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Taste test: buttery spreads

Looking forward to sharing a warm loaf of Irish soda bread on St. Patrick's Day? Look no further than the local grocery stores for some tasty, buttery spreads to slather on each slice. Our tasters sampled four new spreads and enjoyed the variety of flavors. But the luck was with the Irish butter, which judges described as perfect.

Kathy Saunders, Times Correspondent

ProductLand O'Lakes Garlic & Herb Butter SpreadCountry Crock Simply DeliciousPlugra

European Style Salted Butter
Kerrygold Reduced Fat Irish Butter
Judges'

comments
Strong and authentic garlic flavor gave this buttery spread a bold taste that appealed to all of our judges. "It's flecked with green and beige bits and it's very soft and whipped looking," said one panelist. "It has a very strong roasted garlic flavor. I would probably use it over steamed broccoli." Another said, "This would be great on grilled salmon or pounded chicken breasts. It's a smooth and gentle topping that would be great on yeast rolls with a pinch of salt."Country Crock's newest creation was a bit mild for most of our judges. "It's not very assertive but would be nice perhaps on a salty, toasted bagel," said one. A couple of judges liked the very spreadable texture. "This would work well with foods that don't need much added flavor," said one panelist. "I would probably dab some on my English muffin before adding meat or jam."Judges said this butter tasted very "natural." One suggested it came "fresh out of a grass-fed cow." The almost white butter was a little firm with "fantastic butter flavor," according to one judge. "It's rich and sweet and salted — you can almost taste the field the cows were in." One said he would love this spread on pancakes. Another said it would be great on pasta or wilted spinach for its fieldlike flavor."Perfect" was the word judges used to describe this butter. One panelist said it didn't taste like reduced-fat butter, adding, "It's better than real butter." Tasters liked the pale yellow color and smooth texture of the butter as well as the "super-rich and lovely sweetness" of the spread. "It's gorgeous," said one. Another said, "It tastes as perfect

and friendly as an Irish rose."
Would

they buy?
All four judges said yes.One of the four judges said yes.Three of the four judges said yes.All four judges said yes.
Shopping information$1.98 for a 6.5-ounce tub from Walmart.$2.69 for a 12-ounce tub from Winn-Dixie.$2.38 for an 8-ounce tub from Walmart.$3.99 for an 8-ounce tub from the Fresh Market.


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

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 tablespoonOne tablespoonOne tablespoonOne tablespoon
Calories7010010080
Fat/Fiber8g / 0g11g / 0g11g / 0g8g / 0g
Sugars/Sodium0g / 100mg0g / 100mg0g / 90mg0g / 45mg
Carbs/Protein1g / 0g0g / 0g0g / 0g0g / 0g

Taste test: buttery spreads 03/10/14 [Last modified: Monday, March 10, 2014 4:50pm]
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