Foods that are good if you don't confuse them with good food

There are certain foods that, in my opinion are really good as long as you treat them as a different food instead of a derivative of a better food.

For example,

Velveeta is good in mac and cheese and cheese dip (won’t call it queso). Its just a different product from cheese.

McDonalds hamburgers taste pretty good if you don’t categorize them along the lines of “real” hamburgers (more like hamburger-like food). Before anyone says otherwise, millions eat them and many are addicted to them.

Even dried herbs–dry basil doesn’t taste the same as fresh basil, but the flavor it does have goes really well in spaghetti sauces where I think fresh basil is too mild to stand up to the tomatoes.

There are lots of products that have huge followings, but which food snobs turn their noses up at because its not "real (fill in the blank). Any other examples?

Boxed mac & cheese, Campbell’s Soup. Both are perfect for what they are, when not compared to homemade or gourmet-made.

Hot dogs, even the all-beef jumbo kind, just don’t stand up to real kosher or halal sausages when it comes right down to it. I mean the kind that crunch when you bite into them. :o

taco bell might very silghtly qualify ……………… for the op

Totino’s frozen pizza

Canned chili.
Just the thing for hot dogs, burgers, Frito Pie and chili mac.

Spam. It’s delicious, for what it is. Especially if you run it thru a meat grinder with an equal amount of velveeta, and spread that stuff on english muffin or other bread, and toast it.

Otherwise fried spam is a great breakfast meat, it works also with sushi, and makes a decent pizza topping if you are out of more traditional ingredients.

Pizza from Pizza Hut, Papa Johns, Dominos, etc. I’ve arguably never had ‘real’ New York or Chicago style pizza, but the best pizzas I’ve had were from small Mom & Pop places.

Just about anything at a drive-thru, drive-inn or diner compared to a home cooked meal made with a little (sometimes a lot) of effort. Good for what it easy, quick and cheap. Bentos (box lunches) are really popular in Hawaii, typically some kind of meat, fish and chicken over a bed a rice in plastic box, usually eaten at room temp.

Also, because of our multi-cultural mix, almost everything is local style, typically sweeter, less spicy and less spices than the ‘real’ thing. Again, good, but nothing compared to what is made at home in the original style.

Ohh…Spam reminds me. Oval ham in a can. I mentioned in another thread that I never saw, much less ate a ham with a bone until I was in my late teens, early twenties.

I agree. Those bean burritos are yummy. Of course they’re not mexican food. But they’re yummy, and you must add Taco Bell hot sauce.

Chef Boy-ar-dee canned pasta. Nowhere near as good as scratch-made, but still a taste I remember from my childhood and love. It’s downright handy too, when you’re strung out and just do not feel like cooking.

I can’t edit my post, and failed to capitalize Mexican. Sorry, Mexico.

White Castle hamburgers even more so. The resemblance to a real hamburger is pretty remote. But if you just regard them as their own “thing,” they’re pretty damn tasty.

Canned beans of any type. Sorry Bush’s. :stuck_out_tongue: They look so good on TV and I’ve tried a couple of different types, but found nothing special. If I can’t get fresh baked beans, I’ll stick to canned Pork and Beans, thank you.

Also corned beef hash in a can. Okay to cook up at home, but irritating when it’s served up at a restaurant. Come on…day old corned beef, potatoes, onions. Too much for a restaurant to make?

When I was in college I used to be partial to canned Dinty Moore beef stew as a quick and easy dinner. Not like made-from-scratch beef stew, but great with bread-and-butter.

Canned corned beef, the really salty kind. Of course it’s not as good as a properly cured brisket, but it’s at least on the same level of Spam when you want a quick breakfast or even late-night snack. Hell, I’ll even eat it out of the tin, the way POWs did during WWII.

Signature (Vons/Albertson’s) frozen pizza, thin crust. Actually pretty damn good pizza. Better than delivery, anyway.

Maybe Taco Bell is “mexican” food.

For me it’s pre-ground pepper in a can. It’s milder than freshly ground and it’s what I want over fried eggs and other things. If I’m cooking, fresh-ground is okay, or even whole peppercorns, but if it’s sitting on the top I want regular pepper.

Taco Bell & Spaghettios come to mind for me. Oh and Little Caesars’ Hot-n-Ready pizzas.

Dried minced onions and garlic, or powder therefrom.