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Just "Buy It," Don't Think about the price

  • r

How many times have you had an exact something on your grocery list to buy; you don't want substitutes, you don't want to pay the extra shipping price online. I keep a list of a hard-to-find items, where I have bought it, so perhaps I can find it there again.

But when you see it, finally, you don't even care about the price, you just buy it, almost grateful that you can stop looking for it.

Yesterday it was Eden Organic Tamari Soy Sauce (Shoyu). I paid the price.


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  1. Every week.

    If I need a product to cook with, I buy it.

    2 Replies
    1. re: Harters

      Ditto. When it comes to the dinner table, it's on! I do patronize the absolute cheapest gas station regularly. Weekly trip to WalMart for sale paper towels, gatorade and laundry soap. Turn the lights off when leaving a room! But the food items are there, when I want, regardless of cost. We eat salad every night, so when grape tomatoes are $5, they are still in the salad. Cukes have been $1ea lately. Still eat 'em. I save my money where I can, but not at the expense of our dinner.

      1. re: chefdaddyo

        I couldn't have explained it better myself, so I won't. Thanks, chefdaddyo!

    2. for common grocery items I might hmm and hah and look for the bargains and two for ones, but if I want fancy things like artichoke hearts in a good olive oil, good balsamic, an elusive condiment or I am just plain out of the product at home then I will pay.

      1 Reply
      1. re: smartie

        this is me too. we may walk from one latino grocery store to another latino grocery store to find lettuce that's 10 cents less, but every week i'll buy some fancy expensive cheese. Have a nice walnut oil for that cheapo lettuce, too.

      2. Well marbled (prime or not) steaks.

        Fresh seafood.

        1. Dry scallops, good beef to grind for burgers, and good cheeses...still unable to do $4 for and artichoke. Stupid, since it is my favorite vegetable.

          12 Replies
          1. re: tim irvine

            The artichoke prices here in New England kill me, too, but I still buy them. When I was a teenager growing up in CA, I remember seeing artichokes in the grocery store for as little as 10 cents each. My mother would complain when they got up to 2 for a dollar.

            1. re: Isolda

              I like artichokes, too. Living in CA for a few decades made me a cheapskate for spending a lot of money for them.

              I must not like them that well, as I tend to spend my money on broccoli rabe --

              Even though there is nothing like a fresh artichoke, there is a brand, Del Destino, I think, which Costco carried for a very short time which had nothing in them except citric acid, perhaps salt. It was in a glass jar, which made it even better for me. I bought a number of jars, but whence I decided to put away a few in my larder, they had discontinued them -- now Costco carries the Del Destino brand of eggplants and maybe mushrooms in the same jar. And, of course, the jars of Peruvian roasted bell peppers, which are satisfactory

              1. re: Rella

                I really love artichokes, but the other day at Sprouts they were $2.50 each and I can't bring myself to spend that much.

                1. re: c oliver

                  I was at Smart & Final two days ago and got 4 for $2--they were excellent and sold out immediately. Yesterday a buck a piece for big globes at our local market.

                  1. re: escondido123

                    Which market? I used to live in San Marcos and I assume you are in Escondido. I love stuffing the large ones. That is a meal unto itself.

                      1. re: escondido123

                        Love that Major Market--found my Lyle's Golden Syrup there, which is perfect for early morning biscuits. It's like a treasure hunt every time I shop there!

                  2. re: c oliver

                    TJs has some globe artichokes at 0.99c just checked today.

                    1. re: c oliver

                      im so happy when they get down to $4 each. When they get to $3 each i might have 3 or 4 in a day.

                      1. re: KaimukiMan

                        Today I found 4 for $5.99 at Costco and they look good. I'm going to make them this evening and that will last me the week!

                        1. re: Barbara76137

                          I tend to buy by season. I buy lots of artichokes when they're in season and thus tasty, fresh and cheap, e.g. $1.00. I skip them the rest of the time. Same with grapefruit, melons, etc.

                          1. re: somervilleoldtimer

                            Artichokes are 1.50 apiece on Peapod this week. Surprised the heck out of me.

