Thursday, March 25, 2010

Campbell's Healthy Choice Soups... update

A while back I wrote a piece about my thoughts on Campbell's Healthy Choice Clam Chowder soup. If you read it, you know I didn't have anything good to share. I thought the can was bad, as in spoiled. I received a lot of comments from readers agreeing with my assessment.

I've been sick and have been poor-poor-pitiful me-ing it for a little over two weeks now. After I finally started feeling like eating again I craved Campbell's Tomato Soup. I love their tomato soup with saltine crackers and cheese. My second favorite is mushroom soup with added broccoli and, again, cheese. Swiss or sharp cheddar in either is mmmm-mmmm perfect.

My wonderful hubby made a surprise run to the store and brought home two cans of each for me, plus some saltines and extra-sharp cheddar cheese. I was sooo looking forward to eating something solid, something I craved, until I noticed that he'd picked up Healthy Choice soups. He saw the look of dismay on my face, which I wasn't quick enough to hide unfortunately.

I hadn't tried the Healthy Choice tomato or mushroom soup. I figured what the heck, it couldn't be that bad. It's tomato after all. And I had enough of the "bad for you" cheese to cover the taste.

Wrong. It was horrible. I tried doctoring it up a bit, but you know I was craving real Campbell's tomato soup, not the kind that has all the taste, salt, and sugar removed.

I let my husband try it before I started adding stuff. The look on his face was priceless --- major "ugghhhly". He tried it again after I added a few things to it, made another face, and asked if I was going to attempt to eat the stuff. I said I hated to waste it and so would eat it. He looked at the bowl, looked at me, then dumped it down the garbage disposal.

The next day he took the remaining cans back to the store and exchanged them for the real deal. I had to tell him where to look to find them as most stores have huge displays with all the higher priced "healthy" stuff at eye level and they hide the good stuff on the bottom shelves. I think it's because they have to keep cases of the real soups so they need heavy duty shelves... plus Campbell's and others are trying to sell the higher priced soups so they want to make them enticing. Unfortunately there's nothing enticing about the prices or the taste in my humble opinion.

The lady who exchanged the soups for my husband commented that he wasn't the first to return the soups. They both joked about how they took all the good stuff out and charged more.

Once he returned from the store I happily ate a bowl of the new real soup... new because they've switched to sea salt to lower the sodium. I'm not sure whether it's just my taste buds 'cause I'm still on the mend or whether the changes they made to the "non-healthy choice" soup modified the taste somehow, but it still didn't quite taste like the soup I've enjoyed my entire life. I'm going to wait until I'm 100% better to have another bowl. I can live with the slight difference though, if it exists. I'll let you know when I eat my next bowl in complete good health.

Yesterday he stopped by the store and picked up four more cans of REAL Campbell's soup for me. Now I'm set for a while.
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Here's the blog post from our old food blog (County Cuisine):

Campbell's Chunky Healthy Request New England Clam Chowder... m' m' bad...

I love New England Clam Chowder. Being on a perpetual low-fat, low sodium diet I was very happy to run across Campbell's Chunky Healthy Request New England Chowder. Until I got home and took a bite.

It is 97% fat free and has 45% less sodium, which is a good thing. However, either the can I purchased is getting ready to be on the recall list, or it simply tastes bad.

I tried a bite and grimaced. Knowing Campbell's soups I thought it must be MY taste buds. I sipped some water and tried again. Then I tossed the bowl down the disposal.

I can't begin to describe the taste. It was not good. I drank some soda to get the taste out of my mouth it was that horrible.

I know not to expect a taste that matches the 'real deal' which has so many calories just looking at it adds inches to my hips. But I did think it would be palatable. Especially since I've had other Healthy Request soups and thought they were great.

My suggestion if you're craving New England style clam chowder? Make it yourself and cut whatever corners you can or eat a smaller portion of the regular clam chowder.

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