Ultimately Ritzy, but where’s Orville? Not in Buffalo

rsz_ultimate_ritz   rsz_redenbacher         rsz_tabasco

The box of popcorn isn’t Ultimate Butter flavor, because that appears to have vanished, but you get the idea.


Ultimately putting on the Ritz

Oreo parent Mondelez now gives us Ultimate Butter Ritz crackers, which (of course) like regular Ritzes contain no butter at all. What makes Ultimate Butter Ritzes so ultimately buttery? There may be other factors, but one is obvious from the ingredient lists: In addition to the natural flavor found in regular Ritzes, the “ultimates” contain artificial flavor.

They have the same shelf price, but of course the new ones are in a smaller box (11.5 ounces vs 13.7), so they cost 19 percent more per ounce.

In a side issue that Mr. Tidbit finds fascinating, not only is “ultimate butter” familiar as a flavor of Orville Redenbacher popcorn (and, it seems, no other popcorn), but the red-and-white flag-striped box of Ultimate Butter Ritz is very similar to the look of the Pop-Up Bowl on the boxes of Orville’s Ultimate Butter popcorn. Orville’s popcorn is not a Mondelez product (it’s from ConAgra), so Mr. Tidbit has to wonder what’s up.

It got more intriguing (or, depending on your point of view, even less intriguing) when Mr. Tidbit was unable to find a box of that flavor of Orville Redenbacher popcorn still on the shelves at any store.

Possibly more to come.


Shuffle on to Tabasco

Quick: How many kinds of Tabasco sauce are there? Well, yes, “several” is correct but evasive. Mr. Tidbit, if pressed (something you don’t want to see), could name six, but the other day he saw one he hadn’t known about: Buffalo style. He believes it’s newer than the others (Original, Green Jalapaño, Chipotle, Habanero, Garlic and Sweet & Spicy), but that doesn’t necessarily make it very new. He brings the product to the table today because running into it finally forced him to find out what specifically makes a spicy dish “Buffalo style.”

Mr. Tidbit freely admits he could have looked this up ages ago, but he didn’t.

As he now understands it, the key to Buffalo style dishes is that the sauce that is tossed with the fried (or baked) chicken wings, which are the original famous Buffalo item, is a combination of hot sauce and melted butter (a blue-cheese-dressing side dish is optional). So does Buffalo Style Tabasco sauce contain melted butter? No, but it is thicker than the original red sauce, so when mixed with butter it adheres better.


Al Sicherman

Author: Al Sicherman

Al Sicherman and his used dog, Gus, live in Minneapolis. Al is on the left/

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