An online community for gourmet and specialty food retailers.

Welcome to Fancy Food & Culinary Products' blog, your place to read reviews of the great fancy and gourmet products we find in the marketplace.

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Editor’s Pick: Nomoo Cookies

As a lover of all things sweet, I was certainly impressed with Nomoo Cookie Company. The company was started by David Bader, who often made cookies for his friends but many of them couldn’t enjoy them because they kept kosher. Bader shared his frustration with his colleague, Gretchen Dossa, whose daughter had a severe dairy allergy which forced her to rely on certified-kosher foods and to learn how to cook without dairy. Together, and with a team of long-time friends, the two started a gourmet, dairy-free, certified-kosher cookie line.

All of the cookies are baked to order without preservatives and ship the same day. Retail packaging consists of single or double packs and are sleeved for catering. The shelf life is about 10 days but if refrigerated, they can last up to one month.

Available in flavors such as Almond Oy, Big Chipper, Big Chipper with Walnuts, Choco-Lift, Flyin’ Hawaiian, Flyin’ Hawaiian with Pineapple, Ginger Slap, Oat-rageous, and Sugah Sugah, there’s certain to be a cookie to satisfy every palate.  

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Editor's Pick: Laiki Rice Crackers

With restored interest in ancient grains and discoveries of the antioxidant-rich contents, red and black varieties of specialty rice have been on the move into store shelves across the country. With the hopes of capitalizing on not only the trends, but also the natural goodness and benefits of the grains, Bay Area food start up Grains of Health has created Laiki Rice Crackers.

At first glance, one might assume the texture and taste to be similar to that of sand paper—the look and feel both promoting such a thought. (I don’t hesitate to try many things, and I didn’t here either, but I can’t deny my second glance when I opened the package.) But these are anything but. 

The crackers are small and dull in color, but are filled with flavor. Truly. And with only three ingredients—black or red rice, palm fruit oil and sea salt—nothing else, it’s a refreshingly light salty treat. The flavors of the black and red rice, both vaguely different, really do shine through. It’s a low calorie snack—each small package only 100 calories—that won’t have you reaching for the potato chips. They’re wholesome; they’re minimally processed; and, as mentioned before, zero allergens.

I’d imagine the snack packs to have an incredible reception with everyone looking for the next flavorful way to make it through the snacking day. And these did the trick. Laiki Crackers are available online at in two pack sizes: 3.5-ounce resealable stand up and portion-controlled, single-serve 100-calorie snack packs.

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Editor’s Pick: Love Grown Foods

There’s something so wholesome about Love Grown Foods. Perhaps it’s that they’re free of GMO’s, high fructose corn syrup, and hydrogenated oils, or perhaps it’s that they make me a little nostalgic for the healthy breakfasts my mom served for me when I was growing up.

With six different products in a variety of flavors, Love Grown Foods offers something for every picky eater—for the record that’s my sister, not me. My personal favorite is the Hot Oats on chilly mornings, perfect for rapidly approaching fall weather. Available in four flavors—Apple Cinnamon, Blueberry Banana Walnut, Peach Vanilla Almond and Strawberry Raspberry—they are the perfect light, healthy breakfast to rev up my metabolism for the day.

Wednesday, July 8, 2015

Editor's Pick: Fruit Bliss

 I enjoy snacking on pieces of fruit throughout the day, but I don't always remember to pack them before I leave the house and sometimes it can be impossible to get out of the office to go grab something. Enter Fruit Bliss. The organic, preservative-free dried fruit products are my favorite go-to. It's a different kind of fruit snack. Although they're dried fruit, they're always juicy and conveniently healthy.
Founder Susan Leone has been taking an interest in nutrition since she was a teenager. Her healthy lifestyle continued well into marriage and she stumbled upon rehydreated fruits while visiting family in Turkey. She decided to expand the concept and share it with the U.S. market.
Operating under the motto, "Made from the fruit, the whole fruit and nothing but the fruit," the company steams each piece along the way, a process that infuses water so they retain their juiciness. There are four mouthwatering options available: Organic Deglet Nour Dates, Organic French gen Plums, Organic Turkish Apricots and Organic Turkish Figs. It's almost impossible for me to decide on one bag, so the company also offers a medley which includes all four. Additionally, they're available in a standard size and small bags as well.

Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Editor's Pick: Honey Ridge Farms

In this community, more often than not I find myself in the midst of storytellers—tellers of tales of family businesses, of ingredients rich in history, of core values unwavering in effect.

It’s why this specialty food industry is so special. Generationally passed down recipe boxes and, in the case of Honey Ridge Farms, beekeeping skills have crafted the gourmet company that we see today.

For the family at the Prairie, Washington based farm, which was founded in 2004 by Leeanne Goetz, it’s all about the bees. Her oldest son, Ryan, is fifth-generation beekeeper and worked alongside his grandfather Edmund Varney. Today, Ryan is caretaker to 4000 colonies that pollinate a variety of crops throughout Oregon, Washington, Idaho and California.

So what’s one to expect from a family business, Honey Ridge Farms, who so cares for the hive health and quality of the bees they keep? I’d say award winning honeys—and that’s what I got.

Although they offer a wide selection of honey crèmes and honey-based vinaigrettes, the Balsamic Honey Vinegar truly stole the show for me. It’s a delicious aged balsamic-style vinegar made entirely from honey that adds incredible dimension to the simplest of ingredients... salads especially. It was a 2008 sofi Silver Award Winner for Outstanding Vinegar and most recently, the 2015 Good Food Award Winner.

It has a mellow and delicate sweetness, so I mixed it with some Dijon mustard, olive oil and hazelnut oil for a dressing that I thought would pair perfectly with pears and pecans. Gouda too. I tossed everything very simply in a salad bowl, and the light summer salad married deliciously with my dinner. And because it’s 100 percent honey, the aroma is incredible. Try it for yourself! 

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Editor’s Pick: Athens Mini Fillo Shells

It’s no secret I love to make appetizers. If my friends are throwing a party, they require me to bring food—not wine—because they like to sample what I make. For the most recent housewarming I attended, I made Apple Goat Cheese and Pesto Mini Shells utilizing a few simple ingredients and Athens Mini Fillo Shells.

These bite size treats were the perfect combination of sweet and savory. Athens Mini Fillo Shells really did the trick, containing all of the ingredients and maintaining its crunch, rather getting soggy. The flavors and textures really played well off of one another. The light, flakey layers of fillo are freshly baked before frozen, so they taste like I made them for scratch.

To see the recipe I used to make them, check out this website.

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Editor's Pick: Grounds & Hounds Coffee Co

Fair trade organic coffee is one thing. Fair trade organic coffee that donates 20 percent of its proceeds to no kill animal rescue organizations is another. That's what dog-lover and coffee enthusiast Jordan Karcher had in mind when he launched Grounds & Hounds Coffee Co.
Stumbling upon a dog adoption event in Santa Monica in 2012, Karcher left with a new best friend that day. It was then that he established a goal of helping save homeless dogs everywhere. With his company, he's able to bring something to the masses that's also able to influence the mission. For each bag sold, 20 percent of its proceeds are donated to no kill rescue organizations that provide safe-havens for dogs who don't have a home.
A fan of breakfast blend coffees, I tried the Morning Walk Breakfast Blend yesterday. The medium blend features beans from Guatemala, Peru and Sumatra and has a slight cocoa flavor with citrus notes. Sold in 6-ounce bags, additional flavors include Ethiopian Yirgacheffe, Columbian, Peru, Mexican Chiapas, Papua New Guinea, Alpha Blend and Paper & Slipper Blend.