Christmas was different this year. Jennifer and I spent the weekend just hanging out together, kickin' it Christmas-in-Philly. The weather here was balmy, a whopping 55 on Saturday, so Jennifer and I went for a bike ride. Yay, bikes on Christmas Eve! After the bike ride was the inaugural Egg Nog Taste Off.
As some of you may know, the best commercially produced Egg Nog is made by Anderson Erickson creameries and is available primarily in Iowan supermarkets. I don't know what sort of chemical additives, natural flavors or un-nameable substances are mixed together with the standard egg, cream and nutmeg, but I know this: AE Egg Nog is the real thing. Not to be tendentious, but nothing comes close to the truth, the apotheosis of Egg Nog that is available for each and every one of us, should we choose to shop at Hy-Vee, Fairway or Kum and Go markets. For those of you who remember, "Ya Come, Ya Go, Ya Come Ya Come Ya GO!"
At the risk of becoming mawkish, I'll quit this expiation on AE Egg Nog and get down to the meat and potatoes of the matter: I needed an egg nog fix, and I needed one bad! I enlisted the help of my temerous and plucky life-partner Jennifer to procure the needed surrogate-noggs and to assist in the taste-test. Up for examination were four of the finest that the East Coast could bring to bear; Land of Lakes "Traditional Ultra Pasteurized Egg Nog", Lucerne "Holiday Egg Nog", Shop Rite "Gourmet Egg Nog", and Southern Comfort "Traditional Egg Nog".
In the picture you'll notice a number of nutmegs sitting in front of each quart, the rankings are from one to five, five being solely reserved for the AE. A summary:
Land of Lakes can be summed up by an alternate meaning of it's own acronym, LOL. Please, we would hope to find at least a creamy mouthfeel or a spicy taste, but LOL is a gloppy yellow. Two of five.
Southern Comfort was indeed a comfort. Sadly non-alcoholic, but with a creamy texture and cinnamon overtones. A personal favorite though not the grail. Four and a half out of 5.
Gourmet Egg Nog was Jennifer's personal favorite. With good creamy-ness, it clings to the tongue and slithers on down the alimentary like it should. Without the certain something (possibly the addictive compounds) of AE, a good second. Four and a half out of five.
Lucerne Holiday nog, well let me see. A fatuous beverage, no mouthfeel, slimy and resinous tasting. Had I not known better, I would have assumed that I'd drunk slightly sweetened latex. Not recommended, in fact, consider yourself warned. It garnered 1 nutmeg because it wasn't poison and actually tasted alright when put into pancake batter.
A contender not now in the picture below was the Garelick Farms Egg Nog. It was gross. Refer to the Lucerne description for a general idea.
Testing went well, but the final hurdle was, of course, the extremely disturbing hallucinations caused by over-ingestion of fats, proteins and nutmeg. I'll not write more but will include an actual photo of what was visible to me in my stupor; the effulgent aura of our Christmas tree bursting in incandescent sparks before my very eyes. An event truly horrifying until the euphoria set in.
Incidentally, studying for the GRE is going as well as my inchohate mind is capable.