When we think of packaged food goods, we categorize them as name-brand or artisanal. The former goods are the trusted household buys that can be found in just about any old grocery store across the country, and don't cost an arm and a leg to stock up on. Specialty artisanal items are another story completely. These gourmet versions of our pantry staples are small-batch, enticingly packaged, harder to find, and much more expensive — often costing as much as double the name-brand price. But, does the fact that a product is touted as "artisanal" and is made with more expensive ingredients make it superior to its less flashy, mainstream counterpart?
We decided to find out by pitting six artisanal goods against our usual grocery go-to's in a blind taste-test. Ahead, we spoon out fancy and familiar hot sauces, honeys, peanut butters, mustards, chocolate syrups, and even salts in order to determine which products are actually worth the occasional splurge (these definitely don't fit in our budgets as repeat pantry items) and which you're better off saving a buck (or ten) on.