Saturday, March 24, 2018
Taste Test

Taste test: energy drinks

Makers of caffeine-laced energy drinks claim the chemicals in their beverages can do things such as boost energy, increase cognitive abilities and improve moods. Taster's Choice wanted to see what all the buzz was about, so we asked one of the primary target groups for the energy drink industry — college students. Five students enrolled in the Writing About Food course at the University of South Florida St. Petersburg sampled eight brands of energy drinks for us. All of the judges were over 18, as some of the drinks contained warnings saying they were not recommended for consumers younger than 18. Our judges weren't concerned about the caffeine or caffeine substitutes in the drinks, but we wanted to know how the drinks tasted. While a couple weren't bad, most of these drinks were a hard sell to our student panelists.

Kathy Saunders, Times correspondent


Taste test: Cream cheese

Cream cheeses come in many flavors, but our judges were most interested in texture when they began to compare 10 different brands. We tried the cheese spreads alone and with bagels to test spreadability. Our sample included only plain cream cheeses a...
Published: 03/19/18

Taste test: grocery store meal kits

This week, our panel tasted a variety of "meal kits" from local grocery stores. These are prepared meals from various stores that require only heating or minor food preparation. Mail delivery meal kits are all the rage right now, so it makes sense th...
Published: 03/13/18
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Our tasters started out wanting to taste one of the offerings from Oprah’s new O, That’s Good! line of foods. But we couldn’t resist a few other new foods we also found on grocery store shelves. In the end, judges were pretty impressed with Oprah’s c...
Updated one month ago