Taste Tests

We taste the leading brands to find the distinct differences and rate them with tasting scores.

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Taste Test: The Best Caesar Salad Dressings

Taste Tests Daniel Gritzer 45 comments

Does any salad do a better job of combining refreshing lightness and total indulgence into one than Caesar salad? Here our panel of blind tasters sample our way through several supermarket brands in search of the ones that live up best to from-scratch standards. More

Taste Test: We Try All the Flavors of Tillamook's New Tillabars

Taste Tests Maggie Hoffman 5 comments

I grew up with Tillamook ice cream, and I still like it. While the flavors tend toward classic, not surprising or 'gourmet', they're good versions of the classics. So I was eager to taste Tillamook's new line of chocolate-dipped ice cream bars. Here's how they fared. More

Taste Test: The Best Frozen Puff Pastry

Taste Tests Niki Achitoff-Gray 103 comments

Puff pastry. The light, flaky, buttery stuff of apple turnovers, beef Wellington, and, of course, the most epic waffles you'll ever eat. But which pre-made brand yields the best results? We tasted the top two contenders to see how they'd perform. More

Taste Test: The Best Spicy Brown Mustards

Taste Tests Daniel Gritzer 47 comments

Which spicy brown mustard should you smear on your pastrami and rye, or squirt next to that big, juicy bratwurst? A panel of Serious Eats staff blind tastes the major spicy brown mustard brands and come up with a handful of favorites. More

Taste Test: The Best Frozen Veggie Burgers

Taste Tests J. Kenji López-Alt 44 comments

You want to know the honest truth? Even as an omnivore, I've always been a fan of veggie burgers, and there are times when I want what a veggie burger has to offer without having to go through the trouble of making the patties myself. Which supermarket brand is the tastiest and which come closest to homemade? More

The Arbequina Oil From Séka Hills is My New Favorite Extra Virgin Olive Oil

Taste Tests J. Kenji López-Alt 8 comments

I was first introduced to the Arbequina extra-virgin olive oil from Séka Hills by Chef Jesse Ziff-Cool. It was an exceedingly simple dish: A smear of gloriously creamy goat cheese on a crouton with a little slice of fresh California fig, a couple of thyme leaves, a sprinkle of salt, and a drizzle of that oil.

That's a combination that's hard not to swoon over, but it was the olive oil that really blew my mind. Holy s*%t! I thought to myself. What is the gorgeous stuff? And how could something with such a mild flavor still taste so good?

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Taste Test: We Try Every Flavor of Cheez-It Crackers

Taste Tests Niki Achitoff-Gray 52 comments

Once you've started to explore the world of cheesy snacks, a definite hierarchy begins to emerge. And here at Serious Eats, Cheez-Its are very high up on our list. But what, we wondered, of Cheez-It's flavored brethren? When we realized that there were a whopping dozen variations on this already delightful theme, the answer was clear: sit down and eat every last one. More

Vegan Mayonnaise Taste Test Produces Surprising Results

Taste Tests J. Kenji López-Alt 52 comments

We tasted four nationally available egg-free vegan mayonnaise products, alongside one conventional brand, to see how they'd stack up. The results took us completely by surprise. More

Taste Test: Takis vs. Their Tak-alikes

Taste Tests Max Falkowitz 4 comments

How do super-spicy, ultra-sour Takis taste to their competitor made by Doritos? We put the brands to the test. More

Taste Test: The Best Frozen Chicken Nuggets

Taste Tests Niki Achitoff-Gray 46 comments

Chicken nuggets seem to have suffered a bit of a PR crisis in recent years. And if you've ever stopped short of eating one to wonder what's actually in these things?, then you're living proof. We set out to recuperate that image, by eating our way through nine different brands of frozen chicken nuggets to find the leader of the pack. See the results after the jump! More

Taste Test: Campbell's Slow Cooker Sauces

Taste Tests J. Kenji López-Alt 36 comments

The appeal of a slow cooker is obvious: throw some things into the pot at the beginning of the day, go to work, and come home with a hot meal waiting for you that tastes as if it's been slaved over all day. The new line of Campbell's Slow Cooker Sauces promise to deliver great flavor with pretty much zero effort. Sounds too good to be true. This we had to taste for ourselves. More

