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A snack is a portion of food, often smaller than a regular meal, generally eaten between meals. Snacks come in a variety of forms including packaged snack foods and other processed foods, as well as items made from fresh ingredients at home.

Traditionally, snacks are prepared from ingredients commonly available in the home. Often cold cuts, fruit, leftovers, nuts, sandwiches, and the like are used as snacks. The Dagwood sandwich was originally the humorous result of a cartoon character's desire for large snacks. With the spread of convenience stores, packaged snack foods became a significant business. Snack foods are typically designed to be portable, quick, and satisfying. Processed snack foods, as one form of convenience food, are designed to be less perishable, more durable, and more portable than prepared foods. They often contain substantial amounts of sweeteners, preservatives, and appealing ingredients such as chocolate, peanuts, and specially-designed flavors (such as flavored potato chips).

Beverages, such as coffee, are not generally considered snacks though they may be consumed along with or in lieu of snack foods.

A snack eaten shortly before going to bed or during the night may be called a midnight snack.

Snack Idea: Tamari Almonds

I’ve snacked on raw almonds before. They’re a great mid-afternoon snack. But, a few days ago a friend and I were in Whole Foods and I picked up a bag of tamari almonds out of curiosity. They looked intriguing because they look just like regular almonds but they are a dark, burnt-sienna color (sorry, Crayola) with a light dusting of a powder of some sort. My friend assured me that they were excellent, and told me that he eats them “all the time.”

So, I decided to give ‘em a try.

I love trying new things – especially when they turn out to be really good. It’s wonderful when you find new foods that you can add to your eating repertory, because variety is the spice of life. And, so these tamari almonds turned out to be a great find for me. They’ve got the nutty mild almond taste that we all love, but it’s “kicked up” a little (sorry, Emeril) with some exotic spice. But, don’t worry – they aren’t traditionally “spicy.”

I’m going to write another post on what tamari actually is – it turns out its something that you are already familiar with, but with just a different name (and different form), and it’s healthy too! If you don’t know what tamari is, just go out and try some tamari almonds and see if you like them. Trust me, and be brave! And, check back – I’ll do a post on tamari and reveal the big mystery!

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