Sunday, February 24, 2008

Sweet, Crunchy, Chewy, Rich...mmmmmmmmm

I'm addicted to trying new foods. Now, I know many people suffer from this affliction, but I think it effects me more than most. I can hardly wander through the aisle of Ellwood Thompson's without taking home something crazy like mushroom pate (which was pretty good actually) or a vegan bran muffin (not as good) to sample. Even a stop in for lunch rarely costs me less than $25 because of the random items I pick up on my wanders toward the back corner of the store. I eat meat and don't always eat organic, but over the years I've tried kefir, stuffing-flavored Tofurkey, Quorn Chick'n Gruyere (which is quite tasty), veggie corn dogs, and a host of other random foods where the packaging piqued my interest.

So, recently I've been perusing plenty of food websites and newsletters like The Nibble and I see so many products I want to order. Generally, I try to avoid ordering food off the Internet. I mean, a simple visit to the grocery store is already expensive enough with a problem like mine, so why order even more random foods? Well, I recently gave in and ordered Cacao Nibbles in all four flavors. I can't even remember where I read about these dark chocolate treats, but a visit to the web site hooked me.

Made with quince, dried fruit and cacao nibs (raw, unprocessed chocolate bits), the sweets bill themselves as being for "those of us who care about healthy eating but delight in eating chocolate every day." Now, I don't know how "healthy" you could call these bits, 5 pieces still has about 150 calories and an average of 4 grams saturated fat, but I decided to order because most varieties have 2 grams of fiber per serving and if you actually stick to one serving 150 calories still isn't that bad. Plus, the ingredient list is short, sweet and doesn't include anything I can't pronounce. So, I'll take this over the 100-calorie sweets that still incorporate hydrogenated oils.

Flavor choices are "Date Coconut," "Blueberry Lavender Plum," "Apricot Cranberry," and "Mango Apple." If you don't have a store that sells them in your area, the best deal is to get a sampler pack with one of each for $32, shipping included.

The package arrived Friday. Thus far, I've only bit into the Apricot Cranberry variety, but they are delicious! The chocolate (63 percent cacao) is rich and flavorful; the quince adds satisfying crunch (much more substantial than a Krackle or Nestle-ish crunch which I can't stand) and the fruit adds tang and a bit of chewy-ness. The bites aren't that big, but three satisfied my sweet tooth. I'll definitely be placing an order for Cacao Nibbles again soon!