Browse Latest Taste Tests

Whole-Milk Ricotta Cheese
Whole-Milk Ricotta Cheese
As any Italian grandmother knows, the importance of good ricotta cannot be overstated.
Buy the winner
Cinnamon
Cinnamon
Labels touting origin imply there’s more to this standby spice than there once was. How much does source influence flavor?
Buy the winner
Ceylon Cinnamon
Ceylon Cinnamon
We tasted three nationally available Ceylon cinnamon products against our favorite Indonesian cinnamon, swirling them into rice pudding and baking them into cin…
Buy the winner
Anchovies
Anchovies
Even if you’d never put anchovies on a pizza or a salad, a tin of these little fish fillets deserves a spot in your pantry.
Buy the winner
Soy Sauce
Soy Sauce
Savory, fragrant, umami-rich soy sauce is a staple in American kitchens. But choose the wrong product and all you get is a salt bomb.
Buy the winner
Supermarket Parmesan
Supermarket Parmesan
For a cheese with all the nutty, savory flavor and crumbly, crystalline texture of the original, do the cows really have to eat Italian grass?
Almond Butter
Almond Butter
The best almond butter contains more than just ground almonds.
Buy the winner
Sherry Vinegar
Sherry Vinegar
The woodsy yet vibrant taste of sherry vinegar makes it such a standout that it just might become your favorite everyday vinegar.
Buy the winner
Smoked Paprika
Smoked Paprika
We tasted seven products, rating them on their flavor, level of smokiness, and overall appeal.
Buy the winner
Nonfat Greek Yogurt
Nonfat Greek Yogurt
We tasted eight nationally available supermarket plain-flavor nonfat Greek yogurts, sampling them in two blind tastings, first plain and then in Greek-style tza…
Prepared Pesto
Prepared Pesto
We scooped up seven traditional basil pestos (also called pesto Genovese), priced from $2.99 to $11.49 per container. We sampled each pesto plain and tossed wit…
Whole-Milk Greek Yogurt
Whole-Milk Greek Yogurt
Nonfat products used to dominate this market, but now whole-milk versions are taking over. Does more fat equal better yogurt?
Beef Broth
Beef Broth
Commercial beef broths contain almost no beef. So what exactly are these products adding to your recipes?
Buy the winner
Gluten-Free Sandwich Bread
Gluten-Free Sandwich Bread
We tasted five white, and nine multigrain gluten-free sandwich breads to see if we could find a supermarket brand worth buying.
Buy the winner
Supermarket Extra-Virgin Olive Oil
Supermarket Extra-Virgin Olive Oil
Often dull or even rancid-tasting, supermarket olive oils never seem to live up to their extra-virgin designation. Have new industry standards improved the opt…
Buy the winner
Israeli Couscous
Israeli Couscous
We tasted five supermarket products, plain and in our Cook's Illustrated recipe for Israeli Couscous with Lemon, Mint, Peas, Feta, and Pickled Shallots.
Buy the winner
Supermarket Balsamic Vinegar
Supermarket Balsamic Vinegar
In recent years, Italy has created a new set of guidelines for mass-produced balsamic vinegar. We wanted to know if these new laws guarantee a better-quality pr…
Buy the winner
Smoked Salmon
Smoked Salmon
We gathered up five top-selling, widely available products to find the best choice both plain, and on our Cook's Illustrated New York Bagels.
Supermarket Brie
Supermarket Brie
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 ma…
Buy the winner
Salted vs. Unsalted Chicken Stock
Salted vs. Unsalted Chicken Stock
Our favorite chicken broth is Swanson Chicken Stock, which we appreciate for its “rich,” “meaty” flavor. Still, since many people monitor their sodium intake, w…
Buy the winner
Dijon Mustard
Dijon Mustard
What traits guarantee a Dijon mustard that packs a wallop of clean heat and balanced acidity? Youth and, surprisingly, a little fat.
Low-Sodium Vegetable Broth
Low-Sodium Vegetable Broth
Finding a low-sodium vegetable broth worth using is more difficult than it sounds.
Buy the winner
Mexican Lagers
Mexican Lagers
We sampled the four best-selling imported Mexican lagers plain and cooked in drunken beans.
Vegetarian Broth
Vegetarian Broth
More vegetables, better broth? We tasted a slew of products and discovered that, in most cases, the answer is no.
Buy the winner
Heritage Turkeys
Heritage Turkeys
Heritage turkeys forage for food and live twice as long as modern birds. They can also cost 10 times as much. Do they taste great enough to command their premiu…
Sichuan Peppercorns
Sichuan Peppercorns
We tasted five brands of Sichuan peppercorns to find out which had the best flavor and tingle.
Apricot Preserves
Apricot Preserves
We tasted five top-selling products plain and in our Cook's Illustrated French Apple Tart.
Buy the winner
Processed Artichoke Hearts
Processed Artichoke Hearts
With so many options on the market, selecting a brand of processed artichoke hearts is often a stab in the dark.
Fire-Roasted Tomatoes
Fire-Roasted Tomatoes
Could canned, diced fire-roasted tomatoes deliver the smoky complexity of fresh? We gathered three nationally available diced fire-roasted tomato products to fi…
Buy the winner
Supermarket Prosciutto
Supermarket Prosciutto
A new surge of grab ’n’ go packages means you no longer have to wait at the deli counter to have this cured pork sliced by hand. But does “convenience” prosciut…
Buy the winner
Imported Prosciutto
Imported Prosciutto
How does our favorite American prosciutto stack up against imported, Italian offerings?
Buy the winner
Supermarket Frozen Yogurt
Supermarket Frozen Yogurt
These days, supermarket frozen yogurts are flying off the shelves. Is that because they’re healthful and taste good—or because they simply sound that way?
Artisanal Cream Cheese
Artisanal Cream Cheese
We mail-ordered three artisanal cream cheeses to see if they could beat our supermarket favorite.
Dried White Beans
Dried White Beans
We’ve always been a little prejudiced in favor of dried beans over canned. But is that always true?
Canned White Beans
Canned White Beans
Think canned cannellini beans are no match for dried beans cooked from scratch? Today’s canning processes might just prove that notion full of beans.
Buy the winner
Five-Spice Powder
Five-Spice Powder
We tested six brands of five-spice powder to determine which really delivered an authentic Asian flavor.
Buy the winner