Published November 1, 2016.

Labels touting origin imply there’s more to this standby spice than there once was. How much does source influence flavor?


Ceylon Cinnamon

Published November 1, 2016.

We tasted three nationally available Ceylon cinnamon products against our favorite Indonesian cinnamon, swirling them into rice pudding and baking them into cinnamon rolls.

Ceylon Cinnamon

Smoked Paprika

Published May 1, 2016.

We tasted seven products, rating them on their flavor, level of smokiness, and overall appeal.

Smoked Paprika

Louisiana (Cajun or Creole) Seasoning

Published February 1, 2015.

We tasted five seasonings labeled Creole or Cajun on white rice and in pork grillades.

Tony Chachere’s Original Creole Seasoning

Sichuan Peppercorns

Published November 1, 2014.

We tasted five brands of Sichuan peppercorns to find out which had the best flavor and tingle.

Dean & DeLuca Szechuan Peppercorns

Five-Spice Powder

Published May 1, 2014.

We tested six brands of five-spice powder to determine which really delivered an authentic Asian flavor.

Frontier Natural Products Co-op Five Spice Powder

Chili Powder

Published February 1, 2013.

Chili powder is essential for making perfect game-time chili, but many products fumble with weak, wan flavor. Do any score a touchdown?

Morton & Bassett Chili Powder

Steak Sauce

Published August 1, 2012.

In terms of sales, A.1. rules the steak sauce market. But in a blind taste test, would the king be dethroned?

A.1. Steak Sauce

Garlic Powder

Published July 1, 2012.

When it comes to garlic powder, which brand comes out on top?

Spice Islands Garlic Powder

Ground Ginger

Published February 1, 2011.

Since ginger is often used in combination with other spices, would it matter which brand we used in recipes like gingerbread?

Spice Islands Ground Ginger

Yellow Mustard

Published August 1, 2010.

A small organic brand sneaks up on the big boys.

Annie’s Naturals Organic Yellow Mustard


Published November 1, 2009.

Steer clear of shelf-stable brands and head straight to the refrigerator aisle.

Boar’s Head Pure Horseradish


Published November 1, 2009.

Cinnamon used to be the most basic spice in your cupboard. Now it’s gone upscale. So will a fancy brand from Vietnam costing $8 an ounce actually make baked goods taste better?



Published November 1, 2009.

Does brand make a difference when it comes to the world's most expensive spice?

Morton & Bassett Saffron Threads

Black Peppercorns

Published November 1, 2008.

You only use a grind or two on your food, so does it really matter what brand of peppercorn you buy?

Black Peppercorns

Sweet Paprika

Published November 1, 2008.

The best versions of this renowned Hungarian spice pack a punch that goes beyond pigment.

The Spice House Hungarian Sweet Paprika

Liquid Smoke

Published September 1, 2007.

Liquid smoke can be just fine—as long as you know what to avoid when selecting a brand.

Liquid Smoke

Frozen Herbs

Published May 1, 2007.

Can this product be reasonably substituted for fresh herbs?

Dorot Frozen Herbs

Garam Masala

Published May 1, 2007.

Our winner is not only traditional, but also widely available.

Garam Masala

Curry Powder

Published May 1, 2007.

Blends can vary dramatically, even within the mild or sweet category.

Penzeys Sweet Curry Powder

Soy Sauce

Published January 1, 2007.

This Asian condiment should enhance flavor and contribute complexity to your food—not just make it salty.

Lee Kum Kee Table Top Premium Soy Sauce


Published May 1, 2006.

For ultra-thin cutlets, meat tenderizers actually work. In this case, does brand matter?


Garlic Juice

Published March 1, 2006.

Could this easy-to-use preparation stand in for real garlic?

Vanilla Extract

Published February 1, 2005.

A previous tasting of vanilla extracts proved that bakers couldn't tell the difference between imitation and the real thing. Would the real vanilla stand up in our latest taste test?

McCormick Imitation Vanilla Extract

Fish Sauce

Published July 1, 2004.

The lighter the sauce, the lighter the flavor.

Tiparos Fish Sauce
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