Saturday, September 17, 2011

Name that Flavour

By Belinda

I love cooking  food and eating it. This pleasure is one of God's great gifts.

I am grateful for the way he designed the tongue, with multiple taste buds:  amazing flavour receptors, all over, poised to identify salty sweet, sour, bitter and umami flavours. How cool that every morsel on it's way into the body has to pass over the tongue and that the trip can be so delicious!

But lately I've been noticing something disconcerting in processed foods. I don't tend to eat many of them but I do have things like protein bars and instant oatmeal in the cupboard, to keep body and soul together on rushed days. It's interesting that they have flavour titles that are recognizable, but put on a blindfold and it would be hard to tell what they are supposed to be.

Yesterday, instead of making a delicious pot of creamy Scott's Porage Oats or Cream of Wheat, I grabbed a package of instant oatmeal and although I often use the microwave, this time I boiled water in the kettle to "reconstitute" the contents. As the hot water hit the so called "oats," a flavour smell arose from the bowl that was unidentifiable. I had to look at the box to find out that it was "High Fibre Cinnamon and Spice." I wouldn't have guessed! And the last time I checked, Cinnamon was a spice.

My protein bars come in three flavours: Double chocolate; peanut butter and chocolate; and chocolate toffee. For one thing, is it not possible to make a protein bar without the word "chocolate" in it? And secondly, take my word for it that without looking at the wrapper, I would not know what I was eating. I eat them as "filler"--so that I feel like I've eaten and won't feel like wolfing down a dozen candy bars before the next meal, but it is hardly a pleasurable experience!

I don't expect this misleading naming of products to change. As long as companies are trying to sell us things they will do so with an image in words and pictures that aims to create an expectation. Being honest and saying, "Pick any bar--don't worry they all taste like cardboard" would hardly accomplish their goal now, would it? :)


Brenda said... I know we are truly sisters and quite probably twins. Your three choices of protein bars would have been my choices exactly because I am such a chocoholic. Our son, Ben, introduced me to a new one...A Cliff bar called Peanut butter toffee buzz. It is so delicious you'll swear it's a candy bar when you're eating it. And even can buy them at Costco in a huge box! You must try them.

Right now, I just took a pan of Ghirardelli triple chocolate brownies ( also from Costco) out of the oven. Too bad you live so far away that you can't stop by for tea!

Susan said...

That's it. I'm making you some REAL granola bars... Don't ask me "when", but I will! :)

Belinda said...

Ha ha, my dear sisters! Brenda, I will look for the bars you mentioned. They sound far more appetizing than my cardboard ones.

And Susan, you made me laugh--because I KNOW that your bars will supersede all in perfection--if and when I get them! :)

Dave Hingsburger said...

Susan, if I bat my eyes sweetly can I have some granola bars too ... I promise that we'll bake something wonderful for you and Belinda ... what with pies and granola bars, we've got to add something into the mix (though we don't cook with mixes).

Susan said...

Dave, Dave, Dave. You KNOW you don't have to bat your eyes at me... sweetly or any other way.

I went to daughter Christy's house for dinner tonight (Mennonite farmer sausages, acorn squash, mashed potatoes and schnitz pie - heaven!) and on the way home, I picked up $88 worth of healthy, "stuff". I'm pretty sure I'll be able to get at least two batches out of that pile of rolled oats, whey powder, nuts, seeds drie,d fruit, and -last, but definitely not least - REAL chocolate chips.

I cut the butter and tucked it into the fridge in recipe-sized portions, and lined the pans with parchment paper before turning out the kitchen light for the night.

Tomorrow night the measuring, mixing, baking, and cutting into bars will ensue. Tuesday night I'll wash the dishes. Maybe. (But that's only because Ron's not home to clean up my mess.)

And I bet neither of you will every buy another granola bar/protein bar again - unless of course I turn it into a fundraiser. But that's not likely to happen. I'm not nearly as insane as some people I know; I'll just write a cheque. :)

mercygraceword said...

I make my own protein bars with protein whey powder, many different types of delicious fat including chocolate,and macadamia nuts - have to confess it is a bit of an addiction for me now, and they taste so good with a cup of coffee :-)