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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, October 25, 2011

Editor's Choice: bakeshop Cookies

With Halloween right around the corner, it seems like everyone’s mind is on candy, candy, candy. That is, everyone except the staff of Fancy Food and Culinary Products magazine. Our minds are on cookies, marshmallows, brownies and coconut macaroons. And, thanks to the newly opened New Jersey sweets company, bakeshop, we have plenty of these delicacies to go around. I’m lucky that fall has finally arrived so I can hide the extra pounds from these sweet treats beneath a bevy of bulky sweaters.

Nicole Mahoney, the founder of bakeshop, believes that cookies and baked goods should be delicious, fun and the perfect indulgence for any occasion. Therefore, all the company’s products are handcrafted in small batches using the finest quality, all-natural ingredients including locally sourced products such as farm-fresh eggs and Brooklyn-based Mast Brothers chocolate. It’s easy to taste the love and care put into these products. The brownies are so moist they melt in your mouth. The macaroons are the perfect combination of sweet coconut flavoring and melted chocolate and the waffle cookies would be an ideal addition to either your breakfast table or a dessert tray. The cookies are understandably light without being crisp. The waffles provide a nice, savory juxtaposition against the sweetness of the milk chocolate.

Any of these treats would be a great addition to gift baskets or used as wedding favors (trust me, your guests will thank you). Just make sure the ceremony is during the fall or winter months … and instruct guests to bring a bulky cardigan. They will definitely want to go back for seconds. For more information about bakeshop, visit or call 973/919-1988.


Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Editor's Choice: Cypress Grove Chevre

Just from browsing the Cypress Grove Chevre website, you can tell that this California-based company is run by people who are deeply devoted to goat cheese. Not only do they make excellent fare, but their website is teeming with cheese facts. For example, did you know that France has a different cheese for each day of the year? Or that the love of cheese is called “turophilia”?

I might become a turophiliac myself if I keep eating Cypress Grove’s cheese. I sampled the PsycheDillic and Purple Haze fresh cheeses, which are both part of Cypress Grove Chevre’s Flashback Family Gift Pack.

Both cheeses were wonderfully creamy and smooth. I found that eating them at room temperature (which Cypress Grove recommends) brought out each flavor to its fullest. The Purple Haze, meshing lavender and wild fennel pollen, was light and tasted fragrant. The PsycheDillic was made with dill pollen, and it tasted herbal and earthy.

The Flashback Family Gift Pack has a groovy hippie theme and even comes with blue John Lennon-styled glasses. In addition to Purple Haze and Psychedillic, the pack includes:

-Sgt. Pepper
-Ms. Natural
-Herbs de Humboldt

Each flavor is sealed into 4 ounce packages. The family pack should not be restricted to just families, though. It would make a great gift for any wine or cheese lover, as well as any foodie.


Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Editor's Choice: Jolly Llama

There was great joy in the office last week as a special package arrived. Since it was marked perishable, it had to be opened immediately. The package contained Jolly Llama ( Real Fruit Sorbet Squeezups. You could hear the enthusiastic response as the boxes were taken out and the flavors were revealed.

I selected a raspberry one and with the first taste realized why the llama on the package was so jolly.  It brought a taste of fresh raspberry, just sweet enough. It was also creamy. The combination of texture and taste made a satisfying treat.

The next day, I tried a peach one. Again I was rewarded with a wonderful fresh fruit creamy taste. I’m told the mango flavor was another crowd pleaser with my co-workers. I say heard, because I was too late to sample one. Incidentally, there is a reason for the great taste. The squeezeups are made from sun-ripened whole fruit. 

Besides raspberry, peach and mango, they are also available in blueberry, strawberry, acai and banana coconut. And you don’t have to feel guilty because they are fat free and also offer Vitamins C & A.

For retailers, they are also gluten-free, an important consideration for many people.

The squeezeups, are a delicious treat and a taste of summer, all rolled up into one.


Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Editor's Choice: August Kitchen's J. Burger

Even as summer fades to fall, I love a good barbecue. And while barbecues are normally a hearty collection of beers and brats — my favorite element is the burger. I recently told my husband that I could eat burgers daily and it wasn’t an exaggeration. In fact, in my house I’m the Burger Connoisseur. So, I was completely surprised when I discovered a way to simplify making burgers without sacrificing the taste.

Enter August Kitchen’s J. Burger. This jar of seasoning can be used as a marinade or a dip. Sold in both Original Onion and Chipotle & Onion flavors, J. Burger makes traditional ground chuck gourmet. It’s clear from the flavor profile that August Kitchen uses real onions (not onion powder) in the mixture. When preparing you burger, add 1 tablespoon into every 5 ounces of ground meat before making patties or balls. While the preparation method is the same for the company’s Chipotle & Onion flavor, this mixture is much richer and spicier. While it’s not for the faint of heart, it will definitely still be a crowd pleaser.  If you’re looking for an alternative to red meat, the company recommends its use when marinating chicken or fish.

So, if you want a burger that isn’t part of a value meal, be sure to stock up on August Kitchen’s J. Burger. Even burger connoisseurs won’t be able to turn up their noses at this gourmet delicacy that makes an ordinary meal extraordinary.