This Conspiracy Theory Links Aldi's Marinara Sauce To Rao's

For the non-initiates, Rao's truly is good stuff. Basically says that it's the best commercially manufactured marinara sauce in a jar on the market. Period. More specifically, they joke: "Everyone that works here has daily Rao's rituals. Songs. Sayings. Handshakes. It's a cult." Ina Garten swears by it. The quality of the tomatoes, the fact that Rao's uses olive oil, and that it doesn't use preservatives — all of these things make Rao's the winner of an unbeatable mathematical equation. To quote one Twitter convert, "Rao's>> any other pasta or marinara sauce" (via Twitter).

Or, is it? Fans of Aldi's Specially Selected Marinara Sauce might, shockingly, disagree. Confusion about the actual volume of sauce in a jar of Aldi's marinara sauce aside, there are those who would argue that the discount brand's pasta sauce is surprisingly similar to Rao's. On Reddit, one reviewer calls it "my favorite ever jarred pasta sauce." Suspicious? Another Redditor thought so too. They argue .... (can you bear the suspense?) ... that the two sauces actually one and the same. Here's why.

Could Rao's and Aldi's premium marinara sauce be one and the same?

Ready to dive into the depths of this conspiracy theory? It starts when one Redditor and self-proclaimed Sommelier ended up with between 10 and 15 bottles of Rao's tomato sauce. (Why? COVID-19 is why. People were buying sauces.) They write in their Reddit post that some bottles were significantly newer than others, and the newer Rao's sauces didn't taste as like the older ones. Or, in the words of @ScrapmasterFlex, "not BAD... just not special like the first." The taste difference was enough to inspire an in-depth investigation and @ScrapmasterFlex discovered that in 2017, Raos was sold to Sovos. (It's true, ask Food Navigator). Here comes the kicker. When @ScrapmasterFlex bought bottles of Aldi's Specially Selected Marinara Sauce they  "recognized the bouquet and flavor" as the exact same as the newer Raos in their pantry. After comparing the two sauces, bottle for bottle, they were shocked to discover that "word for word, ingredient for ingredient, nutritional fact by fact, identical." Only the sodium content differed slightly. Mic Drop. 

Not all comments on the Reddit post agreed with the sommelier's analysis. That may have to do with what part of the country they're based in. As one Redditor who claims to work producing bread for Aldi stores notes, providers change according to regions. Another Aldi customer noted that the chain tends to  "switch product providers on a dime." Aldi, itself, claims to be "actively looking for new suppliers for our wide range of private label products."

Final verdict? Grab two bottles, and compare yourself!