Customer Reviews: Ancient Harvest Organic Quinoa Pasta, Elbows, 8 Ounce (Pack of 12)
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Flavor: Elbows|Size: 8 Ounce (Pack of 12)|Change
Price:$31.56 - $73.73
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on June 11, 2013
I agree with some of the recent posts here. Something has gone terribly wrong with this pasta recently; the company must have changed the recipe without making it clear on the box.

This was one of the only reliable and tasty GF spaghetti-style pastas we were able to find (and I tried many). We have been using this product for several years, ever since my daughter was diagnosed with celiacs disease Despite the expense, we loved this product! The pasta was not mushy or grainy; it held its shape after boiling, blended nicely with various sauces, and tasted close to traditional pasta with a nice nutty flavor from the quinoa. I could still make spaghetti and meatballs for my kids! I would say I used it 3-4 times a month (and I would make a pound of pasta -- two boxes -- for each meal).

But the last four boxes I bought have not been the same. The water quickly turns very cloudy and yellowish, as if we were cooking with corn-based flour (not the quinoa). The pasta comes out mushy and broken after boiling. The texture no longer resembles traditional pasta, and the sauce does not blend well in with the spaghetti. I've had to throw out the last two batches because the final product was a coagulated mess that neither of my children would eat. And, yes, we followed the cooking directions closely -- we are long-time experts with this pasta.

Something is definitely different about the recipe from the manufacturer. I assume that corn flour is much cheaper than quinoa, and this may have prompted Ancient Grain to tinker with the formula, but frankly, the new product sucks.

Gravely disappointed in Boston.
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on December 21, 2010
So I am giving this two stars, mainly because this product/brand tries to trick you into thinking it is quinoa-based spaghetti, even though the first ingredient listed is corn flour. Having more corn than quinoa in spaghetti is not quinoa-based, it is corn-based, though they put 'QUINOA' in big letters on the package and 'corn-quinoa' blend in small letters. Having a bunch of corn in the product basically negates the health benefits of this product.
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on November 6, 2008
So, I started a gluten-free diet about two months ago. I have baked gluten-free bread, but other than that, haven't really tried to replace other wheat products. This was my first try of a gluten-free pasta. I've had quinoa before and really liked it so it seemed like a good bet.

Even so, I wasn't expecting a miracle. Even as it cooked and I was tasting for doneness, I was noticing grainy textures that weren't that great. But I kept tasting, and right around the suggested cook time, it smoothed out. I drained immediately and dressed with a really light sauce. There is no noticeable "off" flavor to the pasta and it has a great "al dente" texture. I am confident I could serve this to someone who didn't know it was regular pasta and they'd never think anything of it.
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on January 31, 2015
I was extremely disappointed in this product. The packaging prominently displays all the information about how they use the Quinoa grain, but it was only after getting it home that I realized in very tiny writing that it includes corn. Then when I look at the list of ingredients, Corn is the main ingredient and Quinoa is secondary.

I cooked it anyway, hoping to see what it might be, and found it looked and tasted like corn pasta. (The water turned yellow). So I decided to investigate.

I used a spreadsheet and figured out what percentage of Corn and what percentage of Quinoa would produce the nutrition levels found in Ancient Harvest Pasta. It turned out that the exact percentage was: 91% Corn and 9% Quinoa. I see that someone else called Customer Service and was told it was 75% Corn. I may need to investigate further, but it seems higher to me.

I am sure this is gluten free and organic and all the rest. But the labeling is extremely deceptive. It should be called "Corn Pasta".

And I HATE Corn Pasta. Had I known it was Corn Pasta I would not have purchased it. I plan to take the empty package back to the store to complain and get my money back because I want them to know they should not stock this misleading item.

For people with a technical interest and for reproducibility here is my specific analytical process:

From the Box I entered the following

2 ounces of product gives:

4 grams of Protein
46 grams of Carbohydrate
205 Calories
4 grams of fiber

I then also entered the same figures for Corn Flour which I found on a site that lists the nutritional content of various foods (Amazon will not let you post the link):

4 grams of Protein
46 grams of Carbohydrate
210 calories
2 grams of Fiber

And the same information for Quinoa:

8 grams of Protein
36 Grams of Carbohydrate
206 Calories
24 Grams of Fiber

I then had a cell that would hold a number between .51 and .99 for the % of the product that was corn and a second cell that was 1-% of Corn to account for the % of Quinoa.

