HOW WE GRADE FOOD INGREDIENTS
Our rule of thumb is: if it’s in a regular cookbook, it’s a real ingredient.
There are exceptions, of course.
Crisco is an ingredient found in many cookbooks, that we don’t consider to be “real”. There are many other exceptions, but generally speaking, that’s how we think of it. Foods with natural/artificial flavors will never get a grade from us, nor will foods with food dyes, high fructose corn syrup, or man-made food preservatives or stabilizers.
Sugar is a sweetener. You can learn more about how we categorize sugar and other products, by clicking the relevant category below.