The brand changes, but customers don't know it until your Breyer's ice cream has a label that says it's "frozen dairy dessert product", or your Twinkies are 10% smaller, or your Pyrex glass pans start shattering. Then you wonder what happened to your beloved childhood / family brand you trusted.
Capitalism is what happened. But things come and go, and hopefully newer, better things will take their place.
(By the way, the story of what happened to Twinkies is more interesting, and not just the negative story of a company cheapening out its product for profit's sake. There was a lot of dysfunction/waste in that product line.)
This process is sometimes known as "harvesting the brand". It is a way of usefully exploiting your customer good will..
(This was clearly written on the product description, so I knew I was getting mugs I didn't want/need as part of the set.)
We're down to the last few mugs. They seem to break more easily than our other mugs.
That said, in my humble opinion Corelle is the best dishware ever made. There's nothing else that even comes close. They are thin, light, and super tough. We've broken only one piece in decade at my house, and that was because I absent-mindedly cut fruit on a plate using a ceramic knife, which scored the plate and lead it to snap neatly in half.
Before the Corelle we used heavy, expensive, high-class Lenox stoneware, and I fucking hated it. Plus it turned out to be contaminated with lead, which is what caused me to toss it away and switch to Corelle. My life would be significantly worse if Corelle didn't exist.
I remember that the Walmart product description said the mugs were different, but this was a few years ago.
Looking at the Walmart.com description today, it mentions:
"11oz stoneware mugs"
"Mugs are made from a durable stoneware material"
"Mugs are not under warranty"
Of course, I have no recollection of whether this was indicated on the box.
Less pedantically, I believe the rules say over half the work should have been done in the US, or something like that, so they're probably legally correct.
It's been riding on patriotism and brand loyalty for 15+ years now.
They mostly go there because it's convenient and it's cheap enough, and quality is usually acceptable given the price. I sometimes get coffee there not because I'm expecting something great, but because I need a quick infusion of caffeine-containing liquid and Tim's is 10 meters from my front door while everything else is further.
In my mind, Tim Hortons is all about location. They're everywhere. And even if the quality is mediocre, at least it's consistently mediocre so I know what I'm getting. :)
There's also this article which details some of the changes including a 94% drop in employees, primarily through automation.
Another aspect of this is the value of having trusted brand and products. It saves time to buy premium trusted brand, no research, low risk, no regrets. Until there is. Now there's a significant burden of research, and some addition risk.
if it just says "shatterproof" or "break resistant", then that is rather vague of course, but that should be a warning in itself. (of course, brands are a thing, we are lazy after all, an re-evaluating products every time seems like a waste of time)
I say that it should be "10 (but was 20 a year ago)" and no fine print allowed for second part.
Soda-lime also has a distinctive greenish tinge when viewed edgewise. Borosilicate is clear.
What DID stand out looked like brown scorch marks or stellar jets/magnetic poles. I don't think they were really scorch marks, but it was striking just how brown that tiny area was.
Edit: got a picture but it's more of a red and blue interplay than just brown.
Maybe it's the rgb of the monitor. And I have seen similar colors in windshield polarization. It makes more sense if you rotate the glasses and watch the brown and blue flow through the patterns
Polarimeters aren't dangerous; they must want something to complain about when someone uses one to prove their product is inferior.
As far as visual ID, I don’t know about the borosilicate that was used for a kitchenware, but borosilicate can appear green, colorless or slightly yellowish. It depends on the formulation and impurities in the batch – for instance, iron causes the green color. This varies between Kimax and Pyrex and Duran used for labware and art.
One could also distinguish this glass by using the index of refractivity. Glass will disappear when put into liquid with the right refraction. You can make a formula with a refractive index that matches a known glass and then compare. I’d post links but I’m on a very slow connection.
I unfortunately don't own borosilicate bakeware, so my above description of the effect comes from my linked source. The only borosilicate samples I do have are a microwave dish and a candy thermometer. The microwave dish (which has a rough texture) does show some light, but in a hazy pattern, and much less than soda-lime bakeware. The candy thermometer (which is test-tube sized) shows no light in the test.
So if you're looking at bakeware, it's probable that it's either borosilicate or some other type (such as aluminosilicate used in Pyrex Flameware… again just guessing here). If you're looking at drinking glasses, then they're probably just untempered soda glass or crystalware (lead glass).
1. Buy some sunglasses. Make sure they have polarizing lenses.
2. Get a computer monitor.
3. Holding the glasses in front of the screen, rotate them until the angle is such that the screen appears black when looking through the lenses.
4. Make a note of the angle. In this configuration, the combination of the glasses and the screen serves as a homemade polarimeter.
5. Throw all that shit in the garbage.
6. Just look at the glassware edgewise, if it's greenish it's soda-lime.
It's fun and is a great way to see an example of polarization in the real world.
Sounds more like Bessie discovered the new use, not Jessie.
EDIT: The Corning Museum of Glass credits them both- while noting that it was Jesse’s idea to try it.
