American Cheese

Published June 1, 2015.

Hate to love it or love to hate it? We slice through the stigma surrounding American cheese.

American Cheese

Supermarket Brie

Published May 1, 2015.

Think French pedigree and words like “triple crème” indicate the best examples of this cheese plate favorite? So did we—until we learned that good Brie is a matter of culture.

Supermarket Brie

Supermarket Sharp Cheddar Cheese

Published April 1, 2015.

Does aging make for better sharp cheddar? Turns out, it’s complicated.

Supermarket Sharp Cheddar Cheese

Salted Butter

Published October 1, 2014.

There are plenty of butters out there. Could we find one worth its salt?

Salted Butter

Artisanal Cream Cheese

Published July 1, 2014.

We mail-ordered three artisanal cream cheeses to see if they could beat our supermarket favorite.

Artisanal Cream Cheese

Baby Swiss Cheese

Published January 1, 2014.

What actually distinguishes baby Swiss from Swiss cheese, flavor-wise?

Baby Swiss Cheese

Swiss Cheese

Published January 1, 2014.

We scoured supermarket cases, the deli counter, and specialty cheese shops for Swiss that would shine on a cheese plate, not just melt on a sandwich.

Swiss Cheese

Egg Noodles

Published October 1, 2013.

What makes the best egg noodles? The right shape, right amount of fat, and right type of flour.

Egg Noodles

Blue Cheese Dressing

Published October 1, 2013.

Was it too much to ask for a blue cheese dressing that was thick, creamy, and actually tasted like blue cheese?

Blue Cheese Dressing

Pepper Jack Cheese

Published June 1, 2013.

We sought heat, smooth meltability, and cheese with character.

Pepper Jack Cheese

Goat Cheese

Published May 1, 2013.

Why do some goat cheeses boast creamy texture and a bright and lemony taste, while others are chalky, gamy, or—worse—utterly flavorless?

Goat Cheese

Processed Egg Whites

Published February 1, 2013.

How do these packaged products compare to fresh egg whites—both in taste and performance?

Processed Egg Whites

Artisanal Cheddar

Published July 1, 2012.

Plain, rubbery American cheddars never measured up to the British stuff. But by merging Old and New World techniques, some domestic creameries are waging a revolution.

Artisanal Cheddar

Mayonnaise

Published June 1, 2012.

The range of mayonnaise varieties on the shelf can make our heads spin. Do any of the new formulations really make our favorite condiment better?

Mayonnaise

Unsalted Butter

Published November 1, 2011.

When it comes to butter, whether or not a brand is a fancy, high-fat European style may not matter as much as how it’s wrapped.

Unsalted Butter

Mozzarella Cheese

Published September 1, 2011.

What’s the difference between one supermarket mozzarella and another? The difference between deliciously creamy and dry and grainy.

Mozzarella Cheese

Aerosol Whipped Cream

Published September 1, 2011.

Whipped cream in a can is convenient, but do the flavor and texture measure up to homemade?

Aerosol Whipped Cream

Ice Cream Bars

Published June 1, 2011.

Is it the vanilla ice cream or the milk chocolate coating that matters most?

Ice Cream Bars

Nonfat Greek Yogurt

Published May 1, 2011.

If all Greek yogurt starts with the same basic ingredients—milk and cultures—what makes some brands thick, rich, and creamy while others are watery and sour?

Nonfat Greek Yogurt

Full-Fat Greek Yogurt

Published May 1, 2011.

While many Greek yogurt brands now also produce low-fat (2%) and nonfat versions, the full-fat style wowed our tasters with its extremely rich taste and creamy texture.

Full-Fat Greek Yogurt

Low-Fat Greek Yogurt

Published May 1, 2011.

Low-fat Greek yogurt can be a nice compromise between the über-rich full-fat version and the leaner nonfat style. We tasted four brands to find our favorite.

Low-Fat Greek Yogurt

Feta Cheese

Published September 1, 2010.

Can French and American cheeses really hold a candle to authentic Greek feta cheese?

Feta Cheese

Chocolate Ice Cream

Published June 1, 2010.

Are dense, rich premium brands better than light, fluffy, mass-market ice creams? The answer might surprise you.

Chocolate Ice Cream

Supermarket Vanilla Ice Cream

Published May 1, 2010.

Twenty-one Cook’s Illustrated staff members sampled eight national and regional brands of vanilla ice cream plain in a blind tasting, rating each on vanilla flavor, texture, and overall appeal.

Supermarket Vanilla Ice Cream

Provolone

Published July 1, 2009.

Can any domestic provolone stand up to those produced in Italy?

Provolone
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