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Taste test: frozen fish fillets

Serving size Two fillets Two fillets Two fillets
Calories 240 240 250
Fat/Fiber 9g / 0g 14g / 3g 13g / 0g
Sugars/Sodium 1g / 290mg 3g / 550mg 0g / 920mg
Carbs/Protein 26g / 13g 20g / 8g 18g / 11g


When I was growing up, all of us Catholics abstained from meat every Friday, not just during Lent. My mother usually bought fish fillets from the grocery store freezer. They warmed in the oven into limp, soggy morsels. To compensate, Mom always made a batch of homemade french fries in the deep fryer. These days, local grocery stores offer a wide variety of frozen fish. The fish choices range from breaded and fried to marinated fillets ready to saute. Taster's Choice bought five brands of breaded or beer-battered fish fillets to see if the options have improved. All were baked in the oven, according to package directions. Kathy Saunders, Times correspondent

Product/Score

(out of 100)
Publix: 56Gorton's: 43Mrs. Paul's: 40
Judges'

comments
Texture made these fish fillets the favorite among our panelists. The breading was crumbly, rather than beer-battered. Judges liked the crispness of the coating and the fresh flavor of the fish. "Served with some good tartar sauce, these would be fun to cook up for a party," said one judge. Another preferred the store brand for it's firmness and mild taste. "It isn't real fishy, which is why I like it," he said.The size of the Gorton's fillets was appealing to our panelists. "They seem like a whole piece of fish," said one judge. "It tastes like fish is supposed to taste." Another loved the beer-battered coating. "The coating tastes very much like thick-sliced potatoes you get with breakfast sandwiches," he said. "It's crunchy, flaky fish that is mildly sweet."Judges weren't thrilled with the appearance of these fillets, but the taste made up for it. "They have a sweet and slightly peppery flavor," said one judge. Although this fillet seemed like compacted bits of fish rather than a single piece, panelists liked the taste. They didn't like the oily residue left on the pan after the fillets were cooked. One described it as a "gulflike oil slick on the plate."
Would

they buy?
Three of the four judges said yes.Two of the four judges said yes.One of the four judges said yes.
Shopping information$4.79 for a 19-ounce box.$3.49 for an 11.4-ounce box

from Sweetbay.
$4.19 for a 19.1-ounce box

from Sweetbay.


Also Sampled: Hannaford ($3.99 for a 19.2-ounce box from Sweetbay, 29 points) and Great Value ($3.44 for a 19-ounce box from Walmart, 26 points).

Panelists: Bob Devin Jones, artistic director of Studio@620; Julie Overton, consumer and mother of four; Wayne Conery, manager of the R Bar on Treasure Island; 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 fish fillets 04/05/11 [Last modified: Tuesday, April 5, 2011 5:30am]

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