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Taste test: Canned pineapple

Growing up in Hawaii, the idea of eating canned pineapple never crossed my mind. I don't know why, though, because my best friend spent her summers working at the former Dole Cannery in Honolulu. Our judges listed Dole among their favorite brands of the seven they tasted. All were packed in juice; one added the artificial sweetener Splenda.

Kathy Saunders, Times correspondent

Product/serving Dole

half-cup

Libby's

half-cup

Great Value

half-cup

Calories Fat/Fiber 70

0g / 0g

50

0g / 1g

80

0g / 1g

Judges' comments Judges liked the healthy size of the Dole pineapple chunks as well as the natural flavor. "They are bright and sassy," said one panelist. A couple said they were tart, but they preferred that to overly sweet brands. Panelists said the Dole chunks would cook up nicely in a stir-fry dish with pork or even as part of a fish skewer on the grill. A couple of judges detected the Splenda in the juice of Libby's packed pineapple. They liked the wet-looking, floppy texture of the chunks. They were sweet and juicy and "full-flavored," according to our judges. They agreed the Libby's pineapple chunks would work well as a dessert topping. Walmart's pineapple chunks were big and beefy and, according to our judges, looked the most like fresh pineapple. "These are crunchy and more fibrous than some of the brands," said one panelist. He said he would prefer these chunks in a fruit salad rather than a smoothie. A couple complained about a lingering metal taste from the can.
Shopping information 89 cents for an 8-ounce can from Publix. $1.49 for a 20-ounce can from Publix. 98 cents for a 20-ounce can from Walmart.
Product/serving Dole

half-cup

Libby's

half-cup

Great Value

half-cup

Calories Fat/Fiber 70

0g / 0g

50

0g / 1g

80

0g / 1g

Judges' comments Judges liked the healthy size of the Dole pineapple chunks as well as the natural flavor. "They are bright and sassy," said one panelist. A couple said they were tart, but they preferred that to overly sweet brands. Panelists said the Dole chunks would cook up nicely in a stir-fry dish with pork or even as part of a fish skewer on the grill. A couple of judges detected the Splenda in the juice of Libby's packed pineapple. They liked the wet-looking, floppy texture of the chunks. They were sweet and juicy and "full-flavored," according to our judges. They agreed the Libby's pineapple chunks would work well as a dessert topping. Walmart's pineapple chunks were big and beefy and, according to our judges, looked the most like fresh pineapple. "These are crunchy and more fibrous than some of the brands," said one panelist. He said he would prefer these chunks in a fruit salad rather than a smoothie. A couple complained about a lingering metal taste from the can.
Shopping information 89 cents for an 8-ounce can from Publix. $1.49 for a 20-ounce can from Publix. 98 cents for a 20-ounce can from Walmart.

Panelists: Nan Jensen, registered dietitian with Pinellas County Cooperative Extension; Jim Yockey, aesthetician at Anu You Institute; John Hehn, foodie and owner of All Brite Lighting & Power Design Inc.; and Laura Reiley, Times food critic. All foods were tasted blind.

Taste test: Canned pineapple 06/18/10 [Last modified: Thursday, June 17, 2010 5:32pm]

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