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Old 01-28-2018, 02:11 PM   #1
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Vegetable Oil Spread - Strange Taste

Because of price, I usually use vegetable oil spread in place of butter. I've never had a problem with it and haven't had any issues with it affecting the flavor. I vaguely remembering not like the Imperial brand vs. Blue Bonnet, but I don't remember why. I usually buy Blue Bonnet, but recently Walmart was out of them and/or had doubled the price, so I went with Imperial. Both of these are usually labeled as having 53% vegetable oil.

So last night I made two batches of cookies - one from a package and one from scratch. Both batches had an odd taste to them. I realized that it was the Imperial vegetable oil spread. I smelled the other two sticks that were in the box and they have a strange odor to them. I don't know that they're rancid, but I can't place the odor. They don't expire until May.

The vegetable oil spread in the cookies tastes kind of tangy(?) maybe. The sticks might smell unusually buttery. Or maybe it smells like old canola oil. I opened another box with a different date and it doesn't smell as bad, but it doesn't smell like Blue Bonnet.

Any ideas as to why something that has not expired might taste and smell so strange? It's just so deflating. I put all that time and energy into making cookies when I was so tired that I wanted to just sit and watch TV. Then to have all the cookies taste so strange and nothing like they're supposed to taste. I may not get to make cookies again for a long time. I didn't even get to make any from February 2017 until last night.

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Old 01-28-2018, 02:59 PM   #2
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I'm sorry that happened. I don't know why, because I haven't used vegetable oil spread in many years. I would suggest, though, that if you bake that infrequently, it's worth it to go for the butter. Look for it on sale; you can freeze it.
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Old 01-28-2018, 03:06 PM   #3
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I rarely bake, but my ex-wife baked a lot. My mom uses margarine (vegetable oil spread) for baking cookies. My ex made my mom's recipe using butter flavored Crisco shortening, and they were much better. They "puffed up" more when baked, and had a light, airy bite to them.

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Old 01-28-2018, 03:40 PM   #4
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I use butter, especially for baking. I use buttered flavored crisco for one thing, greasing pans if I need to grease them. It will go rancid before I use it all. Rancid oil smells kind of bitter and unpleasant, and it tastes just as bad.

I bought some spreadable oil emulsion, once in the past 30 years, for traveling because it came in a container that would survive the cooler. It probably expired by a few years after that and I threw it out.
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Old 01-28-2018, 08:30 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GotGarlic View Post
I'm sorry that happened. I don't know why, because I haven't used vegetable oil spread in many years. I would suggest, though, that if you bake that infrequently, it's worth it to go for the butter. Look for it on sale; you can freeze it.
+1. Was just going to say the same thing. I'm so sorry that happened, mj1. How disappointing!

Butter goes on sale frequently during the winter months but since we're passed that, I would look for sales coming up for Easter meals this spring and stock up. Butter doesn't really cost that much more than the tubs of spreadable margarine when it's on sale, and tastes much better. Like GG says, it also freezes well.
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Old 01-29-2018, 02:26 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mj1 View Post
...So last night I made two batches of cookies - one from a package and one from scratch. Both batches had an odd taste to them. I realized that it was the Imperial vegetable oil spread. I smelled the other two sticks that were in the box and they have a strange odor to them. I don't know that they're rancid, but I can't place the odor. They don't expire until May...Any ideas as to why something that has not expired might taste and smell so strange?...
mj, sorry for your troubles. There is nothing worse than having your taste buds all set for a treat, only to find out that it is complete "yuck". Now, about the flavor. That expiration on the margarine package assumes proper food handling all the way from when it leaves their plant until it gets to your house. It's possible that a pallet of dairy sat on the loading dock unnoticed for quite a while, only to have all the foods added to stock to be sold. I once bought a jug of milk that was spoiled, only to learn that they had a "few bad gallons..." in the cooler when I returned it. Uh-huh...

Quote:
Originally Posted by caseydog View Post
I rarely bake, but my ex-wife baked a lot. My mom uses margarine (vegetable oil spread) for baking cookies. My ex made my mom's recipe using butter flavored Crisco shortening, and they were much better. They "puffed up" more when baked, and had a light, airy bite to them...
It has to do with water content and melting point of the different fat products. Butter and margarine have some water content, shortening and lard do not. Therefore, the products with the added moisture will start to spread at a lower temp.

Butter, Margarine, and Shortening a Comparison
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