So many products, so many choices. Here's some tips: Cooking Light magazine has announced its pick in two lineups for the 2nd annual Taste Test Awards, due out in the October issue.
First, they made picks in 18 categories of the best-tasting supermarket products, including things like reduced-fat ranch dressing (Hidden Valley Light), applesauce (Musselman's Unsweetened Natural) and balsamic vinegar (Whole Foods 365, Pompeian and Progresso all got nods).
There are more than 18 winners, because they gave grand prize and test-taste prize in most categories. It's posted as one of those annoying slide shows, but give them points: You can go here to get an overview of all the products. (Thanks, CL techs.)
Next, CL editors picked the best small-batch artisan products from around the country.
The Carolinas did very well: Johnson County Ham Curemasters Reserve, Cardinal Gin from Kings Mountain, Kerala Curry Curried Lemon from Pittsboro, Looking Glass Creamery Ellington (huh, didn't I just put something about them in the blog last week?) and of course, Blenheim's Hot Ginger Ale.
Whoo-hoos are well-deserved all around.