Seriously Bad Math

Serious Eats posted their take on the Sandra Lee/Matilda Cuomo lasagna controversy, which is: fucked up. First, they assert that Sandra insulted her mother-in-law. We saw this in none of the stories we read—only Mrs. Cuomo saying she didn’t think Sandra’s lasagna was as good as hers. Seems like if anyone was being insulting at all, it was Mrs. Cuomo, or the reporter who asked the stupid question.)

Then the writer, Leah Douglas, makes a big deal about how Mario Batali’s recipe would be cheaper. She does this by comparing three ingredients.

The typical can of Campbell’s tomato soup, according to online grocery store service Peapod, costs $1.67 for a 10-oz can, bringing the total for the recipe to $3.34. A 16-oz package of Breakstone cottage cheese costs $2.99. Bringing the total to $6.33.

If you were to, however, go off of a recipe from say, Mario Batali, you would be shopping for two 28-oz cans of whole peeled tomatoes, which Hunt’s sells for $2.00 each ($4.00 total), and 4 ounces of ricotta cheese. A 15-oz package of Polly-O ricotta cheese goes for $3.99, but your lasagna’s 4-oz portion only sets you back a little more than $1.00. So your total for Mario’s lasagna is $5.00.

That’s appalling. I went shopping on Fresh Direct, using Sandra Lee’s recipe and the Batali recipe that Douglas refers to, and the result was at least a $13 difference—and that’s without finding the Cacciacavallo cheese he calls for. See the screen shots below.

(I skipped onions and noodles that were in both recipes.)

If you aren’t into Sandra Lee, whatever. But do you homework at least. This is basically foodie fanservice.