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Taste test: new breads

A longtime friend of mine used to joke that she would be making grilled cheese sandwiches in purgatory. With the number of grilled cheese sandwiches I have made for my children and their friends, I sometimes feel her pain. When I first spotted cheese-infused bread on grocery store shelves I admit I was immediately thinking about how it would taste as a toasted cheese sandwich. We found other new breads as well and had our panelists share their views on each slice.

Kathy Saunders, Times correspondent

ProductPepperidge Farm Asiago Cheese BreadEureka! Organic Top Seed Sara Lee Artesano King's Hawaiian Jalapeno Rolls

Panelists rejected this bread with orange swirls of cheese in the slices. They liked the strong smell of cheese but found the flavor a little too sweet. "The cheese tastes fake to me," said one panelist. "I really like the idea of this bread, but something just doesn't work," said another. The grilled cheese lovers in my family did like this bread, saying the extra cheese flavor was an added bonus. One judge suggested the cheese might have been more acceptable in the crust alone as a garnish for the loaf.Despite the name of this brand, the discovery of this bread wasn't a huge cry of joy for the Taster's Choice judges. While they didn't reject the bread outright, judges said the addition of flax, sunflower and sesame seeds was a bit overpowering in these slices. "It's very busy, like it's just trying too hard," said one panelist. Another said it seemed like a wholesome bread but tasted a little too sweet because of the addition of so many flavors. A couple really liked the rustic look of the bread. One said she would serve the bread with salty butter for a morning treat.These slices are wider and shorter than those from a traditional loaf of store-bought white bread. Judges liked the texture of the bread, describing it as smooth and hearty. "This is extremely puffy — like hotel or airplane pillows," said one judge. "I think it would be great for sandwiches," said a panelist who liked the texture and size of the slices. A couple said it would make great breakfast toast. One judge was disappointed in the sweetness of the bread. "It's more like a Sara Lee pound cake mated with white bread," she said.Hawaiian bread, originally from the famous King's Bakery on the Big Island, is known for its soft texture and super-sweet flavor. While our judges said they prefer the bread as a treat more than a staple, they enjoyed the latest recipe of Hawaiian rolls flecked with green jalapeno peppers. "These definitely have a major kick," said one impressed taster. "These would be great for pulled pork sliders. I love it." Another said he liked the heat in the rolls and would likely pair them with a sweeter filling.

they buy?
One of the four judges said yes.Two of the four judges said yes.Two of the four judges said yes.Three of the four judges said yes.
Shopping information$3.99 for a 14-ounce loaf from Publix.$3.49 for an 18-ounce loaf from Publix.$2.98 for a 20-ounce loaf from Walmart.$3 for a 12-ounce box of 12 rolls from Publix.

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. 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 slice1 slice1 slice1 roll
Fat/Fiber1.5g / 1g2.5g / 2g1g / 0g2g / 0g
Sugars/Sodium3g / 280mg3g / 95mg2g / 190mg5g / 105mg
Carbs/Protein22g / 4g13g / 3g20g / 3g15g / 2g

Taste test: new breads 08/08/16 [Last modified: Monday, August 8, 2016 11:28pm]
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