              2. If I'm going to actually put it in my mouth, I will buy what I want without regard to price. I'm cheap about other things but it doesn't make sense to eat an off-version of something when the one I like tastes better.

                1. If it's expensive because it's out of season, I will usually skip it for some in season that is likely to have better flavor. As for scallops, if I'm going to cook them at home I will certainly pay the price for Diver. Lately though, I order them out at a restaurant I trust and the price they charged compared to other entrees doesn't seem out of wack.

                  12 Replies
                  1. re: escondido123

                    Your mentioning "Diver" peeked my interest. I ran across this at


                    "Scallops harvested and packed in Canada are not allowed to have water or sodium tripolyphosphates added by law. If you find a "product of Canada" sea scallop you have a pretty good chance of getting an excellent product, especially if they are frozen at sea. The product caught in the US is equally as good but too many games are played with water and stp and you do not always have to declare the added water and chemicals on the label. Better safe than sorry."

                    1. re: Rella

                      I am not adverse to other large scallops per se, but freezing destroys them for me. Too much water comes out and I cannot get a good sear. Maybe just me, but that's a problem I haven't been able to solve.

                      1. re: escondido123

                        I've often wondered if the sea scallops one sees in the market place have come into the market frozen and have been put out as fresh.


                        It has been my experience that in restaurants for the past 20 years when one asks if fish is fresh, they will say yes; then you ask one question further, "are they fresh-frozen" and they most often will say, Yes, fresh-frozen." A term which I've heard over-and-over.

                        My favorite preference of thawing scallops is to put them into a zip-lock bag and place the zip-lock bag in a bowl of water (keeping the top of the bag from allowing water that is in the bowl to enter the zip-lock bag.) Then changing the (cold) water each time it warms up a bit. Thawing takes very little time and allows very little thaw-water into the scallop.

                        1. re: Rella

                          Here, they are all labeled fresh vs frozen. If I don't trust the purveyor I won't buy from them. You can certainly tell if they've been frozen and then thawed because they will exude liquid when you throw them in a hot pan. That's not "thaw water," in MHO but water that comes out from the frozen cells within the scallop.When I can get fresh here in So Cal, not something that is available all year round, then I buy them. Otherwise, no.

                          1. re: escondido123

                            So... when a scallop is being thrown into a hot pan:

                            Whether a scallop has been frozen and then thawed


                            whether it has been "stp'd,"

                            both will cause the scallop to have liquid.

                            So that when one has bought a frozen scallop, and one gets liquid, one won't know what has caused the liquid - the act of thawing a un-stp'd scallop, or thawing a stp'd scallop,

                            1. re: Rella

                              Boy you do want to argue. When I have gotten fresh scallops from a purveyor I trust I do not have the problem of too much liquid. That is why I stick with those I trust--at such a high price I'm not going to risk spending my money on something that might be less than I expected. Feel free to make your own choices.

                              1. re: escondido123

                                I was only wanting to clarify. I never want to argue.

                      2. re: Rella

                        One of my sisters lives in Lunenburg, NS, about 4 blocks above the docks from which their scalloping fleet sails. Only one boat there brings in and sells scallops that have not been frozen upon catch, and if you want to get any of them, you better be there when it pulls into the dock. Personally, I'd much rather buy scallops still frozen than somethiong that's been sitting around deteriorating for several days.

                        1. re: junescook

                          I have been buying Costco's scallops from New Bedford, they are frozen. I really like them. I also buy Costco's wild salmon and wild maui-maui and wild cod.

                          When I'm busy and don't want to fool with a thaw for the salmon, maui-maui or cod, I take the pieces out, swipe a pan with oil or parchment with oil, lay a piece on top of a slice of onion, pop it in a 425F oven for about 40 minutes, and I'm ready to eat.

                          I'm from VA -- several years ago we spent some time in NS. We must've gone in lobster season, because I remember eating a lot of lobster (and great cod soup).

                          1. re: junescook

                            Since I'm pretty much "landlocked", I'd also much prefer SEAfood of any sort that has been flash frozen vs. "fresh" that has been sitting around. I'll even request a piece from the freezer instead of a piece that is thawing in the case at the market.

