Taste test: Corn bread stuffing mixes

Serving size ½ cup ½ cup ½ cup
Calories 100 170 110
Fat/Fiber .5g / 0g 1g / 0g 1g / 0g
Sugars/Sodium 3g / 300mg 3g / 400mg 3g / 400mg
Carbs/Protein 20g / 3g 22g / 3g 22g / 13g


With all of the warnings about safe food handling at Thanksgiving, many of us are baking our stuffing outside the bird. And lots of us are likely making it on the stove. We sampled five brands of stove-top stuffing mixes found at local grocery stores. Judges were surprised at their favorites. Note to self: No need to spend much on good stove-top stuffing. Kathy Saunders, Times correspondent

Product/Score

(out of 100)
Market Pantry: 65Chef's Cupboard: 61Great Value: 59
Judges'

comments
Big, chunky bread crumbs made this a hit with judges. They liked the light and fluffy texture as well as the blend of spices that enhanced the flavor without overpowering the stuffing. The same went for salt. "It looks homemade with chunks of corn bread and a nice contrast in color with the herbs, corn and the baked crust," one judge said. "It tastes like there is chicken broth in the mix — a nice homey touch," another said. "It tastes like it was cooked inside of a bird."Warm, buttery flavors made this stuffing appealing. "It has a very nice sage taste. I would call it a wise stuffing," one judge said. "This, added to a little of my own corn bread with some onions mixed in, would be delicious." One judge was disappointed in the texture. She said it was too moist and a bit mushy. "It would be a 'hard knock life' if I was made to eat this," she said. "It looks a bit like gruel."Fresh-looking herbs were a big plus for Walmart's brand of stuffing. Chunks of corn bread, homemade texture and a slight sweetness made this appealing to our judges. "Gravy would be especially nice napped over this stuffing," one panelist said. "The texture has good cornmeal roughness and the flecks of herbs and nice bits of celery are nice." A couple said they might add a few onions to kick it up a notch.
Would

they buy?
All four judges said yes.Three of the four judges said yes.Three of the four judges said yes.
Shopping information$1.27 for a 6-ounce box

from Target.
89 cents for a 6-ounce box

from Aldi.
$1 for a 6-ounce box from Walmart.


Also Sampled: Kraft Stove Top ($1.69 for a 6-ounce box from Target, 46 points) and Pepperidge Farm ($2.84 for a 14-ounce bag from Walmart, 19 points).

Panelists: Nan Jensen, registered dietitian; Bob Devin Jones, artistic director of Studio@620; John Hehn, foodie and owner of All Brite Lighting & Power Design Inc.; and consumer Janet Peterson. 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 jkeeler@sptimes.com. Please put TEST SUGGESTION in the subject line. To read past Taster's Choice columns, go to food.tampabay.com.

Taste test: Corn bread stuffing mixes 11/09/10 [Last modified: Tuesday, November 9, 2010 3:30am]

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