On the whole, I tend to steer clear of writing product reviews. On occasion, there are local items that I just LOVE and have to shout about, things like Mississippi Debris from the New Orleans Ice Cream Co. (along with almost all their other flavors), Hubig’s Pies and CoolBrew to name a few, but most of the time, I just don’t like doing them. Period. And there are several reasons for that…
First, I get a ton of product review requests by email. I mean, if I agreed to all of the reviews I’ve been offered, I’d be a morbidly obese alcoholic with an disturbingly high energy level and a large desk chair stuck to my ass…one I wouldn’t be interested in removing anytime soon. More often than not, these email are DBO or “Dumped Before Opening.”
Next, if I actually do consent to review a product (and sometimes even books!), I am quite frequently hassled until I do so. Not everyone is this annoying, but there are a few of those out there that will write you every few days, asking if you’ve tried the product, wondering when they’ll see a blog or write up..blah, blah, blah. Even though I work from home and don’t make a ton of cash, I am still a busy girl. I have a life, a dog, a boyfriend, all of which need and deserve my attention, not to mention other clients I work and write for. Please…if I like your product, I will definitely write about it. Just give me time.
Finally, and this one’s the worst because I hate being mean (but I’m going to be honest!), what if I don’t like your product? Do you still want me to write about it if I thought it sucked? No way? Yeah…that’s what I thought you’d say. 100% of the product reviews I write on my blog are about things I’ve already tried before the manufacturer sent me a free sample. At the very least, as in the case with New Orleans Ice Cream, I’d tried several of their flavors before agreeing to review more “on the house.”
So, in the future, if anyone wants me to review a product blindly must know I’m going to be honest. “It’s my party,” my blog. I’ll cry if I want to.
Case in point: Gumbo Ya-Ya from New Orleans Soup Co.
A new company called Laugh, Eat Foods, LLC located on Bourbon Street has just begun marketing two “authentic” and “premium” soups, Gumbo Ya-Ya and Corn & Crab Bisque. The soups are made using locally sourced ingredients like duck fat roux from Chef John Folse, plus locally-made andouille and crab from Lake Pontchartrain. Each flavor comes in a green, retortable carton that is easy to store and will last for up to two years.
But how does it taste?
I am not a huge fan of canned/boxed foods in general. I mean, should chicken last for two years? Anyhow, John was willing to eat what I wouldn’t, so we opened a box of the Gumbo Ya-Ya (what they sent us) and heated it through in the microwave. Since this is the only version of canned gumbo that I’d ever eaten, all I could compare it to was real gumbo.
I liked the flavor of the roux, but we both agreed it tasted kind of burnt. The sausage was nice, but there wasn’t a whole lot of it, nor did it have much chicken. The rest was like a brown vegetable goo. The suggested retail price is only $3.89, but I don’t think I’d ever buy it. Not when there is good gumbo all around me. Perhaps if I was a tourist and I was a terrible cook? Maybe the bisque is better?
Now I feel like a heel…