Posted October 14, 2004 by Nick Lindauer in Hot Sauce News

Morton aims to please hot-food lovers

Morton Hot Salt. $2.70 to $3.20 per 7.5-ounce plastic container.

Bonnie: Who knew? There’s actually some hot news about age-old salt.

Morton has combined its salt with chipotle (smoked jalapeno pepper) and red pepper to create a condiment that delivers just the right amount of heat with only a little more than half the sodium of regular salt. This should please hot-food lovers and sodium-restricted consumers alike.

Carolyn: Live in a household where hot sauce sits on the table right beside the salt and pepper? Then you might want to consider this new alternative, especially if you typically only use one or two drops of Tabasco.

Morton Hot Salt would seem to be a nearly half-and- half blend of salt and hot pepper powders that lends food a salty lift with none of Tabasco’s vinegary taste.

Those who like their foods hotter had best stick with Tabasco lest they go down the road of high blood pressure.

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Old El Paso Stand ‘n Stuff Taco Shells. $1.99 per 4.7- ounce box containing 10 shells or $2.99 per 10.5-ounce taco dinner kit.

Bonnie: Once you see Old El Paso Stand ‘n Stuff Taco Shells, you will wonder why some company hadn’t thought of them before.

They’re brilliant. Until now you held the empty taco shell in one hand while filling it with the meat, vegetables and salsa (unless you had one of the metal taco holders used in some Mexican restaurants, that is). Then you ate it knowing that once you put it down, the filling would fall out. But not if you use Old El Paso Stand ‘n Stuff. With their flat bottoms, they stand by themselves.

Since Stand ‘n Stuff shells are comparable in nutrition and cost to regular ones, I recommend them. But I don’t recommend buying them as part of a taco dinner kit. Why pay an extra dollar for a skimpy portion of salsa and a seasoning kit when it’s cheaper and almost as easy to season the meat with some chili powder and cumin, and then top it with your favorite salsa?

Carolyn: A hard taco with a rectangular base is something you need only if one person in your household is making tacos for everybody.

I certainly hope taco-making at your place is more egalitarian than that. (Making your own tacos in the style of a taco bar can also be a lot of fun.)

Moreover, Stand ‘n Stuff shells crack into pieces when you bite into them just as regular hard taco shells do — if not even more quickly because of the more fragile nature of their wider construction.

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Keebler Chips Deluxe Carb Sensible Cookies. Chocolate Chocolate Chip, Chocolate Chip, and Peanut Butter. $1.99 per 5.6-ounce box of 10 individually wrapped cookies.

Bonnie: There is no reason to eat cookies other than for enjoyment. But these new Carb Sensible Cookies are neither sensible nor enjoyable.

First, they’re redolent of artificial sweeteners, a fact you’d find only if you read the small-print ingredient panel. Second, one cookie contains as much or even slightly more calories than better-tasting, regular cookies. Third, they cost more. Although the box is big, that’s only to accommodate the packaging for 10 individually wrapped cookies.

I predict these will end up where the rest of the low- carb products are heading: in the failed-products graveyard.

Carolyn: My top vote for a word that doesn’t belong in the name of a dessert? Horrible. But sensible would certainly be in the top 10. That’s why I approached these Keebler Chips Deluxe Carb Sensible Cookies with some trepidation.

In the case of the Chocolate Chip, my fears were well-founded. These do deserve the horrible moniker, as they are tasteless and dry. The Chocolate Chocolate Chip are about as good as cheapo store-brand cookies — but cost a lot more. The very peanut buttery Peanut Butter are the best of the three by far (although I wish they were softer).

I also like that these come individually wrapped, although I doubt many people will be able to stop at just one of the Peanut Butter. In the case of the Chocolate Chip, though, even that tiny serving size is too much.

* Bonnie Tandy Leblang and Carolyn Wyman critique new food items. Questions may be sent to: Universal Press Syndicate, 4520 Main St., Kansas City, MO 64111; or call (816) 932-6600.

Nick Lindauer

The Original Hot Sauce Blog