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Noggin Uglies

December 8, 2016

It’s eggnog season. And that should be a cause for celebration. Eggnog is delicious.

The only problem is that store bought eggnog isn’t what it used to be. Perhaps in the coming years, in the quest to Make America Great Again, we’ll find a way to make eggnog great again too. Because in all honesty, what’s been happening to our food supply has absolutely been diminishing America’s greatness.

Hopefully when we roll back the clock to get better eggnog, we won’t also be rolling back the hard fought civil rights grains for people who were marginalized during eggnog’s halcyon years.

While I’ve written about the state of eggnog in the past, thanks to a good and thorough friend, I’m happy to share an update with details of the choices available to us in the Capital Region. Those who live elsewhere can take some of these findings and apply them to their own communities. Because at the end of the day, it’s all about tradeoffs.

Roger K. went to five different markets and found ten different nogs. On this Yelp Talk post he shares the ingredients and prices of what he encountered.

The bottom line is that there are no good choices.

Everyone will have a different set of tradeoffs. For me, I rule out those brands with high fructose corn syrup and carrageenan. I think I’ve covered both of those topics on these pages in the past. With those sorts in mind, the only brands available to me this year are Battenkill Valley Creamery Organic Valley, and Horizon Organic.

And honestly, I’m not crazy about any of them. Battenkill uses natural and artificial flavors, plus includes potassium sorbate as a preservative. Horizon Organic is packed full of thickeners including tapioca starch, locust bean gum, and gellan gum, additionally it uses natural flavor to boot. Organic Valley may be the best bet, since it only uses “organic fair trade vanilla flavor” and gellan gum is the very last ingredient.

So if I don’t want thickeners, the only way to go is Battenkill.
But if I don’t want preservatives, my choice is Organic Valley.
Organic Valley is also the only brand to specifically limit its flavoring to vanilla.
However, buying Battenkill means buying local, which should be a factor too.

That said, the only eggnog I’ve purchased this year came from Stewart’s, artificial flavor, carrageenan, locust bean gum, and all. But that was because I was in a pinch and a friend asked me to pick up eggnog on my way over. It was Stewart’s or nothing.

Really, the best choice is still to make your own. Unfortunately, I find it hard to enjoy eggnog when I make it myself and am keenly aware of how much cream goes into the mix. And that assumes I can get good cream in the first place, which is getting harder and harder to find these days.

It makes me want to skip the nog entirely and just go straight for the booze.

10 Comments leave one →
  1. -R. permalink
    December 8, 2016 11:35 am

    I know this is borderline heresy, but I utterly despise eggnog. I didn’t like it as a kid, and as of my last sampling a year or two ago, I can honestly say that I can’t stand the stuff. Anyone else in the anti-nog camp (with apologies to Mr. Dave)?

  2. December 8, 2016 12:02 pm

    Battenkill nog sucks. It sucks bad. Not quite as much as Ronnybrook nog, but close.

    If you concede that any nog made for commercial distribution will contain industrial nonsense, Meadow Brook is the best.

    I’d like to see a local place, Indian Ladder or such, make a true nog and bottle it. It would have to be small batch/high turnover to avoid the need for preservatives. I’d pay the necessary premium for it if it was any good.

    • Bob W. permalink
      December 8, 2016 1:11 pm

      “If you concede that any nog made for commercial distribution will contain industrial nonsense, Meadow Brook is the best.”

      I do and I agree. Thankfully, my sons have all acquired a taste for the nog, so I am overjoyed to share and no longer need to drink the entire quart myself. By pacing myself, I hopefully make it another year to drink more Meadow Brook nog.

    • RogerK permalink
      December 8, 2016 2:02 pm

      I had read an 8-year-old AOA posting that indicated that Meadowbrook Farms Dairy in Clarksville makes it but mostly does home delivery. I thought I might score some at Honest Weight Co-op, but they didn’t have ANY brands of eggnog the day I shopped there.

      • Dave permalink
        December 8, 2016 5:25 pm

        Delmar Market.

      • RogerK permalink
        December 8, 2016 8:37 pm

        Dave, would that be the Delmar Marketplace at 406 Kenwood Ave.? Or are you referring to the Delmar farmers’ market which I see closes on December 17? Thanks for the info.

  3. buffsoulja permalink
    December 8, 2016 7:30 pm

    Thanks for the list Roger and write up Daniel. I will keep my eyes posted.

  4. RogerK permalink
    December 9, 2016 11:19 pm

    Thanks again to Dave.
    I’ve located eggnog from Meadow Brook Farms Dairy at Delmar Marketplace (DM) in Delmar, NY. and from Byrne Dairy at Shop Rite (SR) in Albany. Here is the info for each of them in a similar layout.

    Meadow Brook Farms Dairy | Clarksville, NY | Milk, Heavy Cream, Corn Syrup, Egg Yolks, Sugar, Water, Nonfat Dry Milk, Spices, Annatto, Turmeric (for color), Natural & Artificial Flavor, Potassium Sorbate as a preservative, Salt | DM = $8.99/Half Gal

    Byrne Dairy | Lafayette, NY | Milk, Fructose, Cream, Nonfat Dry Milk, Sugar Egg Yolks, Natual & Artificial Flavor, Dextrose, Guar Gum, Carrageenan, Mono-Diglycerides, Annato & Turmeric (color) | SR = $2.99/Qt

    Shop Rite also carried Battenkill eggnog for $5.99/Qt. and Organic Valley eggnog for $4.99/Qt.

  5. Dave S permalink
    December 11, 2016 7:28 pm

    DIY/w booze
    http://blog.ruhlman.com/2016/11/plan-ahead-30-day-eggnog/

    Available in Albany? Pure, tasty, underspiced…
    http://www.purityicecream.com/our-goodies-?lightbox=dataItem-ig3t3em31

    As a Syracusan the Byrne Dairy what I’m looking for.
    Nutmeg , cinnamon(?) flavors. Ingredients as RodgerK posted…

    • Dave S permalink
      December 11, 2016 7:56 pm

      Sorry for the Purity link. It’s just an image. I cant find anything on their site to give the ingredients or process… I will have to look at some to see how pure they are.

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