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Are you a brand slave?

Which food brands are you committed to?
Can you eat another brand or would you just go without the food altogether?

For me, its splenda. I carry it with me, because if a coffee shop/breakfast restaurant doesnt have it, I just wont have my tea. I can't do the sweet and low, twin sugar, etc.

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    1. re: Quine

      Me too, until I heard that Wegmans store brand beat Helmans in a blind taste test. If you're lucky enough to be in Wegmans territory, try it : same taste, save $1/qt!

      1. re: WNYamateur

        +1 for Wegman's products. Their mustards are fantastic and a great deal too. I also love the Wegman's brand Fresca.

        1. re: WNYamateur

          Totally agree that Wegmans is better than Hellmans. But DUKE beats them both. Yessssss.

        2. re: Quine

          On another topic a poster mentioned Miracle Whip and then said that he prefered 'REAL' mayo ie Hellmans. Now don't get me wrong, Hellmans is fine for a bought product in a jar but surely REAL mayo is the stuff you make at home with an e yolk, mustard etc
          Is this being OTT snobby?

          1. re: justlizikaria

            Not to me. If I use mayonnaise in something, which is rare, I make my own.

        3. Provided that a brand delivers for me, I will go with it. Now, if another gives me the same results, I do not have an issue changing. However, when I find something that I really, really like, I will stick with it, as long as it is produced. Then - I will try to move on.


          1. Coca Cola...Coke. I will never drink a Pepsi. Never. I'm from Atlanta, home of Co-Cola. I got seriously annoyed recently cause Costco switched from Coke to Pepsi for their food court or whatever it's called. When we get the retirees' cheap hot dog and soda, I make a BIG deal about the switch and huff and puff when I get water :)

            20 Replies
            1. re: c oliver

              I am the exact opposite - Pepsi only for me, no Coke, ever.

              1. re: jeanmarieok

                I'm not sure I'd call myself a brand slave. but I do have preferred brands of a lot of things, one I like enough that I will go out of my way to get my hands on them and often will go without rather than substitute. This can on ocassion cause a little cofusion in some stores, particualry if the item is an "ethnic" one, As a lot of ethnic supermarkets don't stock any brand of a lot of items particualry, waht they have is basically whatever brand happened to be availabe and was the best price, and (based on the reaction I get) few, if any of theyre customers seem to mind this (maybe they're more used to tinkering with recipies or are so grateful that there is somewhere that carries the item that the don't feel it's right to be picky. For example there is a kind of baked cheese snack I make that requires two Greek cheeses Manouri and Kefalotyri (preferred) or Kefalograviera (in a pinch). When I go to Yarranush, they usally have a few brands of each, and it always seems to baffle them a little that I specify brand (I like Byzantino for the Manouri, and the other one has to be Roussos (at least now that the stores that carries Olympus no longer do so) even when one of the others is a better deal. But I have my reasons as many of the others just dont work, they're too salty, or have that acetone like taste sheep cheeses can get or in the case of one Tyri brand, cause my stomach great pain. At least the good thing is that most Greek cheeses are salted enough that so long as you dont open the package they have refrigerator lives of many months, so when they do have the right kind in, it is possible to stock up against lean times (I do the same thing there with Haloumi, I wait till they get in the CheeseEU brand, then pick up 8-10 blocks and keep them in the downstairs fridge.

                1. re: jumpingmonk

                  Cheese brands/producers are important to me too, jumpingmonk.

              2. re: c oliver

                Only Coke, won't touch Pepsi. But in particular I started drinking Coke Zero a year back, and can't even go back to Diet Coke now. Funny though, many places in US don't stock Coke Zero, it seems ubiquitous in Australia.

                1. re: ozinboz

                  i like coke zero, but it is not as fizzy as regular coke. ;-(.

                  my aunt martha, when she lived in atlanta (and anywhere else in the south) would only drink coke from the original LITTLE bottles. she wouldn't even drink coke from another kind of bottle -- she said that it didn't taste the same.

                  1. re: alkapal

                    well some things don't. Back when I drank the Lipton bottled iced tea regularly (the green version with the honey) it had to come from the glass bottles, not the helf gallon orange juice box size, the latter tasted chemically to me. Similarly there is a brand of Goat gouda I like to snack on that one of my stores sells in both a version packed in cryovac and a version wrapped in ordinary plastic. once again one tastes umpleasant but in this case it's the cellophaned one (the one that is presumably sliced in store.) , also at least to me Phadelphia cream cheese in the bar form tastes totally different from in the tub (I like the bar)

                    1. re: jumpingmonk

                      oh, the tub cream cheese "spread" has more vegetable gums to make it spreadable! that's why it is better to make your own cream cheese-combos (i love veggie cream cheese).

                    2. re: alkapal

                      When I visited a Mexican restaurant in Corona, NY, I noticed they had both "normal" Coke and "Mexican" Coke on the menu. I asked what the difference was and they said that the Mexican Coke didn't have high fructose corn syrup in it, and used cane syrup instead. It came in glass bottles. A visit to some nearby delis confirmed that they seemed to sell these special versions of Coke in glass bottles.

                        1. re: ozinboz

                          I don't know if it's across the country, but on the Left Coast, Wal-Mart and Costco sells Mexican Coca-Cola.

                        2. re: alkapal

                          The wife of one Canada's prime ministers - who held the job for a very short time - was infamous for throwing fits on Air Canada if she didn't get her Coke fix from the small bottles instead of cans.

                          I've never tested this, but I just feel that Coke in plastic bottles never gets as cold in the fridge as Coke in cans or glass bottles. I'll drink it, but it never tastes as good as a can pulled out of bucket of ice water.

                          1. re: FrankD

                            I would have guessed Maggie Trudeau, but it can't be.

                              1. re: buttertart

                                Nope, you're both wrong. Mrs. Geills Turner.

                            1. re: alkapal

                              Only Coke, only "Mexican" coke (or Kosher--i.e. real sugar, not HFCS), and only from a glass bottle (preferably--I'll take a can if its absolutely all I can get, NEVER a plastic bottle). Of course, I only drink soda 3 or 4 times a year, so I can afford to be persnickety.

