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Interesting piece in the Boston Globe yesterday that looks at the new products entering the marketplace as 'low carb" alternatives to the high-carb favorites that so many Americans enjoy.

In many cases, the Globe reports, the low carb versions get "decidedly mixed marks." An excerpt:

    "…when an informal panel of a dozen tasters at the Globe sampled reduced-carb products beside their regular equivalents, we found a few pleasant surprises but otherwise little to love. We tasted 14 pairs, which were presented without packaging and, where possible, were cut to make both products similarly sized (to reduce the possibility of prejudice). In only a few cases were the tasters unable to determine the lower-carb version from the regular. Granted, in some instances, the appearances easily gave the identity away because some products are so distinctive: Nothing else looks or tastes as much like a Dorito as a Dorito.

    "But there was some good news. Only two tasters, for instance, could tell which of Entenmann's butter loaves had fewer carbs; many found the lower carb one moister. Tasters had a similar reaction to two Ragu pasta sauces, finding them difficult to tell apart. Both Klondike ice cream bars were also well received.

    "On the other end of the spectrum, Danielle brand lower-carb pasta drew more than one comparison to cardboard, Hood's low-carb 'dairy beverage' was likened to watery chalk, and snack chips by Atkins, Trader Joe's, and Robert's American Gourmet were compared to packing materials. Most of the chips were faulted for off-putting aftertastes."
KC's View:
Ah, well…

The thing about the low-carb food business is that it is a work in progress. After all, it may be a billion dollar business these days, but just a couple of years ago it had negligible sales. So there are bound to be a few rough spots.

Things will get better as there are more entries. For example, Unilever has announced it will add 14 new products to its Carb Options line, including ketchup, soup and chunky peanut butter.

That said, we have to admit that we've gotten to the point where we've decided to try never to put anything in our mouth that doesn’t taste good. Doesn’t mean we'll be irresponsible or overly careless in our food choices, but life is too short.