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May 5, 2011 09:58 AM

What commercially available foods are so good (though not necessarily better) that it deters you from making the homemade equivalent?

Stressing that I am not saying that the commercially available items are necessarily better than what can be made at home, but just that they are of such high quality that -- in light of everything else including time and effort -- there's almost no point in making the homemade version.

The Costco / Kirkland Super Premium Vanilla Ice Cream fits that bill for me.

Honestly, I think that big tub of Kirkland ice cream might be the best commercially available ice cream around -- regardless of price. I put it up against any and all super-premium artisan brand vanilla ice creams out there, e.g. Carmela, Laloo's, Silver Moon, etc.. And, while I might not win every round, I think I'd come out OK in the final score card.

Don't even get me started on brands like Häagen-Dazs, Ben & Jerry's, Turkey Hill, Blue Bunny, Edy's etc. Kirkland would lap those vanilla creations.

Now, I might be able to make a better vanilla ice cream at home, but factoring in cost and effort and time, it's almost not worth it.

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  1. usually the things that are time/cost prohibitive...
    like cheese or milk...i dont have room for a herd of cows in my apt
    or ice cream like u said...and i liked wawa's vanilla bean back in the day...
    deli meats..boars head is pretty good stuff...
    bacon...same with pigs...
    most of time i can cook or mostly make anything...but time and money do work against u

    and this can also bring society into this that we are mostly industrialized i dont need or have time to make everything that i need..thus i trade my skill at fixing cars(which i am really good at)
    for somone elses skill to make other things i need...

    but yes i am pretty sure i can/could make all those better or as good...

    1. My first thought was bread. I have never been able to duplicate a good artisan bread or make a homemade loaf of bread in which the slices are as soft and pliable as store bought, especially whole wheat.

      I have become a fan of precooked bacon. So easy, no greasy mess or burning splatters.

      I just splurged on some greek yogurt rather than drain some regular yogurt.

      Pie crust, puff pastry and pasta although I have never wanted to make puff pastry from scratch.

      3 Replies
      1. re: eatswjoy

        I don't think I've come across a commercially available pie crust that would deter me from making my own pie crust.

        Ditto on the thoughts re: puff pastry. Probably better than anything I would make at home, but then I don't think I've ever really tried making puff pastry seriously at home.

        1. re: eatswjoy

          I don't know why but I don't have the special magic required to make pastry. I don't know what it is, but I have just never been blessed by the pastry gods, no matter how many sacrifices and rituals I undertake. So I am a sad purchaser of pastry, not because I don't want to make it, but because it is sadly better than what I can produce myself.

          I long for the day the pastry gods smile upon me.

          1. re: TheHuntress

            You, too? When I try pastries, I eventually just have to stop and say "Look, self, it's dead. Anything more you do to it is just adding insult to injury."

        2. Potato chips, I love the Kirkland Kettle chips.

          1. Mayonnaise, specifically Duke's. I know homemade mayo is supposed to be, like, a transcendent experience, but Duke's is mighty good and I can't be bothered to dirty a blender, food processor, or bowl and whisk when I can just open a jar.

            I'd love to try that ice cream, ipse. I've found I don't even really eat ice cream that much, even though I like it, because most of what's available in the store is just not that great compared to homemade.

            5 Replies
            1. re: LauraGrace

              Do try the Kirkland Vanilla Super Premium Ice Cream.

              Great, great stuff. And at a price that's almost impossible to beat. It's sort of like selling your ice cream eating soul to the devil.

              1. re: ipsedixit

                You must have recovered from your ice cream OD. It was you, right, who started the thread on overdosing on a food?

                1. re: Isolda

                  Maybe he's trying to keep the thread alive, by introducing the hungry to the devil. ;)

                  1. re: onceadaylily

                    Good point, but I've already met the devil. His name is Clement Faugier and he makes sweet chesnut paste.

                    1. re: Isolda

                      Really (said the weak-willed and hungry girl), sweet chestnut paste?

                      Sometimes I think I'm trying to clog my arteries so that I can get to my next life all the faster, and taste things for the first time all over again.

            2. The raw flour tortillas that you cook in a pan or griddle, best thing to come along in years.

              3 Replies