Saturday, January 23, 2010

Bloodhound Gang

I bought a family-sized can of Mentos at the duty free store last weekend. It felt like the right thing to do. It was late, and we had some more time in the car ahead of us until we made it to Whistler, so I thought we needed a boost. They came in special packaging only available at the duty free store (Travelers Only): individually wrapped, fancy pop-top that doubles as a Mento catapult, and two mystery flavors.

Silly marketing for kids. Except that my car full of 30 somethings loved it. What are the mystery flavors? Do I like them? Can I find another one? With all the real unanswered questions we wade through each day, there’s something fun about a mystery that can be solved. And is inconsequential. We were the Bloodhound Gang.

It’s like the fun of secret ingredients. Usually I am drawn to food that you can see and know what it is--nothing's better than a well composed cheese plate or a caprese salad. But the Bloodhound detective in me still likes a mystery ingredient challenge from time to time. And the rich lore around grandmas’ secret ingredients makes me think I should be building a cache of my own.

What are your favorite secret ingredients?  Here are a two of mine:
  • Smoothies: I love to make them with frozen berries and yogurt. Instead of using juice or milk to thin them, use water! You’ll love it. No extra sugar from the juice, no extra dairy from the milk, just yummy drinkable fruitiness.
  • Chicken stock: What gives my stock that sweet earthy roundness? Parsnips—my favorite for full flavored stocks.

1 comment:

Nikki K said...

Plain Non-Fat Yogurt is often my sneak. You have to cook to taste when subbing it in, but it's healthy and a great bonding agent. I put it in cheese biscuits instead of eggs, creamy salad dressing instead of mayo, and crab dip instead of cream cheese.