Make us your home page
Instagram

Taste test: potato puffs

Potato puffs are commonly called tater tots after the familiar ones from Ore-Ida.

iStockphoto.com

Potato puffs are commonly called tater tots after the familiar ones from Ore-Ida.

Back to school means back to weeknight dinner dilemmas and the search for child-friendly foods. Potato puffs, commonly called tater tots after the familiar ones from Ore-Ida, are a fun option. We assembled a panel of moms to help us pick the brand of potatoes they would most likely serve to their children. All were baked in the oven, according to package directions.

Kathy Saunders, Times correspondent

Product/Score

(out of 100)
My Essentials

Tasty Taters 65
Great Value Taters 64Ore-Ida Tater Tots 51
Judges'

comments
Strong potato flavor and an attractive, golden color gave these potatoes the edge on the competition. The store-brand potatoes from Sweetbay baked into nice, crispy puffs with soft centers. With a little salt or seasoning, judges said these would be acceptable to adults as well. One panelist said she would use this brand in a baked casserole with cheeses and cream. "They would hold up great and give any dish a lot of texture," she said.Walmart's potato puffs had great color and shape and a more subtle potato flavor. Judges liked the taste of these but wanted ketchup or dipping sauce to enhance the flavor. "My kids would really like these because they are plain and not overbearing," one judge said. "They would make a great side dish for a burger, hot dog, grilled cheese sandwich or even chicken strips."Fresh was the word panelists used to describe these originals. While a couple of brands seemed to have a little freezer-burn flavor, these tasted like newly shredded potatoes. "I would serve these as breakfast potatoes," one judge said. "They would be especially good with a little dash of Tabasco sauce."
Would

they buy?
All four judges said yes.Three of the four judges said yes.Two of the four judges said yes.
Shopping information$2.18 for a 32-ounce bag from Sweetbay.$2 for a 32-ounce bag from Walmart.$2.50 for a 32-ounce bag from Publix.


Also Sampled: Publix ($2.15 for a 32-ounce bag, 26 points), Alexia ($2.99 for a 28-ounce bag from Sweetbay, 16 points) and Winn-Dixie ($3.19 for a 32-ounce bag, 21 points).

Panelists: Gina Schiller, mother of two college students; Jill Dunn, mother of two high schoolers and one college student; Rhonda Sanderford, mother of one grown daughter and two grown sons; and Sherry Valadie, mother of two middle schoolers and one high schooler. 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 jkeeler@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 size9 pieces10 pieces9 pieces
Calories160160160
Fat/Fiber7g / 1g8g / 2g8g / 2g
Sugars/Sodium0g / 400mg0g / 330mg0g / 440mg
Carbs/Protein21g / 2g20g / 2g20g / 2g

Taste test: potato puffs 08/26/13 [Last modified: Monday, August 26, 2013 11:38am]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. From the archives: Account of famed Riggs-King match heightens Tampa mob intrigue

    Tennis

    With the Sept. 29 opening of "Battle of the Sexes" — the movie starring Emma Stone and Steve Carrell about Billie Jean King's landmark 1973 tennis win over Bobby Riggs — we thought there might be renewed interest in this 2013 Peter Jamison story from the Tampa Bay Times.

    Emma Stone as Billie Jean King and Steve Carell as Bobby Riggs in "Battle of the Sexes."  [Melinda Sue Gordon, Fox Searchlight Pictures]
  2. Halloween Horror Nights: 'The Shining,' 'Saw' and more things to give you nightmares at Universal Orlando

    Blogs

    The 27th year of Universal Orlando's Halloween Horror Nights will scare the pants off you -- in the best possible way.

    The scare zone inspired by horror flick Trick r' Treat is one of the most beautiful at this year's Halloween Horror Nights 27.
  3. Top things to do in Tampa Bay for Sept. 22

    Events

    Arcade Fire: The wildly acclaimed indie rock outfit tour in support of their fifth album, Infinite Content. Presumably, the band will also play songs from their first few albums. Wolf Parade opens. 7 p.m., University of South Florida Sun Dome, 4202 E Fowler Ave., Tampa. $35-$75. (813) 974-3004.

    LOS ANGELES, CA - DECEMBER 08:  Musician Win Butler of Arcade Fire performs onstage during The 24th Annual KROQ Almost Acoustic Christmas at The Shrine Auditorium on December 8, 2013 in Los Angeles, California.  (Photo by Kevin Winter/Getty Images for Radio.com)
  4. What the 10 terms Merriam-Webster just added to the dictionary say about our foodie culture

    Cooking

    Joining "troll" (as in, a rude person on the Internet, not a bridge-dwelling creature), "alt-right" and "dog whistle," 10 food-related words were added to the Merriam-Webster dictionary this week. That's out of 250 new terms, a pretty good ratio that signals the ongoing shift toward a more food-obsessed culture, one …

    IPA is one of the words recently added to the dictionary.