                            2. re: ozinboz

                              I was recently in a company meeting with Coca Cola of Croatia and heard an explanation of this. In many parts of Europe, only one diet product is available- Coke Zero. In these areas, pop is still considered a novelty or treat and people feel the need to do it "right." Products like Coke Zero are rarely consumed but, when they are, it is ually as an alternative to the original for people who can't drink the original for whatever reason.

                              There, we also found it very interesting that it was much more expensive to drink pop than beer (or most other alcoholic beverages), it truly is a beverage for kids/teens and plays a very different role in diets.

                            3. re: c oliver

                              Oh no, both Coke and Pepsi for me but they are NOT interchangeable, as stupid restaurants seem to think. When I feel like Coke, I want Coke, not Pepsi and vice versa. I hate places that will give you the other without even asking.

                              1. re: hillsbilly

                                Why, that's like thinking Scotch Whiskey and Kentucky Bourbon are interchangeable! Horrors!

                                ; D

                                1. re: hillsbilly

                                  Ususally their soda gun system is installed by one or the other, so they can only have one brand. Unless they are selling cans, then you may be in luck. But at a restaurant, I want soda from the fountains.

                                  1. re: hillsbilly

                                    Pepsi drinkin' Slavegirl checking in to agree 100% w/ hillsbilly. I want what I ask for, not necessarily what you interpret that as. And I'm not knocking RC per se, but if they bring me that, it's even worse than Coke.

                                2. There are only a few items which we reference by name or symbol and only buy by brand like Sriracha or Huy Fong sambal oelek. Dreamfields low carb pasta takes up a lot of space in my cupboard, but then again, they have cornered the market. I've tried off-brand cereals, but they have never been much good. Pretty much everything else I'm willing to go generic if need be.

                                  15 Replies
                                  1. re: JungMann

                                    There's a brand of sriracha called Sriracha? Where is it made?

                                      1. re: ZenSojourner

                                        Know the sauce well but always thought sri racha was the generic name. The one most of us here in NA seem to end up with is the Huy Fong brand pictured in Zen's link, but I have at least two others in my fridge. I was curious about JungMann's reference to the "brand like Sriracha"

                                        1. re: grayelf

                                          Ah. Sorry, I had translated "Sriracha or Huy Fong sambal oelek" to "Huy Fong Sriracha or sambal oelek".

                                          On the other hand I can see where someone just looking at the label might think "Sriracha" was the brand on a bottle of hot chili sauce. It does seem to be the ubiquitous brand (Huy Fong I mean) here in the states, kind of like Jello becoming the generic name for all flavored gelatin; in this case its that rooster that's become the iconic identifier rather than the brand name itself.

                                          1. re: ZenSojourner

                                            Kind of like the old dude on the Longevity condensed milk, or the squid or the baby on the fish sauce :-).

                                            I was mildly horrified when I realized not too long ago that the rooster brand is made in the US, Rosemead CA to be specific.

                                            1. re: grayelf

                                              Yeah, apparently it's not quite the same recipe as used in Thailand. I don't know if it's because of something FDA required about the manufacturing process or just different availability of ingredients/preservatives here.

                                              1. re: grayelf

                                                Huy Fong Sriracha was created in California by a Vietnamese immigrant of Chinese ancestry who wanted to mimic what he used to have in Viet Nam


                                        2. re: grayelf

                                          I meant the Huy Fong sriracha. The rooster really does seem to dominate the brand as Zen said. In college we knew it as "crazy cock sauce."

                                            1. re: ZenSojourner

                                              I didn't mean to be pedantic, I really wanted to know. And double LOL on the CCS, JungMann.

                                              The reason I have several sriracha variants in the fridge is that I recently did a taste comparo. We have a local blogger who is a Thai national and he was waxing rhapsodic about the "real" thing. I'm going to blow my CH cred all to hell but I think I like the CCS the best.

                                            2. re: JungMann

                                              isn't the rooster sriracha the original "sriracha" that was created in california by a vietnamese ex-pat? (not that sriracha -- the place -- itself doesn't have similar thai chili-based sauces).

                                              >>>"""For Mr. Tran, of Chinese heritage but born in Vietnam, neither sriracha-spiked hollandaise nor sriracha-topped tacos with kimchi translate easily.

                                              “I made this sauce for the Asian community,” Mr. Tran said one recent afternoon, seated at headquarters, near a rooster-shaped crystal sculpture.

                                              “I knew, after the Vietnamese resettled here, that they would want their hot sauce for their pho,” a beef broth and noodle soup that is a de facto national dish of Vietnam. “But I wanted something that I could sell to more than just the Vietnamese,” he continued.

                                              “After I came to America, after I came to Los Angeles, I remember seeing Heinz 57 ketchup and thinking: ‘The 1984 Olympics are coming. How about I come up with a Tran 84, something I can sell to everyone?’ ”

                                              What Mr. Tran developed in Los Angeles in the early 1980s was his own take on a traditional Asian chili sauce. In Sriracha, a town in Chonburi Province, Thailand, where homemade chili pastes are favored, natives do not recognize Mr. Tran’s purée as their own."""<<<<


                                              1. re: alkapal

                                                "Sriracha (Thai: ศรีราชา [sǐrātɕʰā]) is the name for a Thai hot sauce named after the seaside city of Si Racha, in the Chonburi Province of central Thailand, where it was first produced for dishes served at local seafood restaurants. It is a paste of chili peppers, vinegar, garlic, sugar and salt. The puree pronounced /sɪˈrɑːtʃə/ is primarily produced by Huy Fong Foods[1] and is different from the Thai paste from which it takes its name."

                                                "The first mass marketed Thai-produced Sriracha, and widely regarded as the original, is made by Sriracha Panich (Thai: ศรีราชาพานิช)[4]. Sriracha Panich was eventually taken over by the Thai Theparos Food Products Public Company Limited of Thailand which continues to market the sauce under the label "Golden Mountain Sriracha Panich". Panich is Thai for commercial."

                                                So yes, it's diffferent than the stuff made in Thailand, and no, it's not the "original" Sriracha sauce, unless you are ignoring all versions of sriracha made outside the US and pre-dating the foundation of Huy Fong Foods in the US.