                          2. re: Rella

                            Canadian here. I buy vacuum packed frozen Nova Scotia sea scallops at my local Loblaws that are excellent and only cost $14.95 per lb.

                          3. re: escondido123

                            I much prefer buying anything and everything "in season" not only for the price but moreso for the quality.

                          4. I'm very price conscious, because I'm just now recovering from three years of being an underemployed grad student. But we get fresh okra for 3-4 weeks per year, and I will pay whatever they ask. And I can't live without fresh broccoli ( I know that's weird) so I will shell out whatever for that. It's certainly not in the price category of parmigiano reggiano, but it's one of the few things I will buy without regard to price. Avocados are a maybe-if I really want one I'll pay a fair amount for it, but they're also constrained by quality. If they all feel bunged up and nasty, I'll drown my avocado craving in ice cream or popcorn or something.

                            1 Reply
                            1. re: ErnieD

                              I wish you lived near me...every time i go visit my parents, my dad loads my car down with okra, and i can never come close to eating it all.

                            2. for standard stock-up items, i wait until they are on sale and then try to use a coupon on top of the deal (i.e. peanut butter, cereal). i never wait until i actually need those items to buy them. don't worry - i'm not a crazy couponer! it just might mean that i have 2 jars of peanut butter in the pantry instead of just 1 open one.

                              on the other hand, i'll always pay full price for fresh fish!

                              2 Replies
                              1. re: jamieeats

                                Organic, pastured eggs and poultry, pastured pork, local farm produce and grass fed and finished beef; some of the food items I will pay just about any price. Gulf fish and shellfish must be caught by me thae day of preparing or someone I know and trust.
                                I agree with Isolda's post above.......You are eating it!!!!

                                1. re: ospreycove

                                  +1 on all of yours except the Gulf seafood - kinda hard for me to catch it myself out here in Southern California :)

                              2. I adore Rainier cherries, and when they are at the height of their season (and weight-in-gold pricing) here in Southern California, I will spend wildly like a drunken sailor for the short few weeks that they and I may consummate our mutual love affair :-). Whether at farmer's markets or chain supermarkets, I will purchase them and not blink at paying $7.99 per pound; they're so big and fleshy and juicy/sweet, and in some respects life is so very short (for us and for them), that I will never feel bad about buying them whenever my wallet will allow. How is it possible that a blushing little nugget of fresh fruit can bring so much joy into this world, like the balm of a dewy angel? And how many stone-fruit summers does any of us have remaining (plenty I hope, but no guarantee). I don't want them for my final meal, i want them for my _next_ meal :-)

                                7 Replies
                                1. re: silence9

                                  You wicked thing, now you have ME fantasizing about them! Last summer I developed this delightful routine - eat Rainier cherry, sway in hammock, enjoy blue sky, eat 3,482 Rainier cherries, repeat. It got to be a little religious experience! -- and one I paid for regardless of market price, organic!

                                  1. re: Vetter

                                    That certainly is a delightful routine/ritual. Adding the swaying hammock approaches perfection. Enjoy!

                                  2. re: silence9

                                    +1 !

                                    Rainier Cherries are my secret indulgence.

                                    1. re: DoobieWah

                                      What I will pay outrageously for is to ship frozen Balaton tart cherries from a Michigan farm to my home in Massachusetts. Comes in its own nice little cooler with dry ice, overnight. I can only do this in January/February when our front porch is frozen and the cherries don't thaw. My husband shakes his head sadly, because I'm frugal about most other things, but the cherries make me crazy and I must have them for cherry strudel, tarts, cherry soup, and most other things tart and tangy and sweet and perfect.

                                      1. re: somervilleoldtimer

                                        King Orchards? My husband is crazy about sour cherries (even more than I am) and with the rain we've been having these weeks I'm afraid the local crop will be very poor. Can't stand to see a man with a broken heart. (Every year he gets and freezes enough to keep him through until the next season.)

                                        1. re: buttertart

                                          These folks are great, and it feels like money in the bank to have sour cherries in the freezer. Buttertart: whereabouts are you? I'm in Massachusetts and you can't find a sour cherry tree anywhere in the state, except now in my backyard because I finally planted one. But I still order from King.

