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Taste test: frozen quesadillas

Serving size One piece Two pieces Two pieces
Calories 260 210 200
Fat/Fiber 11g / 2g 10g / 1g 11g / 0g
Sugars/Sodium 2g / 580mg 1g / 400mg 1g / 470mg
Carbs/Protein 28g / 12g 19g / 11g 16g / 9g


Cheese quesadillas are easy and quick, and they go a long way when it comes to feeding a hungry group. Even so, I sometimes find myself wincing at the thought of grating cheese, dirtying a pan and then cleaning up the kitchen after producing a stack of the cheese-filled tortillas. When Taster's Choice found chicken quesadillas in grocery store freezers, we figured life couldn't get any easier — or cleaner. We tried three brands and found one we would likely buy for ourselves or guests. All were prepared according to package directions, in the oven or microwave. Kathy Saunders, Times correspondent

Product/Score

(out of 100)
T.G.I. Fridays: 76Farm Rich: 35Tyson: 24
Judges'

comments
Simply put, these were yummy. Judges raved about the stuffed pockets of chicken pieces and peppers smothered in cheddar cheese. "These are finger-licking good," one judge said. Another said they were the best looking of those sampled. He especially liked the cheese "oozing from the tortillas on each bite." A judge who liked the spicy kick said the restaurant chain's quesadillas were "fun, flavorful and good-to-go." These seemed more like pastries than tortillas. They cooked into puffy pockets filled with chicken and cheese. The judges liked the grill marks on the outsides and the large amount of chicken in each serving. One panelist said the pieces looked like "Bisquick was in the quesadilla business," but, he said, "I love the cheesiness."Judges were most impressed with the look of Tyson's quesadillas. No question, they cooked into the best looking of those sampled. But the filling was a huge disappointment. "It's like spiced bean dip smeared between two lifeless tortillas," said one judge. Another said the taste was boring. He added, "These are like the White Castles of the

quesadilla business."
Would

they buy?
Three of the four judges said yes.Three of the four judges said yes.None of the judges said yes.
Shopping information$2.95 for an 8-ounce box

from Winn-Dixie.
$5.99 for a 20-ounce package from Publix.$8.99 for a 26-ounce package from Publix.


Panelists: Jim Yockey, aesthetician at Anu You Institute in St. Petersburg; John Hehn, foodie and owner of All Brite Lighting & Power Design Inc.; Cindy Seletos, an Apple education account executive; 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 quesadillas 03/22/11 [Last modified: Tuesday, March 22, 2011 5:30am]

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