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Do you ever like the crappy better than the excellent?

Or another way to say it...the cheap instead of the fine. Or how about the fake instead of the real deal?

The specific topic I'm talking about is Maple Syrup. Now you must understand that I myself am a foodie. I am all about the finer things...the subtle nuances that make up flavor complexities and undertones. I love quality food in all of it's forms...except when it comes to syrup.

I don't like high-quality maple syrup nearly as much as I like Aunt Jamima or Mrs. Butterworths or any of my other fine syrup ladies. I've tried 50 different types of moderately priced to very expensive maple syrups and I just don't like them nearly as much as the crappy, high-fructose corn syrup, never even smelled a maple tree syrups.

Is something wrong with me? My wife is the same way. I enjoy cooking some dishes with good quality maple syrups...such as roasted butternut squash or baked oatmeal...but on pancakes? I need the two-dollar, microwaveable-with-a-tell-me-when-it's-hot sensor.


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  1. i hear you on that. sometimes foods don't need the gourmet deep rich versions, and sometimes the saccharine almost fake sweet maple syrup is just the ticket.

    baked or stovetop mac may be "excellent," but sometimes that crappy kraft is just what i need.

    then of course there are also the few times when betty crocker or duncan hines cream cheese frosting in a tub is money as well.

    1 Reply
    1. re: Emme

      I have to be honest I really prefer the Kraft stuff over all the fancy mac stuff.

    2. I've never gotten the big deal about Haagen Dasz. Not sure that I've tried any MORE premium ice cream than that, but I'd far rather have a bowl of Breyer's, Dreyer's, Crystal, or basically any other brand...something about the texture of HD just isn't very enjoyable to me.

      And when I'm craving chocolate, sometimes a dark Lindt bar won't cut it and I'll need to purchase a crappy Mars product. Yep.

      65 Replies
      1. re: Olallieberry

        There are a lot of "crab" dishes I've had which I much prefer with surimi (i.e. fake crab) than with the real deal. If youve ever tried to make a crab rangoon with real crab and actually be able to taste the crab you know what I mean.

        1. re: jumpingmonk

          Thats what I thought of immediately, fake crab. I remember being lectured by Michael Chiarello on Napa Style about how horrible fake crab is and thinking to myself "I like it"

          1. re: laliz

            I know, every time I order a California roll I cringe inside a bit about the whole fake crab thing, but it's one of my most favorite things to eat.

            1. re: jme90

              Have you tried a California roll with real crab? It's really good!

              1. re: Miss Needle

                Yes, the real crab ones are very, very tastee

              2. re: jme90

                The thought of eating a California roll makes me cringe!

                1. re: Sam Fujisaka

                  Oh stop it! If you were hungry enough... haha!

                  1. re: chef chicklet

                    hmmm... let's see. California roll? Well, if they left out the cream chees, then took out the fake crab, and no avocado it might not be too bad. I'm with Sam on this one! Rather have really good tomago, but how often does that happen?

                    1. re: Caroline1

                      Cream cheese makes it a Philadelphia roll.

                      1. re: Jennalynn

                        Thanks, Jennalynn. I realized my error after posting, and noted the mistake in a subsequent post. :-)

                  2. re: Sam Fujisaka

                    well thanks for sharing that. Is the purpose to make me feel bad?
                    If so, you have succeeded. I read all the time about food I would never eat, but I do not feel obliged to make derogatory comments.

                    1. re: laliz

                      oh laliz, don't feel bad. i don't think that's sam's (or anyone's) intent at all. there's food i eat that most chowhounds wouldn't touch with a 50 foot pole. food love and hate is a deeply personalized thing. you can make fun of sam for liking chef boyardee ravioli and me for liking those blocks of horrific top ramen noodles. take ownership of your love of CA rolls and strut it!

                      1. re: cimui

                        Thanks. I have never had (or heard of) cream cheese in a California roll.
                        BTW, I like chef boyardee mini spaghetti and meatballs.

                        I don't like putting people down for what they like, I probably won't be doing that.

                        1. re: laliz

                          I also never heard of cream cheese in a California roll either. Well, you've got crab rangoon. Guess this can't be any more different.

                          I agree that people shouldn't put down others for what they like. And I'm certain that Sam wasn't doing that at all. He's got a "zany" sense of humor -- it was a play on words. It's sometimes difficult to interpret intent when one is communicating this way.

                            1. re: Miss Needle

                              I was introduced to sushi about 15 years ago, the group I was with offered me California rolls. I do love avocado with wasbi and soy sauce. I know I know!!!

                            2. re: laliz


                              to be fair SF said he did not like California Roll, not Laliz. And on a food board for every person that likes a dish, someone will not like it. Sorta like the zero sum game of cuisine.

                              So jfood likes chef boy r dee ravioli and dislikes top ramen noodles. So is he approving or puting down Cimui. Neither, he is commenting on the food, not the person.

                              If you knew SF from other posts, he is far from snarly (only when he eats out dated food :-))).

                              1. re: jfood

                                crap ramen's the best, dammit. ;) i actually had some for last night's dinner, drizzled with toasted sesame oil and a sprinkling of chopped scallions, while reading this thread. i wouldn't take it over the real stuff, tho...

                                1. re: cimui

                                  little jfood survived on it in college so there is a sweet spot in jfood's heart (and a dent in his wallet even on sale) for it, but just not to his liking, c'est la vie.

                                  1. re: cimui

                                    The tragedy is that most people in the US seem to think crap ramen is the extent of it. It forces me to introduce people to Tampopo to explain the wonders of ramen.

                                    1. re: queencru

                                      You mean the movie Tampopo, not one of the ramen shops named after it? It's a movie with several layers of meaning, one of which is Itami's sly dig at the Japanese obsession of making a big deal over simple things.

                                      1. re: queencru

                                        i love the crap ramen, and recently decided to try "the real stuff." i live on SoCal and went to what is regarded as one of the best ramen restaurants in town.

                                        i hated it. it was awful.

                                        i am just destined to love my trashy ramen only.

                                        1. re: Jelly71

                                          Jelly I am with you on the crap ramen - LOVE it....the good stuff - meh - not so much

                                      2. re: cimui

                                        Cimui, I feel the same way about the Chapaghetti noodle packages. These are the Korean instant chachangmyun packages (noodles in black bean sauce). They are an item that is quite unique, I really like them for their own intrinsic qualities. But as you say, they are not the real stuff. There is a time and place for both insta noodles and real noodles, and a place in my heart and stomach for both.

                                        1. re: moh

                                          someone found a way to make chachangmyun instant? sort of brilliant. i'm going to have to look for this stuff!

                                          1. re: cimui

                                            Here is a link to a photo of Chapaghetti. The company is Nong Shim. You can find it in nearly all Korean grocery stores.

                                            www.jayone.com/ images/item/20210.gif

                                            Edit: I don't think that link works so well. If you google chapaghetti photo, you will see what the package looks like. It is pretty handy to have around the house when you get a craving.

                                            1. re: moh

                                              I freakin' LOVE chapaghetti!!! The kooky name, the mini oil packet, all of it! :)

                                              1. re: sogi

                                                Chapaghetti is awesome. I like to doctor it up with some frozen peas and corn when I cook the noodles, makes me feel like I'm addressing vegetable consumption issues. And of course, some dak kwon (the yellow pickled daikon pickle) with some vinegar over it as a side accompaniment. YUM! Dinner in 5 minutes, gotta love it.

                                                1. re: moh

                                                  moh, just wanted to say: i picked some up at the han ah reum market in nyc last week (for almost as much as the real deal!). i am a fan. =) thanks for the tip.

                                                  1. re: cimui

                                                    Cimui, similar to your point about the ramen, Chapaghetti too can have a time and place. I'm glad you are enjoying the product!

                                                    1. re: moh

                                                      Please explain what chapaghetti is. Thanks!

                                                        1. re: Humbucker

                                                          Humbucker! What a great site! I enjoyed reading about the different tricks to make the sauce the right consistency. This is indeed a tricky thing about Chapaghetti.

                                                          Michelle Cindy, Chapaghetti is a packaged noodle product that approximates Ja Jang myun. Ja jang myun is a Korean noodle dish made of thick noodles covered in a sauce made of black bean paste and various cooked vegetables and meat, usually diced. The black bean sauce likely came to Korea via China, but it has become Koreanized, so it is a little different that the black bean sauces that are Chinese in origin. Chapaghetti is an instant version of this dish. Like ramen, the package comes with dried noodles and flavour packages. There is a package of dried vegetables and seasonings a package of brown powder that gives the black bean taste, and a package of oil so the noodles don't stick too much. Like instant ramen, it is convenient to have at home, has an odd appeal, but isn't meant to replace the original product made from scratch. It is very convenient though.

                                        2. re: cimui

                                          I like the cheap Asian ramen sometimes- a lot.

                                        3. re: jfood

                                          Agree. Read some of SF's other posts. He is very kind. The best!!!

                                          1. re: givemecarbs

                                            Absolutely. Sam is a prince and would never harbor an unkind thought about a fellow Hound.

                                            1. re: pikawicca

                                              Oh definitely. Never an unkind thought. Ever.

                                              1. re: pikawicca

                                                As I recall, Sam sanctioned my combined search for the stinkiest tofu and the strongest Limburger. Plus, we share a passion for Chef Boyardee ravioli eaten straight from the can, but I just can't get him to joyfully revert to his native chopsticks on that one.

                                          2. re: laliz

                                            Oh, laliz, please don't misunderstand! There are a few of us aroud here who are traditionalists when it comes to sushi, and we are NOT putting anyone down. For me at least, what I'm putting down is what fusion does to food. And I'm the one who mentioned cream cheese with California roll. Cream cheese is in a Philadelphia roll. Or at least that's how they make it around here.

                                            My problem with fusion is not fusion per se, but for me the problem is that once fusion sets in in ANY ethnic food, it doesn't seem to take long at all before you can't get the original unless you make it at home! I've probably been eating sushi for about sixty years. I am not Japanese American. Just grew up with a lot of friends who were, and when we played at their house, we ate what their mom cooked for lunch. Often it was sushi. As a young adult living in SF, CA, there were some great Japanese restaurants. And cream cheese, or ANY cheese, for that matter, is not "native" to any kind of Asian food. Neither is avocado. I wouldn't want it in my sukiyaki any more than I want it in my sushi. And I'm allergic to fake fish. And suxhi with fish isn't the only kind of sushi!

                                            So some of us, me in particular, take great pleasure in grousing about our losses. Don't take it personally, and it is NOT directed "at" you. From me, it's a wail of desperation at fusion wiping out the original forms of any food I love.

                                            Feel free to sing the praises of any kind of food you iikel But I reserve the right to disagree. Doesn't mean your choices are wrong. Just that they're wrong for me. Apologies if I offended you! Tha was never my intent. :-)

                                            1. re: Caroline1

                                              Oh Caroline, how I agree with you. What a relief it is to finally have a place to whine amonst others who "get it." In S. Florida, we went from 1 good Japanese place within 10 miles to 10 mediocre one's within 1 mile, in a matter of a couple of years. Unfortunately, almost all of them are compelled to be "Thai/Japanese" blends. Don't get me wrong, I love both Thai and Japanese food, just don't need them co-habitating. What the heck is wrong with doing what you know and doing it well. Why must every restaurant pander to the lowest common palate? And while I'm ranting, what the heck do chicken wings have to do with pizza joints anyway?

                                              1. re: mrschef1

                                                LOL! Fusion is rampant! Pizza Hut/Taco Bell drive throughs!

                                                A couple of weeks ago I was looking for an "upscale" Mexican restaurant to take a friend to lunch, so I was checking out restuarant menus on line. The first one I checked out had Thai-Mexican tacos, with pineapple-basil pico de gallo! (We didn't eat there.)

                                                I figure we're about fourteen years and seven months away from the time when every restaurant in the world will serve the same thing: Fusion stew, with matzatillapitanaanuffin bread! But that's okay, 'cause I'm gonna get filthy rich selling black market baloney sammiches on gummy white bread! '-)

                                                1. re: mrschef1

                                                  In Western NY chicken wings grow in the kitchens of pizzarias. Can't have one without the other. Just one of those crazy combos....

                                              2. re: laliz

                                                Yea, really; don't let people make you feel bad. If I were offended every time someone has disagreed with me I would have to be sedated and fed California rolls. Really.
                                                Tastes vary so much, you cannot take any of this personally.
                                                Tonight, we just ate a a place that had a great view. Food was not spectacular for the price. Mostly, I think we paid for the view and it was not inexpensive. Some would cry foul, others would be ecstatic and I had a glass half full.
                                                Me, I prefer sashimi and I don't care for fake fish. I love avocados! Give me crab and avocado any day!

