Last year, in our Store-Bought Stuffing Mix Showdown, all the boxed stuffing contestants were priced between $2.49 and $4.99. This year, we decided to defy the recession and test-run Williams-Sonoma's La Brea boxed stuffings, priced at the comparatively astronomical $10 to $12 per box.
I tested the two flavors on offer this year: Harvest Blend, with pecans and cranberries, and Classic, with Herbes de Provence and chestnuts. While the Harvest Blend is the pricier of the two at $12, the pecans and cranberries are included in the box, while the recommended roasted chestnuts for the Classic are sold separately at a whopping $16.50 a jar.
So how did they fare among our eager Serious Eaters?
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Women preferred the Classic and men the Harvest Blend—though Ed insists that he’ll stick with Pepperidge Farm again this year. The chunky consistency is the real draw to these mixes, but, though I preferred the Classic, I would insist on adding both the chestnuts (which I omitted in the test run) and a spicy turkey sausage to add a punch of flavor to the otherwise extremely herbal mixture.
The pluses: They had great texture, homemade taste, and required simple assembly. The minuses: Like all other boxed stuffings, they still need to be "pimped." Furthermore, the price appears prohibitive. Although, seeing as how they do feed 10 to 12 people, an un-doctored box of stuffing will cost under $1 per person.
How much would you pay for stuffing? Have the Williams-Sonoma boxed stuffings been worth it for you in the past?