Saturday, February 18, 2012

Mars getting smaller

Pytt i panna
Food Diary (February 18, 2012)
Breakfast: Ham sandwich
Lunch: Pasta with lentil, vege’s and pickled lemons
Dinner: Pytt i panna
Baking/sweets: Various

Today I want to talk about a super condiment that seems to be eluding the culinary world. I have only seen it mentioned once on a blog. To avoid confusion this is not a product review, just me rambling.

Fried onion
The super condiment is none other than fried battered onion. In Swedish its called rostad lök, which translates into roasted onion. Its not roasted, it is battered and deep fried. And unlike onion rings the pieces are smaller. It is most commonly served as a condiment for hot dogs. Every 7-11 that I have been to has it. Crispy delicious fried onion magically transforms a humble hot dog. When I buy a hot dog from 7-11 or anywhere else, it is the fried onion that I particularly look forward to, the sausage and bun is bonus! Fried onion is a great garnish not just for hotdogs but countless other dishes. I presume it would be excellent with hamburgers and as a crunchy topping for risottos. You can even eat it on its own, like chips. It has similar fat content but more fibre. 

Before coming to Sweden I never knew this existed. And I haven’t seen this anywhere else. I don’t know where this originated from. You can quite easily make it at home if you feel like deep frying. The supermarket I visited on Friday had a promotion, I bought two 150 gram containers, hence the reason I am talking about it today.  I finished one container yesterday, I ate it on its own. 

Today's Favourite Photo
Salmon Sashimi

Today’s Favourite Blog 
Source: Reuters
Mars Inc, the maker of Snickers and Twix, will stop selling chocolate products with more than 250 calories in them by the end of next year. The reasoning is that this is part of an ongoing effort to improve the nutritional value of its products and to sell them in a responsible way.

Its great that companies are trying but I wonder how effective it will be. The 59g bar has 280 calories. This will need to be reduced by about 10%. This is not so bad. Someone used to a regular bar will probably manage with a slightly smaller bar. King size snickers has 540-calories. Someone used to eating one of these in one sitting will probably end up having two 250 calorie bars. It is still an improvement. And I suppose Mars will make more profit selling two smaller sized bars.

The numbers seem to have been very carefully selected. Without having done any detailed analysis, it seems the adjustments may work. It is possible that customers will end up consuming slightly less calories, and Mars could end up making slightly more profit. A win-win, in theory at least? 


  1. Haha! Your title caught me! I thought you were talking about the planet you came from :P
    I love fried onions. I use them all the time in my cooking. Added to some dishes it gives it an added improvement. In a soups and gravies, a natural sweetness, a garnish with fried noodles ... getting hungry!
    I'm not complaining if Mars bars are going to come in those bite-sized bars ... don't they have it already? It's a good size for a hunger attack. Good size for during sports when you need that extra burst of energy.

    1. Mars is still the same size, I didn't notice a difference last time I visited:)
      The fried onion in the photo is quite different in flavour and texture to the other fried onion you are talking about. Its also different from onion rings - the onions in the rings are still moist. The one in the photo is dry but not fried till browned - hence it has a long shelf life. Its only fried battered onion but I've managed to make it complicated!

  2. Wow that salmon sashimi looks amazing, one of my favourite foods

    1. Very red also, haven't seen a salmon that red

  3. Yes, I would imagine that the fried onions would be delicious as a snack! :)

  4. I love fried onion and I have always thought it was very popular in Asian countries (the only place where I can buy it are all the Asian grocers: Thai and Vietnamese most of all. I love it and find it irresistible! (Mine is without batter I think).
    I think I have seen it on hot dog photos from US too.
    I'm very surprised it is so popular in Sweden!
    I'm sure the price will not be proportionally lower... Making everything in smaller packages and sizes is an excellent idea. It's like eating in smaller bowl or on smaller plates. Cheating our eyes is a very easy way to lower the calorie intake.
    I remember when I read on your blog about the higher taxes on butter in Denmark. I thought sugar should be taxed instead and still think it. I remember also talking once to a friend who started a diet and she told me she spends twice as much on food: eating sweet snacks, pasta, pizza is so cheaper than fresh vegetables, fruit, seafood, fish... I think it's not right.

    1. I didn't realise it was available in Asian shops. I need to pay more attention. Or maybe here its not available in Asian shops since its easily and cheapily available from supermarkets. Fried onions without batter is really different from the battered version. It has more fat too:)
      Smaller portions do help a lot. However on some occasions I noticed that I ended up eating more because its smaller and feels less psychologically and it all adds up. But this is an exception, it happens when we are on an eating binge.
      I think it depends, fresh veges etc can be cheaper than junk food, depends on the persons buying habits and also location. A single serving size bar of chocolate costs more than a fruit.But pizza can be cheaper if made at home because its mainl flour. Some vege's are really expensive though.

  5. Fried battered onion. It's so good!

  6. I could easily eat a container of batter fried onions. Onion rings are one of my guilty pleasures :)

  7. The fried onions in pho (Vietnamese noodle) is amazing... I am addicted to that forever! I should be using for other dishes...