Phantom Gourmet: Pesto Taste Test

Phantom Gourmet: Pesto Taste Test

BOSTON (CBS) — Pesto is nice alternative to your traditional tomato sauce. Sunday on the Phantom Gourmet, we have the results of a pesto taste test.

Phantom recently purchased four jars of pesto from a local supermarket. The gloriously green contenders were Classico, DaVinci, Mezzetta and Pastene. While none of these brands can hold a candle to homemade, one of them still ended up at the top of the food chain.

DaVinci finished in last place. Simply put, this was some of the worst pesto Phantom ever had the misfortune of tasting. It was bitter, sour, and just plain awful. In fact, Phantom popped open a second jar, just to make sure the first one hadn’t gone bad. But the second sample was just as terrible as the first.

A big step up from there was Pastene. This local brand offers up a deep dark green pesto that’s been pulverized into a peanut butter-like consistency. In fact, when it comes to flavor, pastene is packed with so much nuttiness, Phantom could barely taste any basil. This brand isn’t bad, but it’s probably not exactly what pure pesto lovers are looking for.

The runner up is Mezzetta. This all-natural homemade style pesto is all about the ingredients, including olive oil, parmesan, pine nuts, and a hint of Napa Valley chardonnay. Thin and oily — in a good way – this brand pops with flavors of basil, wine, and cheese. It may stray a bit from tradition, but Phantom says that’s a road you might want to try taking.

At the top of the food chain is Classico. In the land of the blind, the one-eyed man is king, and in this taste test of jarred pesto, this brand is the best Phantom found. Despite its dull green color, this stuff is tangy and cheesy, with notes of garlic, lemon, and just a bit of sweetness. Overall, this is a well-balanced pesto that sells for a reasonable price. That’s why Classico traditional basil pesto is at the top of the food chain.

Watch Phantom Gourmet on Saturdays and Sundays at 10:30 and 11 a.m. on myTV38.