Pita bread without stuffings or toppings is pretty bland. Same goes for pita chips. Taster's Choice judges put six brands of pita chips to the test, and the result was a lot of crunch and not much flavor. But that was a plus for our judges, who decided bland is better when it comes to chips for dip.
Kathy Saunders, Times correspondent
|Product/Score (out of 100)||Stacy's/ 64||Archer Farms/ 63||Athenos/ 56|
|How'd it look?||Square. Friendly.||Like odd-sized puzzle pieces. Like the edges of the pita pockets.||Like oversized corn chips.|
|Judges' comments||Judges liked the plain crunch of these crackers. One described a warm sesame seed taste. "These are blond with a bashful, salty pita flavor," said one judge who called the chips "classic."||"These are like fresh-baked chunks of heaven," said one judge who tasted garlic and zesty flavors. A couple of panelists said they detected corn flavors.||Panelists figured these pita chips were made with really fresh ingredients because of their airy texture. One judge said he especially liked the "splendid combination of butter and salt."|
|Would they buy?||Three of the four judges said yes.||Three of the four judges said yes.||Two of the four judges said yes.|
|Shopping information||Widely available. $3.29 for a 6-ounce bag from Publix.||Exclusively at Target stores. $1.69 for a 6-ounce bag.||Widely available. $2.92 for a 6-ounce bag from Wal-Mart.|
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 consumer/foodie John Hehn, owner of All Brite Lighting & Power Design Inc. All foods were tasted blind.
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.