REVIEW: Campbell’s Chunky Fully Loaded Rigatoni & Meatballs Soup

Oh, football season — the most masculine, yet homoerotic of all seasons. Think of all the Sundays spent shouting while in the vicinity of drunk and rowdy men. Ponder the countless hours debating whether those feelings you have for Tom Brady are natural admiration or unfettered lust. There is really nothing else quite like it.

For years, the folks at Campbell’s have capitalized on the season’s excitement by using football players to promote their Chunky Soup. I have no problem with sports leagues promoting products, but I can’t quite make out the connection here. After all, this is a brand of soup based solely on the premise that large men enjoy a steaming hot bowl of soup after a grueling practice. Who needs a frosty Gatorade or a sandwich when you can have a boiling hot bowl of soup with processed meats and vegetables that melt in your mouth? While this may seem surreal and absurd, nothing is quite as insane as what they are pitching with the Fully Loaded soup variety.

Apparently Chunky Soup, the soup that eats like a meal, wasn’t meal-like enough to satisfy the hunger of football players after they were done frolicking in mud as rain poured down on them. Instead of wondering who the hell pitches these commercials, I’m going to try to decipher exactly why this thing product is considered soup. I suppose the Chunky Fully Loaded takes after athletes and is a soup on steroids and human growth hormones. However, they have taken their approach way too far and have created a proverbial monster. You see, this is clearly rigatoni and meatballs, and unless I have been mistaken for my entire life, pasta is not soup. In fact, unlike crock pot meals and shepherd’s pie, it’s not even close to being soup. You might as well sever your own testicles and call it chicken cordon bleu. It really makes absolutely no sense.

Speaking of testicles, Campbell’s has finally accomplished what they have always strived to do — give soup some serious balls. While that statement is indeed a terrible joke, it’s also what I think this “soup” is really made of. The meatballs have an abnormally chewy texture that I could only assume mirror the texture of a certain questionable organ meat. Maybe this is to appeal to the people with giant Oakland Raiders vinyl decals and metallic ballsacks hanging from the back of their trucks, but nobody knows for sure. I understand that they can’t use the finest cuts available, but this is bordering on unappetizing and disturbing.

Luckily, I am less than picky about canned pasta and can safely say that I would much rather eat this than Chef Boyardee. The rigatoni is not mushy like many canned pastas and actually has some texture to it. They are also large enough to make me feel like a really big man while I’m eating them, which is probably worth the price of purchase on its own. The meatballs, strange texture and all, are not completely awful and are edible enough. The tomato sauce, which I suppose would be the soup in this case, has actual chunks of tomato and has a good acidic bite that is a refreshing change from the saccharine taste of the tomato sauces in other canned pastas.

What I appreciate most is the fact that the soup has a pop-top lid. Most of the people that buy this type of food do not own a can opener, so I like that they are saving us from the humiliation of stabbing it with a knife and jamming a spoon in to get it open. Even still, I can’t forgive them for completely messing with my sense of reality. When certain things in my worldview become distorted, I can’t help but feel despondent. If I ever go to Olive Garden and get “Fettuccini Alfredo” as the soup of the day, you will know why I tried to hang myself with the noodles.

(Nutritional Facts – 1 cup – 220 calories, 8 grams of fat, 4 grams of saturated fat, 0.5 grams of trans fat, 20 mg of cholesterol, 800mg sodium, 24 grams of carbs, 6 grams of dietary fiber, 8 grams of sugar, 13 grams of protein, 4% Vitamin A, 8% Calcium, and 10% Iron)

Item: Campbell’s Chunky Fully Loaded Rigatoni & Meatballs Soup
Price: $2.00
Purchased at: Ralph’s
Rating: 6 out of 10
Pros: A lot of food for a decent price. Rigatoni and sauce taste pretty good. Not mushy. Tom Brady.
Cons: Meatballs have strange texture. Eating soup after strenuous exercise. Raiders fans with truck nuts. Things that aren’t soup being called soup. Trying to hang yourself with noodles.

Heat & Enjoy Campbell’s Chicken Noodle Soup

You’ve really let yourself go, Campbell’s Chicken Noodle Soup.

