liquid that came out when I poured this vegetable dish onto my plate (yes, the whole bag). It threatened to moisten my Perdue chicken tenders, so I had to mop some up with a paper towel. Plating is everything, guys.
Thanks to all that ranch water, the broccoli was soggier than regular Steamfresh broccoli florets. The sogginess did not bother me too much, but the taste... well, it was not the Birds Eye quality I have come to expect.
The package says "Flavor Full", but this was more like a "Flavor Flop". The broccoli had a buttery sort of flavor, but not like a rich, delicious creamery butter. It wasn't even as good as a quality margarine flavor. It was reminiscent of Molly McButter shake-on butter seasoning. The "ranch" taste kicked in a little later. That, too, was not even up to par with the cheaper, crappier ranch dressings on the market. It was a faint zing that I only knew to call ranch-y because the package told me to. It, too, was close to the flavor of a powder, like the ranch dressing mix you get in a packet but with less "oomph".
The flavor wasn't so horrible that I could not get through the entire bag (note that I am something of a human garbage disposal, though), but it was not good enough that I would repurchase this product. I think a regular bag of broccoli could taste better than this with the application of some butter the ranch seasoning that can often be found in the popcorn aisle at the grocery store. I am disappointed in myself for paying full price to eat this ranch broccoli.