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Taste test: English muffins

Serving size One muffin One muffin One muffin
Calories 120 130 130
Fat/Fiber 1g / 1g 1.5g / 1g 1.5g / 1g
Sugars/Sodium 1g / 200mg 1g / 210mg 1g / 210mg
Carbs/Protein 25g / 4g 24g / 4g 24g / 4g


Every summer we enlist the help of local teachers to give us their picks for back-to-school foods that would work on a busy schedule. Many of them said a quick and easy breakfast is key to their morning routine. They all like English muffins. We found five brands and warmed each muffin in the toaster, according to package directions. While our teacher panelists said they would likely add toppings like butter or jam, we tasted each muffin dry for our comparison.

Kathy Saunders, Times correspondent

Product/Score

(out of 100)
Thomas' 75Publix Premium 66Publix Original 64
Judges'

comments
Consistency made this muffin a favorite among our panelists. They liked the smooth and airy texture. "It's substantial enough but still has enough 'nooks and crannies' for filling with butter or jelly or honey," said one judge. Another liked the taste best of all. "It's rich without being floury tasting," she said. "Yummy!" said another. "I would definitely take one of these to eat in my car on the way to class," she said."This looks like an English muffin should look," said one of our panelists. A couple detected a hint of sourdough in the taste. Another tasted a pleasing nutty flavor. The size and shape was described by the teachers as "sustainable." "The bottom half is very firm and would support any number of toppings," said one judge. "It's bigger than the others and has a wholesome taste," said another. "This is simply very, very good."The store's original brand of muffins were the "bubbliest" of those sampled. It also had the crunchiest texture, judges said. They especially liked the crispy edges, compared to the soft center. "It's almost squishy, in a really good way," said one panelist. "I love it!" said another.
Would

they buy?
Three of the four judges said yes.Three of the four judges said yes.Three of the four judges said yes.
Shopping information$3.89 for a 12-ounce package of

six muffins from Sweetbay.
$2.49 for a 12-ounce package of

six muffins.
$1.59 for a 12-ounce package of

six muffins.


Also Sampled: Nature's Own ($2.79 for a 12-ounce package of six muffins from Sweetbay, 52 points) and My Essentials ($1.39 for a 12-ounce package of six muffins from Sweetbay, 52 points).

Panelists: Kim Thomson, fifth-grade teacher at Pasadena Fundamental Elementary School; Sue Conza, principal at Morning Star School; Denise Dawson, fifth-grade teacher at Pasadena Fundamental Elementary School; and Steve Sims, teacher at Tampa Catholic High School. 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: English muffins 07/26/11 [Last modified: Tuesday, July 26, 2011 5:30am]

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