It’s like you’re Elvis. You’re going from young, skinny Elvis to older, overweight, too big to fit on his own postage stamp Elvis. Maybe you have to cut back on the peanut butter and banana sandwiches.

Seriously, you look like Eric Cartman on Weight Gain 4000. Also, you are not big boned.

Well maybe I should be glad that you’re an icon and idol that didn’t take the drug overdose route, child molester route, the Kabbalah route, or the Clay Aiken route.

It’s hard to look at you now because I remember the way you looked in those Andy Warhol paintings, looking slim and cylindrical. But now, if Andy Warhol was still alive and wanted to paint you again, let me just say that he would need a lot more paint.

Look at the pictures below. On the left, you look like how a Campbell’s Soup Can should look on the Red Carpet at some swanky charity function. But on the right, it’s a whole different story at some MTV Xbox shindig you went to, just so you could get free swag.

Sure, Courtney Love comes either drunk, high, or drunk and high to every event she attends or crashes, but at least she’s consistent.

I’m surprised the National Enquirer didn’t run some bogus story about how your weight gain was due to eating nothing but potato chips and soda for several days straight, while watching a Laguna Beach marathon, after your Italian lover left you for a younger, heartier soup, like Progresso.

I guess since you were condensed soup in that older picture, you should’ve been slim. You now maybe a little more roly-poly, but at least you come in a microwaveable bowl, I don’t need to add water, and it takes only 90 seconds for you to be heated up.

Also, you maybe different on the outside, but inside, you still have the same good tasting Campbell’s Chicken Noodle Soup that I’ve loved during those times when I was sick, when I was poor, when I was too lazy to cook, or when I decided to steal from the company canned food drive box.

Item: Heat & Enjoy Campbell’s Chicken Noodle Soup
Purchase Price: $1.75 (on sale)
Rating: 3.5 out of 5
Pros: Tastes just like the Campbell’s Chicken Noodle soup that we’ve all learned to love. Microwaveable bowl. No need to add water. Andy Warhol’s paintings. More cushion for the pushin’. Young, slim Elvis.
Cons: Not as slim, cylindrical, and condensed as the younger can version. A high, drunk, or high and drunk Courtney Love. Not looking good on the Red Carpet. Older, heavy Elvis.

Bear Creek Ready to Serve Chicken Noodle Soup

(Editor’s Note: Welcome to the last day of Sick Week here at the Impulsive Buy. Sick Week was just like being actually sick. It lasted longer than it should’ve, medication could’ve only given temporary relief of how crappy it was, and it was something you wouldn’t want to share with anyone. Enjoy.)

Being the extremely desperate eligible bachelor that I am, I usually have the urge to pass on the option of using plates, bowls, or utensils, because I hate getting dishpan hands and I’m afraid I might accidently use my New Kids on the Block commemorative ceramic plates, which would lower their value, except the Danny Wood plate since it never had any value to begin with.

Trying not use any dishes or utensils isn’t difficult. It definitely doesn’t come close to being as hard as my quest to become a Pokemon champion or Paris Hilton’s quest to find pets ugly enough to make her look decent.

Almost any body part can be used as either a plate, bowl, or utensil. My thighs make great plates whenever I’m sitting down and eating toast, my pointer finger and middle finger make good chopsticks, and a cupped hand makes a decent shot glass.

I call my dish-less technique, “medieval-like efficiency.” My mom calls it laziness. My ex-girlfriend probably called it “Oh-You-Are-So-Dumped.”

However, there are foods out there that force me to use dishes or utensils, like soup.

Sure I could open up a can of Campbell’s chicken noodle soup, but how would I heat it up without using a pot and how can I prevent my lips from getting cut on the rim of the soup can when I don’t want to use a spoon?

Thank goodness for the Bear Creek Ready to Serve Chicken Noodle Soup, which comes in bag that allows me to continue my plate-less bachelor lifestyle, so I don’t have to wash any dishes and it gives me more time to weep over the fact that I’m bachelor.

The instructions were so simple and the microwaveable bag was so easy to eat out of that it might make others want to experience medieval-like efficiency. Just cut off the top of the bag, heat the bag in the microwave for 3.5 to 4 minutes, let it sit for a minutes to cool, and just pour the delicious soup into your mouth. It’s so simple that even a heiress to a hotel empire who buys ugly pets could do it.

