Saturday, January 30, 2016

Duck! Sauce!

We're going head-to-head here today on Vitamin Fred.

Toe-to-toe. Eyeball-to-eyeball. Mano-a-mano.

Sweet-&-sour-sauce to sweet-&-sour-sauce.

Sweet & Sour

I had some left over from BK the other night when I came home with the McD stuff. So, McNuggets in hand, I thought I would taste test these two dipping sauces and see which chain restaurant had the better sauce.

Each is a little one-ounce bowl of sweet & sour (or, in McD parlance, sweet 'n sour), or what is often called duck sauce in the U.S. Let us peel the lids and see what's inside:


We see here that the Burger King sauce, on the right, is a darker and richer sauce, but let's not be too quick to judge. The proof of the sauce is in the dipping. I didn't read the labels to see what was in them, not before the initial dip.

I did find the BK sauce to have a slightly richer taste, with a bit of a molasses flavor. The McDonald's stuff was brighter, more citrusy, a bit more fruity and sweeter. Neither was bad---I did think the McD sauce has a bit of a thinner, less adult flavor, although it had some extra kick the BK one didn't have.

A comparison of the ingredients on the labels doesn't tell us too much. Death-dealing high fructose corn syrup is the #1 ingredient on the McD stuff, #2 on BK's (behind water, which is McD's #2). But I find I was right about one thing: BK's has molasses, but McD's doesn't. Both have distilled vinegar. Both have apricot puree, but they diverge on other fruits---peach for McD, pineapple for BK. BK also has red bell pepper. McD has sherry wine powder.

I don't have a sophisticated palate (oh, you didn't know?) so I couldn't have guessed what different ingredients accounted for the difference in the flavors. Frankly, I was amazed that they didn't taste the same.

I preferred the McDonald's, but it was close. The extra fruit flavor and added sweetness just worked for me on the chicken. My wife, on the other hand, in a blind taste test, gave the nod to the Burger King sauce. She preferred it for its more sour taste, with that bit of bitterness from the molasses.

It really is a matter of preferences. I prefer sweet things, so I married my wife. She prefers bitter, so she married me. C'est l'amour! Vive la diffĂ©rence! 
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