Jump to content


Welcome to the eG Forums!

These forums are a service of the Society for Culinary Arts & Letters, a 501c3 nonprofit organization dedicated to advancement of the culinary arts. Anyone can read the forums, however if you would like to participate in active discussions please join the Society.

Photo

Things lots of people buy and I don't understand


  • This topic is locked This topic is locked
154 replies to this topic

#31 rarerollingobject

rarerollingobject
  • participating member
  • 777 posts
  • Location:Sydney, Australia.

Posted 14 April 2012 - 05:35 PM

Unless there's something to it that distinguishes it from rice you've cooked yourself (is there? I'm happy to be wrong!), I don't understand why people buy those sachets of par-cooked rice. Rice isn't that complicated or time-consuming!

#32 qrn

qrn
  • participating member
  • 748 posts

Posted 14 April 2012 - 06:13 PM

Tomato plants in March? Them suckers are just gonna croak. You southern locale folks are exempt.

yes,last frost here is may 15,so you go to the plant place and get some that already have set fruit..

#33 Snadra

Snadra
  • legacy participant
  • 564 posts
  • Location:Edge of the Outback, NSW

Posted 14 April 2012 - 06:26 PM

Snadra - the cool whip is used for holiday desserts when all the ammo is hidden and the in-laws won't leave.


And suddenly I see a huge market opportunity! :laugh:

#34 Snadra

Snadra
  • legacy participant
  • 564 posts
  • Location:Edge of the Outback, NSW

Posted 14 April 2012 - 06:41 PM

Unless there's something to it that distinguishes it from rice you've cooked yourself (is there? I'm happy to be wrong!), I don't understand why people buy those sachets of par-cooked rice. Rice isn't that complicated or time-consuming!


I've had it and it's not so great. Not terrible, but *meh* compared to freshly cooked rice. Even living as a lazy and temporarily single person I don't find it's worth it. But last year I overheard a group of people talking about it and how fabulous it was. So convenient, saves time, perfectly cooked, etc. I suspect a lot of people find rice painful to cook, particularly if they are from a potatoes & noodles eating background and rice isn't a big part of their diet.



I too don't understand purchasing bottles and bottles of water when you have perfectly nice and safe tap water. For most (but not all) of us living in places where the water is less than stellar a Brita filter or similar is more cost- and waste-efficient. Just buy a re-usable bottle, for heaven's sake! Having said that I currently have several 10-litre containers of water in the house because we're still on a voluntary boil water alert after the recent floods, and the water in my rainwater tank was doubling as a bird bath until we put another cover over the filter.

#35 ChrisTaylor

ChrisTaylor
  • host
  • 2,103 posts
  • Location:Melbourne

Posted 14 April 2012 - 07:36 PM


Unless there's something to it that distinguishes it from rice you've cooked yourself (is there? I'm happy to be wrong!), I don't understand why people buy those sachets of par-cooked rice. Rice isn't that complicated or time-consuming!


I've had it and it's not so great. Not terrible, but *meh* compared to freshly cooked rice. Even living as a lazy and temporarily single person I don't find it's worth it. But last year I overheard a group of people talking about it and how fabulous it was. So convenient, saves time, perfectly cooked, etc. I suspect a lot of people find rice painful to cook, particularly if they are from a potatoes & noodles eating background and rice isn't a big part of their diet.


Surely potatoes prepared in basically any form, aside from plain boiled or baked potatoes, are more labour intensive than rice--particularly if you throw down some pocket change in the direction of a small rice cooker.

Chris Taylor

Host, eG Forums - ctaylor@egstaff.org

 

I've never met an animal I didn't enjoy with salt and pepper.

Melbourne
Harare, Victoria Falls and some places in between


#36 ruthcooks

ruthcooks
  • eGullet Society staff emeritus
  • 1,100 posts

Posted 15 April 2012 - 07:31 AM

Shirley Corriher says that self-rising flour is better because manufacturers have access to more and better leavening agents, and are more thoroughly mixed than we can achieve. Also, she points out that many recipes call for an incorrect amount of baking powder or soda. I can see that southerners who make biscuits or cornbread almost daily would find it a great convenience. I may give it a try for baked goods, but can't see using it as my go-to flour for everyday use. Who wants self-rising gravy?

I use those little packets of dishwashing detergent, mainly because the powders and liquids are very heavy for my arthritic hands, but also because those powders get up my nose. When I first started using the packets, they were much more reasonably priced than they are now.

