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Coffee Bars, Yogurt Bars and Light Sour Cream

May 30, 1991|BARBARA HANSEN | TIMES STAFF WRITER

Shopping carts and cappuccino haven't mixed much, but that's just changed. Now you can sip freshly brewed coffee, espresso, cappuccino, and caffe latte while you shop for groceries. Starbucks, a Seattle-based specialty coffee company, has opened retail outlets in three Pavilions markets, dispensing premium coffee beans and hot concoctions. The three locations are 727 N. Vine St., Los Angeles (at Melrose); 8969 Santa Monica Blvd., West Hollywood, and 11750 Wilshire Blvd., Brentwood (near Barrington). These cheerful coffee bars also sell mugs, candy-coated coffee beans, plunger pots and other paraphernalia. The price of coffee beans ranges from $7.95 to $13.95 for the top-of-the-line Kona and Arabian Mocha Sanani.

Frozfruit Corp. of Gardena, known for its frozen yogurt bars with chunky fruit, has just introduced its first fruitless bars. They're like yogurt blended with fancy candy toppings--chocolate almond pieces in a chocolate bar, and Heath Crunch in a vanilla bar.

Stocked in supermarkets and convenience stores, the bars sell for 70 cents to $1 each, or about $2.89 for a package of four. Frozfruit plays up the natural, healthful, nonfat properties of the yogurt in these products. But take a close look at the nutritional information on the label. There are four grams of fat in the chocolate yogurt bar, contributed by the chocolate-almond pieces. And the candy crunch adds three grams of fat to the vanilla bar. The yogurt itself is indeed fat-free, an advantage over the rich ice cream in other frozen bars.

If you can't resist sour cream-smothered baked potatoes, sour cream-topped enchiladas or cinnamon-scented sour cream coffee cakes, you can at least lessen the dietary consequences by using a sour cream that's "light." Land O' Lakes has introduced one that contains just 20 calories and 6% fat per tablespoon. That's one-third fewer calories and two-thirds less fat than you would get in regular sour cream. Substituting skim milk for full-fat cream helps make the difference. More good news is that this light sour cream won't curdle when heated. And you can substitute it for full-fat sour cream in baking without altering recipes. Land O' Lakes Light Sour Cream comes in 8- and 16-ounce containers. At present, the larger size is the one you'll find in California supermarkets. The suggested retail price is $1.29.

Feijoas have just arrived from New Zealand. The flavor of this small, green-skinned fruit, which is also known as pineapple guava, is tangy, aromatic and faintly pear-like. Feijoas are ready to use when slightly soft. Peeled and sliced, they're an unusual addition to a fruit platter; you can also puree them for sauces or to make a fruit mousse. California produces feijoas too, but the season for that fruit is winter.

Here's an update on the apricot crop. Loss of fruit due to bad weather has decreased supplies for the fresh-apricot market by about 4,000 tons. That's a substantial reduction, so enjoy what apricots you can find. Making up for this disappointment is the prospect of tasting a brand new fruit. It's the plum-cot, a hybrid apricot-plum that is maturing this month in sufficient quantity for some retail sales.

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