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well known brands that just arent as good as in the past

  • m

Breyers ice cream. except for 2/3 flavors, has become ordinary. Entenmanns Cakes another. can you think of others??

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  1. Campbell's soup. Since caving to the Waffen Salt Troopers the stuff's just not the same and I no longer buy it.

    7 Replies
    1. re: Perilagu Khan

      I was also thinking Campbell's soups.

      1. re: Perilagu Khan

        A-men (for the most part..I can work around the salt in some recipes so they are not entirely on the Banned Substances List). A-1 used to be a lot thicker (45 years ago) and while it is not something I'd use on a good---or even half-way decent--- steak it has its uses, even in its present inferior form.

        'twas ever thus, though. While mindful of the renaissance of brewing, I am thinking of Murray Kempton's great line "For a man with a taste for both beer and politics, it is difficult to say which has gone flatter in my lifetime."

        1. re: hazelhurst

          A-1 was much better when it was made exclusively in Vauxhall, London. When they started making it here, the product lost much of its original character.

            1. re: Steve Green

              Apparently, they quit making it in London before I was born. A-1 was acquired by Kraft Foods in 1999. I'd guess that roughly corresponds with a cheapening of the product.

        2. re: Perilagu Khan

          I still do buy it but with reluctance.

          I'm told White Lily flour since moving it's plant is no longer what it used to be.
          Finding it is hard enough but the old mill version supposedly was far superior.

          Lorne Doone cookies.
          Girl Scout cookies.
          Ritz crackers.
          Trader Joe anything. Whereas they used to be fantastically different than anything out there that was =, now they're just like all else. My opinion anyway, born and raised in California I've been to several over the years and still can't understand the fascination with their store and what you get there. Used to be yep, now, nope.
          Bosco's not the same.
          Ovaltine was way better as a little girl who craved it.
          Coke and Pepsi Vernors ginger ale.
          Oscar Mayer bologna and hot dogs, all beef.
          Fillet of Fish at McDogs. Now they use a bottom feeder from far off land as their fish of choice.
          Big Mac's.
          Bob's Big Boys, were actually BIG back then.
          Where's the original American sliced cheese that tasted and had the texture/feel of real cheese?

          Ok, now I'm depressed...................

          1. re: iL Divo

            I'll add Nilla Wafers to your list. Good grief, they're these little dry thin bits that barely resemble the originals. Ugh.

        3. hebrew national hot dogs and salami have gone downhill since they moved production to Indiana.

          1. And when those of us who remember "what was" are gone, no one will know "what was"!

            2 Replies
            1. re: mrbigshotno.1

              There will be new whats that will become what wasses. It's the way of the world.

              1. just about everything, except electronics...

                1. Bumble Bee's regular tuna went downhill years ago so we switched to the Bumble Bee Prime Filet. Now that has done downhill as well.

                  3 Replies
                  1. re: EM23

                    We switched to Costco's Kirkland tuna. Looks and tastes better than whatever name brand Costco carries.

                    1. re: Bob W

                      Does Kirkland have tuna packed in olive oil? I generally prefer that to tuna packed in water.

                    2. re: EM23

                      It used to be better because sometimes you got that tasty dolphin meat in there.

                    3. List would be much shorter for what is as good, but here goes:

                      - entire cereal aisle
                      - entire cookie aisle
                      - entire baked goods section
                      - most vegetables and fruits
                      - all canned items (i do not buy any but tuna and canned tomatoe)
                      - fruit juices (or whatever they call them today)

                      Yup, i'm getting my food grinch costume ready.

                      5 Replies
                      1. re: jfood

                        Yeah, the really sad thing is the vegetables and fruits. How is that that "progress" has resulted in such flavorless inedible junk? At least where I live, even the "farmer's markets" sell unripe tasteless vegetables (guess I'm really harping about tomatoes here, truth be known).

                        1. re: curej

                          that's because most of the vendors at farmer's markets get their products from the same food terminals as the big stores. If you don't see pepper fields around, chances are the guy at the farmer's market doesn't grow them.

                          1. re: curej

                            Monsanto. Cargill. ADM. The anti-Christ cartel.

                            1. re: curej

                              I read an article recently where a Florida farmer was being interviewed. He was asked why he was growing fields of tasteless tomato hybrids. He said that these tomatoes were bred to travel well. When a followup question calling him out on the lack of flavor of the tomatoes was asked, he simply replied "Look, I'm not in business to sell 'flavor."

                              That explains a lot.

                            2. re: jfood

                              I feel ya jfood, I have three ravenous stepsons, and I have to buy mediocre food or pay a premium and choose who gets to eat.

                            3. Carvel
                              Girl Scout Cookies
                              Reese's PB Cups

                              14 Replies
                              1. re: goodhealthgourmet

                                whoa whoa whoa...how can someone with your handle eat those three items? :-))

                                1. re: jfood

                                  ha! well i obviously don't eat them anymore since they suck now. plus, the cookies & the Carvel cake are off-limits anyway because of the gluten (as are the aforementioned Entenmanns).

                                  but remember jfood, everything in moderation - i wouldn't be a true Hound if i didn't indulge on occasion, would i? ;)

                                  1. re: goodhealthgourmet

                                    i asked a builder once if he could put one of those moderation rooms on the house. he laughed and gave me a boston cream doughnut.

                                    BTW - i cannot remember the last entemanns cake i ate, really bad now.

                                    happy holidays GHG

                                    1. re: jfood

                                      I recall Baron Rothchild's comment a few years back. You must take everything in moderation, including moderation itself

                                      1. re: sarge

                                        Yah, I too strive to avoid excessive moderation...

                                        1. re: eclecticsynergy

                                          Or Robert Heinlein's Lazarus Long character: "Everything in excess! To enjoy the flavor of life, take big bites. Moderation is for monks."

                                          1. re: jmckee

                                            Had forgotten all about "Time Enough For Love."

                                2. re: goodhealthgourmet

                                  Trader Joe's has gotten the peanut butter cup right.

                                  Bumble Bee tuna is way worse now.

                                  1. re: phantomdoc

                                    i prefer dark chocolate these days, so ii actually haven't been really tempted to try those TJ's PB cups. the one time in recent years that i had a Reese's again it was more for nostalgia than anything else, and given how bad it was, i'm not even tempted to try the dark version :)

                                    1. re: goodhealthgourmet

                                      I love dark chocolate and bought a pack of the DC Reese's last summer.

                                      you are missing nothing. it's just wrong. I think there's still one in a niche in the car if you want me to mail it to you...

                                      1. re: hill food

                                        ha! i suspected they'd be bad. thanks for the offer, but i'll pass ;)

                                        1. re: goodhealthgourmet

                                          IIRC it's more the texture being too waxy and it would have been sent postage due (oooh April Fool's Day is coming up...remind me to look up obscure cousins)

                                        1. re: Craig_l

                                          When did you try them last? I ask because for a time right after they removed the transfats (a few years ago?), they really were awful. They've made some modifications since then, and now I think they're OK, although not what they were before.

                                  2. Most of these went waaay downhill years ago when they added HFCS instead of/in addition to sugar, because it's CHEAP filler. Just about all the foods baby boomers enjoyed as kids (relatively) healthfully -- if they're still around are just garbage now. So sad. :(

                                    1 Reply
                                    1. re: ChefJune

                                      Hate to tell you, but Oreo's made with Sugar are still bad for you. Sure, the latter is worse (HFCS, that is), but that doesn't mean Sugar is healthy by any means.

                                    2. It seems all those who could make a good egg cream are now in heaven.

                                      30 Replies
                                      1. re: Rmis32

                                        very simple...

                                        ubet's syrup and milk in a glass and stir to mix. add seltzer. couple of grilled dogs and some crinkle fries and it feels like heaven

                                        1. re: jfood

                                          Sorry J, an egg cream has to have a pretzel rod. Milk with franks???????????????

                                          And a vanilla egg cream is not best made with U-Bet.

                                          1. re: bagelman01

                                            never had an EC with a pretzel rod and I only like chocolate egg creams.

                                            And the hot dogs were Hebrew National, that's a carve out. :-))

                                            Be safe out there today.

                                            1. re: jfood

                                              From the Foxs-syrups.com memories pages:

                                              Name: big bill and carmela
                                              Date: Thursday 25th of September 2003 07:37:09 PM
                                              E-mail: billsr919@si.rr.com
                                              a chocolate egg cream and 2 pretzels rods enough saide "

                                              As a kid the egg cream was 15 cents and the pretzel rods were 2 for a nickel or 3 cents each in the nieghborhood candy stores. The candy stores didn't have a grill and make franks.

                                              Had an egg cream last night with the kids while watching videos, always make it with a siphon bottle, plastic bottled seltzer doesn't cut it.

                                              1. re: bagelman01

                                                I guess I was never one for moderation. I use seltzer water in the siphon bottle. The Egg Cream is alive and well.

                                                1. re: Florida Hound

                                                  i ordered the u-bets squirter that you screw on the top of the jar. one day i came home and unbeknownst to me the cleaning lady decided to clean the fridge the week before and threw the thing out. Ouch

                                                  1. re: jfood

                                                    We also had that jar top pump, lasted for years. It went out when U-Bet switched to plastic bottles.

                                                    1. re: jfood

                                                      your cleaners do the fridge? do they do windows? (at least from the inside?)

                                                      but to add to the list: Hostess treats.

                                                      1. re: hill food

                                                        fridge...yes; windows...OMG no.

                                                        not even sure they make the 3-pack of choc-choc cupcakes that stuck to the roof of my mouth in 3rd grade.

                                                        1. re: jfood

                                                          I think the cupcakes are just a 2-pack now, but yeah no suet-based cream filling, instead some sort of hydrogenated oil thing. guess it keeps better and they can claim it's vegetarian.

                                                          when I could afford a regular cleaning crew, they never touched the fridge, but every now and then did attack the glass on the french door out the back and sometimes between Apr and July would hit the fireplace. that and rearrange every table top in the house to look like a shrine. (heh)

                                                          1. re: hill food

                                                            nope...not the filled ones, but the all chocolate cake and lighter chocolate frosting with no swirrlies. I think they were made by tastykake, not hostess and were the GREAT GREAT GREAT GRANPAPPY OF THese guys


                                                            1. re: jfood

                                                              yes that's a different brand, although I'm sure it too has gone over.

