Friday, February 24, 2006

Almondina!


I don't know how they do it. These things are amazing-- thin, crisp biscotti, crawling with almonds and raisins. They call it "the delicious cookie without the guilt." Delicious they are. As far as the guilt is concerned, I got over food guilt years ago, but not everybody's so lucky, I know.

The ingredients are so simple: almonds, wheat flour, malted barley flour, sugar, egg whites, raisins, natural flavor. How does it work without any salt added? I know nothing about food science. According to the package I'm looking at, there's 8.9mg of sodium in a serving of 4, so something's coming from somewhere. The 8.9mg figure is totally meaningless to me, but I'm happy to report that it amounts to 0% of the recommended daily value. Zero is nothing.

There's no fat added either. As far as I can tell all the fat, which amounts to about 25% of the calories, comes from the almonds, which are extremely healthful. It's all too good to be true. Of course, you can get too much of a good thing. They may be less than 35 calories each, 133 for a serving of 4, but if, like me, you can't stop eating them the meter keeps running.

The entrepreneur behind Almondina is Yuval Zaliouk, a symphonic conductor. It is supposedly based on his grandmother Dina's secret recipe, which she supposedly guarded jealously until her final days. He named it in her honor: Almond-Dina. I have no reason to doubt the veracity of this tale. Even if it weren't true, I'd advise them to stick with it.

A number of flavors have been added since the introduction of "the original," but I've only tried one of them, sesame, and frankly I was sorely disappointed. I love most things sesame, yet this just didn't work for me. The slight bitterness of the sesame seemed to be fighting the Platonic balance of the basic version. If I had tasted this one first I might have never discovered the sublime original. The AlmonDuo, with pistachios, looks promising, yet I fear the subtraction of the raisins might spell trouble.

They really should never have made those other flavors--Grandma Dina should have made them swear they wouldn't. By doing so they defile her memory. I intend to honor Grandma Dina properly, by eating only the original from this point forward.

When I think back on that package of sesame I ate, that's when the guilt comes.

5 Comments:

Anonymous Bibianne said...

The sesame seeds must be roasted first. Are there roasted sesame seeds?
I do wonderful with sesame oil. Just a slight filet of it in an ordinary rice makes it delicious. And what a perfume.

12:08 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thanks for enjoying ALMONDINA Brand Biscuits!


Mike Zomkowski
ALMONDINA Brand Biscuits
National Sales Manager

9:33 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Peter, nice blog. I'll be around.

Just ate my last three Almondinas as a mid-afternoon snack. I'm grateful to Trader Joe's for carrying these little delights. Has someone else already thought of making a cheesechake crust with them?

Ellen in Indiana

2:52 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

My first time to write something in a blog. Almondina it toooooooooo good, even to me, a foreigner from the other side of the earth!
Thanks Almondina for making my life happier.

9:16 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

These delightful cookies are the best I have ever had! I would recommend these healthy all natural cookies to any and all!

3:24 PM  

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