Tidbits: Foam on the range?

  • Article by: AL SICHERMAN , Star Tribune
  • Updated: November 7, 2012 - 3:08 PM

A new instant-coffee entry from Nestlé is Nescafé Memento -- cappuccino, caramel latte or mocha -- in single-serve packets you mix with very hot water. When you prepare any of the varieties, a layer of foam forms atop the coffee. You can't miss it in the illustrations on the boxes and in the advertisements -- it's half an inch thick (which isn't an exaggeration).

But oddly (at least to a word guy like Mr. Tidbit), although the "creamy, long-lasting foam" was prominently mentioned in advance publicity that Mr. Tidbit saw, and it's very obvious in the advertising and label illustrations, not a single word in any Memento ad that Mr. Tidbit has seen mentions it.

FYI, the instructions call for adding "very hot (not boiling) water," and Mr. Tidbit notes that using just very hot tap water doesn't produce the foam (or even dissolve the coffee): You need to heat the water on the range or in the microwave.

So how much does foaminess cost? At one discount supermarket, the box of eight Memento packets was $4.29 -- 54 cents a cup. At the same store the tins of the many flavors of similar (but non-foamy) Maxwell House International Cafe (what used to be General Foods International Coffees) were $2.09. Each produces about 17 cups of coffee, so they cost about 12 cents a cup. (That may be atypically low; at other stores the per-cup price was more like 20 cents.) If it's the single-serve packets that you want (not the foam), a few varieties of Maxwell House International Café are available that way: A box of five single-serve packets at the discount store was $2.39 -- 48 cents a cup.

 

What's a cookie cake?

Pepperidge Farm, maker of the many kinds of Milano cookies, now offers frozen "Milano cookie cake" (thaw before serving). Mr. Tidbit opines that it's just another, slightly smaller, Pepperidge Farm cake (in this case yellow cake, chocolate icing) -- with crumbles of Milano cookie on top. At one store, the 18-ounce Milano cake was $5.29; other Pepperidge Farm frozen cakes, all weighing 19.6 ounces, were $3.29.

AL SICHERMAN

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