Priano Rosso Pesto Sauce (Aldi)

A stock image of Priano Rosso Pesto Sauce, available at Aldi
Have to settle for another stock image. (Sigh)

As with many of these reviews, I must begin with a confession: I don't really care for pesto. I mean, most of the time it's green, but outside of whatever it is that makes it green, the only other ingredient seems to be salt, and lots of it. I've had a few different pestos from a few different places in a few different ways (on bread, pizza, etc.) and I can't ever remember one that really blew me away. My wife, on the other hand, loves the stuff. At any rate, a tomato-based pesto was an entirely new thing for me, just as I believe it was for my wife.

Much to my delight (and up to my expectations), one of the main flavors is tomato, and I love tomatoes. There are very few vegetables with such a strong, delicious flavor; they seem to be rather divisive, as I know a lot of people that don't care for them, but I'd have to peg them as one of my favorites out of all the veggies (or fruits, depending on which side of the neverending argument you might be on). The fact that it's the leading taste is certainly a major plus...but unfortunately, it's what else is in there that takes it down a few pegs.

Sodium, sodium, sodium. We typically slap any of our pestos on a French baguette and, although the overall taste is good, it only takes me two or three pieces to really feel the sodium burn. If the salt factor could be dialed back a little bit, this would taste a lot fresher, and would allow the basil to shine through a little bit more. But then again, salt seems to be the defining characteristic of a "pesto", so I guess then it would just be considered "salsa".

Instead, this just reiterates something I've long suspected: I'm just not really a fan of pesto. It tastes to me like there was an accident in the factory, where the salt machine went bonkers and ended up spraying five times the allotted amount into each jar; unfortunately, that seems to be part of the intended recipe.

Again, it’s not bad…there's actually a lot of flavor here, and as something we only buy a couple of times per year, spreading this on bread is a welcome change of pace from deep-fried or more "boring" appetizers. I would also prefer this over "regular" pesto, which I find to be just as salty, but without any good flavors to counterbalance that. But it's still not something I'd be sure to keep stocked in our pantry at any given time.

Overall: 6/10. We get this a couple of times per year, and the overall flavor is good, but there’s also an overload of sodium in this. It wouldn’t be such a big deal if it weren’t so obvious just from taking a bite, but after only two or three pieces of bread (we put these on slices of French baguette, fresh and crispy right out of the oven), I start to feel “sodium burn” in my mouth. This detracts slightly from my enjoyment of it. Thankfully, the taste of tomato is also very strong, and manages to match the salt flavor tit-for-tat, but if they could just cut back on the salt a little bit, that would allow the basil to shine through a bit more, which would lead to a much more satisfying end result. Then again, salt seems to be a staple of pestos, so what do I know?

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