New to its baked-goods lineup is Biscotti Bites, 24 mini-biscotti to the bag, each morsel carrying 40 calories. The Bites come in three flavors - almond (with a touch of anise), almond dipped in dark chocolate, and caramel milk chocolate. Bites are $3.49 to $3.99 in most supermarkets. For more information: www.nonnis.com.
We passed around the bag of traditional almond-anise Bites and asked our tasters to offer their critiques. I'll go first:
"Nonni's, with roots in Lucca, Italy, has always baked some fine dunking cookies. They're crunchy, fresh-tasting, not overly sweet and really made from old recipes using quality ingredients. However: For some, they may be a bit dry. The new Bites are convenient and casual (and cute?), and - like all biscotti - are best when dunked in red wine."
"Flavor: Excellent; love the interplay of anise and almond. Texture: Good; a bit less dense and crispy than my favorite biscotti, but close. Size: If your coffee cup is half-empty, forget it; these little nibbles are too short for dunking."
Buttery, savory almond crunch, but I can't say they left me yearning for more."
"Just the right hint of sweetness and without the break-your-tooth hardness. But only one question: Where's the chocolate?"
"Good flavor, yet nothing beyond what I normally expect when I bite into a (larger) individually wrapped biscotti. Biscotti Bites seem to have that perfect texture to dip into a coffee drink for quick transformation into a softer snack. So I guess it boils down to size. Given the way they're packaged, Bites would seem to be the perfect fit for someone who loves biscotti so much that he/she wants to eat them like potato chips, as opposed to savoring a larger, single biscotti."
"Consistency a little too dry and hard. Too sweet. Anise flavor a little too strong. Nuts are nice, though."
"Liked them. They have stronger licorice flavor (anise?) than I typically like, but had a good crunch and an easy-to-eat size."
"Good. Just the right size for a small cup of coffee."
"Hmm. Tastes like biscotti. But too small to dunk in my coffee. Guess I could fish it out with a spoon."