Egg sandwiches that are tasty and nutritious are hard to come by in most fast-food chains.
Consumer Reports recently tried egg sandwiches from Burger King, Dunkin' Donuts, McDonald's, Starbucks and Subway -- and deemed Subway's Egg White and Cheese on Mornin' Melt Flatbread most tasty.
CR also evaluated the nutrition of egg sandwiches from those chains and Wendy's to see if any could combine good taste and nutrition.
The tastiest sandwich from Subway also had decent nutrition, and while breakfast sandwiches from Burger King and McDonald's rated good for taste, none of them scored better than fair for nutrition.
The components of Subway's three-inch Egg White and Cheese on Mornin' Melt Flatbread blended well -- its flatbread was tender and its egg whites flavorful. The other egg sandwiches CR tasted had one or more drawbacks.
The cheese in both Starbucks sandwiches -- the Chicken Sausage Wrap and the Turkey Bacon and White Cheddar Classic -- was saucelike. The egg in McDonald's Egg McMuffin was slightly rubbery.
In CR's tests, tasters visited at least three locations per chain in the New York area, and sandwich quality often varied from one location to another within a chain.
For example, the eggs in Burger King's BK Egg and Cheese Muffin were fluffy in two restaurants and wet in a third. And, in one instance, the muffin was untoasted. Only six of the 106 sandwiches earned CR's "Very Good" Rating for nutrition -- and all of them came from Subway.
The tastiest Egg White and Cheese on Mornin' Melt Flatbread only earned a "Good" in nutrition, as did offerings from Starbucks and Dunkin' Donuts.
THREE TIPS TO A TASTY BREAKFAST SANDWICH
-- Ask for the breakfast sandwich well-toasted -- toasting blends the flavors and makes the bread taste better.
-- For good nutrition, skip cheese or meat, substitute egg whites for whole eggs and avoid a foot-long.
-- Eat the breakfast sandwich right away as quality may fall as the sandwich cools off.
PICK OF THE PICKLES
CR gave Peter Piper a rest and asked five trained tasters to spend three days sampling 10 brands of dill pickles, whole or in spears (the whole ones were cut into spears to level the playing field).
The winner: Whole Foods 365 Everyday Value, which rated Excellent with its pleasing balance of garlic, salt, sourness and spices. Whole Foods and runner-up Trader Joe's Kosher Dill, rated Very Good, are whole pickles and have desirably crispy skins with crunchy insides.
Also rated Very Good were Great Value Kosher Dill Spears (Wal-Mart), which were zesty with a mustardy flavor and crisp outside and soft inside; Vlasic Kosher Dill Spears, with a balanced flavor of garlic, salt, sourness and spices; and Market Pantry Kosher Dill Spears (Target), also zesty and crisp outside and soft inside.
The rest of the tested pickles were spears, and most were very good. The Ba-Tampte Kosher Dill Deli Spears were lowest-rated, yet cost more than most. They were found to have a caraway flavor and slight heat, but were a bit bitter with a soft, watery inside and big seeds.
A pickle spear has only about 4 calories but about 300 milligrams of sodium, roughly 13 percent of the recommended daily limit for most people.
And here's a quick pickle primer: Dill sometimes means that pickles have had dill weed added to their brine, and other times it just refers to large size. Kosher doesn't necessarily indicate that pickles were prepared under a rabbi's supervision, just that garlic was added to the brine.
Bottom line. Whole Foods 365 Everyday Value dills are tastiest; runners-up Trader Joe's and Wal-Mart's Great Value cost less.
(c) COPYRIGHT 2012 CONSUMERS UNION INC.
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