How it all tasted (synthetic and terribly overcooked) was beside the point. What mattered to us was how fun it was. Now, without supervision, we could prepare dinner ourselves without relying on Mom and eat it right in front of the TV! For at least a week, my poor mother had a hard time getting us to eat anything else.
The frozen food industry has matured a great deal since then. The choices available are a far cry from those classic TV dinners of my childhood. Bertolli is just one of many food companies that, in recent years, have mastered the technology of Individually Quick Frozen (IQF) foods. The process, which freezes each individual ingredient of a dish separately before packaging them together for sale, not only prevents excess moisture from accumulating and creating large ice crystals on food (otherwise known as freezer burn), it also preserves the integrity of each ingredient, allowing it to maintain its freshness and flavor longer. This results in a much higher quality frozen product than previously available.