Well, often it is not, but sometimes it can be and I recently happened upon an entertaining and rather informative web site that helps us separate the wheat from the chafe, Food in Real Life. The site judges the 'food' on two criteria. First, they give a rating, on a scale of 1 to 5, on the appearance of the ready to eat food vs. the picture on the box or in the advertisement. Then second, they give a rating based on the taste.
If you have ever removed one of these 'meals' from your microwave and realized it did not quite look like the box, you will soon see, looking at this site, that you are not the only one. But you will might be pleasantly surprised that sometimes, just sometimes, you can buy something that both looks good and actually is tasty.
As an example, from their Hall of Shame here is one with maybe the lowest rating on the site...
this interesting looking Cheesy Chicken and Rice. Not only did it only get a 1 out of 5 on appearance, but it received a 0 on taste.
"Taste: Even worse than it looks. I was able to stomach four bites before I threw the rest out; because of the way that the cheese sauce gums up the rice and traps the chicken and vegetables in a web of disgusting cheeserice, the entire dish tastes and feels the same - like crap. 0 out of 5"
On the other hand, sometimes they happen upon some that they think are really good.
Not only did it get a 5 out of 5 for appearance, but it also tasted quite nice, they thought...
"Taste:Sweet and spicy sauce; good amount of vegetables; not greasy at all. Better than a lot of Chinese takeout, even. My one complaint is that the servings are a bit small for the price." 4.5 out of 5"An amusing, entertaining, food related site, and one that might actually keep us from making a totally inedible purchase!
This is my contribution this to this week's Weekend Cooking.
"Weekend Cooking is open to anyone who has any kind of food-related post to share: Book (novel, nonfiction) reviews, cookbook reviews, movie reviews, recipes, random thoughts, gadgets, fabulous quotations, photographs. If your post is even vaguely foodie, feel free to grab the button and link up anytime over the weekend."
Be sure to check out the other entries this week. As always, hosted by Beth Fish Reads.