                                          1. re: somervilleoldtimer

                                            In Bergen County, NJ. There are sour cherries available in the NYC Greenmarkets in season, from the Hudson Valley somewhere. Our local guy had some last year too, going to chase him for more this year. I want a cherry tree for my backyard too - what variety did you plant? Do you need two for pollination? (No gardener me.)

                                  3. Meats and fresh fish. Japanese mayo, sansho and togorashi. Hot dogs, cheese, cold cuts and bacon with as few additives as possible. Those are the killers in terms of the grocery budget.

                                    1. Just got back from Whole Foods where I found the very hard to get Fregola Sardo, a small round pasta that I use for Wedding Soup. I love the stuff and was so glad I found it after searching for 4 years. I bought 2 bags, tiny bags at that. When I got home I thought about why my bill was so high. After looking at the receipt I almost choked! I paid $11.00 for each of those bags. $22.00 for pasta??? Didn't look at the price but I would have thought twice if I had the good sense to check it out.

                                      And BTW silence9, I also bought cherries at - yep $7.99 lb. Came to 15.94 for cherries.

                                      EDITED UPDATE: I just looked online to see what the prices are and the same bag I bought sells for $11.99 to $12.50 plus shipping. I guess I got a deal. LOL.

                                      4 Replies
                                      1. re: The Drama Queen

                                        I recall a pasta buying event that I bought at a restaurant supply far away from home. First of all, when I got home and looked more carefully at the brand, I found that it was not the brand I had in mind that had been on my list for a loooong time.

                                        The very wors(t) part was that when I poured it into the boiling water -- guess what -- buggie-types came rising to the top.

                                        This episode really turned me off buying pasta in the cellophane bags with the cute little bow-tie plastic tie at the top.

                                        I can't recall if your pasta is the type that is on the Bugiallia DVD set that I recently bought, but if it is and is the one that is made with continuously cooking-down/baking off (for loss of better words), then it should be close to cost-value, and not a rip-off price.

                                        I hope that it comes close to being worth the money.

                                        1. re: Rella

                                          Not familiar with the Bugiallia DVD but I just hate the thought of paying $11.00 for a bag of pasta. I love this stuff so I guess that's what I have to pay. I just didnt' know the price when I bought it. Hey, if I want something bad enough I buy it and don't often look at the price.
                                          The buggie thing happened to me too, but I had already eaten half of the bowl of chicken seashell soup before I noticed them. Grossed me out for a week.

                                          1. re: The Drama Queen

                                            Looked up your pasta, and it is on the dvd I mentioned. The pasta made by hand takes days to make. I watched enthralled by the technique.

                                            I had no idea it was something one could buy, but just thought that he was demonstrating an "old" method/technique of making pasta.

                                            You may haved overpaid, I don't know, but you bought something really special!

                                            1. re: Rella

                                              I don't think I overpaid because as I said it's on the net for more than I paid. Still a lot of money for little tiny balls of pasta. I love what this pasta does for Italian Wedding Soup and I'm hooked.

                                      2. There's not a lot of things I will buy regardless of cost. The things I do tend to be rare, find once in a few year special finds (unlike, say, buying out of season produce at exorbitant prices).

                                        If I can find fresh sour cherries, I'll grab them immediately. I adore home-made sour cherry pie (with vanilla ice cream) and grew up with a tree in the back yard, and it's so rare to be able to buy them.
                                        I also paid a few dollars for a single beet a while ago, having not seen one in years.

                                        I've pretty much given up on buying things like imported sweet cherries. They're horribly expensive, and they just don't taste good.

                                        2 Replies
                                        1. re: tastesgoodwhatisit

                                          See my post above, about tart cherries! Try King Orchards in Michigan.

                                          1. re: tastesgoodwhatisit

                                            Not sure where you live but Traverse City Michigan, where I spend the summer, is the cherry capital of the world. They harvest about 100 million pounds of sour cherries per year so you'd be in your glory. Contact the Chamber of Commerce to see who would ship them to you. They harvest in late July/early August after the National Cherry Festival. Go figure.

