Serious Eats

Taste Test: Bottled Tartar Sauce

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[Photographs: Robyn Lee]

The Winners!

  • #1: America's Choice
  • #2: Hellman's Tartar Sauce
  • #3: Kraft Tartar Sauce
Honorable Mention:
  • Gold's Horseradish Tartar Sauce

There's no such thing as tartar sauce neutrality. When that nice lady at the clam shack asks you if you want tartar sauce, it's never "I could take it or leave it." It's always a definite yes or a resounding no. Some of us in the Serious Eats office love the tangy, pickle-y stuff. Ed grew up dipping his french fries in it. I like nothing more than tartar sauce on my onion rings (and, obviously, fried clams). Robyn expressed immense regret at being out of the office during our tasting.

On the other hand, there are the tartar sauce haters. Leandra hid behind her desk during the tasting and was only forced into it when we physically brought the samples to her. Jen was a good sport about agreeing to taste, but deigned to do so in pico-liter sized portions. Erin was finally excused after ominous threats of a vocal gag-fest.

If you fall into the category of tartar sauce hater, this article is not for you. But if you are a tartar sauce lover—well, then, come sit by my fire as we discover who makes the best commercially available sauce.

The Contenders