Discontinued Williams-Sonoma Products: Well, Give Us the Recipe Then
After not having been in the store for the last few months, I recently discovered Williams-Sonoma had discontinued their very tasty Shanghai Grilling Paste. All of their grilling pastes, actually. Which is a bummer, because the Shaghai GP was a quick and tasty way to dress up that same-ol' chicken breast that we have on so many weeknights.
It occurred to me, given that WS provides recipes all the time in their catalog and website, that if they make the decision to discontinue a product, they should give their customers the courtesy of publishing a home version of the recipe that cooks could start with and modify to their particular preferences. Not only would this lessen my irritation with WS for yanking one of my favorite products, but it would also give me a higher comfort level in buying future food products from them. No one likes to think they're going to develop a taste for something that will one day in the near future be unavailable to them.
I'd like to see this practice put in place for all consumer-goods companies, not just Williams-Sonoma. Some would be impractical to produce at home (boy, I sure do miss those Trader Joe's Papadums, which lasted on their shelves for approximately two months), but at least it's a nod to those of us who are willing to go out on a limb and try new products more often than the average Joe.
Who's with me on this - and, uh, anybody got a recipe for Shanghai Grilling Paste?
I once asked a company that discontinued a product I liked about the possibility of a recipe for it - and was told, simply 'no, we do not have anything like that.' So I didn't have any luck with it myself, but it couldn't hurt to write or call Williams-Sonoma customer service and inquire. Since they are already in the practice of publishing recipes, you just might get lucky.
Many food manufacturing companies own the "formula" for products like these that are produced for and sold under private label, such as Williams Sonoma. The good folks at WS might not actually know what the "recipe" is for the Shanghai Grilling Paste.
Here's a link to a recipe from Food and Wine. I add a heaping teaspoon of fermented chile paste instead of the cayenne. It might not match the WS version, but is pretty darned tasty.