A distinction to be savored
Mr. Tidbit doesn’t know about you (at least he won’t admit to knowing about you), but when he grew up, the word “savory” was used to describe a food — any food — that (as noted in the first entry in the online Merriam-Webster dictionary), has “a pleasant taste or smell.” He would have said “Is something to be savored.” While he wasn’t looking, another meaning for “savory” has overtaken the first — a meaning that young Mr. Tidbit, bon vivant and man-about-town that he was, would not have recognized, although it is now the second Merriam-Webster entry: A food that has a “spicy or salty quality without being sweet.” Thus we have sweet tarts and savory tarts.
Until now, the many Kashi bars, generally based on a whole-grain mixture containing things like flaxseeds and millet, would be found in the “sweet” bucket, if for no other reason than the inclusion of honey or chocolate chips. Mr. Tidbit is probably overlooking several exceptions, but he ventures to say that virtually every “bar” on the supermarket shelf is a sweetie.
Not anymore. Kashi has introduced two products it labels Savory Bars: Quinoa, Corn & Roasted Pepper, and Basil, White Bean & Olive Oil.”
It goes without saying that such a bold departure comes with a price. Whereas the 17 other Kashi bars (at least all of those that Mr. Tidbit found at one discount supermarket) are in boxes weighing 7 or 7 1/4 ounces, and all sell at that store for $2.99 (41 to 43 cents an ounce), the boxes of both Kashi Savory Bars weigh just 5 1/4 ounces and sell at that store for $3.20 (61 cents an ounce).
While we’re talking about breakthrough products, how’s this for innovative thinking? French’s, whose Crispy Fried Onions are the topping of choice for Thanksgiving’s ubiquitous green bean casserole, and which until now has offered only flavor variants of that product (white Cheddar, caramelized and — Mr. Tidbit thinks he recalls but can’t verify, garlic) steps smartly forward with Crispy Jalapeños. Note well: That’s not jalapeño-flavored fried onions. It’s fried actual jalapeños.
Dear friends: A week ago Saturday it was 27 years since my son Joe died in a seven-story fall from his college dorm room in Madison, Wis. He had taken LSD; he was 18.
Hug your kids.