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Frozen appetizers tested by Consumer Reports to find the best

December 24, 2012 12:00:00 AM PST
An inexpensive and easy way to start your holiday party is to head to the supermarket freezer.

Consumer Reports tested 18 frozen appetizers, including tacos, taquitos, mozzarella sticks and spinach pies.

"Some were really good. Others would be better left at the grocery store," said Amy Keating with Consumer Reports.

T.G.I. Friday's mozzarella sticks often leaked, leaving a lot of cheese on the tray. Of the six cheese sticks tested, only one turned out to be very good. The Farm Rich Breaded Mozzarella Sticks were big, cheesy and tasty.

"Our trained tasters thought the other five were mediocre, mindless eating. And be aware that all mozzarella sticks have a fair amount of fat and calories," said Keating.

Mexican appetizers can also be high in fat and calories. The lowest rated in the tests were Delimex Chicken Taquitos.

"The filling reminded the testers of chicken liver," said Keating.

The best of the frozen appetizers were Greek-inspired spinach pies, or Spanakopita. All six tested tasted very good. Costco's Cuisine Adventures are top-rated with flavorful, fresh-tasting spinach.

Another good choice is spinach pies from The Fillo Factory. The crispy crust surrounds fresh-tasting spinach.

"Spanakopita are not an easy thing to make at home, so it's a good thing to buy at the store. And they're a bit lower in fat and calories," said Keating.

When you're organizing a cocktail party, caterers suggest that you plan on serving roughly eight appetizers per person for the first hour, and then about five for the rest of the party. If you're going to be serving dinner too, figure three to four appetizers a person.

Remember, a light snack before a party can help you avoid over indulging on appetizers.


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