Yeah. I get all that. But to be honest, to the average palate (and certainly to mine), the extra expense of special brands of chocolate just aren't worth it. The point being, that to me, Hershey's is good quality chocolate. It's the implication that <sniff> what's in my pantry isn't good enough to make this recipe that galls me.
I'm buying what I consider to be good quality. Your (general you) opinion may differ on what tastes best and that's ok but don't imply that what I'm buying is somehow inferior quality, when you don't even know what's in my pantry in the first place. (All yous are general).
If they want to specify a particular brand or percentage cocoa, that's fine. It's the vague, "good quality" which implies that the general reader is knowingly buying bad quality but will run out and buy something different for the express purpose of making that recipe. Pshh.
Sorry, but I think you're reading too much into this. The original quote mentioned was
"make sure you use a good "insert ingredient here" olive oil, vanilla, etc."That statement doesn't make any value judgements about how much ingredients cost. It never says that "good" [ingredient] should be expensive. It never says that what's in your pantry isn't good quality (like you said, she has no idea what's in your pantry). It doesn't even try to pass judgement on what constitutes a "good" [ingredient]--making that decision is left up to you. If you consider what you have on hand to be good quality, then you're ready to make the recipe. If the ingredient you have is something that you don't consider good quality (perhaps because it was bought for a purpose where its quality didn't matter), then you may want to consider getting something you consider good, because it will probably make a difference.
To me, all that statement implies is that the type of [ingredient] you use can have a notable impact on the final product, and you should choose accordingly. If it was a technical requirement, e.g., this recipe requires cake flour rather than all-purpose, or the recipe will fail if your chocolate is less than X% cocoa butter, then I would expect any competent teacher to mention what feature is actually important, so I'd interpret the more general statement to mean whatever tastes good to you personally. If you like Hershey's chocolate, use Hershey's. If you like Hershey's but like Ghirardelli even more, then it might worth splurging on your favorite for this recipe. If your grocery store sells Le Fancy Ultra-Expensive Chocolate but you think it tastes like crap, or no better than Cheapo's Chocolate, then go for the cheap one that tastes good.
Like Alicia, I'll choose the quality of the ingredients based on how important I think it will be to the end product. For example, I was once invited to a student party where we made a German drink called Feuerzangenbowle. My friend and I picked up some supplies on the way, and she explained that we were looking for the absolute cheapest red wine at the grocery store...because by the time we'd mulled it with spices and orange peel and let the flaming rum/sugar mixture drip into it, the original quality of the wine wasn't important. And the Feuerzangenbowle came out great with dirt-cheap wine. However, if I needed red wine for a recipe and it said to use good wine, I probably wouldn't use the Feuerzangenbowle wine, since it was selected for cheapness, not quality.
I don't particularly want to defend my feelings on this anymore. It strikes me the way it strikes me.
However, I wanted to clarify that I was not referring to siamesecat's quote. In my original comment on this topic, way up thread, (and subsequently thereafter) I was referring specifically to recipes I've seen which list, as an ingredient, "good quality xyz".
So the list of ingredients might be
1 cup flour
1/2 cup sugar
2 ounces good quality
That's the kind of thing that bugs me. It just does. I get that other people aren't bothered by it and find it perfectly reasonable. Cool.