Incidentally the Corning Museum of Glass has an a YouTube channel worth checking out. They have a bunch of long, well-shot glass artists doing some incredible work, start to finish- good videos to play in the background while working on other things.
Bill Gudenrath's series on Venetian glassware is particularly fun because he's such a craftsman but also a fascinating teacher.
It's all still borosilicate glass. Helpfully the brand logos are slightly different for the different countries, so it should be easy to spot.
It seems daft to me to take away the main selling point of the stuff by starting to make it with cheap glass.
EDIT: Infographic with dates and the different logos: http://www.biggreenpurse.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/01/Pyre...
I've found SIMAX (https://www.kavalier.cz/en/simax-home.html) to be a good one personally. Made in the Czech Republic by a glass company that still makes labware, and as best I can tell, everything they make out of glass is borosilicate. Even the flower vases.
"Simax glass ranks among the types of glass of the group of clear „hard“ borosilicate glass „3.3“, which excel in a high heat and chemical resistance and which are defined by international ČSN ISO 3585 Standard. It complies to the full with the properties prescribed by these standards."
So, that's potentially thousands of people experiencing this each year? Not a record I would be proud of....
I bought a new one and am careful about how I heat it now.
I will say feeding my future father in law a glass casarole was not a strong move.
How does cast iron fail? Was this like a cast iron pan or an enameled dutch oven?
It all makes perfect sense as I just naturally assume that all old-school US consumer goods go through the same sequence of events:
1) sell the company, close US factory
2) license the name to a manufacturer in China
3) cost reduce, cost reduce, cost reduce
You could make a good BOLTR-like youtube channel by weighing and measuring changes over time in common products. The KitchenAid mixer would be a good one.
Here's a cool comparison of wahl hair clippers from 50 years ago and a modern pair:
I see what you did there. I suspect it was unintentional, but it’s quite pleasing nonetheless.
To do a proper review, you'd tear apart an early mixer that was from the Hobart era in addition to one from 25 years ago.
Surely you meant rabbit hole, not rathole.
Amazon Basics sells a pair of borosilicate glass pans for $15.
But clicking on the link to those glass pans finds review comments like this:
"These are not borosilicate"
"glass will crack after minimal use"
"Broke first use"
I've never bought an AmazonBasics product, and I don't think I'm going to start any time soon. In my mind Amazon now stands for "cheap" and "counterfeit". Not a brand name I want to trust any more.
The only disadvantage is that it shatters if you drop it or hit it with enough force.
But there is a lot of stuff labeled "stainless steel" that stains. Sometimes even before you buy it.
Use in professional kitchen doesn't prove some underlying superiority, its just a different set of optimisations.
I want to make a caserole, fry on hob, then in the oven, in a dish that I can present on the table, put the leftovers in the fridge, and be able to put the container back in the oven or microwave to reheat. That isn't what a professional kitchen is optimising for.
The best glass for shatter resistance is the stuff used for large telescope mirrors, but that too would be expensive and I think somewhat easy to scratch. The scratch resistance would dramatically improve with a sapphire coating, as is done on the laser scanner windows in supermarket checkout lanes.
Metal doesn't really qualify if you want something transparent. I've noticed that it is very difficult to find stainless steel that is polished on the inside. The outside is normally polished, but I'm seldom trying to clean food off of the outside.
Well, there's Aluminium oxynitride aka ALON aka "Transparent Aluminium". Probably a bit expensive for cookware, though.
Things like crumpled aluminum foil, a metal fork, or random bits of decorative metal in a dish could cause electrical arcing because charge can build up on the "edges" (e.g. the tines of a fork).
Of course, it's more convenient to use something like glass because we just don't have to give it a second thought (aside from the whole exploding glass problem). And for that, it's reasonable to simply avoid putting any metal in a microwave.
One can find articles that seem to imply the opposite.
> A few of Mr. Myhrvold’s microwave recipes — an eggplant Parmesan, which purports to turn the vegetable creamy instead of rubbery, and a steamed chocolate sponge cake — echoed ones I had seen before. (Mark Bittman has written in The New York Times about using the microwave to make several dishes, and “Eleven Madison Park: The Cookbook” includes a recipe for microwaved pistachio spongecake.)
I'm sure some chefs reject microwaves to make a point. I would contend its a minority though, I would also contend that it's to allow the Mr Rouxs of the world to justify inflated prices, rather than any inherent problem with the machine.
Hell, even some of the sponge cake on the menu at el Bulli was microwaved.
At the time, regulatory costs in US were crazy, so plenty of motivation. For example, if an accident occurred in a single factory, OSHA would make all Corning employees everywhere go through training about it, even though the accident involved equipment and processes that only existed at the one plant.
Just before the alarm sounded: "BOOM" and there were a thousand little pieces of glass everywhere.
I've had this happen when I've heated it unevenly, or when I accidentally put cold water on a hot container, but never in normal use.
