Comparison of packed gazpachos
With the summer, cold soups return, and although preparing a gazpacho is quite easy and fast, there are those who opt for the convenience of the preparations. So, for those who doubt, or just to clarify myself, I have carried out this comparison of packaged gazpachos.
Obviously, I couldn't compare all the gazpachos on the market, so I took three based on three criteria. The first, the Alvalle gazpacho, for being the most expensive and the benchmark brand in the market (excluding premium gazpachos); the second, the Carrefour Selección gazpacho, for looking for a private label that was not the cheapest; and finally, one that caught my attention, the gazpacho from La Huerta de Bertín, in its organic version.
Let's see what the comparison has given of itself
Appearance and presentation
We will start by taking a look at the packaging, before looking at its content. They all come in a virtually identical carton in size, so just change the printed design.
The Carrefour Selección gazpacho presents a design where black predominates, trying to emphasize its higher quality compared to its white label brother. However, the simple lines and the careless minimalism give it away as a private label product. The gazpacho has a very red color, with a slightly lumpy texture, which does not flow at all well as it comes out of the carton, even after mixing well.
The Alvalle gazpacho presents a container with a conventional design, where the presentation of the ingredients and the large size logo of the brand prevail. Cheerful and eye-catching, but we won't give you a design of the year award either. The gazpacho itself has the orangeiest color of all, its texture is fine, and it flows well without looking watery.
Finally, Bertín's gazpacho has a scary design; an attempt to look something old, like "grandma's", but with the point creepy that gives him the face of Bertín Osborno drawn in pencil on a white background. The color of the gazpacho is reddish, with a point of orange, and it does not present much texture, flowing more or less well when poured into the glass.
Aesthetic issues aside, what matters here is taste. It wouldn't matter if the packaging was horrendous if the inside tastes like your mother just served it on your plate.
By following the same order, I will start with the Carrefour gazpacho. The thickness and texture announced by the appearance translate into a slightly lumpy texture on the palate, it is not that it is thick, because it is liquid, it is as if it were not well bound. The flavor lacks a bit of intensity, and it tastes too much tomato.
The Alvalle gazpacho, just as the orange color promised, tastes more like vegetables. You can see the onion, garlic and pepper. The texture is fine and pleasant, and it is neither too thick nor too runny. Very rich.
I had some hope that Bertín's gazpacho, being organic (or so to speak), would offer a special flavor. And the truth is that he did: that was not gazpacho, but tomato juice. I tried to find a note of vegetables, but could not. It is also strangely liquid.
After my tasting, I decided to use a few guinea pigs to taste the gazpachos, this time without knowing which gazpacho was which. They all agreed with my opinions, and chose the Alvalle gazpacho as the one they would buy if they all cost the same, which brings us to the next point: prices.
Packed gazpacho, in general, is expensive, although at the price of some tomatoes, it is not an exorbitant thing either. However, there are big differences between the tested products, and that also influences the decision, because sometimes the best is not always the best buy.
The prices of the gazpachos tested are:
- Carrefour Selection: 2.59 euros
- Gazpacho Alvalle: 3.29 euros
- Organic gazpacho Bertín: 1.95 euros
Starting from the basis that we discarded the organic Gazpacho Bertín, because it should not even qualify as gazpacho, my opinion is that it is worth paying the difference and opting for the Gazpacho Alvalle to the detriment of the Gazpacho Carrefour Selección.
However, given the results, I believe that we should not ignore the economic options offered by private labels (less than 1.50 euros). So with your permission, I am also going to make a comparison of private label gazpachos, crossing the data with this test, of course.
Bonus track: Gazpacho Santa Teresa
This afternoon, while walking through the supermarket shelves, I realized that the natural competitor of Alvalle gazpacho had been left out of the comparison: the Santa Teresa gazpacho, since both have a very similar price (3.30 euros for Alvalle versus 3.50 for Santa Teresa).
It also has an orange color, and a thick texture, although without being excessive, something that agrees with the statement on the package, ensuring that there is no added water. It also claims to be made with extra virgin olive oil, something that is also appreciated.
In general, it is a more balanced gazpacho, without so much pepper flavor, with more nuances of the different vegetables and a more complex flavor. Due to the small price difference, I definitely prefer the Santa Teresa gazpacho.