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

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Editor's Choice: Carolyn's Handmade

I’ve been attending The Chicago Market for more than two years but prior to joining the staff of Fancy Food, I never had a reason to venture into the gourmet temps section. After sampling coffee, I made a beeline for Carolyn’s Homemade’s Jalaprika Cashews I had eyed earlier at the Thompson Marketing booth.

Now, I love heat, but I was initially taken aback by the flavor and kick of the Jalaprika, which didn’t set in until after I’d swallowed, but I’d already decided to keep sampling. Although noticeable, the spiciness was not over powering and I was still able to taste the nuttiness of the cashew.

Munching on these cashews is only for the strong willed. I’d placed them out at a party and watched as guests are surprised but continue to munch. I took a few sips of a Pilsner while eating the cashews later in the evening and the subtly of the Pilsner enhanced the flavor but not the heat of the cashews – an enjoyable balance. They’d also make excellent additions to a salad with a mild cheese or in a stir fry. Days later, as I munch on them while editing the August issue of Fancy Food, I’m able to eat more and more cashews and handle the heat better while still getting a kick out of the kick.

Carolyn’s offers a Gourmet Chocolate Bark Hostess Gift Tin using the Jalaprika Cashews with dark chocolate bark. If cashews are your thing, the Jalaprika seasoning is also available on Walnuts and Pecans in gift sets, bags and glass jars. Check out the website,