Since negotiations broke down between management and workers and the mass-consumption snackery Hostess liquidated, American consumers have been left bereft and Twinkieless. No one really cares about Wonder Bread, but Twinkies hold a special place in our national imagination, even for people who haven’t tasted one of the hydrogenated delights in decades. But are the generic Twinkie-ish cakes you see on store shelves worth your time? [More]
Starbucks is rolling out its new Costa Rica Finca Palmilera coffee that costs $7 a cup (or $40/lb). So what better way to find out if people can tell the difference than by having a taste test? [More]
Here’s one bit of early Christmas merchandise that we’re not going to complain about. For once. Hitting shelves now, only at Walmart, introducing… gingerbread-flavored Oreos.
“What, Consumerist?! Nooo!” I hear you yelling at the screen after reading the title of this post. “I find Mexican Coca-Cola vastly superior. My sweet tooth is too sensitive! My palate is too refined!” That’s probably what the participants in a blind taste test for Serious Eats said, too. But tasters didn’t prefer the fine, refrescotaste of Mexican Coke. They liked one of two things: American coke poured from a glass bottle (even if they never saw the bottle), or American Coke that they were led to believe was Mexican Coke.
Name brands exert a strong power over shoppers: 17% of us think name brand foods are more nutritious, even though there’s little nutritional difference between the two categories. Consumer Report performed taste tests on several food categories to determine whether name brands tasted better than store brands, and found that in some cases the store brands actually won.
If you haven’t tasted a Flying Dog Doggie Style Classic Pale Ale, you’re missing out on a “fresh, balanced and lively” drink that’s “almost Pilsner-like,” says a panel of beer experts in the New York Times. The Flying Dog took top honors in a taste test of 20 American pale ales, followed by Long Trail, Stoudts, Sly Fox, and Otter Creek. If you can’t remember these smaller labels this weekend on your way to the cookout, you can always stick with Sam Adams pale ale, which placed seventh.
Personal finance blogger Len Penzo doesn’t have a minivan full of highly trained tasters at his disposal like our siblings at Consumer Reports. When he set out to compare generic and name-brand cereals, he found something even better. He rounded up the small children of his neighborhood, and subjected them to a blind cereal taste-test.
As soon as we heard about Drank, the anti-energy drink that promises to “slow your roll,” we knew we had to try it. After searching around New Orleans for a while, we were directed to a gas station in Tremé. We brought a few cans home, put on some Three 6 Mafia, and drank some Drank.
In what may have been the most awesome blind taste test ever, a BusinessWeek writer served his friends chilled shots of various brands of vodka to see whether there was any noticeable difference in taste. His argument was that vodka is a neutral spirit and by definition is nearly indistinguishable from one brand to the next—and that consequently the “brand story” (including country of origin) is really all that separates a Grey Goose drinker from a Ketel One alkie. To test this, he asked his subjects to pick their favorite brands from shots and mixed drinks.
Remember Brawndo from “Idiocracy”—the world’s best and only beverage, the one that mutilates your thirst, and is so awesome that we even use it for irrigation? It’s now a real product, for those of you who enjoy mixing satire about commercialism with actual commercialism. (Wait—how does that work?) Naturally nobody over 12 years old or sane will probably want to actually taste it—it’s just another bad energy drink with fun packaging—so Sarah at CalorieLab has taken a bullet for the rest of us. Good; now we can go back to watching reruns of “Ow My Balls.”
More and more wines are coming with screwcaps instead of corks. Good.