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Taste test: animal crackers

Animal crackers — often in their own little box — were a real treat when I was growing up. When I brought some recently as part of the pregame snack for my daughter's softball team, one of the parents described the crackers as "retro." It's possible my own children have missed out on the fun of trying to identify the animal shapes and building their own cookie zoos and circus caravans. Our tasters, also of the retro generation, sampled seven brands of animal crackers-cookies. They enjoyed the flavor and spent a lot of time discussing the animal shapes.

Kathy Saunders, Times correspondent

Product/Score

(out of 100)
Market Pantry 65Barbara's Vanilla

Snackimals 60
KinniKritters 54
Judges'

comments
"Classic" was the word judges used to describe these cracker-cookies. "They definitely satisfy a cookie craving," said one. "They are smooth and delicate, yet durable for dunking in milk," said another. Panelists especially liked the texture of these cookies, saying they were just crunchy enough and had a great snap. "They have very recognizable animal shapes and a nice, sweet taste," said one.The smiling faces on these cookie animals put panelists in a good mood. They liked the size and crispiness of the cookies as well as the mild flavor. "They have a nice, light texture and just enough sweetness," said one taster. "All these animals are smiling, which would delight everyone at the ASPCA (American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals)."These gluten-free cookies were extremely light in weight and color. They were almost white. A couple of judges compared them to sugar cookies. One said they reminded him more of a shortbread cookie. "They taste great, particularly the camel," said one taster. "They are very crisp and would be delicious with an English Breakfast tea with hot milk."
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$2.19 for a 10-ounce box from Target.$4.79 for a 7.5-ounce pouch from Winn-Dixie.$3.79 for an 8-ounce box from Winn-Dixie.


Also Sampled: Clear Value (2.99 for a 32-ounce bag from Winn-Dixie, 50 points); Barnum's Animal Crackers ($2.79 for an 8-ounce pouch from Publix, 44 points); Stauffer's ($1.48 for a 16-ounce bag from Walmart, 38 points); and Austin Zoo Animal Crackers ($8.99 for a 4.5-pound box of 36 2-ounce bags from GFS, 29 points).

Panelists: Bob Devin Jones, artistic director of Studio@620; Julie Overton, consumer and mother of four; Wayne Conery, manager of the

R-Bar on Treasure Island; 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 size16 crackers10 cookies12 cookies
Calories120110120
Fat/Fiber2g / 0g4g / 0g2g / 2g
Sugars/Sodium7g /105mg5g / 65mg3g / 35mg
Carbs/Protein25g / 2g17g / 2g26g / 1g

Taste test: animal crackers 04/21/14 [Last modified: Monday, April 21, 2014 11:47am]

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