What Makes Great Refried Beans?

Refried beans never fail to add richness to your homemade tacos, quesadillas, tostadasĀ and burritos. Aside from their smooth texture and pleasantly mildflavor, a few scoops of refried beans will bring a welcome adhesiveness to your handheld meal. High quality refried beans have bean flavor with a moist and rich mouthfeel. All versions have a reddish-brown color and appear shiny.The beans are salty, balanced with natural bean sweetness and low sourness. Specifically, the aroma and flavor profile of the beans is balanced with pork, garlic and onion. The spice profile may include chili, cumin and herbs such as oregano. The refried beans should be moist and have a rich mouthfeel. The beans should be tender and appropriately starchy, but not overly pasty. There may be some heat from the chili or other peppers. The fat-free and vegetarian refried beans were both tested. The Taco Bell Original Refried Beans rated highly in Overall Quality but was not statistically superior to the competitive brands and, by doing so, are eligible for the ChefsBest Excellence Award. The Taco Bell Fat-Free Refried Beans rated highest in Overall Quality and, by doing so, are eligible for the ChefsBest Award for Best Taste, which is a superiority claim that can be asserted over other leading brands judged.

Our blog, The Flavor, provides insight on the latest industry news, award winners, and research on consumer behaviors.

Tasting terms

  • richness

    Associated with creamy and dense mouthfeel; often evident in products containing significant amounts of butter or cream. Example: Alfredo sauce, coffee and super premium ice cream can be described as rich.

  • texture

    A dimension used to organize attributes like mouthfeel, graininess and initial bite, it is one of the five dimensions used by ChefsBest Master Tasters to evaluate food. Example: Glazed popcorn will have a crunch texture. The texture of milk chocolate should be creamy and smooth.

  • flavor

    A combination of a food's basic taste and its accompanying aroma, flavor is the distinctive taste of a food or ingredient while it is in the mouth. Along with aroma, appearance, texture and taste, flavor is one of the five dimensions considered by ChefsBest Master Tasters. Example: Chocolate chip cookies should have a moderate chocolate flavor accompanied by a slightly lower level of complex dough flavor that includes egg, flour, vanilla and brown sugar notes.

  • adhesiveness

    The degree to which some foods stick to the tongue, teeth or upper palate; not to be confused with "cohesiveness," which is the degree to which food sticks together. Example: Peanut butter sticking to the roof of the mouth; white bread sticking to the teeth.

  • mouthfeel

    The texture experienced while food is being eaten. Examples include smooth, chalky, grainy or greasy. Example: Super premium ice cream is often described as having a rich and smooth mouthfeel.

  • aroma

    The smell that emanates from food. Along with appearance, texture, flavor and taste, aroma is one of the five dimensions used to evaluate a product. Example: Brownies should have an aroma that includes chocolate as well as egg, toasty and sweet notes.

  • heat

    The intensity of spiciness or the perceived warmth of food in the mouth. Example: Hot sauce has a distinct flavor, but it also possesses a heat component that warms the mouth.