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Jan 24, 2011 09:24 AM

Jiff versus Skippy (and more) Marriage, how common?

When my husband and I started staging taste-tests to convince each other that we really couln't tell the difference between our so-called favorite brands, it was just for fun. Now its just crazy how stubborn we are about these foods.WE don't just prefer our brand we detest the other.
I love Jiff he loves Skippy
Pepsi vs Coke
Pregresso soup vs Campbells
Frenches mustard vs Guldons
Barilla pasta vs Ronzoni
Tuttorosso tomatoes vs Cento
Bumble Bee in oil vs Chicken of the Sea
Temptee Whipped vs Philidelphia regular in silver box (never the tub)
Dunkin Dark vs Eight O Clock regular coffee
Aunt Jemima vs Bisquick Mix for pancakes
There is more, but what brought this up today was my new favorite Dukes Mayonaise over Hellmans. Living in Florida now, I just tasted Dukes, and it was tangy and my coleslaw tasted so much better with it. Of course MR. Hellmans thinks I have gone over the edge.

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  1. Ain't got no Duke's Mayonnaise here in California. We do prefer Hellmann's however (Actually, it's marketed as "Best Foods" out this way) and to get the tang I want in my coleslaw I simply use a bit of red wine vinegar.

    1. Skippy - WAY better than Jiff!
      Coke better than Pepsi, but Diet Pepsi better than Diet Coke
      Campbells soup
      Chicken of the Sea tuna
      Definitely Bisquick for the pancakes (and waffles)
      I've never had Dukes...

      Some more favorites:
      Heinz Ketchup (over ANYTHING else!)
      Ben & Jerry's over Haagen Daz
      Tostados Salsa (over any other!)
      Heartland Granola
      Tropican Orange Juice

      4 Replies
      1. re: jbsiegel

        Yes, have to agree with the Heinz ketchup. Hunts is just gross.

        1. re: momnivore

          Back in 2006, the venerable Cooks Illustrated (PBS' America's Test Kitchen) did a taste test of national brands of supermarket catsups and, Cooks Illustrated being who they are, also did a scientific analysis to see whether there were objective, scientifically quantifiable traits that translated into subjective taste preferences among their panel of professional chefs.

          The lineup (in unranked, alphabetical order):

          Annie's Naturals Organic Ketchup
          Del Monte Ketchup
          Heinz Ketchup
          Heinz Organic Ketchup
          Hunt's Ketchup
          Muir Glen Organic Ketchup
          Westbrae Natural Fruit Sweetened Ketchup
          World's Best Ketchup

          They open by saying that a good catsup needed to have a balance of tangy, salty and sweet. So they set up a blind tasting panel. But tastes are subjective, so they sent samples of the catsups off to a lab which ran chemical analyses to determine pH (acidity), % of solids, amount of pectin and they employed the use of a device called a "Bostwick consistometer" in order to quantify viscosity with a verifiable value. Sodium and sugar values were taken from nutritional labels.

          The results were quite interesting.

          Acidity (quantified by pH) was important. A lot of the catsups were too sweet, not balanced with proper level of acidity. The winning brand had a pH of 3.82. The bottom-ranked brand had a pH of 4.19 (much less acidic, which allows a cloying sweetness to come through). Interestingly enough, these were not the most and least acidic catsups. But as a general rule, tangier (lower pH) is better.

          As for saltiness, highest ranking catsups contained about 150 to 190 milligrams of sodium per tablespoon. The less salty ones fell to the bottom of the rankings. So, as a general rule, saltier is better.

          As for sweetness, catsups with more sugar ranked higher. So, as a general rule, sweeter is better. (But remember, it's a matter of balance-- without an appropriately acidic pH, a catsup becomes cloying and unpalatable.)

