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Cooking Tip #954

When trying something new, make sure you read the label to make sure you can eat, or can stand, the ingredients contained therein. I say this because I pulled a stupid. I don’t usually use jarred spaghetti sauces. I like my own, from scratch sauce. But occasionally, I will buy a jarred sauce in the interest of quickness or having something available that the hubby can make for the girls if I’m not home for some reason. To that end, I bought a jar of puttanesca sauce. I’d heard of it, of course, but only in passing, and I thought that, being a jarred sauce, it wouldn’t be any different from any other jarred sauce. And I love Italian food, so how bad could it be? So I bought it, label unread.

Before I fed it to my family, it was necessary that I actually try it. Let me tell you, it was not a pretty picture.

None of us is fond of olives. At all. I have had two dishes in my life that had olives as a main ingredient that I’ve enjoyed. One of them was Cuban picadillo, which is delicious, and a dish that a classmate of mine made as a project for a medieval history class. We were studying Rome, and had the choice of writing a paper or finding medieval Roman recipes and actually making them. Unfortunately, I can’t remember the name of what he made, but the main ingredient was olives and it was the most fantastic thing I’d ever tasted.

But the puttanesca sauce was a big-time bust. Still without reading the label, I made some spaghetti and poured a liberal amount of sauce over it. At the first bite, I wasn’t certain what I was tasting, only that I didn’t think I liked it. Several bites later, I was dead certain I didn’t like it, but still didn’t know why. A return to the refrigerator to finally examine the jar informed me at last: olives. Straight into the garbage it went, along with the rest of the spaghetti on my plate.

I don’t know if it was the fact that it was jarred sauce, which is always my first instinct, or the fact that it was olives, but I was definitely unimpressed. If I’d read the label first, I’d never have made the mistake to begin with!

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