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Saturday, September 8, 2012

Then Again, It WAS a Dollar Cheaper...


Overheard at the lunch table today: Yeah, it’s like the generic equivalent of the Li’l Debbie Snack Cake.

Wait a minute. The generic equivalent, you say?!

That made me laugh out loud; or, as the kids are saying these days, I LOLed.

That’s right. I’m hip to the lingo.

The generic thing made me laugh, as there’s nothing quite so generic as a Li’l Debbie Snack Cake.

Cockroaches, gravity, and Li’l Debbie Snack Cakes are what will still be around come the end of the world.

I’m not a big fan of the black-and-white or yellow-and-black generic-label foods (depending upon where you shop) now available. Not only do they occupy precious grocery-aisle space, but they encourage a certain kind of blandness. I’ve actually heard serious conversations wherein someone claims that, say, eating generic instant mashed potatoes isn’t that bad. Isn’t that bad?! Compared to what? The real instant mashed potatoes? Or not eating at all?

Look, I’ve been known to rush dinner. I had oatmeal and toast one night just last week. A little milk, a little brown sugar. What the heck. Simple and filling. I’ve even been known to cook with Campbell’s Cream of Mushroom Soup. My pork-chops-with-mushroom-gravy-and-mashed-potatoes (real) is the stuff of (personal) legend. But instant mashed potatoes? Generic instant mashed potatoes?! Unless you’re crawling on your belly, post-apocalypse, through the Australian desert with a dog, Mad-Max style, I think we can do better.

Join me tomorrow on “Pearl, Why You Little” while I get indignant about something equally as inconsequential!

45 comments:

savannah said...

i really did LOL, sugar! my favorite argument for generics is, well, the same companies make the name brand stuff, so what's the difference? *sigh* i never have a verbal response...Ok, i do, but why be vulgar in print, bless their hearts!
xoxoxox

Sioux said...

Yes. Proclaiming something is "not bad" in an embracing way is something we should not be proud of.

I will wait--right here, unmoving, paralyzed in anticipation--until your post tomorrow. I cannot imagine what horror you will tackle next.

Raymond Alexander Kukkee said...

Surprisingly, and seriously, Pearl, sometimes the so-called 'generics' or 'no-name' products are actually BETTER quality than the 'brands', instant mashed potatoes or canned fruit.

Paula Wooters said...

LIttle Debbie has some 'splainin' to do.... trying to come off as a "real" cupcake.

SherilinR said...

generics - the food of po folk and college students who don't know any better.

esbboston said...

They could gussie up their labeling with a little pi-zaz and change the word to L'Genériç. I am sure that alone would slightly improve the taste.

Joyful Things said...

Instant mashed potatoes have always bothered me - both for the taste as well as the idea of them. What are we to do with that extra 15 minutes? How busy (or lazy) are we? But here's a gem, to save time when preparing meals, The Husbands aunt cans potatoes (this takes her hours and hours over several weekends) to serve for meals and save herself those much needed 15 minutes! Boiled and stored in water in a jar with a non generic label that states "Preserved with love in Betty Ann's kitchen"

fishducky said...

My taste buds are of the "hoi polloi" variety--I eat generic stuff all the time--& enjoy it!!

TexWisGirl said...

stores down here don't use the black and white generic stuff. they offer their own 'store brands' though, that are cheaper than the brand name stuff. haven't seen the b&w since leaving wis.

Joanne Noragon said...

My taste buds have left my mouth in horror. There is no food in this post, except for the oatmeal and your down home chops with real mash, which are available only in Minnesota, not in Ohio. I don't cook, but I do know how to eat.

mybabyjohn/Delores said...

There is nothing incosequential about mashed potatoes..real or otherwise.. I can still hear my Dad as he perused the menu..."Now, would those be real potatoes or instant potatoes?" "Well honey, they were real once." Gotcha!!!
Looking forward to tomorrows expose'.

Friko said...

Please Pearl, put me out of my misery. What IS generic food?

jenny_o said...

I have to admit to a fondness for instant mashed potatoes. They are, after all, just potatoes - cooked, dried, flaked, reconstituted - and they are so lovely and smooth. I can't get the whole ones that smooth. But I do object to the price, generic or not. That's why I only buy them as a treat. Yes! A treat! I'm sorry :)

And I think we could all use a book of Pearl's recipes. Really.

Stephen Hayes said...

Instant mashed potatoes are an abomination and the cause of most of mankind's troubles. I might be exaggerating a bit.

Sextant said...

You mean there are some kind of mashed potatoes beside instant? Really?

I don't imagine that Lil Debbie Snack Cakes are much better or much worse than Twinkies. Here is a book that will tell you everything that you ever wanted to know about Twinkies *but were afraid to ask.

http://www.amazon.com/Twinkie-Deconstructed-Ingredients-Processed-Manipulated/dp/0452289289/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1347125350&sr=8-1&keywords=twinkies+deconstructed

If I remember right there is a constituent in the filling that is a mineral and is mined. That sounds bad but think for a moment what salt is.

vanilla said...

Inconsequential? I think not. This stuff is important. As I put it, for any given product there is someone who will make an inferior imitation and sell it for less. Caveat emptor.

Leenie said...

My, my you've opened up quite a discussion on the merits of cheap fake food. I'm with you on generic instant mashed potatoes. There are a lot of things that aren't that bad but only when compared pond scum.

ellen abbott said...

generic instant mashed potatoes = wall paper paste.