                                                1. re: Scargod

                                                  We often make avocado halves filled w/ crab salad as an app. or as part of a salad. :}
                                                  King Crab

                                                2. re: laliz

                                                  L~ Oh I'm with you too, I think you and I are each entitled to eat what we want, anyway we want , and at whatever temperature we want and not feel like we're from another planet.SF is just giving you a bad time, he's a pretty nice fellow. Sincerely.

                                                  I've been here over a year now, and you will get the opportunity on occassion to speak up about why you like something and then the debate is on to change their minds. I found that it is not so important as to what I like, more importantly it is what these CHers like and why and that it's up to them to convince me. Oh and they will, truly!
                                                  Ahem.... oh and for the record... I stopped refrigerating my tomatoes...;D Lookout L they're going to kill me now....ahhhha eekkkk!

                                                  1. re: laliz

                                                    I don't think Sam was putting you down in any sense, nor was that his intention: my impression was that he was simply stating that he doesn't like California rolls. The thought of tuna in a can makes me wince, but that should hardly be an insult to anyone who likes tuna.

                                                    Relax. If Sam's comment - which was hardly an insult - upset you, you're going to have a hard time here on Chowhound, where emotions and opinions often run much higher than they have in this thread.

                                                    1. re: vorpal

                                                      I, for one, heart tuna in a can. There's something very comfort-food about tuna salad made with canned (in water, not oil) tuna, mayo, and scallions, on rye...

                                                      1. re: KosherHound

                                                        Yes, KosherHound, this is one for me too (only for me it's with mayo, mustard, chopped sweet pickles and some sweet pickle juice - and maybe a rib of celery if I have any around). This was my favorite thing as a kid, and I still get the odd craving for it a couple of times a year.

                                                  2. re: cimui

                                                    I love Cal rolls, Tempura rolls, Philly rolls, and other American concotions that the Japanese would never touch. I also love ramen noodles for a meal when I have had heavy food all day.

                                                    I am very much a foodie, but would honestly prefer a healthy lunch of Fresh California rolls and miso soup (which I know IS eaten in Japan, often in instant form) to crappy fast food, so sue me!!!

                                                    1. re: sisterfunkhaus

                                                      I skip the rice and go for a big sashimi assortment. I might eat one or two pieces of a very good roll, but sugared rice doesn't work for me any more.

                                                      1. re: mcf

                                                        never eat rolls either. always sashimi. never been a big rice fan... just saw it as a vehicle for hot soy sauce :-)

                                                      2. re: sisterfunkhaus

                                                        Sis, foodies do not eat Philly rolls. Cream cheese in sushi is just wrong.

                                                          1. re: Passadumkeg

                                                            Meh, foodies eat whatever tastes good to them. Isn't the whole point of this thread to talk about so-called "wrong" foods we love?

                                                            1. re: piccola

                                                              Word. I wrinkle my nose at the cream cheese rolls, but then I eat one and remember how tasty they can be.

                                                      3. re: laliz

                                                        laliz, I'm with you. To us kamaboko is not fake crab. It is just good stuff made out of fish.

                                                        1. re: laliz

                                                          I can't imagine how anybody could NOT like a California roll made with real crab! What's not to like with rice, cucumber, maybe a few radish sprouts, avocado, crab and nori? Yum!

                                                          1. re: DanaB

                                                            Unless of course you're allergic to crab :-).

                                                            California rolls or rather cones (with kamaboko) saved me from complete sushi withdrawal when I was doing my graduate degree in Waterloo ON in the early 90s. Nary a Japanese resto there, it was however possible to dig up or import the ingredients needed to make these bad boys in the residence kitchen. I was one popular gal, let me tell you :-) and they were good, if I do say so.

                                                            1. re: DanaB

                                                              I love California rolls made like this. Yum, indeed.

                                                        2. re: jme90

                                                          Crab baloney? I don't mind it as long as whatever it's being used for is cold. Can't stand the thought of it heated up.

                                                          1. re: southernitalian

                                                            Excellent point. I had it served to me once in a cream-sauced pasta dish -- blorg. Never again.

                                                        3. re: laliz

                                                          Many years ago we did a tasting of three different crab cakes with the public. The seasonings, binders and cooking methods were identical. The only difference was one used Dungeness crab, one was Blue Crab and the last one was imitation Krab.

                                                          Guess which won?

                                                          Imitation Krab was preferred by the public 70% of the time. And this was a paid food event, where mostly foodies attended. It blew me away but guess what in a blind tasting where I couldn’t see the product I picked the imitation crab cake too (gulp).

                                                          1. re: RetiredChef

                                                            Doesn't the krab have more sugar?

                                                            "Sweet" tastes good to most humans.

                                                        4. re: Olallieberry

                                                          Olalliberry: I agree about the ice cream, but I'm even more extreme. I like the huge round gallon-sized tubs or neopolitan you get from the bottom of the Wal-mart freezer that are so generic they don't even have a generic name label printed on them. I like soft, creamy ice cream, and all the brands you mentioned to me are all too icy and thick.

                                                        5. This must have been a hard thing for you to admit :)

                                                          I don't even consider real maple syrup and Mrs. Butterworths the same type of food, so I do understand. You have learned to appreciate the attributes of the "cheap" alternative.

                                                          I grew up in an era when imported prosciutto (such as San Daniel or di Parma) wasn't available, and my cash-strapped family substituted Argentine versions of Parmesan because they couldn't afford or couldn't find Reggiano. Today, I can and do appreciate the difference in imported versus domestic prosciuttos, but I am one of the few who just doesn't go ga-ga over Parmesan Reggiano. Give me a softer, milder US-made version any day, and I can slice of hunks of it for a snack anytime I want. Same with the Argentine import, if I can still find it...

                                                          1. I have always had a warm spot in my heart for canned peaches. I don't actually like them better than fresh peaches; rather, they offer a "separate but equal" pleasure.

                                                            Another favorite: Carvel ice cream cakes. Somehow, a perfect food, even thought the ice cream is nothing special and the frosting is creepily greasy. Perhaps it's because of the Carvel cake magic ingredient, the crunch layer between the chocolate and the vanilla, but the whole is inexplicably much, much better than the sum of its parts.

                                                            7 Replies
                                                            1. re: Pumpkinseed

                                                              Oh yeah- for some reason I really like canned fruit salad. Of course I love fresh fruit salad as well, but I think part of the appeal is that melons are not my favorite and canned fruit salad never has any.

                                                              I also love the orange cheese on Kraft Macaroni and Cheese, although I love the more authentic mac and cheeses as well.

                                                              1. re: Pumpkinseed

                                                                ah yes, canned peaches. esp. topped with good cottage cheese. reminds me of my childhood. my mom also did the "pear salad" deal, with canned pear, cottage cheese, grated cheddar on top. now at the cafeteria, you'd get the maraschino cherry on top!

                                                                1. re: alkapal

                                                                  Or just canned fruit, straight!! I grew up in Houston, and every hurricane season, everyone would stock up on canned peaches & canned pears in event of a hurricane. Around October or so, all the canned fruit would show up in kids' lunchboxes. Eating canned fruit at that time always had such a joyful connotation, that we had all come though another hurricane season. :)

                                                                  1. re: cherilyntx

                                                                    The pineapple c-rations were to die for in Nam, I couldn't get enough!

                                                                    1. re: cherilyntx

                                                                      How about old fashioned ambrosia? Canned fruit salad, mini marshmallows, dried coconut, maraschino cherry's, sour cream...all sorts of "bad" stuff, but oh my gosh that stuff was good!

                                                                  2. re: Pumpkinseed

                                                                    yeah, dip that sausage biscuit in the fake syrup. good stuff. then pull out the alka-seltzer. ;-) (it IS worth it.)

                                                                    1. re: Pumpkinseed

                                                                      "I have always had a warm spot in my heart for canned peaches. I don't actually like them better than fresh peaches; rather, they offer a "separate but equal" pleasure"

                                                                      I completely agree! I still get very excited when served canned peaches. I love fresh peaches, but our selection of fresh peaches is rather pathetic, it is very hard to find a good peach where I am. So I'd much rather have a nice canned peach than a bad fresh peach.

                                                                      I adore fresh fruit in general, but also appreciate a good canned fruit. They really are different beasts.

                                                                    2. I must have real maple syrup, homemade mayo and yogurt, good cheese, and traditional sushi. On the other hand I can relish both:

                                                                      A light elegant ravioli in Rome and a can of Chef Boyardee (as you've all heard me say before).

                                                                      Weisswurst from KaDeWe and a gas station corndog.

                                                                      A meal at the best in the DF and a visit to Taco Bell.

                                                                      AYCE Chinese (using my buffet tricks) and a 30 course state dinner in China.

                                                                      And I generally prefer street and market foods over fine dining in developing countries.

                                                                      5 Replies
                                                                      1. re: Sam Fujisaka

                                                                        Listen to Sam, people. I've read many of his posts. He's obviously "spanned the globe to bring you the constant variety of food." (Special thanks to the late, great Jim McKay.)
                                                                        I think it's a craving thing for many of us. Sometimes only a certain combination of flavors will do. And as Barry Foy so rightly says below, it's much more affordable.

                                                                        1. re: Sam Fujisaka

                                                                          Are you willing to share your buffet tricks?

                                                                          1. re: mukalu

                                                                            yeah! share!! i don't do ayce buffet anymore but its good to have tricks in my pocket to pull out later...

                                                                            1. re: Boccone Dolce

                                                                              Oh, sorry, I mentioned this before as a weird eating habit: For breakfast bufftets and Chinese AYCE (some of my cousins in California like one of the better AYCEs), I never plate a mix of stuff but have a series of distinct courses. I carefully plate just a bit of one to three things that combine well, that need each other--and plate to make it look "gourmet"--possibly including a tiny bit of this and that from the rest of the buffet just for color or presentation. Then I sit and enjoy that plating; go back, get a fresh plate, and do another different course--until satisfied.

                                                                              1. re: Sam Fujisaka

                                                                                I'm relieved to read that your trick is *not* to eat the fish out of the maki rolls and leave the rice behind. Then again, eating sushi at AYCE is dangerous, anyway. I got horribly sick off it once at one of those pay-by-the-lb. lunch buffets. Never again.

                                                                        2. What a great post!
                                                                          I absolutely love properly aged cheese from France and Italy. For me it doesn't get any better than an a cave aged Gueyere, Aged Camembert, or Piave.

                                                                          But all that aside, there are times when I crave kraft 'cheese product' - or it's even less foodlike stepcousin 'cheese whiz' (I never, ever want to know the ingredients) on a burger or cheesesteak. It's so melty, runny and acts like a glue to bring all the other flavors together...

                                                                          8 Replies
                                                                          1. re: Spends Rent on Food

                                                                            Amen... I love all cheeses.

                                                                            And I mean all. High end and individually wrapped in plastic.

                                                                            I've done Grilled Cheese night at LA's Campanile, but some days need my Kraft American grilled cheese just as much.

                                                                            1. re: Jennalynn

                                                                              Me three - there's definitely a place in my life (and my fridge) for Kraft American cheese food slices, and Velveeta. And I'm with you Sam on the Chef Boyardee. Spaghetti-o's too. Also Campbell's Chunky sirloin burger soup - I crave those little hamburgers.

                                                                            2. re: Spends Rent on Food

                                                                              Hear, hear. I have to say that while I love a good cheese, when faced with a burger, in my opinion, no quality cheese holds a candle to a couple of Kraft Singles.

                                                                              While I love nachos with a nice Monterey Jack, I also love them with that nasty orange cheese sauce that comes in a jar.

                                                                              1. re: Spends Rent on Food

                                                                                Somewhere on here I rambled on about my attempt to make "real" Cheez Whiz -- short version: it took forever, cost the earth (good sharp cheddar) and looked and tasted EXACTLY like the brand name stuff. Much cheaper just to buy a jar :-).

                                                                                1. re: Spends Rent on Food

                                                                                  I love Kraft Parmesan cheese myself, something about it reminds me of being a kid. Plus I like grilled cheese with american cheese.

