Plain cake doughnuts left our panelists looking for something wet. Some judges wanted to dip the treats into coffee. Others needed something to wash them down.
In the end, panelists preferred a cake doughnut that looked as though it may have had a dollop of sour cream or other moistening agent. They picked Kash n' Karry's store brand (50 cents each), giving it 48 out of 80 points in a blind taste test. Samples were judged on appearance, taste and the likelihood of winding up in the shopping cart.
"The outside looks very moist, and it has nice air holes," one panelist said of the Kash n' Karry doughnut. Another said, "It has great flavor, nice crunch and a great crown of ridges along the edge."
Describing the store's brand as "old-fashioned," two of the four panelists said they would buy it.
In second place, with 45 points, was Krispy Kreme ($3.19 a dozen). Though all the panelists said they would rather buy the company's lighter, glazed version, they liked the cake's texture.
"You can squeeze this doughnut and it bounces back," one panelist said.
Another detected a slight shortening taste but liked the light brown color.
The plain cake doughnuts in Entenmann's Donut Shoppe box ($3.29 a dozen) placed third with 40 points. Tasters thought they were a bit dry.
Taster's Choice also sampled doughnuts from the Publix bakery ($2.75 for a half-dozen) and Albertsons (69 cents each).
Panelists were Nan Jensen, home economist with Pinellas County Family and Consumer Sciences; Bob Devin Jones, actor, director and playwright; Julie Overton, personal chef; and Jim Yockey, aesthetician, Tierra Verde Salon and Day Spa. All products were tasted blind.
Send suggestions for product testing to Taste section, St. Petersburg Times, 490 First Ave. S, St. Petersburg, FL 33701 or e-mail them to krietasptimes.com. Please put TEST SUGGESTION in the subject line.