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Royal Biscuits

February 15, 1996

After a drumroll so long people may have forgotten the reason, Prince Charles' oaten biscuits--which we first wrote about two years ago--are available in Los Angeles. The brand name is Duchy Originals, because they're produced by the estates that the heir to the English throne owns as Duke of Cornwall; the profits (literally "royalties" in this case) go to charity.

How do they taste? Well, these oaty wafers, imprinted with the Duchy of Cornwall crest, don't fit any category we're familiar with, not sweet or rich enough to be a cookie but too crumbly and a little too sweet to be a cracker. The label recommends serving them with both sweet and nonsweet foods. They do have a clean, attractive, earthy oat flavor, and you can find yourself putting away quite a few of them.

Anyway, they're made from organic oatmeal and wheat flour, sunflower oil and raw cane sugar, 68 calories a biscuit. A box of 20 is $4.95 at La Brea Bakery in Los Angeles.

Manly Candy?

We've never really considered the gift of chocolate gender-specific. Any time you open a box, hungry passers-by want a sample--it's an equal opportunity to grab what you can. But the Belgian chocolate company de Granvelle seems to think that many men are put off by the usual, supposedly wimpy, packaging of most candy boxes. Its answer: Chocolates for Him. Presented in a crest-embossed package designed to look like bird's eye maple, the box is tied with--of course--a brown ribbon. Untie it to find an assortment of heart-shaped chocolates--dark, milk and white chocolate are the choices. Manly yes, but women like it too. To order, call (800) 923-5448.

Yogurt Lesson

Yogurt-eating cultures are always yogurt-drinking cultures. In India, for instance, there's a yogurt beverage called lassi; the Persian version is dugh and the Armenian is tahn. Now that Americans have become yogurt eaters, it was inevitable that we should have yogurt drinks . . . flavored with fruit, of course, since that's our national yogurt tradition.

Such flavored yogurt and kefir drinks have been around for a while, but Cacique Cheese Co. has taken the packaging to a new level; Yonique ("The Yogurt You Drink") comes in tall, 7-ounce plastic containers you can haul around and suck back whenever you want.

Yonique contains active yogurt cultures and only 1% fat and comes in strawberry, peach, banana, mango, guava, guanabana and blackberry flavors--all pretty tasty. It's available in the dairy case at supermarkets and convenience stores, 69 cents to 89 cents a container. And hey, to suggest your active lifestyle, you could use the empty containers as bud vases.

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