Food Stuff 

NEW FOOD NEWS

The more glamorous aspects of journalism involve charting new terrain, exploring new ideas, trying new food … here are a few samples that hit the MT office lately.

Sweet slurps

Dannon is taking the lunchbox market by storm with its new Danimals Drinkable yogurts, tiny (3.1 oz.) servings of runny yogurt which are packaged in shiny plastic containers.

The product’s press information says that sometimes it’s hard to get kids to drink milk, because they don’t like the texture. Go figure — this is even more textured.

Even so, our nonscientific testing procedures (one picky toddler plus one serving of raspberry-flavored drinkable yogurt, with a picture of a dinosaur on the bottle) turned up one satisfied kid who finished the whole thing in less than two minutes. Which means, for one thing, it’s tasty enough to drink. For another thing, there really isn’t much in the package. Available in strawberry, cherry, raspberry and tropical (?) flavors, suggested retail $2.19 for four drinks.

Healthy oil

The salad is supposed to be the healthy part of the meal. Kraft Foods now says the salad dressing can be good for you, too. To prove it, they’ve kicked up the vitamin E content (or started advertising the vitamin E that was always there in dressing ingredients such as canola and soybean oils) in their Taste Of Life Salad Dressing line. All it takes to get 50 percent of your recommended daily vitamin E (an antioxidant) is two tablespoons of these wonder dressings.

The taste? Not unlike other salad dressings. Here’s what we found in an informal survey, conducted in the Metro Times test kitchen/newsroom.

Garden Italian was the overall favorite, although a bit tangier than some would like. The guy who doesn’t normally like Ranch found the variety smooth and likable, but the guy who does like Ranch wasn’t especially impressed. One guy found the Honey Catalina zesty and good, while most others found it too sweet or thought it tasted too much like baked bean sauce. Speaking of sauce, the Tomato Garlic dressing was also a hit, except for one person who thought it tasted like pizza sauce. Suggested retail is $2.79 for 14 ounces.

Rice is nicer

Rice-a-Roni Simmering Suppers are marketed, no kidding, to "today’s busy woman." So I gave two samples (Honey Glazed Chicken and Lemon Herb Chicken) of this new meal-in-a-box to a man, who prepared them according to package directions: Fry some chicken (not included), pour the simmering sauce over it, boil the accompanying San Francisco treat mix, and maybe dream up another side dish (vegetables not included either). By the time the tester finished, he figured he could have cooked a meal from scratch in about as much time, and for less money than the $2.79 suggested retail. Still, if you’re clueless about what to serve, this is reasonably tasty and will make it seem like you’re at least capable of fending for yourself in the kitchen.— Alisa Gordaneer

TREATS

Check out Metro Times’ redesigned online restaurant guide, Restaurant Metropolis, at restaurants.metrotimes.com. You can browse our archive of MT restaurant reviews, or search our database of more than 1,200 area restaurants to find the exact dining experience you’re craving. And if you’re a restaurant owner, you can sign up online for a free Web page! It’s fast, easy, and only at metrotimes.com. … Planning a holiday party in Greektown? Niki’s Pizza and Loco Bar & Grill are offering banquet facilities for groups of 10 to 250. Call 313-964-0333 to make your party plans.

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