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Ingredients where buying the best you can afford is important

post #1 of 2
Thread Starter 

In a recent conversation with another "foodie", we were chatting about culinary events and items in our past that really turned us off to something and it took a major event to turn us around.  One of mine is balsamic vinegar.  

 

Many years ago while I was in graduate school, I decided to make dinner using a recipe that called for balsamic vinegar.  After paying rent and utilities, I budgeted $50 a week for food, entertainment, clothing, etc.  Yes, I know that's not much . . . but, I could make it go pretty far.  Anyway, when I made my first purchase of balsamic vinegar, I bought the cheapest available.  I made my meal and took a bite and thought I was consuming something that had been cooked in battery acid.  It was awful!  I refused to use balsamic vinegar again.  About ten years later, I was having dinner at a friend's house and loved the flavors of what she had prepared.  When she told me the ingredients, I was amazed to find myself enjoying something with balsamic vinegar in it.  She then explained that it had been a splurge; however, she found the range in quality among balsamic vinegar was huge and to get a good one, one should expect to pay for it.

 

I know expensive balsamic vinegar doesn't necessarily mean it's going to be outstanding, but it does seem to be an ingredient where I expect to pay to get a great one.  This made me think it would make for an interesting discussion about what other ingredients where buying the best you can afford is important.  I suppose I'm also interested in ingredients where there isn't much difference in quality between the least expensive and the most expensive.

post #2 of 2

That's a very good question.  I tend to spend money on things that taste best where others might use a coupon or get whatever is on sale.  Butter for example, you can't get me to buy cheap butter.  I will buy Kerrygold no matter what.  Some people roll their eyes at me because I buy organic onions, or I'll get garlic from the farmers market but I scoff at them - anything that grows in the ground I want to make sure that my money goes towards sustaining good soil!

 

I don't care too much about rice, and I never cared about flour until I met King Arthur.  More or less I care about every ingredient I buy.

"You are what you eat, so don't be fast, cheap, easy, or fake."

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"You are what you eat, so don't be fast, cheap, easy, or fake."

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