Regional brands can be confusing

Sometimes, a search for an item is all in the name.

I remember my disappointment when I moved to the valley from Florida in the late ’90s and my favorite Hellmann’s mayonnaise was nowhere to be found.

I noticed that the Best Foods mayonnaise label looked awfully similar. A little bit of research and bingo. I discovered that the same mayo is called Hellmann’s in much of the United States, Best Foods west of the Rocky Mountains.

There are similar situations with Carl’s Jr. (in the West) and Hardee’s (East), Dreyer’s (West) and Edy’s (East, and, if Wikipedia is to be believed, originally named Edy’s in the West, renamed Dreyer’s after a partnership split, with the eastern product later named Edy’s because Dreyer’s was too close to Breyers) and I’m sure many other products.

Do I understand that? Heck no. I would think that even if one company buys another, if both products end up with the same formulation, it would be in the company’s best interest to call it the same thing everywhere, and I know from all of the Taste of the Town readers over the years who have contacted me in search of Hellmann’s that there’s definitely confusion there.

Somehow, I think the company’s slogan/jingle, “Bring out the Hellmann’s and bring out the BEST” is just a little too subtle.

All of this brings me to Argo cornstarch, being sought by reader Arnold Paul. Dave Reynard and Linda Lapham reported finding it at Wal-Mart and Jan Visser at Sam’s Club (a Wal-Mart affiliate), with Reynard pointing out that the box recently was changed to a bright-yellow plastic container, a look unfamiliar to many.

But after Sharon Nasci and Ilene Farr emailed that Argo and Kingsford’s are the same cornstarches, I checked the company website and sure enough; while Argo is indeed sold nationwide (Nasci also found it at Wal-Mart), Kingsford’s is sold in some Western states including Nevada. …

MORE FOUND ITEMS

For Patty Romeo, Barbara Toney emailed that the best chicken-fried steak is served at the Grand Cafe at Red Rock Resort, 11011 W. Charleston Blvd. …

And for Ronelle Botwinick, who’s looking for nonfried chicken wings, Valerie Weinberg recommended those served at Johnny Mac’s Buffalo Sports Bar, 842 S. Boulder Highway in Henderson. …

READER REQUESTS

LaMonte Woods: a consistent source for the Jarlsberg cheese dip that Smith’s sells near its deli;

Mandel Martin: Squirrel Zipper candy;

John Morocco: Cacio de Roma cheese.

Readers?

Submit information to Heidi Knapp Rinella, P.O. Box 70, Las Vegas, NV 89125-0070. You also can send faxes to 383-4676 or email her at hrinella@reviewjournal.com. Include your first and last names and, if emailing, put “Taste of the Town” in the subject line. Because of the volume of mail received, we can’t respond to each request. Follow @HKRinella on Twitter.

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