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A sandwich to savor in the summertime

By KATHY SAUNDERS
Published April 6, 2005


What's not to like about ice cream sandwiches?

Plenty, after you've tasted 16 varieties.

Forget the low-carb, low-fat brands - they didn't come close to pleasing our Taster's Choice panelists. They were the best looking, round with frilly, piped-in filling. But the crusts were dry and hard and the filling tasteless.

The best sandwiches were made by Popsicle, a brand more associated with frozen ice than ice cream. The Popsicle sandwiches ($3.49) were mini in size but larger than bite-sized. They were wrapped in slick, white, "clinical" packaging. Judges liked the softness of the chocolate cookie and the vanilla flavor in the filling. They gave Popsicle 64 out of 80 points.

One point behind Popsicle was one of the least expensive and lesser known brands, Hood ($2.99 for a box of 12 purchased at a Kash n' Karry). Hood received 63 points and high praise for color and extra creamy filling.

"These have a real homemade taste," one judge said.

The third choice was the store brand sandwich from Kash n' Karry ($2.89), which earned 57 points. Judges praised the cookie's flavor.

All four panelists said they would buy the top three choices.

Also tasted were ice cream sandwiches from Pet ($3.79), Care Bears ($3.99), Albertsons ($2.19), Dean ($4.19), Klondike ($2.50), Atkins ($3.99), Breyers Carb Smart ($4.29), Blue Bell ($3.99), Publix ($3.49), Healthy Choice ($3.99), Weight Watchers ($2.50), Guilt Free ($3) and Eskimo Pie ($3.19).

Panelists were Jim Yockey, aesthetician, Tierra Verde Salon and Day Spa; personal chef Julie Overton; Bob Devin Jones, artistic director of Studio@620 and Nan Jensen, registered and licensed dietitian with Pinellas County Extension. 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 krieta@sptimes.com Please put TEST SUGGESTION in the subject line.

RANKINGS

No. 1: Popsicle.

No. 2: Hood.

No. 3: Kash n' Karry.