                                                              1. re: jfood

                                                                Tastykakes have really gone downhill. Got Butterscotch Krimpets and Peanut Butter KandyKakes for Christmas. Both were nothing like I remembered. Very waxy and artificial tasting. The cake in the krimpets seemed totally different. Lighter and spongier. I wanted to cry. I'm 53.

                                                                1. re: curej

                                                                  I don't know about the Krimpets (I was never a big fan), but I would disagree strongly about the Peanut Butter Kakes...I've enjoyed them for more than 50 years and the only real difference I see is in the price ...a pack of three used to cost a dime! Seems like they've gotten ahead of the inflation rate, since most calculators would name an equivalent price of around .95 today.

                                                                  1. re: The Professor

                                                                    @ The Professor : Maybe they just weren't fresh. I'll concede that. My favorites were always really the Chocolate Kandy Kakes, but those are harder to get here in Alabama. BTW, I'm a professor, too!

                                                    2. re: bagelman01

                                                      never doubted it was combined, just never heard of it in NJ.

                                                      Yeah, i remember pretzles as 3-cents or 2 for a nickle out of the clear cannister with the red top.

                                                      1. re: jfood

                                                        Once you move outside the 5 boros things change. In NYC appetizing and deli were bought in differnt stores. in the suburbs a kosher deli carried both smoked fish and meat........

                                                        Of course that brings us to the fact that deli is not the same. Hebrew National made by ConAgra in the Midwest doesn't compare with the stuff made at the old plant in Maspeth, Queens.

                                                        And corned beef, tongue and pastrami packed in cryovac can't compare to the meats shipped by Hebrew National in barrels of brine, and then steamed or boiled by the locat delis (disappeared in the mid 1980s.

                                                        1. re: bagelman01

                                                          You need to read the book..."Save the Deli". quite interesting.

                                                          1. re: jfood

                                                            been there, done that...................

                                                      2. re: bagelman01

                                                        Decades ago, starting before I was of drinking age, it was customary to end the evenings at Tonko's candy store in Brooklyn. for a nightcap egg cream. Mallomars were the accompanying snack of choice, but pretzel rods were also popular. Oh, that Tonko, he could really handle a spoon. Perfect head every time.

                                                        1. re: Rmis32

                                                          Mallomars were seasonal, only available from October until April. They are another product that has gone down in quality. The chocolate is not as thick or rich, the marshmallow not as gooey and the cookie is less flakey.
                                                          Why> HFCS, cheaper chocolate and no lard.

                                                          Making foods healthy doesn't make them taste better. The switch from animal fat to vegetable oils in baking may be great for the kosher consumer, or those watching cholesterol, but the product surely suffers.

                                                          1. re: bagelman01

                                                            let's not forget that the size of the mallomar is ~30% smaller.

                                                            1. re: bagelman01

                                                              Does the lower quality result from the fact that they are made in Canada? My wife checked with them to find out why they are seasonal and was told that the cookies don't do well in the warmer weather.

                                                              1. re: mucho gordo

                                                                Mucho--lower quality is a factor of ingredient cahnges, not being baked in Canada. Here in New England (your old home) we get a lot of great Canadian baked goods.

                                                                The chocolate shell doesn't stand up to shipping and warehousing in high temperatures. While the supermarkets might be air conditioned, the trailers and warehouses are not. thus seasonal availability.

                                                                1. re: bagelman01

                                                                  I was under the impression that they were originally made here in the USA and then, for whatever reason, production was moved to Canada; hence the different ingredients.

                                                        2. re: jfood

                                                          RIP, Hebrew National. Another one of ConAgra's "walking dead" products.

                                                          1. re: Pzz

                                                            I believe the deterioration of Hebrew National has more to do with the loss of Best Kosher as a viable alternative as it does with its purchase by ConAgra.

                                                        1. re: Rmis32

                                                          basically yes, but i use a little more milk (just a personal preference) and would NEVER use club soda, only seltzer, and as other's have said you do not use the word chocolate.

                                                          and the guy in the video could actually make me add some vodka to the egg cream, if you need almost 3 minutes to make an egg cream you are not from east of the mississippi.

                                                      3. re: Rmis32

                                                        Hey now! I cooked in a Marin deli, and it wasn't on the menu, but I could whip out an egg cream for those in the know like nobody's binnie.

                                                      4. Eskimo Pie

                                                        Pillsbury Crescent Rolls

                                                        McDonald's Apple Pie

                                                        Hershey's (Milk) Chocolate Bars

                                                        4 Replies
                                                        1. re: ipsedixit

                                                          You are sure right on the crescent rolls, made some hot dog roll ups last week and they are not the same product at all.

                                                          1. re: mrbigshotno.1

                                                            Either that or our tastebuds have taken a turn for the worst ...

                                                          2. re: ipsedixit

                                                            I know this doesn't help, but in Sweden you can still get the McDonald's Apple Pie as it was meant to be made--FRIED. Every time we visit I eat my fill of that flakey, gooey deliciousness to tide me over until the next trip. :)

                                                            1. re: hajenkatt

                                                              hajenkatt: ahhh in the US one has to find an old family-run bakery that has some kind of connection to the South and look for 'fried pies"

                                                              and the few that do sell out early.

                                                          3. I think that Folger's coffee has really gone downhill since the Atha family sold it to P&G. Not near as rich or aromatic.

                                                            1. Coca Cola. I remember the Coke from my childhood having a nice "bite" to it, and it was not as sweet as the present product. In the olden days, there was enough carbonation that, if you got close enough, the carbonation still bubbled up small splashes and tickled your nose.

                                                              11 Replies
                                                              1. re: Florida Hound

                                                                Agree with you about Coke, but growing up there was a Coke bottker in each metro area and they varied the syrup to soda water ratio. I hated the Coke in New Haven, but loved what was avilable in NY.

                                                                1. re: bagelman01

                                                                  I went to college with a girl who claimed to be a fountain Coke connoisseur. She preferred the Coke at the ice cream stand in the university center to any of the others available on campus. And could do wine connoisseur -like commentaries on the whys of her opinion.

                                                                  1. re: bagelman01

                                                                    coke's still sweeter down south. they like it better that way.

                                                                    1. re: Florida Hound

                                                                      When they introduced New Coke in the 80s I hoarded a few 6-packs of the real thing, and still had a few cans left when they brought back "Classic Coke."

                                                                      In direct observation - Classic Coke was more like original Coke than New Coke was, but it wasn't the same -- not even close. Not only was it sweeter and didn't have the same bite or fizz, the whole balance of flavors was different.

                                                                      Modern cane-sugar Coke (like the Passover version) may be closer to the original than the HFCS kind. Alas, no basis for direct comparison anymore.

                                                                      1. re: benbenberi

                                                                        God, what a depressing thread.

                                                                        Progress, progress, progress...

                                                                        1. re: Perilagu Khan

                                                                          it's not the thread, it's the season!

                                                                        2. re: benbenberi

                                                                          I sometimes buy Coke, in a glass bottle made with real sugar, it is more like the old coke, currently made in mexico.

                                                                        3. re: Florida Hound

                                                                          florida? yinz know they bottle it sweeter in the south, right?

                                                                          1. re: Florida Hound

                                                                            Mexican grocers sell cane sugar sodas. Maybe that would be an option for getting back to the old style?

                                                                            1. re: Bada Bing

                                                                              Not just Mexican Grocers. Here in south central CT, many Stop and Shop locations carry a full line of Mexican Coke Brand products as well as Mexican brands of cane sugar soda in glass bottles, typically 89 cents to $1 per bottle.

                                                                              Otherwise, I stock up on Coke, Sprite, Pepsi when the Passover product is available, as corn syrup is not kosher for Passover. I also stock up on ice cream made with cane sugar at that time of year.

                                                                          2. Orange Crush, which used to contain, well, actual crushed oranges, both juice and pulp. It also contained sugar, which has a much cleaner flavor than HFCS. I don't dislike HFCS for health reasons, just taste reasons. It has an aftertaste.

                                                                            1. Wow Breyers was the first thing I thought of! Hershey's Chocolate is so grainy anymore. It just doesn't have that smooth creamy feel anymore.

                                                                              1. Almost any commercial product that switched from lard/tallow/transfats to vegetable oil

                                                                                And the health benefits are not necessarily wonderful.

                                                                                When McDonald's switch from using tallow to vegetable oils fry its fries, the saturated fat levels decreased to be sure (good for the minority of people with cholesterol problems), but the caloric load went up by about 30% per unit serving of the same weight (not good for anyone).

                                                                                More recently, many commercial baked goods declined dramatically in quality when the transfat police won their war.

                                                                                And I nth the complaints about the shift when canned tuna went to the 5 oz cans during the oil bubble of 2008.

                                                                                Hey, and please give me back my cyclamate-sweetened Fresca. A beverage of the diet gods.

                                                                                7 Replies
                                                                                1. re: Karl S

                                                                                  Cyclamate diet anything soda is much better - it's still used in Canada (was never banned there).

                                                                                  1. re: buttertart

                                                                                    Right, that's why we stock up when we're there. Tallow was used in McDonald's fries in Canada a lot longer than the US, too, and they still had great fried pies...

                                                                                    1. re: Karl S

                                                                                      My native land's got it going on foodwise, among other things!

                                                                                      1. re: buttertart

                                                                                        I have fond memories (and the cookbook) of Chez Piggy in Kingston OT. A great place, among many.

                                                                                        1. re: Karl S

                                                                                          Went to UofT and have many fond memories of restaurants there, visit occasionally - never got to Chez Piggy though.

                                                                                            1. re: Karl S

                                                                                              I knew that place sounded familiar, one of the owners was Zal Yanofsky, formerly of the Lovin' Spoonful. I'm going to have a big look at the book.

                                                                                2. Heinz ketchup. The red tinted vinegar corn syrup goo they sell now is just disgusting. The closest I have come to what i remember ketchup to be is their Heinz Organic. It is darker in color and tastes more like I remember ketchup to be. I buy that or make ketchup.

