Are you brand loyal?

I am for some foods, but not others. Tinned tomatoes and pasta, for example; I use the same brands time and time again paese mio, vita sana, de cecco, delverde). But I buy all types of vinegars and mustards. We buy Carr’s water crackers, and Christie snack crackers.

Then sometimes I say, ‘well, I’ll try it and see’. Generic cereal usually doesn’t pass the trial, but a different label of tinned beans does.

Last week I bought a new brand of Arborio rice. It did not pass the test.

I was making risotto and I knew from the first ladleful of broth into the pot that this rice was not as good as my usual one.


Earlier in the week we’d stopped by a different grocery store to pick up a few things; they didn’t carry my usual Arborio rice so I chose from the 2 they had: ‘Italian-style rice’ in a plain package or ‘Arborio rice’ in a vacuum pack in a box (‘Product of Italy’ stamped on the side). So the second one was added to our cart.

But as I said, I knew right away that it wasn’t good. No slow release of starch, no creaminess, no delicious end dish. Instead it looked like fried rice. The dish wasn’t all soupy and smooth, rather individual grains, that were barely held together with the broth. It tasted alright, but not good.

Nobody had seconds.

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