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Taste Test: Soy sauce

Soy sauce used to remain in the pantry unless dinner involved stir-fry or the Chinese takeout needed a kick. Lately, the bottle of brown sauce sits next to the stovetop, ready to flavor everything from pot roast to salmon steaks. Soy sauce, made from fermented soy beans mixed with grains and salt, is low in calories and big in flavor, making it a staple in healthy cooking (but be careful if you're watching sodium; even lower-sodium versions can pack a wallop). Another sure sign of its popularity is in the number of grocery store chains selling their own brands of soy sauce.

Kathy Saunders, Times correspondent

Product/serving Great Value

1 tbsp. serving

Kikkoman

1 tbsp. serving

Publix 1 tbsp. serving
Calories 10 10 10
Fat/Fiber 0g / 0g 0g / 0g 0g / 0g
Judges' comments Hearty, musty, smoky flavored. Thick. "Like 5 miles of Flat Top, Miss., after an October rain," said one judge. Thin, but pleasant flavor. Molasseslike. Salty and assertive, with nice density. Like dark, brooding coffee. Salty and very watery, caramelized flavor.
Shopping information $1.48 for a 15-ounce bottle at Wal-Mart $1.98 for a 15-ounce bottle at Wal-Mart $2.19 for a 15-ounce bottle
Product/serving Great Value

1 tbsp. serving

Kikkoman

1 tbsp. serving

Publix 1 tbsp. serving
Calories 10 10 10
Fat/Fiber 0g / 0g 0g / 0g 0g / 0g
Judges' comments Hearty, musty, smoky flavored. Thick. "Like 5 miles of Flat Top, Miss., after an October rain," said one judge. Thin, but pleasant flavor. Molasseslike. Salty and assertive, with nice density. Like dark, brooding coffee. Salty and very watery, caramelized flavor.
Shopping information $1.48 for a 15-ounce bottle at Wal-Mart $1.98 for a 15-ounce bottle at Wal-Mart $2.19 for a 15-ounce bottle

ALSO SAMPLED: La Choy ($1.84 for a 15-ounce bottle at Wal-Mart) and Hannaford ($1.19 for a 10-ounce bottle at Sweetbay).

Panelists: Panelists were: 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 Times food critic Laura Reiley. All foods were tasted blind.

Taste Test: Soy sauce 04/10/09 [Last modified: Friday, April 10, 2009 4:30am]

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