                                          2. Food is one of life's great pleasures. If I want it, I'll pay whatever the price is. The only thing I really buy with price in mind is seafood from the Asian market vs. the grocery store. But the quality is so much better, I'd be a moron to not buy it there.

                                            7 Replies
                                            1. re: alliegator

                                              It drives me insane when people say snidely and incredulously "you buy food in Chinatown???". Darn tootin', it's good value and best quality. Chinese people won't settle for anything less.

                                              1. re: buttertart

                                                We don't have a Chinatown per se here in Denver, but we do have a couple of Asian markets - a Chinese/southeast Asian focused one on the west side of town, a Korean focused one on the east side of town, and a Japanese focused one downtown (plus dozens of smaller shops that I haven't sufficiently explored yet). You can find some amazingly cool stuff, for sure.

                                                As far as the OP goes - I drive my wife nuts because I pretty much never remember to actually look at the prices.

                                                1. re: pramjockey

                                                  Nothing more fun (well, almost) than a good Asian grocery store of whatever stripe.

                                                  1. re: buttertart

                                                    I agree! Mine is about a 40 minute drive away, but it's a huge plaza and you have your choices of stalls to grab a meal, so I usually make a morning or afternoon of it.

                                                2. re: buttertart

                                                  I buy fish in Chinatown because it's still swimming until just before I pay for it!

                                                  1. re: somervilleoldtimer

                                                    I knew I liked you. People can be so ignorant.

                                              2. I'm pretty price conscious, but come mid-May and morel season in Minnesota, I'll fork over the greenbacks in whatever amount I need to for those who supply me for my annual family spring morel fest. It's simply a given in this household, and cost be damned...although we are hoping the miraculous patch of morels in our backyard pops up again this spring. If that's the case, I'll still hand over the dollars-for-mushrooms; it just means we'll get more.

                                                3 Replies
                                                1. re: cayjohan

                                                  Practically EVERYTHING I buy falls into this category, mostly because pretty much everything I like is really really hard to find, or at least, find reliably. While I wont claim that there have been all that many "damn the price" incidents, there have been an awful lot of "damn the common sense" ones, buying things that, in the short run , are going to case me severe problems. The classic occurence of this is walking into a store somehwhere in NYC seeing that they have a bottled beverage I really like, and buying the shelf out, despite the fact that 1. most of the things I like come in glass bottles which get heavy and 2. I have to WALK everywhere when I am in the city and a lot of my routes cover several miles (fine when I am light, but with an extra 30-40 pounds strapped to my back (or worse, in a second bag on my shoulder due to the fact my backpack is already FULL) is another matter (I actually collapsed from muscle spasms on one of those trips, took almost three days before I could really walk again, and I needed a cane until almost the next weeks trip in). In fact, I rarely travel anywhere without one or two collapsable bags, in case I have an unexpected find.

                                                  1. re: jumpingmonk

                                                    I love your dedication.

                                                    I also understanding overdoing it in spite of the end result of muscle spasms. I never know when to stop -- until lately. Old age sets standards one finds unbelieveable when young. My last stint was lifting a full wine bottle - ice packs and aspirin for several days.

                                                    Be careful, please. If you have to, buy one of those 'little ole ladies' carts -- or do they still use them.

                                                    1. re: Rella

                                                      I actually had one, back in colledge. The problem is, if you are in the city, the cart become one more HEAVY thing to lug around with you. I take the train in and the train out. At least the bags have the advantage of not weighing anything when they are empty. And to be fair except in unusual circumstances such a find represents the end of the day for me; I buy twelve glass bottles and my next stop is now the bus stop or if I'm really desperate the nearest cab.
                                                      Also the fact is I'm pretty used to it by now. That incident only happened because I was dumb enough to buy a dozen glass bottles and THEN walk 4 miles without taking a break. I don't do that anymore. Especially because I've now realized that most people DON'T buy like me, so if there are 24 bottles on the shelf today, there will probably be most of those bottles there the next week, when I can make a plan ASSUMING I'm going to buy bottles.

                                                2. Decent tropical fruits. As someone raised in Hawaii who now lives in the Pacific NW, it's difficult and expensive to quench some of my tropical fruit cravings. When I see decent fruits, I suck it up and pay the premium price. So worth it.