          In terms of tomato flavor, this is where the analysis of % of solids comes into play. More solids means more actual tomatoes (in the form of tomato paste), and therefore more glutamates (umami/savoriness) and more concentrated flavor. And sure enough, the highest ranked catsup had the highest % of tomato solids at 33.76%. The lowest was at 25.92%. But there was another brand which came in even lower as 19.46%. But again, as a pattern, catsups with more actual tomato solids (tomato paste) ranked higher among the blind tasting panel.

          Lastly was the issue of thickness. In addition to mouthfeel, there is the practical application that a watery catsup will turn your hamburger buns soggy. But at the same time, catsup shouldn't have a paste-like consistency, so there is a balance. The article talks about pectin generally being the only thickener in catsup, but they do go on to say that other factors such as % tomato solids (see above) and calcium can contribute to viscosity. In using the Bostwick consistometer, they allowed each catsup to flow down a trough at a 28 degree angle and they measured how long it took for each catsup to travel 24cm. The results? "Most of the ketchups took between one and 2 1/2 minutes to traverse the trough, but two were noticeably slower, taking about 10 and eight minutes, respectively. Yes, ketchup should flow slowly, but there is such as thing as too thick and too slow."

          So, let's get right down to it. What were the results?

          #8 NOT RECOMMENDED
          Westbrae Natural Fruit Sweetened Ketchup

          This brand, sweetened with fruit juice concentrate, provoked strong negative comments. "No, no, no!" wrote one taster. Another described it as a "molasses and tomato train wreck." While many compared it to "bland" tomato paste, others found it "sour" and "too vinegary." One taster simply asked, "Why?"
          pH 4.15
          Solids 25.92%
          Pectin 7210 mg/kg
          Bostwick 8 minutes, 9 seconds

          #7 NOT RECOMMENDED
          World's Best Ketchup

          The most "un-ketchup-like ketchup" in our tasting. Its "chunky" texture made one taster ask, "Did I just wander into the salsa tasting?" Many said it was "too sweet," and our pH test showed that it was the least acidic ketchup in the lineup.
          pH 4.29
          Solids 19.46%
          Pectin 4347 mg/kg
          Bostwick 1 minute

          Muir Glen Organic Ketchup

          Tasters who liked "untraditional" ketchup singled out Muir Glen for its "nice texture," but others found the texture "too pasty" and "way too thick." While some were put off by the abundance of "warm, cinnamon" spices, others enjoyed the "pleasant" flavor and said it "goes great with fries."
          pH 4.01
          Solids 29.93%
          Pectin 3978 mg/kg
          Bostwick 10 minutes, 4 seconds

          Heinz Ketchup(!!)

          The standard bearer fell to the middle of the pack in our taste tests, losing points for being "bland" and "too sweet." Tasters were more positive about its "fry-dipping texture" and "smooth," "thick" consistency. Overall assessment: "unremarkable."
          pH 3.84
          Solids 32.54%
          Pectin 4875 mg/kg
          Bostwick 50 seconds

          Del Monte Ketchup

          Tasters were neither thrilled nor offended by this ketchup, giving it average marks in all categories. One taster called it "nothing out of the ordinary," while another said, "a little sweet but no big deal." Others described it as "a little watery," "a little sour," and "a little cooked.
          pH 3.65
          Solids 32.12%
          Pectin 4966 mg/kg
          Bostwick 1 minute, 10 seconds

          #3 RECOMMENDED
          Annie's Naturals Organic Ketchup

          This ketchup (sweetened with sugar rather than the usual corn syrup) received solid scores for taste, texture, and color. Tasters liked the "rich, hearty, and tangy flavor," but while some found it to have "just the perfect balance," others detected "odd smoky" notes. For texture, it was "not perfectly smooth but good."
          pH 3.81
          Solids 32.43%
          Pectin 4696 mg/kg
          Bostwick 56 seconds

          #2 RECOMMENDED
          Heinz Organic Ketchup

          Tasters liked the "vinegary tang" of this organic sample. "Color and texture are perfect," wrote one taster. The consistency was praised as "not too heavy," while comments on the taste ranged from "tastes like ball-park ketchup" to "nice sweet/tart balance.
          pH 3.82
          Solids 31.7%
          Pectin 4640 mg/kg
          Bostwick 1 minute, 50 seconds

          AND HERE IT IS.... THE #1 RANKED CATSUP IS.............

