Monday, July 25, 2011

Start "Spreading" the News

A new food discovery is fun.  It feels like finding buried treasure, or at least I imagine it does as I have not yet unearthed buried treasure, nor have I even looked.  But I do see new food items, from time to time, even if I also am not even looking.  And, when feeling adventurous, I am often willing to put one into the shopping basket.  

I recently found two worthy of note. Each may not be everyone's cup of tea (no tea at all, in fact), but since when is any food item going to please everyone?

With that caveat, I begin.  I seek out nonfat dairy products.  Not low fat, nonfat.  This is truly the needle-in-the-haystack challenge.  This includes cheese.  And when you exclude the fake cheese, soy cheese, etc., there's not much left.  Accordingly, it's been a long time since I've had cream cheese to spread on my bagel or toast.  Sigh.  But the other day at Barzini's, I noticed this small container in the dairy case -
Tnuva Quark Creamy Soft Cheese
I had absolutely no idea what it was, but it had that big "0g" and "Fat Free" on the side, so I decided to give it a go.  Well, it's a hit, a home run!  It's not cream cheese; don't get excited.  But it's not fake cheese either and doesn't taste like fake cheese.  Quark cheese is a Mediterranean cheese, and this brand is Israeli.  It has a texture between cream cheese and sour cream and it's spreadable.  The taste is a tiny bit tart, almost as if cream cheese had a dollop of plain yogurt mixed in.  It's perfect on my favorite Eli's raisin bread toast.  I'm very happy with this discovery.

And then there's being bad.  Dessert and snack bad, not something really horrible.  From my new fun time-waster of reading other people's blogs, I learn so many useful things, such as two bloggers from Paris who have recently shouted from the mountain-tops the magical virtues of Lotus Bischoff Spread, which in France is called spéculoos (with such a cute name that also gives away nothing in terms of what's inside the jar, how'd they come up with this)? 
I had to search through a few stores on the Upper West Side and got some funny looks and responses  from the store clerks, but I finally found it.  Honestly, though, now I can't remember where!  I can't believe it, because it's really good, in small doses.  How to explain it - well, it's like a cookie, but it's a cream of the cookie.  You use it like Nutella or peanut butter.  OK, you will just have to try it yourself.  

Oh, is it 0% fat?  No, it's got a few percentage points over that in fat content.  But I can't be a monk, can I?  And I was just so curious and so enjoyed the hunt.  

And now I'll have to do it all over again.  At least I have a $1 off coupon, and you do, too.

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