Tidbits: How dark is dark?

  • Article by: AL SICHERMAN , Star Tribune
  • Updated: June 15, 2011 - 3:05 PM

Also, about about some rib-flavored rice?

New from Nestle are dark chocolate Toll House morsels. (Nestle insists on using the word "morsels" for what the rest of us call "chocolate chips.") The new chips are not darker in color than Nestle's original semisweet Toll House morsels, but they are slightly darker in flavor. They are less sweet (6 grams of sugar per tablespoon instead of 8 in regular Nestle morsels), and have a cacao content of 53 percent (no doubt higher than that of Nestle's original morsels, whose cacao content we aren't given to know). Note that they come in a 10-ounce bag, for the same price as the 12-ouncer of regular Nestle morsels.

This chocolate-chip option goes a different direction than Hershey's Special Dark "mildly sweet" chocolate chips. Those have less of the slightly bitter aftertaste of semisweet chocolate because, although they have the same 8 grams of sugar per tablespoon as Hershey's regular semisweet chips, they include cocoa processed with alkali ("Dutch-processed cocoa"), which is milder in flavor than regular cocoa.

Both Nestle's and Hershey's alternative products have slightly more fat than the originals.

Rice padded

Although Mr. Tidbit claims to have forsworn reporting about "new" grocery products whose only new feature is a new flavor, he feels that a new line of flavors, all a little odd, is worth a mention. Should you disagree, feel free to read no farther. Aah-aah-aah, caught you; now you have to read the rest of this item, about the new flavor line from Knorr, the Unilever label that produces dry mixes for soups, pasta, gravy, rice and more.

Knorr already made five lines -- 20 flavors -- of rice-based side dishes, called Rice Sides: Asian Sides, Cajun Sides, Fiesta Sides, Sides Plus Veggies and the original Rice Sides. The three new flavors are called Rice Sides Menu Flavors. The three flavors, which Mr. Tidbit insists are odd enough to merit your attention, are Steak Fajitas, Baby Back BBQ and Buffalo Chicken. Flavors. Of rice. That's Baby Back BBQ flavored rice. (Your punch line here.)

AL SICHERMAN

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