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Taste test: hot dog buns

Hot dog buns.

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Hot dog buns.

Nothing ruins a good dog like a bad bun. I tend to grab the same brand for every occasion, mostly out of habit. Our panelists used to do the same. That was until our recent sampling of eight different brands of presliced hot dog buns from local grocery stores. One popular offering had a strange smell. Another seemed a little small for even the shortest of grilled dogs. But judges found one option they will be looking for — and two backup choices — when they shop for Fourth of July foods.

Kathy Saunders, Times correspondent

Product/Score

(out of 100)
Arnold 86Wonder 53Winn-Dixie 46
Judges'

comments
Our tasters will be pushing past most brands on the bread aisle this week to get a package of Arnold brand hot dog buns. These buns were not only longer in size, but they looked and tasted better than others sampled. "They are glossy and attractive — not all wrinkled," said one judge. "They have a nice flavor with a little yeasty tang balanced by sweetness." Another panelist raved about the moist texture of the buns, saying, "They aren't heavy like some rolls, and they taste like a good loaf of bread."These buns from the familiar bread baker were golden brown and only a little wrinkly. "I love the very aerated and pillowy interior," said one judge, adding, "They are really moist." Another described the texture as spongy and warm. He also liked the hint of sweetness in the flavor. A couple of judges said these would be great grilled with a little butter and garlic. One taster said her children would like this bun for its looks and light weight.The store-brand buns were a bit darker in color than some of the others, but still moist enough to satisfy our tasters. Judges said these buns would hold a hearty dog piled high with condiments or even an added topping of robust chili. "It's got a pleasant taste with a little sweetness on the finish," said one judge. "It wouldn't overpower a hot dog or any other filling."
Would

they buy?
All four judges said yes.Three of the four judges said yes.Two of the four judges said yes.
Shopping information$2.50 for a 14-ounce package of eight buns from Walmart.$1.96 for a 12-ounce package of eight buns from Walmart.$1.45 for an 11-ounce package of eight buns.


Also Sampled: Merita ($2.58 for a 12-ounce package of eight buns from Walmart, 35 points); Trader Joe's ($2.49 for a 16-ounce package of eight buns, 30 points); Great Value ($1.48 for an 11-ounce package of eight buns from Walmart, 38 points); Pepperidge Farm ($2.50 for a 14-ounce package of eight buns from Walmart, 34 points); and Ballpark ($2.68 for a 20-ounce package of 12 buns from Walmart, 34 points).

Panelists: Jeff Jensen, public information officer for the city of Treasure Island; Wayne Conery, retired restaurant manager; Jill Dunn, Realtor with 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 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 bun1 bun1 bun
Calories140120110
Fat/Fiber1.5g / 1g1g / 0g1.5g / 0g
Sugars/Sodium4g / 210mg4g / 220mg3g / 230mg
Carbs/Protein26g / 4g24g / 4g23g / 4g

Taste test: hot dog buns 06/27/16 [Last modified: Monday, June 27, 2016 12:13pm]
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