Original article posted December 24, 2016 at the Herald Sun

CHRISTMAS time is an excellent opportunity to feast on some classic Aussie foods, but do the brand names still do it best?

We put two of our finest journalists turned taste testers to the task to see if they could separate the brand names from their generic alternatives.

Vegemite, a staple in any Australian household, is as integral to our national identity as the Holden Commodore, John Farnham retirement tours and Don Bradman.

However, in a win for the generics (or an indictment on our taste testers), both failed to separate the iconic spread from its homebrand counterparts.

But our taste testers came up right more often than they were wrong.

There was no mistaking the original Golden Gaytimes. With “more crunch” and “more punch”, the branded summer favourite was the easy winner.

When it came to Tim Tams, both choices won rave reviews but the classic treat edged over the line.

Our cricketing stars’ breakfast of choice, Weet-Bix, were not as popular but the brands once more came out on the top.

The generic brand was hit for six, with the panel finding the taste “stale” and “like baby food”.

Of course, no Aussie taste test would be complete without a meat pie. Our diehard football tragic taste tester slotted the easy goal and picked the brand from generic but the generic was the preferred taste.

Cheezels was a point of separation, with one tester “all about the flavour” in the brand name, the other rebelling against the “try-hard cheese”.

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