                                                                                  Pretty much any packaged food has been ruined by HFCS or going cheap on ingredients. I guess the upside is I have cut much of the processed food out of my diet and have explored making many more things from scratch.

                                                                                  4 Replies
                                                                                    1. re: blackpointyboots


                                                                                      Ketchup is one of the worst victims of the cheaper reformulation trend!

                                                                                      1. re: AsperGirl

                                                                                        More and more people are buying Heinz ketchup in Canada and bringing it back south. I also suggest Heinz tomato juice both regular and low sodium. Moving back to Canada after many years stateside I realized that it isn't Heinz which is to blame but the US consumer. Demand better write emails to Heinz and all those others who sacrifice quality for profit. Until the marketplace demands better quality will continue to deteriorate. Here in Canada Heinz must compete with Aylmer brand which is probably why it is so much better.

                                                                                        1. re: Moedelestrie

                                                                                          The excellence of SW Ontario tomatoes helps the Canadian product too. You sometimes see tomato products here with country of origin Canada on them (the Heinz organic ketchup for example). When I see that I pounce.

                                                                                    2. Not a food item, however related....Dawn dishwashing detergent. It has really wimped down on its cleaning power. I thought maybe it was just the other varieties than the original blue liquid but alas, no. I keep buying it as its better than most and I do lots of handwashing even with my dishwasher. You used to be able to watch it work--hhmmm, wonder what happened. Their profit margins may be up but my satisfaction level sure is down. Grrrr. Don't fix what ain't broke, I say!

                                                                                      12 Replies
                                                                                      1. re: lexuschef

                                                                                        It's not you or Dawn...no more phosphates in dishwashing liquid, and now they are being pulled from dishwasher detergent as well.
                                                                                        Some states have made phosphates illegal, and manufacturers cannot make different formulations for each state, so we all suffer

                                                                                        1. re: bagelman01

                                                                                          Thanks for the info; I was fairly certain it was not a fig newton of my imagination!

                                                                                          1. re: lexuschef

                                                                                            Speaking of fig newtons, what happened to those flat fig bars that had "serrated edges". They came in a cellophane package...maybe Keebler or Archway. My grandmother used to get them and they were so good. Haven't seen them in decades.

                                                                                            1. re: curej

                                                                                              Those were raisin bars, right?

                                                                                              1. re: curej

                                                                                                Yep, "Golden Fruit" raisin bars. Company was Sunshine, got bought by a conglomerate which decided to stop making them.

                                                                                                1. re: eclecticsynergy

                                                                                                  Sunshine's brands were first bought by Keebler, who continued to make them for a number of years (to the exact same recipe, and they even introduced a few now 'flavors' as well...though the raisin ones were still the best).
                                                                                                  The real problem came when Kellogg's bought the Keebler Co..
                                                                                                  So we can thank the folks in Battle Creek for killing off a great cookie.

                                                                                                  1. re: The Professor

                                                                                                    so you're telling us the Keebler Elves died at Battle Creek. great. Merry effing "Christmas in June" to you too pal.

                                                                                                      1. re: The Professor

                                                                                                        I haven't had a Keebler product in years and had no idea. sad. I always wondered what happened to those little buggers. figures they were absorbed and digested.

                                                                                                2. re: curej

                                                                                                  I used to LOVE those cookies.... how disappointing they quit making them.

                                                                                            2. re: lexuschef

                                                                                              watch it work? call me crazy, but I can still see the surfactant properties. or were you talking about "magic bubbles"?

                                                                                            3. kraft mac and cheese...doesnt taste the same as i remember when i was younger..
                                                                                              mcdonalds fried apple pie with the molten filling...and Crunchy outside
                                                                                              and mcdonalds filet o fish...can we get a whole piece of cheese on one again?
                                                                                              cheese nips..now they are just like cheezits
                                                                                              and yes i agree with the incredible shrinking reeses peanut butter cups..
                                                                                              and coke made with sugar can be found ..sams sometimes has it..and if you check your local bodego for the "hecho in mexico" bottles they have real sugar also

                                                                                              19 Replies
                                                                                              1. re: srsone

                                                                                                Agree about the Filet O' Fish. Aside from the half-portion of cheese, managers apparently are teaching employees to skimp on the sauce too- last time I ever bought one I asked for sauce up to the official spec and the manager tried to charge me for TWO CUPS of extra tartar sauce.

                                                                                                Have since tried BKs Big Fish and while more generously portioned (and adequately dressed), it comes without cheese and the fish itself was grey and mealy.

                                                                                                I miss Wendy's fish sandwiches; they were the best by far. Too good to last, i suppose.

                                                                                                1. re: eclecticsynergy

                                                                                                  I think the Wendy's fish sandwiches are only available during lent. So you only have a couple of months to wait.

                                                                                                2. re: srsone

                                                                                                  So I'm not crazy.... reese's peanut butter cups really are smaller!!! I remember as a kid, seemed like one would last forever, they were so big. Looked at one the other night and I thought it looked smaller, but everyone else told me I was nuts. Anyway, took one bite and thre it out- definitely did not taste the same.

                                                                                                  1. re: cheesecake17

                                                                                                    quality control is poor on them. causes hives.

                                                                                                  2. re: srsone

                                                                                                    Cheez-its were always better than Cheese Nips anyway...

                                                                                                    1. re: The Professor

                                                                                                      i like cheez its also but cheese nips used to be different than they are now..they used to be thicker and sharper tasting ..now they look like cheez-it copies and i miss the old ones..which is the point of the thread..not which one is/was better.....

                                                                                                      1. re: srsone

                                                                                                        No big whoop.
                                                                                                        I was just making a side observation that some may or may not agree with. :-)
                                                                                                        Cheezits, after all, were the original (much like Oreos are a somewhat inferior copy of the old Hydrox cookies).

                                                                                                        So, in order to stay at least somewhat more on topic, I'll say that fortunately Cheezits, Vienna FIngers, and other former Sunshine products seem to have remained pretty much the same as they ever were. The Keebler and Kellog's acquisitions of the original product line doesn't seem to have affected the quality of most of the Sunshine products that managed to survive. I remain sad however about the ones that didn't survive the Kellog's takeover of Keebler/Sunshine: Golden Fruit Raisin Biscuits, and good old Hydrox.

                                                                                                        1. re: The Professor

                                                                                                          Sunshine brought back Hydrox last year for a 50th (?) anniversary celebration and I was a very happy camper. Sales were excellent. I ran into the regional sales direc tor a month ago and he told me there is more than a 50/50 chance the product will be back on a regular basis.

                                                                                                          1. re: bagelman01

                                                                                                            With a name like Hydrox, it HAS to be good.

                                                                                                            1. re: bagelman01

                                                                                                              Actually, Sunshine didn't brink it back...Kellogg's did (Sunshine sold the brand to Keebler years ago, and then Keebler itself was sold).
                                                                                                              But yes...it was great to have them back for a while, just as I remembered them. I do indeed hope that they bring it back permanently.

                                                                                                              Now if they would only revive Golden Fruit. That would make me VERY happy.

                                                                                                              1. re: The Professor

                                                                                                                Yes, it was nice to have them, growing up Oreos were forbidden as they were made with animal fat and Hydrox were Kosher. Now Oreos are kosher, but don;t compare to the originals. Doing away with animal fat may make things healthier and kosher, but not better tasting

                                                                                                              2. re: bagelman01

                                                                                                                I completely missed the Hydrox revival, dangit. However, in the years before they went away, Hydrox had gone through numerous recipe changes, and just weren't what they used to be (although still always better than Oreo). The Whole Foods 360 version is pretty close to how I remember the original.

                                                                                                                Another vote for the Sunshine Golden Fruit Raisin Biscuits. I always felt like I was eating something healthier than a regular cookie, even if that wasn't actually the case.

                                                                                                                1. re: Steve Green

                                                                                                                  as i reported in another post, the vermont country store catalogue/web site carries a raisin cookie along the lines of the no longer made sunshine cookie

                                                                                                              3. re: The Professor

                                                                                                                Golden Fruit Raisin Biscuits!!!! Loved them. Mentioned them above, but forgot their name. One of my Grandmother's staples. How I miss them.

                                                                                                                1. re: curej

                                                                                                                  They sell a Singapore-made version in Asian stores.

                                                                                                                  1. re: buttertart

                                                                                                                    I've bought the asian store version on occasion...they are an ok substitute, but lack the flavor and texture of the old Sunshine product. I've been working on replicating the things, am getting closer, but still no cigar.
                                                                                                                    The experiments _have_ been pretty tasty though.

                                                                                                                    1. re: The Professor

                                                                                                                      You're right, not quite the same - hope you're intending to share the recipe when you nail it!

                                                                                                                2. re: The Professor

                                                                                                                  i liked and still do both cheez its and cheese nips...but now i just usually buy cheez its..cuz the nips arent the same like they used to be..plus some of the flavored cheez its arent bad either
                                                                                                                  i remember hydrox...but i always remember them being the cheap version of oreos..or at least i thought...but then again i do like the winn dixie store brand sandwich cookies... 3 pounds for like 2$....
                                                                                                                  and yes vienna fingers are different then i remember..the filling anyway
                                                                                                                  i liked the raisin biscuits also...

                                                                                                              4. re: The Professor

                                                                                                                My son the eating machine concurs. I bought nips by mistake; he wasn't impressed. He can eat an entire box of Cheez-its at one sitting.

                                                                                                            2. OTC Crackers, not been the same since they changed from the foil packing and original recipe.

                                                                                                              1. Nestle Quik, a genuine lifelong favorite. I stuck with them through the baby-formula scandals of the 70s. I tolerated the smaller-package-at-the-same-price thing as typical of the times, and I put up with it when they added chalk so they could advertise that it was a "source of calcium" while essentially adding inert filler. I didn't complain when they changed the name to Nesquik, though I'm sure the Swiss executives didn't understand the meaning of the phrase "squicked out." Then they cut the sweetness and claimed "less sugar than other mixes" as if it'd been that way all along. To get the approximate taste of two spoonfuls of the original, I now have to use three spoonfuls of NewSquik and a spoonful of sugar, and the flavor still isn't what it was. Call me a curmudgeon but I was a loyal fan for five decades and they've finally managed to alienate even me.

