Although Better Batter Seasoned Flour is really the bomb, sometimes you want something a little different when you’re breading food for dinner. In pre-gluten free days we simply loved panko for the added crunch and texture it provided, so this month, I had our people test Aleia’s Gluten Free Panko**. Here’s our review of the product and pricing comparison:
There are 12oz of Panko in each container. Visually, the panko is about the same size and shape as the gluten containing kind.
At our store, each container of panko ran about $6.89. Online I was able to locate packs of the product for about the same price. With added shipping the total online came to about $7.25
A serving, according to the box, was about 14g, so there would be 24 servings per container. Total calories at a correct serving size were about 35, fat was 0g, carbohydrates were 7g, and protein was 1g. Personally, this seems like an unusually low measurement, as we served a family of four with this container, making the ‘real’ serving size about 84g – however we are big eaters (2 teenaged boys!), so YMMV.
Texture and Flavor:
When I’m using panko in frying, I expect the crumbs to brown to a golden color, evenly absorb the oil, and become extra crunchy. When I am using them crumbs in something like meatloaf, I expect them to absorb the moisture easily and give an airier, lighter texture to the finished food product. In both cases, the texture and flavor of the gluten free panko was very close to real panko, according to the people we tested the product on**.
The flavor of the plain crumbs was bland, so you should expect to season your meat or vegetables before using this product.
Contains: Eggs, milk.
Manufactured in a facility that processes peanuts and tree nuts.
Yes, in a large number of online retailers. You can find it on Amazon
For comparison I used Kikkoman’s inexpensive panko, which is widely available in retailers nationwide (there are far more expensive brands out there, which may skew the comparative value):
As I said earlier, I really didn’t notice any difference between the gluten free panko and the real panko – which is a great thing! – so my main focus of comparison was the pricing.
As we remind you consistently, you should expect gluten free items to be between 200 and 400 times the price of their gluten containing counterparts. Painful but true, alas. So this is where my level of ‘acceptable variance’ is generally set.
To compare apples to apples, I standardized both the total size of the containers, to show the total price per weight, and also the serving size, to show the comparative cost per serving.
Kikkoman comes in an 8oz box for $1.89. A weight to weight comparison places this product at $2.84 for an equivalent 12oz, compared to Aleia’s $6.89 price.This means that the Aleia’s brand costs about 250% of what the Kikkoman costs, which is in the middle range of what I would expect.
The serving size of the panko listed on Kikkoman’s box is a more respectable 30g *, so I increased the serving size in Aleia’s to match. This gave a comparative value of $.25 per 30gfor the Kikkoman panko and a cost of $.61 per 30g for the Aleias brand. This is a cost multiplier, again, of about 250%. *which is still too low in my experience, but acceptable for comparative purpose*
TASTE OR TOSS
According to everyone who tested this product for us, it was worth every extra penny. TASTE!
**note: Because I have milk allergy and severe nut/peanut allergy this is one of the few products that my family and I did not personally try. However we have many people we love in the office and local neighborhood, who are more than happy to be the recipients of “free food” in exchange for their time and taste testing!