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Clover Organic Eggnog

Sunday afternoon I picked up a quart of Clover Stornetta Organic Eggnog ($3.85 special price for November) at Andy's Produce in Sebastopol. The style and flavor is much closer to a homemade product, and I like it very much. By that I mean that it doesn't reek of artificial brandy flavoring, isn't overly thickened with slime, nor sickeningly sweet. The ingredient list does include carraganeen and organic tapioca starch. However, they're barely noticeable and do not interfere with the pure flavor of the milk, egg yolks and a whisper of nutmeg.

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  1. thanks for the rec, i've been looking for some good store-bought egg nog and will have to give it a try. i am really missing Hood egg nog since moving out to the west coast.

    1. Yeah, you really have to watch that ingrediant list. Wish I read this before indulging my yearly eggnog craving. I had Organic Valley eggnog which didn't have the tapioca but did have the carraganeen which was the only non organic item in the ingrediant list. Bought it at Raley's but don't remember the price. It is a nice light eggnog that isn't heavy on the nutmeg either. It has a milky fresh taste.
      http://www.organicvalley.coop/product...

      I guess it is really not the no name eggnog that I describe in my eggnog French toast post. But it isn't a real name like Strauss or something.
      http://www.chowhound.com/topics/show/...

      On the other hand all the Sunnyside eggnog (I think that is the other brand Raley's was sellng) is full of junk and uses HFCS instead of sugar ... ick.

      Just a note ... NOT organic or remotely healthy ... coconut ice cream snowballs are now available at Raley's. They go pretty fast and sometimes sell out by Thanksgiving. I'm sure they are loaded with HFCS and every preservative known ... but I love the things ... didn't buy them yet because eggnog and snowballs in the same week would probably kill me.

      2 Replies
      1. re: rworange

        The flavors of the Clover Organic are rich, but even though I drank nearly the whole quart the evening I posted this, it didn't feel heavy or leave me feeling uncomfortably full. The less cloying taste of real sugar instead of HFCS may have had something to do with it, as well as less stabilizers. The texture is about the same weight as half-and-half, but without the butterfat film. The bad news is that each 1/2 cup serving (8 per quart) is 160 calories, iirc.

        1. re: Melanie Wong

          I got a quart from Whole Foods, 774 Emerson St, Palo Alto for $3.69 Mon 11/13/06. I liked it fine.

          1/2 cup is a serving and it's 180 calories, not 160, yikes. Total fat 9g, saturated fat 5g.

          Ingredients: Organic milk & Organic cream, Organic sugar, Organic nonfat milk powder, Organic egg yolks, Organic Tapioca Starch, organic nutmeg, salt, Carrageenan, organic natural flavor, organic Annatto & Organic Tumeric (for color).

          pics:
          http://flickr.com/photos/bubbletea/29...
          http://flickr.com/photos/bubbletea/29...

          Still for me to try: Straus Organic Eggnog, Ruth's old post:
          http://www.chowhound.com/topics/27019...

      2. The Castle Creamery eggnog (comes in a glass bottle, I buy mine at Whole Foods in Campbell) is also delicious, with a distinct caramel flavor that I like very much.

        But it's way too rich for me to buy more than one bottle a year. Good, though.

        3 Replies
        1. re: moosechop

          Hi moosechop,

          I don't know if you will receive this since it has been over a year since you posted the message that I am responding to, however, it is worth a shot.

          I love the Castle Creamery Eggnog and have not found anything that really compares. It has been several years since I have been able to locate it, so when I saw your posting stating that you have found it just last year at Whole Foods I was so excited. I contacted them and they are not carrying it this year.

          Do you know of any place I could find it? I would be SOOOOO excited.

          Thanks so much! Tyber

          1. re: tyber

            I don't know -- maybe you could contact Castle Creamery?

            In the meantime, have you tried Straus eggnog, which also comes in glass bottles?

            Here's a some discussion about various organic eggnogs from last year:
            http://www.chowhound.com/topics/352413

            1. re: Ruth Lafler

              Thanks so much for your response Ruth! I can't find castle creamery when I google it. I have tried Straus and it does not do it for us, unfortunately. I will check into the link you sent and see what else is out there. I feel like I have tried so many over the years and just can't find one that I like as well. Bud's is the closest we have come, however, it is not nearly as good as castle creamery was. Darn! thanks again. the search continues.
              Tyber

        2. I almost bought a Clo-quart today at Monterey Market (so I could have my annual 2 small cups of eggnog and then toss the rest weeks after it goes bad. But I'll wait. They had 3 types - Regular, a lowfat/light (forgot the actual name) and an organic. The organic's calories were just between the two, and the light wasn't much fewer in calories than the organic. If someone has had 2 or all 3, I'd appreciate comments.

          1 Reply
          1. re: lmnopm

            Imnopm, I tried the low-fat clover 'nog. Gross. There are some things that can't be made low-fat. If you're gonna drink it, drink the real thing and be thankful it only comes out once a year, I know I am!

          2. I tried the Clover organic nog last year and really, really liked it. The natural flavors come through in a nice, unaggressive way, and its much less gloopy than the usual commercially available stuff.

