What’s So Great about Sour Cream?

When it comes to a baked potato or classic dip for your chips, there’s no denying the superiority of rich and tangy sour cream. But while you might think they’re all created just about equal, our team of ChefsBest chefs discovered that subtle nuances offlavor and texture made Breakstone’s/Knudsen Sour Cream the hands-down best.

What Makes a Great Tasting Sour Cream?

A high quality regular sour cream should immediately identify as such with sour cream and culture notes both in the aroma and flavor. The sour cream intensity should not be overwhelmed by other dairy notes like cheese, milk or yogurt. The texture of the sour cream should be smooth, creamy and rich. There may be some gloppyness, but the sour cream should not be overly stiff or thick. Some astringency is expected and there should ideally be some flavor in the finish. Sour should be the leading taste intensity, supported by low sweet and sour intensities. There should be no bitter.

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Tasting terms

  • tangy

    A notably sharp aroma or flavor. Example: Orange juice and sharp cheddar cheese both have a tangy flavor.

  • sour

    One of the basic tastes; often considered sharp, tart and acidic. Example: Lemon juice, vinegar and fermented foods often have a strong sour component.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • sweet

    One of the basic tastes; often considered pleasing while exhibiting characteristics of sugar. Example: Honey, ripe fruits and syrup all have a pronounced sweet component.

  • bitter

    One of the basic tastes; often considered harsh and unpleasant in abundance, but a key basic taste for foods like coffee and dark chocolate. Example: Unripened fruit, aspirin and coffee all have bitter components.