June 12, 2007
I start this weeks column with the "don't eat" item because it's so strange to me and makes a great comparison for what a really healthy diet should be. I found the Brother's All Natural Fruit Crisps wandering through the store the other day. I remembered that I had received a similar product in the mail from a company called Crispy Green and had meant to comment on it a few months ago (companies send me weird food all the time and I have yet to get something very good).
Both of these are freeze dried fruits. The first question in my mind would be... why? Maybe if you were going camping, but in terms of these having a lot of calories there's better things you might carry on a hike.
Put very simply, both of these product are pretty terrible. They taste like air that is lightly flavored with fruit. For about a dollar (or more) you get just under a cup, and because there's nothing to chew or savor, it takes all of a minute or so to eat them. Granted, the apple variety is only 39 calories, but they are simply not at all satisfying. The pineapple variety are tiny little bits of dried pineapple that are a little like eating dried up cotton candy. Leave this stuff on the shelf.
To be fair I compared these expensive packets of air with other convenience fruit. For the apple I chose applesauce. In spite of selecting a brand that was labeled "organic" and "no preservatives" added this tasted like processed food. The pineapple "snack bowls" (bits of pineapple in pineapple juice) tasted like the applesauce with little pineapple flavor.
I suppose that these are OK if you're stocking up for a disaster but quite simply they don't taste all that great and are not a very filling snack for day to day use.
OK, this probably sounds preachy but eat the real fruit. Dollar for dollar the same serving size was cheaper than the processed products.
But what flavor.
Because the Apple Crisps were labeled "Fuji Apple" I cut up a Fuji apple for comparison. Delicious. Where the crisps took about a minute to eat and I didn't really feel like I had anything, the apple was so satisfying. It took me about 6 minutes to eat the cut up apple and it was so full of flavor and juicy.
I really wasn't prepared for the difference in the fresh pineapple. I will admit to eating a lot of bananas, apples and grapes and don't buy fresh pineapple all that often. Every time I do I wonder why I don't pick it up more. So sweet, juicy and satisfying especially when tasted next to either the crisps or the packaged pineapple. Proving once again that the less processed a food the better it tastes.