The hearty noodles, chunks of vegetables, and big chunks of chicken were filling. The broth was pretty tasty. It definitely wasn’t like some pussy Campbell’s chicken noodle soup. Although, the soup was high in sodium, but then again, just like Christmas shoppers waiting forever in long lines, all packaged soups are salty.

Item: Bear Creek Ready to Serve Chicken Noodle Soup
Purchase Price: $3.99
Rating: 3.5 out of 5
Pros: Tasty. Hearty chicken, noodles, and vegetables. Microwavable bag. Can eat it straight from the bag. No need for a bowl or a spoon. Great for medieval-like efficient people.
Cons: Bag might need to be trimmed more for smaller microwaves. High in sodium. The value of my Danny Wood New Kids on the Block commemorative ceramic plate.

Campbell’s Select Gold Label Roasted Red Pepper & Tomato Soup

(Editor’s Note: Welcome to Cold Week here at the Impulsive Buy. This week the Impulsive Buy will be reviewing products that you can use whenever you catch a cold. They are also products that you might want to think about putting in your shopping cart, just in case you’re pretending to be sick and you happen to run into your boss at the grocery store.)

God, I can’t find the hole!

Where’s the damn hole?

I can’t get it into the hole!

Why does this always happen to me? I can’t get it in the hole when I play golf. Can’t get the small straw into the hole of boxed juices. I can’t even get it into the right hole when I’m with a woman.

Now I can’t find the hole for this box of Campbell’s Select Gold Label Roasted Red Pepper & Tomato Soup. I’m so bad with getting things into holes, I’m surprised that I get food into my piehole.

Actually, now that I think about it, maybe it isn’t like a boxed juice and there isn’t a hole in the soup box. I guess if there was a hole, the Campbell’s Select Gold Label soup would’ve came with one of those rinky-dink boxed juice straws that makes my hands look really big and makes men with really small penises feel better about themselves.

Since there wasn’t a hole and I was hungry for soup, there was only one way I could think of to get some soup in my belly…Make my own hole and suck it up, shotgun-style. Woo!!!

Unfortunately, boxed soup tastes better when heated up and the chunks of roasted red peppers clogged up the hole I made with a small Phillips screwdriver.

After making the hole bigger and being disappointed about not being able to get the soup through the hole I originally made, I poured the rest of the soup into a pot and warmed it up over medium heat.

(Editor’s Note: Hey, remember the show Alice? I remember this one episode where a customer came into Mel’s Diner and asked if a cup of hot water was free. Mel said it was and gave him a cup of hot water. Then the customer asked if the ketchup was free. Mel said it was and gave him a bottle of ketchup. Then the customer pours the free ketchup into the free cup of hot water and makes free tomato soup. HA! That was such a classic!)

The warmed-up Campbell’s Select Gold Label Roasted Red Pepper & Tomato Soup was pretty tasty. The chipotle peppers in the soup gave it a very mild kick, but it wasn’t as even close to being spicy hot as some of the other products I’ve had with chipotle peppers.

I hate to say this, but even a drunk Anna Nicole Smith was hotter than this soup.

Well at least the soup doesn’t have the preservatives and artificial flavors like a drunk Anna Nicole Smith does. Also, unless Anna Nicole gets drunk off of Bloody Maries, the soup will also gives me a serving of vegetables.

However, with 870 milligrams of sodium per serving, the Campbell’s Select Gold Label Roasted Red Pepper & Tomato Soup is just as salty as a drunk Anna Nicole.

(Editor’s Note: Congratulations to Pel, Meg, and TaikoG for being selected as the winners of this month’s prize drawing. Pel and Meg will each receive a Hefty Serve ‘n’ Store plate and bowl set, which they can use, wash, reuse, and repeat. TaikoG will receive a copy of the book Stooples: Office Tools for Hopeless Fools, which TaikoG can either read and keep, or read and re-gift. Thank you to all who participated.

