Abby Hocking

We tried 21 flavors and learned a lot about ourselves (and our coworkers) along the way.

Nina Friend
April 30, 2018
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Here at Food & Wine, our snack food taste tests have a pretty simple methodology: gather the things, photograph, try methodically, rank, devour whatever's left. This process usually runs pretty smoothly, and we’re generally good at sharing, but there’s something about Goldfish that makes people go a little crazy.

At least that's what we witnessed when we collected bags of Goldfish for a shoot. We were down in the Test Kitchen, photographing 21 different versions of our crunchy fish friends, when someone knocked on the door and asked (read: begged) for us to share. Then someone else came by. Then a group of three. What we couldn’t understand was why, if these people wanted Goldfish so badly, they didn't just go to the CVS across the street and buy some. They're so...easy...to find. Of all the foods that have caught our co-workers' attention, Goldfish is the one that seems to make them leave all reason and decency at the door.

Abby Hocking

Maybe it’s the nostalgia that these cheesy crackers elicit. Maybe it’s just the allure of free food. Either way, we’re happy to report that in the end, we were able to safeguard our Goldfish for long enough to try them all—before the vultures descended. We successfully taste-tested 21 flavors, from classics like the OG Cheddar to new-age concoctions like Vanilla Cupcake.

Here’s our definitive ranking, starting with the least popular and ending with our all-time fave:

21. Made With Organic Wheat: Saltine

Abby Hocking

“Tastes so much like an oyster cracker.”

“I would love these floating on top of soup!”

20. Made With Organic Wheat: Cheddar

Abby Hocking

“Definitely nuttier than the original.”

“Not a cheesy enough aftertaste.”

19. Goldfish Mix: Cheesy Pizza + Parmesan

Abby Hocking

“Party in my mouth.”

“Aggressively salty.”

18. Goldfish Grahams: Cookies & Cream

Abby Hocking

“Like a Teddy Graham, but the wrong shape.”

“Would rather eat an Oreo, but these do the job!”

17. Goldfish Mix: Cheddar + Zesty Cheddar + Parmesan

Abby Hocking

“Nice ‘n cheesy, but I wish there was more of a difference in the flavors.”

“Wish they were tangy-er.”

16. Parmesan

Abby Hocking

“I’d rather just eat a chunk of Parmesan.”

“There wasn’t a strong Parmesan flavor. Needs more!”

“I personally enjoy the subtle flavor.”

15. Flavor Blasted: Kick It Up A Nacho

Abby Hocking

“Not really tasting ‘nachos’ but I enjoyed them.”

“Tastes like corn.”

14. Goldfish Grahams: Fudge Brownie

Abby Hocking

“Nice and not too sweet — like the cookie part of an Oreo.”

“Rich. Chocolatey. Snackable. Dangerous.”

“I’d rather just have a real fudge brownie.”

13. Pizza

Abby Hocking

“This taste like mozzarella sticks with marinara to me?”

“Beautiful color but these should taste more like pizza Combos and less like basil-oregano-marinara.”

12. Colors: Green

Abby Hocking

“These taste fine but as an adult, not a seven-year-old, the green makes me uncomfortable.”

“Eat with your eyes closed.”

11. Original: Soup Crackers

Abby Hocking

“I was not aware that there were non-cheddar originals and these are good.”

“Yes, these would be good in soup. Otherwise, no thank you.”

“Love. Excuse me while I remove this bag from the taste test so I can finish it at my desk. The classic. The best. The only.”

10. Colors

Abby Hocking

“Fun and yummy.”

“Are these supposed to be more festive?”

9. Flavor Blasted: Xplosive Pizza

Abby Hocking

“Tastes just like frozen pizza. I want to hate this. I also want to hate frozen pizza. Sadly, I must admit I like both.”

“Tastes like Combos! Blast from the past.”

“Very strong oregano flavor but better than standard Pizza Goldfish. They should call this flavor ‘Oregano.’”

8. Baked With Whole Grain: Cheddar

Abby Hocking

“My bodega has these and original. I always go for these.”

“They taste too healthy.”

“The nutritional value on these is nearly identical to the original, so I resent the ‘healthy’ labeling on these, but they taste good!”

7. Goldfish Grahams: S’mores

Abby Hocking

“The marshmallows taste like Lucky Charms marshmallows. These would be good in a bowl filled with milk!”

“Love the flavor but too much work to get all three elements.”

6. Goldfish Grahams: Vanilla Cupcake

Abby Hocking

“Pleasantly reminiscent of Dunkaroos.”

“Totally cake batter-y.”

“Initially thrown by graham in a Goldfish, but taste-wise I think that it is not too sweet. Not sure I really get ‘cupcake’ though.” 

5. Flavor Blasted: Xtra Cheddar

Abby Hocking

“Amazing, but I like how the original cheddar flavor doesn’t leave cheese dust on my hands.”

“Is it my imagination or are these not discernibly cheesier?”

“More. Cheese.”

4. Flavor Blasted: Slammin’ Sour Cream & Onion

Abby Hocking

“VERY onion-y. I like these but would not eat them before going on a date.”

“Simpler, less greasy delivery system for sour cream & onion chips. All about it.”

3. Goldfish Mix: Xtra Cheddar + Pretzel

Abby Hocking

“HOLY GRAIL.”

“The best of both worlds.”

“This combo tastes like fake butter.”

2. Pretzel – THE RUNNER UP

Abby Hocking

“Really fun shape and texture for a pretzel.”

“Could be a tad saltier, but these are solid.”

“Classic snack.”

1. Cheddar – THE WINNER

Abby Hocking

“What we talk about when we talk about Goldfish Crackers. Toddlers would kill for this stuff.”

“Binge-able.”

“Best snack ever, hands down.”

What's your favorite Goldfish flavor? Tell us via social media by tagging us @foodandwine.