If you’re a foodie, you probably realize the long-winded name, Progresso Italian Style Panko Crispy Bread Crumbs, has a little redundancy in it. For those of you who aren’t foodies, panko equals bread crumbs in Japanese, although panko is larger, flakier, and Asian-er than regular bread crumbs.
Food Network star Alton Brown uses the stuff so much that I’m surprised that his eyes aren’t slanted. It’s becoming so popular that I believe if you use panko instead of regular bread crumbs, you are instantly given some kind of culinary street cred, where people in tall white hats will give you fist bumps when you pass by them and the Swedish Chef will say something coherent to you instead of the usual gibberish he usually exuberantly spits out of his mustached, muppet mouth.
Because this is an “Italian Style” panko, which I’ve never heard of until I saw this box, there’s a little bit more to it than just plain panko. To make it Italian, there’s some basil, dried roasted garlic, paprika, dried onion, and spices in it. But to truly make it Italian, I was hoping Food Network personality Giada De Laurentiis also came in the box. However, I don’t think her cleavage would’ve fit inside the packaging.
To test the Progresso Italian Style Panko Crispy Bread Crumbs, I decided to make something that looks like chicken parmesan. Now some of you at this point might be saying, “Holy shit! He cooked something. I thought he lived a lifestyle filled with eco-unfriendly styrofoam take out containers and gallons of gas wasted in fast food drive-throughs.” Saying I “cooked something” would be flattering, but I technically warmed up a jar of pasta sauce; boiled some spaghetti noodles; fried some chicken breasts that were dipped in flour, egg, and the Italian-style panko; and sprinkled parmesan cheese over it.
(Editor’s Note: The picture above is actually the second batch I made. The first had melted mozzarella cheese on top, but I didn’t have enough for the second batch, because I enjoy eating shredded mozzarella straight from the bag.)
As someone who uses panko quite a bit, in the kitchen and out, I wasn’t expecting the Progresso Italian Style Panko Crispy Bread Crumbs to be much different than the regular stuff, but I was surprised by how my chicken parmesan turned out. I could taste the herbs and spices they added and it made my dish quite tasty. As you can see in the picture above, the chicken had a really nice golden brown exterior, which I don’t always get with my regular Japanese panko. The crunch from the Progresso panko was also really nice and better than my usual panko.
With all of this praise towards the non-Asian Progresso Italian Style Panko Crispy Bread Crumbs, I felt I disrespected my ancestors and thought about committing seppuku, but then I put away my sword after I determined that the Progresso Italian Style Panko wasn’t truly panko.
Panko has a really light, flaky, and dry texture that looks like it was shaved off of a piece of toast, while the Progresso Italian Style Panko had a denser, greasy texture and looked like they were once croutons that were crushed by Kim Kardashian’s ass.
(Nutrition Facts – 1/4 cup – 130 calories, 6 grams of fat, 0 grams of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 0 milligrams of cholesterol, 400 milligrams of sodium, 16 grams of carbs, 0 grams of dietary fiber, 0 grams of sugar, 2 grams of protein, 2% iron, and a 75% chance a guy has of getting laid if they know how to use panko properly.)
Item: Progresso Italian Style Panko Crispy Bread Crumbs
Price: FREE (Retails for $2.49)
Size: 8 ounces
Purchased at: Given by nice PR people
Rating: 6 out of 10
Pros: Very nice crunch. Creates a nice golden brown coating. Tasty. Inner bag comes with a sticker to help seal the bag after use. Getting the Swedish Chef to say something coherent.
Cons: In my eyes, it’s not truly panko. Pricey because I can get a bag of regular panko for 99 cents. My cooking abilities. Unable to fit Giada De Laurentiis’ cleavage into a box. Being crushed by Kim Kardashian’s ass.