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Bien choisir sa vinaigrette du commerce

Choosing the Right Store-Bought Vinaigrette

If there's one section of the grocery store where manufacturers play hardball every summer, it's salad dressings! It's only natural: with an abundance of local vegetables at low prices and rising temperatures, salads are more appealing than ever at this time of year.

With so many choices, it's easy to feel overwhelmed. Do you opt for your favourite flavour? Do you really need to read all the nutrition labels? Is price king in the end?

As manufacturers who've been offering marinades and vinaigrettes for 9 years, we've designed our products based on a list of criteria that we, as consumers, consider when it's our turn behind the grocery cart.


Here's what's important to us:

1. List of ingredients

Without reading the entire TVN, a long list of additives, preservatives like EDTA and artificial flavours doesn't speak to us at all. We believe manufacturers should strive to come as close as possible to a homemade recipe, not a chemical formula.

2. Type of oil used

This is the most important part of the equation. The first ingredient in a vinaigrette should always be oil; however, quality oil isn't cheap, so manufacturers resort to two tricks. They can either add lots of water and thickeners or choose low-quality refined GMO oils, especially based on soy and canola ingredients.

The result? You may enjoy a cheaper dressing but won't get the same nutritional benefits.

3. Sodium and sugar content

The flavour of a vinaigrette comes mainly from the oil, vinegar, mustard and aromatics. Since sugar and salt are also less expensive, manufacturers often use them to add taste to their recipes.

The amount of salt and sugar in salad dressings should be limited to meet government reduction targets. Note, however, that in small quantities, these ingredients contribute to the balanced taste of a salad.

Why is this? Sugar balances the acidic taste of vinegar and mustard, while salt reduces the perceived bitterness of many vegetables.

To find out more, DUX has carried out an interesting comparative test (French only).

4. Bottled emulsion quality

A vinaigrette with a homogeneous consistency is a real winner in terms of taste, as it avoids a greasy aftertaste.

If the dressing in your bottle is already separated at the time of regarding, you can stir it into a vinaigrette to create a temporary emulsion, but the flavour and texture will never be perfect!

5. The price

Buying a 250-ml jar of vinaigrette for $10? Even with top-quality ingredients, there comes a time when you pay more for the brand than for the product. It's a personal choice, but one you should be aware of!

Our philosophy at Maison Orphée is that your vinaigrette shouldn't cost an arm and a leg—it should offer the most bang for the buck.

What are your criteria?

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