Take the Milwaukee challenge: Organic Valley vs. Sassy Cow egg nogs
Love it or hate it, egg nog is a part of the holiday season. Mixed with booze or straight up -- or made into pancakes, we hear -- it's an awesome seasonal treat for some and a disgusting idea altogether for others.
We decided that in the spirit of the season, we'd taste two Wisconsin-made egg nogs and pick our favorite.
We got a quart of organic egg nog from LaFarge-based Organic Valley at Whole Foods for $3.39. Upon further investigation of Organic Valley's plant codes, though, we learned that the egg is actually nogged at Wayne Dairy Products in Richmond, Ind.
Next we got another quart from Columbus' Sassy Cow Creamery from Beans and Barley for $3. This nog is actually produced in Wisconsin, too, at the Baerwolf Family Farm right there in Columbus.
In the end, more of us preferred the Organic Valley version, by a 5-2 margin. Read on to see which OnMilwaukee.com staffers preferred each.
Pick: Organic Valley
I like a sip of the old nog around this time of the year, but not much more than that -- unless a cardiologist is standing by.
This year, I took maybe a half-dozen sips to sample the two and what I found surprised me. I started off immediately liking the thick, rich Sassy Cow. It had the deep yellow, yolky color I expected. By comparison, Organic Valley seemed bland.
But alternating sips produced a Christmas miracle. The Organic Valley (that name doesn't help) started growing on me. It was subtler, but more drinkable. By the end, Sassy Cow seemed pushy (and at least part of the color comes from annatto, as Bobby Tanzilo notes). It was too thick, too rich, too noggy.
Give me a glass of Organic Valley. A small glass. Maybe a shot glass. Next year around this time.
Pick: Organic Valley
I've never really been a big fan of egg nog. I don't hate it, but I do just fine with hot cocoa and cider if I'm yearning for a holiday go-to drink. Besides, there's something about the word "nog" that just doesn't sit well with me.
I tasted both samples with no real expectations, and I'm happy to report they're both quite drinkable. The Sassy Cow egg nog was decent, but its overpowering flavor almost had me questioning whether it already had booze in it.
I spent more time than I'd like to admit trying to place the flavor (which, I've decided, is uncannily like Dubble Bubble bubble gum). It's strong, but it's not bad, and it has definite potential as a whiskey mixer.
As a non-nog connoisseur, I preferred the Organic Valley version. I liked that it looked and tasted more like a melted gingerbread-flavored ice cream drink than an egg nog. Purists might not go for it for this reason, but if you're just venturing into the land of nog for novelty's sake, Organic Valley is a better option.
Pick: Sassy Cow
I used to pound egg nog by the quart each Christmas as a kid, which may be why I was the only wise man in the third grade holiday pageant in need of a bra.
It's been a few years since I've knocked back that thick dairy death serum, so I was bringing a fresh and eager palate to the tasting.
I think the Sassy Cow egg nog was clearly superior. It was heavy on the nutmeg and really dense which are the two qualities that differentiate egg nog from milk in my opinion. The Organic Valley was a little less syrupy and much more subtly spiced, so for people who don't have a history of drinking the stuff out of a beer bong, that may be the way to go.
i very much enjoy egg nog. i start buying several bottles at a time the first it appars each season--before thanksgiving. drink at least 2 glasses a day. wish it was sold all year. now, after news years, i must wait untill easter to buy more. a GREAT christmas tradition! YUMMY EGG NOG!
Have these opinions been confirmed or are they only rumors?
I like to pour eggnog on my lover and drink it off in nutmeg shower, thank you.
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