                                                1. re: ZenSojourner

                                                  >>>"""(not that sriracha -- the place -- itself doesn't have similar thai chili-based sauces)."""<<<

                                                  and thanks for quoting the wikipedia; you might want to cite it, though. < i notice, too, that many blogs quote it without accreditation, and many note the "city" of sriracha -- which isn't correct, as far as i can tell. also notably, the sauce is often cited for use on "meats" when it was probably focused -- in that area -- on seafood, since it is right there on the water.>

                                                  i wonder when the first commercial use of the name was done in thailand?

                                                  >>""If you've seen this fiery Asian chili sauce in Asian supermarkets, and likely in North America the brand you've seen is the Huy Fong "Rooster" Sriracha sauce, the bottle in the picture shows the Golden Mountain version of the widely-regarded original version of Sriracha. Sriracha Panich (panich means "commercial" in Thai), now called Golden Mountain Sriracha Panich"""<<< http://birdchili.wordpress.com/2009/0...

                                                  1. re: alkapal

                                                    I "cited" it at the beginning of this thread somewhere.

                                          1. re: JungMann

                                            Huy Fong makes a variety of sauces. We like the Vietnamese Chili Garlic sauce better than the Sriracha. It'w the one with the seeds.

                                            BTW, a few years back there was a load of knockoff Huy Fong product smuggled in from China.

                                          2. Brand slave? Absolutely. Dukes. Thomas'. Penzeys. Tabasco. Lea & Perrins. Nellie & Joes. Ben and Jerry's. Goya .Stubbs. Heinz. Dunkin Donuts. Mission. Mancini. Vigo. La Costena. Goya. Jumex. Lenders. Angostura. Cabot. Vita. Giovanni's. Pepperidge Farm. Land O Lakes. Tecate. El Yucateco.
                                            Just warming up. Don't most of us have favorites for most stuff?

                                            31 Replies
                                              1. re: Bob W

                                                Frozen bagels from West Haven, CT. A hound chewed me out only this morning for my daily habit of a Lenders onion bagel with cream cheese, Vita smoked salmon, and Goya capers.

                                                1. re: Veggo

                                                  With a little chopped red onion, that sounds like a perfect breakfast to me.

                                                  1. re: Veggo

                                                    LOL yes, I know what Lenders is. Since you seem to have such good taste, I wondered how Lenders slipped in there. 8>D

                                                    Not a big fan. I see no difference between their bagels and Thomas's bagels. But cover one with cc, salmon, and capers (and red onion), and you could do a lot worse.

                                                    1. re: Bob W

                                                      DS is big on the Thomas's bagels. Big time. They're the only ones he wants.

                                                      1. re: JerryMe

                                                        I'll give the Thomas' a try. That and Lenders is about all that's available in this part of Florida, it's a wasteland for bakeries and jewish delis around here. I grew up in CT and knew a few of the Lenders so I tend to patronize their product.

                                                        1. re: Veggo

                                                          veggo, try publix's freezer section -- there is a pretty decent NY BAGEL there (at least there was in my store in n. ft. myers). it is less bready than so many grocery store offerings. i think the name might even be "NY BAGEL".

                                                          1. re: alkapal

                                                            It is indeed Ray's New York Bagel. My sister claims it's the closest grocery store bagel she's found to what she used to be able to get from the bakery down the street when she lived in Queens.

                                                            1. re: beachmouse

                                                              cool! i thought they were quite nice myself, and i'm glad you've confirmed the name and quality.

                                                              the shelf-stable bagels are always WAY too bready for me. i like a lean and chewy bagel. the frozen "ny bagels" at publix toast up really nicely, too.

                                                              1. re: alkapal

                                                                Thanks. I'll be on the lookout as I'm down to my last Lenders as I wait for the occasional buy one get one free at Publix. I hope the hound who chewed me out doesn't notice this.

                                                                1. re: Veggo

                                                                  What was the basis of the chewing out? The brand or the bagel? We're finally out of the two dozen we brought back from NYC a year ago. We really were quite frugal with them. This thread reminded me that H&H does mailorder so I went to their site. Two dozen bagels would be $28. Okay, that's about what they are in the store. But the shipping would be $59!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I don't think I'll be ordering any. Maybe I'll see if we have Lender's here. I'm certainly familiar with the brand name.

                                                              2. re: beachmouse

                                                                Yes, Ray's NY bagel is the only frozen bagel I buy!

                                                            2. re: Veggo

                                                              Veggo, Are you in Sarasota area? If so, there is a good boiled not steamed bagel bakery on S. 41, Tamiami Trail.

                                                              1. re: ospreycove

                                                                osprey, do you recall it's name? I would like to try fresh again. I'm near Sarasota.
                                                                CO, I was read the riot act about the calorie and carb count of the bagel and cream cheese, as a % of a recommended daily diet. I said every 2000 calorie journey must begin with a first bite. It didn't fly.

                                                                1. re: Veggo

                                                                  Veggo, South 41, it was a a franchised bagel place now it is called "Lox & Eggs. Just south of Bee Ridge Road on the east (left) side of the street. Get there in the A.M. as it closes after lunch and he usually sells out of the popular bagels (rye, poppy, whole wheat(several varieties of WW) , everything, etc. They make a taylor ham, egg and cheese on the bagel of your choice....Excellent!!!!!

                                                                  1. re: Veggo

                                                                    But probably not much sugar :) And there are the health benefits from the lox, the onion and, of course, the capers can be considered a green vegetable. I looked at Safeway for Lenders today but they had no frozen bagels.

                                                                    I'd rather have a colorful and shorter journey than a long and boring one :)

                                                          2. re: Veggo

                                                            I like Lender's onion bagels as well. It's the only bagel I'll go out of my way to buy.

                                                            Fresh "deli" bagels may be better but they're generally too hard to find and not necessarily all that fresh once I do find them. Lenders are good enough for me.

                                                            Other than that, there's no particular brand I insist on, though there are some I'll avoid.

                                                            1. re: Veggo

                                                              why would someone chew you out for that??