                                                  2 Replies
                                                  1. re: akq

                                                    After living in Hawaii for a few years, I then moved to the Pacific NW and found it very difficult to identify decent fruit. I'm still searching for that like Hawaii pineapple. So far it hasn't made its way to Virginia, US.

                                                    1. re: Rella

                                                      The problem is that you got used to getting fresh, ripe pineapple. You'd have to find some way where you could get same night, express air shipping of freshly picked fruit to get the same experience, because even if you got the same breed of pineapple, the shipping would trash it.

                                                      I'm totally spoiled with tropical fruits now. Fresh pineapple was a revelation, and for some reason I never get sore lips from the fresh stuff, the way I did in North America. But I know that when I leave, it will be like cherries here - even if you can find them, they don't taste right.

                                                  2. As a very recent graduate, my budget is quite small. But even if it weren't, I think my idea of what is ' worth it' would be the same.

                                                    There are items that, if they are of good quality, should not be cheap - good cheese - and all dairy-, oil, chocolate, meat (though I don't buy it), nuts, etc. I am willing to pay the price for these things - if I can't justify it at the time, for whatever reason, I go without instead of buying a cheaper version.

                                                    This being said, I do try to find a good deal - but if some of the things above are dirt cheap, you'll probably taste it.

                                                    I have a lower limit on things like produce, bread/pasta and other things. A friend recently told me she spent $8 on two small zucchini at a specialty market - she was in a pinch and she needed them for a dinner party. I'm the type of person to change what I'm making if my only other option is a $4 mini zucchini.

                                                    I suppose I am willing to pay a higher price than most students, but I definitely draw the line at paying what seem to be 'unfair' prices...maybe more out of principle than anything? I do also eat a lot of legumes and other inexpensive things, so I feel a bit better about splurging where it's worth it.

                                                    4 Replies
                                                    1. re: rafjel

                                                      That is the sign of a good cook, to be able to change ingredients. Those $8 zucchini were likely not in season and I would bet there was a good substitute. I don't start buying tomatoes until July when the heirlooms appear at the Farmers Market. Earlier, when they're higher priced, they just don't have that true summer flavor.

                                                      1. re: escondido123

                                                        I splurged and against my better judgment bought 4 heirloom tomatoes last summer. I paid $6.99 lb. when regular tomatoes were $1.09 lb. I could not for the life of me see any difference in the taste of the heirlooms. Was I missing something?

                                                        1. re: The Drama Queen

                                                          The ones I get are so much better. Were yours really ripe? Half of what I buy already has a soft spot so the flavor is very strong. Early or late in the season they don't have as much flavor, but then neither do regular ones. I am one of those people who only eats fresh tomatoes at home three or four months out of the year. After that I do green salads and canned tomatoes for cooked dishes so I think I'm picky.

                                                      2. re: rafjel

                                                        I'm with you. Either I would have changed my menu entirely or would have decided that something else would substitute for the zucchini; maybe a winter squash, or mushrooms, or something.

                                                      3. The last item fitting the description purchased was mozzarella di bufala campana. I don't even know what they cost.

                                                        5 Replies
                                                        1. re: ediblover

                                                          Bufala mozzarella is a delicious, melt-in-yur-mouth mozz that is irresistible. It runs between $6.99 and $8.99/b. here and of course it's imported. Great stuff.

                                                          1. re: The Drama Queen

                                                            Usually imported, there are a few dairy farmers who have actually started small water buffalo herds here and there in this county, so there is a little domestic bufala production. Those who happen to live near such farms claim that thier mozzarella is still better, since it's fresher. Mozarella is technically supposed to be eaten the day it's made which as long as it's imported is fairly hard (plus of course, none but the most ardent mozzarella supplier is going to throw out and replace the entire imported stock every day). The bags of whey water they are sent in do a good job of keeping the cheese fresh (so it's still edible when it gets here), but not a perfect one. It's much the same situation I have with the burrata my local Italian deli supplies. They get it in from Italy once a week or so (once again, in Italy, no one would think of eating one not made that day) so that half the time the cheese has already started to sour and go bad by the time they get it (I actually now only eat the insides of them, since the outside ALWAYS smells a little funky.) Actually that's proably the reason that one of the things on my "Damn the cost" list is the burrata alla panna Whole foods sometimes carries; it cost's a fortune (especially when you consider it's only about half the size of everyone elses burratas) but at least it's reliably fresh. Someday I hope to bump into Burrino (basically a smoked Burrata) in the hope that the external smoking might keep the insides fresher longer.

