Let the taste challenge begin

<p>After months of tearing down the boxes that pile up around my desk, it’s time we give a place in Metro to these food products. If we know about some new food or drink that is coming to market or just recently arrived, you should know, too.</p>


Metro dishes out the goods on burgers, coolers

After months of tearing down the boxes that pile up around my desk, it’s time we give a place in Metro to these food products.

If we know about some new food or drink that is coming to market or just recently arrived, you should know, too.


This space will tell you the new goods we’ve eaten or drank recently and rate them out of five based on our very subjective opinions of their taste, price, nutrition, packaging and overall enjoyment.


Sure this is a column full of plugs. But we’ll be throwing politeness out the bloody window: if they’re wonderful, our writers will heap praise; if they stink, well, you’ll know it. Most importantly, we’ll tell you if we think you should buy these consumables until the boxes and baskets stop showing up here.


A five is a must-buy. A one means move on to the next aisle.

• Better Burger by Chris & Tal’s Better Foods: *** 1/2 (out of five)

This beef and soy blended burger made by this Toronto-based company has received ink on our Food leadoff page in our coverage of The Good Food Festival and Market in April. It’s worth revisiting, however, because of the recent announcement in the United States that a new beef and soy blended burger will be hitting grocery stores south of the border sometime around the end of the year. The announcement was made billion-dollar company Solae (St. Louis, Mo.). Solae is the soy supplier for the two-man, Yonge and Eg company.

MSNBC.msn.com recently reported that “… a hybrid burger dubbed the ‘Better Burger’ by Solae has two-third the calories and half the fat and saturated fat as a burger of comparable size.”

Chris & Tal’s packaging claims their burgers have 65 per cent less fat, 45 per cent less cholesterol and 45 per cent fewer calories.

Things that make you go hmmmmm. (Thanks, Arsenio.) If you can’t wait until that trip to Buffalo next year to launch into one of these beauties, go to your local grocery store in the GTA (locations below). So stay happy and fat, and just eat two of these instead of one beef burger.

Just yolking. Add (insert plug here) Diana Sauce’s new gourmet maple flavour (end plug, one more to come), and any patty is delicious. It’s meant for chicken, ham and pork, but it works.

Have to admit, though, that following up this beef-soy patty with a PC beef burger reminds you there is no replacing pure red meat. And like chicken burgers, the beef-soy variety tend to cling to the grill a little more as well, so be sure to add some cooking oil as per instructions on the box.

Still, this new burger is a brilliant idea, especially if you’re trying to cut down on red meat consumption. Too bad beef and soy burgers and basketball were invented by the Yanks.

Price: About $6.99 for 4 burgers (452 g).

Where to Buy: Bruno’s Fine Foods, Fortino’s, Foodland, Loblaws, Pusateri’s, Real Canadian Superstore, Whole Foods Market. (Also, new Swiss mushroom burger available at some Foodlands and Whole Foods.)

Visit www.betterfoods.cafor more information.

• Bacardi Mixx 151 Iced Tea: **** 1/2 (out of five)

• White Xplosion: *** (out of five)

There was that nutty squirrel on posters all over the city. Then the pinup of the mutant woman from Total Recall, and the guy with the red abs painted over his bulging belly. These all helped promote a website calledbetterthanbeer.com.

Naturally, this is bizarre promotional fodder for rum coolers that are meant to wash over male tastebuds. And they are good, if you like rum.

While eating my Chris & Tal burger earlier this week, I started with White Xplosion — white grape juice with a twist of lime. It’s 7% alcohol, and very sweet. It being a summer schoolnight, I only drank half the bottle. Refreshing, not highly carbonated and quite sweet, but not as syrupy as some vodka coolers I have tried. But Xplosion is a one-off drink.

Next up was the 151 Iced Tea. The tea mix is a better blend with rum, giving you an instant Long Island out of a bottle. So much for my schoolnight — poured that 330 ml (same size as typical a beer bottle) down my gullet with little effort.

I’m one of many beer lovers who’s always pushing readers to pour their drinks into a glass. This experience brings you back to the dock on the lake — no need to pour.

(There’s also a Rum Runner Blonde I didn’t try.)

Better than beer? Nope. But they’re pretty good.

Price: $9.50 for a four-pack.

Where to Buy: Check your local LCBO outlet.

Next week: Breakfast!


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