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Monday, March 13, 2006 

Hodgson Mill - Whole Wheat Pasta

While many people know that Wheat Pasta is a healthier choice than traditional pastas, quite a few people steer clear because they just don't like the texture, the taste, or both. When I first tried Hodgson's Mill Whole Wheat Pasta, I had the advantage of not knowing that I was in for anything different. My wife cooked it up for me and gave me no indication other than that it was regular old pasta with my favorite homemade sauce. I have even less expectation of anything different since my wife generally doesn't buy into health food, organic, all-natural, or any other alternative food choices. Not having pre-conceived notions, helped me to enjoy this pasta. I did detect a bit of gumminess and a hint of a wheat flavor enough to suspect that this was not my normal pasta but not enough to detract from my eating enjoyment. It is important to point out, though, that I pretty much view pasta as a conduit to eating sauce. So, as long as it wasn't awful, I would be ok. The first experience was with the elbow pasta. This type is especially good at hold pasta sauce so any negative flavor would be masked further. On a second occasion, I ate the spaghetti, with much less sauce. The wheat flavor and gumminess was a little stronger but, it was still not enough to turn me away. I would say that I would have little problem replacing my regular pasta with this stuff and figure that the differences I notice now would become less significant as I got more used to eating the healthier alternative. I might, though, try Bionaturae's Whole Wheat Pasta to see if it tastes better and go with the better of the two.

Health-wise, this is great stuff, as it is whole grain, and has higher fiber than its processed and enriched competitors.

The Manufacturer Says:
High fiber tastes great too.

The Facts:
Serving Size: 2oz (dry)
Servings Per Container: 8
Calories: 190
Fat: 1g (15 calories)
Sodium: 10mg
Fiber: 6g
Protein: 9g
Calcium: 2%
Thiamine: 20%
Riboflavin: 4%
Niacin: 10%
Iron: 15%
Weight Watcher's Points®: 3 (high fiber makes it just below the 4 mark)

Rating: (all rankings out of 5)
Overall: 4
Taste: 3
Satisfying/filling: 4
Healthy: 5
Performance (for athletes): 5
Diet Appropriate: 5
Category: Pasta

I, too, am trying to like whole wheat pasta. Generally, the difference does not bother me, though I have to say that I preferred the spahetti over the elbow macaroni. I have heard that there are better brands than Hodgson Mills out there, but the others that I have tried (Muellers and Meijer store brand) have not seemed too much better or worse. The Mejier brand whole wheat potato gnocci, was absolutely AWFUL though. The graininess of the wheat flour just didn't work with a rich, dense pasta like gnocci. I definitely recommend trying wheat pastas, but don't start with gnocci.
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