Dots enough

Mr. Tidbit doesn't often mention holiday versions of grocery products, in part because they tend not to be all that interesting (Halloween Oreos with orange filling, for example), but mostly because by the time he notices them — and then by the time he remembers to mention them — the holiday is over.

But Mr. Tidbit has remembered — just in time — to call your attention to Christmas Dots, which struck him as more amusing than the usual run of Christmas candy.

Because it might have been a while since you last bought a giant box of Dots at the movies (and couldn't believe how much you had to pay for them), Mr. Tidbit reminds you that regular Dots are a mixed box of five somewhat translucent colors and matching vaguely fruity flavors: strawberry, cherry, orange, lemon and lime. Christmas Dots are only green and red (lime and cherry), but each is capped with white (vanilla) Dot material. Much as he hates to admit it, Mr. Tidbit must say that they do look sort-of snow-capped.

Actually, there is a second set of Dots fruit flavors. They're called Tropical Dots, and they had managed to escape Mr. Tidbit's keen powers of observation for quite a while. OK, for 10 years. Tropical Dots, introduced in 2003, consist of mango, grapefruit, melon, "paradise punch" and "island nectar."

Nuts to everyone

Speaking of things that hadn't grabbed Mr. Tidbit's attention, it seems there are lots more kinds of Nut Thins, the nut-enhanced rice crackers from Blue Diamond, than he had noticed. In addition to the two he knew about (almond and pecan), there are five others — all containing almonds: Cheddar cheese, country ranch, pepper Jack cheese, hint of sea salt and Smokehouse (a trademarked name).

As if that weren't enough kinds of Nut Thins, now there are three more, made with almonds and brown rice, and called Artisan Nut Thins. All feature seeds (but Mr. Tidbit can't imagine why that makes them artisanal). In any case, the three varieties are flaxseeds, sesame seeds (containing regular and black sesame seeds) and multi-seeds. That one contains sesame and black sesame seeds, flaxseeds, and quinoa, millet and amaranth seeds.

All 10 kinds of Nut Thins are gluten-free.

Al Sicherman