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Taste test: Frozen artisan rolls

Serving size One roll One roll One roll One roll
Calories 100 140 130 120
Fat/fiber 0g / 1g 4g / 1g .5g / 0g 0g / 1g
Sugar/sodium 1g / 230mg 4g / 230mg 1g / 230mg 0g / 300mg
Carbs/protein 20g / 4g 23g / 3g 26g / 5g 25g / 4g

I'm always looking for a hearty dinner roll to warm in the oven on short notice. Trouble is, most turn out to be too soft, too hard or too bland. Our tasters were thrilled when we started noticing artisan rolls in the freezers of local grocery stores. We found four brands and heated them according to package directions. We'll be serving the top three at our holiday meals. One brand even made our Taster's Choice Hall of Fame, scoring 90 out of 100 points.

Kathy Saunders, Times correspondent


(out of 100)
Alexia: 90Sister

Schubert's: 84
Rhodes: 64Pepperidge Farm: 35

Crispy outsides and soft insides made these rolls a huge favorite among our panelists. They loved the robust flavor of the puffy rolls and the warm center. "These remind me of the rolls in the basket of a fine restaurant," one judge said. "A great honey butter would be perfect on this," another judge said.These rolls were pretty and looked homemade. Several judges suggested they would be just as good as a breakfast roll with jelly or jam. "These remind me of Grandmama's with a nice and yeasty flavor," one panelist said. Also noted: "They are lovely pillows of deliciousness."Panelists liked these rolls for their artisan appearance and fresh flavor. They baked up nice and crusty with soft centers. "These would be a great match for real butter," one judge said.The rolls from Pepperidge Farm were tough and disappointing. They were a bit too salty as well. "This has an uninteresting flavor and lots of air pockets inside," one judge said. "They are doughy," said another.

they buy?
All four judges said yes.All four judges said yes.Three of the four judges said yes.None of the four judges said yes.
Shopping information$3.49 for a 12-ounce package of eight rolls from Target.$3.69 for a 15-ounce package of 10 rolls from Sweetbay.$2.49 for a 12-ounce package of six rolls from Target.$3.59 for a 14-ounce package of eight rolls from Publix.

Panelists: Nan Jensen, registered dietitian; Janet Peterson, consumer; Jeff Jensen, public information officer for the city of Treasure Island; and Julie Overton, consumer. 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 [email protected] Please put TEST SUGGESTION in the subject line. To read past Taster's Choice columns, go to

Taste test: Frozen artisan rolls 12/07/10 [Last modified: Monday, December 13, 2010 9:06am]
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