Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Eight Things You Should Never Buy Generic

1. Ketchup. It's got to be Heinz. Hunt's isn't as sweet, plus it's kind of pulpy, and let's not even talk about generic. Interesting side note: when I was in Peace Corps/Philippines, I learned to eat banana ketchup on almost everything. It was pale orange in color (not sure why) and chunky and sweet and I'd dip jicama strips into it for an afternoon snack or smear it on rice for dinner when all that was being served was fish heads.

2. Tape. It's got to be Scotch. I can say this after spending much of the recent Christmas season wrapping gifts with decidedly inferior store-brand tape. It's impossible to tear off; it doesn't stick adequately to most wrapping paper, and it's too skinny.

3. Mayo. It's got to be Hellman's, though I will also accept Kraft. (Miracle Whip is an entirely different story, and worthy of its own post). When I feel scrimpy and scroogey and occasionally buy the store-brand "salad dressing," I regret it. It's is a strange orangey-yellow color; it's wiggly and gelatinous; it's fatty and too oily on the tongue.

4. Dish soap. I prefer Dawn, but will also occasionally accept Ajax, Ivory or any name brand that doesn't smell like gross-ass lavender perfume or something. Generic will not rise up to proper bubble performance and will peter out in the sink and not cut through grease. It's sad, really.

5. Mac and Cheese. It's got to be Kraft, or, even better, Annie's. My son, Hudson, has recently shaken up the household by introducing Velveeta mac and cheese WITH BACON. Holy shit. I thought it would be terrible but it's pretty good. The biggest problem with generic mac and cheese is how gross it tastes. And also how the powder doesn't mix well.

6. O.J. Anything but generic, which is watery and sour—a dreadful combination.

7. It's got to be Jiff or Skippy. Good luck trying to spread generic on your soft bread. It'll rip it to shreds.

8. Diapers. Pampers or Huggies. This one is not negotiable. If you've ever had a baby, you know that cheap diapers do not contain those little curry-colored explosions newborns are prone to, or, god forbid, the later king-size toddler dumps.

...unless you're broke, of course (which I have been many times throughout my life), in which case, who cares! Anything goes.