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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.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Editor's Choice: Luken & May

Looking for an elegant treat to stock during the holiday 2010 season? Try the delicate biscuits from Australia-based Luken & May, part of the Byron Bay Cookie Company. The Fancy Food editors recently received samples of Luken & May’s Choc Hazelnut Butterbursts, and let’s just say the box of delicious cookies is nearly empty.

Packaged in an elegant silver-and-white gift box adorned with ornaments and snowflakes, the Butterbursts are small, light cookies made with natural ingredients, including butter, roasted hazelnuts and bittersweet cocoa. In shapes such as stars, hearts, moons and raindrops, the Butterbursts taste similar to a crispy shortbread cookie with the perfect combination of hazelnut and chocolate.

I could easily see these cookies paired with flavored coffee for a party dessert. The decorative box also makes Butterbursts the perfect hostess gift for holiday parties.

Luken & May’s Butterbursts also come in Mango, Citrus Melon and Passionfruit. Learn more about the company at


Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Edior's Choice: Jiminy Chips

Fact: I love chips.

I was shopping at Stanley’s my favorite produce store, when a ran across mustard chips, freshly made in the store’s new deli and butcher section. I stopped by the chip counter and saw rows and rows of Jiminy Chips, fresh made potato chips in the expected and unusual flavors, Sea Salt, Mustard, BBQ and Chocolate Marshmallow. Behind the counter stood a Stanley employee, manning the chip stand.

I grabbed a bag of mustard chips and my friend grabbed a bag of sea salt. Before we could even leave the paring lot, we ripped into the chips. The first thing I noticed was the lightness of the potato. Uniformly thin, the chips weren’t dry but they weren’t oily either. Light and crisp, the mustard flavor was barely noticeable with my first bite, but I attribute this to the homemade nature of the chips. The tangy-mustard flavor jumped onto my tongue with the next chip and subsequent chips. The Sea Salt chips had a much lighter, subtle flavor and, as you might imagine, tasted more like a traditional chip.

Knowing that fellow Fancy Food editor Ashley Trent was a mustard-chip fan, I brought her a bag the next week. “Ohhhh,” she said almost instantly. “These remind me of dipping my Portillo fries in mustard. Love it!”

The next day, as I continued to snack on the light chips, I looked more into the company. Jiminy Chips offers grocers and food retailers a chip-making machine and sources potatoes from Jiminy-approved farms. While I found Jiminy Chips within the deli section of a produce store, the chips are delicate and fresh enough to complement a gourmet establishment. Imagine setting up promotions for big sports day (read: the Super Bowl) or weekend cookouts during the summer. Freshly made chips, I think, can help a gourmet retailer define themselves and create another unique offering.

For more information about making Jiminy Chips in your store, visit

- Mary

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Editor’s Choice: Ricky’s Lucky Nuts

With the continued talk about the health benefits of their other relatives, like almonds and walnuts, peanuts have probably been feeling a little neglected lately. But let’s face it: Whether it’s the in-the-shell kind like at a baseball game or the dry-roasted variety, there’s something about the taste of peanuts.

So I was more than willing to try one of the latest offerings to arrive at the office. Ricky’s Lucky Nuts ( dry roasts good old American peanuts and combines them with all kinds of good stuff. I tried the Cocoa & Vanilla Bean flavors — both are conveniently packaged in the same bag. The peanuts are nice and crunchy. The cocoa-coated ones surprise you with a burst of pure chocolate taste. The vanilla-coated ones have a smooth, mellow taste. The combination of sweet and salty is kind of addictive, and although it’s two servings, I found myself wanting to finish the whole 2-oz. bag.

Besides this new flavor, the peanuts also come in savory flavors such as Bombay Curry Coconut, Black Pepper & Salt and Spicy Chile Chipotle.

I could see this being a great thing to keep in the desk drawer for an afternoon treat. Incidentally, the peanuts also come in 6-oz. bags, in case you want to share.


Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Editor's Choice: Toffee to Go

I may have said it before on this blog, but I’ll say it again — I’m a sucker for beautiful packaging and handwritten notes. So when Mary presented the Fancy Food editors with a beautiful green-and-brown box of toffee from Toffee to Go and a handwritten note from co-owner Lisa Schalk, I was ecstatic.

Lisa sent us the company’s three flavors to sample: Milk Chocolate Almond, Dark Chocolate Pecan and White Chocolate Macadamia Nut. Each batch of toffee from Toffee to Go is made from scratch with fresh butter, premium chocolate, California almonds and Georgia pecans, and there are no preservatives in the recipe, which comes from Lisa’s husband’s family. (The couple started their business by making toffee in their own home and selling it at Christmastime — read about how they expanded at

The Milk Chocolate Almond toffee was my favorite for a few reasons. First, it didn’t present any danger to my teeth because it was thinner and not brick-hard like many toffees I’ve had before. It was smooth and delicate with just enough of a caramely crunch to it. I liked how the chocolate was rich without being overpowering, so the toffee flavor really came through. I also loved the fact that there were whole almond pieces in the toffee, which really added to the nutty flavor and gave it an authentic, homemade mouth feel.

These gourmet toffees would make great hostess gifts for dinner parties or special presents for the holidays. Try them today and you won’t be disappointed — nor will any of your customers with a sweet tooth.