I must admit that I'm not much of a cook. However armed with several cook books I'm looking forward to learning more. My question regards the taste and quality of ethnic foods. For instance, if I'm making a simple plate of pasta, would my meal taste better if I used a small jar of sauce imported from Italy which would cost the same or more then a larger jar of Prego or something like that? Is genuine parmasian cheese from Parma better then Kraft? I'm not exactly rolling in $$$ so cost is sometimes a factor. Is Salsa from Mexico better then salsa made here? So as you can see, my question really is should a dish from a certain country contain ingrediants that are from it's contry of origin for a more flavorfull meal or can the cheaper American made products do as well? I've been somewhat of the mind that sauces and cheeses and other foods that are American made tend to be more bland (and hence cheaper) then their authentic counterparts. Any suggestions?