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Taste test: frozen tilapia

Tilapia is a mild, white freshwater fish that is mostly farm raised and widely available. According to the Berkeley Wellness newsletter, it's the fourth most consumed seafood in the United States. It's inexpensive and low in fat. Our panelists have all purchased tilapia and prepare the fish as they would grouper, snapper or other similar local species. We also found of a lot of frozen tilapia options at area grocery stores. Judges sampled four differently prepared tilapia entrees suitable for a quick and healthy summer supper. All were prepared in a conventional oven, according to package directions. Some offered microwave heating as well.

Kathy Saunders, Times correspondent

ProductSea Cuisine Roasted Garlic & Herb With Chef's Bruschetta Finishing Sauce Gorton's

Tuscan Grilled Garlic & Herb
Sea Best Signature Tilapia Florentine Trader Joe's Panko Breaded Fillet
Judges'

comments
The fish in this dish was very moist. "I love the hints of garlic and touch of lemon pepper," said one judge. Another said the fish tasted really fresh. "It's nice and flaky with a great blend of spices," he said. "It's good and strong." A couple of judges said the seasonings overpowered the fish, but they enjoyed the combination of herbal flavors.Gorton's Tuscan option was panko crusted and baked into a nice, golden color. The consistency was appealing to our judges along with the pleasant oregano flavors. "This is a meaty piece of fish with a really nice texture," said one judge. The breading made the fish a little too crunchy for a couple of panelists. Another said it would be a good option to put atop a green salad or to serve alongside pasta.Ample amounts of spinach dressed this fish into a dish deserving of any Florence table. "It's a good-looking fish with a nice, fresh filling," said one judge. "It's different and it's good." The only complaint from panelists was about the texture of the spinach. A couple said the leafy greens didn't hold up well in the reheating process. "It's kind of tilapia meets creamed spinach," said one judge. "I like the flecks of red bell pepper but the dish leaves me feeling like something is missing." She suggested adding fresh grains or rice to give more bulk to the dish.Judges said this tilapia would be perfect for children or those who aren't big fans of fish. "The breading is very heavy and cooked into a golden crust," said one judge. "It is thick and crunchy and hides a little of the fish flavor, which is really pretty good." Another said he would like to eat this in a paper tray with a side of greasy fries. "It's got a nice blend of flavors and it's definitely not overly fishy," he said.
Would

they buy?
Two of the four judges said yes.One of the four judges said yes.Two of the four judges said yes.One of the four judges said yes.
Shopping information$6.99 for a 10-ounce package from Publix.$6.49 for a 10-ounce package from Publix.$7.49 for a 10-ounce package from Publix.$5.99 for a 16-ounce package.


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.

Send suggestions for product testing to: Taste section, Tampa Bay Times, P.O. Box 1121, St. Petersburg, FL 33731 or email them to mstark@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 size1 piece1 piece1 piece1 piece
Calories140290190320
Fat/Fiber3.5g / 01g12g / 3g11g / 3g17g / 2g
Sugars/Sodium0g / 340mg5g / 820mg1g / 380mg2g / 530mg
Carbs/Protein1g / 20g32g / 13g5g / 16g27g / 15g

Taste test: frozen tilapia 08/15/16 [Last modified: Monday, August 15, 2016 2:46pm]
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