We like to treat ourselves to something special at Christmas. The discounters therefore advertise their gourmet and premium products at this time: truffle cream sauce, carpaccio, beef cheeks in red wine or prawns, beautifully packaged. The price is significantly different from the usual discounter own brands, it is higher, but does that mean the products are better?
It depends. For sausage and cheese, for example, manufacturers can charge more expensive prices if the products have matured longer. Ultimately, personal taste decides whether you want to pay the extra charge. When it comes to meat and fish products, you should pay particular attention to their origin. Does the pig come from species-appropriate husbandry? Are the shrimp from aquaculture or wild caught? Is there a seal that indicates sustainable fishing? Be smart before you buy the supposedly luxury product; after all, your conscience also weighs in.
You should generally be careful with products containing truffles. Often the amount of the expensive noble mushroom is only small and the product has been pimped up with truffle oil, which is obtained from synthetic flavors. True truffle flavor, which comes from fresh truffles, is subtle and complex, while truffle oil often produces an exaggerated, unauthentic taste. Which can lead to dishes having an artificial rather than a subtle note.
The quality of the gourmet products from discounters does not necessarily exceed that of their own brands. Often both product lines come from the same production facility and differ only slightly. It is therefore worth comparing the products before deciding on the more expensive product.
On the other hand, cheap gourmet products in discount stores have a reason to exist because they make high-quality food accessible to a wider audience who might otherwise not be able to try such products. They democratize enjoyment.
But are truffle cream sauce, ready-made carpaccio and frozen prawns really luxury? For me, for example, a diverse selection of pumpkins, in different colors and shapes, is much more valuable because I know exactly who grew my food. When I braise the pumpkin in the oven over time and the scent of vegetables and Christmas spices such as cinnamon, nutmeg and cloves spreads throughout the apartment. Then I know: I'm going to treat myself today!