                                                              1. re: mariacarmen

                                                                She thinks my diet is too rich and I should be eating oatmeal. But this morning was onion bagel, smoked salmon, cream cheese, capers, and I have at least 4 more days of inventory.

                                                            2. re: Bob W

                                                              ha! that was the one thing that jumped out at me too...as someone who was raised on real NYC bagels, the idea of eating a Lender's bagel is horrifying :) and i've gotta say, i could never stomach that packaged Vita smoked salmon either...sorry Veggo!

                                                              1. re: goodhealthgourmet

                                                                It's a deli wasteland here on the Florida gulf, and the pizza is even worse.
                                                                But I'm compensating with great grouper and shrimp at obscenely low prices, and stone crab season opens in 11 days.
                                                                Is the Vita salmon really that bad? I'm laughing because I eat quite a lot of it, and the pickled herring, also.

                                                                1. re: Veggo

                                                                  it's been many years since i had either. i do recall thinking the herring was passable in a pinch, but i couldn't eat the smoked salmon. i'm spoiled - i was raised on the best sliced-to-order nova from Zabar's in NYC.

                                                                  1. re: Veggo

                                                                    As a German who's used to an abundance of herring incarnations (cream sauce, red wine, pickled, smoked - you name it), that Vita stuff is no acceptable substitute. It's a bummer, really.

                                                                    1. re: linguafood

                                                                      The herring, also? Bummer. I guess I have nowhere to go but up, if I can find "up".

                                                                      1. re: Veggo

                                                                        OK Veggo, i did some quick research for you. two Sarasota sources for pickled herring that HAVE to be better than Vita...

                                                                        Scandinavian Gifts, Baked Goods & Grocery in Gulf Gate Village

                                                                        Captain Brian's Seafood Market & Restaurant

                                                                        1. re: goodhealthgourmet

                                                                          Hey, thanks! I checked the sites and I will have better holiday fare.
                                                                          Meanwhile....9 days 'til stone crabs!

                                                                          1. re: Veggo

                                                                            great. let me know how you like it if you end up trying some *real* pickled herring ;)

                                                                            have some stone crabs for me - i love those things!

                                                                      2. re: linguafood

                                                                        well, in my defense, back in the days when i ate the Vita herring i was in college in Atlanta, where the deli/appetizing situation was as bad as Veggo's locale. the "bagels" from the neighborhood bagel shop were barely a step up from Lender's, and from what i can recall, the herring was consumed straight from the jar standing in the kitchen at about 3 a.m. after a night of partying...quality may not have been the top priority ;)

                                                                        of course now this discussion has me craving Zabar's pickled herring & onions in cream sauce!!

                                                                      3. re: Veggo

                                                                        the reason the west coast of florida is a deli-desert: I-75.

                                                                        I-75 carries snowbirds and retirees from illinois and indiana down to sarasota and fort myers, bonita (naples is a little different, but not in many respects).

                                                                        now, it is I-95 -- going down the east coast -- that takes new yorkers to miami, where delis are galore. see.

                                                                        i call it the "theory of interstate food migration."

                                                                        1. re: alkapal

                                                                          And I-10 is the Southerners.

                                                                          Though the lines and migration patterns of both people and food have started to blur in recent years and Florida probably isn't that far away from a New York style deli that also serves proper sweet tea.

                                                                      4. re: goodhealthgourmet

                                                                        I could do Vita as long as it was mixed in with cream cheese, onions, capers... Straight from the pack? Maybe. I don't know how desperate I would be for smoked salmon.

                                                                        I like Safeway bagels. Satisfyingly chewy and good open texture. I just wish they were not the size of a house.

                                                                  2. -Veganaise vegan mayo. My husband prefers vegan mayo to normal mayo and this is by far the yummiest we've found.
                                                                    -BIonaturae whole wheat pasta. Reasonably priced, lots of shapes, and some of the best whole wheat pasta I've tasted.
                                                                    -Muir glen canned tomatoes.
                                                                    -King arthur flours (specially all-purpose)
                                                                    -365 vegan sugar (we appreciate it's not bleached with animal bones, which a lot of other sugars are)
                                                                    -Penzey's vietnamese cinnamon and ancho chile powder
                                                                    -Trader Joe's nuts...high quality and cheap

                                                                    1. San Marzano canned tomatoes are the best by far...sometimes I will forget this if I see a sale on another brand, but I always regret it in the end! Gotta be San Marzano for the best tasting gravy!

                                                                      I used to only love Kraft mac & cheese but I tried Shop Rite brand - and it's pretty darn good!(sorry folks, I know it's poor taste, but I love boxed mac & cheese!)

                                                                      Heinz for ketchup (for me) and baked beans. (for English hubby)

                                                                      3 Replies
                                                                      1. re: NellyNel

                                                                        I generally prefer store brand mac and cheese for my powdered cheese needs...

                                                                        1. re: NellyNel

                                                                          Speaking of Shop Rite, I'll probably be crucified for saying this but in my opinion thier house brand Mountain Dew analouge (Mountain Charge) is significantly better than the original. Thne again as I find a bitter aftertaste in Real mountain dew, at least the orginal (I do like the new Whiteout and Distortion versions) practically any Dew analouge is better to me than the original (I actually cheered the day I realized they were bringing Mello Yello back to my area)

                                                                          1. re: jumpingmonk

                                                                            When I drank soda I preferred the fake Mountain Dew from Walmart over the real. The Walmart version wasn't as cloying as the real.

                                                                        2. I'm flexible on many things, but there are a few that I will not budge on...

                                                                          Heinz ketchup
                                                                          Hellman's mayonaisse
                                                                          Diet Coke

                                                                          6 Replies
                                                                          1. re: valerie

                                                                            Yes, the Heinz is another for me as well. I also can only do Diet Coke (caffeine free). I just bought the diet caffeine free pepsi b/c it was on sale.. and I really cannot drink it.

                                                                            1. re: hungryabbey

                                                                              I'm a Heinz loyalist too. Luckily in Canada it made with liquid sugar, not corn and from tomatoes grown here.

