Ken's Steak House Honey Mustard Dressing was rated the best by The Detroit News taste panel. (Ricardo Thomas / The Detroit News)
Salad dressings have been around for a long time. In fact, according to Walter Zuromski, an editor at the online magazine for food and beverage industry news Foodproductdesign.com, “The Babylonians, two thousand years ago, accented their salad greens with oil and vinegar.”
But nowadays, an oil and vinegar dressing is just one of the many different kinds of salad dressing that you can find in the marketplace. We noticed that one particular type, honey mustard, seems to be growing in popularity, and many different brands of it are available.
According to panelist Christina Suchyta: “Honey mustard dressing is not just for salads. I also like to use it to marinate or baste chicken or pork tenderloin. The marriage of the sweet and tart works really well with meat.
“It’s also an excellent sandwich condiment. Both my husband and my son like to use it as a dip for their French fries and chicken nuggets. And it’s a good way to ease kids into mustard,” she says.
We tasted five different brands of honey mustard dressing. The panel particularly liked the sample from Ken’s Steak House, a restaurant in Framingham, Mass., that has been in business since 1941.
In a blind tasting, The Detroit News rated the following honey mustard salad dressings on taste, texture and appearance on a scale of 1 (poor) to 5 (excellent).
1. Ken’s Steak House Honey Mustard Dressing (Target: Multiple locations)
Average score: 4.5
Price: $2.39 per 16-ounce bottle
Comments: Delicious! I love this one. The flavor is addictive. A fantastic balance of sweet and tart. An addictive flavor. Just the right combination of sweet and tart. Creamy. Sweet with a nice tart aftertaste.
2. Kraft Honey Mustard Dressing (Kroger: Multiple locations)
Average score: 4.2
Price: $2.00 per 16-ounce bottle
Comments: Smooth and sweet. Great consistency. A great sweet tart flavor. Very refreshing. This one would make a great sandwich spread. I think it has too much vinegar and not enough honey.
3. Irene’s All-natural Honey Mustard Vinaigrette
(Hiller’s Market: Multiple locations)
Average score: 4.1
Price: $3.99 per 12-ounce bottle
Comments: I really love this one! Delicious but maybe a bit too sweet. Great balance of flavors. I like the light vinaigrette texture. A very mild mustard flavor. Too oily and too sweet.
4. Market Pantry Honey Mustard Dressing (Target)
Average score: 4.0
Price: $1.62 per 16-ounce bottle
Comments: Excellent mixture of sweet and tart … a nice marriage of the two flavors. A nice thick and creamy texture. Looks more like mustard than salad dressing.
5. Brianna’s Homestyle Dijon Honey Mustard Dressing (Kroger)
Average score: 3.9
Price: $3.39 per 12-ounce bottle
Comments: A good flavor profile. A nice balanced flavor … not too sweet, which is nice. I love the yellow color. Kids might like this one.
Meet The Detroit News taste panelists
A Farmington Hills resident, she’s a buyer in the automotive industry.
A registered nurse, she lives in Brownstown Township.
He’s a physician who lives in Bloomfield Hills.
This chef and restaurant consultant lives in Detroit.
This Detroit resident is a marketing director for a Garden City hospital.
The school counselor lives in Macomb Township.
Judith Harris Solomon is a Metro Detroit freelance writer. If you would like to be a guest panelist or have a suggestion for a product to test, contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org.