Food & Drink

Taste Test: The Best And Worst Store-Bought Spinach Dips

The winner filled our hearts with happiness, and the loser filled our hearts with rage.

Here at HuffPost Taste, dip is a priority. A party isn't worth its salt if there's no dip, whether it's cheese fondue at an upscale get-together or chili cheese dog dip at a football party where your buddies paint their bare chests and hurl their bodies down a queso-covered Slip 'N Slide.

It's tough to play favorites when one has a love this deep for dip, but we can say without hesitation that we'd happily live on spinach artichoke dip alone. While it's always better homemade, there are store-bought versions that we've always wondered about. We gathered eight of the top brands for a blind taste test to put our minds at rest.

There's one thing these eight dips all have in common -- spinach. They do not, however, all contain artichoke (get your acts together, food brands!). Keeping this in mind, we corralled a group of editors to rank them. The results ranged from "Life cannot get more perfect than this" to "Thin, watery, sour. Seafoody?" We don't want you to toe this fine line uninformed, so we're sharing these ever-important results with you.

Where does your favorite rank? Let us know below!

As always, this taste test was in no way influenced by the brands included.

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#8: Cedar's (LAST PLACE)
Damon Dahlen/The Huffington Post
"Too runny, too sour, and not at all delicious." "Tangy and watery." "Sad, pickled flavor." "Thin, watery, sour. Seafoody?" "Too runny, but I like the tang." "Yuck. Tastes like the leftovers of an old ranch bottle."
#7: Tostitos (Not Recommended)
Damon Dahlen/The Huffington Post
"This is the WORST. So artificial." "Light but salty." "Oh no." "Neutral. Inoffensive. More vegetal than most." "What? This is neither spinach nor artichoke. WTF." "Are there pickles in this?"
#6: Trader Joe's Reduced Guilt (Not Recommended)
Damon Dahlen/The Huffington Post
"Way too red peppery. Spinach dip shouldn't have red peppers in it." "Fresh vegetable-y." "Tastes like kale." (There's kale in it.) "Peppers give it more of a kick than the others." "This is tasty, but tastes more of carrot than anything else." "No no no! No red pepper in spinach dip."
#5: Ciolo (Not Recommended)
Damon Dahlen/The Huffington Post
"SO vinegary." "Terrible aftertaste." "Strong artichoke flavor." "Citrusy!" "Initially I hated it, but then I realized that it was just really artichokey." "Lemony. Chunky."
#4: T.G.I. Friday's (Recommended)
Damon Dahlen/The Huffington Post
"Decent. It's got a lot of spinach and very little creaminess though." "Whoa, this is a lot of spinach." "I like this strong spinach taste a lot. Sort of reminds me of creamed spinach." "Blech. I love hot dips, but this tastes like glue." "Love all the spinach. So hearty. But needs more cheese."
#3: Trader Joe's, Refrigerated (Highly Recommended)
Damon Dahlen/The Huffington Post
"Really flavorful and fresh tasting, and satisfyingly creamy." "Nice and tangy." "Oh, I love you. Very vegetal. I could eat a whole container." "Tastes super fresh!"
#2: La Terra Fina (Highly Recommended)
Damon Dahlen/The Huffington Post
"Love this! Nice artichoke zing, creamy and light. I could eat this endlessly." "Nice and tangy." "Mostly tastes like garlic and cream cheese. Not in a bad way!" "Oh, this is a delight! A little too mayo-y and acidic, but otherwise great." "Solid. Nice spinach and good artichoke chunks."
#1: Trader Joe's, Frozen (WINNER)
Damon Dahlen/The Huffington Post
"Life cannot get more perfect than this." "Rich and cheesy." "Cheesy, so cheesy." "Cheesy and oniony." "Hot dips are always better than cold dips, but this one is extra creamy." "So much cheese. Love it."

This story appears in Issue 86 of our weekly iPad magazine, Huffington, available Friday, Jan. 31 in the iTunes App store.

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