I then had cells that calculated what the various nutritional elements would be with the mix of corn and quinoa. I subtracted the calculated values from the values on the box, divided the result by the value on the box and then squared it. I took the sum of those squared differences and I used the Excel Solver function to find the point where the squared differences were minimized.

That point was .9121 Corn and .0879 Quinoa.
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on June 7, 2013
We've been huge fans of this pasta. It's been a staple in our household for 18 months. We noticed with this latest batch that we ordered from Amazon that the consistency is not the same, the pasta seems to swell more and break apart easier. It's as if the ratio of corn to quinoa has changed - more corn and less quinoa. I also noticed another small difference, the pasta is no longer wrapped in an inner plastic package (I'm all for less packaging)

Is it just me or has anyone else noticed that the product has changed? We typically order a case every 3 - 4 months. Our last good batch was ordered back in early Jan.
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on December 8, 2011
While this pasta tastes better than many whole grain pastas, I am giving a ranking of 2 because although the packaging strongly suggests this product contains a significant amount of quinoa, the actual amount of quinoa in the corn-quinoa blend may be just slightly greater than the amount of dried spinach needed to color a few of the pieces green. So don't have your decision swayed by the side or back panels, which detail the wonderful nutritional profile of quinoa and its history of cultivation. Note that the company's website states "our Corn/Quinoa gluten free pasta is primarily a corn based product." So maybe they should be putting the word "corn" in the big print?
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on August 13, 2012
I've noticed a lot of people complaining that the product has corn in it and that they felt mislead when buying it because they thought it was all quinoa. Quinoa itself can't be made into a stong pasta. It's too bad people are giving this product a bad review just because they didn't take the time to read the description. It says its a blended pasta right on the box and the product description says "Now you can enjoy the rich, nutty flavor of Ancient Harvest Quinoa combined with a natural blend of corn flours in this delicious, highly nutritious pasta." This pasta is the best I have ever had though, way better than rice blends, which have a high glycemic index. The corn is organic and the combination of both quinoa and corn make it quite awesome. This is a step up from the all-corn pasta I have been getting from Walmart. For someone who can't have gluten, I greatly appreciate this product and would definitely recommend it.

A few tips on cooking: Make sure to not overcook it, like any pasta it will lose its structure and fall apart a little when over cooked. Check it frequently and taste test it before draining it. The cooking time on the box is pretty accurate, but only if you have put the pasta into boiling water initially. Don't ever throw the pasta into water that hasn't started boiling yet and expect it to cook in the time stated on the box. Make sure to rinse the pasta for a few seconds after straining to stop the cooking process. This pasta holds it shape if cooked right and can even be reheated the next day with no issues. Most of you probably already know this, but the few negative nellys out their appear to have not learned these tips yet. It really is fantastic. I'm salivating just thinking about it right now. :)
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on August 15, 2012
This is not a Quinoa product, rather a pasta product made mostly from CORN flower with Quinoa flower added to it. This is deceptive advertising at its best. This is basically a CORN flower pasta product using "Quinoa" on the cover to fool you. I looked at the ingredients, and CORN flower is the first listed.
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on June 2, 2008
My kids are allergic to so many food items it was hard to find a replacement for pasta. The rice pastas are sticky and the texture is wrong. This linguini is great! If you follow the directions on the box and don't overcook, this is a perfect substitute. I will rinse it with cold water to stop the cooking process exactly. I can even serve it to their non allergic friends and they like it too!
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on August 4, 2008
Someone served this at a dinner party long before I knew I should be eating gluten-free, and it was delicious - the same great taste as regular pasta but without the starchy fullness. Now it's all I serve, even to guests, and some of them have begun eating it, although they could eat regular pasta if they desired. This just tastes so good! For those of us who DO have to eat gluten-free, it's a God-send. All the pastas in this brand are just as good. Try them!
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