My candidates for "don't understand" are mixes for things that only call for a few ingredients. Popover mix for example. Perhaps people buy these things because they have no idea how they are made.
Ruth Dondanville aka "ruthcooks"

“Are you making a statement, or are you making dinner?” Mario Batali

#37 Darienne

Darienne
  • participating member
  • 4,712 posts
  • Location:Rolling Hills of Cavan, Ontario

Posted 15 April 2012 - 07:57 AM

Shirley Corriher says that self-rising flour is better because manufacturers have access to more and better leavening agents, and are more thoroughly mixed than we can achieve. Also, she points out that many recipes call for an incorrect amount of baking powder or soda. I can see that southerners who make biscuits or cornbread almost daily would find it a great convenience. I may give it a try for baked goods, but can't see using it as my go-to flour for everyday use. Who wants self-rising gravy?

So much of North America is far above sea level. Does self-rising flour fit in anywhere?
Darienne


learn, learn, learn...

Cheers & Chocolates

#38 Panaderia Canadiense

Panaderia Canadiense
  • participating member
  • 2,074 posts
  • Location:Ambato, Ecuador

Posted 15 April 2012 - 08:36 AM

It's sold here, too (at 3,000 meters above sea level) and I can only assume it's been adjusted for the altitude, although the same exact brand is also sold at sea level.
Elizabeth Campbell, baking 10,000 feet up at 1° South latitude.
My eG Food Blog (2011)My eG Foodblog (2012)

#39 Snadra

Snadra
  • legacy participant
  • 564 posts
  • Location:Edge of the Outback, NSW

Posted 15 April 2012 - 02:28 PM

Surely potatoes prepared in basically any form, aside from plain boiled or baked potatoes, are more labour intensive than rice--particularly if you throw down some pocket change in the direction of a small rice cooker.


I would agree, but I think it has more to do with the familiarity of potatoes and the perception of rice as a thing you eat with restaurant foods, rather than with dishes you make at home. Pasta is simple because you boil a lot of water, throw in the pasta and set the time. Potatoes are simple because you have always had them and know how to deal with them and as a rule they are all about boiling in water in a pot. Rice seems harder because you need to measure it and the cooking water accurately and cook it at the correct temperature so as not to burn it (excluding a rice cooker). Add that to a cooking style that doesn't really complement rice-based dishes and you can see how rice gives an impression of being troublesome.

#40 Panaderia Canadiense

Panaderia Canadiense
  • participating member
  • 2,074 posts
  • Location:Ambato, Ecuador

Posted 15 April 2012 - 02:30 PM

Cheez Whiz and Velveeta are another pair of things that people buy and I don't understand. Especially when there's real cheese available.
Elizabeth Campbell, baking 10,000 feet up at 1° South latitude.
My eG Food Blog (2011)My eG Foodblog (2012)

#41 Shelby

Shelby
  • society donor
  • 2,563 posts

Posted 15 April 2012 - 02:42 PM

Cheez Whiz and Velveeta are another pair of things that people buy and I don't understand. Especially when there's real cheese available.



I see what you're saying, but I can't make mac and cheese without using Velveeta. It makes it SO creamy and good.

And, I do love some Cheez Whiz on a philly steak sandwich.....


I'm from Kansas. Don't mock me.


:raz:
  • annabelle likes this

#42 GlorifiedRice

GlorifiedRice
  • participating member
  • 1,408 posts
  • Location:Philly Burbs

Posted 15 April 2012 - 02:45 PM

My candidates for "don't understand" are mixes for things that only call for a few ingredients. Popover mix for example. Perhaps people buy these things because they have no idea how they are made.



I made homemade butter the other day and people were shocked. "Howd you make butter?" They literally had no clue.
Wawa Sizzli FTW!

#43 Shelby

Shelby
  • society donor
  • 2,563 posts

Posted 15 April 2012 - 02:58 PM



My candidates for "don't understand" are mixes for things that only call for a few ingredients. Popover mix for example. Perhaps people buy these things because they have no idea how they are made.



I made homemade butter the other day and people were shocked. "Howd you make butter?" They literally had no clue.


Seriously???

What is the world coming to. We need to send them a set of Little House on the Prairie books.

