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Taste test: raspberry vinaigrette

Raspberry vinaigrette has a lot of flexibility. It's a great way to spruce up any spring salad, especially alongside crumbled cheeses, fruits and nuts. But, it's also useful as a glaze for meats or a topping for ice cream, or to sprinkle over cooked vegetables. Our panelists are fans of the dressing, although a couple allowed they cut it with vinegar and olive oil when drizzling the dressing on salads. We tasted eight brands of bottled vinaigrettes.

Kathy Saunders, Times correspondent

Product/Score

(out of 100)
Ken's Light

Options

Raspberry

Walnut 71
Market

Pantry 56
Annie's

Naturals

Lite 54
Judges'

comments
Very dark color, bits of seeds and pulp made this dressing "wickedly good," according to one judge. Another described it as a "deep, sweet, tasty brew," saying he would use the dressing for grilling chicken or fish. Ken's dressing had a great balance of sweet and savory flavors and plenty of texture to work in a variety of dishes.Target's store brand was loaded with poppy seeds that gave the blend an appealing texture. The color was paler than some of the competition. "This has a sweet, actual raspberry scent and flavor and looks especially delicious when you give the bottle a nice shake to mix it all up," said one judge. Another said he would cut this dressing with a bit of extra-virgin olive oil to make an attractive and delicious salad topping.Judges said Annie's dressing was "bright and festive." One said, "I would love to toss this in a bowl of spring mix." Another judge said the dressing had "a faithful raspberry flavor." The panelists especially liked the balance of the sweet and tart tastes, saying this would be a really good dressing for grilling. "It almost tastes like a fruit smoothie or something you might like to see in the middle layer of a fruit yogurt," said one judge.
Would

they buy?
Three of the four judges said yes.Three of the four judges said yes.Two of the four judges said yes.
Shopping information$1.52 for a 9-ounce bottle from Target.$1.49 for a 16-ounce bottle from Target.$2.49 for an 8-ounce bottle from Target.


Also Sampled: Trader Joe's ($2.69 for an 8-ounce bottle, 36 points); Hannaford ($1.99 for a 16-ounce bottle from Sweetbay, 34 points);

Panera ($4.49 for a 12-ounce bottle from Target, 38 points); Maple Grove Farms of Vermont ($2.04 for an 8-ounce bottle from Target, 31 points); and Kraft ($1.99 for a 16-ounce bottle from Target, 37 points).

Panelists: Bob Devin Jones, artistic director of Studio@620; Jeff Jensen, public information officer for the city of Treasure Island; John Hehn, foodie & owner of All Brite Lighting & Power Design Inc.; 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 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 sizeTwo tablespoonsTwo tablespoonsTwo tablespoons
Calories605040
Fat/Fiber3.5g / 0g3.5g / 0g3g / 0g
Sugars/Sodium6g / 180mg5g / 240mg6g / 180mg
Carbs/Protein6g / 0g5g / 0g4g / 0g

Taste test: raspberry vinaigrette 03/12/13 [Last modified: Tuesday, March 12, 2013 12:35pm]
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