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Taste test: Rating hollandaise sauce mixes

On my first day of cooking school, we stirred for several hours trying to make hollandaise sauce. We mixed melted butter, egg yolks and lemon juice over and over again until we got it right. Most of us ended up tossing out several pans of sauces that separated because of overheating or overstirring. The lingering arm pain from that day was enough to convince any cook that hollandaise sauce is just as good when it starts as a powder packet from the local grocery store. Our panelists plan to serve the classic butter sauce over eggs Benedict or vegetables like asparagus this Easter season. We found three brands that whipped up on the stove top in minutes.


(out of 100)
McCormick 65Knorr 39Simply Organic 28

Lemony taste and an appealing color were among the reasons judges preferred McCormick's sauce mix. "It's thicker than the others," said one. "This is the one that's truly from Holland. Hollandaise is from Holland, right? Not bad for a mix." Another said he definitely would drizzle this Dutch-inspired, French sauce mix on eggs Benedict. "It's got a thick texture and bright yellow color that would be nice over eggs," she said. "It has a little bit of a chicken bouillon taste, a nice, lemony kick and buttery texture." Another said the color would look even better on a dark green vegetable like broccoli.Knorr's sauce had the look of a homemade hollandaise with good color and consistency, but judges were disappointed in the flavor. One said it tasted overprocessed. "It has a strong lemon color but not a lot of lemon flavor," he said, adding, "It seems more like a cream sauce." Another panelist said he liked the cheesy taste. "Just a bit of lemon juice and it would be the new No. 1," he said.This sauce was more white than yellow, with a hint of garlic. "It has no real lemon taste," said one judge. "It has a real pasty texture that reminds me of library paste," said another, who was very disappointed in the mix. Only one panelist really liked this sauce, saying it has the cream and look of home-stirred hollandaise. "It's surprisingly faithful for a mix," he said.

they buy?
All four judges said yes.Two of the four judges said yes.One of the four judges said yes.
Shopping information$1.69 for a 1.25-ounce packet from Sweetbay.$1.59 for a 0.9-ounce packet from Sweetbay.$1.99 for a 1-ounce packet from

the Fresh Market.

Panelists: Wayne Conery, manager of the R-Bar in Treasure Island; John Hehn, foodie & owner of All Brite Lighting & Power Design;

Jeff Jensen, public information officer for the city of Treasure Island; and Laura Reiley, Times food critic. All foods were tasted blind.

Send suggestions for product testing to: Taste section, Tampa Bay Times, P.O. Box 1121, St. Petersburg, FL 33731 or email them

to Please put TEST SUGGESTION in the subject line. To read past Taster's Choice columns, go to

Serving sizeTwo tablespoonsTwo tablespoonsOne tablespoon
Fat/Fiber0g / 0g0g / 0g0g / 0g
Sugars/Sodium0g / 85mg0g / 80mg0g / 95mg
Carbs/Protein2g / 0g2g / 0g2g / 0g

Taste test: Rating hollandaise sauce mixes 03/26/13 [Last modified: Tuesday, April 2, 2013 2:25pm]
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