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Taste panel rates Crispy Green, Crunchies dried pineapple high

Dried pineapple chunks.

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Dried pineapple chunks.

Admittedly, growing up in Hawaii, I have an opinion about anything pineapple. Even the freshest fruits found in local markets don't seem to compare with the pineapples we pulled from the island fields. Dried pineapple pieces, however, can satisfy a quick craving or enhance an entree or dessert without adding fat, calories or too much sugar. We found nine brands of dried pineapple, including some that were freeze-dried and others that were chunky with soft centers. Our panelists preferred the freeze-dried bits to the others.

Kathy Saunders, Times correspondent

Product/Score

(out of 100)
Crispy Green 72Crunchies 65Brothers All-Natural 57
Judges'

comments
Judges were sneaking the leftovers of these pieces into their pockets after our tasting. They liked the bold flavor and the nice texture of these crispy bits. "They melt in your mouth," said one judge. "This would be a great dried snack for car trips. They are puffy and soft — like air pineapple." Another said he would add these pieces to his trail mix for hiking. "They are like astronaut pineapple," he said. "They are addictive."These pieces looked more like dried apple slices, but they had plenty of pineapple flavor. "This is a nice and healthy snack with a perfect blend of sweet and tart," said one judge. "These would be divine piled high on a bowl of cornflakes." One panelist liked the flavor but not the texture. He wanted more chomp. "They remind me more of pineapple Life Savers," he said.Panelists liked the flavor of these chips, saying they would add a sweet touch to a salad or even a pork dish. "I might add them to my chicken salad," said one. The chips had a funny appearance, "like maybe they were overly freeze-dried," said a judge who liked the flavor but said he would fold the pieces into a cake or muffin mix rather than use them as a garnish. Another said, "This would make a decent cereal, if flaky pineapple chip cereal had an audience."
Would

they buy?
All four judges said yes.Three of the four judges said yes.Two of the four judges said yes.
Shopping information$1.50 for a .36-ounce bag from the Fresh Market.$3.48 for a 1.5-ounce bag from Walmart.79 cents for a .5-ounce bag from Walmart.


Also Sampled: Sunsweet ($3.08 for a 9-ounce bag from Walmart, 46 points); Great Value ($1.68 for a 6-ounce bag from Walmart, 42 points); Chiquita Fruit Chips ($1.48 for a .8-ounce bag from Walmart, 36 points); Mariani ($2.89 for a 6-ounce bag from Sweetbay, 53 points); Dried Pineapple Chunks & Tidbits ($3.99 for an 18-ounce container from Sweetbay, 51 points); and Frunchies Pineapple Chips ($2.99 for a 2.5-ounce bag from Publix, 39 points).

Panelists: Nan Jensen, registered dietitian; Wayne Conery, manager of the R-Bar on Treasure Island; John Hehn, owner of All Brite Lighting & Power Design Inc.; 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, Tampa Bay Times, P.O. Box 1121, St. Petersburg, FL 33731 or email them to jkeeler@tampabay.com. Please put TEST SUGGESTION in the subject line. To read past Taster's Choice columns, go to

tampabay.com/things-to-do/food/tastetest.

Serving sizeOne bagOne-fourth cupOne bag
Calories352560
Fat/Fiber0g / 1g0g / 1g0g / 1g
Sugars/Sodium7g / 0mg5g / 0mg11g / 0mg
Carbs/Protein9g / 0g6g / 0g14g / 0g

Taste panel rates Crispy Green, Crunchies dried pineapple high 06/25/13 [Last modified: Monday, June 24, 2013 11:04am]
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