Taste Test: All the Flavors of SeaSnax

Taste Tests Carrie Vasios Mullins 8 comments

When you make sushi at home, do you steal and eat a sheet of plain nori for every roll that you complete? Do you wish that at restaurants they'd serve little stacks of seaweed to nibble on? I do, which is why I was drawn to Seasnax, a line of roasted seaweed snacks made with olive oil. More

Taste Test: We Try All of Andrew Zimmern and Pat LaFrieda's Sausages

Taste Tests J. Kenji López-Alt 9 comments

TV personality Andrew Zimmern has teamed up with our favorite meat man Pat LaFrieda to produce a new line of sausages from heritage breed animals. We got our hands on all 12 flavors of sausages and tasted our way through them. Here's what we thought. More

Taste Test: Powdered Gravy Mixes

Taste Tests Jamie Feldmar 16 comments

In an ideal world, everyone would make their own Thanksgiving gravy from scratch, especially when it's so easy. But we don't live in an ideal world (have you seen Nic Cage in The Wicker Man?!), and in the interest of those less-than-Rockwellian moments, we decided to give a few of the powdered gravy versions a whirl. More

Taste Test: Frozen Versus Fresh Pearl Onions

Taste Tests J. Kenji López-Alt 11 comments

Some vegetables are better frozen, while other vegetables fall under the category of not necessarily better when frozen, but still-good-enough-to-use-if-it-means-saving-time-and-effort. Pearl onions seem to fall under this latter category. I've never heard anyone insist that frozen ones are better, but I've certainly heard folks recommend them in a pinch. So the question: are frozen onions an acceptable substitute (or even a better option) for fresh? More

Anchovy Taste Test: Salt-Packed vs. Oil-Packed vs. Paste

Taste Tests J. Kenji López-Alt 23 comments

We know that there's a big variance in anchovies from brand to brand. But what about different anchovy products? How would anchovy paste and salt-packed whole anchovies stack up to the familiar oil-packed filets? More

Fast Food Chicken Dippin' Sauce Showdown: Popeye's Vs. McDonald's Vs. Burger King

Fast Food J. Kenji López-Alt 46 comments

Picking which fast food joint to buy your finger-food-fried-chicken-product-based lunch using the quality of available dipping sauces as the criteria is sort of like picking what cell phone to purchase based on its after-market case options, or which woman to marry based on her favorite cereal. There are rare cases in which this makes sense, but those cases are few and far between. Still, we wondered: all other things being equal, which of the three fast food establishments near our office would offer the best dipping experience? More

Taste Test: Shin Ramyun Instant Noodles

Taste Tests J. Kenji López-Alt 17 comments

I didn't grow up a ramen prescriptivist, but more often than not my selection landed upon Shin Ramyun, the Korean brand of instant noodles flavored with beef and chili. Its fierce heat and intense saltiness has earned it some rabid followers. It's one of the best selling non-Japanese brands around, available in over 80 countries. In 2011, they introduced Shin Black, the premium version of their traditional ramen. We embarked on a taste test to see how they stacked up. More

Taste Test: The Best Anchovy Fillets

Taste Tests Niki Achitoff-Gray 52 comments

Regardless of which type of anchovy person you are, chances are you've experienced that moment of grocery store paralysis, staring down those colorful battalions of tiny filleted fish. Jar or can, cheap or expensive—which is the best and, more importantly, does it always matter? We decided to find out. More

Taste Test: The Best Chicken-Flavored Instant Ramen

Taste Tests J. Kenji López-Alt 26 comments

Raise your hand if instant ramen noodles were the first dish you learned to cook on your own. Yeah, I thought so. For this taste test, we wanted to stick with the basics: inexpensive and widely available were our two top criteria for making the cut. All of these instant noodles are available for under a dollar, and all of them can be found across the country, or ordered online. To keep things reasonable, we stuck with chicken flavor. Which brand is the king of the instant noodle scene? Read on to find out. More

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