#44 Lisa Shock

Lisa Shock
  • society donor
  • 2,200 posts
  • Location:Phoenix, AZ

Posted 15 April 2012 - 03:16 PM

Water: I filter my own at home.
Bisquick: I can make better tasting food from better ingredients more cheaply.
Salad Dressings: Again, I can make better and cheaper dressings from scratch.
Powdered Sauce Packets: Really? You need a reason? None of these sauces is that hard to make for real.
Many Canned Vegetables: Fresh or frozen vegetables generally taste better. (I do like canned tomatoes.)
Canned Soup: Once again, scratch tastes better and is cheaper.
Dinner Assembly Kits: I can pull all of the dry parts out of my pantry more cheaply, and a fresh sauce is better.
Supermarket Baked Goods: They're frightfully bad.
Baking Mixes: Saving a tiny amount of time isn't worth sacrificing flavor.
Spice Blends: I can mix my own, thank you.
Frozen Toast
Frozen PB&J
Frozen Garlic Bread
Frozen Waffles & Pancakes
Cocktail Mixers

#45 Kim Shook

Kim Shook
  • participating member
  • 2,985 posts
  • Location:Richmond, VA

Posted 15 April 2012 - 04:17 PM


Cheez Whiz and Velveeta are another pair of things that people buy and I don't understand. Especially when there's real cheese available.



I see what you're saying, but I can't make mac and cheese without using Velveeta. It makes it SO creamy and good.

And, I do love some Cheez Whiz on a philly steak sandwich.....


I'm from Kansas. Don't mock me.


:raz:

Ditto. Except I'm from Virginia :laugh: . Actually I have NO business being appalled at what other people buy. I remember being stunned that my nieces had never seen anyone make pancakes from scratch, but I'm 'guilty' of many, many of the things mentioned above. I use those microwave rice packets a lot. I like them and they take 90 seconds. I sometimes have self-rising flour on hand. Most southern cooks I know do too. I cook cakes from scratch most of the time, but I always have mixes on hand just in case, plus I like the texture - wish my homemade cakes could have that texture, in fact. And on and on and on. I know that there are a LOT of folks, especially here at eG that don't ever take a shortcut or eat food that isn't completely from scratch. But that's not me. Never will be. It's not something that bothers me too much. I get a lot of pleasure seeing those folks cook and seeing the amazing things that they create. But is that going to lead me in the same direction? Probably not.
  • annabelle likes this

#46 annabelle

annabelle
  • participating member
  • 1,957 posts
  • Location:Grand Lake o' the Cherokees, Oklahoma

Posted 15 April 2012 - 05:19 PM

Well said Kim.


We make queso dip with Velveeta and salsa or Rotel tomatoes during football season. I buy frozen vegetables quite a bit since the selection here is not that great and there are no farmer's markets. Of course, I don't do this when my own garden is producing, but last year all my plants just cooked in the sun despite watering and feeding.

Your nieces sound like my SIL who had never had real mashed potatoes until she moved away from home. Her mother is a fan of instant foods, and it frosts my brother's butt to have to eat at her house when they visit.

#47 lesliec

lesliec
  • host
  • 1,187 posts
  • Location:Wellington, New Zealand

Posted 15 April 2012 - 06:51 PM

I remember - not fondly - tinned (canned) peas. Unfortunate off-green colour, squishy texture, taste like .. well, I could say but it would be an insult to makers of good Pinot Noir. I could never understand why anybody would buy them rather than frozen or even dried.

'Gravy' ingredients like Bisto result in something which looks a bit like gravy but doesn't taste remotely like juice-from-meat. Much better to use ... well, juice from meat.

And yes, water. The stuff from the tap is just fine for me.


Leslie Craven, aka "lesliec"
Host, eG Forumslcraven@egstaff.org

After a good dinner one can forgive anybody, even one's own relatives ~ Oscar Wilde

My eG Foodblog

eGullet Ethics Code signatory


#48 gfweb

gfweb
  • participating member
  • 3,816 posts

Posted 15 April 2012 - 08:15 PM

Velveeta/Whiz is modernist cuisine. Cheese processed to make it behave.

Critical for cheesesteaks (Whiz) and vital for queso (velveeta) for teenager's parties.
  • annabelle likes this

#49 Heartsurgeon

Heartsurgeon
  • participating member
  • 258 posts

Posted 15 April 2012 - 10:02 PM

"Those little plastic packets you put in the dishwasher instead of liquid or powder detergent."

hey! I love those things!
they actually where highly rated by consumer reports (at least the ones i buy).
the convenience factor is massive.
when i use liquid goo, inevitably, the little detergent door gets gunked up and stuck, and i have to spend time cleaning it up.
but hey, i used liquid for years before i switched.

