Sporked Awards: Best of the Best of 2023

It’s best not to think about the sheer amount of foods and drinks we tasted in 2023. But trust us when we say it was A LOT. And yet, a few still shone in our memories as truly the best food products of 2023. Each Sporked writer/editor picked their top two favorite foods of 2023—because if we had to come to an agreement amongst the three of us, we would still be debating the merits of olives versus salsa, and we all have families to go home to. Here are our top, best of the best picks of 2023.

Jordan’s Picks

CPK Bacon & Caramelized Onion Croissant Crust Pizza

Runner-Up

California Pizza Kitchen Bacon & Caramelized Onion Croissant Crust Pizza

I love California Pizza Kitchen, but their store bought products don’t always bring it. This Bacon & Caramelized Onion Croissant Crust Pizza, however, is perfection. This tastes like an artisanal flatbread from a restaurant. The sauce is so creamy with hints of smoke, salt, and sweetness from the onions and the bacon. The cheese is plentiful. The crust is so flaky, like a pastry from an expensive boulangerie. This is one of the best frozen pizzas I’ve ever had in my life.

Credit: Liv Averett / Target

Rating:

10/10

Sporks

Casa Sanchez Taqueria Style Avocado Salsa

Winner

Casa Sanchez Taqueria Style Avocado Salsa

Premade guacamole is not for me. I don’t like the texture or flavor. It’s always too smooth, too citric acid-y, and too lacking in the mix-ins department (onion, cilantro, jalapeno, etc.). My culinary world changed when I found out about avocado salsa. This stuff tastes way more like homemade or restaurant-style guac than store bought guacamole I’ve ever had. This Casa Sanchez Taqueria Style Avocado Salsa is my favorite. It tastes like salsa verde mixed with guacamole and it’s perfect. I buy this stuff regularly now.

Credit: Liv Averett / Target

Rating:

10/10

Sporks

Gwynedd’s Picks

Kirkland Breaded Panko Shrimp

Runner-Up

Kirkland Breaded Panko Shrimp

I taste tested a lot of frozen shrimp this year (butterfly, popcorn, coconut). So many are just so…shrimpy. Big, meaty, flavorful frozen fried shrimp are few and far between, and that’s why Kirkland Breaded Panko Shrimp are such a big deal. The breading is crispy rather than soggy. The oil they’re fried in is super fresh tasting. And the shrimp themselves have bite and that signature sweetness that so often gets lost in frozen shrimp. These are sold at Costco so they come in a big ol’ box, but if you can make room in the freezer, you’ll be glad to have these around for quick (and extremely delicious) dinners.

Credit: Liv Averett / Instacart

Rating:

10/10

Sporks

Blue Elephant Thai Premium Curry Sauce Yellow Curry

Winner

Blue Elephant Thai Premium Curry Sauce Yellow Curry

I can’t pretend to be an expert on curry, but everyone in the Sporked office agreed that this packet of Blue Elephant yellow curry sauce is an absolute stunner of an easy simmer sauce. Depth of flavor is what pushes it over the edge. It’s made with both fish sauce and shrimp paste, which combine with the curry spices to create something that’s deeply savory and umami. In our ranking of the best yellow curry sauce, I claimed that this sauce is better than restaurant quality and I stand by that (we’ve all had disappointing restaurant curry, right?). Serve this on chicken, tofu, or boiled shrimp with carrots, potatoes, and other veggies. You will skip takeout once you’ve tried this.

Credit: Liv Averett / Walmart

Rating:

10/10

Sporks

Justine’s Picks

Santa Barbara Olive Co. Anchovy Olives

Runner-Up

Santa Barbara Olive Co. Anchovy Olives

Do you ever get excited to go home to a jar of olives? I do, when this jar of olives is waiting in the fridge for me. These anchovy-stuffed beauties satisfy all of my salty, umami cravings. They made it onto our list of the best Martini olives—and I definitely use them for that purpose—but I also eat them by the bowlful, I put them into salads, and I toss them into pastas. Essentially, if something is lacking some complexity and punch (even if it’s just my empty mouth), I add a handful of these incredible olives.

Credit: Liv Averett / Instacart

Rating:

9.5/10

Sporks

Appleton Prosciutto

Winner

Appleton Prosciutto

If I had to pick a store of the year, it would probably be Aldi. I’ve found so many new staples there this year—including their unsweetened applesauce pouches and their marinara sauce, which is a straight up dupe for Rao’s—but this prosciutto (the best prosciutto per our ranking) was my favorite find. Right now, I can buy a package of this incredible prosciutto for just $2.50 from our local Aldi. Are you kidding me? I would normally never trust meat that cheap but this stuff is different. It’s savory and sweet with a smooth, fatty finish—but the fat isn’t stringy like it is in some prosciutto slices. It’s great for paninis or just on its own at midnight when you’re hunched over, head in the fridge like the snack gremlin you are.

Credit: Liv Averett / Instacart

Rating:

10/10

Sporks

sporked awards 2023

The 2023 Sporked Awards

We ate our way through hundreds of products this year to find the best. Now it’s time to honor the best of the best.


About the Author

Justine Sterling

Justine Sterling is the editor-in-chief of Sporked. She has been writing about food and beverages for well over a decade and is an avid at-home cook and snacker. Don’t worry, she’s not a food snob. Sure, she loves a fresh-shucked oyster. But she also will leap at whatever new product Reese’s releases and loves a Tostitos Hint of Lime, even if there is no actual lime in the ingredients.

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