Nestle Drumsticks are way too artificial

Published: Wednesday, Oct. 7 2015 10:31 a.m. MDT

 (Universal Press Syndicate) (Universal Press Syndicate)

Nestle Drumstick Sprinkled! Vanilla, Chocolate, and Vanilla Cherry. $6.99 per 36.8-ounce box containing eight cones.

Bonnie: The only "real" food in a Drumstick is the sugar cone. Like other Drumsticks, these contain a scoop of artificially flavored frozen dessert in a "chocolatey-lined" sugar cone and dipped in a "chocolatey" coating. What looks like ice cream is a frozen dairy concoction; the "chocolate" coating is mainly coconut oil. And the only thing different about these new Drumsticks is their candy sprinkles.

All this artificiality delivers up to 270 calories and 9 grams saturated fat (almost half the recommended daily limit) with little nutritive value.

Carolyn: Jimmies or sprinkles (as you probably call them if you're not from the East and over 40 years old) were more popular (and needed) back when ice cream came without add-ins. The roll in the jimmies was an easy if messy way to enhance plain, smooth vanilla, chocolate or strawberry ice cream with crunchy candy.

 (Universal Press Syndicate) (Universal Press Syndicate)

Adding jimmies to chocolate-dipped ice cream, as here, is unorthodox and overkill. I prefer Drumsticks' traditional and different-tasting peanut topping to these sugar shots (or dots or sprinkles or jimmies or whatever your family calls them).

I also would have preferred cut-up pieces of maraschino cherries to the core of cherry jam used in the Sprinkled! Vanilla Cherry.

I agree with Bonnie that the cones are the best thing about these and any Drumstick. Unlike cheaper brands, Drumstick cones are lined with chocolate so they don't get soggy in the freezer and so that your last bite — with the concealed nugget of chocolate — is also the best. Would that all endings were so sweet.

Hawaiian Kettle Style Potato Chips. Original, Sweet Maui Onion, Luau BBQ, and Wasabi. 99 cents to $1.29 per 2-ounce, $2.99 to $3.49 per 8-ounce, and $4.79 to $5.29 per 16-ounce bag.

 (Universal Press Syndicate) (Universal Press Syndicate)

Bonnie: Long available on the West Coast, Hawaiian Kettle Style Potato Chips are now available nationwide. The chips purport to be lolo 'ono — crazy delicious. I concur when it comes to the crispy, crunchy Original that contains only potatoes, oil and salt.

That's where my Hawaiian love affair ends. Both the Sweet Maui Onion and Luau BBQ seem saltier than their 120 milligrams per ounce, due to the added flavor enhancers torula yeast, disodium inosinate and disodium guanylate. The Wasabi is worse, with more than twice the sodium and additives. It contains 270 milligrams, plus monosodium glutamate, autolyzed yeast, artificial coloring and artificial flavor.

If you want to go Hawaiian, stick to the Original no ka 'oi (the best) chips.

Carolyn: In the 1980s, handmade, slow-cooked potato chips were a signature food of Hawaii, a prized souvenir toted home in suitcases by tourists from around the world. Then a tourist named Cameron Healy decided to try to make the same sort of potato chip in his hometown of Salem, Ore., and both the Kettle Foods company and the mainland small-batch kettle potato chip industry was born.

This is recent news to me (I was too distracted in my one trip to the islands by Hawaiians' charming obsession with Spam), but hearing that Hawaiian Kettle Style Potato Chips are now available nationwide might get longtime Hawaiian potato chip fans excited.

They can calm down right now. First off, these aren't made in Hawaii but in the Pacific Northwest, like the Kettle brand. Second, these aren't as thick or hard as Kettle or many other kettle chips. I prefer this brand's delicate crispness; true kettle chip fans probably won't.

I really liked the flavor of the Sweet Maui Onion and Luau BBQ varieties. The BBQ is especially sophisticated, starting out sweet and ending up hot. The Wasabi is tame (i.e. pointless), and the Original is just like everybody else's kettle chip (ditto).

French's Dijon Mustard with Chardonnay Wine. $2.99 per 12-ounce squeeze bottle.

Bonnie: French's new Dijon Mustard with Chardonnay Wine is much more complex than French's original 100-plus-year-old signature yellow mustard, but less complex and more vinegary than the equally iconic Grey Poupon Dijon.

Ingredient- and nutrient-wise, it's just fine. Like most mustards, French's Dijon Mustard with Chardonnay Wine adds salt (about 130 milligrams) and minimal calories (about 5) per teaspoon. I still prefer the flavor of various artisanal brands such as Yves Tierenteyn-Verlent (from Ghent, Belgium) to use on my gourmet sausages, in marinades or in my homemade salad dressings.

Carolyn: The history of French's Dijon mustard introductions is a barometer of the maturing of the American palate. The Dijon variety introduced by this ballpark mustard king in 2003 used honey to make the sometimes harsh Dijon more acceptable to sweet-tooth Americans. But this new one actually ups the product's snob appeal by advertising the variety of white wine it contains.

French's Dijon Mustard with Chardonnay Wine still tastes less astringent than competitor Grey Poupon. It also comes in a user-friendly plastic squeeze bottle, has an approachable price tag, and tastes great on sophisticated sandwiches or as a dressing for green or pasta salads.

I still prefer the blander, bright-yellow original French's for the hot dogs and hamburgers I (and a lot of other Americans) will be grilling this coming week.

Bonnie Tandy Leblang is a registered dietitian and professional speaker. She has a blog (www.biteofthebest.com) about products she recommends; follow her on Twitter: @BonnieBOTB. Carolyn Wyman is a junk-food fanatic and author of "The Great Philly Cheesesteak Book" (Running Press). Each week they critique three new food items.)

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