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A few years back we tested our first Saffron Road products and were pretty impressed. They offered great tasting frozen meals with an exotic twist that were often gluten free. The sodium levels were generally lower and fiber content high. They hit a lot of high notes with few misses. Lately, they have been branching out, but unfortunately the results have been increasingly disappointing. Their attempt at a frozen taco was one of the most dismal convenience meals that we have every put to our taste test.
While browsing the international foods aisle I was surprised to see their logo on packaging. They do make very good chicken stock, but that is the only product of theirs we have seen outside of the freezer case. The logo was on a snack food they are now offering: a range of dried chickpeas. This seemed pretty cool because it is a recipe we have done before (note that dried chickpeas also make terrific coating for chicken and such).
First up was the Falafel flavor.
I love falafels and had my first about 40 years ago at Mamoun’s falafels in Greenwich Village with my friend Steve. I remember the fantastic flavors, rich with cumin, coriander seed, garlic, and cayenne. It was one of the first dishes that I began to recognize there was a world of food out there I needed to explore.
Saffron Road hits those notes perfectly with a strong, spicy falafel taste. It is just spot on and has a little twist of lemon. The chickpeas are perfectly crunchy and not too salty. The numbers are good, with a 1 ounce serving coming in at 120 calories. They only contain 200 mg of sodium and offer both a gram of fiber and 6 grams of protein. A great snack that is both super tasty and great for you. Legumes as a snack? We are completely on board!
The other flavor was equally great. We tasted the Bombay Spice and, like the Falafel flavor, they are spicy with terrific Indian tandoori seasonings. The numbers are almost exactly the same with just a tad more sodium at 200 milligrams per serving.
A serving is not very much, however.
We measured an ounce and it comes in at about 1/3 cup. An ounce of the chickpeas is about the equivalent of small bag of potato chips in calories but less sodium, more protein and no saturated fat. I thought that chickpeas might be more filling, and in a completely unscientific test I ate a serving. They are indeed very filling. Subjective, yes - but healthier than potato chips.
All in all this is a much better direction for Saffron Road than their dismal frozen tacos.