Somebody’s Mother’s Sauce

By: Somebody’s Mother’s

I Paid: $10 for a 9.5-ounce jar (prices may vary by region)

Taste: 5stars

Marketing: 3stars

White chocolate has long been the bastard cousin of the chocolate family, a confection of sugar, milk solids, and cocoa butter (or vegetable and animal fats) undeserving of the title “chocolate” in most cases.

Therefore, it’s remarkable that the Somebody’s Mother’s company has managed to create a White Chocolate with Pear William sauce that is out-of-the-ballpark delicious. The smooth taste of fresh cream dominates the sauce, and the interplay of dairy flavors and eau de vie is complex.

Jostling for space in a marketplace dominated by dessert sauces that are basically one-note sugar bombs (such as Hershey’s and Smucker’s), you have to admire the hustle of Somebody’s Mother’s. It has combined online distribution with boutique flavors, creating a possible road around mammoth-sized competitors that rely on brand recognition and shelf placement instead of taste.

Two other flavors of Somebody’s Mother’s are equally interesting and worthwhile. The straight-up Chocolate Sauce tastes of freshly baked hot brownie. The Caramel Sauce is like a shot of burnt, hyperconcentrated sugar directly to the brain, and is too intense in big doses. That said, its buttery finish is entertaining.

A few seconds in the microwave is all it takes to make these boldly flavored sauces hot and ready for application to ice cream or cake, and a little bit goes a long, long way.

Land O’Lakes Butter with Olive Oil

By: Land O’Lakes

I Paid: $2.49 for a 7-ounce tub (prices may vary by region)

Taste: 5stars

Marketing: 4stars

The health claims about Land O’Lakes Butter with Olive Oil are encouraging: 50 percent less cholesterol than normal butter and 45 percent less saturated fat. These wouldn’t, however, make much difference if the product itself wasn’t worth eating. But it is, delivering an improvement on a food that was already arguably perfect.

It contains nothing but cream, olive oil, and salt. It spreads a little more easily than butter, and the olive oil shines through its finishing note, complementing the butter flavor without clashing with it. The overall taste is clean and uncomplicated, with a natural fatty depth that works perfectly with the carbs in just about any sort of baked good.

It should be noted that if feel-good claims are what drive you to the product, nothing is said on the packaging about growth hormones, the treatment of dairy cows, or the organic nature of the milk used; this stuff shouldn’t be confused with handcrafted butter produced by a traditional dairy artisan.

Still, it’s damned delicious.

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