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  1. Florida

Four frozen treats you should try this summer

Our tasting panel weighs in on some new grocery store offerings.

Born on the first day of summer, I am a lover of all things warm and sunny. I like when it’s so hot outside you can’t touch the steering wheel on your car. And I crave a frozen treat on those hot and sticky days when we spend more time indoors than outside. Springtime is the season when ice cream makers start rolling out their new frozen options. My favorite is the limited edition Hula Hula Macadamia Nut ice cream from Publix, a treat that has its own fan Facebook page. But I’m always open to new offerings.

This week, our panelists sampled four new frozen treats for the dog days of summer.

Yasso Pistachio Brittle Frozen Greek Yogurt

Judges winced at the looks of these bars saying they were an odd shape with weird pock marks. “They just don’t look appetizing,” said one panelist. “That’s too bad though because the flavor is good.” The same judge suggested these would be more appealing if they came in a cup “which would give them a less icy surface.” Another said, “Once you get past the icy coating the bar is smooth and nutty with a healthy amount of chopped pistachio scattered throughout.” He added, “If I wanted a toasted almond fix without the calories this would be my first stop.” A judge who plans to buy these bars said she liked the sprinkle of pistachios throughout the bars and appreciated that it didn’t taste like a diet-friendly dessert.”

Would they buy? Three of the four judges said yes.

Serving size: 1 bar

Calories: 90

Fat/fiber: 1.5g / 0g

Sugar/sodium: 13g / 40mg

Carbs/protein: 15g / 5g

Shopping information: $3.79 for a 12.5-ounce box from Winn-Dixie.

Jeni’s Gooey Butter Cake Ice Cream

This ice cream had a lot going on. It was a blend of cream cheese ice cream with crumbles of vanilla cake and caramel-butterscotch swirls. “It’s gooey! It’s buttery! It’s good!” said one judge who described the dessert as “old-school ice cream.” All of the little “lumps of surprises” were a treat for another panelist. “It’s rich, creamy butter cake indeed,” she said. One judge loved the ice cream but wasn’t crazy about the texture of the butter-cake bits. “It needs something crunchy,” she said.

Would they buy? Two of the four judges said yes.

Serving size: ⅔ cup

Calories: 330

Fat/fiber: 19g / 0g

Sugar/sodium: 28g / 160mg

Carbs/protein: 36g / 4g

Shopping information: $7.99 for 1 pint from Publix.

Sweet Sicily Cappuccino dessert cakes

This two-pack of little dessert cakes was a big hit with our tasters. “It looks like a fluffy mattress of delicious delight,” said one panelist. “It’s light, mousse-like and airy with a smooth texture and subtle coffee flavor. It feels like tiramisu’s sultry cousin.” Another liked these because they melt in your mouth. “It’s a cool, layered cream-topped delight,” he said. “They look fancy enough to serve at a dinner party,” said another judge.

Would they buy? All four judges said yes.

Serving size: 1 slice

Calories: 200

Fat/fiber: 12g / 0g

Sugar/sodium: 16g / 45mg

Carbs/protein: 20g / 3g

Shopping information: $5.99 for a 4.9-ounce box of two slices from Publix.

Magnum Non-Dairy Classic Vanilla Bars Dipped in Chocolate

Panelists were disappointed in the non-dairy insides of these bars. While they liked the look of the bars and the sweetness of the chocolate, one judge said, “This leaves a funny coating on the tongue.” Another taster agreed, saying, “It looks like a classic Magnum bar then shocks you with an abrasively obvious non-dairy flavor that hangs in the mouth like a cold you can’t kick.” Another said, “It tastes like a Dairy Queen Buster Bar without the nuts, caramel and dairy.”

Would they buy? One of the four judges said yes.

Serving size: 1 bar

Calories: 230

Fat/fiber: 14g / 1g

Sugar/sodium: 20g / 35mg

Carbs/protein: 26g / 1g

Shopping information: $5.99 for a 9.12-ounce box of three bars from Publix.

Panelists: Jeff Jensen, public information officer for the city of Treasure Island; Elaine Cloud Goller, writer, director, performer and realtor; Janet Keeler, assistant professor of journalism at the University of South Florida St. Petersburg; and Daniel Figueroa IV, Tampa Bay Times digital producer.