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New salad dressings rated high for flavor

Lorie Hutson Food editor

Not everyone has the time or the inclination to whip up their own salad dressing from scratch. And there are plenty of new options on grocery store shelves for summer salad season.

The Spokesman-Review reader food panel tasted just three of the new offerings and each one did well in our taste tests. The dressing had fans and detractors but tasters liked Wish-bone’s new Raspberry Hazelnut Vinaigrette enough to elevate it to four-star status. Newman’s Own new Light Honey Mustard also earned four stars out of five from our tasting panel.

Although some said the Raspberry Hazelnut Vinaigrette was too sweet, most liked the flavor.

“Fruity and sweet,” said Andy Hoye. “Try this one.”

“I love the fruity flavor in this dressing,” said Peggy Kazanis. Another one of our panel members took the leftover dressing home with her.

Newman’s Own surprised panel members with its light version of honey mustard. The taste and texture did not tip off most tasters that it was not the full-fat version. Many panel members said they’d use it for a marinade and dipping sauce, as well as on top of a salad.

“A must-buy for any mustard lover. It has a nice bite to it. Definitely does not taste like light at all,” said Laura Hollman.

Most tasters liked the slightly sweet flavor. Donald Clegg did not. “I love mustard-based dressings, but not this one. An annoying cloying sweet under-flavor,” he said.

Kraft’s new Three Cheese Italian dressing didn’t inspire our panel members to gush about its Caesar-like flavor, but they liked it well enough to award it three stars.

“Far from homemade, but OK in a pinch,” Clegg said.

Others said it was too salty and had a bit of a bottled-dressing taste. “Weaker than average and tastes kind of plasticy,” Hoye said.

Wish-bone Raspberry Hazelnut Vinaigrette

Price: $3.99 for 16 ounces

Nutrition per 2-tablespoon serving: 80 calories, 5 grams fat (.5 grams saturated, 56 percent fat calories), 9 grams carbohydrate, no cholesterol, no dietary fiber, 270 milligrams sodium.

Taste: • • • •

Value: • • •

Comments: “Great raspberry taste, although it is on the sweet side.” – Skip Hubbard

“Fruity and sweet; try this one.” – Andy Hoye

“Yummy raspberry vinaigrette.” – Tina Johnson

“Too sweet for me.” – Marilyn Moore

Newman’s Own Light Honey Mustard

Price: $2.89 for 16 ounces

Nutrition per serving: 70 calories, 4 grams fat (.5 grams saturated, 50 percent fat calories), 7 grams carbohydrate, no cholesterol, no dietary fiber, 290 milligrams sodium.

Taste: • • •

Value: • • •

Comments: “Pretty intense for a light dressing – very good.” – Andy Hoye

“Rich and creamy with plenty of zing; I can think of hundreds of things to use this for.” – Skip Hubbard

“Delicious.” – Tina Johnson

“Pungent. Opened my sinuses a bit too much.” – Marilyn Moore

Kraft Three Cheese Italian

Price: $3.19 for 16 ounces

Nutrition per 2-tablespoon serving: 130 calories, 14 grams fat (2.5 grams saturated, 97 percent fat calories), less than 1 gram carbohydrate, no cholesterol, no dietary fiber, 310 milligrams sodium.

Taste: • • •

Value: • • •

Comments: “Average-tasting dressing. No more, no less.” – Skip Hubbard

“Salt, salt, salt. If you like anything this salty, just get out the salt shaker.” – Tina Johnson

“Quite tasty. Definitely not your typical Italian dressing, it tastes kind of like Caesar.” – Laura Hollman

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