I'm wondering if Pyrex hasn't changed, but if cook tops have. Are they hotter or less even than cook tops of the past?
It resulted in a trip to the hospital for stitches and his still has the scar.
I think they've improved these days, but there was a period where certain IKEA glasswear was very prone to thermal shock.
That much temperature caused a pretty good boom with shrapnel when the glass exploded
For some reason I really want to try cooking directly over a flame with a glass pot.
I have several pieces of Visions. I would never, ever use them on a range. I use them exclusively in the oven, where the IR transmittance of the glass is useful, and the uniform surrounding temperature makes the poor thermal conductivity a non-issue.
FWIW, when I was a kid we had pyrex bowls with clip-on handles for stovetop heating. Yes, you wouldn't cook with it, but great for re-heating food.
You've got it backwards. This is a well-known principle in cookware construction, and it's the whole reason that copper and aluminum clad cookware exists. Al and Cu spread heat more quickly, and thus farther across the pan body before it's conducted or radiated away. Remember that the heat isn't just building up in the pan forever; it's dissipated nearly as fast as it's supplied. The heat is conducted to the food in the pan, and in the case of glass it's also being quickly radiated away due to the material's high emissivity and transparence to IR at low-single-micron wavelengths. Thicker glass is generally even worse just because it takes so long to heat up, so the parts that are farther from the flame never reach cooking temperature, while the closer parts are scorching hot.
Look up any review of cookware where they use thermal imaging, and you'll the see the results of thermal conductivity on heating evenness. A pan that uses a lot of aluminum or copper will have a much more evenly heated surface than a pan made only of cast iron or steel. And glass is a hundred times worse yet.
It's useful to think of a piece of cookware as a kind of radiator, because that's essentially what it is. Heat is transferred to food by direct contact, but also by radiation. Pots and pans are shaped perfectly to maximize both radiation and conduction by contact, and thus they experience a very high rate of cooling. This means that if you want evenness of heating, then high thermal conductivity is necessary in order to keep up with the heat loss.
I haven’t used glass cookware, though I always thought it looked cool as a kid. I do have 20 years of glassblowing experience though.
It doesn't work that way. The thermal conductivity of glass is so low, the heat doesn't have a chance to spread before being lost to radiation and conduction to the contents of the pan. Glass has high emissivity, and it's at least somewhat transparent, so heat rapidly radiates from the whole bulk of the material. The result is scorching hot spots directly over the flames or coils, while the rest of the pan remains too cool to cook.
Glass also has relatively low volumetric heat capacity, meaning a layer of glass holds much less heat than the same thickness of steel or aluminum.
Glass really has the worst combination of characteristics for stovetop cooking. There's a reason nobody uses it.
Some in the glass community cook in 110 mm tubes of Pyrex at parties. This is also a commercial product (baking cylindrical loaves!). The tubes are rotated like a rotisserie, and the glass is very thin. It works quite well, but we don’t tend to do this outside of glassblowing camp.
As far as the thickness, the glass pans are much thicker than typical metal pans, probably for that reason as well as many others. I have some metal pans that are maybe 2mm and they are awful about hot spots. I think the glass pans are about twice as thick as my cast iron Dutch oven, but we’d have to measure.
I think the worst aspect is chipping - one chip and the whole thing should be thrown away (one could flamepolish and anneal it, but that’s unlikely for consumers).
Borosilicate and aluminosilicate cookware is actually pretty tolerant of chipping, because pieces tend to be thoroughly annealed. Tempered soda-lime, on the other hand, is not, so it has tremendous internal stress that makes it much tougher than borosilicate, but once it does chip it's liable to shatter explosively. Like Prince Rupert's drops.
Hey, you want to see something cool? You'll appreciate this since you work with the stuff. Go to 2 min 45 sec in the video at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xe-f4gokRBs. High speed video of one of these things exploding. Kinda blew my mind.
The problem with chips in a lid is that they will slowly expand over time, likely leaving debris in food. It can also lead to sudden unexpected failure as glass gets much weaker once chipped or scored, especially combined with moisture. I don’t discard lids immediately either, but the manufacturers do suggest it for those reasons. Definitely not like tempered glass, you’re right! Tempered glass is safer in how it break into those little square pieces - much less likely to lacerate than long jagged shards, in many applications (shower doors for instance).
I had a tempered safety glass oven door shatter suddenly one day - apparently this happens fairly often?
or (a more recent/new design) like this one:
Take another batch and simply log-roll them along the lab bench for half a meter. Repeat break test. Note the reduction in strength signficant at p=0.05 .
Fracture toughness is a bear.
Talk about a highly advertised product.
Before Instant Brands starts spamming 'Mom posts', about how great Pyrex is, expect it to be heavy and burn your hands if it gets hot. My tupperware isnt like this.
Also, glass can be scrubbed entirely clean, unlike plastic. When I was diagnosed with celiac disease, I had to throw away most of my dishes that were not glass or metal.
Disadvantages of glass clearly include fragility.