One of our panelists used to serve canned pears to her children at least once a week. After our tasting, she said she was feeling a bit ashamed of herself. In the future, if she can't find fresh pears, she said she would offer her children another type of fruit. It was a reader who asked Taster's Choice to help in her search for a good canned pear. Unfortunately, our judges didn't have much luck either. But we did compare the six brands we found at local grocery stores.
Kathy Saunders, Times correspondent
|Product/Score (out of 100)||GFS (Gordon Food Service) Marketplace /60||Del Monte/48||Great Value/34|
|How'd it look?||Plump and full. The largest of the group.||Nicely pear-shaped and smooth.||Small and not perfectly pear-shaped.|
|Judges' comments||These pears were firm and were a nice size for a salad. "They have a sweet and mellow flavor," said one judge. "They are the best by far," she added. Another panelist described the taste as "autumnlike."||"These are soft but not mushy," said judges. All of them liked the sweet flavor and creamy color. "This would make a great presentation on a salad plate," said one panelist.||They are firm and fresh but not too tasty. One judge used the term "lifeless" to describe the flavor.|
|Would they buy?||All four judges said yes.||Two of the four judges said yes.||None of the judges said yes.|
|Shopping information||$6.29 for a gallon at Gordon Food Service Marketplace.||$1.89 for a 15-ounce can at Publix.||98 cents for a 15-ounce can at Wal-Mart.|
Panelists: Nan Jensen, registered dietitian with Pinellas County Cooperative Extension; Jim Yockey, aesthetician at Anu You Institute; Rhonda Sanderford of Yes-Homes, Smith & Associates Real Estate; and Julie Overton, consumer and mother of four.
Send suggestions for product testing to: Taste section, St. Petersburg Times, P.O. Box 1121, St. Petersburg, FL 33731 or e-mail them to firstname.lastname@example.org. Please put TEST SUGGESTION in the subject line. To read past Taster's Choice columns, go to food.tampabay.com.