#50 Simon_S

Simon_S
  • participating member
  • 689 posts
  • Location:Dublin, Ireland

Posted 16 April 2012 - 01:30 AM

I remember - not fondly - tinned (canned) peas. Unfortunate off-green colour, squishy texture, taste like .. well, I could say but it would be an insult to makers of good Pinot Noir. I could never understand why anybody would buy them rather than frozen or even dried.


A tin of "Processed peas" is one of my secret shames. I love them, even though I know I shouldn't.

I can't understand why people buy pre-sliced or pre-grated cheese. To me it always tastes like plastic.

#51 annachan

annachan
  • participating member
  • 1,137 posts
  • Location:Melbourne, Australia

Posted 16 April 2012 - 03:30 AM

I never bought self rising flour while in the US. I do now in Australia as I'm finding more recipes here using it. Still, I mainly used it when I had to bake for the kiddies at school. As I don't work there anymore, I have not touched it since.

Canned mushrooms - I will use canned straw mushrooms, but not button mushrooms. I just don't like it. Same goes for canned asparagus.

Instant gravy and stuffing - I just say no

#52 KaffeeKlatsch

KaffeeKlatsch
  • participating member
  • 50 posts

Posted 16 April 2012 - 04:49 AM


I remember - not fondly - tinned (canned) peas. Unfortunate off-green colour, squishy texture, taste like .. well, I could say but it would be an insult to makers of good Pinot Noir. I could never understand why anybody would buy them rather than frozen or even dried.


A tin of "Processed peas" is one of my secret shames. I love them, even though I know I shouldn't.

I can't understand why people buy pre-sliced or pre-grated cheese. To me it always tastes like plastic.


I love them, too. Only LeSeur though.

#53 Panaderia Canadiense

Panaderia Canadiense
  • participating member
  • 2,074 posts
  • Location:Ambato, Ecuador

Posted 16 April 2012 - 05:44 AM


Cheez Whiz and Velveeta are another pair of things that people buy and I don't understand. Especially when there's real cheese available.



I see what you're saying, but I can't make mac and cheese without using Velveeta. It makes it SO creamy and good.

And, I do love some Cheez Whiz on a philly steak sandwich.....


I'm from Kansas. Don't mock me.


:raz:


No worries - I'm showing my bias as well. I think I was probably 5 or 6 years old before I realized that all cheese wasn't white - I recall balking at a grilled cheese sandwich at a friend's house because "cheese isn't orange! Are you sure that's safe to eat?"

Besides which, I don't have to understand it - other people clearly like Cheez Whiz and Velveeta, but that doesn't mean I have to..... :raz:
Elizabeth Campbell, baking 10,000 feet up at 1° South latitude.
My eG Food Blog (2011)My eG Foodblog (2012)

#54 LizD518

LizD518
  • participating member
  • 416 posts
  • Location:Wilmington, DE

Posted 16 April 2012 - 07:26 AM


Surely potatoes prepared in basically any form, aside from plain boiled or baked potatoes, are more labour intensive than rice--particularly if you throw down some pocket change in the direction of a small rice cooker.


I would agree, but I think it has more to do with the familiarity of potatoes and the perception of rice as a thing you eat with restaurant foods, rather than with dishes you make at home. Pasta is simple because you boil a lot of water, throw in the pasta and set the time. Potatoes are simple because you have always had them and know how to deal with them and as a rule they are all about boiling in water in a pot. Rice seems harder because you need to measure it and the cooking water accurately and cook it at the correct temperature so as not to burn it (excluding a rice cooker). Add that to a cooking style that doesn't really complement rice-based dishes and you can see how rice gives an impression of being troublesome.


I've been cooking rice like pasta for years and eliminated any problems with stickiness, etc... My go-to rice is basmati, so I also soak it for 20-30 minutes before cooking it and it cooks up super fast and ends up fluffy - I just have to remember to test it because it can get mushy if I let it go too long. I drain it in a small sieve and then put the sieve back in the pot with the lid loosely over the whole thing while I finish up whatever else I am making. If I want to flavor it I flavor the water or I might gently toss in a little butter and seasoning when I finish cooking it. And I always salt the water, just like pasta as well.

