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Mouthing Off

By the Editors of Food & Wine Magazine

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Taste Test Tuesday

Taste Test: Best Bacon

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Bacon taste test

Bacon tast test / © Maggie Mariolis

Depending on its smokiness, saltiness, fattiness and flavor, bacon can range from basic breakfast staple to pure porcine perfection. Food & Wine editors sampled both nationally available and mail-order artisanal brands to find out which bacon is truly the best. Read more >

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taste test tuesday

Taste Test: Best Ice Cream Sandwiches

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Ice cream sandwich taste test: Foodtown

 

Ice cream sandwiches combine two irresistible desserts into a tasty handheld package. Food & Wine editors sampled some of the most popular brands on the market to find the best >

 

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Taste Test Tuesday

Best Fruit Sorbets

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The totally refreshing and often fat-free cousin of ice cream, sorbet can be creamy, light and completely satisfying.  Food & Wine editors sampled some of the most popular offerings on the market to find the best. Read more >

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Taste Test Tuesday

Best New Dessert-Inspired Ice Creams

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From classic cakes to salty caramels, many of this summer’s newest ice creams pay homage to our favorite desserts. Food & Wine editors sampled both nationally available and local artisanal brands to find out which dessert-inspired ice creams truly honor their plated counterparts. Read more >

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taste test tuesday

The Top Dip Mixes

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Dip taste test

 

While it’s easy to make a homemade dip, the right dry mix can expedite summer party prep. F&W staff sampled a variety of supermarket offerings, but found many of them to be too salty, too bland, or too processed-tasting. Two products earned top marks and feature the classic flavors our editors crave.

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Taste Test Tuesday

Best Greek Yogurt

Full-Fat Fage Greek Yogurt

Full-Fat Fage Greek Yogurt

Indulgently thick, with up to double the protein of traditional styles, Greek yogurt now rules the dairy aisle. With so many brands dabbling in the strained category, choosing one can seem daunting. Food & Wine sampled a heap of plain-flavored supermarket offerings that ranged from non to full-fat in order to find the most luscious, satisfyingly tangy options available. The results. »

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Taste Test Tuesday

Best Coconut Water

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In the space of a few years, bottled coconut water went from surprising celebrity food product to supermarket staple, with new brands rushing to satisfy growing demand for the healthy refresher. F&W sampled the most familiar products, and while nothing replaces the pure flavor of a freshly tapped coconut, one brand comes close with a price to match. Here, the newcomer and other options to suit every buyer’s taste >

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Taste Test Tuesday

Best Store-Bought Vanilla Ice Cream

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Haagen-Dazs Five

 

Think all vanillas are created equal? F&W staff sampled some of the most popular supermarket ice creams to find the creamiest, most deliciously vanilla offerings available for your summer pies. Here, the results >

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Chocolate

Valentine's Day Chocolate Taste Test

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© Alessandra Bulow

When a new batch of chocolates arrives at Food & Wine's office for taste-testing, the staff goes into a frenzy. For Valentine's Day, our editors had the difficult task of sampling traditional heart-shape-boxed chocolates that you can find right in your neighborhood drugstore. It wasn't all pretty, but here are some of the top picks. While boxed chocolates are a no-brainer for the holiday, the judges also revealed some of their favorite unique bars that can be tied with a ribbon for a more personalized gift--from gorgeously-wrapped single-origin chocolate to potato-chip-filled bars, which are perfect for Valentines who love candy that's salty and sweet.

DRUGSTORE/SUPERMARKET
Dove Silky Smooth Select Chocolates Heart Box
Description: Milk chocolate and peanut butter truffle hearts, dark chocolate hearts, caramel hearts
Staff comments: "I think these are really good. The peanut butter truffle hearts are yummy. The shell-to-filling ratio and textures are perfect. Good balance between chocolate and peanut buttery goodness. Crowd-pleasing. Nice and creamy chocolate with a good mouth feel." $15 for 8.13 oz. heart-shaped tin, dovechocolate.com

Hershey's Pot of Gold Premium Collection Red Pillow Pattern Heart Box
Description: Assorted truffles, nut clusters and caramels
Staff comments: "Caramel texture is nice and smooth. The almond crème is sweet, creamy and pleasant. Pecan caramel cluster is good too-caramel is very soft but nice if you like very sweet chocolate." $10 for 8.9 oz heart-shaped box; hersheys.com.

Green & Black's Organic Ginger Bar

Description: Dark chocolate bar with organic crystallized ginger
Staff comments: "The thick slices of crystallized ginger add zing." $3.50 for 3.5 oz; greenandblacks.com.

MID-PRICED
Godiva Nut and Caramel Gift Box
Description: Assorted chocolate-covered caramel and nut pieces
Staff comments: "I especially like the gooey caramels. The praline fillings are delicious, creamy and nutty. Chocolate is creamy and has nice depth of flavor." $32 for 10.6 oz; godiva.com.

Chuao Chocolatier's Potato Chips in Chocolate Bar
Description: Milk chocolate bar with kettle cooked potato chips
Staff comments: "This is a brilliant idea. Two of my favorite things: the salty, crunchy chips contrasted with creamy milk chocolate." $6 for 2.82 oz; chuaochocolatier.com.

Scharffen Berger 62% Cacao Dark Chocolate Nibby
Description: Dark chocolate bar with roasted cacao beans
Staff comments: "The cacao nibs add an awesome crunch." $5 for 3 oz; scharffenberger.com.

ARTISAN

Veruca Chocolates Box
Description: Handmade filled-chocolate truffles in assorted flavors like hazelnut-cinnamon, lavender-vanilla, burnt caramel ganache and dulce de leche
Staff comments: "Wow these are terrific. The flavors are strong and straightforward. Lavender-vanilla is floral but subtle enough." $40 for 18 piece box; verucachocolates.com.

Mast Brothers Chocolates, Assorted Bars
Description: Gift-paper wrapped single-origin dark chocolate bars named after the sources of the cacao beans like Papua New Guinea, Moho River, Sambirano Valley, and La Red de Guaconejo
Staff comments: "These are for the intrepid chocolate taster who really, really likes dark chocolate. They're interesting and certainly showcase the tangy, tropical, jungle-y, terroir-driven flavors of chocolate. They are all so distinct! La Red is really tobacco-y, but good, and the Papua New Guinea is so smoky-like whiskey!" $8 for 2.5 oz; mastbrothers.com.

Suzanne's Chocolaterie's Chocolate Bars
Description: Elegant slim dark chocolate bars filled with caramel crunch, hazelnut praline and coconut crème
Staff comments: "The caramel crunch bar is amazing and so smart with the super light, airy honeycomb--love it. The delicate chocolate shell is smooth, has a deep, rich flavor, a nice snap and a great bitter finish." $5.50 for 1.5 oz; suzanneschocolaterie.com.

More from Food & Wine:
Best Hot Chocolate in the U.S.
Best Ice Cream Spots in the U.S.
Valentine's Day Recipes

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Congratulations to Nicholas Elmi, winner of Top Chef: New Orleans, the 11th season of Bravo's Emmy-Award winning, hit reality series.

Run with chefs and wine experts in the Celebrity Chef 5K and dance all night at Gail Simmons’ Last Bite Dessert Party during the FOOD & WINE Classic in Aspen, June 20-22.