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.