A good majority of the time, I make stuffing from scratch. It only takes 20 minutes or so, and most of that time is waiting for the onions to start caramelizing. But there are times, I admit, when stuffing out of a box (like Stove Top) is mighty appealing - maybe I don't have enough bread on hand, or even the short 20 minutes it takes to make stuffing feels like a squeeze - so I usually have an Emergency Box Of Stuffing in the pantry. (Seasoned stuffing is good for croutons too, by the way.)
There are minor differences in the tastes of the prepared boxed stuffings, but to me they all pretty much taste the same. So I make my decision based on a criterion I use for some other food purchases: Do any of them contain high-fructose corn syrup?
(Yeah, I know, "sugar is sugar," just like the corn industry keeps telling us, and we can believe them because they have no vested interest in selling as many corn products as possible. And even if you're okay with HFCS, are you okay with it in every goddamn thing you eat, even if you can't think of a single reason why something should contain - and in some cases, be based upon - corn syrup?)
Okay, so here's a couple of snapshots of the stuffing display at a typical local supermarket (Stop & Shop, in this case.)
A fairly typical assortment. There are a million different varieties of Kraft's Stove Top (the category leader) and a narrower selection of flavors by Arnold and Pepperidge Farm. You'll also find Stop & Shop's store brand, and Bell's, which is made by the same company that brings you New England's beloved Bell's Poultry Seasoning.
Which brands are HFCS free?
Bell's. It's the only one with no high fructose corn syrup hidden inside.