                                                                                  Ditto on the canned fruit salad

                                                                                  1. re: cosmogrrl

                                                                                    Again, I learned to love canned fruit cocktail, peaches and pears out in the field in Vietnam. The sweet juiciness in the heat was so refreshing. I still eat canned pears and Saltines w/ peanut butter, when I'm sick; the best part of a C-ration pack!

                                                                                    1. re: Passadumkeg

                                                                                      My Dad's magnum opus for dessert was to put a can of fruit coctail in the freezer to bring it to the point of firm firm slurry. Then he would open both ends of the can, and slide the frozen column out to be sliced 3/4 inch at a time.

                                                                                      We loved it. He had big macho grins and chuckles. Sibling rivalry of course degenerated into the debate of who got the most cherries, but smiles abounded.

                                                                                      1. re: FoodFuser

                                                                                        OMG, my mother did the exact same thing. I loved it and always think of it when I see fruit cocktail in the grocery. Our house had one window AC in the dining room but it had to be miserably hot (in Atlanta) before she would turn it on. So that frozen fruit made frequent appearances on meatless Fridays (Catholic) along with tuna salad, hard boiled eggs, etc.

                                                                                2. Anybody can like excellent food--I mean, that's the whole point, right? But only a discerning eater will also make room in his/her taste spectrum for crap food. The crap stuff is usually more affordable anyway, so unless the eater in question happens to have a trust fund, he/she must cross over to the dark side at least occasionally, so he/she might as well enjoy it. Oh, and by the way, regarding the syrup thing, yes, there is something wrong with you.

                                                                                  1. To this point, it's not"crappy" vs "excellent". You don't like maple syrup, period. That's OK. No fault, no foul. Your favorites contain no maple at all. There are many roads to Mecca, and Maple Street is not yours.

                                                                                    1. Surimi vs. crab meat
                                                                                      Whiz vs. Provolone on a cheesesteak
                                                                                      Chunky Jif vs. premium, natural peanut butter
                                                                                      Treet vs. SPAM
                                                                                      Generic Aldi granola vs. Whole Foods muesli
                                                                                      Mrs. Field's vs. Levain Bakery

                                                                                      8 Replies
                                                                                      1. re: JungMann

                                                                                        I'm so with you on the PB. But wait, are you implying that SPAM is the canned meat product for discerning palates?

                                                                                        1. re: tatamagouche

                                                                                          Where I'm concerned, potted meat food product is de riguer for discerning canned meat aficionados, but a lot of people prefer brand name SPAM over "generic" Treet.

                                                                                          1. re: JungMann

                                                                                            Awesome. More power to you.

                                                                                            I agree w/ Pumpkinseed on the separate but equal pleasure in many cases. I love both white anchovies imported from Spain for $30/lb. and salty tinned ones for a buck. Ditto oil-packed Italian tuna and Starkist.

                                                                                            1. re: JungMann

                                                                                              LOL, that reminded me of a classic foodie error I once made. A southern girlfriend turned me on to the joy of a "perfect" SPAM sandwich. Soft white bread, lots of mayo, slices of beautiful ripe tomato and pan-fried SPAM. Delicious. I promptly went home and tried it...with low fat SPAM, whole wheat bread, reduced fat mayo...it was awful! Lesson learned about "crap" food!

                                                                                              1. re: mrschef1

                                                                                                There's low fat SPAM??? Now I know exactly what the alternative is to my cottage cheese and chicken breast woes!!! Don't, worry I use low-fat Miracle Whip. I know better than reduced fat mayo!

                                                                                          2. re: JungMann

                                                                                            You hit on the two that came immediately to my mind:
                                                                                            Whiz vs. provolone on a cheesesteak. That's what I want, thank you very much.
                                                                                            Jif vs. premium natural peanut butter. I've tried several (say, 6) different natural peanut butters, and, well, yuck. Gimme Jif on white toast any day. In fact, every day.

                                                                                            1. re: lisavf

                                                                                              I'm with you on Jif vs. natural peanut butter.

                                                                                              And I'm in the camp of loving all cheeses.....from the crap in the can (on Ritz Crackers) up to the finest cheeses. I also have a fondness for grilled cheese with American cheese or Velveeta on white bread but also love grilled Gruyere and Provolone on hearty rye.
                                                                                              And I love, love, love the Velveeta & Ro-tel cheese dip.

                                                                                              1. re: lisavf

                                                                                                When it comes to PB, I think it's a matter or what you're used to. I grew up with natural PB, so I can't stand the sweet Jif stuff.

                                                                                            2. I've been thinking about this for a while. At the risk of sounding like a food snob, I have to say no. I can appreciate the "crappy" stuff like White Castles but I don't think I can say that I prefer it over the "excellent" stuff. I like both for different reasons, and depending on the mood I'd be inclined to eat one over the other.

                                                                                              1. Living in a resort town, there are plenty of breakfast places around, but when it is crowded, as it is now, a hassel free McD big breakfast is just the thing.

                                                                                                1. There is no substitute for real (re: processed) american cheese on a few things.

                                                                                                  I've had upscale grilled cheeses using all sorts of great breads and cheeses but more often than not, two pieces of buttered white bread and a few slices of individual Land 'o lakes cheese, grilled till golden and melty is much better. Ordered from a diner, the best. Same thing with a cheeseburger. American cheese is the perfect condiment. Melts perfectly and doesn't overpower the beefy taste.

                                                                                                  4 Replies
                                                                                                  1. re: ESNY

                                                                                                    So true. I buy "good" American cheese and use it on all of my grilled sandwiches because it tastes and melts great. Velveeta is also the best base for mac and cheese, as it doesn't dry out and get crumbly the second day like a roux based sauce does. The great thing is that you can melt the Velvetta, add some good shredded cheeses to it and some heavy cream, top with bacon and buttered bread crumbs, more good shredded cheese, and you'll have the best mac and cheese ever. People always tell me mine is the best they've had b/c it is so creamy. Everyone is shocked to find out it has Velveeta in it.

                                                                                                    1. re: sisterfunkhaus

                                                                                                      Foodies do not let friends buy Velveeta.

                                                                                                      1. re: Passadumkeg

                                                                                                        No, but they might surreptitiously buy it themselves once in a great while.

                                                                                                        1. re: EWSflash

                                                                                                          Roux made with GF flour just does not have the right mouthfeel. I'm seriously considering Velveeta for creaminess. I don't care if it's "wrong"---at least it's smooth.

                                                                                                  2. Plain jelly beans, often from tiny no-name candy makers, are better than froufrou pectin jelly beans.

                                                                                                    I also prefer Breyer's to Haagen Dazs.

                                                                                                    1 Reply
                                                                                                    1. re: Angela Roberta

                                                                                                      totally! the little ones, JB's for example, are just too small and chewy.

                                                                                                    2. I prefer Kraft American slices on grilled cheese. Preferably on white bread that is mostly air - the only time I eat white bread at all, in fact. Perhaps with canned Campbell's tomato soup on the side.

                                                                                                      Blue box mac & cheese is just the ticket sometimes, though I do love baked mac & cheese too. Just in a different way.

                                                                                                      Soy "chick'n" nuggets, corndogs, and hotdogs - I just find them so much less greasy than the real thing. But if I had a Portillo's nearby I would change the tune on the 'dogs.

                                                                                                      1 Reply
                                                                                                      1. re: jnstarla

                                                                                                        Remove the "perhaps" from your first paragraph and you've got a deal. Kraft singles on Wonder bread with a mug of Campbell's Tomato soup made with milk. Done and Done.

                                                                                                      2. Exactly! Maple Syrup tastes like something that came out of a tree! I'll join you at the Syrup-Ladies table.

                                                                                                        And nothing beats a McBurger and fries when you are 9,000 miles from home. It's the one thing that tastes consistently er, consistent no matter where you go.

                                                                                                        7 Replies
                                                                                                        1. re: Cowprintrabbit

                                                                                                          Peanut butter - I love it in all its forms and flavors. Jif and Skippy are a different beast from natural PB, yet just as delicious.

                                                                                                          Country Crock - Again I love butter, and this is a different beast, but it has its charms..

                                                                                                          Bad American milk chocolate also, is sometimes what I crave (it's much sweeter) over premium chocolate.

                                                                                                          1. re: allieinbklyn

                                                                                                            julia used skippy. saw it at the smithsonian, in her kitchen, on the counter.

                                                                                                            1. re: alkapal

                                                                                                              sorry alka you've fallen victim of the conspiracy. not only was it not Skippy, it wasn't even peanut butter.

                                                                                                                1. re: ccbweb

                                                                                                                  just being silly - prob. was Skippy.

                                                                                                                  that was her greatness. low ingredients risen.

                                                                                                                2. re: hill food

                                                                                                                  delivered by black helicopter at midnight?

                                                                                                                  1. re: hill food

                                                                                                                    arikadawn, speakin' of fantastic yogurt, i love la yogurt brand "sabor latino" line. the tropical fruit flavors are delicious. La Yogurt Sabor Latino
                                                                                                                    Strawberry Kiwi
                                                                                                                    Pineapple Banana
                                                                                                                    Dulce De Leche

                                                                                                                    --- i thought the pina colada flavor was in that line, but it is in the original la yogurt line. and yoplait does passion fruit, and it is THE best -- like a combo of guava and mango, but better! they have good tropical fruit flavors, all 'round. http://www.yoplait.com/products_origi...

                                                                                                            2. I like maple syrup with crappy better than I like it with catfish.
                                                                                                              OK, some may not appreciate my sense of humor but this crappy over best gets me. Call me a snob, or whatever. I can hardly think of a thing that I would apply this premise to. Whiz, Velveeta or "American cheese" because it melts well or spreads? I had a great Chilean cheese that was buttery soft and delicious and could do any of that. It wasn't as soft as Brie, but that's another example. Fake crab meat??
                                                                                                              I just cannot agree with this line of thought. Shoot me!; I've had a f'n heart attack already!

                                                                                                              3 Replies
                                                                                                              1. re: Scargod

                                                                                                                Sorry you're shocked and it's not snobby at all to have your food preferences. To me though, real maple syrup is crappy and Log Cabin is my excellent.

                                                                                                                1. re: ArikaDawn

                                                                                                                  I grew up on Log Cabin and still have some of it in the cupboard. Sometimes I mix "real" with it, but I feel like I am King for a day when I can afford, and use, real maple syrup! I heat it (and butter), and put them on my fruit-filled pancakes made with cake flour. Uh-oh, I think I'm having a pancake Jones!

                                                                                                                  1. re: Scargod

                                                                                                                    Log Cabin was real maple syrup in my childhood.

                                                                                                              2. Twice a year, it's time for finger sandwiches made from pimento cheese. The bread must be Wonder bread, so that the texture of the bread "melts" into the pimento. These are chewed with the tongue and occasional use of incisors: no molars allowed. Bonus points if the Wonder bread sticks to the upper palate.

                                                                                                                Any leftover Wonder Bread is then composted.

                                                                                                                3 Replies
                                                                                                                1. re: FoodFuser

                                                                                                                  You can compost Wonder Bread? I just squish it until it is microscopic! Lol.

                                                                                                                  1. re: FoodFuser

                                                                                                                    foodfuser, i know EXACTLY what you are talking about. ;-P

                                                                                                                    1. re: FoodFuser


                                                                                                                      I am utterly bored at work, and decided to re-read all these old posts..

                                                                                                                      I LOVE when Wonder bread sticks to the roof of my mouth! (well I used to! - I havent had Wonder in a long time...)
                                                                                                                      But for me it happened when I ate banana sandwiches!
                                                                                                                      Just bananas on Wonder...that's it. Somehow the banana and bread would seperate and the bread would get stuck on the roof of my mouth! Memories!
                                                                                                                      Man they were good!
                                                                                                                      Hmmmmm gotta get me some Wonder bread!

                                                                                                                    2. Tomato soup. I've made it from scratch with fresh tomatoes, with good Italian canned tomatoes, with heirloom tomatoes and all that, but I really, truly prefer Campbells. It's one of those foods where my definition of what it "should" taste like won't shift.

                                                                                                                      (ok, and I very occasionally crack open a box of Kraft, but that's more of a craving thing than a preference thing.)

                                                                                                                      1 Reply
                                                                                                                      1. re: cyberroo

                                                                                                                        From my childhood, I still like tomato soup made from a can of Campbells and a jar of home canned tomatoes. It's comfort food, along with a grilled cheese sandwich (cheddar cheese in the red wax coating).

