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Taste test: Texas toast

Serving size one slice one slice one slice
Calories 170 170 150
Fat/Fiber 9g / 1g 10g / 1g 7g / 2g
Sugars/Sodium 1g / 330mg 0g / 330mg 1g / 200mg
Carbs/Protein 17g / 5g 16g / 5g 17g / 5g


Thick bread coated in butter and cheese sounds appetizing enough. But, apparently, Texans bake the bread slices in the oven until the cheese bubbles and the crust gets toasted. Sometimes, they add loads of garlic to the bread. We found eight brands of cheesy Texas toast in local grocery store freezers and baked each slice as directed. While the judges complained about the high calories and the cholesterol-busting fat in the toast, they scarfed it down.

Kathy Saunders, Times correspondent

Product/Score

(out of 100)
Hannaford 73Great Value 67Pepperidge Farm 64
Judges'

comments
A blend of different cheeses melted on top and flecks of fresh Italian parsley made these slices of toast extra yummy. "Very nice," said one panelist. "This is the perfect bread," said another. "You don't need to reserve this treat for the campfire on the cattle drive." A couple said the toast would make a fun side dish at a barbecue. "I would serve this with some sticky ribs, corn on the cob and wash it down with ice cream," said one.Strong buttery taste and a "whisper of garlic" were the highlights of this toast. Judges liked the "natural-looking" slices and the smooth texture of the cheese. The slices were thick, but soft in the middle. "I think my kids would like this because of the texture," said one panelist.Pepperidge Farm had more garlic in its cheesy toast than some of the competition. "It's got a perfect mix of smooth cheese and a pleasing, garlic aftertaste," said one judge. "This has a really nice crunch," said another. "I think it would be terrific with spaghetti."
Would

they buy?
All four judges said yes.All four judges said yes.Three of the four judges said yes.
Shopping information$2.79 for a 13.5-ounce package from Sweetbay.$2.27 for a 13.5-ounce package from Walmart.$3.29 for a 9.5-ounce package from Sweetbay.


Also Sampled: Winn-Dixie ($2.69 for an 11.8-ounce package, 62 points); Publix ($2.25 for a 13.5-ounce package, 48 points); Rothbury Farms ($2.68 for a 13.8-ounce package from Walmart, 54 points); Cole's ($2.99 for a 24-ounce package from Publix, 54 points); and New York ($3.49 for a 13.5-ounce package from Sweetbay, 54 points).

Panelists: Nan Jensen, registered dietitian; John Hehn, foodie and owner of All Brite Lighting & Power Design Inc.; Bob Devin Jones, artistic director of Studio@620; and Laura Reiley, Times food critic. All foods were tasted blind.

Send suggestions for product testing to: Taste section, Tampa Bay Times, P.O. Box 1121, St. Petersburg, FL 33731 or e-mail them to jkeeler@tampabay.com. Please put TEST SUGGESTION in the subject line. To read past Taster's Choice columns, go to food.tampabay.com.

Taste test: Texas toast 10/02/12 [Last modified: Tuesday, October 2, 2012 5:30am]

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