Taste test: Frozen fast-food fries

Taster's Choice | Frozen Fast-Food Fries

Few of us can pass up a fast food french fry. When we found some of our favorite brands in the grocery store freezer, we were eager to see how they compared to the drive-through. In addition to the fries sold under the fast food brand name, there are other frozen versions that try to hit the fast food spot. Most were heated in the oven, although the microwave heating was an option.

Kathy Saunders, Times correspondent

Product/Score

(out of 100)

Checker's/66

Nathan's/63

Publix/61

How'd

it look?

Checker's

Cajun

Nathan's

Chunky

Publix

Shoe-stringy

Judges'

comments

Checker's

Panelists described the burger chain's fries as attractive, with a great shape. They had a very seasoned coating and a nice crisp outside. The inside was a bit mushy, but judges didn't complain. The spicy flavor was peppery. "I would enjoy these alongside a home-grilled burger," one judge said. Another said he would serve them as an appetizer.

Nathan's

Too large for snacking, these huge fries would be best next to a grilled steak. One called them chubby. These had the strongest potato taste and a pleasing color. "Where's the ketchup?" said a judge who ate more than his share.

Publix

Crispy was the word used mostly to describe the fast food fries from Publix. They were thin, golden brown and "snappy," judges said. These looked the most like fast food fries from a couple popular burger spots. The only complaint was that they needed more salt.

Would

they buy?

Checker's

Two of the four judges said yes.

Nathan's

Two of the four judges said yes.

Publix

Two of the four judges said yes.

Shopping

information

Checker's

$1.98 for a 28-ounce bag from Wal-Mart.

Nathan's

$1.82 for a 28-ounce bag from Wal-Mart.

Publix

$2.69 for a 26-ounce bag.

Also sampled: Burger King's King Krinkz ($1.12 for a 4.5-ounce pack from Wal-Mart, 39 points); and Ore-Ida ($2.39 for a 26-ounce bag from Target, 55 points).

Panelists: Nan Jensen, registered dietitian; Jim Yockey, aesthetician at Anu You Institute; Bob Devin Jones, artistic director of Studio@620; and Jeff Jensen, public information officer for the City of Treasure Island. All foods were tasted blind.

Few of us can pass up a fast-food french fry. When we found some of our favorite brands in the grocery store freezer, we were eager to see how they compared with the drive-through. In addition to the fries sold under the fast-food brand name, there are other frozen versions that try to hit the fast-food spot. Most were heated in the oven, although microwave heating was an option. Kathy Saunders, Times correspondent

Product/Score

(out of 100)

Checkers/66

Nathan's/63

Publix/61

Judges' comments Panelists described the burger chain's fries as attractive, with a great shape. They had a very seasoned coating and a nice crisp outside. The inside was a bit mushy, but judges didn't complain. The spicy flavor was peppery. "I would enjoy these alongside a home-grilled burger," one judge said. Another said he would serve them as an appetizer.Too large for snacking, these huge fries would be best next to a grilled steak. One called them chubby. These had the strongest potato taste and a pleasing color. "Where's the ketchup?" said a judge who ate more than his share.Crispy was the word used mostly to describe the fast-food fries from Publix. They were thin, golden brown and "snappy," judges said. These looked the most like fast-food fries from a couple of popular burger spots. The only complaint was that they needed more salt.
Would they buy? Two of the four judges said yes.Two of the four judges said yes.Two of the four judges said yes.
Shopping information$1.98 for a 28-ounce bag

from Walmart.
$1.82 for a 28-ounce bag

from Walmart.
$2.69 for a 26-ounce bag.
Also sampled: Burger King's King Krinkz ($1.12 for a 4.5-ounce pack from Walmart, 39 points) and Ore-Ida ($2.39 for a 26-ounce bag from Target, 55 points).

Panelists: Nan Jensen, registered dietitian; Jim Yockey, aesthetician at Anu You Institute; Bob Devin Jones, artistic director of Studio@620; and Jeff Jensen, public information officer for the city of Treasure Island. 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: Frozen fast-food fries 09/28/10 [Last modified: Tuesday, September 28, 2010 5:30am]

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