                                                                                                                      2. Nope. Only imitation tofu (chicken or pork).

                                                                                                                        1. For you guys that don't like the real maple syrup, have you tried it heated up. I've had the real deal in the house for about 2 months now. I've put it on my organic, eggo type, waffles for weeks and seriously, had to choke it down. It's ok but, the Aunt Jamima just tasted better. DH, the same, he told me he didn't like the real deal and left it for me to finish.

                                                                                                                          Fast forward to this past weekend. I made buttermilk pancakes (homemade) and decided to heat up this maple syrup (since this is what we are served at a nicer restaurant.) Well, holy moly it was like night and day. I made DH try (which is hard in itself when he has his mind made up). He couldn't believe how good it was. We were in complete syrup heaven. When we tasted this along side the AJ, that syrup just tasted completely and totally blah, like lightly flavour sugar, with some sort of processed taste

                                                                                                                          Give this a try if you haven't all ready.

                                                                                                                          The only thing I can think that I like, as a crappy version, is regular smooth Kraft peanut butter over the real peanut butter but, to be fair, I haven't really given the real stuff a chance. I'm all about second, third chances if enough people say it's great! :P

                                                                                                                          32 Replies
                                                                                                                          1. re: livetocook

                                                                                                                            I have noticed this about the syrup. The heat really brings out the aroma and flavor. For some odd reason, though, I don't do it andy more, and as a result, I've had 16 oz of maple syrup in my fridge for about 6 months, really only using it in recipes. Another reason it's been sitting is that I've been using a lot of whole grain and nut recipes for pancakes recently, and find honey or agave syrup hold up much better in this case.

                                                                                                                            Thanks for reminding me, though! I always liked real maple syrup, but meals are a bit of a mad scramble now that kids are involved, and little details tend to slip throught the cracks.

                                                                                                                            1. re: madgreek

                                                                                                                              Just a suggestion, but if by "high-end" maple syrup we're talking Grade A, then I agree it's just not wonderful. I always try to find Grade B or lower, because that's the darker, fuller-flavored kind.

                                                                                                                              Along those same lines, I'm really unhappy that you can't get any cheaper grade of tuna than chunk light nowadays. They used to pack grated tuna, which was the tag-ends and scraps they now sell for cat food, and that had three times the flavor of what you can get now. And do NOT get me started on the water-packed!

                                                                                                                              1. re: Will Owen

                                                                                                                                Cat food... jeesh, that explains it (the demise of available grated tuna). Upscale cat owners shifting the market forces, willing to pay any price for the darkest chunk meat tuna because once you've fed tuna to a cat there is no going back. Never.

                                                                                                                                No offense to cat lovers (I am one), nor to albacore lovers (enjoy the 3x mercury compared to my chunk light bonito), but give us grated tuna from the "scraps" for that deepest, richest taste.


                                                                                                                                1. re: FoodFuser

                                                                                                                                  I'm glad I'm not the only one who love the fishier, darker tuna! I have fond memories of tea sandwiches in the UK filled with brown pasty, fish goodness!

                                                                                                                                  Anyone have any recs for good brands of tuna that aren't the expensive italian/spanish ones?

                                                                                                                                  1. re: Humbucker

                                                                                                                                    I like the good old Chicken of the Sea and Starkist-- actually much better than the more expensive imported brands! I particularly like them with a combination of dill and cumin (there's a verse in the Bible, Isaiah 28:25, that mentions them together, & I tried them together on a lark one day & loved it). Curry also works well with them...I've made both Indian and Thai tuna curry a few times.

                                                                                                                                  2. re: FoodFuser

                                                                                                                                    foodfuser, try this starkist "gourmet" tuna in olive oil. good price and tuna-y! http://www.starkist.com/template.asp?...

                                                                                                                                    btw, the "new look" on the can is that the label used to read "solid light tuna." new label: "tuna fillet".

                                                                                                                                    i also just got some "genova" brand tuna in olive oil for $2 on sale.

                                                                                                                                    and cherilyn, the dill and cumin *do* sound wonderful together. thanks for the tip. in the hebrew, the bible verse says cumin and *fennelflower*. http://scripturetext.com/isaiah/28-25... (later in matthew, the text references mint, anise, and cumin -- they must've been important, as they were being tithed to the temple.) http://scripturetext.com/matthew/23-2...

                                                                                                                                    fennel with oily fishes is really a nice combo, esp. -- like tuna or salmon (salmon with shaved fennel in a fennel cream sauce is yummy!)

                                                                                                                                    cumin's etymological history is indicative of its ancient sumerian origin... http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cumin

                                                                                                                                    1. re: alkapal

                                                                                                                                      LOVE the tuna filet, although I can no longer find it packed it water. (I know not as good as oil but I'm trying to drop a few pounds).

                                                                                                                                      Regular tuna to me = cat food. And that white albacore stuff is just unspeakable.

                                                                                                                                      1. re: Bliss149

                                                                                                                                        hey bliss, i'll bet there is not enough difference in calories to make a huge dent in the diet -- and the flavor is so much better. and olive oil is *good* fat!
                                                                                                                                        tuna sans fat is like a day without sunshine -- like the blizzard today, for example! ;-).

                                                                                                                                        1. re: Bliss149

                                                                                                                                          How about freeze dried tuna? Very dietetic! We have number 10 cans of it, that for some odd reason, my doesn't want to eat!

                                                                                                                                      2. re: FoodFuser

                                                                                                                                        The thing that bugs me about that is that they're now making cat food that's "wild-caught salmon". You'll never convince me that a cat wouldn't just as soon eat a goldfish that just jumped out of the bowl, or some half-rotted fish that just washed up on shore. That leaves a lot less wild-caught salmon for us. Even if it's a lower grade.
                                                                                                                                        Yeah, darker tuna = better, and no water packed, puh-lease, A nice olive oil pack would be good. Or did all the extra virgin olive oil get used up canning the wild-caught salmon cat food?

                                                                                                                                      3. re: Will Owen

                                                                                                                                        Really great suggestion about the maple syrup! I also only get Grade B. Grade A tastes too neutral for me. Grade B will probably taste more like Mrs. Butterworth's -- except better.

                                                                                                                                        1. re: Miss Needle

                                                                                                                                          trader joe's has good deals on grade b maple syrup.

                                                                                                                                          1. re: alkapal

                                                                                                                                            Thanks for that info! I generally buy Grade B in health food stores and Whole Foods and at the farmer's market. It used to be cheaper than Grade A, but I think it's getting trendier in recent years and are about the same price now.

                                                                                                                                        2. re: Will Owen

                                                                                                                                          Will Owen, I agree with your syrup suggestion (though I have to admit I sympathize with the Mrs. Butterworth's crowd on some levels). It's my understanding that the grading system with maple syrup has less to do with quality than type, and that tends to mislead consumers. To the best of my knowledge, Grade A is harvested early in the season, leading to a cleaner, lighter syrup. Grade B is harvested later, leading to a more aged syrup, darker and richer in flavor. Frankly, I prefer Grade B. And to the other posters, yes, you can get a good deal on Grade B at Trader Joe's.

                                                                                                                                          1. re: weem

                                                                                                                                            just visited tj's. grade a, grade a dark amber, and grade b. the latter two around $15 -$17 for 32 oz.

                                                                                                                                          2. re: Will Owen

                                                                                                                                            Agreed! Grade B all the way!!! It's so dark and gooey and yummy. Especially in oatmeal.

                                                                                                                                            I also love real PB. I guess that's what I grew up with. I remember my grandmother always stirring it. I always wished I could have Skippy like the other kids, but then I grew up and tasted it. Yuk.

                                                                                                                                            I love cheap tuna, though. All this white albacore "crap" is nasty. I like my tuna salad salty and mushy. ;)

                                                                                                                                            I also love Campbell's Tomato Rice Soup. Getting harder to find though.

                                                                                                                                            1. re: Jen76

                                                                                                                                              Campbell's tomato rice soup with a grilled cheese sandwich -- lunch duo of my youth!

                                                                                                                                              1. re: grayelf

                                                                                                                                                I can't believe I missed your post, fellow tomato rice soup and grilled cheese sandwich luncher! ;)

                                                                                                                                                1. re: Jen76

                                                                                                                                                  I can believe you missed it! This is one monster thread. I must say I was sad to try Campbell's tom rice recently and find it rather wanting, even when made with milk (as it should be) -- not sure if they've changed the recipe or if my taste buds have morphed. Maybe you really can't go home...

                                                                                                                                                  1. re: grayelf

                                                                                                                                                    I missed it again! I only eat the tomato rice soup when I'm sick now, so perhaps I'm not actually "tasting" it in full. Tastes better than gargling salt-water though.

                                                                                                                                            2. re: Will Owen

                                                                                                                                              I also go with grade B maple syrup. My taste buds like it much better than grade A.

                                                                                                                                              Albacore/white tuna looks anemic to me. I like other white fish, but somehow, canned white tuna just turns me off.

                                                                                                                                              1. re: decolady

                                                                                                                                                I think that most consumers prefer the heartier flavor of Grade B.

                                                                                                                                                In the US, maple syrup is divided into Grades A and B. Grade A includes light (or “fancy”), medium, and dark amber. Grade B is darker and more robust flavored than Grade A dark amber. Canadian grades are #1 (which includes extra light/AA, light/A, and medium/B); #2: (amber/C; and #3 Dark/D). Number 2 syrups are used for baking and flavoring. Number 3 is heavy, and used in commercial flavorings.

                                                                                                                                            3. re: madgreek

                                                                                                                                              When I was a little kid, my mother used to make her own "maple syrup' by heating up some Karo dark syrup (do they still make that?) and adding some maple flavoring to it, then letting it cool back to its original thicker consistency. Every once in a while I just have to approximate it with brown sugar and maple flavoring. And it has to go on fresh home made crispy waffles!

                                                                                                                                            4. re: livetocook

                                                                                                                                              Regardless of the temperature, I just cannot tolerate the real stuff. I did the water, maple syrup, lemon juice, cayenne cleanse and the stuff is ruined for me for life.

                                                                                                                                              1. re: ArikaDawn

                                                                                                                                                Ha ha. I can picture that. I did that too a few years ago and had issues having anything with maple syrup for a long time.

                                                                                                                                                1. re: Miss Needle

                                                                                                                                                  Does that mean that you would not recommend the cleanse? I had heard about it and was thinking about finding out more...

                                                                                                                                                  1. re: mukalu

                                                                                                                                                    It depends on why you're doing it. I know someone who successfully quit smoking after many years of being addicted by using the cleanse. I also know a couple who lost a remendous amount of weight doing the cleanse, though it generally comes right back so they would have been better off eating healthy and exercising. The person who introduced it to me did it to aid in meditation, more of a spiritual thing and was happy with how it went. I did it out of curiousity and was pretty miserable. The terribler liter of warm saltwater you have to chug first thing in the morning followed by nothing but that vile maple/lemon/cayenne concoction literally made me ill. Plus I immediately dropped a tremendous amount of weight, at nearly 5'11 with a medium build I dropped to 122lbs which made me way underweight so I did not complete the month. I think it is just a really individual thing.

                                                                                                                                                    1. re: ArikaDawn

                                                                                                                                                      Thanks for the info, AD. The person who told me about it also had added garlic cloves and said she reeked for that week. I think I'll pass :)

                                                                                                                                                    2. re: mukalu

                                                                                                                                                      I think it depends on the person. It really wasn't the best thing for my body type. I intuitively knew it wasn't right for me but was willing to experiment because I've heard so many raves about it. I actually got really cold and the cayenne was irritating my stomach a lot. Funny thing was I had an appointment with Dr. Elson Haas (http://www.elsonhaas.com/) about a year ago who's a big supporter of the lemonade cleanse. I told him that I didn't react so well from it -- he actually said he wouldn't have recommended it for me -- which was really surprising.

                                                                                                                                                      I think generally very robust, hearty, overheated types do well from this cleanse.

                                                                                                                                                      1. re: Miss Needle

                                                                                                                                                        I did a week long version of the cleanse to try to kick my soda habit. It worked, too. These days I cannot bear to take a drink of a Coke.

                                                                                                                                                        Unless it has rum in it. ;-)

                                                                                                                                                        1. re: TiaRaye

                                                                                                                                                          Funny, Tia :)

                                                                                                                                                          Thanks Miss N. Interesting website. Based on your info it seems I might need to consider this again.

                                                                                                                                                    3. re: Miss Needle

                                                                                                                                                      OMG..LOL..., I did that too!! Back in the summer of 2000. Every time I ate anything with maple syrup I'd shudder. And when I bought that bottle 2 months ago that was sort of my enoughs, enough girl, just buy the damn stuff and move on.

