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(Julia Ewan - The Washington Post)
Wednesday, September 19, 2007

¿ Flavor from an unexpected source: Smoked pine cones are used to create the all-natural, subtle taste in Miguel & Valentino Smoked Extra-Virgin Olive Oil. Good with fish, meat and poultry; 8.5 ounces, $10.79, available at Whole Foods Markets.

¿ A familiar taste in an unfamiliar form: PB2 Powdered Peanut Butter is a protein powder for those who prefer their supplements to be actual food -- in this case just peanuts, salt and sugar. Add to smoothies, milkshakes or baked goods, or, better yet, just mix in some water for a spread that contains 75 percent less fat than regular peanut butter, but with a full-fat taste. Made by Georgia's Bell Plantation, which slow-roasts and presses the peanuts to remove oil. $15.96 for a four-pack of 6.7-ounce jars (equivalent to an 18-ounce jar of peanut butter), at

¿ As discussed in a recent Free Range online chat: Good milk chocolate meets applewood-smoked-bacon bits in Vosges Mo's Bacon Bar .$7 for a three-ounce bar ($5.99 at Curious Grape); available at Biagio Fine Chocolate, 1904 18th St. NW, 202-328-1506, and at Curious Grape, 4056 S. Campbell Ave., Arlington, 703-671-8700. We also liked the Naga Bar , with milk chocolate, coconut flakes and sweet curry powder. $7 for a three-ounce bar ($5.99 at Curious Grape). Biagio co-owner William Knight says smaller, trial-size bars of Vosges chocolate will be out this fall.

¿ More for less: Mom's Best Naturals cereals of Northfield, Minn., have good things going for them, including family-size boxes, prices lower than many natural/organic cereals and the fact that they are produced with renewable energy resources. They taste good, too. We liked the Toasty O's and Sweetened Wheat-fuls; from $2.29 to $3.29 per box (at least 1 pound), available at Magruder's and some Wal-Mart stores. For more information, go to

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