Make us your home page

Taste test: mixed nuts

Whether it's a Mother's Day gathering, a graduation party or an impromptu get-together, a bowl of mixed nuts is a perfect place to start. But how is one to choose from so many brands? Our judges did some prep work, sampling six brands of mixed nuts. The combinations varied in taste more than the judges had predicted.

Kathy Saunders, Times correspondent


(out of 100)
Emerald 82Great Value 73Market Pantry 71

Big walnuts and plenty of cashews gave these mixed nuts an edge over the others. "The size of all of the nuts is impressive and there's a nice dusting of salt," one panelist said. "Overall, it's a very handsome blend." Another judge liked the freshness of the nuts. "I also like the decent shape and crunch of all of the pieces and the good balance of salt."Walmart's store brand mixture was a little heavy on peanuts for one panelist, but the rest raved about the overall flavor. "There are a decent amount of filberts and the combination has a good, salty taste," one judge said. "The full pecan halves are very nice and I like the sweet flavor and mealy texture," said another. One said this would be the perfect blend of nuts to crush and sprinkle atop a banana split.Judges gave Target's mixed nuts high marks for the respectable amount of cashews and almonds in the can. "It's a great mix and they are nice and salty and yummy," one taster said. Another described the sample as mild-flavored with just enough salt. "These would be great for a road trip," he said.

they buy?
All four judges said yes.All four judges said yes.Three of the four judges said yes.
Shopping information$4.99 for an 8.75-ounce jar from Publix.$7.98 for an 18.25-ounce can from Walmart.$3.19 for a 10.3-ounce can from Target.

Also Sampled: GFS Gordon Food Service ($11.29 for a 40-ounce container, 38 points); Planters ($5.49 for a 15-ounce can from Target, 38 points); and Publix ($3.99 for a 10.3-ounce can, 64 points).

Panelists: Bob Devin Jones, artistic director of Studio@620; John Hehn, foodie and owner of All Brite Lighting & Power Design; Wayne Conery, Manager of the R-Bar on Treasure Island; and Jeff Jensen, public information officer for the city of Treasure Island. 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 size1 ounce1 ounce1 ounce
Fat/Fiber15g / 2g15g / 2g15g / 2g
Sugars/Sodium1g / 80mg1g / 110mg1g / 110mg
Carbs/Protein6g / 5g5g / 6g5g / 6g

Taste test: mixed nuts 05/05/14 [Last modified: Monday, May 5, 2014 7:41pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Want to feel old? It's been 20 years since the first 'Harry Potter' was published


    He was so cute: Blond hair, blue eyes and a killer smile. He was dressed in a black robe with a fake scar on his forehead and regaling our fifth-grade class with his book report on Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban. As a 10-year-old with only the most sophisticated of tastes (give me a Baby-Sitters Club any day), …

    An auctioneer holds a first edition copy of the first Harry Potter book "Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone" containing annotations and illustrations by author J.K. Rowling. The tale has turned 20,  published in Britain on June 26, 1997. Since then, it has sold more than 450 million copies worldwide and has been translated into 79 languages. (Associated Press [2013])
  2. Restaurant review: Deccan Spice in Feather Sound is a gateway to the allures of Indian cuisine

    Food & Dining


    Feather Sound's Tru Lounge, which was Flo Lounge before that, morphed into Grand Siam in 2012, a giant Thai restaurant owned by the folks who had Ban Thai restaurants in Tampa, Clearwater, Brandon and Lakeland. It was lavish with dramatic fluted chandeliers and a long, polished wood sushi bar, but it …

    Some of the selections at a recent lunch buffet at Deccan Spice included chicken biryani, gobi masala and murgh masala.
  3. From the food editor: Almond-Crusted Chicken Tenders


    I decided my almond chicken obsession was becoming a bit much.

    Almond Crusted Chicken Tenders. Photo by Michelle Stark, Times food editor.
  4. Who topped the Billboard charts 35 years ago? Paul and Stevie, of course


    We really did have it so much better in the early ‘80s. Just check out the Billboard top 5 songs for the week of June 26, 1982. 

  5. Taste test: Unsalted butters

    Taste Test

    Even good things should be tasted in moderation. That's why we divided the columns for our tasting of salted butters. Last week, our judges shared their favorites from the first eight of 16 varieties found at local grocery stores. Here, they review the other eight. We spread the butters on unsalted saltine crackers in …