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Taste test: chocolate sauces

No matter what flavor ice cream we start with in my family, chocolate sauce usually makes it to every bowl. When it's just too darn hot to cook, iced treats are a panacea. And since it's too hot to cook all summer in Florida, we eat a lot of frozen desserts. Lately, we've been seeing a few new entries into the chocolate sauce arena. Our tasters sampled eight brands of chocolate sauces and syrups intended to be added to cold milk or cold sundaes or drizzled on ice cream cakes.

Kathy Saunders, Times correspondent


(out of 100)
Ghirardelli 47Smucker's Sundae Syrup 45Cold Stone Creamery 43

Bold, dark color gave the Ghirardelli chocolate sauce a sweet edge over the competition. "It's glossy with good texture and decent chocolate flavor," remarked a panelist who said she would have enjoyed the flavor more if it hadn't been so sweet. However, she said, "It would be very appealing on a sundae." Another judge described the texture and flavor as robust. "It's not too thick, it's really perfect," he said."Classic" was the word most judges used to describe this option. "It's thick with a pleasantly rich chocolate flavor," said one judge. "It leans toward more sweet than chocolate but not in a bad way," added another. "I would buy this for any dessert.""This is rich, thick and tasty," said one panelist after a taste of the Cold Stone chocolate sauce. "Heat it up and add ice cream and nuts," he said. Another appreciated the richness of the sauce, saying it would be especially interesting with butter on a baguette and a sprinkling of sea salt. "It looks nice and shiny," she said.

they buy?
Two of the four judges said yes.Two of the four judges said yes.Two of the four judges said yes.
Shopping information$4.49 for a 16-ounce bottle from Publix.$2.79 for a 20-ounce bottle from Publix.$3.79 for an 11-ounce bottle from Publix.

Also Sampled: Trader Joe's ($3.49 for a 10-ounce jar, 40 points); Winn-Dixie ($2 for a 24-ounce bottle, 18 points); Hershey's ($2.67 for a 15-ounce bottle from Publix, 14 points); Great Value ($1.59 for a 24-ounce bottle from Walmart, 12 points); and Bosco ($3.19 for a 22-ounce bottle from Publix, 5 points).

Panelists: Jeff Jensen, public information officer for the city of Treasure Island; Wayne Conery, retired restaurant manager; Jill Dunn, Realtor, Yes-Homes; 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 email them to Please put TEST SUGGESTION in the subject line. To read past Taster's Choice columns, go to

Serving size2 tablespoons2 tablespoons2 tablespoons
Fat/Fiber2g / 1g0g / 1g2g / 1g
Sugars/Sodium18g / 40mg20g / 20mg17g / 75mg
Carbs/Protein22g / 1g25g / 1g19g / 1g

Taste test: chocolate sauces 07/11/16 [Last modified: Monday, July 11, 2016 12:43pm]
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