Health-Conscious Dining, Travel, and Fitness Tips
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Food Products

Fairytale Brownies
Black Currant Tea
Better Butter!
Sweet Treats
French Twists
Fat Free Cookies
Bertagni Gnocchi
Olive Oil

Fairytale Brownies

Fairytale Brownies has been winning all sorts of competitions and ranks among the best in the country. Located in Scottsdale, Arizona (602-276-9643), Eileen and David ship for that special occasion in lovely gift-boxes. Call (800)FAIRYTALE or look for them on the Internet at http://www.brownies.com.

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Black Currant Tea

On a visit to the Pacific Northwest, we were served iced tea which was wonderfully refreshing. It turned out to be Black Currant Tea and it came from the China Mist Tea Company, 14626A North 78th Way, Scottsdale, AZ 85260. Tel: 800-242-8807.

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Better butter!

For your morning toast, taste and health, switch from butter or margarine to a product like American Spoon Blueberry or Mango Butter. It's absolutely delicious, top quality and zero fat calories. Look for it in specialty shops or call American Spoon Foods at 800-222-5886 for the store nearest you.

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Sweet Treats

Häagen-Dazs has joined the competition for the low-fat ice-cream devotee. Sad to report, they should stick with their fat-free sorbets and frozen yogurts, which are outstanding. These low-fat ice-creams (3 grams of fat per 4 ounces), leave something to be desired from a taste point-of-view.

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French Twists

French Twists are hand made and oven baked, a satisfying tasty snack made without cholesterol, butter, eggs or yeast and low in sodium. Barry Yellen suffered a major heart attack at age 42 and needed a treat which would fit his healthier life style. He experimented - and voila, French Twist! Our tasters find it delicious and cinnamony, goes well with coffee or tea. Distributed by The Source in San Diego, call 1-800-TWIST-US.

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Fat Free Cookies

BP Gourmet Fat Free Cookies make a chocolate cappuccino double fudge brownie cookie that's delish. 17 calories per cookie, with zero fat. They use eggwhites and defatted cocoa. Their cinnamon crunch is also well worth trying. Write to BP Gourmet, Syosset, NY 11791 or call 516-931-6620 to order or to find out the source nearest to you.

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Bertagni Gnocchi

Bertagni Gnocchi, a delicious product, available with fillings of artichoke, asparagus, spinach, cheese, pumpkin or was porcini are available in Manhattan at Zabars, Todaro Brothers; in Brooklyn at Caputo's. Imported from Italy, they are sold frozen and can be cooked in five minutes, right out of your freezer.

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Olive Oil

At a blind tasting we conducted with a group of contributing editors, to our surprise, first place went to an estate bottled Spanish extra-virgin olive oil. It had a pale strawlike yellow color, a wonderful flowery aroma and a beautiful balance of fruit and spice, ending with a "bang," a pungent finish. Tasters felt it would be excellent on salad. Nunez del Prado, Baena. It can be ordered from Balduccis.

To order: Call 1-800-BALDUCCIS.

Italian and California oils each found champions for second place. The California, from the Napa Valley, was deep green in color with relatively little aroma and a strong peppery taste.

California Olive Oil bottled for Zabars, NY.

Best Buy Price-Wise Zabar's can be contacted on the Internet at: info@Zabars.com - or call 212-496-1234.

Two Tuscan olive oils rated highly, but still lost out to the Spanish. The first, from Montalcino, was a lime color with a nutty flavor, suggesting almonds. It was smooth and balanced, the aftertaste pleasant with a persistence of nutlike flavor. The second, from Chianti-in-Greve had a superb floral nose.

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