                                                                              I don't like pop, but Mr. S will only drink Coke. He was out of Coke and really wanted some with his rum. All we had was a leftover bottle of Pepsi from a party. So he caved and used it. Drank one glass (didn't want to waste the rum, so drank the entire glass) and the rest went down the drain.

                                                                            2. re: valerie

                                                                              I recently changed ketchup: I don't like John Kerry, I disagree with corn subsidies, and sugar ketchup tastes better than that with HFCS.

                                                                              1. re: valerie

                                                                                I agree heinz ketchup
                                                                                Best Foods Mayo
                                                                                Boxers from Old Navey

                                                                                1. re: valerie

                                                                                  100% agree on all 3 of your choices...especially Diet Coke!

                                                                                  1. re: valerie

                                                                                    I used to be a Heinz only until my husband got pissed at me for refusing to by Huntz even when it was dirt cheap and bought it and filled our traveling ketchup with Huntz and I did not detect the difference. Now I do not give a rip.

                                                                                    With you on the Hellmans. Taste and texture superiority and I CAN tell the difference. My husband dare not try to pull that one on me.

                                                                                    Diet coke tastes like metal to me. If I have a coke I mix it with soda water.

                                                                                  2. Nope, not committed to any brands. I usually buy supermarket own-label unless a brand happens to be on a better offer. Of course, some things are often only available in the major brand name.

                                                                                    3 Replies
                                                                                    1. re: Harters

                                                                                      Harters - you are a Brit - arent you?

                                                                                      Well I bet if you moved to the US - you'd be a stickler for Tetley round tea bags - and Heinz baked beans!!!

                                                                                      1. re: NellyNel

                                                                                        Yep, I'm British. But I don't drink tea (hate the taste) and am very happy with my supermarket baked beans (which I genuinely prefer to Heinz)

                                                                                        1. re: Harters

                                                                                          Well blow me!

                                                                                          I lived in the UK for 6 years and I don't think I met anyone who didnt like tea! - It's a way of life!
                                                                                          When my in-laws visit un now in the US, they all bring theor own tea supply!
                                                                                          DH settles for Tetley (they do a round bag "English Style" or something)

                                                                                          And in America baked beans are completely different to yours, and the only English brand available is Heinz.. Hubby literally can't stomach any American style.

                                                                                    2. I am committed to stay AWAY from certain brands because of bad things that they do or I don't like the taste... Otherwise, I'm always out to try something new.

                                                                                        1. But of course.
                                                                                          Diet Coke
                                                                                          Heinz Ketchup
                                                                                          French's mustard
                                                                                          Duke's Mayo
                                                                                          Lea & Perrins worcestershire sauce
                                                                                          Cabot's Seriously Sharp cheddar cheese
                                                                                          Green Mtn. Coffee
                                                                                          etc. etc. and so forth

                                                                                          1 Reply
                                                                                          1. re: steakman55

                                                                                            I was a French's mustard fan until I tried Annie's Natural after a Cooks Country taste test. Now it is only Annie's for me!

                                                                                          2. Oh ! Yes, and Salada black tea. I cant do Tetley.

                                                                                            2 Replies
                                                                                            1. re: hungryabbey

                                                                                              Oh yeah tea, that's another area I have a fairly strict loyalty. My daily picture must have the same two brands in it, the Iron Goddess has to be Foojoy (Okay there is an Oolong teabag I like even better, but it's really really hard to find so Foojoy is my basic) and the Earl grey has to be Repubic of Tea

                                                                                              1. re: jumpingmonk

                                                                                                Bigelow Constant Comment or Republic of Tea Plum, or nuthin'.

                                                                                            2. I'm the kind of person who'll actively try the alternative brand, just to see. But I'll travel to three supermarkets in search of Mrs Renfro's brand of salsa, especially the green salsa.

                                                                                                1. re: CharlieKilo

                                                                                                  Texan obviously.

                                                                                                  If I ever moved away from here, RSB would one of a very few things that I would need to have shipped to me.

                                                                                                  1. re: DoobieWah

                                                                                                    As a transplanted Texan, I *do* have them shipped to me!

                                                                                                    1. re: Jenny Ondioline


                                                                                                      Where are you and what else do you have shipped?

                                                                                                      I've often wondered what I take for granted but would be unknown in Cali or NY or even farther afield. Fresh corn and flour tortillas, maybe. Gebhardt's chili powder, (my grandmama's favorite brand).

                                                                                                      What else?

                                                                                                      1. re: DoobieWah

                                                                                                        There are excellent local corn tortillas available in Boston and I make my own flour when necessary. In general, I have my Mexican needs covered. It's the more specifically Texan things that are difficult to lay hands on: Ranch Style Beans, Big Red, Blue Bell Ice Cream. (There's a barbecue restaurant in Manhattan that has Big Red and Blue Bell shipped in.)

                                                                                                        I used to get Mrs. Bairds cherry pies shipped to me, but unfortunately, they're just not as good as they used to be.

                                                                                                2. Certainly
                                                                                                  -Alvarado Street Bakery's sprouted flax seed bread. It has such a rich, nutty scent and flavor that it makes your car smell like a bakery on the ride home from the grocery store.
                                                                                                  -Naturally More Peanut Butter
                                                                                                  -Fage Greek-style yogurt
                                                                                                  -Green Mountain Coffee
                                                                                                  - Heinz beans
                                                                                                  -La Tortilla Factory
                                                                                                  -Green Giant

                                                                                                  3 Replies
                                                                                                  1. re: Chef Kit Fox

                                                                                                    If I lived in the US I'd be loyal to Fage too, Chef Kit :-).

                                                                                                    1. re: Chef Kit Fox

                                                                                                      Agree with Fage (its finally available here in Canada) and La tortilla (I order them online b/c you cant buy them here)

                                                                                                      1. re: hungryabbey

                                                                                                        I heard rumours that Fage had crossed the border back east but I still can't find it in Vancouver, more's the pity :-(.

                                                                                                    2. Duke's mayo, only a recent "discovery" (well, I read everyone waxing poetic about it, so I had a friend bring me a couple of 32 oz. glasses from Bawlmer... and I'm hooked, I think).

                                                                                                      Kewpie mayo is another favorite, and one of these days, I'll have to do a blind taste with Kewpie and Duke's.

