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Taste test: buttery spreads

Our panelists couldn't believe some of the new buttery spreads we found in the refrigerated sections of local grocery stores. Popular buttermakers are kicking up their products with flavored additives like honey and salt, while treats like black truffle butter are another great find. We enjoyed four infused butters and would use them in a variety of dishes from sweet to savory.

Kathy Saunders, Times correspondent

Serving size One tablespoon One-half ounce One tablespoon One tablespoon
Calories 60 90 70 90
Fat/Fiber 6g / 0g 10g / 0g 6g / 0g 9g / 0g
Sugars/Sodium 3g / 45mg 0g / 80mg 4g / 50mg 2g / 60mg
Carbs/Protein 3g / 0g 0g / 0g 4g / 0g 2g / 0g

Product/Score (out of 100)Country Crock Cinnamon Spread 73Aux Délices des Bois Black

Truffle Butter 73
Land O'Lakes Honey Butter Spread 65Epicurean

Caramel Sea Salt Butter Spread 55
Judges'

comments
Good color, savory flavor and gentle sweetness made this the favorite of judges. "This would be great on a fresh muffin," said one panelist who loved the cinnamon in the spread. "It's classic cinnamon butter," said another panelist who couldn't wait to serve this with corn bread. "It's the color of pumpkin puree," said another. "I think it would be especially tasty on a scone or warm slice of quick bread."This beige-colored spread with flecks of black truffle was an instant hit among our panelists. "It's delicious," said one. "It's got perfect saltiness and assertive truffle oil flavor." She said it would be perfect for buttering pasta noodles. Another said he would serve the butter on fish or chicken "finished table side." Steak was the preferred meat for another judge. "This is fabulous and would be great on a warm crostini or tossed with garlic and angel hair pasta," he added.Panelists enjoyed the fruit flavor in this honey butter, saying it would be delicious on raisin toast. However, a couple said they thought the honey flavor was pineapple. "This has a very beautiful hue — like French parchment paper," said one judge. "There is a very distinct whisper of something sweet like honey, but it's more like a fruit extract."At first, panelists weren't sure what they tasted in this sweet butter. They detected cinnamon and maple flavors. The hint of sea salt helped balance the sugary taste, but it was very faint. The sweetness overwhelmed this spread. Judges said this pale yellow and very creamy butter lacked caramel flavor, but it wasn't disappointing. A couple tasted a strong vanilla seasoning. "This is

too sweet for a lot of foods, but it would be perfect on warm biscuits or toast," said one panelist.
Would

they buy?
Three of the four judges said yes.All four judges said yes.Two of the four judges said yes.Three of the four judges said yes.
Shopping information$1.16 for a 6-ounce tub from Walmart.$5.99 for a 3-ounce tub from the Fresh Market.$2.22 for a 6.5-ounce tub from Walmart.$2.41 for a 3.5-ounce tub from Walmart.


Panelists: Bob Devin Jones, artistic director of Studio@620; Jim Yockey, aesthetician at Clinique of Plastic Surgery in St. Petersburg; Wayne Conery, manager of the R Bar on Treasure Island; and Laura Reiley, Times food critic.

Send suggestions for product testing to: Taste section, Tampa Bay Times, P.O. Box 1121, St. Petersburg, FL 33731 or email them to jkeeler@tampabay.com. Please put TEST SUGGESTION in the subject line. To read past Taster's Choice columns, go to food.tampabay.com.

Taste test: buttery spreads 05/29/12 [Last modified: Tuesday, May 29, 2012 5:30am]
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