November 23, 2007

Health food, bleah

I don't miss much about Massachusetts. The climate was beastly for about 9 months of the year, either too cold, or too hot and humid. About 6 weeks each, in spring and autumn, were the only time it was comfortable to be there.

The people were weird, and difficult to get to know. The roads in the Boston area are horrific, and the drivers are insane.

My biggest gripes in Massachusetts was that I couldn't get sour dough bread, Tillamook Cheese, or hashbrown potatoes. The former two, well, just forget it. As to fried potatoes, all the breakfast places wanted to serve me something called "home fries" that just weren't as good.

But there is one product from there I do miss. In Massachusetts you can buy onion dip that's made from sour cream. And the brand name is also an accurate description.

You can't, here. All the onion dip in the store is made from synthetic sour-cream substitute, featuring things like soybean oil, hydrogenated coconut oil, diglycerides, gelatin, skim milk, and xanthan gum. Yummy!

It's OK tasting, but just not the same. I bought two tubs of it on Tuesday, and I ate one of them over the course of two days. Today I felt awful and spent a lot of time sitting on the pot, and it's that damned dip that's done it to me. Real sour cream don't do that!

It also tastes better.

Yeah, I could make my own. Or I could do what we used to do when I was a kid: buy tubs of cottage cheese, run them through the blender until they became smooth, and add onion dip mix to that. If you use cottage cheese made from 3% milk or fattier, it actually tastes pretty good. And I don't recall it messing up my digestion like this stuff has.

Of course, real sour cream is loaded with animal fat (gasp!) which is unhealthy, instead of nice, healthy soybean oil (whew!). I am stuck snacking with a sub-par product because of health food freaks.

(It's the first dip I've bought since last winter. It's not something I do all the time. But once in a while I want something sinful -- and Fred Meyers won't sell it to me!)

Posted by: Steven Den Beste in Rants at 09:40 PM | Comments (14) | Add Comment
Post contains 379 words, total size 2 kb.

1 Have you tried their mail-order store?  They only seem to sell in six-packs, but you might be able to freeze the extras for a later date...

Posted by: Siergen at November 23, 2007 10:15 PM (4mhh6)


As I mentioned in the post, I'm aware that there are several answers here. This was not a post where I was looking for advice, or solutions. This was a post where I felt like ranting.

I just realized I've got a "rant" category. I think I better put it in there.

Posted by: Steven Den Beste at November 23, 2007 10:32 PM (+rSRq)

3 Every thanksgiving, my family has an egg nog tasting event. This year, there were 13 varieties, one of which was a soy based egg nog (actually, it just says "nog" on the box, presumably because there's nothing even resembling egg in it). When asked why on earth they bought it, a family member responded "Something's gotta lose, right?" Sure enough, it got voted worst nog of the year. It didn't even look right. It had a greenish sort of tint, and a vicious aftertaste. Luckily, we had 12 other alternatives.

Posted by: Mark at November 24, 2007 08:09 AM (2cMUJ)

4 I didn't mean to offer advice.  In fact, I was actually sorta hoping that you'd tried the mail-order (even though you obviously didn't use it this time), and could comment on its quality.  I had some of that brand dip at an out-of-state relative's house a while back, and your post brought back mouth-watering memories...

Posted by: Siergen at November 24, 2007 01:29 PM (4mhh6)

5 I can't imagine how you could ship sour cream from the east coast to the west coast. If you freeze it, you'll ruin it. But if it gets too warm, it'll spoil. Just doesn't seem possible unless you have your own fleet of refrigerated delivery trucks, which I'm sure they don't.

Posted by: Steven Den Beste at November 24, 2007 01:32 PM (+rSRq)


From their mailorder store page: Each six-pack is shipped in a styrofoam lined container with ice.

 They only do overnight delivery, and you can also get another ice-pack (for $1.00, what a deal!) for shipping purposes.  At least in the winter, you've got a better chance of the stuff staying colder.  I'm kinda surprised they don't do dry ice shipping...

Posted by: Wonderduck at November 24, 2007 05:45 PM (dGuAN)


Dry ice would freeze the dip. You can't freeze sour cream; it'll wreck it.

If they're shipping ice along with the dip, by overnight delivery, it's going to be heavy and cost a fortune.

Posted by: Steven Den Beste at November 24, 2007 06:31 PM (+rSRq)


Well, I started to place an order, but the shipping charges to Virginia for a single six-pack would be over $38 dollars, almost 3 times the cost of the food itself. 

I would imagine that  sealed ice pack could keep an insulated package cool, but above freezing, for one day of shipping (much like the coolers my family used on our camping trips, back in the old days).  However, my fond memories of Heluva Good dips aren't quite worth the cost to test it out.

Posted by: Siergen at November 24, 2007 07:24 PM (4mhh6)


Now you've gotten me curious. So I tried it, too.

Six packages of dip were $13.29. Overnight shipping was $38.46. It isn't heluvaTHATgood.

Posted by: Steven Den Beste at November 24, 2007 11:34 PM (+rSRq)


You can't freeze sour cream; it'll wreck it.

Oh.  Didn't know.  Ducks aren't big on sour cream.  Except in mashed potatoes with garlic.  Then, it's yummy.

Posted by: Wonderduck at November 24, 2007 11:35 PM (dGuAN)


Wonderduck, sour cream is a colloid, just as mayonaise is. It's a mixture of fat soluble things and water soluble things, where the overt texture comes from the fact that the water stuff is divided into really tiny bubbles, embedded in the matrix of fat stuff.

If you freeze it and thaw it, the structure of the colloid is changed. The freezing process turns the microspheres of water into sharp crystals, and when it all thaws, a lot of the water spheres will merge together.

It isn't poisonous, or anything like that. It just isn't the same any longer.

Posted by: Steven Den Beste at November 25, 2007 12:04 AM (+rSRq)


Well, or maybe it's an emulsion of fat droplets in water. The point remains: the texture comes from the fact that there are lots of tiny droplets of something suspended in the other thing. Freezing and thawing results in a lot fewer droplets, which are larger, and the fundamental texture won't be the same.

Posted by: Steven Den Beste at November 25, 2007 12:11 AM (+rSRq)


Gee, thanks for the tip.  I'm going to have to stop at Safeway to get some Onion Dip right away.  Metamucil isn't helping...



Posted by: Norm at November 25, 2007 01:03 AM (bwEZg)


Norm, White Castle sliders will fix those problems for you.

Posted by: Wonderduck at November 25, 2007 01:42 AM (dGuAN)

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