                                                                                                                1. Heinz Ketchup has suffered too. I can remember when they prided themselves on thickness as well as flavor. With the advent of squeeze bottles it is now somewhat runny and sometimes actually needs to be shaken before use, something that would've been utterly impossible with the old formula.

                                                                                                                  Happily, the taste is still pretty much the same.

                                                                                                                  3 Replies
                                                                                                                  1. re: eclecticsynergy

                                                                                                                    "anticip-a-a-tion, it's making me wait..." that was the Heinz jingle wasn't it?

                                                                                                                    1. re: eclecticsynergy

                                                                                                                      I've got one. It's a pretty obscure example (but one oddly appropriate to the season)

                                                                                                                      Through most of my childhood, one of the standard holiday gifts me and my sister would each recieve was a tin of King Leo peppermint sticks. Those sticks were a standard part of our winter experiance, not quite as hard as a standard peppermint stick but still with some firmness to them (I also remember then as being exactly the right length and weight to make excellect ersatz cigars for whne one wanted to do Groucho Marx impressions). Then sometime around my last year of high school (say somtime in the late 90's) King Leo seemed to do something to the formula as well as putting out the "red tin" version (as opposed to the blue tin one we had be used to) suddenly the blue tins were filled with rock hard funny tasting sticks with a sort of gnarled apperance, while the red ones sticks were so soft as to crumble at a touch. In the years since I have gone through pretty much all of the peppermint products King leo makes, and NONE of them are like the "classic" stick

                                                                                                                    2. I'll say Kraft and not just their cheese - really. They've gotten worse than the generic brands.

                                                                                                                      1. Mallomars. The person who fiddled with the formula should be hanged.

                                                                                                                        1. Just about everything that used to have transfats...god I miss them!

                                                                                                                          1. Ben & Jerry's!!!!
                                                                                                                            Breyer's Ice Cream

                                                                                                                            3 Replies
                                                                                                                            1. re: al b. darned

                                                                                                                              Yes, Ben & Jerry's lives unjustly on its former reputation. Like McDonald's french fries.

                                                                                                                                1. re: al b. darned

                                                                                                                                  Agree on both accounts. Not only is the overall quality suffering, but the flavors are lackluster and uninspired. I like nuts in my ice cream (I like without nuts, too. I just like ice cream) and the percentage of B&J's ice cream with quality nuts supporting an exuberantly unique flavor has tanked. Don't even get me started on the time I was looking for Breyers' Butter Pecan, but could only find Butter Almond. I realize the price of nuts has gotten . . . nutty, but the price of those little pints is making up for the increase, IMO.

                                                                                                                                2. Crackerjacks. They cheaped out in every possible way. Last time I ate some there was a grand total of 4 (count 'em!) peanuts in it, and those weird-tasting peanuts were always the best part. The coating is also much more molasses-y which isn't necessarily totally bad, but it's not what I wanted when I bought the box. And the prize sucked. I would've happily worn my fake diamond ring for a day, but when I mentioned it to my kids they looked at me like I was on fire and said, "WHAT?RINGS IN A BOX OF CRACKERJACKS, MA? NO WAY!! NEVER HAPPENED!! And then I showed them the fake tattoo I got and they were like, well, duh, that's what's always in there.

                                                                                                                                  14 Replies
                                                                                                                                  1. re: mamachef

                                                                                                                                    the world just got a little colder.

                                                                                                                                    1. re: hill food

                                                                                                                                      Heh heh.

                                                                                                                                      I believe there was something about the decline of Crackerjacks in Revelations.

                                                                                                                                      1. re: Perilagu Khan

                                                                                                                                        You mean that was the Four Horseman I heard, not my ownself crunching popcorn?

                                                                                                                                        1. re: Perilagu Khan

                                                                                                                                          It all started when they stopped selling the boxes. Crackerjacks in aluminized plastic bags? Insert Munch Scream here. (Pun inadvertent but not bad, actually.)

                                                                                                                                          1. re: buttertart

                                                                                                                                            They haven't stopped selling the boxes, but also offer the bags. I was in Walgreen's this morning and the boxes were 3 for $2 and the bags 99 cents each.

                                                                                                                                            1. re: bagelman01

                                                                                                                                              I hadn't been on the lookout for the product in ages and because of this just happened to see the bags at a Hudson News - not the best place to base a notion of current packaging on, since they seem to specialize in unusual sizes and packagings of snacks, perhaps to put you off your guard against spending 2-3 times as much as you normally would for them.

                                                                                                                                            2. re: mamachef

                                                                                                                                              Us of a certain age concur mama...

                                                                                                                                              1. re: mamachef

                                                                                                                                                The prize production definitely went down on Cracker Jacks in the early 90s and that was the best part! Look at a history of Cracker Jacks and the reason why they're not as goo as they once were here:


                                                                                                                                                1. re: PamPoorTaste

                                                                                                                                                  I KNEW it wasn't my imagination about the over-processed commerciall-y taste! The corporate vampires have yet again suceeded in sucking all the lifeblood out of a once-good product.
                                                                                                                                                  I'm going to stick to Poppycock.

                                                                                                                                              2. jello brand puddings, the pre made kind that come in a six pack. i swear just 10 yrs ago they tasted ok but now it's like a small tub of creamy chemicals. blah!

                                                                                                                                                1. Stouffers spinach souflee was kick-ass for decades, even though it had to bake for 75 minutes. The recipe was changed to make it microwave friendly some years ago, and it truly sucks.

                                                                                                                                                  3 Replies
                                                                                                                                                  1. re: Veggo

                                                                                                                                                    oh yeah....when I was a kid Stouffers spinach souffle was the one brand name product my frugal mother would spring for, for my "special treat" dinners. Love love loved it. I had one last time I was home and it was so sad.

                                                                                                                                                    So, we're sure all these products are changing, and it's not our palates, right? It's not us, right? Please tell me it's not another hideous effect of aging. Sigh.

                                                                                                                                                    1. re: onthelam

                                                                                                                                                      It's not us. New Haven, 1979, I baked 2 trays of Stouffers spinach soufle timed so that they would be done at the start of the Monday night football game. I was starving, it smelled wonderful, and I owed my bookie for my weekend bowwow bets. As I hastily slid the souflee trays on to a single plate, one began to slip overboard, and I overcorrected with the plate, and both tumbled down into the 3 inch chasm between my stove and the wall. I now had no dinner, although it smelled wonderful, and I couldn't even clean it up. And I lost that game, too.

                                                                                                                                                      1. re: onthelam

                                                                                                                                                        Hey, that was my mom's indulgence for me too, on non-family night dinners!! nobody else would go near it, and it was yummy, and creamy and spinachy. Now it sucks beyond suck; even if you bake it in the oven.

                                                                                                                                                    2. How I hate to see those words, "new and improved" show up on the label of a favorite product.

                                                                                                                                                      Near the top of my "what were they thinking" list is Aunt Jemima "Original" pancake mix...the classic mix used to make pancakes with great texture and distinctive flavor, probably because the version of the mix I remember best used a variety of grains (Wheat, Oat, Corn, and Rye). (The actual original ...from the 1800's... used more or less equal proportions of wheat and corn flours).

                                                                                                                                                      There was a major change to the formula in the mid or late 80's, I think, and the difference was apparent right away. Correspondence with the company confirmed, after a bit of cajoling, that the formula was changed not once but at least three times since its introduction). At one point after the change, there was even a hefty amount of rice flour in the mix, which made them quite bland.

                                                                                                                                                      In any case, the product masquerading today as Aunt Jemima "Original" is not only actually nothing like the original, but a flavorless and flabby imposter to boot. They wouldn't give me the old formula but offered me free coupons for the product. I politely declined and went ahead and reverse engineered on my own the original that I loved so much.

                                                                                                                                                      5 Replies
                                                                                                                                                      1. re: The Professor

                                                                                                                                                        They wouldn't give me the old formula but offered me free coupons for the product.

                                                                                                                                                        My response would have been something like, "Why would I want coupons to buy more of a product I don't like and just called you to tell you so?"

                                                                                                                                                        1. re: al b. darned

                                                                                                                                                          That's pretty much what I politely told the person that contacted me back. No matter...my clone nailed the old formula spot on and I have no need anymore for _any_ boxed version.

                                                                                                                                                        2. re: The Professor

                                                                                                                                                          "Usually, terrible things that are done with that excuse that progress requires them are not really progress at all, but just terrible things. " -- Russell Baker

                                                                                                                                                          1. re: The Professor


                                                                                                                                                            Could you please give us your reverse engineered recipe for Aunt Jemima "Original" pancakes?


                                                                                                                                                            1. re: gfr1111

                                                                                                                                                              It's fairly simple and there are two variations.
                                                                                                                                                              The _original_ original AJ pancake mix (as sold in the late 1800's and probably into the 1920's) was simply wheat flour and corn flour in a 50/50 mix (along with leavening agents and salt). But what I was shooting for was of course the product as it was sold in the mid 20th century.

                                                                                                                                                              So...the AJ pancake mix I remember and enjoyed from the1960's until the formula was changed (maybe sometime in the 80's or early 90's?) was a mix of wheat, corn, oat, and rye flours (as per the ingredients listed on the box...I saved one of these old boxes for reference).

                                                                                                                                                              After a bit of experimentation and based upon the listed ingredients on the vintage box, I came up with the following ratios, which seemed to work well and pretty much duplicated to my satisfaction the taste and especially the _texture_ of the AJ pancakes I remember..

                                                                                                                                                              50% AP flour ('Robin Hood' flour is great for this)
                                                                                                                                                              40% fine yellow cornmeal or corn flour
                                                                                                                                                              5% rye flour
                                                                                                                                                              5% oat flour
                                                                                                                                                              added to this (and not figured into the ratios listed) is a trace of salt, some sugar, and of course the leavening agents; I add a spoon of baking powder to the mix at the time I am preparing a batch of pancakes, also adding the necessary eggs, milk , and oil (for every cup of mix, I use 1 egg and just shy of 1 cup of milk, along with a tablespoon full of oil or preferably, ghee or clarified butter.)

