Monday, March 23, 2009

product may stay: better than bouillon

A confession: until recently I used bouillon cubes in my cooking all the time. Chicken (and to a lesser extent, beef) stock and broth are ingredients in many of my frequently-used recipes, and I don't know about you, but I don't currently have the means and wherewithal to boil 3 whole chickens down into stock and DISCARD THE SOLIDS, Ina. What the crap? Like, who can afford that? Certainly not me. Ina, you go ahead with boiling your free-range phoenix in your gold and adamantium-alloy pan. I'll just be over here on Skid Row, boiling dead birds I found at the dump and straining the solids through a purloined pair of holey underpants.

So, anyway. Though I make stock with the carcasses of my roasted chickens and purchased rotisserie chickens, we don't eat chicken often enough to keep up with the demand. So bouillon it is. And I felt all guilty and shameful about it, like I was cheating, which I was, and like I was feeding my family weird chemicals, which . . . I was. But I didn't see a way around it, because, like a good American, I am unwilling to change my behavior.

But I kept hearing that if you were going to use bouillon, Better Than Bouillon was a pretty good bet. So I bought two six-jar boxes of the organic stuff (one of chicken and one of beef) from my neighbor's co-op to try it out. I figured, it can't be worse than the junk I was buying from Smith and Edwards, and at least it won't have MSG. Thank goodness we don't hate it, because that is a crap-ton of bouillon. And it actually tastes like real food! I made some broth this morning for John (clear output--hee!), and he was pleasantly surprised by how normal it tasted. It's still not real chicken broth, but unless you're a truffle pig, I bet you'll be cool with it. For a convenience food it has a surprisingly short ingredient list, and I can pronounce all of their names. Product may stay.