                                                                                                      De Cecco for pasta, mostly, sometimes Barilla.

                                                                                                      I used to prefer diet Pepsi over diet Coke, but now that we've pretty much weaned ourselves off of soda, and rarely drink it, we prefer the Mexican Coke in the small glass bottle.

                                                                                                      Cheetos (tho I'd much rather have Cheez Curlz). Nutella (I don't eat that crap, but my man does).

                                                                                                      Fage for yogurt.

                                                                                                      That's about it, me thinks.

                                                                                                      2 Replies
                                                                                                      1. re: linguafood

                                                                                                        Oh yeah De Cecco for pasta, sometimes Barilla :-).

                                                                                                        1. re: grayelf

                                                                                                          Garofalo for pasta, De Cecco if it can't be found. Never Barilla.

                                                                                                      2. Hellman's mayonaisse
                                                                                                        Heinz ketchup
                                                                                                        Barleen's flax oil
                                                                                                        The MacCallan and The Glenlivit scotch (spouse's drink of choice)
                                                                                                        Tazo china green tips tea
                                                                                                        Central Grocery olive salad (if I don't make my own)
                                                                                                        Cornmeal - Falls Mill

                                                                                                        Some things I guess I would say I am brand loyal because I don't know another source. For instance Purple Haze Goat Cheese. As far as I know Cypress Grove is the only one producing goat cheese with fennel pollen and lavender for flavouring.

                                                                                                        1. Crackers - Trader Joe's mini soy rice crackers or 12-grain
                                                                                                          Whole Wheat Bread - Martin's Whole Wheat Potato
                                                                                                          Liverwurst - Schaller & Weber
                                                                                                          Pancake Mix - Kodiak Kakes
                                                                                                          Cornbread Mix - Trader Joe's
                                                                                                          Instant Decaf - Folger's
                                                                                                          Peanut Butter - Skippy Extra Crunchy

                                                                                                          1. Hellman's mayo
                                                                                                            Diet Pepsi all they way!
                                                                                                            Softasilk cake flour
                                                                                                            Heinz organic ketchup
                                                                                                            Anderson's split pea soup if I don't have any of my own on hand

                                                                                                            1. The only thing I've got left, I think, is Jif Extra Crunchy. No other brand will do.

                                                                                                              I also used to insist on Hellman's - until I started making my own mayonnaise.

                                                                                                              My husband insists on Tabasco - none of the Frank's or, heaven forbid, whatever knockoff people gift him with because they know he likes "hot sauce."

                                                                                                              6 Replies
                                                                                                              1. re: Krislady

                                                                                                                If only Tabasco actually were a hot sauce.

                                                                                                                  1. re: ospreycove

                                                                                                                    He likes the "shot of vinegar" it adds - I don't use it, myself.

                                                                                                                    1. re: Krislady

                                                                                                                      Yah, I personally dislike the vinegar part of it. I find it overpowers the "heat". But I'm pretty partial (slave) to Sriracha myself.

                                                                                                                      1. re: linguafood

                                                                                                                        FYI, El Yucateco red and green hot sauces do not contain vinegar. I have the red, the green is goofy hot. Tabasco with the vinegar base has its purposes, especially in cajun and creole cooking.

                                                                                                                        1. re: linguafood

                                                                                                                          I agree! I have NEVER understood the like of Tabasco or other vinegar based hot *sauces*. Tho' Having *micro* bottles as pocket accessories or label pin is rather; to pull out, cool.

                                                                                                                1. Only brand name product I buy is Coca-Cola.

                                                                                                                  Everything else is based upon whatever is on sale.

                                                                                                                  1. Charbucks (hangs head in shame here)--I do love Peet's, too, but it's not as widely available and in a land of ubiquitous Dunkin Donuts-Keurig-horrid coffee, it's my only guarantee of a decent cup. I even prefer those instant Via things to Dunkin Donuts when I can't get freshly brewed Peet's or Starbucks. If I lived in Seattle, I'd happily buy from some of the independent roasters, but New England is a coffee desert.

                                                                                                                    Also, Muir Glen tomatoes and ketchup, King Arthur flour (Bob's Red Mill for non-wheat flours), Maria and Ricardo's tortillas, Amy's for canned refried beans (those are our "peanut butter" because we can't have peanut products in the house), PG Tips for tea., Maplebrook Farm for smoked mozarella (yes, we use enough of it to have a regular brand and none of the others compare!)

                                                                                                                    I'm curious about Duke's mayo. If I can find it here, I'll try it.

                                                                                                                    1. Is anybody else here a "brand slave" to "generics"?

                                                                                                                      I love pepsi for instance, but if I have to have a cheaper cola, I'd prefer shasta (not sure if it qualifies as a generic, but it's the cheaper brand in these parts) over, say, sunny select. I find that safeway has the best store brand around.

                                                                                                                      For cheese, hubs prefers tillamook. For egg noodles, gotta be american beauty (I've tried others, and there is a definite difference to my taste buds).

                                                                                                                      3 Replies
                                                                                                                      1. re: Popkin

                                                                                                                        Tillamook is definitely not a generic!! I could never understand why people would drink cola beverages; but the when, why do people drink Scotch or Bourbon? Sweet totally escapes me.

                                                                                                                        I am definitely a bitter/sour over anything else but an Umami taster the most. A hard taste to find in domestic (USA) products, since it isn't really recognized yet.

                                                                                                                        I know, I am weird.

                                                                                                                        1. re: Quine

                                                                                                                          Oops, I didn't mean to imply that Tillamook was a generic :P

                                                                                                                          I'll readily admit to a sweet and salt tooth, bitter escapes me (hence I don't drink much alcohol.... I can't stand the bitter background). Sweet and sour are wonderful together, as well as sweet and savory.

                                                                                                                          ... And I usually find weird people much more interesting :D

                                                                                                                          1. re: Popkin

                                                                                                                            I embrace all my taste buds. I definitely crave salty, sour, sweet, bitter, and umami equally as often. I love food!

                                                                                                                      2. Low Sodium V8. I like to drink it before I run out the door in the morning or along with my eggs if I have breakfast at home. I've tried other brands including TJ's and they are all too sweet.

