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Store brand vs name brand dry rice and beans, etc?

Does anyone know what the difference is between store brand and name brand dry goods? Cooking red beans in a few days and everyone says you must use Camellia brand beans. I'm not going to use canned but aren't beans just beans? Same thing for rice...

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  1. Years and years ago, my Mom worked at a food plant, where they'd run one batch of ABC labeled products, then keep the exact same food but switch to an DEF label. So, I try the store brands and decide for myself if the quality is the same as the big brand names.

    1. I used to by the store brand white, long-grain rice but switched to the branded product years ago. The main reason was that it seemed like there were more foreign material (black specks) in the store brand.

      1. depends upon variety and type.

        I buy my rice in bulk at 99 cents a pound. Sushi, long grain, jasmine, etc.

        Brand does make a difference.

        As does bean type. The "correct" bean for red beans and rice can be hard to find and $$$, but subbing in kidney beans, or in other cases navy beans or great northern for Cannellini won't work.

        In some cases I find store brand canned plain beans inferior to name brands and , due to slow sales, dried beans can be old and dry.

        As for "beans are beans", I suggest buying a can of $$$ vegetarian beans , a can of name brand beans and a can of store beans and do a taste. Then buy a bag of beans, do a quick soak and make the same dish from all four. I'll bet you get four very different results using the exact same recipe and seasoning.

        Hell, I find it when using different brand tomato paste or tomato puree' from different mfgrs.

        It's all the same, but not the "same."

        Trust me.

        1. When it come to bean, the most important thing is freshness.
          Any brand can be old beans, but Rancho Gordo is an excellent source for beans that turn out great every time.

          1. For years i only bought canned beans. Then I made beans from the bulk bins and was so impressed i rarely buy cans anymore.
            And then I recieved a package of several different bags of beans from Rancho Gordo.
            HUGE improvement in texture and flavor.
            For rice, which i just don't buy or eat often, I like lundberg or alter eco for their unique varieties. I buy basmati and bown rice at trader joes.

            I think if its for guests then go with the camilla brand like "everyone" says and use whatever brand for a meal alone in the future to compare

            1 Reply
            1. re: Ttrockwood

              Several years ago, because of all the CH raves, I spent a bundle on 6 or 8 different varieties from Rancho Gordo. I found them no better in flavor or texture - not the least little bit - than the ones my supermarket sells for a fraction of the price. The Rancho Gordo beans were pretty and colorful but since not even *that* remains after cooking, I would never buy them again.

            2. As Pine said its kind of trial and error. Some store brands are as good as name brands and visa versa. I find turnover is key too regardless of brand. One of my regular stores clearly does not have dried bean customer while another does. I buy mine beans at that one.

              1. I take it you're in New Orleans or close to it? In that case Camellia might actually be the best way to go if only because the turnover in the store is likely to be fast for that brand, and the beans will be fresher. Fresher is better - you just can't soften up a stale bean.

                1 Reply
                1. re: ratgirlagogo

                  Yes about an hour away in Gulfport. Never thought about turnover but makes sense.

                2. In my experience, when it comes to dried products, it's less about "brand" and more about "turnover".

                  A store that SELLS dried rice and beans and etc. also ORDERS new stock more frequently.

                  1. Thanks for all the feedback and tips. I never even thought about turnover as far as dry/canned goods in a store before so I will watch for that.