07/18/2013 04:38 pm ET Updated Jul 18, 2013

CheeseburgerOs, SpaghettiOs Make Us Question Our Childhood Palates

Facebook: SpaghettiOs

A few days ago, the folks at HuffPost Business claimed that SpaghettiOs don't actually taste that bad, minus the whole "canned" taste. They spoke too soon. Perhaps they were in an overly nostalgic mood, in which they thought that the thin tomato sauce was perfectly salted. And somehow they remembered the different "O" shapes to be a little less mushy.

CheeseburgerOs are the first new flavor from SpaghettiOs in more than 20 years -- that alone warranted a taste test. We figured we would use regular SpaghettiOs as the control to see if this iteration could compare to the original. But the new flavor wasn't what shocked us -- it was the original. It was... not good.

Look, we get that your palate matures as you age, but we don't see much value in anyone, even kids, eating these. One serving size has 600mg of sodium, which is 25 percent of a person's recommended daily intake. While the label on the can touts the "3 grams of fiber per serving," "5 essential nutrients in the pasta" and "full serving of vegetables," let's get real here. Eating canned spaghetti in a processed sauce isn't exactly parallel to a meal of fresh tomatoes with healthy grains.

CheeseburgerOs also bear the label "Healthy Kids Entree," which it justifies by noting that it has "8 grams of protein per serving," "20% of daily vegetables" and "0 grams of trans fat per serving." Here's the ingredient list:

Water, tomato puree (water, tomato paste), enriched pasta (wheat flour, niacin, ferrous sulfate, thiamine mononitrate, riboflavin, folic acid), cooked ground beef (beef, salt), contains less than 2% of: beef, high fructose corn syrup, prepared mustard (distilled vinegar, water, mustard seed, salt, turmeric, paprika, spice, dehydrated garlic), enzyme modified cheddar cheese (cheddar cheese, cultured milk, salt enzymes, calcium chloride, water, disodium phosphate, enzymes), salt, dehydrated onions, beef tallow, flavoring, beef flavor, vegetable oil, soy sauce ( wheat, soybeans, salt, maltodextrin), citric acid, maltodextrin, yeast extract, beef extract, sesame oil, glutamic acid.

Surprisingly, our half dozen tasters all preferred the CheeseburgerOs to the SpaghettiOs. Campbell's succeeded in getting the new flavor to taste like a burger mashed into canned tomato soup. The cheese isn't really evident, but at least there's something to enjoy besides the too-soft Os.

If you're really in a pinch and need something NOW, we'd definitely vote Easy Mac (NOT Goldfish mac & cheese) over any Os out there.



Canned Tomato Soup Taste Test, 2013