Monday, November 7, 2011
Stewart's Nog Battle: Premium vs. Light
Before I get into this, I want to head something off at the pass. I know that Stewart's Egg Nog is not necessarily the Platonic ideal of nog. It is made with all sorts of nonsense (HFCS, gums, dies, etc...) and is a bit on the sickly sweet side. I am not saying that Stewart's nog is perfect nog. Before you all get all indignant and start telling me how to take my nog, I happen to make my own nog too. As a nog fanatic I will discuss the finer points of nogology with you any time. It is kind of like how I love exotic and wonderful brews, but also happily swill Utica Club. My fascination with Stewart's Shops (click for my numerous rambling posts on the subject) and my unhealthy obsession with egg nog make it impossible for me to resist the appeal of the gold and silver cartons of sweet, sweet noggy nectar.
The dietary footprint of a glass of high test egg nog is fairly large. In light of the steady nog consumption I participate in during the holiday season I thought it might not be a bad idea to see if the Stewart's "light" nog is truly a suitable facsimile of the real thing. You save about 100 calories and 8 grams of fat per each 1/2 cup serving which is something like the nutritional impact of a tablespoon of butter.
Here we see that the two nogs appear superficially similar, maybe the Premium a bit more yellowish.
First we have the light version-
The light stuff pours fairly thick and noggy, not too shabby. Taking a sip you are hit by a distinct "whole milk-y" kind of flavor. You have all of the expected artificial nog-like flavor, and there exists a fair imitation of the mouth feel that is the hallmark of a good nog. But alas, the truly rich flavor and buttery feelings do not alight on one's tongue. A sporting attempt by Stewart's (no doubt using plenty of artificial thickeners and emulsifiers) but thoroughly unsatisfactory in my opinion.
Now onto the "Premium" (i.e. the high test)-
This stuff pours like cream, thick and silken. It pleasantly coats the tongue with a film of sweet nog-taste. It goes down with a saccharin punch to the throat and just the vaguest hints of egg and nutmeg remain in your mouth after a swig. I absolutely love the stuff, but I really understand why many can't stand it. Drinking this egg nog is something of an experience.
As I said before, I make my own nog at least once a season. When I drink a batch of my own I always feel just a bit of shame and self-hate over the fact that I know I would rather be drinking some Stewart's nog (out-the-carton no less). This is an inarguable fact that I cannot deny. But it takes all kinds I guess, takes all kinds...
Anyhow, I think I have successfully passed my gene for nog-mania to future generations as my beloved 2.9 year old (female type) has been demanding that I put some "neg nog" in her sippy cup. No matter, nothing would please me more then to breed a further one-hundred blonde, nog-swilling little viking children to terrorize the community. Wouldn't that be precious?
In conclusion, go Premium or don't go at all. Oh by the way, I hope you had a happy International Beginning of Nog Season Day!