Item: Campbell’s Select Gold Label Roasted Red Pepper & Tomato Soup
Purchase Price: $3.00 (on sale)
Rating: 3.5 out of 5
Pros: Tasty. No preservatives and artificial flavors. 4 grams of dietary fiber. Low fat.
Cons: Not as spicy as I hoped with the chipotle peppers. No hole for straw. Hard to shotgun. A drunk Anna Nicole Smith is hotter than the soup. My inability to put things in holes. 870 milligrams of sodium per serving.

Campbell’s Carb Request Chicken Broccoli Cheese Soup

Carb Request

I remember when my mother first fed me broccoli. It was a warm July evening and the sun was still high in the sky. Because it was still so lighted, my parents left the lights off as we ate dinner.

Being only ten years old and not growing in height as fast as the other children in my class, including the girls, I could not serve myself food, because I couldn’t reach the stove top where the pot of spaghetti sat. My mother took the Sesame Street plate from me and put a large serving of spaghetti on it.

“Eat up and some day you’ll be big enough to serve yourself…” she said to me.

Then she whispered under her breath, “…because I’m not going to serve you forever.”

I thanked my mother and walked to the table. At the table, there was a loaf of garlic Italian bread and a mound of green things that looked like aliens from outer space with gigantic afros. I imagined the afro was what The Great Kazoo’s hair must have looked like with his helmet off, when he wasn’t helping Fred Flintstone.

Sitting at the table was difficult for me because I was so short. I couldn’t reach the garlic Italian bread nor the green things with gigantic afros. Seeing the trouble I was having, my mother placed a slice of bread and a small stack of green things on the edge of my plate.

“What are the green things with the gigantic afros?” I asked my mom.

“It’s broccoli,” she replied, “It will help you grow big and strong…”

Then she said quietly to herself, “…so you can support yourself some day and move out of the house.”

I picked up one of the green things with a gigantic afro and began playing with it. Then I decided to give the green thing with the gigantic afro a haircut like Mr. T’s. After gnawing on the afro for a few moments and spitting out the parts I had gnawed off, I formed the mohawk I wanted. I grabbed a noodle from my spaghetti and wrapped it around the green thing with a mohawk, pretending it was a big gold chain, just like the ones the real Mr. T wore.

“I pity the fool who don’t eat spaghetti,” I said, shaking the green thing with a mohawk. “I pity the fool who don’t eat bread.”

“Stop playing with your food,” my mother said to me.

“Why?” I asked her.

“Because it’s rude to play with your food…” she said.

Then she said as softly as she could, “…and you’ll never find a woman to marry you if you keep playing with your food.”

I looked at my newly created green Mr. T. and said, “I pity the green thing with the mohawk.”

Then I chomped the mohawk off.

From that moment on, I’ve enjoyed broccoli. However, it was much later in life that I realized broccoli would be better with some kind of topping. The topping of choice was melted Velveeta cheese, because it was the only topping I had seen on broccoli, thanks to the Velveeta commercials. Broccoli and melted Velveeta was damn good.

So when I picked up a can of Campbell’s Carb Request Chicken Broccoli Cheese Soup, I expected good things. Unfortunately, I pity the fool who purchased the Campbell’s Carb Request Chicken Broccoli Cheese Soup.

Of course, that was me.

The aroma from the pot I was warming up the soup in turned out to be an accurate indicator of how the soup tasted. It was bland, like the future music offerings coming from celebrity siblings with the last names of Spears, Simpson, and Duff.

The pieces of broccoli were tiny and almost seemed nonexistent with every spoonful. There were big chunks of white chicken meat, although this disappointed the equal opportunity activist in me, hoping that were also big chunks of dark chicken meat.

After all, you know what they say about dark chicken meat, “Once you go dark, you’ll never want to be apart.”

– This was an excerpt from Chicken Broccoli Cheese Soup for the Quasi-Product Review Blog Editor’s Soul

Item: Campbell’s Carb Request Chicken Broccoli Cheese Soup
Purchase Price: $2.00 (on sale)
Rating: 2 out of 5
Pros: Big chunks of chicken. I actually enjoy broccoli. Mr. T. looking broccoli.
Cons: Bland. Not much broccoli. No dark meat. Low-carb.