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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, July 26, 2011

Editor's Choice: Java Frost

I don't make a habit of sipping pipping hot beverages at my desk in the middle of July, but today I'm making an exception. Today just happens to be the first day this entire month that Chicagoans have escaped the unrelenting sun, and the humidity has dropped to a nearly tolerable level. So as I scanned our shelf for the newest gourmet product to review, a tin of Java Frost Candy Cane Creme Gourmet Drink Mix caught my eye. I know what you're thinking: What sane person drinks hot chocolate in the summertime? As it turns out, I do. And I'm glad I did.

Java Frost is known for its line of gourmet drink mixes, and the Candy Cane Creme is just one in its line of holiday offerings (along with Pumpkin Cheesecake and Red Hot Reindeer). Although similar to a hot chocolate, the Candy Cane Creme is more like a creamy mint tea. The little flecks of peppermint take the beverage over the top; I felt like I was drinking a liquid candy cane. While I simply stirred a few tablespoons of the mix into a mug of hot water, customers can also incorporate ice and a blender to make a drink similar to a Frappuccino or pour the drink straight over a glass of ice.

While the Candy Cane Creme certainly won't be my drink of choice once the sweltering heat kicks back in, an afternoon mug every once in a while is a sure way to bring a little Christmas spirit in July.


Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Editor's Choice: Aladdin's Containers

Just as in elementary school, one of my favorite times of the day is lunch. With the recent rise in warm weather (yes, even in Chicago) — my fellow editors and I are notorious for camping out picnic style in the common area in front of our building. And, as with all things, we each have our own style of lunch contraptions. Some have easy to fold bags; others tote cool lunch boxes. I am partial to bent, dented and morphed Tupperware containers. It’s true. While all my work friends have clever lunch bags, I’m the odd person out.

However, that’s soon to change as I’ve discovered Aladdin’s Collapsible Lunch Collection. These containers are perfect for keeping portable, on-the-go lunches fresh. Moreover, they come in a variety of sizes. I’m partial to the large “salad size” container. As an added bonus, salad lovers can include a variety of condiments (think nuts, cheese and dressing) in the smaller containers (which have indented places in the large bowl’s lid). Aladdin’s mid-sized container has an attachable stem tray in case you want to warm entrees in your office kitchen.

One of the more annoying side effects of bringing your lunch is having to tote Tupperware home. Aladdin found an easily solution to this as well. All containers collapse so they are easy to get home and equally easy to store in my crowded apartment cabinets. It seems Aladdin thought of everything. Luckily for me, the company can serve as my lunch time genie. For more information, visit


Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Editor's Choice: Vermont Natural Foods

I’ve always liked light dressings on my salads. At home, a good olive oil and balsamic vinegar is just fine with me. If I’m at a restaurant, my tastes run to trying one of the vinaigrettes offered.

I’m also a big fan of berries. So you can imagine my delight when Vermont Natural Foods Red Raspberry Balsamic Vinaigrette ( was sent to the office recently. I took it home and tried it on a simple salad. As I took the first bite, I was welcomed with the great taste of raspberry, sweet, yet a little tart blending nicely with the balsamic vinegar. It livened up the salad.

I next tried it on some slices of yellow zucchini I had cooked in the microwave. Again, it added a good contrast to the vegetable’s fresh, mellow taste. Lastly, I sprinkled a little on a roast beef sandwich where it added just the right burst of flavor.

Incidentally, besides the taste, another great thing about the vinaigrette is that it is gluten-free. In fact, it is part of a line of gluten-free vinaigrettes the company offers. Besides dressing salads, vegetables, etc., they all can be used to make tasty marinades for chicken and other meats. The website provides recipes.

For retailers, I can see this vinaigrette as part of a summer meal planning or grilling display. I can also see it as part of a celebrating berries promotion.

But for me, most of all, it captures in a bottle another great taste of summer.


Friday, July 8, 2011

The July Digital Issue of Fancy Food Magazine is Now Available

Welcome to the July digital issue of Fancy Food & Culinary Products.

FF July Cover
This Month's Featured Content:
• Divine Desserts
• Shortcut Sauces
• Chocoholic Unanonymous
• Shelftalk

• Readers Respond
• Ad Index

New Feature:
Now Viewable on Ipads

Please Note:
The FF digital requires NO special downloads or applications to view in its entirety. 

Please click HERE to begin reading now!

We hope you enjoy this issue and all future digital issues of FF. Feel free to contact us with your thoughts and feedback at

The FF Team

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Editor's Choice: Ovation

For many people, a bite of chocolate after lunch or dinner isn’t just a treat—it’s a necessity. Small and sweet Ovation sticks fit the bill. Available in mint, orange, Irish cream or cappuccino, the sticks are a great way for customers to have a chocolaty bite after a meal.

The cappuccino offers a light hint of coffee flavor, which comes from real coffee beans. It isn’t overwhelming, so those who don’t love coffee won’t be turned away. The sticks come individually wrapped with 40 to a 4.4-ounce box. The kosher chocolate can be served with ice cream or coffee, and are great just on their own.

Ovation sticks, made by SweetWorks, check in at just 15 calories per stick, so customers won’t have to worry about ruining their diets.