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Author Topic: Consumer Reports tests EVOO, etc.  (Read 1320 times)
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A.J.
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« on: April 15, 2008, 09:07:38 AM »

Hope this helps when you go shopping! 


Best Olive Oil
· McEvoy Ranch
· B.R. Cohn
· Goya

McEvoy and Cohn, from fairly small vineyards in Northern California, have intense, complex flavors and are sold primarily online at www.brcohn.com and www.mcevoyranch.com. The Goya doesn't come on quite as strong as the top two, so it might go well with a wider variety of foods. Two other advantages: It sells for one-fifth the price of the others and is available at many supermarkets.

Best Whole Wheat Spaghetti
· Ronzoni Healthy Harvest Whole Wheat Blend

· Whole Foods Market 365 Everyday Value Organic

· Trader Joe's Organic

Whole-wheat pasta has more vitamins, minerals, fiber, and other beneficial compounds than regular pasta, and these products tasted slightly sweet, with a nutty grain flavor. They also had good texture. That's a lot better than those we ranked in the early 1990s.

Best Peaches

· Del Monte in Fruit Juice

· Trader Joe's Halves in White Grape Juice

These have the floral aroma and flavor intensity of fresh ripe peaches.

Best Balsamic Vinaigrette

· The Silver Palate Country Salad Splash

This winner is sweet and fruity, with a distinct balsamic-vinegar flavor that tasted just-made.

Best Trans-Fat-Free Spread

· Smart Balance

Our sensory testers called it a "butter-fooler," with lots of dairy flavor.

Best Barbecue Sauce

· KC Masterpiece Original

It's versatile, with sweet molasses flavor, some heat, and just enough smoke to make you think grilled.

Best Granola
· Nature's Path Organic Flax Plus Pumpkin

· Trader Joe's Just the Clusters Maple Pecan

Granolas are seen as healthful but are often packed with fat, so eat them sparingly. These are fresh and crunchy, with flavorful nuts and seeds.

Best Hot Dogs
· Hebrew National Kosher Beef
· Nathan's Famous Skinless Beef
· Boar's Head Skinless Beef
· Hebrew National Kosher Reduced Fat Beef
· Boar's Head Lite Skinless Beef
· Ball Park Beef
· Sabrett Skinless Beef

OK, they're little bundles of sodium and fat, but nutritionists we interviewed agreed that a sound diet can reasonably include any type of food in moderation. These franks are the best of the bunch.

Best Chicken Soup

· The Original SoupMan Chicken Vegetable

Our tasters described this standout as "lick the bowl" tasty and "thick as stew." The soups are sold online at www.originalsoupman.com, at Soupman restaurants, mostly in New York and New Jersey, and at some supermarkets.

Best Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough
· Trader Joe's Chunky

· Omaha Steaks Chunky

· Fat Boy Cookie Company Outrageous Chunk

Chocolate-chip cookies made with store-bought dough can taste almost homemade. To avoid the prep work, try these.

Best Cereal

Toasted Oats
· Cheerios
· Malt-O-Meal  (Looks they have to remove this brand from the list now)

Frosted Flakes
· Kelloggs's
· Malt-O-Meal

Mini Wheats
· Kroger
· Malt-O-Meal
· Kellogg's

Best Cereal Bars

· Kashi TLC Almond Flax Chewy Granola

This very chewy whole-grain bar has big, roasted, crunchy nuts, as well as flavorful seeds and grains.

Best Dark Chocolate Bars
· Cacao Reserve by Hershey's Extra Dark With Cacao Nibs

The latest research suggests that dark chocolate (in small amounts) may be good for cardiovascular health. Hershey's is a treat to nibble and savor, our testers said, and won praise over bars costing nearly twice as much.

Best Salsas
· Jardine's 7J Campfire Roasted (to order, call 800-544-1880)
· Desert Pepper Trading Company 2 Olive Roasted Garlic (www.elpasochile.com)
· Green Mountain Gringo (www.greenmountaingringo.com)
· Joe T. Garcia's Salsa Picante (www.joets.com)

Most of these salsas were chunky, with complex flavors, crisp vegetables, and extras such as olives, cumin, carrots, or corn.

Best Tortilla Chips
· Utz Restaurant Style White Corn
· Tostitos 100% White Corn Restaurant Style
· Green Mountain Gringo
· Tostitos Natural Yellow Corn Restaurant Style
· Santitas Authentic Mexican Style White Corn
· Tostitos MultiGrain
· Tostitos Scoops 100% White Corn

These crunchy chips are good enough to eat right out of the bag because of their nicely balanced toasted-corn, salt, and fat flavors.

Best Cheese Puffs

· Cheetos

Regular Cheetos have a big cheesy flavor. Skip the baked version, which is forgettable.

Best Potato Chips

· Lay's Classic
· Cape Cod 40% Reduced Fat
· Ruffles Reduced Fat
· Pringles Original Reduced Fat

The Lay's are crispy and have the most potato flavor, but the others are also quite good, with 6 to 8 grams of fat per ounce, vs. 10 grams for the Lay's Classic.

Best Toothpaste

· Ultrabrite All in One Advanced Whitening

The only tested toothpaste that was excellent at stain removal, Ultrabrite is also average in abrasiveness, which means it shouldn't damage teeth or gums.

Best Insect Repellent

· Off Deep Woods for Sportsmen 1
· 3M Ultrathon

Off provided the longest-lasting protection against ticks and several mosquito species. 3M, with a lower concentration of deet, is a good choice as well.

