Tidbits: Lunchables and Tater Tots

  • Article by: AL SICHERMAN , Star Tribune
  • Updated: May 21, 2014 - 1:50 PM

Skewering lunch

When, a few months ago, Mr. Tidbit encountered Lunchables Snack Duos (double packages each consisting of, for example, tortilla chips, salsa and mini Oreo cookies), it was with the sense that he hadn’t seen similarly strange developments from Lunchables for quite a while. Maybe he just wasn’t looking; if it existed at all, Lunchables’ pause in producing peculiar provender seems to have passed.

Introducing Lunchables Kabobbles (Chicken Popper Kabobbles are breaded chicken poppers, cheese cubes and pretzel sticks; Pizza Kabobbles are pepperoni slices, cheese cubes and pretzel sticks). Spear bits of meat and cheese with a pretzel stick: a Kabobble. The box also contains fruit punch drink or a smoothie, as well as cookies or candy.

The package urges kids to check out the Kabobulator at Lunchables.com. It’s a game consisting of a rotatable set of sticks on which to spear falling shapes — good practice for spearing food with a pretzel.

 

Zappable taters

While Mr. Tidbit might or might not have been lax in monitoring Lunchables developments, he certainly was inattentive to the world of Tater Tots. When he came across Ore-Ida’s new Extra Crispy Easy Tater Tots, he thought it to be the only alternative to their original Tater Tots.

How wrong he was! First things first, though. The new Easy Tater Tots are microwaveable: You don’t bake these little chunks of oiled shredded potato atop your casserole (or, if using them in Minnesota, your hot dish). You zap ’em and serve them as a side dish — or perhaps (if you don’t have any Lunchables) as a snack.

Although the name might imply that there are also Easy Tater Tots that are not extra crispy, there are not. There are, however, Extra Crispy Tater Tots that are not Easy (that is, not microwaveable). And there are Mini Tater Tots, Onion Tater Tots and Crispy Crowns, which seem to be the ends of regular Tater Tots, so there’s no potatoey middle, just crispy outside. None of them is Easy, either.

Although all of the other Tater Tots have 8 to 10 grams of fat per serving (of about 3 ounces), Extra Crispy Easy Tater Tots have 14 grams. In life, Mr. Tidbit advises, nothing is easy.

Al Sicherman

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