Thursday, November 29, 2012

Seal of Approval

I recently came across the Bon Appetit website and their list of products that bear their seal of approval.  It's an interesting list, somewhat grand in it's scale and almost an exercise in hubris if you take into account the $5.99 can of tuna that they are suggesting.  Here at the Vintage Recipe Blog while we shoot for flavor, texture and overall roundness of the the products we use, I have 2 more things to add to the criteria.  The product used must be made with a minimum of chemical ingredients ( no high fructose corn syrup or msg) and be cost effective.  Based on these added criterion, I'd say BA missed the mark on a couple of their products.

The full Seal of Approval list can be found here so let's look at a couple of the items I have issues with:

1) Heinz Ketchup - While I know Heinz is a mainstay company that's been around for ages, I simply cannot recommend a product containing High Fructose Corn Syrup.  Heinz does have a Natural variety and an full organic as well but for the price I'd go for Hunts ketchup or The Fresh Market Organic both of which are cheaper.

2) Hellman's Mayonaise - Let's face it, if you're in the South, Hellman's is not your mayo of choice, that being reserved for Duke's or CF Sauer brand (both are made by the same company and are indistinguishable in taste).  If you can find either brand give it a try and you'll be amazed at the real mayonnaise flavor they have compared to the modern incarnation of Hellman's that just tastes flat and greasy in my opinion.

3) Philadelphia Brand Cream Cheese - Ditch this mass produced garbage and grab a package of The Fresh Market neufchatel cheese or Organic Valley Cream Cheese both are light years better than anything Kraft puts out.

There was one thing that surprised me, Goya made the list twice.  I've long been a fan of their canned beans because they're lower in sodium and taste awesome and the last time I had need of Coconut Milk in a recipe I used Goya rather than the standard Asian canned variety and was most pleasantly pleased with the results.

On the rest of the items I really agree with their choices, they did a fantastic job of echoing my own choices and despite a couple of items that I question their judgement I really am pleased with their decision.  Perhaps I should do my own seal of approval and start my own trend in ingredient recommendations.


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