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Are you an ingredient snob?

I just cannot make anything with artificial frozen dairy products. Or cake mixes. Sorry, won't do it!

I'm curious as to what products others refuse to use. What's yours?

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  1. You are kind of opening a can of worms here! No not a snob, just prefer fresh ingredients.

    For me, I cook our main meals from about 80% fresh/locally produced or home grown/raised ingredients. Most of our bread is homemade. I raise chickens for their eggs. I refuse to use most processed foods.

    It sounds like you are asking specifically about baked goods. I don't even really know what you mean by "artificial frozen dairy product". Do you mean "cool whip"? On the other hand, I do keep a box of cake mix on hand to use in case I want to whip up a cake really fast. I focus on keeping our main meals really fresh and real. But for sweets it is OK to cheat a little bit occasionally. We just don't eat them all that often.

    Am I a snob? No...I just care about what I put in my body. It's all about moderation.

    1. I don't know what an artificial frozen dairy product is. Do you mean Cool Whip? Is that an ingredient?

      I'm with you on cake mixes. How hard is it to mix up a homemade cake? Mixes don't even save much time.

      Jarred garlic has no place in my kitchen.

      5 Replies
      1. re: phofiend

        I agree, I just don't get it about why so many people use cake mixes, when homemade is so easy!

        1. re: BobbieSue

          And I just don't *get* why so many people bake and consume cakes and sweets in general because they are so fattening and do nothing remotely nourishing for our bodies.

            1. re: grampart

              You do realize I was being facetious? Much ado about nothing here:)

          1. re: BobbieSue

            Again, what is an "artificial frozen dairy product"?

            You may be preaching to the wrong choir here as I'm guessing most CHs who cook a lot are already on board with this idea.

            1. re: wattacetti

              Do you prefer yours with or without a soup├žon of lutefisk runoff?

            2. Nope, not at all. In a lot of instances, obviously fresh, non-processed ingredients are just going to be better, so I use them, but if I like something that isn't made with all fresh ingredients, I'll still eat it or make it. I always use a box mix for cakes, suits me just fine. I've never actually tried to make a cake from scratch before so I can't really speak for the pros and cons and whether there would be much of a taste improvement. On the other hand, I always always make my cookies from scratch. I guess I'm weird that way!

              1 Reply
              1. re: SaraAshley

                I'm not sure I've ever made a cake!

              2. Every ingredient -- be it natural, artificial, processed or not, organic, conventional, etc. -- has its place in a cook's arsenal.

                It is the cook's duty to transform ingredients into something above and beyond what it was before the cook laid hands on it.

                Short of medical or religious constraints, categorical refusal to use an ingredient is not ingredient snobbery. Far worse. It's ingredient ignorance.

                Given the choice, I'd rather be a snob than ignorant.

                13 Replies
                  1. re: BobbieSue

                    Now that is misplaced snobbery. Good fresh lard is a great ingredient.

                    1. re: BobbieSue

                      So, you're saying you won't use lard. Why?

                    2. re: ipsedixit

                      It's ignorance only if you never try the ingredient.
                      I don't use cool whip in recipes because I know what it tastes like and I don't like it. I don't use cake mix because I've tried it and know that I can make a better cake from scratch.

                      It's a lot like the "picky eater" label... I've tasted enough cake-mix-and-cool-whip-based dishes to know I probably won't like a different recipe that prominently features them. That decision was made based on experience, not because of some ideology that says I shouldn't use them.

                      And I, too, would rather be labeled a snob than be labeled ignorant :)

                      1. re: iluvcookies

                        I agree with you, but I think the point you raise is different than the one the OP is sussing about.

                        Let's take your example of Cool Whip. There is absolutely nothing wrong with not liking Cool Whip -- it's neither ignorant nor snobbery -- as long as you've tried it. That's just a taste and personal preference issue, both of which you are fully entitled to.

                        What I believe the OP is addressing is choosing a different iteration of the *same* ingredient based on some preconceived notions of superiority.

                        So let's go back to the Cool Whip example. Let's say that there was an organic Cool Whip and an generic brand Cool Whip made with, ahem, artificial ingredients. And let's again assume the OP enjoys Cool Whip but chooses organic Cool Whip simply because it *is* organic.

                        No dice here.

                        1. re: ipsedixit

                          I think it's perfectly acceptable to reject Cool Whip without tasting it. Purely based on what it's made out of.

                          Scary stuff.

                            1. re: C. Hamster

                              I hope I'm not a snob about anything, I don't look down on anyone over food choices.

                              I think the subject header is inapt, as it conflates discernment and personal preferences with snobbery.

                              I've had Cool Whip in my life, but nothing made of the stuff in it would ever make it's way into my kitchen now, I don't have to taste it to know I don't want it.

                            2. re: ipsedixit

                              Good point. I think it's all in the "why"... as in why one categorically refuses the ingredient.

                              1. re: ipsedixit

                                "And let's again assume the OP enjoys Cool Whip but chooses organic Cool Whip simply because it *is* organic."

                                Umm...."organic Cool Whip" is called whipped cream.

                                Just thought I would point that out.

                            3. re: ipsedixit

                              ???

                              So, if I refuse to use Cool Whip, I'm ignorant?

                              ???