Sunday, May 04, 2014

From The TESR Test Kitchen

In The TESR Kitchen, there are many things.

But some of our readers feel none of them are organic.

"Cookies, cookies, and then chips," huffed Melissa in an e-mail that we're really not sure sums up our output -- we've also done fortune cookies,

And we have done a comparison of Amy's Kitchen California Veggie Burger and Gardenburger's Veggie Medley and "all natural" Smart Puffs, for instance.

But, sure, we can hit the organics.

Dona and Kat hit the organic stores looking for something of interest.  Jess, who is a vegetarian, volunteered to go but we're sure he would have known what he was doing already.  Dona and Kat will eat organic but they're not organic only people.  So what would grab their interest seemed more interesting to us.

At the first two stores, nothing.  In the third store, Kat decided to see if they had sushi.  "It's raw," she noted.  So she went to where the salads were but no sushi.  She rejoined Dona who was now looking at the drinks. Great idea, Kat agreed.

They picked two Blue Sky colas.  They paid $1.50 for each pair, the prices may vary depending on store.

There were many varieties of these colas.  They went with Cherry Vanilla Creme and New Century Cola.

New Century Cola is part of Blue Sky's Organic Soda line. It's labeled "CERTIFIED ORGANIC SODA," "Sweetened with Organic Cane Sugar" and  "USDA ORGANIC."  It's a 12-ounce can and the calorie count is 160.  Taste?


It's not bad. It's just lacks the punch of Pepsi or Coke.  It also has a strange first taste.  This isn't a diet cola but if you're not a diet cola drinker but take a sip from time to time for whatever reason (Jim will often take a sip of Dona's), it's got that almost metallic first taste that diet sodas can have for non-drinkers.

The other soda, Blue Sky Zero's Cherry Vanilla Creme is part of Blue Sky's Natural Soda line.  Natural, not Organic, because it is a diet soda.  "Zero Calaries" the can proclaims. Instead of sugar cane, it uses Truvia.

What is Truvia?

It's website states, "TruvĂ­a® sweetener is natural, great-tasting sweetness born from the leaves of the stevia plant."  Okay, well is it safe?  Food Renegade offers:

What do you think? It’s not natural, but rather made by a mysterious, patented refining process to extract rebiana from the stevia leaf. Plus, it contains other ingredients besides rebiana, including erythritol (a dubious sugar alcohol) and “natural flavors” (whatever they are).

So you have that.

But what does it taste like?

We loved this.

All of us.  That includes people like Jim who don't drink diet sodas and people like Ty who aren't big cola drinkers.

The mixture of the cherry and vanilla gives it a smooth kick that leaves you longing for another can when you finish the first one.

We give New Century Cola a C.  We give Cherry Vanilla Creme (Zero Calorie version) an A+.

And, by the way, Melanie is a singer-songwriter whose songs include "Brand New Key," "Peace Will Come (According To Plan)," "(Lay Down) Candles In The Rain," "Motherhood Of Love," "Till They All Come Home," "What Have They Done To My Song?" and "Smile."  Behind the soda cans, that's the back of Melanie's 1971 album The Good Book (containing her top forty hit "Nickel Song"). We wanted something to jazz up the illustration and decided on an album.  While flipping through some of C.I.'s, Kat thought of this one and found C.I.'s copy.  We all agreed this was the one to go with.

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