I was browsing through a Williams-Sonoma yesterday and while I always question the validity of their bottled and boxed food items that I would not think twice about preparing from scratch, there was one that I literally exclaimed out loud to my partner about when I saw it: risotto starter. Really? What can this be? I looked at the jar and it read. "Just add rice, broth, butter and cheese. To customize your risotto, add cooked chicken, shrimp, mushrooms or seasonal vegetables." So what is in the jar? From their web site: "Blended from the finest ingredients, including sautéed onions, white wine and extra-virgin olive oil, seasoned with aromatic rosemary, garlic and thyme." I just find it odd that a store that sells all types of high-end equipment for the home cook (who I assume is for the most part a scratch cook) would sell this kind of stuff. It, and a lot of other stuff I saw, just doesn't seem like something a W-S customer would use.
Has anyone ever tried any of these "starter" products? Are they any good?