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Thursday, December 12, 2013

Eggnog Product Taste Test

The last time I made eggnog was in college. It was a recipe from one of the first cookbooks I ever owned, the Joy of Cooking, and it involved whipped egg whites and heavy cream, lots of sugar and brandy. It was voluminous, fluffy and delicious but a fair amount of work and it served an army. 

When the holidays roll around, I'm always tempted, but often disappointed by the eggnog available at the supermarket. This year I was sent a sample of eggnog from Organic Valley and was surprised by how good it was. It wasn't fluffy, but it was rich and creamy and it didn't have any strange flavors or weird texture. I wanted to see if other eggnogs were equally as good. Thanks to a connection at Whole Foods, the next thing I knew a handful of local food writers and bloggers were sitting around a table tasting eggnogs and also some desserts, cheeses (Uniekaas truffled gouda, oh la la!) a delectable baked spiral sliced Wellshire ham and wine for good measure (more about that later). 

Here are the results:

Califia Farms Holiday Nog (Almond milk): $3.99/48 oz
This is apparently a very popular eggnog this year, but our tasters didn't think much of it. It was a little bland and the texture was odd. Perhaps vegans like it? 

So Delicious Dairy-Free Nog (coconut milk): $2.99/quart, Non-GMO Project Verified
This was the most surprising eggnog, because none of us expected it to be very good. And yet all of us liked it! It was rich, had nice spice flavor and no artificial notes. BEST NON-DAIRY

Clover Stornetta Egg Nog: $3.99/quart or $6.49/half gallon
This was way too sweet. Not recommended. 

Organic Valley Eggnog: on sale at Whole Foods ‘til 1/1 for $3.99/quart (regular $4.99/quart). Organic.
Hand's down, the favorite among all the tasters. Really rich, the freshest and cleanest tasting of all the eggnogs and reasonably priced, especially considering the quality. It had a homemade taste and just the right notes of vanilla and nutmeg. WINNER

Traderspoint Creamery Eggnog: $7.49/quart. Organic, grassfed
We hoped this would be something special, but the spicing was too heavy and the texture not very creamy. 

Straus Family Creamery: $6.49/quart, Organic, Non-GMO Project Verified
A solid though pricey choice, it just wasn't nearly as good as the Organic Valley nog. 

A big thank you to Whole Foods for hosting our little tasting party, Organic Valley for sending me a sample, and to my pals on the tasting panel. 

Check out Sean's review and Molly's review