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Taste test: Peppermint treats

Like pumpkin-infused foods at Thanksgiving, sometimes the holidays include way too much peppermint. Our judges love peppermint, but they don't want it injected into everything they eat for a month. Instead, this week, we looked for a few food offerings with a subtle twist of the flavor. We love a peppermint stick in our hot cocoa; we don't mind it sprinkled on our ice cream sundaes; and we are good with a little peppermint patty at the end of a meal. Now, we know we can enjoy a minty twist in these holiday delights.

Kathy Saunders, Times correspondent

ProductBigelow Peppermint Herbal Tea Keebler Fudge Stripes Cookies Cool Whip Peppermint Nestle

Coffee-mate Peppermint Mocha

Tea flavors can sometimes be too hard to distinguish in a single cup. That was not the case with this option. Judges loved the deep, rich flavor of the tea and the soothing peppermint taste. "Add a candy cane and let's go caroling," said one judge. A couple said they definitely will be sipping this on cooler holiday nights. One said it had healing qualities. "It's breezy and transparent with active decongestant qualities." He added, "Seriously, it's a great tea for the winter cold season."These limited-edition cookies that resemble the traditional Keebler fudge-striped offering had their own definite flavor. "It looks generic but, surprisingly, these are deliciously flavorful with a nice crispness of the cookie and just enough peppermint," said one panelist. "It's a classic cookie with a nice, peppermint mix," said another. "This cookie says Christmas!" Only one panelist said he was disappointed in the elves for this cookie. Cool Whip's peppermint option gives the low-calorie holiday treat a special quality. The pretty, pink topping has the perfect blend of smooth texture and a hint of mint. "This is a wonderful Christmas product," said one judge. "It's light and fluffy, with an elephant whiff of mint," said another taster. "And it's pink!" Judges said the light pink topping would be beautiful and tasty in hot chocolate, on ice cream or layered in a chocolate pie. Even noncreamer fans enjoyed this holiday version of Coffee-mate. "This has a festive flavor fit for the holidays," said one panelist. "It's even good straight out of the bottle without coffee," said another judge. "It has a hint of mint and a truckload of sugar." One said she will be sipping this "around the fireplace this holiday season with a big ol' cup of coffee or hot chocolate."

they buy?
All four judges said yes.Three of the four judges said yes.All four judges said yes.All four judges said yes.
Shopping information$2.53 for a 0.91-ounce box of 20 tea bags from Publix. $3.59 for an 11.5-ounce package from Publix. $1.91 for an 8-ounce container from Publix.$2.89 for a 16-ounce bottle from Publix.

Panelists: Jeff Jensen, public information officer for the city of Treasure Island; Wayne Conery, retired restaurant manager; Julie Overton, cook and bartender; and Kay Hodnett, personal chef.

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 size8 ouncesTwo cookiesTwo tablespoonsOne tablespoon
Fat/Fiber0g / 0g6g / 0g1.5g / 0g1.5g / 0g
Sugars/Sodium0g / 0mg10g / 70mg2g / 0mg1.5g / 0mg
Carbs/Protein0g / 0g19g / 0g2g / 0g5g / 5g

Taste test: Peppermint treats 12/12/16 [Last modified: Monday, December 12, 2016 10:53am]
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