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Real Barbecue in the Mail

The email I got was straight-up heretical. It suggested that rather than grilling my own meat on a Weber, as befits a red-blooded American male, I—like a mincing Bolshevik—should shop

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Milanos Get Melty

“Skeptical yet intrigued.” That’s the three-word description of my reaction to the marketing for the new Pepperidge Farm Milano spinoff cookies known as Milano Melts. Skeptical because Milanos are already

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A 40-Proof Childhood Treat

Adult Chocolate Milk gets a “5” for marketing because its name and label are likely to be highly effective at generating sales, being as they are a toxic conflation of

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Twix Goes to the Tropics

Jumping aboard the coconut train that is thundering imperiously across the landscape of American food marketing, Twix presents its take: a pleasantly repackaged tweak of a standard Twix bar with

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Ramen: Not Just for Broke Drunks

In recent years, America has caught on to what other countries (most notably, Japan) have known for many, many years: Ramen need not only be the meal of last resort

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Sonic Brings Hot Dog Variety to the People

Sonic draws inspiration from hot dog world capitals New York, Chicago, and Michigan.

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None of the Dairy, None of the Whipped Fun

Frequent readers of this column know that I have a weakness for vegetarian and vegan imitations of real food. These products are always perceptibly different, and they usually fall short,

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Fancy Soda More Like Wine Than Pop

Slowly but steadily, soda has been dragging itself out of the lowbrow pit in which it has long wallowed, climbing agonizingly toward something like gastronomic respectability. Old-fashioned “real sugar” sodas

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Trader Joe’s Satisfies the Macaron Fiends

French macarons: the cupcakes of tomorrow of yesterday. (Depending upon whom you talk to, the cupcakes of tomorrow of today are whoopie pies, plain old pies, or cake lollipops.)

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Is So Delicious Really So Delicious?

As a dude from a dairy state (nay, the Dairy State, at least as far as award-winning cheese is concerned), I’m inclined to distrust hippie-trippy dairy substitutes. Enter So Delicious

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Argo Tea: Points for Not Being Boring

Appearance is rarely predictive of flavor. That said, it’s hard to resist a beverage as beautifully packaged as the ready-to-quaff signature drinks from the Argo Tea chain of cafés. From

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Pop Some Nut Butter into Your Bag

Although Justin’s Nut Butter comes in larger containers, the appeal of the 1.15-ounce-sized envelope is obvious: It’s cute, it’s portable, and it’s novel. Small enough to fit in a purse

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Low-Impact (Low-Taste) Cookies

When I reviewed Jovial Foods’ Einkorn Pasta (made from an ancient kind of cultivated wheat that boasts more nutrients and antioxidants than modern varieties), I noted its slightly malty, whole-wheat

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TJ’s Bento Box Bonanza

Dear Diary: Went to Trader Joe’s today. Saw this crazy-looking bento-box frozen entrée and FREAKED. OUT. Nine distinct tastes in one attractively packaged, convenient meal. The Trader Joe’s randomness factor

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Pizza for Brunch?

America does not need to be eating pizza for brunch. But let’s put that common-sense and basically irrelevant assertion aside for a moment and actually assess how these straight-from-the-freezer-to-your-oven-to-your-brunch-table pizzas

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Trader Joe’s “Meatloaf Muffins”: Predictably Unpredictable

Review mass-marketed food for even a short period of time and you learn that you can’t ever judge a frozen meal by its cover—quality of ingredients, balance of seasonings, and

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Domino’s Adds to the Lazy Dude’s Arsenal

Hot on the heels of its epic, moneymaking “Our old pizza sucked so hard, try out our new pizza which is totally better” campaign, Domino’s is promising America’s not-very-enterprising home

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Fruit Pies Unlike Anything Grandma Made

Depending upon whom you ask, 2011 is either the Year of the Pie, the Year Before the Year of the Pie, or the Year After the Year of the Pie

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A Whiff of Luxury in Taco Bell Shrimp Tacos

Taco Bell reveals a new item, shrimp tacos, in an apparent attempt to capture the high-end shrimp-eating market. Six shrimp per taco, people. Call Robin Leach.

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Looks Like a Fry, Says It’s a Fry, Not a Fry

Snikiddy All Natural Baked Fries are not french fries. Not at all. Ignore the fact that they’re made to look like french fries, that they’re referred to as “fries,” and

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No-Mess Candy Drops Are No Winners

You’ve got to give Hershey’s Drops credit for coming up with what might be the most confusing tag line of any new candy product in the past decade: “No candy

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