            1 Reply
            1. re: Debbie M

              Definitely non-gloopy. Have you noticed that a cup of the usual commercial product mostly sticks to the side of the glass? This one slides out and you actually get to drink it! Very delicious . . . and I didn't even add any spirits to it. (g)

            2. Thanks to this post, I bought a quart of this eggnog yesterday from Shopper's Corner in Santa Cruz for $3.99. It was the last carton on the shelf, and I was excited because I haven't bought eggnog in years due to disappointments. This was as described here; clean, milky flavor w/ balanced spicing and no disgusting aftertaste or film on the tongue. Very nice and I'll have to try it warmed up...

              They were selling both organic and regular from Clover, so make sure to get organic since the regular has HFCS and more additives than the organic.

              4 Replies
              1. re: Carb Lover

                Do you think it might make a good ice cream base?

                1. re: Melanie Wong

                  Ooooh yeah! It's basically a custard and even has some thickener in it. Since this eggnog is on the relatively thin side, I might add another yolk or two and then heat up to 175F to thicken.

                  Reminds me of Mr. Taster's report on eggnog ice cream from last year: http://www.chowhound.com/topics/28189...

                    1. re: Melanie Wong

                      Sorry for the one year delay in responding, but no, I've still not attempted an eggnog ice cream. Maybe before the year is over...

              2. Mitchell's also has the eggnog sign out. That's my regular eggnog, diluted with a little rum or brandy. It's kind of creamy for my taste, but keeps you from drinking the whole thing. I think it's just cream, egg yolks, and sugar. I add my own nutmeg.

                Anyone know who makes TJ's eggnog? I remember looking at the light version one year and still being appalled by the number of calories.

                1. I got a quart at Faletti's... it goes down smooth ,and is not at all cloying..does not coat the tongue...I can't wait to use it for making french toast!

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: ChowFun_derek

                    Me too (have I mentioned how happy I am to have Faletti's a short walk away? :) - Sebby & I both liked it a lot for all the reasons mentioned above.

                  2. I have to dissent here. I find the Clover Organic Eggnog to be the worst one I've tried yet. The Clover, both Organic and non-organic, taste to me like one part nutmeg, one part water, one part milk. I am _very_ disappointed!! This is not eggnog. This stuff is nasty!

                    I have about 95% of a quart sitting here on my desk next to me as I type this and I'm wondering what I'm going to do with it, now that I've discovered I don't like it at all. It has literally left a bad taste in my mouth!

                    As commercial products go, Berkeley Farms is about the best I've found. Clover's eggnogs don't even qualify for the name 'eggnog'!

                    It's very interesting that your experience with homemade eggnog is similar in texture and flavor to this Clover stuff. I've never had a homemade eggnog that's anything like Clover, and I thank goodness for that!

                    Clover's "Organic Eggnog" is mis-named and should actually read "(organic) nutmeg milk drink".

                    14 Replies
                    1. re: Laszlo

                      Clover milk in general is thinner, lighter, maybe even more watery tasting tasting then Berkeley Farms, if that's what you're used to. It's a great base for cooking, or coffee.

                      If you want a really thick commercial egg nog, I've really liked the Southern Comfort branded stuff. No idea who makes it but I've seen it at Safeway. Not organic however.

                      1. re: Laszlo

                        Maybe the Berkeley Farms is thick because it has three thickeners plus both high fructose corn syrup and regular corn syrup:

                        Nonfat Milk, Cream, Sugar, Egg Yolks, High Fructose Corn Syrup, Corn Syrup, Natural and Artificial Flavors, Cellulose Gum, Guar Gum, Nutmeg, Carrageenan, Salt, Annatto Extract and Turmeric (Colors).

                        1. re: Ruth Lafler

                          I meant their milk products, not egg nogs. I think the base milk product you can buy from Clover is thinner over all then Berkeley Farms to start with, so that would also explain why the resulting Clover egg nog is also lighter.

                          1. re: sugartoof

                            I've never done a side-by-side comparison. Maybe Clover doesn't add extra milk solids to their milk like some producers to.

                            At any rate, I don't consider a product with an ingredient list that includes both high fructose corn syrup and corn syrup (kind of sneaky, too, because when they use two different sweeteners, the amount of each one separately puts them farther down the ingredient list than they would be in total) to be a premium product. IMHO, it's not "real" if it contains major ingredients you wouldn't use if you were making it at home.

                            1. re: Ruth Lafler

                              I don't think Berkeley Farms even makes a premium or organic line do they? If you're comparing based on ingredients then it's no contest. If you're use to a thicker egg nog as your preference, then it there are more suitable options based on taste alone.

                              1. re: sugartoof

                                When I was looking for the ingredients on line, I saw on the Berkeley Farms website that they make a premium eggnog under the Bud's label.

                                I think if you like a thicker eggnog, the organic Rockview Farms from TJ's is good, and well-priced. Here's my report from two years ago: http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/352413

                                1. re: Ruth Lafler

                                  Berkeley Farms is a microbrand of Dean Foods, one of the largest
                                  dairy operations on earth. Dean also produces milk in Horizon
                                  "Organic" containers and thus the Horizon eggnog.
                                  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dean_Foo...