                                                                                                                                                      Aggh, that cleanse was one of the hardest things I did in my life. I don't think I'll ever do it again

                                                                                                                                                2. Reddi-Whip in the can over pulling out my ISI whipper and making heavy cream REALLY cold and then squirting it on pumpkin pie (or whatever) and being totally disappointed that the real whipped cream just isn't COLD enough or properly whipped cream tasting.

                                                                                                                                                  And in my unsweetened iced tea I can't use real sugar- I've gotta use Splenda. Real sugar won't melt in cold liquid. But sweet tea is WAY too sweet. Do people consider Splenda less than Splendid (in other words-crappy!?).

                                                                                                                                                  4 Replies
                                                                                                                                                  1. re: Boccone Dolce

                                                                                                                                                    I've always liked cheap grape jelly more than the name brands (same with apple jelly). I also prefer the generic cottage cheese (full-fat, large curd) over all others, with exception to Nancy's organic.

                                                                                                                                                    1. re: Boccone Dolce

                                                                                                                                                      for iced tea in a resto, i can't get any sweetening flavor from splenda, for some reason. now ole' trusty sweet n' low fits the bill. however, neither crappy substitute is better than "real" sweet tea.

                                                                                                                                                      1. re: Boccone Dolce

                                                                                                                                                        I almost always prefer sweeteners in my tea as opposed to sugar, which never tastes sweet enough to me in that beverage. Plus, sugary drinks of any kind make my teeth feel blech.

                                                                                                                                                        1. re: im_nomad

                                                                                                                                                          if you are adding sugar, you will never get enough sugar adding it to iced tea in the resto. the sugar won't melt. (look in the bottom of your glass).

                                                                                                                                                      2. Amen to cheap peanut butter, and american cheese.

                                                                                                                                                        I like cheap pepperoni over expensive pepperoni, I think I don't like the big clumps of fat in it, which I know is supposed to make it tastier, and I really like some of the expensive spanish hams, although don't get that too often, but don't bother spending much money just get me good ole hormel pepperoni, now I don't like the already sliced, it gets dried out, just the cheap stick. Who knows why, but hey I like it. I think that's a good thing.

                                                                                                                                                        I don't prefer cheap cheese over really good cheese, but there are times when it is essential and much better, like the grilled cheese mentioned by other posters (a cheap american or cheap brie does the trick for me) or in like dip, I like to make a fake queso with velveeta and rotel and I love it, cheap as hell, but don't you dare try to make it with expensive cheese.

                                                                                                                                                        And I love cheap ice cream sandwiches, not any good brand, the regular rectangle cheap, taste a little like sticky cardboard in a good way ice cream sandwich.

                                                                                                                                                        And chips, I like Utz just as much or better than many of the gourmet chips or even fresh made chips. Say I am a bad person, that I just don't have a good palate just don't try to take my Grandma Utz or crab chips.

                                                                                                                                                        1. As much as I love bries, blues and soft sheep and goat cheese I will kill for some Laughing Cow cubes. I feel the same way for Fraco American spaghetti over homemade pasta and sauce. Does preferring canned asparagus and string beans over fresh of the same count?

                                                                                                                                                          1. Velveeta processed cheese melted with Ro-Tel tomatoes and chiles, eaten with tortilla chips.
                                                                                                                                                            Chicken McNuggets.
                                                                                                                                                            Microwaved beef and bean burrito at the 7-11.
                                                                                                                                                            Little Debbie snack cakes: oatmeal pies, brownies, white waxy frosted cupcakes.

                                                                                                                                                            1. i think i might prefer those really processed ridgy fries from the freezer (a la school cafeteria lunch) over fresh cut and fried ones. there's something about those super mushy innards combined with the light, crispy exterior that gets me every time.

                                                                                                                                                              really, tho, don't you think there's a time and place for everything? sometimes i prefer a green bean casserole (with those fantastic crispy onions on top). sometimes i'd rather have haricots verts topped with shaved parmesan and an egg, sunny side up. sometimes i want an italian soda with a squirt of hazelnut syrup. sometimes i just want my ice cold diet coke with a classy wedge of lime.

                                                                                                                                                              5 Replies
                                                                                                                                                              1. re: cimui

                                                                                                                                                                Oh, yeah, Tater Tots. Thanks for reminding me of school cafeteria potatoes.
                                                                                                                                                                I have a great recipe for Tater Tot Casserole, too:
                                                                                                                                                                1 package Tater Tots
                                                                                                                                                                1 lb. ground beef
                                                                                                                                                                1. can cream of mushroom soup
                                                                                                                                                                1 c. grated cheddar cheese

                                                                                                                                                                Brown the meat, and mix in the mushroom soup. Put in a large casserole dish. Top with the entire bag of Tater Tots. Follow the directions for the Tots, and when they are just brown, add the cheese. Leave in the oven until the cheese is melted and the whole thing is bubbly.
                                                                                                                                                                I douse mine liberally with Tabasco.

                                                                                                                                                                1. re: vickib

                                                                                                                                                                  Holy cats. That's going on my list for the next time I need some serious warm me up and make me feel better food. Nice.

                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: vickib

                                                                                                                                                                    I love tater tot casserole! I always have to add green beans to the hamburger mixture.

                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: vickib

                                                                                                                                                                      You forgot the can of Veg-All (http://www.vegall.com/) - that's what they called tater tot hotdish in MN. Also never seen it with cheese.

                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: vickib

                                                                                                                                                                        During my first political campaign, I was sent to Minnesota where the locals delighted in feeding me "Minnesota hot pot," a concoction largely resembling resemble your recipe or Alpo. Maybe both. Initially I wouldn't eat it as I didn't know grey food was edible, but once I did, boy was that stuff good!

                                                                                                                                                                    2. Heinz worcestershire sauce. Lei and perrins just doesn't work for me. Not sure what it is.

                                                                                                                                                                      1. Ruffles potato chips with french onion sour cream dip

                                                                                                                                                                        Campbells homestyle chicken noodle soup loaded with saltine crackers (especially when I'm sick)

                                                                                                                                                                        Those pre-made, pre-wrapped "ice cream" cones that are coated with "chocolate" and sprinkled with peanuts really do it for me.

                                                                                                                                                                        9 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: mukalu

                                                                                                                                                                          Oh man....thanks for the instant craving for the "ice cream" cone. That's one of those things that I had totally forgotten exist in the world and now I want one desperately. Good call.

                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: ccbweb

                                                                                                                                                                            To me, ice cream and the Drumstick cone are two different things. I love them both, but they can't be compared.

                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: piccola

                                                                                                                                                                              Thus the quotes around ice cream :) Cold item that might, potentially, contain something like dairy.

                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: ccbweb

                                                                                                                                                                                Right! And the quotes around the chocolate - crunchy brown melty substance possibly containing cocoa, likely containing plastic. still yummy. :)

                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: mukalu

                                                                                                                                                                                  Okay, since you went there: how about dip cones? We used to get them from Dairy Queen, where I worked as a teenager. 1% chocolate, 99% wax, 100% tasty, incredibly messy. Still the same, as I discovered with my friend's seven year old recently.

                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: grayelf

                                                                                                                                                                                    Aha, the true secret ingredient being wax not plastic. Thanks for the clarification and thank goodness for seven year olds :)

                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: grayelf

                                                                                                                                                                                      Roll back the clock about 30 years, a friend and I walked to the nearest DQ one hot hot (well over 100) summer afternoon. I got a dip cone. On the way back I took a bite out of the cone, the chocolate split in half and an avalanche of melted soft serve poured down my arm, having been previously contained by the waxy brown exterior- a perfect seal around the cone! I didn't realize the outside could contain all that liquid at once.

                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: EWSflash

                                                                                                                                                                                        Maybe that's why some places call the dipped cone......magic shell

                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: EWSflash

                                                                                                                                                                                          I would have loved to have seen your face when that happened! Sounds like kind of a delicious accident.

                                                                                                                                                                            2. Why is something less expensive all of a sudden in the "crappy" bucket? This is now the third thread that takes a condenscending attitude to foods that one person may not like but another does, or because of its price. In jfood's world, either he likes it or he doesn't. If others like it, go for it, but he will NOT characterize it as crappy.

                                                                                                                                                                              He loves passing the receptionist every morning and grabbing a mini kit-kat bar. Probably the least expensive item he eats in the course of a day. And if you open jfood's fridge, the door section has tons of pre-made bottled stuff, many would turn their noses up at these, but jfood buys them because he likes them. You'll also find sugar-free maple syrup, processed low fat peanut butter and wonder bread at casa jfood. And he is known to MV a cup of coffee from the pot brewed the day before. And he seeks out good and great food from street vendors to white cloth places.

                                                                                                                                                                              And in each one of those items, jfood will call them excellent. why? As they said of Mikey, "because he likes it." Excellent is what you like, whether $50/lb or $0.50/lb.

                                                                                                                                                                              So in other words and long-story short. There is no such thing as crappy vs cheap or cheap vs fine. It's either good to jfood ar not. He just does not buy-in to this type of characterization.

                                                                                                                                                                              89 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: jfood

                                                                                                                                                                                But... But... But.... Some of us are happier than a boar hog wallowing in cold mud on a hot summer's day when we own up to liking crappy food! Ain't nothin' wrong with that! '-)

                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: Caroline1

                                                                                                                                                                                  jfood has never been able to tell a happy boar hog from an unhappy boar hog. :-)) but he is not in a position in life to add that concept to his repertoire.

                                                                                                                                                                                  Now if you delete "crappy" and throw more water in the mud, the group can get down to some good vittlin'.

                                                                                                                                                                                2. re: jfood

                                                                                                                                                                                  I'd not really read this thread as being condescending. I relish my semi-annual Whopper Jr. and onion rings, and McDonald's sausage biscuit AND hash browns while driving with the dog to and from NC each Christmas. Dinner in Richmond however always begins with a martini at the Jefferson Hotel (where they let you sit and have your drink in the lobby with the dog - so civilized), and then at a great restaurant that local hounds steer me to. That trip is always rounded off by what I think is a nice Christmas dinner cooked by me, a couple of other home cooked meals, with leftovers to freeze for Mom, and the requisite ordering in from Pizza Hut. And, while it's not DiFara, I have enjoyed that pizza.

                                                                                                                                                                                  As you say, at the end of the day, to paraphrase, either you like it or you don't.

                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: MMRuth

                                                                                                                                                                                    it's the classification as "crappy" that bothers jfood.

                                                                                                                                                                                    And don;t get him started on cheese whoppers with extra mayo, no onion. doesn;t get better than that. :-))

                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: jfood

                                                                                                                                                                                      I think 'crappy' was just a 'turn of phrase' so to speak.

                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: MMRuth

                                                                                                                                                                                        fair point in the right hands.

                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: MMRuth

                                                                                                                                                                                          One woman's crap is another woman's good eats. I just love boxed Velveeta shells with Pico Pica sauce!!!

                                                                                                                                                                                      2. re: MMRuth

                                                                                                                                                                                        Oooohhh, let's do hear it for McDonald's breakfast. Don't really care for anything else they do, but if I'm on the road at breakfast time I will have the antennae out for the next set of Golden Arches. Sausage-and-egg McMuffins on the twofer deal, and a hash-browns cake, yes, you betcha! Crappy rhymes with happy...

                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: Will Owen

                                                                                                                                                                                          The Sausage McMuffin with Egg is a great pleasure in my book.

                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: ccbweb

                                                                                                                                                                                            Chiming in with the Sausage McMuffin with egg love. I have had "higher-end" versions of this product, but they don't compare to the original. I rarely eat at McDonald's anymore, but every so often, I have to have a Sausage McMuffin. Yum yum yum!

                                                                                                                                                                                          2. re: Will Owen

                                                                                                                                                                                            The breakfast burrito (make sure they give you hot sauce) along with two apple pies for $1.00 and a carton of milk is my way to do a drive-thru breakfast.

                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: Will Owen

                                                                                                                                                                                              Why can't McD's have breakfast all day? I just had the twofer deal a few weeks ago. Then again if it had breakfast all day I would go more often. Never mind.

