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May 10, 2008

Adventures in shopping

LocalStrawberries.jpgI got to the Waverly Market in time to get Eastern Shore strawberries from the one vendor who was selling them. (All the others I asked about were from Virginia, California or North Carolina.) If the box, which cost $5, looks a little skimpy, it's because I've already been at them.

Then I headed for the Giant, which would normally not be newsworthy except that a woman was, exciting news, handing out free samples of Bagel-fuls. (No, I didn't have one. A bit early for me. Of course, any time would be a bit early for me.)

I reached for my camera so I could show I'm not making this up, but there was about as much chance that I had my camera with me as that I had remembered to take my shopping list. 

Posted by Elizabeth Large at 11:58 AM | | Comments (9)


I can substantiate your claim: I, too, saw the Bagelfuls at Giant this morning, roasting like little bread hot dogs in a toaster oven. Entertaining, but a little terrifying.

We also noted the new "whole grain" pop tarts in the cereal aisle. Practically a health food!

Not the Waverly Market, but I was at the market under I-83 this morning. Got there just after 8 this time. The stuff was much better looking, and there was more of it than last week, when I was there at 10. Strawberries and asparagus were present. Got some of both. Also, locally farmed honey was comparably priced to what can be had elsewhere. Picked up some. Yeah, it pays to be early to these markets.

Whole Wheat Pop Tarts

Cider in a glass of ice, chicken and rice, comb out the lice, pay the price, act nice, spin around thrice ...

Mmmmm ... Pop Tarts ... the child abusey confectionary version of the Hot Pocket. Uh oh! I'm wearing my lucky skeptical boxer shorts. I so desperately want to believe that whole wheat means nutritious. I really really do.

Don't do it! Too skeptical! Oh no, he's unbottoning another button on his lucky Cardigan of Trust. No! The balance of power is changing.

Whole Wheat Flour, Corn Syrup, High Fructose Corn Syrup, Enriched Flour (Wheat Flour, Niacin, Reduced Iron, Thiamin Mononitrate [Vitamin B1], Riboflavin [Vitamin B2], Folic Acid), Vegetable Oil (Soybean, Cottonseed and Hydrogenated Cottonseed Oil with TBHQ and Citric Acid for Freshness) [Less than 0.5 g Trans Fat per Serving], Dextrose, Corn Syrup Solids, Sugar, Whole Grain Barley Flour, Contains Two Percent or Less of Inulin from Chicory Root, Wheat Starch, Salt, Dried Strawberries, Dried Apples, Dried Pears, Leavening (Baking Soda, Sodium Acid Pyrophosphate, Monocalcium Phosphate), Natural and Artificial Strawberry Flavor, Cornstarch, Citric Acid, Modified Wheat Starch, Gelatin, Caramel Color, Xanthan Gum, Soy Lecithin, Vitamin A Palmitate, Niacinamide, Red No. 40, Reduced Iron, Pyridoxine Hydrochloride (Vitamin B5), Yellow No. 6, Riboflavin (Vitamin B2), Thiamin Hydrochloride (Vitamin B1), Folic Acid.
Calories 190
Calories from Fat 45
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 5g 8%
Saturated Fat 1.5g 8%
Trans Fat 0g
Cholesterol 0mg 0%
Sodium 160mg 7%
Total Carbohydrate 35g 12%
Dietary Fiber 3g 12%
Sugars 15g
Protein 2g

Warnings :Contains wheat and soy ingredients. (Nothing says whole wheat like a soy warning)

Sweet fancy Moses, these guys are geniuses. Look, whole wheat flour is the first ingredient. That's where the fiber came from ... maybe. Why is inulin added? Hmmm...

Inulin is a soluble fiber that tastes sweet (How convenient) and is not absorbed by your digestive system. It is either something awesome for diabetics, because of it's low glycemic index and/or causes partial bowel obstruction. I bet it would make a great Jello-like shooter. Red Bull and Metamucil doesn't work so well. Anyway, it seems like a really complex topic. Why is it in there? To boost he fiber stats and make it look like there's more real whole wheaty fiber than there is (the insoluble roughage type). Bravo.

But whole wheat flour is the first ingredient. Yeah, but with ingredient list magic that could still mean that it is the minority flour. There is also white flour, barley flour, wheat starch, corn starch, modified wheat starch. Trickery!

The most interesting thing is how they hide the sugar by spreading it around a bunch of products: Corn Syrup, High Fructose Corn Syrup, Dextrose, Corn Syrup Solids, Sugar.

But mean Mr. Odd Combination of Mood-Defining Garments, they have less calories than the regular frosted version! Right you are naif. BUT the whole wheat version is SMALLER. So you have exactly 5% less calories but the toaster pastry is 4% smaller. That's a wash.

Oddy enough the non-frosted regular version has exactly 5% more calories than the same size frosted version.

There are no accidents in this field of Franken-Food. I truly believe that they manipulate the ingredients to fit the marketing studies.

Let's bring it home ... I need an absurd but true ending. Bam! I found a breakfast food that is roughly the same calories per ounce but sigificantly lower in fat. WWS PTarts are 24% fat calories and this one is only 15%. Peppermint Pattie you are the nutritional winner based about those measures.

Ahhhhh, that was such a waste of time. Time to button up my cardigan and put on the rejuvenating Poncho of Awesomeness (not my Sears poncho) and my Corduroys of Humility. You gotta keep it balanced!

Thanks loads Owl Giant. That makes me feel swell. Maybe I don't have to go to the gym this week. I can sleep in and eat Toaster Strudel. Apparently it's a German delicacy.

Lay off, OMG. Pop Tarts are an American classsic! Both my boys ate them almost every day for breakfast. Sometimes a couple for lunch if I was busy and they make a very nutritious bedtime snack. And it turns out they are both happy and successful young men. Little Bill and Little Jack are both professional jockeys. So there.

OMG: Missed yer mug at the usual space last PM. Lookin' like you've got beaucoup non-imbibing God Morning ergs & joules. I thought you tripped into a nerd hole, but I'm surio you were scribing that in a tub of lemon pudding and watching The Sound of Music dubbed in German:
Die Hügel sind mit dem Ton der Eule Fleischsoße lebendig.

If your Fedora of Calm doesn't chillax your tail feathers, then eyeball Bryan Regan's bit on Pop Tarts. Feel ya, holla!

Ooops. BryanRegan's Pop Tart vid:

Oh no, Rock Chick(let) is on the loose again making me feel really old, because I don't grok her lingo. !=) I think I gleaned that OMG and Chiclet know each other in "real" life and that OMG has a regular Saturday(?) hangout. I have no idea what to make of the rest of it. Back to my rocking chair.

Not to worry, TerrierMom. We may be older but we're having more fun (unless I'm really missing something inscrutable here ...)

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About this blog
Richard Gorelick was appointed The Baltimore Sun's restaurant critic in September 2010. Before joining the paper staff fulltime, he contributed freelance criticism and features articles about food to area and regional publications. Along the way, he dispatched for short-distance trucking companies, shilled for cultural non-profits, and assisted in cognitive neurology research – never the subject, always the control.

He takes restaurants seriously but not himself, and his favorite restaurant is the one you love, too.

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