Taco boats

Are there other ways to shape a taco than the traditional folded V? Sure; some years ago Old El Paso gave us the squared-off-U-shaped Stand 'n Stuff tacos that stand up so they're easier to fill. And now Ortega presents Fiesta Flats, crisp corn-taco material in the shape of wide, shallow boats, so you can make sort-of open-faced tacos a bit less precarious than tostadas.

Because they're wide open, they're theoretically easier to fill than even Stand 'n Stuff tacos. Ironically, however (especially given their name), the bottoms of Fiesta Flats aren't flat. They're quite rounded, and you have to hold onto them while you fill them.

Deep Dish cookies

Krusteaz, which makes many more baked-product mixes than your supermarket carries (Mr. Tidbit counted almost four dozen!), just added three Molten Deep Dish cookie mixes: sugar cookie with chocolate center, chocolate cookie with caramel center, and "classic cookie" (think chocolate-chip-cookie dough without the chips) with chocolate center.

Berry blue

Mr. Tidbit is fond of blueberries, so he was pleased to see that the latest addition to the Pillsbury collection of refrigerated dough products is Grands! Homestyle blueberry biscuits. Under the word "blueberry" on the label is the tiny advice "with artificial blueberry flavor," but Mr. Tidbit, in an uncommon burst of generosity of spirit, took the word "with" to mean "in the company of" or "including" — he envisioned blueberry content enhanced with artificial blueberry flavor.

A look at the ingredients list brought him back to reality. There is "natural flavor" in addition to the artificial, but Mr. Tidbit understands "natural flavor" to refer to a flavor derived from plant or animal sources (as opposed to one created in the lab). The natural source here isn't necessarily blueberries, and with his common sense restored, Mr. Tidbit adds that if it were natural blueberry flavor it probably would say so.

For the record, here's the "blueberry" portion of the ingredients list of Grands! Homestyle blueberry biscuits: "Artificially Flavored Blueberry Bits (sugar, corn syrup, corn cereal, modified cornstarch, cottonseed fiber, palm oil, natural and artificial flavor, partly hydrogenated soybean oil, cellulose gum, sodium alginate, red 40 lake, blue 2 lake, blue 1 lake, sulfiting agents)."


Al Sicherman