          #1 RECOMMENDED
          Hunt's Ketchup

          This "cherry red" ketchup scored the highest for both taste and texture and was the overall winner. Tasters praised the "inviting, smooth" texture and "tangy," "fresh" flavor. Some commented that this "well-balanced" sample tasted "exactly as it should."
          pH 3.82
          Solids 33.76%
          Pectin 4939 mg/kg
          Bostwick 2 minutes, 30 seconds


          Mr Taster

          1. re: Mr Taster

            I have always liked Hunt's better and have mentioned it in public only to be mocked. ;) I've always figured that with some people, they just think it is cool to hate Hunt's. I said SOME people, not all. I don't haaaaate Heinz like some people say they haaaate Hunt's. I just think that Hunt's tastes better (to my taster anyway). I don't mention it anymore unless asked and go about my business of buying Hunt's.

        2. re: jbsiegel

          we taste alike!

          coke, diet pepsi, skippy (altho now i prefer salted natural almond butter, but that's another story), campbells, COS Tuna, B & J (though Haagen Daz Sticky Toffee Pudding and Coconut PIneapple do stand out), HEINZ!,

        3. I knew a girl who loved Coke and her husband got a job as a sales person at Pepsi. Of course he could never be seen with anything Coke. It was highly amusing to watch the two of them interact anytime the topic came up. They were never mean but it certainly got heated.

          5 Replies
          1. re: Jase

            My sister just spent the last few years working for Pepsi, and she hates Pepsi and many of their other products. She is really happy they are relocating and she got a small golden parachute.

            1. re: Jase

              i grew up drinking mostly Diet Pepsi & Tab, but then went to a university that was endowed by Coca-Cola...i had to learn to drink Diet Coke because Pepsi products weren't allowed (or sold!) anywhere near campus. fortunately Diet Dr Pepper was a Coke product :)

              1. re: goodhealthgourmet

                Emory! I love the story that a construction crew came on campus to build something and brought its own Pepsi machine. There was a curtain around it by noon, and it was off-campus by the end of the day.

                1. re: cocktailhour

                  that's hilarious! must have been after my time because this is the first i've heard of it.

                2. re: goodhealthgourmet

                  Two things about your post, if I may: Tab was a CocaCola product. It was one of the few sodas my Mom bought when we were kids, and we all hated it. Dr. Pepper wasn't (and still isn't) a Coke product. It may have been bottled under license at the local bottler, which may be why it was "allowed," but it's not a Coke product.

              2. I can't imagine someone liking JIff over Skippy
                Pepsi - I don't drink soda anymore, but Pepsi is good, Coke is just sicky sweet
                Pregresso soup is soup. I haven't figured out what Campbell's is.
                Guldens over French's, but I'd go Grey Poupon over both any day.
                Barilla over Ronzoni - doens't really matter, but I'd give the nod to Barilla
                Bumble Bee in oil vs Chicken of the Sea - I never get them in oil, but Bumble Bee in H20
                Nothing compares to Philly
                Dunkin Dark vs Eight O Clock regular coffee - both are nasty
                Hellman's over any other mayo that isn't made fresh
                San Marzano canned tomatoes over any other canned
                Sabra over Tribe Hummus - unless you like that acid bite
                Heinz over any Ketchup (Catsup)
                Lesuer baby peas over any kind of pea
                Goya beans are the best canned beans
                Marie's Bleu Cheese dressing - actual chunks of bleu cheese
                Can't think of any others

                4 Replies
                1. re: jhopp217

                  Interesting that you think Coke is sweeter than Pepsi. I've always found Pepsi to be much, much sweeter (and intolerably so for me). That said, I rarely drink it (maybe once every 2 or 3 years).

