REVIEW: Dr. Praegers Fish Sticks
REVIEW: Dr. Praegers Fish Sticks
Something must have been in the air about Dr. Praegers Fish Sticks because within two days I'd received three requests for a review of this product. I headed to the store to pick up a box of fish sticks.
Now I have to be honest. I don't think I have eaten a fish stick in at least 20 years--probably longer! My mother didn't make fish sticks. Therefore, the taste of fish sticks isn't woven into my taste memory. So, I went into the review with an open mind.
The first thing I noticed about the fish sticks were the price. I was pleasantly surprised to see that they cost about the same as non-gluten-free fish sticks. Most gluten-free pre-made products are very expensive. ($10.00 loaves of bread!) The Dr. Praegers Fish Sticks were $3.29 for 14 sticks. Not bad at all! Two boxes went into my cart.
At home, I read the box. On the back there is a blurb by none other than Dr. Praeger himself. Turns out Dr. Praeger is a cardiac surgeon who started a line of foods with "the family of a former patient." Honestly, I don't know how much of this is true or how much of it is hokum. I mean, really, the fish sticks have 8 grams of fat per serving. Not exactly "cardiac surgeon" cuisine. But I am neither a doctor or nutritionist, so I will leave it up to you to decide how much you believe the good doctor's back-of-the-box note.
Back to the food! The ingredient list is wonderfully simple:
Pollack Fillets, Potato Flakes, Potato Starch, Expeller Pressed Canola Oil, Egg Whites, Salt, Brown Sugar. That is it! And near the nutrition facts is a little gluten-free symbol. Yay!
I preheated my oven and plopped the fish sticks onto my tray. The fish sticks looked, well, like fish sticks. Even frozen they had a nice brown color and coating to them. They didn't look anemic like so many gluten-free foods. My husband and I debated how many we would want to eat. For whatever reason, we settled on six fish sticks each.
As the fish sticks cooked, I waited for an "off" fish aroma to waft through the kitchen. It didn't happen. The cooking fish smelled good!
When the sticks were ready, we ate. The first thing I noticed about the sticks was the nice coating. It is advertised as a "potato crust." More like a breaded batter to my taste buds--and this is a good thing! The coating did not overpower the fish. Since the sticks are made from pollack, a strongly flavored batter would have muted the fish. This coating did not do that at all.
After chomping through the batter, I realized that the sticks were whole pieces of pollack cut into stick-pieces. These fish sticks aren't made from minced fish. These added a nice texture and mouth feel to the sticks. In fact, the taste reminded me of a piece of fried fish that would be served at a Maine fish shack. The fish had a nice texture. It wasn't mealy or dried out--two downfalls of some frozen fish.
Before I knew it, my six sticks were gone! Honestly, I could have eaten more. Since these are fish sticks and not fillets (my store doesn't carry the fillets), the fish to batter ratio leans heavily toward more batter than fish. Personally, I like more fish. But that isn't the fault of the fish sticks! The fish sticks are fabulous! They deliver nicely on taste, texture and quality. In fact, I am planning on keeping a box in the house for those busy nights when I don't have time to cook.
Summary: Budget-friendly fish sticks. Nice flavor. Excellent coating and high-quality fish. Highly recommended.