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What's the worst generic food ever?

In the eighties, my sister and I had a box pizza called Momma Bosso's from Aldi (a discount food chain), and it was horrible. Crust didn't set; the sauce tasted like ketchup. It was sort of a soupy mess. That and that old black and white beer that came in cans that just said "Beer" was off the hook crapola.

So what's the worst tasting generic food you've ever had?

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  1. Cheese. Nothing worse then crappy cheese.

    1. Just this past Christmas I threw out 2 batches of cookies because I thought I'd save with Shoprite butter that wasn't expired. Never again, now I feel obligated to buy the more expensive brands like Keller.

      6 Replies
      1. re: lilgi

        HA!
        i made an opposite sort of mistake recently!

        I was baking cookies for my office, and not being a great baker, I figured I would buy the best possible quality ingredients.
        I bought sweet cream butter fom Italy. The packaging and description sold me! The $10 price tag did not deter me...
        When i got home and sneaked a little taste - I was horrified to discover that the natural taste of this stuff was actually quite "cheesy"...almost like stinky feet cheesy!
        Yuck.
        Luckily I had gotten some Hotel Bar butter - just in case!!

        1. re: NellyNel

          I bought Plugra for the first time and it was $5/lb, but I didn't care for it either. Breakstone, Hotel bar, are all good and I've also baked well with other store brands like Richfood, no problem there. The experience with Shoprite butter altered my xmas baking karma this year, it really grossed me out!

          1. re: NellyNel

            Interesting. I've never had _any_ issues with ShopRite butter. I've used it in cooking, in baking, and spreading. And when it goes on sale for less than $2/lb I make a supply of ghee.

            I've never experienced any off tastes with it (and for spreading, I don't even refrigerate it).

          2. re: lilgi

            Crappy butter is the WORST! It's hard to find good, clean-tasting butter even among the major brands--I no longer even go near generic. You have the potential to ruin so many dishes with bad butter. It's just not worth the savings.

            1. re: Isolda

              I imagine, it would have been good in a savory dish....
              but not for Christmas cookies!
              (Although I did sneak a little of it into one of the cookies. (I made 5 varieties) I think I used it for the ginger ones figuring they are robust, and spicy, and the strong cheesy taste wouldnt come through! )

              1. re: Isolda

                Ahhh Isolda, thought I was going nuts, I'm so glad you said that.

                That's why now I'm obligated to spend more; wasting dishes is the worst! so much time and effort, not to mention it ends up costing more.

            2. don't know about "ever," but sulbin is right... processed cheese that is primarily oil is not fit to be called cheese. also, ketchup (Heinz please), beer (the kind that says "Beer" on the can), diet soda... sure there's more, but i'll leave them to the others.

              4 Replies
              1. re: Emme

                I had forgotten the horrors of generic ketchup.

                1. re: Emme

                  If CVS is still selling diet cola made by Cott's, it's actually quite good, in a Diet-Rite kind of way.

                  1. re: buttertart

                    i should partially rescind my diet soda comment. years ago, in college, the walmart near me sold diet pink grapefruit soda. highlighter pink. surely chocked full of chemicals. twas bliss.

                  2. re: Emme

                    Generic ketchup (and mayo) repulses me. too.

                  3. i can't remember the last time i bought a generic food product, so i'll go back to my childhood & college years to answer this one:
                    - cream cheese
                    - sugary breakfast cereals
                    - diet soda

                    1. Is generic the same as store brands?

                      If it is, then I buy a lot of generics and think they are often of equal or better quality than some branded food/products. Back in the 80's they had generics that were white background and blue writing. They were not very good at all.

                      2 Replies
                      1. re: Sal Vanilla

                        good call Sal, i think we should clarify here. technically any private-label or "store brand" is a generic brand...but when i hear "generic" i don't immediately think Kirkland or the 365 label from Whole Paycheck...instead, it brings to mind the things the OP mentioned like beer that's simply labeled "beer" or soda that just says "cola" on the bottle.

                        so if we are including the better private labels, then i do buy generics - specifically Kirkland (i don't shop at Whole Paycheck anymore so no 365 for me). but as you pointed out, store brands have really improved over the past 20 years or so...which is probably why i had to go back that far to think of bad ones! :)

                        1. re: Sal Vanilla

                          Same here. I find the store brands are actually quite often _better_ than the name brands...and the pices are usually (though not always) significantly better.