Aw, Nuts!

I've written in the past about the explosion in varieties of gourmet chocolate on the candy aisle, with a mad rush to see who can come up with the chocolate bar with the highest percentage of cacao. I think there are some out there now that have just a splash of milk and a pinch of sugar thrown in with the cacao, making semi-sweet baking chocolate taste like Hershey's chocolate syrup by comparison. I guess it would take a stiff upper lip to enjoy that kind of chocolate.

Paralleling this has been an explosion of varieties of packaged nuts. It used to be that there were peanuts, mixed nuts, almonds and macadamia nuts. Now there are more varieties, and they are flavored with a great number of different things. I recently tried some of the Sahale Snacks nut blends, including Soledad Almonds (with apple, flax seeds, date, balsamic vinegar and red pepper) and Valdosta Pecans (with sweet cranberries, black pepper and orange zest). I also liked the Sing Buri cashews, with pineapple and Chinese pepper. Now Planters has gotten into the act, with their Planters Black Label jars. I bought a couple of them: Belgian Milk Chocolate (almonds and cashews) and Santa Fe Roasted Chipotle seasoned blend, which again is almonds and cashews with spicy seasoning. They taste a lot like Lay's barbecue chips with a bit more of a bite.

Even Blue Diamond almonds has gotten into the extreme flavors act, with Wasabi flavoring among others.

It's not just nuts, though. I saw some "extreme" flavored Pringles chips as well, although I ended up buying a multipack of the Pringles Restaurant Cravers, with Mozzarella Sticks & Marinara, Onion Blossom and Mexican Layered Dip flavors instead.

If I ate all of those at once, with the flavored nut blends, my tongue might just explode!