                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: queencru

                                                                                                                                                                                                sometimes i think it's a marketing ploy that they DONT have breakfast all day. they added so many things, why not breakfast?
                                                                                                                                                                                                well how many times in your life have you gotten there right when it was changing to lunch or had breakfast one week, and thought the food's not so bad, and of course the hamburgers usually aren't very good. just as they target children, they target normal people with their breakfasts. if mcd's offered it all day, i would only eat breakfast and never order a hamburger. this would preclude the times when i go out of my way for their breakfasts (b/c those are actually good.) end results would be fewer visits by the breakfast lovers.

                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: fara

                                                                                                                                                                                                  Jack in the Box serves breakfast all day. Their breakfast jack is almost as good as the egg mcmuffin!

                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: DanaB

                                                                                                                                                                                                    Sonic has any food item any time of day. I like being able to get a burger in the morning if I want it. DH loves the supersonic breakfast burrito which has chopped jalapenos!

                                                                                                                                                                                                    As to McD, I don't really care for the McMuffin since they started putting the fake syrup flavor in the BREAD and their biscuits are not as good as someplace like Hardees but once in a while I like the big breakfast which is pancakes plus enough protein to keep me from falling asleep.

                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: Bliss149

                                                                                                                                                                                                      i thought only the mcgriddle had the syrup in the muffin part.

                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: Bliss149

                                                                                                                                                                                                        Egg and Sausage McMuffins don't have syrup. They use unadulterated English Muffins.

                                                                                                                                                                                                        Only the McGriddles line does.

                                                                                                                                                                                                        And I'm only a little embarrassed that I know this.

                                                                                                                                                                                                      2. re: DanaB

                                                                                                                                                                                                        Actually, it is better. I love Breakfast Jacks.

                                                                                                                                                                                                    2. re: queencru

                                                                                                                                                                                                      I was once told that the reason breakfast ends at a particular time has to do with griddle temperature. Apparently, the pancakes and breakfast stuff cook at a different temperature, and so in order to begin cooking the burgers, they have to stop cooking breakfast... is the an urban legend? I know it was told to me by an employee, but that means little...

                                                                                                                                                                                                    3. re: Will Owen

                                                                                                                                                                                                      There is nothing on this planet quite like those hash browns...except maybe Arby's potato cakes...mmmmm. I almost never eat fast food anymore, but whenever we plan a road trip, I salivate like one of Pavlov's dogs at the thought that "junk" food is on my horizon. That doesn't mean we won't also look for an authentic roadside place as well, but BK or that fried chicken and red beans and rice from Popeye's is just the ticket sometimes.

                                                                                                                                                                                                  2. re: jfood

                                                                                                                                                                                                    I don't know - I may have to defend the use of the word crappy, not as a synonym for cheap. As a couple of LA-based examples, I do think that the tagliatelle [sp?] with wild boar ragu at Osteria Mozza is better that Chef Boyardee spaghetti and meat sauce, that the burger at Father's Office is better than a Big Mac, that the cheese plate at AOC is better than Velveeta - better meaning tastier, more interesting, more satisfying - and 95% of the time if given the choice I'd choose the former in each of these pairings. But sometimes only the latter will do.

                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: jfood

                                                                                                                                                                                                      While this reply is a bit dated, well put !! It probably goes against the whole CH manifesto, and many will look down their noses at anyone who dares lower themselves to such things, but hey. That's also the way I roll.

                                                                                                                                                                                                      It's also why i'm a-ok with the Chains board.

                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: im_nomad

                                                                                                                                                                                                        I just reread the "manifesto" today and it actually says you can be a CH if you're in search of Quisp Cereal. I think over time people have forgotten that.

                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: c oliver

                                                                                                                                                                                                          "If you're less food-obsessed than the rest of us, but have a yen for egg creams, gazpacho, or Quisp Cereal, let the resident hounds guide you to the best stuff"

                                                                                                                                                                                                          Just to play devil's advocate, teach. :-))

                                                                                                                                                                                                          This is a typical if-then statement. Two conditions for the "if". (1) less food obsessed + (2) have a yen...

                                                                                                                                                                                                          If you meet these conditions the "then" part kicks in and here's where it gets quishy. What does "let the resident hounds guide you to the best stuff" actually mean? Several interpretations are in play. Does it mean we'll guide you to the best Quisp or egg cream? Or does it mean that we can guide you to a "higher" level than Quisp and egg creams? Just some food from thought as Jfood watches lots of snow fall.


                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: jfood

                                                                                                                                                                                                            ...and I quote: "voracious devotion to hyperdelishousness (sp?)"

                                                                                                                                                                                                            WTH is hyperdelishousness? Somewhere in there you might find the word "Quisp". Although I always preferred King Vitamin, myself!

                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: jfood

                                                                                                                                                                                                              Are we talking about quishy Quisp? I don't disagree with your if/then equation at all. What I'm getting really sick of is the HIGH degree of judmentalism that some show. One actually replied to me (paraphrasing) 'well, I know you're a CH even though you eat Big Macs.' Would that be a non sequitur? I had White Castle burgers for lunch yesterday. So I'm suspect? Nope. Whew, not even finished my morning coffee and the juices are flowing already. Meeting a CH for lunch today. Maybe I can offset the WCs with something more Chow-worthy :) More snow forecast here tonight.

                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: c oliver

                                                                                                                                                                                                                hey jfood is having hot dogs for lunch. already shoveled a path to the grill.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                and he is jealous of your ability to go to WC. The closest for jfood is 35 miles away.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: jfood

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  No matter how much snow, we ALWAYS make sure we have a path to the grill. "Going" to WC involves going to the grocery store and buying them frozen. I wrap two in a paper towel, MW 30 seconds, open towel turn them upside down, rewrap and MW 30 more seconds. Then I put yellow mustard on them and MW uncovered 10 more seconds. I've perfected the art over a number of years. Clearly Chow-ish behavior, IMneverhumbleO.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: c oliver

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    mrs jfood puts mustard on hamburgers; little jfood puts ketchup on hot dogs; jfood views this a cancellable events.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: jfood

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      but White castle needs nothing. perfection as it is. and the soggier the better.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: hill food

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Perhaps 10% of the time, I'll put one perfectly shaped Costco kettle chip on a WC.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      2. re: jfood

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Mustard (yellow) on WCs, mayo only on "real" burgers. No ketchup on hot dogs ever.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: c oliver

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          When I was a little girl, I would not eat a hot dog on a bun. It had to be sliced, then dipped in catsup. (I grew out of that phase awhile ago, but I can still remember relishing that taste.)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: c oliver

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Oy, gotta teach the teach

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1 - WC - ketchup, non mustarde
                                                                                                                                                                                                                            2 - Real burgers - ketchup, and if there is a great ripe tomato, a little mayo on the bun next to the tomato slice
                                                                                                                                                                                                                            3 - HD - brown mustard

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            What is this bizarro world coming to


                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: jfood

                                                                                                                                                                                                                              don't even get me started on what kind of mustard goes best on what craptastic food.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                              brown works for me, but a hot dog is the only time I'll allow plain old yellow. Chinese mustard is nice on a polish sausage or a half-smoke.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: hill food

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                then you get into the discussions of mustards on PITB. Even Grey Poupon has been passed

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: jfood

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  sorry, PITB? that's a new one for me.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  and within the mass market brown variety, Gulden's is the easiest to find, but if I see Nance's, well stop the car!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: jfood

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      oh yeah and not the creative ones popular a year or 2 ago.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: hill food

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        KISS. little dog + a little piece of puff pastry...40 minutes in the oven...wait >7 minutes to cool down...dip...eat.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                              2. re: c oliver

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Yuck! Yellow mustard and onions, only. OK, maybe cheese. The hot dog guy where I used to live sold a terrific dog w/a melty cheese sauce to die for (cheddar/kirsh/white wine). OMG- I need one right now!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: jfood

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Hey, put whatever you want on you burgers and dogs! Just do not - ever - put butter or soy sauce on your rice!!!!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: Sam Fujisaka

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Ah, but the Japanese are known to fancy up their rice at times. I love it after the shabu shabu has been cooked and the host dumps a bunch of rice in the remaining broth. After most of the liquid is absorbed, in goes some beaten egg. Best damned "risotto" I've ever eaten.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: Sam Fujisaka

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      At lunch with alanbarnes yesterday, I looked over and saw my husband had put soy sauce on his rice. Gave him a good Fujisaka roasting over that one :)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: Sam Fujisaka

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Now, now. In many parts of the southern US, it is considered perfectly normal to put butter on rice if you are not using gravy on it. While that might not be the case with some cuisines, it's a respectable thing to do with southern food.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: decolady

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          And, with absolutely no personal offense meant, therein lies a problem. I'm Delta raised on buttered and gravied rice and later that new thing called soy sauce, as ways to flavor the rice.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          What we missed is that good rice, bred and grown for pleasurable consumption without fat or salt adornment, can hold its own and is flavorful.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          It took only three days in Japan to recognize that the locals
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          were eating it three times a day, unsauced.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Just one more "nick" we can make into the belly of the culture of obesity.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: FoodFuser

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            No offense taken. But using butter and gravy on rice is a part of southern cuisine. There should be no shame attached to that if one is eating a traditional southern meal. And what about serving the soup part of the gumbo over rice? Or putting rice in jambalaya and étoufée? Nothing is inherently wrong with that in the proper settings - as in eating southern or Gulf coast foods.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            I have never used soy sauce on rice, and wouldn't consider adding any of those things when eating Japanese food.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Neither way to eat them is wrong. There are just different ways for different cuisines.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: decolady

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              From what I gather, it actually is "wrong" to put soy sauce on rice when eating Japanese food. People can choose to do it anyway.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: decolady

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                You're right, of course. So more seriously, I've eaten dishes in many places where the rice is plated and something savory placed on top, be it the soup of the gumbo in Louisiana or a curry in Hyderabad or black beans in Havana ... you name it.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                But you don't put shoyu on rice in a rice bowl when having a Japanese or Chinese meal. Each bite that you take, however, is a bit of one of the dishes and a bit of the rice. This way of eating is key!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: Sam Fujisaka

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  :-) Yes, Sam, I do totally agree the way of eating with the key. And I don't and won't use any shoyu on my Chinese or Japanese rice.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: decolady

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    And I won't use Spam! Heh, heh, heh.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                2. re: decolady

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  When I was growing up we always had rice with butter. I used to LOVE it.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Until one day when my dad was attempting to make dinner...he did the classic - putting WAY too much rice in the pot...he ended up with a HUGE pot full of rice to the brim and overflowing! It was definitely an "I Love Lucy" moment!
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Well, we were all in fits of laughter about it until he realized that if my mom got home and saw the scene - he would be in big trouble!
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  So he sat his 4 children down and forced us to eat it...and eat it....and eat some more.....
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  After that day (30 years ago??) - i have never again eaten rice with butter!
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Ugh the mere thought used to gag me...

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  BUT after writing this...I guess I'm over it becacause right now rice with butter sounds divine to me!~

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: NellyNel

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Gag. My mom put MARGARINE in the white rice. I can still taste that greasy, slimy hunk of chemicals that never quite melted right...I really don't eat much rice now. Not just b/c of the margarine thing, but I had a maggot incident a few years ago, and I can NOT ever eat white rice again.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              2. re: decolady

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                thank you, decolady. rice with butter is a southern thing. good comfort food.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: alkapal

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1st generation american here - nothing southern about us. i like buttered rice

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: alkapal

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Hey alkapal. In Louisiana we grew up eating lots of rice. Often it was a side with butter. And definitely comfort food. One of my spouse's favourite meals is lemon-basil grilled salmon, buttered rice, and steamed asparagus. I haven't fixed that for him in quite a while. Ought to try to do that this next week.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: decolady

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      yes, fish alongside buttered rice is really tasty.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      let's have some tomato gravy on rice together sometime!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      one of the first dishes i made in high school was a greek-inspired spinach rice (for a boyfriend's dinner at my home); good old broccoli rice casserole was typical at family gatherings.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      ps, happy 80th to your mom. mine just turned 88. i made the family a big batch of shrimp creole, and a 100 year old recipe for pound cake.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: alkapal

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Thanks for your birthday greetings to my Mom. I will pass them on. Congrats to your Mom, too. I can tell you all had a fabulous meal. Shrimp Creole and pound cake are favourites around here.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          2. re: jfood

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            i dated someone once that put mayonnaise on his hot dog. i considered it uncancellable.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: pikawicca

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  It's all a matter of building the symphony twixt the naked dog and the naked bun.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  A focused swipe of 1 tbs of mayo shared down both sides of the bun lays a foundation for the building crescendo of good mustard and the chosen condiments. Kraut, relish, and onions provide my personal pianoforte, but each of us must find our own inner voice about the climax ingredients.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  The final appraisal of the experience comes with the denouement. Two minutes slumped in semi-stupor in the dining chair, then the burp, arousing us to the mea'ls appraisal.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: FoodFuser

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Um, the mayo thing? What do Euro's have w/mayo? On french fries, hot dogs- where does it end?! I can hear the sound of arteries clogging from across the pond...