                                                            1. re: jumpingmonk

                                                              I'd never heard of this product; intriguing!
                                                              Looking to see what it is, I found this article "Whole Foods Burrata: As Good As the Real Thing?"


                                                              1. re: Rella

                                                                Interesting, but that is probably different burrata. What the aricles is describing is burrata made "in house" by Whole foods. What I was describing was the Burrata alla Panna that Whole Foods sells, which is from Di Stefano, which is apparantly based out of LA.

                                                                Incidentaly, there was a brand my deli used to get in that was way better than the one they get in now. I can't rememeber the name off the top of my head and that volume of my Chhese journal (where I would have pasted a label) seems to be hiding myself, But I remeber that unlike the ones mentioned, it was still wrapped in REAL asphodel leaves (probably why I cant find it anymore, the USDA HATES real leaves on cheese.).

                                                            2. re: The Drama Queen

                                                              It certainly is great.

                                                              Still, likely owing to my average palette, for its intended purposes (pizza and baked pastas) I didn't think it made a huge difference. For me (again, I'm no cheese-guru) I would have a very hard time telling the difference between it and the fior di latte, unless the two were served side by side.

                                                              Still, I'd get it again, especially come tomato season!

                                                          2. I shop for ingredients, not recipes. The best food out there tends to be what's most abundant at the moment, which is also what tends to be discounted. It's not the cheapest stuff available, but if you look for things that are less expensive than usual you'll generally end up with better quality.

                                                            There's nothing wrong with paying a premium for Wagyu beef or morel mushrooms or vine-ripened tomatoes. But if you try to get these things when their availability is limited you're going to pay too much money and get mediocre quality to boot.

                                                            4 Replies
                                                            1. re: alanbarnes

                                                              I'm with you alan, though I'm lucky enough to live where the selection of produce tends to be better than most.

                                                              1. re: escondido123

                                                                Me, too. But regardless of how good the local produce is, tomatoes in February and asparagus in September aren't just expensive, they're flavorless. Staples are one thing (especially hard-to-find items that have a long shelf life). But I try to avoid putting anything in my grocery cart that doesn't deliver maximum bang for the buck.

                                                              2. re: alanbarnes

                                                                I spent 13 summers in California and 1 in Vegas before returning to Michigan for the summer. I ate tomatoes all summer long in CA. and bitched every time Idid because the flavor just wasn't the same. Back in Michigan the soil and the amount of rainfall makes a huge difference. Unless you've compared the two you can't know what the difference is. My Vegas friends who once lived in the midwest agree. I know the difference and I'm not trying to convince cuz I really don't care. You eat what you want and I'm going to eat great tomatoes this summer. Oh and the best cherry pie anywhere. ;-)

                                                                1. re: The Drama Queen

                                                                  I'm not sure what this has to do with seeking bargains at the grocery store. But the notion that all tomatoes grown in California taste the same, and all tomatoes grown in the Midwest taste better, is just silly.

                                                                  Sure, soil makes a difference. But the volcanic soil in Lassen County is very different from the alluvial soil of the Central Valley, which is different from the sandy soil along the coast, which is different from the saline soils that have built up in the Inland Empire. And that's without considering amendments such as manure and compost that change the basic nature of the soil wherever they're used.

                                                                  As to rainfall, no, we don't get that in the summer. Which is a good thing for tomatoes; too much water makes them bland. But we do have this thing called "irrigation." It works kind of like rain, except you can turn it off when things are wet enough.

                                                                  I've grown and eaten tomatoes in Oregon, Oklahoma, Ohio, and California. Some have been better than others, and all have been better than what they sell at the grocery store. So, yeah, I've compared California and Midwestern tomatoes. Frequently. And I hate to burst your bubble, but geography really has nothing to do with flavor.