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Taste test: dried cranberries

Dried cranberries or Craisins, as the best-known brand is called, go great in trail mixes, quick breads and salads. But, without the addition of some sugar, they are often too tart for many people to eat out of the bag. Our panelists put seven slightly sweetened brands to the test and found a few they would buy for cooking or snacking.

Kathy Saunders, Times correspondent

Product/serving Great Value

one-third cup

Aldi Fit & Active

one-fourth cup

Ocean Spray

one-third cup

Calories Fat/Fiber 140 0g / 2g 130 0g / 2g 130 0g / 3 g
Judges' comments Very fresh tasting. Plump, juicy, sweet and yummy, judges said. One described them as ruby-colored marbles. Judges said these looked like red flame seedless grapes. They were huge "as in Schwarzenegger the governor of California big" or "like berries on steroids." The flavor was full and panelists said these would be the best for cooking. Brilliant red color. Plump and moist with wrinkled bottoms and a sweet flavor with a hint of cherry and orange in the taste.
Shopping information $1.54 for a 6-ounce bag at Wal-Mart. $1.39 for a 6-ounce bag at Aldi. $2.09 for a 6-ounce bag at Sweetbay.
Product/serving Great Value

one-third cup

Aldi Fit & Active

one-fourth cup

Ocean Spray

one-third cup

Calories Fat/Fiber 140 0g / 2g 130 0g / 2g 130 0g / 3 g
Judges' comments Very fresh tasting. Plump, juicy, sweet and yummy, judges said. One described them as ruby-colored marbles. Judges said these looked like red flame seedless grapes. They were huge "as in Schwarzenegger the governor of California big" or "like berries on steroids." The flavor was full and panelists said these would be the best for cooking. Brilliant red color. Plump and moist with wrinkled bottoms and a sweet flavor with a hint of cherry and orange in the taste.
Shopping information $1.54 for a 6-ounce bag at Wal-Mart. $1.39 for a 6-ounce bag at Aldi. $2.09 for a 6-ounce bag at Sweetbay.

ALSO SAMPLED: Eden Organic ($4.39 for a 4-ounce pack at Nature's Finest Foods in St. Petersburg); Sun Maid ($2.59 for a pack of six 1-ounce boxes at Sweetbay); Nature's Place Organic ($2.67 for a 4-ounce pack at Sweetbay); and Woodstock Farms Organic ($6.69 for a 5.2-ounce bag at Nature's Finest Foods).

Panelists: Nan Jensen, registered dietitian with Pinellas County Cooperative Extension; Bob Devin Jones, artistic director of Studio@620; Jim Yockey, aesthetician at Anu You Institute; and Julie Overton, consumer and mother of four. All foods were tasted blind.

Taste test: dried cranberries 07/31/09 [Last modified: Friday, July 31, 2009 5:30am]

    

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