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Nov 26, 2011 10:35 AM

Poll -- What foods/food items do you prefer commercially made?

Like the title says:
What foods or food items do you prefer as a commercially available item?
I was thinking this with respect to the pumpkin pie thread. Some prefer to buy the Asian pumpkins, roast them, and prepare their own filling. Others prefer to buy pureed pumpkin and spice it up. Others love love love the Costco pie.
What foods do you actually prefer to purchase commercially made, and why?

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  1. Phyllo dough. It's possible to make from scratch with no equipment other than a rolling pin... but I think this is something where the industrial equipment has an advantage.

    2 Replies
    1. re: drongo

      Store-bought phyllo and the one that my mom/aunts/etc. make at home seem like two entirely different entities to me; both the taste and textures are completely different. We usually use the homemade phyllo for full-size pitas (not the bread, the pies) and store-bought for the individual sized ones. I actually can't image HOW to make the paper-thin store-bought phyllo at home.

      1. re: Jasz

        I envision it to be similar to making strudel dough, which you can occasionally see being made on television. It is stretched carefully over a tablecloth-covered table until you can see through it. I am not that patient.

    2. Pumpkin pie, for sure.
      Hot and sour soup-- couldn't even begin to make it for what I pay for it.

      1 Reply
      1. re: monavano

        Ditto on the pumpkin pie and hot and sour soup. Have had many soup recipes and they don't quite hit the mark. I find canned pumpkin superior to making from fresh.

      2. Pizza. (I enjoy baking biscuit "pizza" in a cast-iron frypan but that's a whole different dish.) No way my home oven can get hot enough and too many great pizzerias in NYC.

        2 Replies
        1. re: ratgirlagogo

          High temperatures for pizza certainly help, but they aren't essential. With the right stone, better than pizzeria quality NY style pizza can be made at home. Now if you're going to Keste... that's a different story. Neapolitan pizza is a lot harder for the home chef.

          1. re: scott123

            I don't doubt someone can do it at home with the right stone, etc. - but that someone isn't going to be me, with half a dozen decent (and one great one - Rizzo's) pizzerias within blocks of my apt. It's not worth the effort for me, personally. As opposed to something like, oh, roast chicken or steak that is usually going to be better and always going to be cheaper than a restaurant. And dead easy as well.

          1. Pho. Just not worth the effort when I can drive 1 minute and have a huge hot bowl for $6 and no cleanup!

            4 Replies
              1. re: jmcarthur8

                ditto on pho.

                Also, Trader Joe's croissants, phyllo and puff pastry.

              2. re: LaureltQ

                I also agree on the pho. It's a lot of work for something that just isn't as good as what I an buy.

                1. re: CanadaGirl

                  Word to the pho...I made it once, so not worth it. That and fresh salad rolls. If I'm picking up one, Im going to pick up the other! Like I did tonight, for dinner, but I digress...