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: FoodFuser

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      I think I'm a teensy bit aroused, FF.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: c oliver

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        O Kaaaaaay...

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Cool off and ponder this: "ARE there crappy and excellent hot dogs?" I mean, many folks would say that hot dogs are crappy in all forms. Personally, I like some hot dogs better than others, so for me there are crappy and excellent hot dogs. For instance, crappy hot dogs include dogs w/o casings. Also, dogs that bend, or are too pale in color. Plus, there are crappy-textured dogs-you know, ones w/tiny pieces of god knows what *shudder*...

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: stuck in Hartford County

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Ooooh, I really dislike limp weiners!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! And, while I'm familiar with dogs with no casings,, I've never had one and am pretty sure I wouldn't like that either. I believe it was Veggo who said that no hot dog at home tastes as good as the ones away from home. Those ones at Home Depot sure do smell good. Definitely need to do some research.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: c oliver

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            My wife is always disappointed in a limp weiner too.!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: Passadumkeg

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              We second wives are true connoisseurs.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          2. re: stuck in Hartford County

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Hot dogs are the wurst. I love Frankfurters! But are there different levels of Spam? One must ask Dante and his 7 levels.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: Passadumkeg

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Passadumkeg: find yourself some scrapple. that is a (higher? different?) level of Spam

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: Sam Fujisaka

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Sam we are a funny species! Soy w/ rice is verboten, but Spam is not? Ilet jfood explain the logical falacies of that one. Modis tolens? Modis polens?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: Passadumkeg

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Null Set.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Jfood has no problem with soy on rice (low sodium please) but the closest he has ever been to spam is a "SPAM" hat a client gave him 20 years ago.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Je pense donc je suis,

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: Passadumkeg

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Again, soy sauce or butter on rice means you're not eating a Chinese or Japanese meal properly and that you probably never have. Each mouthful combines rice and one of the savory dishes. Not like a burger and fires in which the bite of buger is swallowed and some fries are eaten separately. The burger has its condiments and the fries its own as well. But one would not want a mouthful of rice with shoyu and some tsukemino - the pickle would be ruined by the added shoyu.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: Sam Fujisaka

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Pssst, Sam I never put soy on my rice or Spam in my sushi (or use brown rice), but I just find it odd that Spam is acceptable.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: Passadumkeg

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Hey, keg. wassamatta you ha'ole kine brudda? Maybe forgot dat my daddy side from Kaneohe en he go Castle High before b'onby go State. Cousin folk still there, eat spam n'owthen.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  2. re: hill food

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Spam is my only psychological aversion. I used to leave for the Viet Cong, hoping it would explode or poison.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: c oliver

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Had Spam for my first time recently at a place here that makes "Spam fries"—basically just sliced into french fry shapes and fried, served with aioli. They were indeed craptastic.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          3. re: Emme

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            THAT WAS YOU!!!!! Only kidding :-)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            There was a thread maybe 3 summer ago that suggested mayo on a dog. jfood gave it a shot. yes it was not to his liking.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: jfood

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              In both Europe and South America, mayo is commonly put on hot dogs. We like it. Better than ketchup.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: Passadumkeg

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Here are a bunch of pictures of completos, the Chilean hot dog. I had one in Santiago years ago and will never forget it ( in a good way)


                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: pikawicca

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Somewhere I still have a picture of me eating one - for breakfast - along with instant coffee to drink. You had to be there.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  2. re: c oliver

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Also in Bolivia and Peru they serve bun-less hot dogs, in chunks w/ French fries (silpancho?) and mayo for the sheebangs (Cat Soup too.). I Norway may is used in a shrimp salad w/ peas and carrots to top a hot dog (po(with the slash through the o)lser.). Yum. Open your minds to the glory of mayo on dogs and chips!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: Passadumkeg

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      And how about Japa dogs? They often have mayo, and you know, I think it works! I have opened my mind to mayo and hot dog. Sometimes, one just has to accept that one can have odd tastes now and then.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              2. re: Emme

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Fried onions, yellow mustard, a hint of ketchup and garlic mayo (with real garlic) on a smokie. Current favourite quick path to hardened arteries at our local dog cart.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                2. Sometimes I just want a cheap McDonalds hamburger...compared to a nice gourmet one. Sue me.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: Chew on That

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Ooooooh, YES! those little hamburgerts that come in the Kid's Meal! That's the ONLY McDonald's burger in which you can get those tiny diced onions! When we moved back from Greece, I went to MdDonald's and bought a BIG sack full of them for the freezer just so I could nuke one any time of the night or day. DEEEEEEEE-licious! :-)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: jodymaryk

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Are they still greasy and the meat is half grain? A shriveled-up deep-fried shell of a real taco?
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        I ate those fourty years ago. Never again.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  2. Tarter sauce from a jar, any jar, hellmans, krafts, bookbinders, etc. I make TS from scratch for my family but I love the fake, jar stuff.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: kpaumer

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      I lprefer cheap bakery birthday cake/cupcakes over fancy bakeries anytime!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: chicken kabob

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        oh yes, duncan hines devil's food cake...mmmmmmm

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: chicken kabob

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          I DO TOO! Good call. Something about that neon frosting just speaks to me.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      2. ....To continue from my previous post..the kind from the supermarket! =)

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: chicken kabob

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Every once in a while, I NEED to have some of the little chocolate-covered donuts that you find in the white bag on the end-caps at the grocery store. You know, the ones that list Beef Fat as an ingredient? But I'm hardly ever tempted by a bakery-fresh cake donut.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          I think it's a texture thing, and yes, I know I need help.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        2. I definitely prefer Mrs. Butterworth's over genuine maple syrup. I do cook with maple syrup, but don't like the taste on pancakes.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Same with mac and cheese - give me some good old macaroni shells smothered in processed cheese food over a tarted-up lobster mac and cheese with bread crumbs on top. Most of the time, anyway!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Campbell's chicken noodle soup, too - I know there are much better products out there, but perhaps it's just because I grew up eating the stuff.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. Don`t look at me, I prefer cane syrup, and my favorite website is hollyeats.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: lowtone9

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              We grew up with cane syrup. I wasn't introduced to the maple or maple-flavoured stuff till I was in college. All the cane syrup I've ever had was thick. The first time I ever had real maple syrup I was surprised at how thin and runny it is. My spouse prefers the thicker maple-flavoured syrup to the real thing on his pancakes strictly because of its viscosity.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            2. I guess this comes from growing up in the 60s/70s in the MidWest before "gourmet" food made a big splash:

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Kraft Am cheese grilled on white bread
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Kraft mac & cheese
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Hershey's or Cadbury chocolate (only eat milk chocolate, guess I am out of vogue)
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Campbell's cream of tomato, mushroom, celery, tomato/rice soup
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Hershey's choc syrup in skim milk (my DH laughs good on that one!)
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              A McDonald's Big Mac every now & then

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: Diane in Bexley

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Well, Hershey's syrup may not be sugar free, but it absolutely IS fat free! If anybody is looking for a weight loss diet where you can pig out three meals a day and eat all the carbs you want, I highly recommend "The T-Factor Diet" by Martin Katahn, Ph.D. You can have chocolate syrup in skim milk three meals a day and with snacks, and still loose weight! Voice of expeience.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: Diane in Bexley

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  You and me, Diane_i_B, on the milk choc only front. All my friends know who to give the leftovers in the mixed boxes at Christmastime :-).

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                2. "crappy" to me doesn't necessarily mean "cheap." i read it as "probably not as good for you and more full of unpronouceable ingredients."
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  that being said, i am perfectly capable of making a lovely bechamel from scratch but sometimes Campbell's cream of mushroom is the only way to go.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. i often like the peasant more than the haute
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    o often like the low rent over the high
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    i never like the crappy over the excellent

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. I suspect you were brought up eating the crap fake stuff, so this is what you know. Same as kids who've only eaten cake made from a mix. Sad, but a marker of our times.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      4 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: pikawicca

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        That is one possibility, but I grew up eating "fake" maple syrup and now much prefer "real" maple syrup. Then again, I like McDonald's sausage biscuit.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: MMRuth

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          ..and all I could think was how good that McD's sausage patty would be if dipped in fake maple syrup. There's no hope for me...=)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: ArikaDawn

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Sounds like it's time for you to try a McGriddle!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            I have boxed hash browns that take a 10 minute soak in water prior to cooking. Love 'em.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          2. re: MMRuth

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Well, McDonald's sausage biscuit isn't fake: It's a biscuit with sausage. It might not be the best of its kind, but it's certainly a sausage biscuit. Fake maple syrup is fake maple syrup.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        2. to the OP - the point is you tried both before deciding

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. in the sense of unpronounceable ingredients defining "crappy", i totally LOVE ihop's butter pecan syrup. i've tried to buy other brands at the grocery, but none comes close. btw, i love real maple syrup, too. i grew up with cane syrup in florida, but it has a very strong flavor that i don't like anymore.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. The first time I tried real maple syrup I thought something was wrong with it. Couldn't stand it. I'd grown up with Aunt Jemima. Now I prefer the real thing, but it took a while.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Also, it's funny how many people mention cheese and mac and cheese products. I grew up on Kraft Deluxe. These days I make my own, with real cheese, but no matter how creamy I get it, or how much good cheese I use, I'm always just a tiny bit disappointed that it doesn't taste like Kraft.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              And when I'm in the mood for a McDonald's burger, a "real" burger just doesn't fit the bill. I love both, but they're so different that they're not interchangeable.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. I like Rite Aid ice cream, used to have different name. When my kid was small it was about 25 cents a scoop, now it's more like 89 cents or a dollar or something. The cherry is pretty good and every now and again they have apricot and it's great. I really don't like heavy high fat ice creams and gelatos. I especially don't like Ben and Jerry's. It's disgustingly over wrought and over hyped, and that's both the ice cream and the message.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: Judith

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Stumbling onto a Rite-Aid in Las Vegas last year that sold the Thrifty Ice Cream when I took a wrong turn and got a bit lost was one of the unexpected highlights of that particular trip. It's one of those memory things, since we used to get the stuff when we went to our Grandma's house in Arizona. I do actually like some of the more high-end ice creams (I've got some Ben and Jerry's in the freezer right now, in fact) but every once in a while you just want some of the generic Neapolitan stuff that comes in a box with a name you've never heard of.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                2. Nice thick tangy real yogurt is good, and certainly has its place, but most of the timeI like my Light Thick and Creamy Yoplait. It's a good thing too as when I was into Fage I was spending a small fortune on yogurt alone. I get the good stuff for cakes, tzatiki, and fro-yo, but for snacking I like my lemon meringue, oranges n'cream, french vanilla...mmm.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. Well, I love gourmet. I hunt down good food like a shopaholic hunts a bargain! But...I love processed food. I can only assume it's due to the fact that my parents raised me differently. We ate very little processed food (I think it was limited to Kraft, Campbells, and hot dogs) and I probably didn't drink pop until I was 9 or 10 years old, and mostly ate a lot of healthy veggies, fruits, and meats. So...these days, I enjoy my processed crap:
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    -Cheese Whiz
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    -Fake Maple Syrup
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    -Kraft Mac N Cheese
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    -Campbell's Chix noodle and tomato
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    -Coldstone Ice Cream
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    -Taco Bell
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    -There is a local taco chain where I live that uses powdered beef and dispenser sour cream, but oh lordy, those tacos are amazing (except when you get your first fix after being away for awhile...it goes right through ya...you gotta slowly get it back into your diet ;))
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    -Fish sticks
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    -McDonalds/BK chicken nuggets, fries, and that horrible bright red fruit punch that is oh so good 3 or 4 times a year

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    And finally...I saw no one else mention this...so I'm wondering if I even should...

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    I love love love circus peanuts. Those little orange foamy looking pieces of pure chemicals. Those are delicious!!!!

