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Taste test: Garlic Texas toast

Frozen garlic bread was among the first foods Taster's Choice judges sampled when the column began in the summer of 2004. At the time, we tried four brands of breads that went directly from the freezer to the oven. This summer, we found six varieties of Garlic Texas Toast or thick slices of garlic bread ready for the oven. We also found a new favorite. The Cole's brand that placed first in our survey five years ago did not make the cut this time around.

Kathy Saunders, Times correspondent

Product/Score

(out of 100)

Hannaford/69

Publix/65

Pepperidge Farm/62

How'd it look? "Thick like the state of Texas." Like it came out of a mold."Broad like the state of Texas."Crisp and yellow.
Judges' comments Mild garlic taste with nice little flecks of parsley. "This has a good chew and a nice crunch when you bite into it," one judge said. He particularly liked the balance of the crunchy crust and soft insides.Tasters raved about the salt and butter in the toast and how it overpowered the garlic — in a good way. One panelist said she detected coconut oil in the flavor. The Publix slices were a bit smaller than the competition and not quite as soft-centered. "This is very yummy," said one judge, who described the slice as "salty, buttery, smooth and easy listening on the garlic." Panelists also said the Pepperidge Farm toast tasted notably fresh.
Would they buy? Three of the four judges said yes.Three of the four judges said yes.Two of the four judges said yes.
Shopping information$2.29 for an eight-slice, 11.25-ounce box at Sweetbay.$2.19 for an eight-slice, 11-ounce box.$2.59 for an eight-slice, 11.25-ounce box.
Also sampled: Great Value ($1.72 for an eight-slice, 11.25-ounce box at Wal-Mart, 61 points); New York ($2.69 for an eight-slice, 11.5-ounce box from Publix, 56 points); and Cole's ($2.18 for a 10-slice, 17.5-ounce package from Wal-Mart, 47 points).

Panelists: Nan Jensen, registered dietitian with Pinellas County Cooperative Extension; Bob Devin Jones, artistic director of Studio@620; Jim Yockey, aesthetician at Anu You Institute; and Times food critic Laura Reiley. 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: Garlic Texas toast 07/07/09 [Last modified: Tuesday, July 7, 2009 5:30am]
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