I am a lover of sauces and a lover of new flavours which usually works out for the best for me.  About a year ago I tried making Pad Thai from scratch and it turned out rather well, but the preparation is daunting.   I hadn’t made it again until a few months ago when I was in the “Asian Foods” section of my local grocers when what did I spy but PC Pad Thai sauce.   This set my heart a flutter and images of Pad Thai (without having to zest the lime) dancing through my head.  Boy, was I in for a treat.   I quickly scanned the shelves for rice noodles, and couldn’t find any (this probably was an omen of our impending doom).   I hopped over to the pasta aisle, since some stores put their rice noodles with pastas rather than rice.  I found a package that claimed to be rice fettuccini.  They didn’t look quite right, so I went back and double checked with the rice.   Still no noodles.   I checked every other aisle in the store then went back and sceptically picked up the rice fettuccini thinking, “How bad can it be, even if they taste like wheat noodles the only purpose they serve is as a vector for sauce to get in my mouth.  Sauce that I don’t have to zest a lime for!” I left the store feeling the overall victor.

When I got home I cooked up my veggies and some shrimp, then opened my first can of “Pad Thai” sauce. The colour seemed off. Way off. Like red. So I flipped the can around and saw that the first ingredient was tomatoes. Tomatoes. I decided to give PC the benefit of the doubt on this one. Maybe it was some version of Pad Thai that I was previously unfamiliar with. PC tends to make very good products. Heck, we trusted them with our mortgage, surely they can make me dinner. Well I’ll let you in on a secret:  Every rose has its thorn, and every food company has its tomato based Pad Thai sauce. It was the unearthly marriage of tomatoes and fish sauce which vilely coated everything it touched and clung to the roofs of our mouths line a gummy slime clinging to the roofs of people’s mouths. I am going to just assume that the “chef” that created the abomination that PC shucks as “Pad Thai Sauce” has never even heard of Pad Thai, the famous peanut-based dish from Thailand. Perhaps he just thought Pad Thai was a nice sounding name and was unaware that something much better already went by that name. Maybe it was his last day and he had checked out and just threw something together from the rotting off-cuts on his desk. Whatever the reason, a company of PC’s reputation has no business selling a product that bad.

“But wait,” you say, “What of the fettuccini rice noodles?” What of them? They were a perfect companion for the tomato fish sauce. Their qualities and mouth feel were equal. They cooked into a clumpy-mushy-shape, with crunchy innards to the individual noodles, whilst the outsides lost structural integrity by being so waterlogged.

I didn’t even make it the requisite six bites before declaring the whole thing inedible. Josh and Adam weakly feigned some “Well, it’s interesting” style compliments. Josh gave up shortly after I did and joined me for peanut-butter and jam sandwiches (which ironically more closely resemble real Pad Thai than what we were eating). Adam lasted the longest, I think more out of deference for my delicate feminine sensibilities than due to any joy found in the flavours themselves. I still can’t believe I wasted shrimp on that.