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: milkyway4679

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      I really like Taco Bell's $1 Cheesy Bean and Rice burrito (I order it fresco style so that I get extra salsa and no cheese) is the perfect size and I love to slather their cheap ass hot taco sauce all over it. I may have it for lunch today. I like it better than the monster burritos in San Fran because I can eat the whole thing, it tastes great to me, it doesn't have a lot of crap I don't want in it, and it's cheap!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    2. I am SO with you on the fake maple syrup. Gotta have it. Keep the real stuff.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      I also sometimes have insatiable cravings for;
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Fish sticks
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      That orange/yellow glop that is put on tortilla chips, and labeled "nachos" at sporting events. I'm not a big cheese eater, so I guess you could say that I like this fake stuff more than the real stuff.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      I usually find that I prefer box cake to "real" bakery cakes, although I am certain that I just haven't had many good "real" bakery cakes.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. I tend to go by "cost-benefit." Yes, maple syrup us a bit better but not worth the extra premium. But I find this more true of restaurants. On one foodie trip around the country, my two favorite meals (excluding snackeries) were the two cheapest.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. I have a craving for Wienerschnitzel chili-cheese dogs. Crappy by some measures, but so tasty.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: aynrandgirl

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            I skip the cheese but this is one food that I sometimes get irresistible cravings for.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          2. Potato chips. I prefer Utz and Lay's to the kettle-cooked kind.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Mayonnaise. I can't stand the oily, eggy, gloppy nature of homemade or even full-fat storebought mayonnaise. Storebought lowfat mayo is perfectly creamy and just tangy enough.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Peanut butter. I can't stand unsweetened versions. Bring on the sugar! But the peanuts have to be fresh, or else it all tastes like crap.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            French fries. I don't like fresh-cut fries at all. Sorry, In-N-Out!

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: fallingup

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              "oily, eggy, gloppy" ? Gloppy aside, Mayo is made from oil and eggs, to a great extent. I wouldn't expect it not to reflect that. Low fat has some odd thickener that turns me off. Maybe that's the non-gloppy? But this is about personal preferences, so knock yourself out.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            2. Here are a few items I would prefer rather then the "fine dining" versions
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              A burger at White Castle over a typical large good burger on a big bun.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Cambells Tomato Soup
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Jack in the box taco, over an authentic taco any day!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. OH!! Me too on some things! YaY I don't feel so lame now :P

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                I'll take Cool Whip over real whipped topping - ANY day.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                I'm also in love with the one and only Kraft Maccaroni and Cheese - no REAL cheese, eeew.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                And I love velveta for grill cheese sandwhiches. What's more fake than velveta?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. After my first reaction, "say what?" I read down. The answer is no. I love the subtle nuances in food, just as in wines. Give me *MY* quality, and the rest can go into the disposal.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Sorry, no latitude - it's quality, or nothing.


                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. I personally don't like real maple flavoring. I have tried pure maple syrup and found it quite unappetizing to me. I buy my syrup from Aldi and it is very good. There are alot of *generic* food items I prefer over name brand

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: Smileelisa

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Smileelisa, we are sisters under the skin! I am Canadian and I dislike real maple syrup with a deep and abiding passion. Gimme some of that butter flavoured Aunt Jemima's though and I'm happy.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      I also (used to) hate beer and still don't love hockey. The Citizenship Police have been trying to revoke my passport for years :-).

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    2. I confess my love for Totino's frozen pizza. Not that they're crappy--they're actually quite good, which is why I like them--but I'm sure their reputation is quite crappy simply because they're dirt cheap. In any event, they're manifestly superior to the high-end California Pizza Kitchen and the abominable Papa John's.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: Perilagu Khan

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Think back to New Jersey pizza and repent!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      2. Most of mine stem from childhood memories.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        I LOVE real, baked, roux-and-old-cheddar mac n' cheese; grilled cheese with good cheese and good bread; real homemade chicken soup...

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        but if I have a craving for KD, Kraft Singles on white bread with ketchup, Campbell's condensed or Lipton's neon yellow "chicken" powder...the real thing just will not satisfy me.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Can safely add Hamburger Helper to the guilty-pleasures list. Soulless store-bought salad dressings too. Love it!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. Items that people prefer that really blew me away

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Imitation maple syrup - YUCK, won’t touch the stuff, while real maple syrup is divine.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Kraft Cheese slices - NASTY, doesn’t taste like cheese, is pasty and slimy also. (Funny story one of my young sons was served a grilled cheese at a friends house made with this, he came home and asked me if I had ever heard of ‘Velveeta cheese’ and if I had he suggested that I do not use it because it doesn’t taste very good. And to think that this was a palate of a eight year old.)
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Cheap peanut butter - gooey salty and cloyingly sweet.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Kool-Whip - This has to be the nastiest, most chemically laden food product I have ever had the displeasure of eating

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          I don’t think I am a food snob, I’ve stood up for imitation Krab, Chili dogs and Campbell’s chicken noodle soup, and mayonnaise (not miracle whip - gross) , but I just can’t imagine choking down any of those products.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: RetiredChef

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Velveeta is proof that God loves us. Richard Dawkins and RetiredChef be darned. ;)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: RetiredChef

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Velveeta is not the same as Kraft Singles.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              I love many wonderful artisanal cheeses... but there will always be room for Kraft Singles in my fridge.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: RetiredChef

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                saying kraft cheese slices are nasty BECAUSE they don't taste like other cheeses would be like saying stilton is nasty BECAUSE it doesnt taste like other cheeses.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                i happen to agree with most of your list (but i like american cheese on my burger)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: thew

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  This seems like a good place to add that I much prefer the old Ronzoni box recipe for baked mac and cheese that includes American cheese slices to Ruth Reichl's recipe.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: thew

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    I think I'm agreeing with you, thew, though I still don't know exactly what American cheese is. If you mean groovy orange processed cheese slices on your burger, I'm with ya! There's something about the way it melts; maybe it has wax in it like the "chocolate" coating on dip cones LOL. IMO,aged cheddar should be nibbled with a hearty bread -- just looks sweaty on a burger.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: grayelf

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Well, I wouldn' t be caught dead near a slice of cheese food in anything but mac and cheese, actually. I love real cheddar, swiss or blue cheese on burgers. :-) I have one annual appointment with Kraft American cheese; my husband's family likes mac and cheese at Xmas dinner. It does have a very smooth, creamy melted texture; I use just a little, mixed with real cheddar.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: mcf

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        mcf, your description just reminded me of another time when the crappy outweighed the quality. Years ago I decided to make "Cheez Whiz" from scratch with top end cheddar and all natural blah blah ingredients. Spent a mint on the cheddar, hours on the prep and cooking and voila, looked and tasted EXACTLY like the stuff in the jar, for way more money and effort. Go figure.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: grayelf

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          LOL, I suspect Cheez Whiz is perfect at being what it is, eh?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  2. re: RetiredChef

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Not all Kraft cheese slices are equal. The regular "cheese food" slices are indeed terrible, but Kraft also has a line of real American cheese slices that are quite good. They're in the dark blue packaging, and they're notably more expensive than their regular slices. Besides taste, one big difference is that the good slices don't have the waxy texture the regular ones (indeed most brands of American cheese slices) do.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  3. Lipton's Dehydrated Chicken Noodle Soup- there are times when I want absolutely nothing more than a big steaming bowl of it!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. This is not an either/or thing, but lately I'm getting kind of eye-roll-y over the virtues of the roasted chicken. Yes, I know, sacrilege.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Or maybe it's just that we all have to defend the "low brow" things we like, then be all enchanted by yet another rave over _________'s method of baking a perfect chicken.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      First, the thing that's awesome about chicken is how well it goes WITH other flavors. 2nd, they're pretty darned easy to cook well.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: shanagain

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        >>Or maybe it's just that we all have to defend the "low brow" things we like, then be all enchanted by yet another rave over _________'s method of baking a perfect chicken.<<

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        teeeheee. it's fair criticism. I still can't be bothered to find out what the Zuni method is for cooking a bird. to be honest...it's chicken. yes, a properly crisped bird, with a little flavor rubbed under the skin, is a thing of simple beauty. but there are so many other flavorful, exciting dishes out there...it amuses me that this is one people fixate on. maybe because it's homey?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: ChristinaMason

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          yeah, i too have laughed at the consternation about roast chicken -- and i've never looked up the zuni cookbook method (esp. since i heard it was really smoke-generating. forget it. i don't want the fire department here!).

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: alkapal

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            I agree, what the hey on this chicken dish. I have the book and have looked through it (LOVE the restaurant, had high expectations for the book), but it's another one on the list of cookbooks I don't get. I really have a problem getting into chefs' books.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: buttertart

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              More "crap" I like:

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Chef Boyardee products. I unabashedly love the CB Pizza Kit and the whopper can of Mini Ravioli. I also love Spaghetti Os, although they seem to have been taken over by Campbell's.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: Perilagu Khan

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                I joined because of this thread, and you just hit mine. The CB pizza kit. I learned how to cook because of that specific box. I hate to say it, but sometimes the Kraft Spaghetti gets taken home(about once every two years). I can't imagine a burrito being better than from a small stand, or truck. My personal fave is Cactus, in Hollywood. Guilty, but hey.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      2. I'm with the OP on maple syrup. I can't stand the real stuff. I'm cool with the Mrs. Butterworth though.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        One processed food I think I love more than the homemade version is biscuits. I love baking, but there is no biscuit recipe I have ever tried that tastes as good as biscuits in a can.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        4 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: Avalondaughter

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          >>>> I love baking, but there is no biscuit recipe I have ever tried that tastes as good as biscuits in a can.<<<<<<

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          av, good gracious alive girl, you're actually serious, aren't you?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          i feel very sad for you if you've never had good biscuits!
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          (try again, but DO NOT HANDLE THE DOUGH more than the absolute MINIMUM!).

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: alkapal

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            YOu're not getting my point. The texture of homemade biscuits is fine (when I make them). I know how to handle (or not) my biscuit dough. I'm talking strictly about TASTE. They never taste like canned biscuits.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: Avalondaughter

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              avalondaughter, there's no "insult" in my kneading tip -- it was just in case you were having a problem making decent biscuits on your own. i assumed this simply because *i* can't **imagine** liking canned better than well-made scratch biscuits. apparently, you are not having any trouble making great scratch biscuits, but just prefer the taste of canned -- in line with the thread's title.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: Avalondaughter

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                I am with you! i prefer the canned biscuits too
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                I love Pilsbury bicuits...the have a certain taste that homemade biscuits can't match. -mmmmmmmmmmmmm

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          2. My father and his regular foursome golf group would always have breakfast at a diner before going out to play. This meant either meeting at a local place or stopping on the road somewhere. One in the group was a Podiatrist and the very first gourmet home chef I have ever known. Whenever he was in an unfamiliar place, he would always ask if they had corned beef hash. Naturally, the reply was always yes.....then he would ask if it was fresh made or came out of a can.......the reply was always.....Fresh Made......The Podiatrist would say ....That's too bad, I like it from a can.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            11 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: fourunder

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Which is I imagine what they were serving anyway. I've tried making hash (James Beard's recipe among others) but we vastly prefer the dog food-smelling ones in the can. Extra crispy, please!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: buttertart


                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Dirty little secrets......personally, regardless of recipe used, if you make two identical CB hashes....with the only difference being, one is chopped meat pieces and the other is ground with a meat grinder.......I will always prefer the ground version for texture and taste.....although I cannot explain the reason for the latter.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: fourunder

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Yeah, it's the texture of the meat that was off, they tasted OK. Give me Libby's though anyway!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: buttertart

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    mr. alka loves to eat that libby's right off the can (once i've peeled back the "top"). 'tis funny how some youthful habits create warm and fuzzy food memories that one wants to re-live whenever possible.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    btw, i've used the libby's plus cabbage and water to make a dead simple but tasty soup.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: alkapal

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Hmm, the soup sounds quite good. Wouldn't want to eat it straight out of the can myself, though. Best prepared food product for doing that with: pork and beans!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: buttertart

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Or canned spinach. Or mixed greens. Yes, that's right - my mom couldn't keep canned spinach or greens in our house because as a kid I'd grab a can opener and eat them cold. (I still nab a bite whenever I buy/use them. I'm weird, what can I say?)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: shanagain

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          That's what makes the world interesting- everybody likes something different!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          That's pretty different, though.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        2. re: buttertart

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          pork and beans, straight out of the can -- for sure! sounds like a new thread topic: "straight out of the can." has it been done before?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: alkapal

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            I don't recall it having been - go for it, Alka dear!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: alkapal

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Straight out of a can? For sure: Vienna sausages, you'll like 'em, you'll like 'em!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Don't know why, but I do like 'em. Straight out of the can.