Kelly Louise said...

If it ain't a spud, I ain't eatin.

Gigi said...

Obviously I am not alone in my abject horror of instant mashed potatoes (generic or otherwise).

Pearl said...

even if you're whipping it with cooked broccoli, real potatoes is pretty bottom rung.

The Elephant's Child said...

I love to hear that I am not the only person who eavesdrops. And then has to turn away to conceal my horror or my laughter.
Instant mash? Poison. Who ever makes it.

Pat said...

I'm with Friko. Shall we go to the back of the class?

Camille said...

Pearl? Hold on just a dog-gone minute...There's another Pearl? 'Gasp'

I'm not ashamed to admit that I have sometimes enjoyed Little Debbie snack products. Their Oatmeal Cream cookies are the stuff of legend...particularly if one is badly hung-over. However, boxed potatos in any form? Sludge.

Are we also going to discuss Kraft Macaroni and Cheese in the blue box? It's the cheesiest.

Twisted Scottish Bastard said...

There's something so intrinsically aweful about instant mashed spuds that it's almost attractive.

Look at the mashed spuds and chicken gravy available at KFC. There is no really recognisable natural taste left, but it's invariably popular.

Indigo Roth said...

Generic value economy baked beans? Mmmm, tastes like generic arse.

Meeling said...

Instant anything is never as good as the real thing. Isn't food supposed to be enjoyable? Not that bad? No thanks!!

Pearl said...

Wait -- there's another Pearl?!

:-)

Pearl

Geo. said...

Li'l Debbie has always looked psychotic to me. I like Hostess Cupcakes, always have, and am grieved to hear they are having financial problems. She looks innocent and Pollyanna-like but I believe Li'l Debbie has committed some sort of corporate outrage.

Daisy said...

What Meeling said! I very seldom buy processed food.

Rose L said...

Idahoan or Betty Crocker Instant potatoes are just fine. I have used them for years. Was great when we went camping!!!

Murr Brewster said...

I learned to prefer Bisquik waffles over all others. And if you jam a stick in it, you can suck on frozen TV dinners.

River said...

When I was a youngster, we had instant mashed potatoes quite often. Dad couldn't be bothered with all the peeling boiling and mashing of real spuds and I didn't know how to cook yet. They were quite filling, after a serve of those was sticking to your tummy lining, you didn't want anything else for hours. Maybe that was Dad's plan all along...
Nowadays, I buy some generic products, things like flour, sugar, salt, but those are things where taste doesn't matter. And I always cook real spuds.
As a matter of fact I'm having mashed potato tonight with my famous meatloaf gravy. And yes, there is meatloaf to go with the gravy. Garlic meatloaf.

Tempo said...

Hey, fair go! We dont like instant mash either... It MAY contain potato but it sure doesn't taste like it. My mum was one of those new age trendy 60's working mums and we kids paid for it by eating packeted and packaged muck, powdered milk, frozen vegetables and even frozen Ice Cream... As a result I do not and never have eaten any dried, reconstituted or frozen foods, I cook everything from scratch and it tastes great!

The Jules said...

We used to make instant mash potato sandwiches when we were youths. We'd mix in tomato ketchup which made it both look and taste disturbing.

Sherry Ellis said...

Generic Li'l Debbies? I can't believe they'd make such a thing!

jenny_o said...

Tempo, frozen ice cream? You really had it rough :)

bill lisleman said...

I'm so happy this is NOT a generic blog.

chlost said...

Never could I have imagined that the subject of instant mashed potatoes, generic or otherwise, would arouse such deep emotional commentary! But food is food and we of the boomer age, were sold on the theory that society would be better and so much more efficient if only we could reduce the time to do such routine, boring chores such as cooking and eating in less time. Remember the futuristic movie Soylent Green? Or the other predictions of a future in which all of our nutritional needs would be met in meals contained in one handy-dandy capsule to be swallowed each morning?
Now, my young organically-inclined granddaughters enjoy a treat (yes, they love it!) of flakes of dried green seaweed. Pond scum, indeed.

Hilary said...

Instant mashed potatoes really aren't that bad.. as a means to sculpt papier maché.

Susan Kane said...

How dare anyone make Lil' Debbie's cakes into some generic substitute. If it weren't for L.D.Cakes, school parties would have been reduced to potato chips.

HermanTurnip said...

With the wife out of town this weekend, I ate an MRE for dinner last night. A generic MRE, where the "chicken" tasted just like the included "sugar cookies". Yum.

Suldog said...

Instant mashed potatoes are an abomination. They approximate the taste of the real thing in the same way that masturbation approximates actual sex. No, that's giving them too much credit. Even though not quite as good as the real thing, masturbating can be enjoyable. Instant mashed potatoes are NEVER any good. Bluck.

Lola Rouge ...the mom said...

Confession: I buy really good pastries at the bakery and give the lil Debbie's to the spawn. *gasp:-0. But instant potatoes? Just can't do it, not even to the spawn

Pat Tillett said...

Nice one Pearl!
Powdered or real, potatoes ARE NOT good for you. They may have some trace vitamins, but they are almost PURE starch (that turns to sugar). Then we pile butter, mayo and all kinds of other things on them. Might as well have a loaf of bread with butter for dinner. It's all sugar in the end.
Having said all that, I'm going to have a baked spud with dinner tonight. Of course it will be covered with butter, sour cream, bacon bits, chives and anything else that's available.