Tidbits: Drizzle the sizzle

  • Article by: AL SICHERMAN , Star Tribune
  • Updated: May 9, 2012 - 2:24 PM

Also: How thin is ultra-thin?

There you are in your kitchen, staring at some uncooked chicken breast halves and some salad greens, and you have no idea how to turn them into food. Kraft has the answer: new Sizzling Salads chicken dinner kits, in four varieties (Chicken Caesar, Asian Chicken, Southwestern Chicken and Tuscan Chicken).

Each kit consists of two (six-ounce) bottles, enough for six servings each, of cooking sauce for the chicken and a complementary flavor of dressing for the salad. Sauté your chicken with the cooking sauce and toss your salad ingredients -- greens and whatever else you bring to the salad bowl -- with the salad dressing, and there, astonishingly, is dinner! (You might want to have a vegetable, too, but that's not Kraft's problem.)

The cooking sauces are pretty-much salad dressings (although each is a different flavor from the salad dressing it's packaged with), so a kit is essentially 12 ounces of salad dressing. If you are surprised that the kits are priced the same as 16-ounce bottles of Kraft's salad dressings (so they cost 33 percent more per ounce), you need to take Mr. Tidbit's one-note supermarket course, "If It's New, It Costs More."

 

How thin is it?

New from Sargento, four varieties of "ultra thin" sliced cheese -- Colby-Jack, mild Cheddar, provolone and Swiss. How thin is "ultra"? Well, Sargento's regular sliced provolone is 12 slices, which the package already calls "thin slices." A similar package of ultra-thin slices contains 20 slices.

While visiting Sargento's website, Mr. Tidbit was astonished to find that this brings to 36 (36!) the number of Sargento sliced cheese products. There are also 36 shredded offerings, 20 stick and string cheeses and eight miscellaneous things like grated and crumbled cheeses, for a grand total of 100 Sargento cheese products!

The jaded Tidbit consumer will have guessed, correctly, that one does not get ultra-thinness for nothing. The package of regular provolone weighs 8 ounces; for the same price, the package of ultra-thin sliced provolone weighs 7.6 ounces, so ultra-thin slices cost 5 percent more per ounce (there should have been 21 slices).

AL SICHERMAN

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