                                                                                                                                                              Regarding the sugar in the mix, for authenticity sake you can't skip it or substitute it...I don't have an _exact_ measurement because I recognize the proper amount 'by taste' when making a batch of the dry mix. It shouldn't be overly sweet, but should definitely make it's presence known. My best guess is that for every cup of the dry mix, there's probably roughly a tablespoon of sugar in there. Superfine sugar works best, by the way.

                                                                                                                                                              By the way...if you substitute some of the AP flour and corn flour with some buckwheat flour, that makes some nice pancakes too!

                                                                                                                                                              Enjoy! And report back if you try the formula out. I'd be curious to know what others think!
                                                                                                                                                              And if you pass it along, a little credit for Professor AL will bring good karma. ;-)

                                                                                                                                                          2. Tootsie pops and Snickers bars.

                                                                                                                                                            They just taste like cheap corn syrup with hardly any Chocolate flavor.

                                                                                                                                                            Very sad.

                                                                                                                                                            1. I hate to even admit this- Haagen Dazs coffee ice cream. It's been my favorite since I was about 11 years old, and the last couple of times I tasted it were just so sad. It's lighter than it used to be in both color and texture, and there's a significantly less intense coffee flavor. It's become what all other coffee ice cream flavors always were to me- mild and boring. I am actually offended by the fact that they would mess with something so perfect.
                                                                                                                                                              Also- Hostess and Drakes snacks. What the hell is going on over there in snack cake land? They are inedible- worse than before in every possible way.
                                                                                                                                                              Soda is too sweet (and yes, I remember when coke used to make your nose twitch and your throat tingle), and just about all 'drugstore candy bars' are too waxy.
                                                                                                                                                              Pretty much all of my favorite childhood cereals and cookies. What they did to Oreo was criminal.
                                                                                                                                                              Pringles Potato Crisps have changed, but I can't quite put my finger on how... even Heinz Ketchup tastes different! Is it me?

                                                                                                                                                              1. Ginger ale. The national brands are pretty much all junk.

                                                                                                                                                                Other day I was in a Hispanic food store (that's an accurate description, since it sells products from all over Latin America) and grabbed a cold bottle of "ginger beer," from Jamaica. This stuff was great! It actually tastes like ginger. Gingery enough to be slightly spicy. Worth a try if you run into it. Sorry I don't remember the brand name.

                                                                                                                                                                5 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                1. re: emu48

                                                                                                                                                                  Might it have been "Olde Tyme" ?

                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: phantomdoc

                                                                                                                                                                    I bet that's it. One of my wife's favorites.

                                                                                                                                                                    I have to speak up for Vernor's. Still a good brand.

                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: jmckee

                                                                                                                                                                      Vernor's is not the same. The fizz, the up your nose choke and cough fizz, is no longer there. When Vernor's was family owned and Detroit based, it was a different product than what you get today from Texas (can't remember who bought them) and I still long for the old product.

                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: dartanian

                                                                                                                                                                        Spot on. Vernor's is a totally different product now. Still a decent ginger ale, but certainly a pale shadow of what it was 30-40 years ago. It has been acknowledged that the formula has changed over the years (most dramatically in the early 90's when the original stevia sweetener was replaced with HFCS)

                                                                                                                                                                  2. re: emu48

                                                                                                                                                                    Saranac makes a very good spicy ginger beer. Available here in the Northeast but might not be distributed nationwide.

                                                                                                                                                                  3. How about Kingsford charcoal briquettes? Forty years ago as a kid, my dad insisted that chicken parts took an hour on the grill. Even after dinner was over, we still had plenty of heat to do marsmallows for half an hour! Now, I do chicken for about 45 mins, and sometimes have to reload a few briquettes.

                                                                                                                                                                    6 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: chefdaddyo

                                                                                                                                                                      Or how about the charcoal lighter fluid? Before Ralph Nader, we doused our Kingsford briquettes or the odd sized charcoal, and pitched matches from 10 feet away until we caught nothing but net, then....whoosh, and a fireball. Todays fire starter is a mystery. My father calls it cow piss. I think lemonade could start a fire faster.

                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: Veggo

                                                                                                                                                                        There's probably a law that it has to be non-flammable.

                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: buttertart

                                                                                                                                                                          Heh heh. You're on a roll, butter.

                                                                                                                                                                          PS--To hell with lighter fluid. Just use kerosene or high-octane gasoline.

                                                                                                                                                                      2. re: chefdaddyo

                                                                                                                                                                        kingsford competition is what happened after they discovered Texans wouldn't buy kingsford no more.

                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: Chowrin

                                                                                                                                                                          This Texan has no problem with Kingsford at all. I did spareribs on the grill New Year's, perfect fire, perfect ribs.

                                                                                                                                                                      3. I would posit that at least some of the perception of these foods going down in quality is simply a function of aging, more experienced palates.

                                                                                                                                                                        5 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: PommeDeGuerre

                                                                                                                                                                            "I'm a grumpy old man and I don't like things the way they are now; I like 'em the way they were. Everything is IMPROVED now and I don't like it." -- Dana Carvey, "Grumpy Old Man", Saturday Night Live

                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: jmckee

                                                                                                                                                                              My grandmother's favorite saying from way back: "I'm against progress."

                                                                                                                                                                            2. re: PommeDeGuerre

                                                                                                                                                                              I am in my 60s and have just returned to Quebec after 10 years in Chicago. Food tastes much better here milk meat and poultry. The Chocolate bars I am eating now are way better than those I had 50 years ago. Vermont and Quebec cheese amazing. Perhaps it is the climate in the Midwest that diminishes one's taste receptors but I suspect it is the proximity to ADM and Cargill that really affects taste.

                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: PommeDeGuerre

                                                                                                                                                                                My first thought, too, is that most of us ourselves probably aren't as good as in the past, so the original question is indeed complex.

                                                                                                                                                                              2. Girl Scout cookies. I tasted a peanut butter sandwich cookie about a year ago and was horrified. They were completely different and awful. They used to be so great. I can only assume the mint thins have gone similarly downhill. So sad...

                                                                                                                                                                                1. does the Big Mac still contain
                                                                                                                                                                                  2 all beef pattys
                                                                                                                                                                                  special sauce
                                                                                                                                                                                  on a sesame seed bun?

                                                                                                                                                                                  yea maybe but it's just not the same

                                                                                                                                                                                  4 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: iL Divo

                                                                                                                                                                                      the special sauce is made wrong! get thee to Irwin, where they make the sauce right! ;-)

                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: curej

                                                                                                                                                                                          ya. irwin pa. home of the big mac museum. da guy who runs dat place cares!

                                                                                                                                                                                    2. Anything not grown in my grampa's garden.

                                                                                                                                                                                      3 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: TokenOne

                                                                                                                                                                                        Impossible to beat garden-grown tomatoes. My parents used to grow them and the windowsill was always lined with big beefsteak tomatoes. They also made home-made bread and butter pickles. I ache for a tomato and pickle sandwich with a nice schmear of mayo and a sprinkle of salt.

                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: curej

                                                                                                                                                                                          oh for the return of warm weather and the food that entails.

                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: curej

                                                                                                                                                                                            God that sounds good! I love all three of those things, and to think of them all together in a sandwich ... ummmmmmm!!!

                                                                                                                                                                                        2. Tropicana Pure Premium OJ is just somewhat above average. one problem is that no one under the age of 50 remembers the golden age of the major brands and takes for granted the inferior products of today

                                                                                                                                                                                          3 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: MarkG

                                                                                                                                                                                            I agree about Tropicana OJ...I only buy the Simply Orange brand now and find it is the best one now to me...The one with OJ and Pineapple is the best too in that brand.

                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: playfulotter

                                                                                                                                                                                              it is somewhat shocking that Tropicana is now made with Brazilian OJ

                                                                                                                                                                                            2. re: MarkG

                                                                                                                                                                                              I but Florida's Natural brand, the version called Grower's Style with the most pulp. It's the closest I've found to fresh squeezed- even makes a decent orangeade. All Florida juice, too.

                                                                                                                                                                                            3. Honeycomb cereal. Back when I was a nipper those honeycombs were as big as golf balls, hard as a chunk of shale, and would have your mouth bleeding like you'd gone nine rounds with Joe Frazier by the time you finished a bowl.

                                                                                                                                                                                              Now they're small, soft, rounded off and ultra sweet. Nursing home pabalum rather than stuff that builds character. And proof positive that this country is doomed.

                                                                                                                                                                                              9 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: Perilagu Khan

                                                                                                                                                                                                is KaBoom still around or King Vitamin? what about Quisp? I haven't browsed those aisles since I was an analyst for AC Nielsen. (god that was a boring but easy job)

                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: hill food

                                                                                                                                                                                                  is KaBoom still around or King Vitamin? what about Quisp?
                                                                                                                                                                                                  Quisp & King Vitamin are - if you Google you'll find them available for sale on sites like Amazon (i think Quaker still sells Quisp directly on their site). KaBoom is no more.

                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: goodhealthgourmet

                                                                                                                                                                                                    I saw Quisp on the shelves at Grocery Outlet in Oakland today and immediately thought of chowhound: http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/300144

                                                                                                                                                                                                2. re: Perilagu Khan

                                                                                                                                                                                                  Oh great, now I've got the Honeycomb jingle stuck in my head! "Honeycomb's big, yeah, yeah, yeah. It's not small, no, no, no! Honeycomb's got, a big, big bite. Big, big taste in a big, big bite!"

                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: Jeri L

                                                                                                                                                                                                    I'm going to have that in my head for the next two days AT LEAST, thanks to you all. Don't worry, I'll spend my evil time thinking of an even worse jingle to throw at you. : )

                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: mamachef

                                                                                                                                                                                                        oh do your worst mamachef.

                                                                                                                                                                                                        just try.

                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: mamachef

                                                                                                                                                                                                          "Honeycomb, won't you be my honey now, Honeycomb, be my own. For a breakfast treat that's really neat eat bite-size right-size Honeycomb."

                                                                                                                                                                                                          If memory serves......

                                                                                                                                                                                                        2. re: Jeri L

                                                                                                                                                                                                          I don't remember that one.

                                                                                                                                                                                                          but I can't get -"KING VITAMIN - HAVE BREAKFAST WITH A KING!" - out of my head!!

