Pros: convenient, quality, tasty product that makes shopping for and preparing homemade soups easier.
Cons: regular varieties are a bit too salty
I guess I haven't been active at Epinions enough recently to have realized earlier that groceries are back. Honestly, I'm not thrilled at the prospect of seeing lots of reviews on products like Spam and Cheerios. I do think that there are some groceries out there that are Epinions-worthy. Better Than Bouillon is one of them.
Having recently moved from Florida to a place where winter means cold weather, I have a new love of hot thick soups. Hubby and I have gotten into the habit of making a big pot of homemade soup every weekend, and enjoying it throughout the week.
I am a vegetarian and won't use any meat or chicken stocks in my soup. Until recently, I would buy canned or boxed vegetable stocks. These are bulky and heavy, but the only alternative was bouillon cubes which, while convenient, are basically salt and food coloring. A few months ago we found Better Than Bouillon on our supermarket shelf, and it has become a regular on our shopping list.
Better Than Bouillon is made by Superior Touch, and is basically concentrated soup stock in a paste form. It is sold in an 8 oz glass jar which makes 9.5 quarts of broth. The jars are marked with a "best when purchased by date", and can be easily stored in the pantry until opened. Once opened, the jars need refrigeration, but take up a tiny amount of room in the refrigerator door.
In my supermarket, I have seen beef, chicken, mushroom, and vegetable (vegan) varieties. According to the Superior Touch website there are also turkey, lobster, ham, chili, clam, organic, additional vegan, and low sodium versions available.
I have purchased and used the regular vegetable base and the mushroom base, and have been quite pleased with both. I can't provide any opinions about the meat based, organic, or low-sodium varieties, but if the vegetable and mushroom varieties are representative of the line, then they are probably quite good!
Superior Touch pats themselves on the back for using real food in their bases. The beef base actually contains beef; the chicken base gets if flavor from real chicken! The vegetable base is made from vegetables and concentrated vegetables, but also included soy protein, salt, yeast extract, sugar, matodextrin, partially hydrogenated soybean oil and spice extracts. They are very flavorful, and really do make a difference if the taste of our soups over those made with canned stock or bouillon cubes.
One teaspoon of Better Than Bouillon Vegetable base when mixed with water yields the same as an 8 oz can of broth. It contains 10 calories, no fat, 1 gram of carbohydrate, and 1 gram of protein. It does have 710 mgs of sodium, which is quite high. I like salty soups, bur I find Better Than Bouillon to be a bit too salty. I generally dilute the base more than the recommended amounts. Cooks can easily add more or less water to adjust the saltiness to taste.
I would like to try the low-sodium versions, but they are not available where I shop. All the varieties are available for purchase on the Superior Touch website, but the cost is $6.95 per jar plus shipping charges. This is substantially more than I pay at the grocery store (generally less than $4 per jar).
I have only used Better Than Bouillon for soup stocks, but I imagine that there are many other uses for them in a carnivore's kitchen in making gravies, meat or poultry basting etc. I'll leave that for someone else to share - it's never good to get meat advice from a vegetarian.
All in all, Better Than Bouillon is a convenient, quality, tasty product that makes shopping for and preparing homemade soups easier.