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Can You Tell The Difference Between Packet And Fresh Ravioli?

Discussion in 'Italian Food and Drink' started by Gabe, Apr 2, 2015.

  1. I was watching an episode of Ramsey's Kitchen Nightmares and when the menu says fresh ravioli or gnocchi he questions the servers who admit they are from packets. He then asks diner what they think and they are angry they are being duped as they are paying the price for fresh.

    Can you tell the difference? I can usually, because the fillings will be looser (packet ones tend to be stuck together) and you get less pieces too.
     
  2. I think you can tell when the pastas fresh. It just tastes better and you're right the filling is looser and nicer to eat. The filling in packaged ones tend to be stodgy. I think Ramsay will be better than me though his palate is trained.
     
  3. Even to the untrained palate, I think its pretty easy to distinguish between pre packed or frozen food compared to fresh or home made. Here in the UK I'd say that most restaurants probably use fresh, even though its not made to order it will be freshly made everyday at least.
     
  4. One can definitely taste the difference. Well, I can, don't know about others. The fresh ones taste heavenly better, can distinguish even some of the ingredients sometimes. But with the packed version, you get that stuffy taste that comes from long stored products.
     
  5. Even though I can tell the difference, not all packet ravioli taste that bad. I have had some from Waitrose and Lidl (the irony!) and they have both tasted really good. They weren't the small ones, but the larger sized ones which I think makes a difference.

    I've also had some for restaurants that must have been made fresh and then frozen, but the ones made on the day are excellent and that you can definitely tell in the texture of the pasta and how the filling sits in it.
     
  6. Nope, I can't tell the difference, not really. I think maybe the packet ones have less filling but that's about it
     
  7. There are definitely differences between fresh ravioli and packed ravioli. But it's not only the ravioli, it's pasta in general.

    Italians are famous for being the country of the pasta! I mean, to them, a plate full of pasta is irreplaceable. And, as much as it still amazes me, many Italians still prefer to make pasta at home, should they find the time! And I can see why too, it's much, much better! Not to mention healthier, you always know what goes in your own home made pasta, you never know what goes in the packed ones :D

    Now, as far as the restaurants go, I too would be extremely mad to find out I paid the cook to literally make ravioli for me, but I got some store-bought product instead.
    It may be true that there are plenty of packed pasta products that are great (for instance, I love, love, love the Buitoni tortellini, so I buy them), but if a customer pays for a fresh product, they should get a fresh product! Not packed and not frozen from the day before. Quality is everything when it comes to a good Italian restaurant.
     
  8. Whether its fresh or packaged, I think the main thing people are concerned about is if it tastes good and are they getting what is advertised.

    If food is advertised as fresh and cooked to order, that's what they want, if its not and the restaurants say jta not but it tastes good anyway, people won't complain. A lot of people tend to get caught up in if something is fresh or not when in reality they probably couldn't tell the difference if they hasn't been told.
     
  9. I haven't seen ANY restaurant in Italy that didn't make their own pasta (note that I only spent like a few days there so I can't be definitive lol). They REALLY take their food seriously over there.
     
  10. I wouldn't be appalled as a guest, if they were serving me packaged "fresh" ravioli instead of hand-made ravioli. I would argue that "fresh" could indicate the non-dried variety or non-frozen, such as the ones you get in the refrigerated section of your grocery store. Bertoli is one brand in particular that comes to mind.

    The refrigerated variety are not *that* much different from making them yourself to be honest. Particularly if you have some sort of ravioli making equipment such as an attachment for your stand mixer, or one of those large racks that prints out a bunch of ravioli at once. The only thing that would tip me off if they were completely hand made vs. pre-made refrigerated ones, would be if they were too consistent in assembly, and if they had too common of a shape to them, such as the typical square shape with zig-zag edges. If they were totally made from scratch I would anticipate more inconsistencies, and maybe a few broken ones.

    If they were the dried or frozen varieties however, then yes I could definitely taste a difference in the quality and would be irate.
     
  11. Maybe I'm pleb, but I don't think it's that easy to tell? But yeah, there IS a difference, though it's not a huge one. All the frozen ravioli's I've had usually had a slightly...gritty feel? Maybe I've just been eating crappy frozen pasta. But fresh generally has a different texture and is always much better then frozen.

    But if someone told me ravioli was "fresh" and it tasted like frozen, then yeah I would be mad!
     
  12. The freshly made ravioli is softer, fresher and it has a better bite to it. The ready-made packaged ones I've tasted generally a little more rubbery compared to the fresher ones.
     
  13. Between my Nonna's handmade ravioli and store bought - yes, without a doubt I could tell the difference. The flavor and the texture were both just out of this world good compared to what I can get that's pre-packaged at a store.

    In saying that though, I've ordered ravioli at restaurants before in my home country and I honestly couldn't always tell the difference. Who knows, maybe they were just buying the packaged stuff and serving that up too!
     
  14. I think it’s possible to taste the difference between store bought and homemade raviolis. It’s mainly due to the fact that it is a lot fresher, then the ones sitting in a package for who knows how long. I also the dough is more moist compared to the store bought versions. The best part about homemade raviolis is you can fill them with whatever you want
     
  15. I could tell easily the difference between handmade ravioli and store bought ones and this goes for pasta in general. Fresh, handmade pasta tastes way better, it has a better texture and if we are talking about ravioli or tortellini, the filling is so much more flavorful and soft.
    I make fresh pasta whenever I can, it's very easy to make and everybody loves it but I don't have the time to make it every day so I often eat store bought pasta. When it comes to ravioli or tortellini, it's very important to pick the right brand or you could end up eating something that tastes like cardboard. As Rosie said, Buitoni is a very good brand but I love Rana's fresh pasta even more.
     
  16. I think we also have to be careful that we don't turn into pasta snobs though, haha!

    We all agree that freshly made pasta tastes better but I do buy the packet pasta simply because of convenience but I seldom look at the brands, but mainly the price.
     

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