                                                                                                                                                                                                      2. the Golden Age for most brands was the 50s through the 70s. In some cases the 80s.

                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. Yes Breyers used to be so clean and crisp-tasting - especially mint chocolate chip. Unilever bought the company and started adding "gum" to the recipe. It totally obscures the flavor and muddles the tongue. I spoke to unilever about this and they explained that gum was necessary because "modern product distribution systems make it impossible to keep ice cream frozen throughout the supply chain." Seriously, they said that. In other words - gum lets unilver melt and re-freeze the ice cream and keep its texture. It's been about 7 years since the change in recipe and I'm still bitter! A great product destroyed.

                                                                                                                                                                                                          2 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: the green knight

                                                                                                                                                                                                            I used to love Breyer's mint chocolate chip. They changed the chocolate chips, too (to those waxy "chocolate flavored chips"), and then added _more_ of them—thus completely ruining the whole eating experience. Ugh. Such a shame.

                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: Liana Krissoff

                                                                                                                                                                                                              Yah, Breyer's has gone way downhill; nothing like the stuff I remembered. Was very disappointed trying it after many years.

                                                                                                                                                                                                              Their yogurt has been downgraded too. It's loaded with pectin and is almost jelly-like.

                                                                                                                                                                                                          2. Just about any brand named processed foods. Due to the increase in price of raw materials. Companies have taken this as a free pass to water down the products!

                                                                                                                                                                                                            1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: mattyboy

                                                                                                                                                                                                              That explains what must have happened to Trappey's jalapeno pinto beans. It seems as though there are fewer jalapenos, and the bacon is virtually non existent.

                                                                                                                                                                                                            2. Potato Buds. They switched to flakes which just plain suck now, used to be pretty good.

                                                                                                                                                                                                              1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: ratbuddy

                                                                                                                                                                                                                There's a new (to me, anyway) product called 'Idaho Spuds' which is pretty similar to the old Potato Buds. Worth trying if you were a fan before the change.

                                                                                                                                                                                                              2. All store-bought candy. Even the higher end stuff, bu particularly any Mars or Nestle product. I have a RAGING sweet tooth, but most candy makes me gag, unless it's a homemade gift.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                5 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: iheartcooking

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Check for PGPR on the ingredients list before ya buy candy. It's some nasty crap they use to replace cocoa butter to save money. Makes the chocolate horrible.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: ratbuddy

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    is that (PGPR) what makes it waxy?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  2. re: iheartcooking

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    So sad. My last trashy childhood taste and I just can't do it anymore. I actually spit out pieces of a butterfinger the other day.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    My poor kid is going to be stuck with artisinal fleur de sel crusted toffee. At least it tastes good. I don't want to ruin his palate you know...

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: JudiAU

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Nooooo...tell me it isn't so ; (

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  3. Campbells Bean with Bacon soup and Peppridge Farm cookies, especially the Milano cookies. I used to buy a bag occasionally as a treat and have made my last purchase. It is the cookie part that changed and I can only figure that they went to healthier oil which is fine because I don't need to be eating them in the first place.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    5 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: Jambie

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      i have also noticed that Milano cookies arent as good

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: Jambie

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        I'm with you on the Bean/Bacon soup; I used to love that stuff but the flavor and consistency of the broth has changed. On a sad/funny side note, I tried to mock it up at home, even to the extent of fine-dicing the carrots, and it tasted really bland until I added a healthy shake or two of ajinomoto; and then it was perfect. Tasted just like the canned version I used to get. Ah, progress. :)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: mamachef

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Listen, don't diss the flavor powder. It has its place. ;-)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: buttertart

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            I wasn't dissing it! I use the stuff! : ) I didn't even have to make a special trip out to get it, 'cause it was there in the spice cupboard! It just cracked me up that that was the ONE thing that made the soup perfect. Beyond perfect, even.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      2. Weaver's chicken patties.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Elio's pizza

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. Hero Blackberry preserves used to have very chewy whole blackberries in a jam that was noticeably not too sweet. Then they changed to a fruit spread, total meh, damn.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          2 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: Delucacheesemonger

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Yah, because they're imported i didn't expect that sort of change for the worse from Hero. Greed is universal, I guess.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: eclecticsynergy

                                                                                                                                                                                                                              IMO as of last tasting, Hero is still worlds better than Smucker's.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          2. Just thought of another one, Tina's burritos. They just suck now, before, they just kinda sucked.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. Brach's candy corn.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                              What happened is, Brach's was acquired by Farley & Sathers Candy Company in November 2007. F&S shut down Brach's production in Chicago and now markets its own candy corn, manufactured in Reynosa, Mexico, under both brandings.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                              The old Brach's: http://i51.tinypic.com/2jbv31h.jpg, http://i51.tinypic.com/2iqlbx3.jpg
                                                                                                                                                                                                                              The new "Brach's": http://i51.tinypic.com/34glh14.jpg, http://i53.tinypic.com/14avbxk.jpg

                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Can't fool me.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. Town House and Ritz crackers. Town House break apart and crumble just looking at them.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Ritz are too salty and flavorless. Low salt ones are inedible. I agree with prior threads that's the change in oils is the problem.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Girl Scout cookies for sure. The manufacturers are all striving for the zero transfat label and the taste and consistency have suffered as a result.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                3 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: noodlepoodle

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  I second the Ritz crackers. After they removed the lard and replaced it with shortening, the taste and texture (very crumbly now) isn't the same.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Another product that has gone downhill in my eyes is Kellogg's Frosted Flakes. It seems as if the amount of frosted coating has been reduced. They now taste like barely glorified Corn Flakes.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: noodlepoodle

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Yep, Ritz crackers are just not good anymore.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Same with Saltines.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: noodlepoodle

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      And let's not even talk about the number of cookies in a GS box these days....

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    2. The only time Campbell's soup is edible is when recovering from the flu.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. chef boyardee ravioli...cherished childhood taste memory....tried em recently...bleh...that weird sweetness which i assume is hfcs...another good man gone...

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. Liberte - their yogurt used to be great then they changed their production process, got bought out by Yoplait (licensed in Canada to Ultima, owned by Agropur) and things seem to have gone downhill - Liberte pro-biotic no fat yogurt - opened the yogurt to find it moldy before expiry date 5 times in the last 8 months. When it's good it's good but this is too much. I'm done with Liberte. Finally complained to the Canadian food Inspection Agency when it happened again today.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. I guess I just won't fit into the grumpy old man category. I lived in Chicago for 10 years prior to returning to Quebec and will spend my declining years on the Quebec Vermont border. The food is wonderful Liberty yoghurt, Heinz Ketchup (Canadian), Coaticook Ice Cream. Cabot cheese, baked goods meat and poultry even the eggs are better than the stuff I was subjected to in Chicago I thought my ability to taste and smell were declining but the food quality changes from region to region. Kraft Canada sells cheese that is totally different on the Canadian side of the border from the ersatz cheese that is sold by Kraft USA. Heinz products are totally different on this side of the border. Baked goods in Vermont are head and shoulders above what is sold in the mid-west what a shock it was to eat a Thomas' English muffin in Vermont and find it tasty and chewy and nothing like the Faux English muffins of Illinois and Michigan.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            The Passover coke made in Montreal was superior to even the Mexican coke I had in Chicago and the Mexican coke was substantially more flavourful than Chicago coke. The quality of chocolate bars has improved substantially and I for one have not missed a single product from my past the OKA cheese that was made by the Trappist monks in my youth but is now manufactured by a large cooperative is not quite as good as in my youth but their is a small independent up the road that equals or surpasses that wonderful cheese.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Bull's Head Ginger Ale may even be superior to the Vernors of old.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            As far as Entemann's cakes our local bakery and the bakeries in the local supermarkets all make better cakes than Entemann made 25 years ago and Entemanns made pretty good cakes as I recall. Here in Quebec we have Joe and Louis, Mae Wests and Moon (Lune) cakes.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Another wonderful thing is that Quebec and Vermont milk does not taste strange. I do not eat enough Campbell's soup to comment but the last cream of mushroom seemed as good as ever but when one had access to Vermont cheddar and Vermont dry cheddar the Kraft Mac and cheese will have to remain a memory.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            3 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: Moedelestrie

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Hmm ... I bought a can of Campbell's Tomato Soup that was 25% less sodium. What I found when I opened the can was an orange congealed mass that was watery on top, tasted nothing like tomato anything and required a can of tomato paste and a half dozen other products to make it taste even remotely of tomatoes. Surely the reduction in sodium isn't the only reason this product looked like soylent red. I was aghast.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              I have often wondered if Frankenfoods have numbed our taste buds to the point that we'd accept anything as acceptable as long as it's salty and sweet enough to imitate true flavour. Have you ever travelled abroad and tasted some unadulterated fruit that is grown in its habitat without pesticides and in fertile soil? I have. I barely knew what hit me. All I know is that I felt like crying. We slaves to the food industry are walking zombies, eating non-foods and accepting them as foods. Every now and again I get a whiff of a fresh container of raspberries, strawberries, a peach or a truly good tomato and nearly swoon.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              In restaurants, I rarely butter bread served at the table because neither the bread nor the butter is very tasty, On a recent trip to Iceland, I couldn't get enough of the butter, which is so unlike me, yet I slathered it on bread with abandon. I can't explain what was so good about it. In fact, it was a bit saltier than I'd like it to be. Nonetheless, I couldn't help myself. Animals are still farmed in an organic free range style. There are no antibiotics, unnatural feeds or factory farms. With only 300,000 people living on the island, animals are allowed to roam free and graze on the rough terrain, which results in unbelievably tasty meats and dairy products. I invested in a young lamb shortly after returning, and am so disappointed in its distinctive lack of gamy flavour. It's as if it had the life force bred right out of it. I'm so sad, when I remember how good things can taste. The rest of the time, I'm as numb as everyone else. A part of me wishes I didn't know better, so I wouldn't pine for things that aren't as they should be. Another part of me is proud to know true tastes, despite being let down regularly by the foodstuffs available to me in my part of the world.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: 1sweetpea

