Plus: Microwaveable meals from Barilla
Mr. Tidbit has frequently insisted that he's not going to make note of any "new" grocery product that is simply another flavor of an existing one. In the case of two new entries from Post's Honey Bunches of Oats, he thinks that what some folks might regard as just more flavors are in fact somewhat groundbreaking:
Each of the two new Honey Bunches of Oats Fruit Blends is actually two new flavors: There's Banana Blueberry ("crispy banana flavored flakes" and "crunchy blueberry flavored granola clusters") and Peach Raspberry ("crispy peach flavored flakes" and "crunchy raspberry flavored granola clusters"). Both kinds also involve "other natural flavors."
Is a cereal with two fruit flavors (even if there's no actual banana in the Banana Blueberry version) something new? Mr. Tidbit thinks so, and he looks forward to your correspondence reminding him of the hundreds of previous two-fruit-flavor cereals.
Incidentally, this makes 10 kinds of Honey Bunches of Oats (all but one of which are principally corn -- plus whole-grain wheat, whole-grain rolled oats and rice). The other eight varieties are honey roasted (original), with almonds, with strawberries, with vanilla bunches, with pecan bunches, with cinnamon bunches, Raisin Medley and honey roasted Just Bunches (no flakes -- and no corn).
On the shelf
Two new products from Barilla, maker of many shapes of pasta and several varieties of pasta sauce: five shelf-stable microwave meals, with names like "Fusilli Integrali alle Verdure" (in smaller type "whole grain fusilli with vegetable marinara sauce"). Somewhat more interesting -- at least to Mr. Tidbit, who's getting kind of jaded -- are Barilla's new shelf-stable bags of tortellini. At least where Mr. Tidbit shops, he'd been aware of only frozen or refrigerated tortellini. Barilla's little 8-ounce bags of three-cheese or ricotta-and-spinach tortellini look like fish out of water on the dry pasta shelf, but back in the water (a pot of boiling water -- not in the microwave), they cook up nicely in 10 minutes. Mr. Tidbit would add pasta sauce, but that's just how he is.
Poll: Which 2013 Taste Holiday Cookie Contest entry do you most want to try?