                                                                                                                        1. La Victoria green taco sauce. It's the third ingredient in my favorite no-fuss slow cooker recipe: green taco sauce, chicken tenderloins and southwestern veggie mix, the last two straight out of the freezer. The green version of the taco sauce comes and goes on my grocer's shelf so I stock up when it's there.

                                                                                                                          1 Reply
                                                                                                                          1. re: mandycat

                                                                                                                            I use La Victoria's Salsa Verde and a little of their Salsa Jalapeno for slow cooker chile verde.

                                                                                                                          2. I am a slave to relatively few brands. I’ve found the house brands carried at the IGA are very satisfying.

                                                                                                                            However, my loyalty lies with: Coca-Cola, Gibbles, Mt. Olive, Duke’s and Kunzler (bacon).

                                                                                                                            If I could find it, I’d love to re-taste the JFG peanut butter from my childhood.

                                                                                                                            22 Replies
                                                                                                                            1. re: cuccubear

                                                                                                                              JFG? we saw what i think were JFG products (mayo and coffee) at harris teeter last week. maybe they carry the peanut butter, too. have you tried the mayo or coffee? (tho' i'm a duke's fan).

                                                                                                                              1. re: alkapal

                                                                                                                                Sorry for the delayed reply alkapal...I have tried the mayo, the IGA in town used to sell it, but no more, and it was good - I still like Duke's best.

                                                                                                                                I'll have to check out HT. It's more a nostalgia thing. My dad still has a couple of the 1/2 gallon size jars the PB used to come in. No one I know anymore sells PB in 32oz glass jars!

                                                                                                                                1. re: cuccubear

                                                                                                                                  glass jars are going the way of the dodo. i just saw some refrigerated boar's head pickles in the deli at harris teeter -- in plastic jars. i was surprised.

                                                                                                                                  1. re: alkapal

                                                                                                                                    Don't be surprised, every jar that breaks reduces the profits significantly. And they break everywhere: int the factory, on the truck, in the grocery and maybe in the parking lot, and the customer probably wants a free replacement. Then the shipping costs are at least double too, due to the weight. There's only one company I can think of that still sells their pickles etc in wonderful old fashioned gallon glass jars, I am hoarding them like crazy.

                                                                                                                                    Still mad at Hellmanns for switching to plastic, and being less than a quart. Very inconvenient.

                                                                                                                                    1. re: coll

                                                                                                                                      i've hoarded tons of old hellman's glass jars. and very large glass jars -- like from a honkin' big jar of giardiniera from shoppers food warehouse -- are great for storing lots of soup in the fridge.

                                                                                                                                      1. re: alkapal

                                                                                                                                        I used to give out my homemade soups and the like in Hellmanns jars, and only occasionally got one back. Regrets, I have a few.

                                                                                                                                      2. re: coll

                                                                                                                                        Hellman's switching to plastic still aggravates me, too. My spouse used to give me grief for saving jars (as in "Don't you have enough of these?" to "We don't need any more of these."), but now I am glad I did.

                                                                                                                                        1. re: decolady

                                                                                                                                          The only nice thing is they're good for the freezer. Now if they were an exact quart, chicken stock inventory would be easy, but I just add a couple of ounces before cooking, so guess I can't complain. Now it's Barilla sauce jars I save...I buy a dozen or so every year around this time when they go for $1, just for dinner emergencies and the like, it's getting ridiculous though. They're very attractive, and the labels come off quite easily.....husband does haunt me to cull them occasionally too, mine are in the garage and I bet yours are in some "manly" place too?

                                                                                                                                          1. re: coll

                                                                                                                                            LOL. Yes, a very manly place - the garage. I, too, save the Barilla sauce jars now. My Mom gets those and brings them to me.

                                                                                                                                            1. re: decolady

                                                                                                                                              ok, am I behind the times here? what's so great about Barilla jars? do I need to start buying the sauce too? Who out there likes PN's Sockarooni pasta sauce?

                                                                                                                                              1. re: iL Divo

                                                                                                                                                they have a slightly squared-off round shape, and a little decorative embossment of vines around the shoulder.

                                                                                                                                                this isn't much help: http://mybrands.com/product/Barilla_S...

                                                                                                                                                edeit: oops, i'm wong. barilla has the slightly squared shape, but the embossment is not vines at the top (that's classico, maybe), and it has measures up the side, like 1/4 cup, 1/2 cup, etc.

                                                                                                                                                on the other side, "barilla, parma, italy" and a date "dal 1877"

                                                                                                                                                1. re: alkapal

                                                                                                                                                  It looks like an Italian style Mason jar.

                                                                                                                                                  1. re: coll

                                                                                                                                                    Here it is sans labels. Not very exciting unless you're into jars, I know.

                                                                                                                                                    1. re: coll

                                                                                                                                                      but when i was searching online i did notice that the ones in europe -- at least germany -- were swirly at the top.

                                                                                                                                                      germany: http://www.google.com/imgres?imgurl=h...

                                                                                                                                                      round in malaysia: http://www.quirkymalaysia.com/2010/02...

                                                                                                                                            2. re: coll

                                                                                                                                              yes, the barilla jars are attractive. i have a couple in the kitchen now, full of their roasted garlic and mushroom-y sauce...waiting to be re-purposed somewhere.....somehow.....
                                                                                                                                              <cue up music: "a place for us, somewhere a place for us..." http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-BQMgC... >

                                                                                                                                              1. re: alkapal

                                                                                                                                                I use Barilla sauce when I'm not in the mood to eat anything heavy and husband is. Usually chicken parm or baked ziti, two things that don't tempt me at all. If it's eggplant parm then it will be my sauce. He grew up on homemade sauce every week, so I guess it's a fun thing for him. I grew up on Ragu, until his mother taught me "the ways" ,and I'd just as soon wait until I make the next pot before I indulge . Anyway I figure the jars are worth a buck a piece at least.

                                                                                                                                                Has anyone ever done a thread on, do you cook separate meals for yourself and your spouse? Because I get tired of listening to him complain ;-) it's easier to make two meals, as long as I take a couple of shortcuts.