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Today I was discussing obtaining a lamb from a local farmer. I was told I could obtain good New Zealand lamb for a fraction of the cost but of course the quality of the local Vermont and Quebec lamb is amazing. I know of what you speak if you can organize like minded people you could support young local producers to provide the quality of food you seek. Most cities have groups that finance local producers so you are not stuck eating the crap that businesses want to sell us. The butcher shop I frequented on the South side of Chicago went out of business because people would rather buy a lot of crap than a quality product at a more than fair price. With the economy going down the drain now is the time to support a new economy based on a quality of life instead of quantity. It doesn't take that many people to support artisan-al bakeries and cheesemakers. There are millions of young people who would love a chance to engage in small scale agriculture. We are not slaves to the food industry we are slaves to our fears of taking new paths. Begin by shopping at a Farmers market you will find kindred spirits looking for real food. Most supermarkets are unconcerned with food their only concern is profit. Find a grocery store whose personnel are willing to talk about food. Find a butcher and a baker who takes pride in what he or she does.these people are everywhere. Don't despair good food is everywhere it just doesn't have the billions to advertise.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: 1sweetpea

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  My husband is German, and when we go visit his family, I can taste a huge difference in the food. In fact, we always mail back a few BIG boxes of food, and bring an empty suitcase, which gives us room for fresh bread, local wine and cheese, and such.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  One thing that my husband can't get enough of is Nutella. The stuff we can get in the US is made in Canada, and he swears it tastes different. Plus the German jars are about 5 times the size of the ones here, at about half the price. Interestingly though, when we were in Canada, we noticed that they sell the German Nutella. Go figure.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              2. Drake's Yodels. I loved those when I was a kid in the 60s and 70s. I bought a package recently, and they are O.K., but nothing like they were before. They are way smaller, for one thing, and they are no longer wrapped in foil. They are packaged in twos on a sheet of cardboard, then wrapped in a plastic bubble. Just not the same. Something about the foil gave the chocolate the right consistency and flavor - the chocolate was a little softer and had a richer flavor.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. Breyers ice cream has really gone way way downhill. there is no butter taste in their butter pecan. choc, van, straw are all very mediocre. waiting to find, try their peach.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: MarkG

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Don't waste your time looking for the peach and tasting it. It is "blah" at best and I find the texture of all their flavors is terrible, not creamy at all. My favorite flavor is peach and Breyers is one of the worst. I was very disappointed when I tried it.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  2. Kraft mayonnaise. I am not generally a food snob, but I only like Kraft and Hellmans mayo. (I keep trying store brands - hoping - since mayo is almost $5 a jar now, but no luck.)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Anyway, I noticed when Kraft changed their packaging, the flavor seemed to change too. It's sweeter or something. It's not quite gag-worthy, but Hellmans is my go-to now.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    2 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: srsone

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Not yet. It's not common in my area, but I think I saw it on the shelf at one of my stores. I read a bit about it, so I will pick some up next time I see it. But still - losing Kraft is really disappointing =(

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. I order my groceries online these days, and usually, there is at least one error in the order.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Last week, I had ordered some kind of healthy kashi cereal or something, but what I got was a box of Cap'n Crunch.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      I was secretly thrilled!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      I used to LOVE it...the strong corny sweet taste.mmmm
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Trying to be a healthy adult, I haven't had it in years.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Well, what I huge disappointment...it was horrible!
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      No corn taste at all - just sickly sweet.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      I used to be able to eat it non-stop, by the handful...but I couldnt even enjoy 5 or 6 pieces....BLEH

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      I don't know if if's my taste, or the formula has changed, but I am pretty sure the formula has changed..they taste different, and they even look smaller and darker than they used to.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. How about CARVEL ice cream?
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        I had some tonight...first time in a while... and was very disappointed. Not nearly as creamy as it used to be, and much sweeter than it was in the past.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        It was never world class, to be sure, but still it was once my favorite soft serve. I've had generic soft serve ice creams from random local stands that tasted much better than my former favorite tasted tonight.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Tom Carvel would not be happy with what they've done to his ice cream.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. Jif (especially Simply Jif) peanut butter.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Jones breakfast sausages. Used to love them, the last couple of boxes I bought were nearly inedible.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. Ritz Bits In Canada Are Absolutely Horrible. They Used To Have A Decent Amount Of Filling In Them. Now The Peanut Butter And Cheese Variations Both Taste The Same (How Do You Do That?!?!?). Canadian Oreos Too I Find A Lot Cheaper Than The US Ones. The American Ones Seem To Have More Of A Cake Icing Filling While The Canadian Ones Are A Stiff, Solid Mass Of Sugar.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: xerebusx

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              My latest beef is with snapple for downgrading their great Peach Iced Tea. It always had this wonderful undertone of the peach skin which offset the sweetness. Now it's lost that fresh taste and is just cloyingly sweet. What a shame.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Perhaps they switched to HFCS or something, I never thought to check before I threw the stuff out in disgust. But whatever change they made was definitely not for the better.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            2. Bought a box of Nabisco graham crackers after not having done so for a few years. What a huge change. They taste like dusty sweetness with no depth of flavor. I remember when they were good.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Saltine crackers. They don't taste the same either.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Forget Town House crackers. They fall apart just looking at them

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: noodlepoodle

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Three words. No trans fats. Those things will never be the same again.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              2. No one mentioned Kentucky Fried Chicken. In the 60s, it was great. Now? Ugh!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: wadejay26

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  It ain't the KFC its just the C. The quality of chicken throughout America is very variable. I lived in Chicago for 10 years and I finally ended up buying only Empire Kosher chicken from Pennsylvania. Upon my arrival in the US I was astonished how much water and fat was in the chickens and how little meat. On our frequent trips to western MIchigan we bought chickens at meijers and other super markets and found them to be of reasonable quality and often times very good. Here in Quebec and just south of us in Vermont very good chicken can be had at reasonable prices. I think you might find good KFC in some places and garbage in other places. We would stop at the Popeyes in Michigan City Indiana quite often but after three trips to Popeyes in Chicago we stopped trying to find a decent Popeyes in Chicago. Here in Quebec Villa du Poulet (KFC) while not gourmet food is very good.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                2. Klondike bars. They were much thicker and made with a better quality ice cream in the past.


                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. Schlitz beer! Once was a real favorite, then became wretched swill. I can't get it here in California, but have heard that they claim to have returned to the original recipe. Anybody know anything about this?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: Pzz

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Schlitz changed their formula back in the late 1960's and it practically killed the brand. These days the brand is owned by Pabst (who owns no breweries anymore, so it's made for them by Miller). A few years ago, a bottled version of Schlitz was introduced claiming to be the 'original' formula. Unfortunately, it is/was not widely distributed and as far as I know, never even reached the east coast so I've never tried it.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Here's a link to a 2008 article about it:


                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    2. There's uproar-in a very understated British way , to changes in one of our most love brands HP sauce.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Which now isn't even made in the UK.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Damn the salt police.


                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      4 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: Paprikaboy

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        i thought i read that Cadbury chocolate for the brit market is now made in Poland!! correct??

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: MarkG

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Maybe off topic but Kraft and Cadbury are everywhere. I always buy Polish chocolate as well as any number of Polish products because they are generally very good way better than say Hershey's.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: Moedelestrie

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            including in some very interesting places. I was astondished the day I turned over the wrapper of a bar of Cote d' Or (a Belgian chocolate brand that used to be my "go to" choice for choclate) and found it was made by Kraft.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: jumpingmonk

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Kraft has acquired a number of outstanding brands. Kraft has been in Canada forever and Kraft Canada in addition to some very nice peanut butter has some very good cheeses Kraft Cracker Barrel extra old is quite good. Kraft now makes McClarens Imperial which is still excellent. There is no comparison between the US Kraft products and what is sold in the US. I think the US consumer prefers the Kraft products they are familiar with like cheddar that melts and doesn't separate. Kraft Belgian, French or Polish chocolates can still be excellent.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      2. Tonic water, both Seagrams and Canada Dry. When they switched from sugar to HFCS, they became cloyingly sweet enough to make my teeth itch. Plus there is that nasty metallic aftertaste. I actually gave up drinking gin & tonics as a result until I recently discovered Q tonic. Excellent stuff, though I never thought I'd see the day when the tonic would cost more per drink than the gin.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Thomas' English muffins. They used to have an appealing tang to them. Now they are tasteless.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        2 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: bitchincook

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Even worse, both Thomas and Bay's consistently have badly shaped muffins where the top is just barely a cap for the bottom, rather than a proper half in its own right. I have to buy market brand versions to get properly shaped English muffins now (the quality depends on the market - interestingly, in my area, it's the value market that has the best quality (and price!), not the fancier markets). Interestingly, when I spoke last month to a Thomas delivery guy, he said that he and his peers have received my complaint thousands of times over, and they pass it on; he agreed that the supermarket's own brands are consistently better in quality (and, again, price). He shook his head.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: Karl S

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Having lived in Chicago before moving back to Quebec I stopped buying English muffins altogether. The texture and taste of English muffins were not what I grew up to expect. When I moved back to Quebec I again tried the Thomas' English muffins in a Vermont supermarket. They were and are everything I had expected. I am happy to report that I am again doing eggs Benedict on a regular basis without the need to make my own English muffins and that the POM product from Quebec, the Thomas' from the States or the US Price Chopper store brand are all up to the task. I find regional differences are greater than brand differences.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        2. Cadbury Creme Eggs now look half the size they used to be, and I don't believe I have doubled in height in the last 10 years...

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          14 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: CallAnyVegetable

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            They look the same to me (LOVE them!). Cadbury also makes the mini creme eggs - is that what you're thinking of?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: jbsiegel

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Since you made me doubt my statement I googled around and found this: http://www.chocablog.com/news/cadbury...

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Sneaky Cadbury...

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: CallAnyVegetable

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Wow. And here I thought I was still getting the full dose of the ooey-gooey-goodness!!!!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Ever try the all chocoalte ones? I haven't, but plan to this year!!! Staying FAR away from the orange ones, though...

