Chef Boyardee is by far the best manufacturer of fake canned pasta in the Western World. Chef Boyardee’s only competitor, Spaghetti O’s (made by soup giant Campbell’s), is a watered down knockoff at best (it’s actually kind of like soup). And if you know anything about fake canned pasta products, watered down is not a good describer. The only thing you really need to know about fake canned pasta is Chef Boyardee. In my opinion, they are the industry.
Chef Boyardee is great at making the exact same product in a million different ways. Let me tell you what I mean. If you’ve ever had ABC’s with Meatballs and Dinosaurs with Meatballs, you’d know that they are exactly the same thing. I love this concept. Chef Boyardee has so perfected this product that they merely need to occasionally change the shape of the pasta to keep the buyer interested. Chef Boyardee doesn’t need to fuck with a new recipe because the one they’ve got is so damn good. Needless to say, this hasn’t stopped them from coming up with some pretty cool pasta shapes over the years.
If my memory is correct, the Chef (street slang for Chef Boyardee) came out with X-Men shaped pasta years before the movie franchise took off. Just more proof, that the Chef has always been a step ahead of everything when it comes to fake pasta products in the fake pasta market.
Now, I can’t let Chef Boyardee off the hook without airing some of the grievances that I have. First off (and I’m not sure they still make these), their products with cheese sauce were/are absolutely disgusting. When I was a kid, my Dad needed glasses but would never get them. So he would go to the supermarket and buy the Chef cans with the cheese sauce and not the regular tomato sauce because he couldn’t read the print on the label. I hated him for that.
Chef Boyardee also makes a few other products that I’ll call “less than good”. Two that I could live without are Spaghetti & Meatballs and Beefaroni. Spaghetti & Meatballs should taste just like all the other products. The Spaghetti is cut from the same pasta wheel as the Dinosaurs and ABC’s (as far as I can tell) and the meatballs are the same as the mini meatballs only larger (again, I can’t prove this scientifically). Yes, this should all be true in theory, but it isn’t. The Spaghetti & Meatballs just taste strange- it’s almost as if years ago, when they were mass-producing the stuff, some idiot worker dropped a gallon of bleach in the giant Chef Boyardee cauldron, contaminating the Chef’s stock of Spaghetti & Meatballs for a good decade plus.
And as far as Beefaroni goes, have you ever seen the Seinfeld episode where Kramer feeds it to the horse. Enough said.
Kudos must go out to the Chef for the new pop open cans as well. Now I can enjoy my Chef products sans can opener. I never thought I’d see the day. Keep it up Chef. If there’s one food product keeping me from losing weight it’s yours.