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Taste test: a few of our favorite food things

Since our judges don't usually get to pick the foods they try for Taster's Choice, we invited them to bring a favorite holiday treat to share for this week's column. While some of the foods are available throughout the year, judges said they save them for holiday enjoyment. We hope readers will enjoy a few of their suggestions as well.

Kathy Saunders, Times correspondent

Product/Score

(out of 100)
Utz White Chocolate Flavored Chocolate-Covered Pretzel Cinnamon Sticks Pepperidge Farm Candy Cane Milano Cookies Publix Deli Cranberry Orange Relish Golden

All-Natural Potato Pancakes/Latkes
Judges'

comments
"Lovely" and "welcoming" were the words that came from judges sampling these. "Serious fans of white chocolate will love these," said one panelist. "They are smooth and comforting." Another said she liked the luscious chocolate coating. "These could definitely be addictive." Another agreed, saying, "It's really hard to just have one." She liked the balance of spiced cinnamon and sweet chocolate. "These would taste great with coffee.""These are a refreshing mix of chocolate and peppermint between two crunchy cookies," said one panelist. "They are a perfect twist on regular minty Milanos." Panelists said they definitely will be putting these on their holiday dessert buffets. "I'll say it — this is a sexy cookie," said one judge. "It's lightly minted, touched by dark chocolate and layered on an airy biscuit.The citrus flavor was profound in this relish. All of the panelists agreed the store brand of relish would be particularly great with a Black Friday leftover turkey sandwich. "It's tart and puckery," said one judge. "It might make a nice relish for a main-dish honey-cured ham as well." Another said she really liked the dark color of the cranberries and the vibrant bits of orange. "Put this in a beautiful serving bowl and it's an elegant side dish for a festive meal," added one taster.Crunchy outsides and warm, soft centers made these the perfect potato pancakes, according to our judges. "They hold together really well and don't taste overly processed," said one panelist. We warmed these frozen latkes in the oven, although package directions listed the option of pan frying as well. Right out of the oven, they were crispy and flavorful. "They have a touch of onion and a sweet, crunchy outside coating," said a panelist who suggested these would be great with applesauce or apple jelly.
Would

they buy?
All four judges said yes.Three of the four judges said yes.All four judges said yes.All four judges said yes.
Shopping information$8.99 for an 18-ounce container from Total Wine & More.$2.50 for a 7-ounce bag from Target.$1.99 for an 8-ounce container from Publix.$3.99 for a 10.6-ounce box of eight from Winn-Dixie.


Panelists: Nan Jensen, registered dietitian; Wayne Conery, retired restaurant manager; Jeff Jensen, public information officer for the city of Treasure Island; and Liz Mergenthaler, dietetic intern with Pinellas County Home Extension.

Send suggestions for product testing to: Taste section, Tampa Bay Times, P.O. Box 1121, St. Petersburg, FL 33731 or email them to mstark@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 sizeFive piecesTwo cookiesOne-fourth cupOne patty
Calories14013010070
Fat/Fiber5g / 0g6g / 0g0g / 2g3g / 1g
Sugars/Sodium13g / 110mg9g / 50mg19g / 0mg2g / 190mg
Carbs/Protein21g / 2g17g / 1g25g / 0g10g / 1g

Taste test: a few of our favorite food things 12/18/15 [Last modified: Friday, December 18, 2015 10:30am]
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