Wednesday, August 06, 2008

The Granola Challenge

In the left-hand corner we have Trader Joe’s Maple Pecan Granola, winner of the 2008 title Best Granola of the Year, attributed in May by Consumer Reports. In the center stands a new contender from England, Dorset Cereal’s Fruits & Nuts, purple box, which “does not scrimp on the flakes” and is one of eight varieties, not all of which are available in the USA. And, finally, to the right, bursting with organic goodness we find Sandy’s homemade granola. Which will win our impromptu competition? The judge this morning is our favorite actress, cousin Nadia, fresh from a Broadway role. “This is a fantastic way to start my day!” she declares, sitting down gracefully at the outside breakfast table. A few spoonfuls of Contender Number One are deposited into a corner of her plate. She adds yogurt and goes to it. After swirling the mixture around in her mouth with the conscientious application of a long-time granola and yogurt consumer, Nadia says, “This is yummy. Is there cinnamon? Tastes like brown sugar, with a little maple syrup perhaps.” Contender Number Two is up to the plate. “Mmm,” says Nadia after mixing in the yogurt and placing a spoonful in her mouth. “I can definitely taste the almonds and raisins. Very oats and some flour. Hmm. There’s less flavor. But I like the consistency. Feels very ….. clean.” Time for Contender Number 3. Nadia takes a dainty spoonful, adds yogurt, consumes. “You can definitely taste the cashews.” She rolls her eyes over to one side, testing the consistency. “Not too hard to crunch. This one is perfect. I like the clusters, too. What is the sweetness? Coconut? …. There’s a softness to it. You don’t have to serve it with milk.” And the winner is – da-duh! – Contender Number Three, Sandy’s homemade organic granola, recipe courtesy of Nick Grabbe. Thank you, Nick!