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Wednesday, March 9, 2016

Dolcedi: organic sugar alternative

I'm not the kind of person who sweetens food or drinks with honey, sugar or any other sugar alternatives like Splenda. As a Millennial, my health-conscious subconscious screams "Warning! Stay away!" like a sugar-detecting radar when I come within a mere 5 feet of a frosted pastry, a caramel macchiato or even a honey packet for my tea. Like most Millennials, I try to keep unnecessary "fillers" out of my diet.
So when Dolcedi arrived at my office for my sampling, I was not anxious to give it a try. I thought it looked kind of weird--its clear, thick liquid resting peacefully inside a big 12-ounce bottle with a bright red drip-free cap. It didn't look like anything I've seen before, and the ingredients were certainly unique as well.
"Low glycemic sweetener from apples," boasts the label front and center. Other eco-friendly labels surround the red cursive "Dolcedi" name as well: "organic farming," "all-natural plant-based," "Non-GMO," "Vegan," "star-kosher certification" and "neutral flavor." Now you've got my attention.
I read the instructions from the press release: "Dolcedì can be used any way you would use traditional table sugar or honey and in the same proportions; one teaspoon of sugar equals one teaspoon of Dolcedì. Its neutral flavor enhances the taste of food and drinks without altering them. Perfectly soluble in both cold and hot drinks. Use on pancakes, on yogurt, in fruit salad and in baking."
OK, I'm intrigued. Time to put this sweetener to the test. First, I squeezed some into my plain Greek yogurt one morning at work. To my pleasant surprise, it was an instant success! The clear liquid did not dilute the color of my yogurt, which I liked because, like many in my generation, I eat with my eyes. And if I can't see the sweetener, it's like it's not there. (If I see golden honey in my yogurt, on the other hand, I feel instant guilt for adding sugar to an otherwise healthy snack.)
Then, I added some Dolcedi to some chopped fruit - again, a hit! And again, I'm not feeling guilty for adding sweet stuff to my fruit! In fact, I'm feeling pretty trendy for using such a unique-looking AND organic sweet source. Before I knew it, my co-workers (both Millennials) were asking to borrow my bottle of "clear stuff" for their tea, toast and even to douse on their mix of dried fruit and nuts.
Like me, they became even bigger fans of the "clear stuff"--as it's now affectionately called in my office--when they read the story behind the product:
"The Rigoni family from the Altopiano di Asiago in Northern Italy (90 miles north of Venice) has launched a new, all-natural liquid sweetener called Dolcedì (pronounced dohl-che-DEE) that’s made from 100 percent organic apples and is a low-glycemic alternative to sugar and other sweeteners. With 25 percent fewer calories than table sugar, Rigoni di Asiago Dolcedì is made from the concentrated and filtered sugar extracted from organic apples. It is certified USDA organic, non-GMO, gluten-free, vegan, and Star-Kosher."
25 percent fewer calories than table sugar?? SOLD!! We all were! Then, as we looked at the nearly empty bottle, panic came over us. Where would we buy our next bottle?! Hopefully, at the closest specialty food store. Touting the calorie count and, of course, "made from organic apples" is a sure-fire way to draw in our attention--as well as any other Millennial--and make us thankful for any local store that offers unique "finds" like Dolcedi.
"Dolcedì is a wonderful marriage of old and new," says Rigoni di Asiago CEO and president Andrea Rigoni. "We source our apples with the same organic farming practices that we have practiced for years but are processing the bounty in a new and exciting way to bring the world a great-tasting, better-for-you sweetener." For more information, visit