Tidbits: Hold a little mayo

  • Article by: AL SICHERMAN , Star Tribune
  • Updated: September 21, 2011 - 3:08 PM

Also: Recipe Inspirations and a bottle of corn syrup. Er, honey.

You know how big a jar of mayonnaise is, right? It's 16 ounces. That's what Mr. Tidbit would have said: Indeed, there's a 16-ounce jar of mayo in his refrigerator. OK, you might have said 32 ounces if you're a bulk (not to say bulky) consumer of mayo. Well, in either case, not so fast.

While Mr. Tidbit wasn't looking, the quiet round of grocery price increases through package-size reductions hit the mayo shelf, and jars of virtually every brand have been squeezed down to 15 and 30 ounces.

 

For all seasonings

On the other hand, Mr. Tidbit would be almost correct to say he's never seen anything like McCormick's new Recipe Inspirations. Each of the 12 varieties is six seasonings, premeasured to prepare one batch of some dish (recipe on the back of the card of six itty-bitty plastic bubbles of seasonings).

Of course, he has seen lots of seasoning mixes in foil packets. In fact McCormick makes at least one foil-pack mix for the same dish as one of its Recipe Inspirations. And (no surprise), the foil packet goes for less than half the price.

 

I love you, corn syrup

We all know what a "blend" is: It's a combination of several things, so thoroughly mixed that the individual components are no longer separable. In the grocery store, it usually means that one of the components is a lot cheaper than the components in the product's name. Ocean Spray 100% Juice Cranberry Juice Blend, for example, which a closer look at the label makes clear is a "cranberry flavored blend of two juices from concentrate with added ingredients," is, in fact, primarily grape juice. Nothing new there.

But here's a new one on Mr. Tidbit: Little Honey Bear Blend. One of his little friends found an 8-ounce bottle of it in the $1 aisle at a supermarket, so perhaps it shouldn't be too surprising that it's not just-plain honey, which is $3 or more for the same size bottle. It's primarily corn syrup.

AL SICHERMAN

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