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Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Editor's Choice: Braswell's

As the newest editor here at Fancy Food, it probably goes without saying that I consider myself something of a foodie. Or an indiscriminate eater, in any case. Maybe it was the years I spent devouring anything deep-fried that came out of my mother’s kitchen, or the fact that I lived in Florida during the first half of my childhood, but Southern food will always stake claim on a piece of my heart. Grits, pecan pie, anything smothered in gravy — I love it all, which is why I was delighted to try Braswell’s — a Georgia-based condiment company — as my first Editor’s Choice.

The company's all-natural line of salad dressings come in perfectly Southern flavors, such as Vidalia Onion & Summer Tomato and Peach Vanilla. The slim, attractive bottles have one especially brilliant feature: They’re reusable. The smart folks over at Braswell’s incorporated a durable cap that snaps easily back into place, and each carafe holds nine ounces of product. Braswell’s even offers Carafe Companions, small packets of dry dressing mix for refilling empty bottles.

But onto the taste: Unable to choose between the Vidalia Onion & Peppercorn and the Raspberry Vinaigrette, I divided my lunch in half and drizzled the dressings over leafy greens, sliced chicken breast, thinly sliced apples, raisins, toasted walnuts and lots of crumbled bleu cheese. The Vidalia Onion dressing had the perfect amount of savory to accompany the sweetness of the salad, and I found myself wondering what other uses I could glean from this dressing. A marinade for chicken or fish, perhaps? Or mixed into a potato salad for a little extra bite? I hope to exhaust all the options.

The tangy sweetness of the Raspberry Vinaigrette paired well with the crunchy walnuts and sliced chicken breast. Unlike more subtle vinaigrettes, the tart raspberry flavor was undeniable. My thoughts soon drifted to bite-sized toasts smeared with creamy Brie, topped with a dollop of this sweet raspberry condiment.

Whether you dream up something more imaginative or stick to a well-crafted salad, these Braswell’s dressings are a great tool to add to your culinary arsenal — or simply the fridge.