                                  1. re: Chuckles the Clone

                                    That's interesting. For what it's worth Berkeley Farms was independent, as were many of the other sub-brands like Tuscan which is probably my favorite of the big commercial NY brands. Those two don't taste alike, so despite the parent company, there is at least some integrity left from the individual farms, at least on a coastal level.

                                    One question I have is why the organic stuff has a longer shelf life then the stuff packed with preservatives?

                                    1. re: sugartoof

                                      Horizon and some other organic brands (but not Straus) are ultrapasteurized for a longer shelf life. Milk does not contain preservatives, or at least, it shouldn't contain anything other than milk (and sometimes milk solids) and vitamins A and D.

                                      1. re: Ruth Lafler

                                        Thanks for the suggestions on other egg nog brands. I've found Buds to be disappointing too, but certainly better than Clover. I was surprised to hear they are Berkeley Farms (?). The products are so different.

                                        I will give the Southern Comfort brand a try. I guess I'm supposed to look for corn syrup and sugars before saying whether I think it's good. hehe

                                        I've made my own. It's a pain. I don't mind paying for someone else to do the work. But, with no corn syrup at all, it was still way better than...ew...Clover!

                                2. re: sugartoof

                                  I hear your criticisms of Berkeley Farms and high fructose corn syrup, etc. Perhaps I focused too much on BF as a good thing, taking away from my criticism of Clover as a bad thing.

                                  Were we to remove BF from the discussion, I would be left with how Clover seems like it is basically water, with a little milk in it, and some flavoring.

                                  I don't understand how Clover has been so successful selling their various egg nog products. I guess it's that word "organic" that people go moo over so readily. <shrug>

                                  1. re: Laszlo

                                    It could also be that there's a market for a less milkshake tasting egg nog. It's a polarizing drink, and the thinner taste can read as a more homemade real tasting product you might make at home. Less cream leads to less guilt too, and without the chalky residue of some nogs.

                                    From drinking Clover a couple times, I now find I prefer something in between. I miss the heavy substantial drink I've come to think of as egg nog, but knowing there's a way to avoid the stomach ache that follows some brands has me looking for a good in between.

                                    1. re: sugartoof

                                      I agree, The homemade eggnogs that I've had have not been nearly as thick as some of the commercial ones.

                                      A Southern friend introduced me to boiled custard, which is the way to go if you want something really thick.

                          2. re: Laszlo

                            On a whim, I bought a qt of the Clover light Eggnog and it was just short of awful. It was watery with a metallic aftertaste. I've got 95% left and wondering who I can force-drink it.

                          3. Aah, I see eggnog is back on the shelves again.

                            Based on, I think probably, this exact thread I went out last year and
                            sampled all the brands I could find. It was somewhat disappointing.
                            I didn't keep careful notes but the flavors ranged from "sortof like
                            bubblegum" right up through "just like bubblegum".

                            This year it's back to the tried and true Joy of Cooking "eggnog in
                            quantity" recipe (dozen eggs, separated, whites whipped, pound of
                            sugar, half gallon of cream, and a quart of liquor) which probably has
                            even more calories per cup but, quart of liquor, who cares!

                            5 Replies
                            1. re: Chuckles the Clone

                              I too am a fan of making my eggnog, and I use the Joy of Cooking recipe, but not the one for a crowd. Once a year I splurge and make a small batch for my husband and me, using half and half and eggs, sugar, and some fresh ground nutmeg. I use my immersion blender with a whip (do they still make those? I bought this about 20 years ago) and use the plastic vertical beaker that came with it. Add good brandy, and wait a few weeks to get the cholesterol checked. Takes about 5 minutes, is delicious in front of the fire on a cold December night.

                              1. re: Chuckles the Clone

                                I've had very little eggnog exposure in this lifetime, Jack in the Box shakes being the highlight. This season I thought I was was enjoying the Berkeley Farms version over a couple of nights, until the last couple days when I just wasn't getting the same satisfaction. And that's exactly it: it's a bubble gum taste. And strangely enough, just like Hubba Bubba, I have desperate insatiable cravings to drink/chew the product out of existence the moment I taste it.

                                I'll be trying homemade recipes in the new year!

                                1. re: Annie S.

                                  If we're resurrecting old threads, is there anywhere around to get a Tom and Jerry?
                                  http://heavytable.com/the-best-tom-an...

                                  1. re: bbulkow

                                    I had a Tom and Jerry at the Hotsy Totsy in Albany during the 2009 holiday season. I wasn't in the area this past year, so I'm not sure if they were serving them again.

                                  2. re: Annie S.

                                    I had a Jack-in-the-Box egg nog shake this year and was pleasantly surprised at how good it was.

                                2. Clover Organic Eggnog is back on the shelves. This year's rendition feels just a little thicker and tastes slightly less sweet than my recollection of year's past.

                                  http://cloverstornetta.com/products/o...

                                  1. Some discussion of making eggnog has been moved to the Home Cooking board at: http://www.chow.com/topics/879901 Check it out!