Best Facial Cleanser
· La Prairie Foam Cleanser
· Estée Lauder Perfectly Clean Splash Away Foaming Cleanser
· Aveeno Positively Radiant Daily Cleansing Pads
· Olay Daily Facials Hydrating Normal to Dry

All are effective, easy-to-use cleansers. Though the La Prairie was best, at $70 for a 4-ounce tube, it was the worst value. The others worked well, too, and cost far less, especially the Aveeno and Olay.

Best Sunscreen

· Neutrogena Ultra Sheer Dry-Touch SPF 45

This protects against UVA radiation, which can cause skin cancer and wrinkles, and UVB, which can also cause skin cancer, plus sunburn. Whatever the sunscreen, apply it often and use enough: about 2 or 3 tablespoons every 2 hours and after swimming or intense perspiration.

Best Facial Tissues

· Puffs Extra (non-lotion)

Puffs was praised for its combination of strength and softness.

Best Dishwasher Detergent

· Cascade Complete Liquid
· Cascade Complete With Bleach Hydroclean Action Liquid
· Cascade 2 In 1 Action Pacs With the Power of Dawn

These cleaners, which contain performance-enhancing enzymes, are great grime-busters but are gentle on glass and silver.

Best AA Batteries

· Energizer e2 Lithium

It's pricey but outlasted all other batteries in toys and portable CD players, and provided up to six times more flash photos than the average alkaline battery in our digital-camera test.

Best Food-Storage Containers

· Heritage Lock & Lock Airtight
· Sharper Image Fresher Longer

Both are particularly effective at keeping food fresh and mold-free. A 17-piece set of Lock & Lock is $25, half the price of the 12-piece Fresher Longer.

Best Fabric Softener

· Ultra Gain Joyful Expressions

The only excellent softener in our tests, liquid Ultra Gain leaves clothes soft, static-free, and absorbent.

Best Food Storage Bags

· Great Value (Wal-Mart) Slider
· Ziploc With Easy Zipper

These are very strong and resist puncture, which is important if you fill a bag to capacity or store foods with sharp edges.

Best Disposable Plates

· Dixie Ultra
· Hefty Everyday

Neither of these crumpled under a load of picnic food, nor did they leak when filled with oil and water.

Best Car Wax

· Black Magic Wet Shine Liquid Wax BM48016
· Turtle Wax Carnauba Car Wax T-6

Both provide a glossy, durable shine. Black Magic requires more elbow grease to prevent streaking.

Best Multipurpose Household Glue

· Loctite Sumo Glue

It's an excellent adhesive for both wood and plastic, fills gaps well, and won't weaken if the repaired wood gets wet.

Best Paper Towels

· Bounty
· Kirkland Signature Premium (Costco)

Both sop up water and cooking oil thoroughly and quickly. Bounty proved a bit stronger.

Best Hot Chocolate

· Ghiradelli Double Chocolate
· Cacao Reserve Mayan Blend by Hershey's

The best hot chocolate is full, rich, thick, and, well, chocolatey, with a big dairy flavor.

Whole-Bean Colombian Coffee
· Caribou (caffeinated)
· Eight O'Clock 100% Columbian (decaf)

Caribou is sold mostly online at www.cariboucoffee.com and at the company's coffee shops. Tasters describe it as complex and fragrant, with well-balanced floral, fruity, and earthy notes. Eight O'Clock is available at many supermarkets and sells for about half the price of Caribou.

Best Juice for Kids

· Juicy Juice Harvest Surprise Grape
· V8 V-Fusion Pomegranate Blueberry

Our kid testers gave these juices, which contain no added sugar, top scores for flavor; many said they would willingly drink them again.

Best Iced Tea

· Honest Tea Lori's Lemon Organic
· Arizona Lemon
· Snapple Lemon
· Nestea Sweetened LemonTazo Lemon

Honest Tea has less sugar, fewer calories, and more antioxidants. The rest have less caffeine and a lower price.

Best Light Beer

· Michelob Ultra Amber
· Michelob Light
· Michelob Ultra
· Coors Light
· Sam Adams Light
· Budweiser Select
· Busch Light
· Bud Light
· Natural Light
· Keystone Light
· Miller Lite

Best Merlot

· Columbia Crest Grand Estates Columbia Valley (WA) 2004

The only excellent merlot we tested last year, it was also one of the least expensive, at $11.

Best Sauvignon Blanc

· Mud House Marlborough 2006
· Kim Crawford Marlborough 2006
· Coopers Creek Marlborough 2006
· Drylands Marlborough 2006

These are all from New Zealand and cost $17 or less.

Best Chardonnay

· Edna Valley Paragon San Luis Obispo County 2004
· Kendall-Jackson Grand Reserve
· Monterey-Santa Barbara Counties 2004
· Beringer Napa Valley 2004

Edna Valley, at $14, is the bargain among these top chardonnays.

Best Zinfandel
· Seghesio Family Vineyards Sonoma County 2004
· Cellar No. 8 2004

Both are complex and well balanced, but at $10, Cellar No. 8 sells for half the price of Seghesio.

Note: Tested vintages might not be available, but wines in this price range often aim for -- and achieve -- consistent quality over time. So try a newer one.










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« Reply #1 on: April 15, 2008, 12:00:04 PM »

Cool... thanks AJ
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KivaLuver
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« Reply #2 on: April 15, 2008, 07:53:42 PM »

Great list. Thank you. I was really amazed to Goya olive oil and Eight O Clock coffee on the list.
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