                                                                                                                                                1. re: coll

                                                                                                                                                  i use barilla as a shortcut sometimes, as it is on sale (just got it BOGO) often, and it is not SWEET like so many others. i'll typically doctor a jarred sauce with some anchovy and fennel seed anyway.

                                                                                                                                                  i usually make sauce straight from a large can of crushed tomatoes, then add-in the garlic, fennel seeds, anchovy, onions, sometimes eggplant, sometimes cumin.

                                                                                                                                                  the canned tomatoes have really been on good sales over the past few months!

                                                                                                                                                  1. re: coll

                                                                                                                                                    that's it, boot him out.
                                                                                                                                                    he needs to love what you make for him.
                                                                                                                                                    OR ELSE :)))))

                                                                                                                                              2. re: decolady

                                                                                                                                                lesson (on sooooo many topics, beginning with glass jars, but including "how does this leather jacket look?" and "what route are you taking -- it is out of the way"):

                                                                                                                                                don't listen to spouse.

                                                                                                                                                1. re: decolady

                                                                                                                                                  I love saving jars.
                                                                                                                                                  I love Hellmans/Best Foods jars.
                                                                                                                                                  That's what my Amish friend uses to put her raw home grown honey in. She sells them so inexpensively considering how much regular honey is and since we're friends I have 2 of those jars now with that specialty honey. It is the best honey I've ever eaten in my life.

                                                                                                                                                  So why switch to plastic? < Lighter in weight is only for shipping purposes I suppose.
                                                                                                                                                  And cheaper to manufacture too I'd think.

                                                                                                                                                  Would you believe that I recently, two months ago, went to Thrift stores to buy jars with lids? People just donate them for nitwits like me to buy since I now chuck mine since I'm now into vintage Tupperware and keep seeing pieces I just must have.
                                                                                                                                                  In making jam there was a need for jars that weren't huge like the quart sized ones I bought of the teeny tiny little ones I bought years ago for who knows what reason?

                                                                                                                                              3. re: alkapal

                                                                                                                                                And even more scarce are tin jar lids. I hang on to my collection of jar lids with both hands! All you get nowadays is plastic.

                                                                                                                                        2. I've seen two people refer to Splenda, now. While I'm a fan myself, I have to ask: Is there anyone else who produces sucralose? Other sugar substitutes are things like saccharine and aspartame, so not the same thing.
                                                                                                                                          I ask because I am also a fan of Splenda, but I've never been exposed to another producer of sucralose, so my brand slavery is due to that more than to its superiority in its field-- or my love of yellow.

                                                                                                                                          2 Replies
                                                                                                                                            1. re: Lizard

                                                                                                                                              I avoid Splenda due to the maltodextrin by buying liquid sucralose at sweetzfree.com. VERY concentrated, lasts forever, zero calorie/carb.

                                                                                                                                            2. not absolutely not, not a brand slave.
                                                                                                                                              I get what's on sale, mayo example, if the store brand is on sale, I get that, if it's awful I don't buy it again. fakko soup brands aren't always the best, campbells bean with bacon is the best whereas the WallyWorld brand is so so.

                                                                                                                                              1. Pellagrino water, DeCecco pasta, Crave Brothers mozzarella (when I buy mozzarella at WF), Hellman's mayo when I can't get Duke's. There must be others, but those come to me off the top of my head.

                                                                                                                                                1. I'm way too promiscuous to be completely loyal, but some things are too good to stray from:

                                                                                                                                                  WalkersWood spicy jerk marinade; nothing else comes close
                                                                                                                                                  Barilla no boil lasagna noodles, more like fresh than dried pasta
                                                                                                                                                  Hellman's mayo
                                                                                                                                                  J.L. Jardines 5 star bbq sauce (I don't like sticky sweet ones)
                                                                                                                                                  Garrett County uncured bacon, hot dogs, ham, various sausages
                                                                                                                                                  Trader Joe's roasted, unsalted almonds, best I've ever tasted
                                                                                                                                                  Smucker's creamy PB

                                                                                                                                                  1. I definately have preferred brands (e.g. Hellmans, Coke, Lea and Perrins Worcestershire, Tabasco) but I will almost always at least try alternatives..... Used to be a slave to Nabob coffee now I am quite attached to my local store brand. If the alternatives don`t stack up though it`s back to the standby, costs be damned

                                                                                                                                                    1. Friendship cottage cheese
                                                                                                                                                      Huy Fong sambal oelek & sriracha
                                                                                                                                                      Bragg's Apple Cider Vinegar
                                                                                                                                                      Kirkland/Ito-En matcha tea bags
                                                                                                                                                      Meyenberg goat milk
                                                                                                                                                      Rick's Picks low-sodium pickles
                                                                                                                                                      KAL stevia

                                                                                                                                                      everything else is negotiable :)

                                                                                                                                                      1. Saw all the references to Duke's and got excited, thinking they were to the mango-flavored Indian soft drink - DUKE'S MANGOLA. To which I was enslaved when living in Bombay, or Mumbai if you prefer. Now in New Orleans, which is more like Calcutta than Bombay, I go for the occasional BARQ'S or BIG SHOT. Latest threat to my freedom is MEXICAN COKE, which has just hit the tiny grocery store near my office. Fast becoming addicted: it is the taste of my childhood. Very Proustian, if Proust had been born a mid-century American instead of a French pantywaist. Oh, and I must have ginger beer for Dark n' Stormys. Since BARRITT'S is now hard to come by I am settling for GOSLING'S version. Hardly a slave to it, though, more like an indentured servant.

                                                                                                                                                        1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                        1. King Arthur Flour
                                                                                                                                                          Fage Greek Yogurt (Dannon's is so bad that I don't care if it's half the price)
                                                                                                                                                          Barilla Plus pasta (super healthy and super yum)

                                                                                                                                                          1. birdseye frozen veg over green giant.

                                                                                                                                                            1. Just recently, I switched my clean-up loyalty from Bounty towels and Palmolive dish soap to Costco's Kirkland products. The towels are also select-a-size, which I prefer, and the soap is both powerful and nice-smelling.