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Taste test: Frozen garlic bread

Need a quick way to dress up a weekday dinner or pasta night? Frozen garlic breads are a fast fix, and they are fragrant enough to fill the kitchen with a warm garlic aroma. In 2004, we tried a handful of garlic breads. Now, 10 years later, we decided to give garlic bread another taste. Cole's, the brand that won our original tasting, didn't make the top three this time around.

Kathy Saunders, Times correspondent

Product/Score

(out of 100)
Pepperidge Farm 62Market Pantry 60Alexia 59
Judges'

comments
Bold garlic flavor and a "not-too-doughy" consistency put the

Pepperidge Farm loaf at the top of the list for judges. "It's fairly blond-looking and flecked with nice herbs," one panelist said. "It's got good tooth resistance on the crust and it's moist in the center." All of the tasters agreed they could pass this bread off as homemade. "It's got great butter taste and really nice parsley flakes."
Fresh parsley bits were plentiful in Target's store brand of garlic bread as well. Judges appreciated the mild garlic flavor and the softness of the loaf. One said it was a bit too mushy to stand alone, but he would serve it with sloppy Joes. "It's fluffy and crunchy at the same time," another said. "I would love to dip it in leftover spaghetti sauce."These slices of garlic bread resembled a fancy baguette. "It's got good crustiness and it tastes like real butter," one panelist said. "It's got splendid flavor," another said. Judges said they liked the Alexia loaf because it would look good on either a casual dinner plate or on an elegant buffet table.
Would

they buy?
All four judges said yes.Two of the four judges said yes.Three of the four judges said yes.
Shopping information$2.28 for an 8-ounce bag from Walmart.$1.50 for a 10-ounce bag from Target.$3.49 for a 12-ounce bag from Publix.


Also Sampled: Cole's ($2.38 for a 14-ounce bag from Walmart, 57 points); Great Value ($1.97 for a 16-ounce bag from Walmart, 52 points).

Panelists: Bob Devin Jones, artistic director of Studio@620; John Hehn, foodie and owner of All Brite Lighting & Power Design Inc.; aesthetician Jim Yockey; and Times food critic Laura Reiley. All foods were tasted blind.

Send suggestions for testing to: Taste section, Tampa Bay Times, P.O. Box 1121, St. Petersburg, FL 33731 or email jkeeler@tampabay.com. Please put TEST SUGGESTION in subject line. To read past Taster's Choice columns, go to tampabay.com/things-to-do/food/tastetest.

Serving sizeOne sliceOne sliceTwo slices
Calories180180130
Fat/Fiber8g / 1g7g / 0g4.5g / 1g
Sugars/Sodium1g / 270mg0g / 330mg1g / 240mg
Carbs/Protein21g / 4g26g / 4g19g / 3g

Taste test: Frozen garlic bread 07/07/14 [Last modified: Monday, July 7, 2014 5:48pm]
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