                  1. re: debbiel

                    My recollection is that Pepsi is sweeter than Coke. That's why it wins in those taste tests - "the Pepsi Challenge" staged by Pepsi. They'd pour a thimble-full of each. With a very small taste, people chose the sweeter of the two. With a whole glass, however, Pepsi was too sweet and Coke was therefore the market leader.

                  2. re: jhopp217

                    i have to agree with jhopp - Coke *always* tasted sweeter to me than Pepsi, which is why i preferred Pepsi. but it may be different these days, and i haven't had either one in about 15 years.

                    now that i think about it, i felt the same way about Sprite vs 7-Up. i always preferred 7-Up because Sprite was too sweet.

                    1. re: goodhealthgourmet

                      I'm absolutely with you on the 7-Up over Sprite.

                  3. Jif v. Skippy: grew up on Jif so always preferred it. Now eat natural pb.
                    Pepsi v. Coke: rarely drink soda, but Coke, definitely. I have difficulty trusting people who prefer Pepsi.
                    Temptee Whipped v. Philly regular: I have no idea what Temptee is, but if it's whipped it CANNOT be better than Philly regular. :-)

                    And welcome to the world of enlightenment, the world of those in the know about Dukes mayo. Careful. You may start to gain weight. I eat much more mayo now that I can get Dukes in Illinois (instead of having to wait for another trip to visit family in SC).

                    Mr. debbiel doesn't seem to have strong allegiance to brands. I don't know what I would do if he insisted on using valuable fridge space for something like...Miracle Whip.

                    6 Replies
                    1. re: debbiel

                      Hey, guess what debbiel.. Dukes just came out with 'Dukes Whipped Salad Dressing'. So now my hubby gets his Miracle Whip fix, but it's made by Dukes and tastes better than Miracle Whip. Says he can just eat it with a spoon.
                      I am a Duke's mayo convert after moving from Indiana to Georgia. There's nothing like it for pimento cheese or red potato salad.

                      1. re: jmcarthur8

                        I'm a little dismayed that they would cheapen the brand that way, but I guess if they don't mess with the taste of the real Dukes, I can let it slide. :) I was actually raised on Miracle Whip (my folks were otherwise good parents). I found Dukes when we moved from IL to SC when I was in high school.
                        (p.s., it's also quite good just spread on multigrain toast, slathered really, all by its lonesome)

                        1. re: debbiel

                          Being an admirer of savvy marketing, I am always impressed when a company finds a new niche in which to sell their products. Kraft has the corner on the Miracle Whip market, so if Dukes can make a better product that satisfies the MW devotee's, and make a pile of money for themselves, I'm all for it.
                          I was raised on Miracle Whip, too, in Ohio, and thought mayo was icky and greasy. Until one day my boyfriend's mom made us sandwiches of thick slabs of cold ham on crusty chewy rye bread... with mayonnaise. Best sandwich I ever ate. And I've been a mayo fan ever since.

                          1. re: jmcarthur8

                            I love Hellmans and Dukes! They are both always in my fridge :)
                            Pepsi for me dt coke for the hubby

                      2. re: debbiel

                        "And welcome to the world of enlightenment, the world of those in the know about Dukes mayo. Careful."

                        Amen to this. I used to tolerate mayo with thinly-veiled contempt, only using the barest scraping of it to moisten the bread for a sandwich. Now, in the happy land of Duke's, I *dream up* ways to use the stuff. Gawd, it's good. I practically get teary-eyed thinking of that far-off first tomato sandwich slathered with Duke's.

                        1. re: debbiel

                          I have no idea what Temptee is, but if it's whipped it CANNOT be better than Philly regular.
                          you're only saying that because you've never had Temp Tee. it's awesome ;)