With a grain of salt

It simply had to happen, given the avalanche of candy, ice cream and who-knows-what-all that features the inclusion of sea salt. (For example, one flavor of Target's house-brand hot cocoa mix is sea salt caramel.) So it was only a matter of time before somebody started making a marketable notion out of the origin of that included sea salt.

Because Mr. Tidbit doesn't shop regularly in the kinds of places where such innovations might turn up, he must acknowledge that the following items from natural-foods maker Wild Harvest might not be the very first to include a chocolate bar with such defined sea-salt, but it certainly is among the earliest.

There is a Wild Harvest dark chocolate bar with pink Himalayan sea salt, and a Wild Harvest milk chocolate almond bar with Brazilian coast sea salt. (There's also a Wild Harvest milk chocolate toffee sea salt bar, in which the origin of the sea salt is — unforgivably — not revealed.)

Mr. Tidbit must say that he found both the Brazilian-salted and the Himalayan-salted bars quite tasty, but because one is dark chocolate and the other is milk chocolate (with almonds), he was unable to determine whether he could detect any difference between the salts. Might this inherent untestability be an intentional smoke screen to prevent Philistines like Mr. Tidbit from making light of salt-origin candy bars? He refuses to speculate.

(Mr. Tidbit didn't, of course, even purchase — much less taste — the unknowable-origin-salt toffee bar. What would be the point? He saved his money for a can of the new caramelized version of French's fried onions.)

And a grain of caramel

That's right, there are now three ways to buy French's fried onions: the original French's French fried onions, French's French fried onions with Cheddar cheese, and now French's caramelized crispy fried onions.

To be more precise, they are, as described on the package front, "caramelized flavored real onions." That translates into the following entry on the ingredient list, after onions, oil and flour: caramelized onion seasoning (sugar, salt, yeast extract, natural flavors including extractives of onion).

At one discount store, the caramelized onions were $3.29 and the originals were $2.99 (both are in 6-ounce cans); at one upscale store both were $4.35.

Al Sicherman