#55 annabelle

annabelle
  • participating member
  • 1,957 posts
  • Location:Grand Lake o' the Cherokees, Oklahoma

Posted 16 April 2012 - 07:45 AM

I don't like Basmati rice. I like short-grained rice and I love my rice cooker.

On orange-y cheeses: My youngest loves him some mac n cheese or shells and cheese. The Velveeta kind. He boils the pasta and mixes it up himself, so I figure he's cooking more than a lot of adults I know.

I'm with Shelby on the Velveeta for homemade mac n cheese. I've probably tried one hundred baked mac n cheese recipes and decided that I just don't like my mac n cheese baked. I want it saucy, not slicable.

Edited by annabelle, 16 April 2012 - 07:48 AM.

  • Shelby likes this

#56 Hassouni

Hassouni
  • participating member
  • 2,136 posts
  • Location:DC Area/London/Beirut

Posted 16 April 2012 - 08:06 AM

I've been cooking rice like pasta for years and eliminated any problems with stickiness, etc... My go-to rice is basmati, so I also soak it for 20-30 minutes before cooking it and it cooks up super fast and ends up fluffy - I just have to remember to test it because it can get mushy if I let it go too long. I drain it in a small sieve and then put the sieve back in the pot with the lid loosely over the whole thing while I finish up whatever else I am making. If I want to flavor it I flavor the water or I might gently toss in a little butter and seasoning when I finish cooking it. And I always salt the water, just like pasta as well.


That's very similar to the Persian and Iraqi way to cook rice - soak in salted water, boil in lots of water till half-cooked, drain, throw the water out, and add the rice back to the pot with some butter or oil in the pot. Steam for another half our or so over low-ish heat, or even longer, until a nice crust forms (see: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tahdig)

I don't like Basmati rice. I like short-grained rice and I love my rice cooker.


Do you add salt and some kind of fat? With those Basmati rice is divine, without - very boring.
  • catdaddy likes this

#57 annabelle

annabelle
  • participating member
  • 1,957 posts
  • Location:Grand Lake o' the Cherokees, Oklahoma

Posted 16 April 2012 - 08:14 AM

I always salt, but am on again off again about fat. I like basmati for pilaf, but by itself? It's a snore.

#58 rotuts

rotuts
  • participating member
  • 5,710 posts
  • Location:Boston MA

Posted 16 April 2012 - 08:26 AM

I love the 'baby' canned peas: just rinse and heat.

what would Meatloaf/mashed potatoes/home-made gray be without them?
:smile:

#59 HungryC

HungryC
  • participating member
  • 1,503 posts
  • Location:greater New Orleans

Posted 16 April 2012 - 08:50 AM

Count me as an avid scratch baker (yeast and otherwise) who likes self-rising flour. Someone mentioned upthread about self-rising being lower-protein than AP, and I concur: it's perfect for biscuits, featherlight cupcakes, and quickbreads. The microdistribution of the baking powder is great--I don't have to sift, sift, sift.

But I can't figure out why ANYONE would buy precooked, frozen, microwave RICE. It takes just 20 minutes to cook rice from scratch...and we're not talking about a flavored or seasoned product. It's just plain, white rice, frozen & microwaveable.

#60 Toliver

Toliver
  • participating member
  • 4,627 posts
  • Location:Bakersfield, California

Posted 16 April 2012 - 11:42 AM

Similar discussions from the past and riffs on them:
"Things that are a total waste of money"
"Home-made Cheaper than Store-bought What can you make?"
"Laziest products Eggs in a bottle? Garlic in a tube?"
And a sort of reverse topic:
"Food Foolishness: Why Make it When You can Buy it?"
"Not worth making yourself What's not worth the effort/expense?"

I like Bisquick. I grew up eating Biquick-related baked goods/meals. I've said this before but my mom's peach cobbler, topped with Bisquick dough, can kick your mom's peach cobbler's ass any day of the week.
I like some bottled salad dressings. If you can make your own and it taste better in your opinion, then get down with your bad self and the more power to you. Just don't look down your nose at me in the checkout line with my bottled salad dressing.
  • annabelle likes this

“Peter: Oh my god, Brian, there's a message in my Alphabits. It says, 'Oooooo.'
Brian: Peter, those are Cheerios.”
– From Fox TV’s “Family Guy”