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: jbsiegel

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Here's a little more info from wikipedia:

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  During an interview on the April 4th, 2007 episode of Late Night with Conan O' Brien, actor B. J. Novak drew attention to the fact that American market Cadbury Creme Eggs had decreased in size. American Creme Eggs now weigh 34g and contain 150 calories.[6] Before 2006, the eggs marketed by Hershey were identical to the UK version, weighing 39g and containing 180 calories.[7][8]


                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: jbsiegel

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Ugh, I guess post-traumatic stress disorder made the very slight shrinking of my sugar-goo favorites way worse than in reality.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  2. re: jbsiegel

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    I like Cadbury's mini speckled eggs, but mainly 'cause they're just.so.purty. It ain't about the choccy, that's for sure.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: mamachef

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Yep...look forward to those once a year - kinda the same way I look forward to candy corn once a year...can't eat too much of it!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: jbsiegel

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Exactly!! (and even candycorn isn't what it used to be, nice and vanilla-y..)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: mamachef

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Brach's candycorn is awful, but if you can find it, the Jelly Belly version is more like candycorn used to be.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: Steve Green

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Aaahhh...another one that I need once a year...the Brach's Jelly Bird Eggs (aka Jelly Beans). Nothing like that big thick lump of sugar coating!!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: Steve Green

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Must try. I wish I'd known this, my daughter was just at the factory last week!!!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: Wankel

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    American Cadbury chocolate is, I believe, different than (and inferior to) Cadbury chocolate on the other side of the big pond. At least it always seemed that way to me.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: The Professor

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      I seem to recall comparing the ingredient lists of "identical" items from either side of the pond, and yes, they were different.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                2. Kraft Free Ranch Dressing used to be flawless on everything that wasn't moving. It isn't even palatable now. I've tried just about every other brand out there, including make your own stuff, and just can't find the right mix. Who makes good ranch dressing?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Twinkies. Really? What a dried out hunk o' sponge with spats of white wetness. The three little cream "caves" are even easily distinguishable. C'Mon!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Burger King has really screwed something up in the last few years (3? 4?). Inedible. Something has changed. Please, BK, bring back whatever it is you changed. You icky.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  NyQuil. Frackin' scummy drug people have RUINED the best thing about having a cold. Ruined it.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Little Debbies -- All. You used to be cheap and filled with chemical goodness. Now, you are just filled with chemical goodness and are not worth the money. I get that prices go up but you've abused your privilege. I quit you.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  I agree with Ritz, Graham crackers, Cadbury Cream eggs (they are shrinking you can find articles about it on the net where people saved them from the previous year), Entememann's (sp?) has lost their way. The good McDonalds needs to go away so the evil one can come back...fruit pies, lard and juicy burgers please.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. Zesta crackers &
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Wienerschnitzel hot dogs

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. The cardboard on cereal boxes. It used to be nice and thick. Now the boxes squish the minute you try to pick them up!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. Philadelphia cream cheese. My store brand has better ingredients and flavor for 2/3 the price.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        2 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: sandylc

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          As my post above regarding English muffins the regional differences in Phillie cream cheese are incredible. In Chicago I used to wait for passover so I could stock up on east coast Philadelphia .
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          The Philadelphia in Vermont is much better than the Chicago Phillie but the Canadian Philadelphia is head and shoulders above anything I can get in the US. It is also a bit more expensive but the quality is vastly superior.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: sandylc

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            I've found that store brand items are frequently equal to and often better than name brands.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          2. hersheys chocolate bars. just not the same

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            also, i doubt this effects very many CHers as much as it angers me, but protein and nutrition bars are one of the most frustrating categories of this for me. the most notable of these was Balance bars. The caramel peanut bar used to taste BETTER than a snickers. now it is just gross.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. Snow's Clam Chowder. I remember it as a kid and lived on it as it was thick and yummy. Now it is nothing but water. How sad.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Oh, and spaghetti-o's. Was sick a while back and could only have soft mushy foods. So thought I would try my childhood favorite. They were terrible!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              4 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: boyzoma

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                I just ate some and got through half a bowl. Try Campbell's Chunky Chowder. Not bad atall if you don't want to go to the trouble of making your own.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: mamachef

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  I think I'll just stick to making my own these days. At least I know what's in it! :)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: boyzoma

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    'zoma, it's so strange. I must have been going through some weird phase when I was relentlessly eating a can of this every single day, because I heated one up not long ago and couldn't get into it at all. I'm w/ you on making your own.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                2. re: boyzoma

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Haven't had SNOW's lately. I know they changed the formula a few times over the years. In recent years I found it to actually be_too_ thick. First clue that you're about to experience drek is when you open the can and the chowder plops out in one piece. A good chowder shouldn't be loaded up with starchy thickeners and sadly, most commercial brands are guilty of exactly that...and some restaurant ones are as well (Panera's is particularly bad).

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                3. Anyone have Cheez-its lately? Our most recent box was terrible, dry and crumbly instead of flaky and crispy.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: ratbuddy

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    they make much better mac n cheese topping than standalone crackers IMO

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  2. 5th Avenue candy bars. When they were made by Luden's, they were topped with almonds.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: Wankel

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Pretty sure you can buy these online if not in your local store. I believe my local "mom and pop" pharmacy sells them.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    2. Fat Boy Ice Cream Sandwiches. They used to be the only kind in my area that used real vanilla in their product and had a lovely, chewy chocolate wafer. They went off the shelves for a bit, to be replaced by a new Fat Boy with artificial sweeteners and gummy ice cream.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: fracklefoodie

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        the reality is that most brands have been deteriorating since the 80s/90s

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: MarkG

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Think of this as an opportunity for new business. Our friends who are operating a new cafe in town will be making their own ice cream using real cream and real ingredients like local berries and mango. The time has come to buy local national brands need not be our first choice. Our friends are college graduates and will never be Ben and Jerry's but they sure make good ice cream. I for one would prefer a good scoop than an inferior gallon.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      2. I'm not always certain whether the issue is that the foodstuff got worse, or my tastes changed. But I do know that nearly anything now HFCS-sweetened is inferior to the cane-sweetened original.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        One product I'm certain is awful compared to what it was in my childhood: Pez. Very different.


                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. two things that I remember being much bigger when I was a child are devil dogs & oreos.(including double stuf)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. The makers of Reeses Peanut Butter Cups should be ashamed. The product they put out now shouldn't be allowed to be called a Reeces PB Cup. When I was a kid Reeses PBCs were a deluxe candy. They were wonderful, the chocolate was rich and chocolatey and the pb was creamy and savory with just the right hit of sweet. It all came together deliciously. A few years ago I helped myself to a Reeses PBC out of the kids Halloween candy and didn't even finish it. The chocolate tasted like artificially chocolate flavored plastic, the pb was dry and grainy and the whole thing had the mouthfeel of a petroleum product.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Just to be fair I bought a RPBC at the market, thinking perhaps the Halloween one had been stale, but sadly the new one was the same disappointing experience. Shame on you Reeses.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: ski_gpsy

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              That's the dang PGPR. They even shouldn't be allowed to call it chocolate when it contains that waxy crap.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: Steve Green

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    I was curious, too, so I did a web search and ended up on Wikipedia. I am cutiing-pasting just a couple of lines from the Wikipedia article (I am about as far from an "Ask Mr. Science" as one can get!):

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    "Polyglycerol polyricinoleate (PGPR), E476, is an emulsifier made in a three step process from glycerol and fatty acids (usually castor bean), respectively. PGPR reduces the viscosity of chocolate and similar coatings and compounds. It works by decreasing the friction between the particles of cacao, sugar, milk, etc. present so they can flow more easily when melted. It is used at low levels (below 1%)...

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Use in chocolate candy bars:
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    It is used by chocolate makers to reduce their costs of raw materials. Since 2006, commercial-grade candy bars, such as those made by Hersheys and Nestle, made an industry-wide switch to include PGPR as an ingredient - a possible indicator of a cost-saving measure by the commercial chocolate industry. Makers of PGPR such as Danisco and Palsgaard indicate PGPR can be used to replace the traditional but more expensive cocoa butter as an ingredient in chocolate. Palsgaard's website asserts, "Cocoa butter is an expensive raw material for chocolate manufacturers. By using PALSGAARD 4150 the chocolate recipe has lower costs in terms of less cocoa butter but also gives the benefit of having less fat." [Wikipedia]

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: Florida Hound

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Oh man that sounds nasty. Is it something that has to be included on the ingredients list or are they sneaking it in because it's in such low levels?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: ski_gpsy

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  If you have the opportunity to try Trader Joe's mini peanut butter cups you will be pleasantly surprised.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: ski_gpsy

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      I still favor RPBCs for Halloween treats (beats candy corn or milk duds), but maybe I need to re-think it (they are sort of nasty now) in a late night moment one mid-October I mused that with enough budget wouldn't it be fun to toss artisanal truffles into the kiddos bags? except w/o the packaging they wouldn't look commercial and careful, observant parents would probably just chuck 'em.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: hill food

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        You could compromise. Some of the truffle makers (not the best ones, I grant you but some of the middle grade ones) do make truffles that are individually wrapped. Truffle Pigs does, and their stuff is decent enough for kiddies Halloween treats (though I'd skip the caramel ones, pigs isn't good with making caramel, and the result is a chocolate filled with basically butterscotch syrup. Yuumy, but prone to exploding and sticking to everything if the package is pressed to hard (say if it winds up at the bottom of a kids trick or treat bag, with several pounds of other candy pressing down on top of it.) )
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Or if you have a REAL big budget, some of the big names do make those little boxes of 4 that are usually shrink wrapped or otherwise professionally sealed.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        I'm not saying "do it" I'm just saying it seems possible to me.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    2. any brand of frozen -coke drink, I cant find one that tastes anywhere close to the old Coke Slurpee. I used freeze RC cola 2-liters, and shake the frozen goodness into a cup, it was close. they must have gotten RC cola too!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: Kholvaitar

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Ah, interesting. Are the new products different from the old?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: sandylc

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            I had one of the new chocolate donettes and the chocolate coating is different. I don't know how to explain it very well but the old coating almost had a snap to it when you bit into it and the snap is gone.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: Jambie

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              That's the same problem with Entenmanns chocolate covered donuts. They're just mush now.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: coll

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Mush is the word I was looking for and it describes these very well. I ended up throwing away 5 out of the 6 donuts in the package.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: Jambie

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  I find myself doing that more and more, as the little companies get bought up by the big ones.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        2. Heh. Easier to list the ones that have maintained quality. Would be a pretty short discussion.