Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Disappointment in the apple sauce aisle

I've noticed a worrying trend in condiments. As a label reader with many years of hard experience, I've often picked up a chutney or sauce and groaned out loud at yet another incidence of good-product-gone-bad. This is only slightly less annoying than good-product-gone-missing, which has also happened with alarming regularity (Quentins Pies - I will never forget you!).

The main problem with condiments seems to be a) using canola or soybean oil where they used to use olive oil, b) adding a starch or c) adding a flavour or colour. Really annoying. It's getting to the point where, if I want a proper aioli, mayonnaise or chutney, made with the good stuff and not pumped with inferior cheap ingredients and fillers, I have to make it myself. Or steal it from Grandmas pantry ;)

Last week I nearly had a supermarket meltdown when I discovered that my regular brand of apple sauce has joined the artificially flavoured majority. Actually it was quite funny because the wine guy was passing by, saw me scowling threateningly at a pottle of applesauce and asked if they were out of the organic ones. It's not like I'm always bugging him to show me where the organic wines are or anything....

Luckily, once I got home, a quick spot of Googling revealed that making apple sauce is not at all complicated. All that's required is to peel apples, cook until mushy in just a little water, then either whiz in the food processor or push it all through a sieve. You can add a bit of cinnamon, but I didn't. I added some Ascorbic Acid, which helps it last a bit longer, and it's still looking good after four days. It did the job, tasted great on our pork chops and nobody even questioned the lack of artificial appleness. Or rice starch.


Interesting fact about applesauce: You can substitute apple sauce (or prune sauce if it's a chocolate thing) for up to three quarters of the fat in most baking recipes. This is a really easy way to add some fruit and fibre and bring down the calories of nearly every baked good. It's a way to sneak hidden healthy stuff into people that prefer to eat muffins and cakes.


  1. I learned all about the baking substitute thing years ago...from you.

    The only brand of apple sauce I buy may not be organic, but it only has one ingredient: apples.

    I'm just waiting for it to be discontinued, given that the Aus jam/canned fruit companies have all been progressively taken over by one giant conglomerate. Seems every time I find something fabulous, it isn't popular enough with the swill-consuming public to be viable and "poof!" it disappears from the shelves.

    Perhaps I should start hoarding now?

  2. That's the answer I got when I asked about the pies. True, it was still a pie, but contained no mush, just meat and a few veges, The pastry had stuff like flour and butter. There were nil additives. I asked the info desk at the supermarket why they weren't stocking them and the answer was 'why would someone pay $3.50 for that pie when all the others are about $1.00 each? I mean... you couldn't really compare them. I've never found a pie that even comes close. Still hurting....


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