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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, February 28, 2012

Editor's Choice: Rosanna Inc.'s Cake Pedestal

I love to entertain. And after the lengthy holiday season, when all my friends have returned to the city, my husband and I regularly throw bashes at our home. Most recently, we hosted a slew of guest during our Oscars’ viewing. And, I was lucky enough to receive a small, Rosanna cake platter just before the event. As I’m sure you’ve noticed, this isn’t going to be a typical editor’s choice pick (note that I’m not rambling about my incessant eating habits). This week, I’ve selected a product with a wide range of uses that’s perfect for entertaining.

I have long been obsessed with Rosanna Inc.’s fashionable tabletop products. The company’s dessert plates are the perfect size and come in a wide array of patterns that range from festive to creative. However, what I’ve really been coveting are the company’s simplistically beautiful cake pedestals and domes. These come in a wide range of sizes and hues. As an avid baker, I imagine having an assortment of varying sizes on display. They are perfect for clusters of cupcakes, a tiered cake or even jumbles of cookies. Recently, I was able to use the Les Petite Sweets Large Compote as the carrier for small macaroons. However, it could just as easily be a pedestal for cookies or a candy dish. The pedestal measures 5.75-inches high by 5 inches wide by 2.25-inches deep.

For retailers, these platters, trays and pedestals would make a clever display in the front of your store. Or, combine with other baking supplies for an inspired “gift basket.” Regardless of how they’re used, the cake trays from Rosanna Inc. are a welcome addition to my entertaining repartee.


Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Editor's Choice: Manja! Gourmet Glaze & Drizzle

The next time I get down to North Carolina, I sincerely hope to stop in at Mama Brava's family restaurant. It is described as being "in the cozy little hamlet on the Shallotte River in coastal NC." Doesn't that sound like a little slice of heaven?

After giving their Manja! Gourmet Glaze & Drizzle a try, I can well believe they make the heck out of their BBQ too. Though Mawji Foods (, the creator of the sauce, claims never to use corn syrup, I just don't know how they get such a sweet and spicy sauce without that key ingredient in many sauces.

We used it on roast chicken for dinner, one night. At my house, we are meat lovers. All meat, all the time (with a veggie and a salad of course). So, following the directions, we coated the whole chicken with a layer of glaze for the last 30 minutes of cooking. We coated it twice, actually. One at 15 minutes and another five minutes from the end. It seemed to be a good system, because the chicken browned beautifully and got a lovely caramelized glaze.

The chicken was tender and juicy and the glaze gave it such a sweet and peppery taste that everyone had double portions. Actually, I am not a fan of peppers usually. I don't do fajitas, chili, or stuffed poblanos, or really any pepper-heavy food. But this level and depth of pepper didn't drown out everything else (chicken and sweetness and the seasoning in the sauce), which is usually my complaint. Oh, we will be using our whole bottle of Manja! Yes, we will.

-Elizabeth Dugan

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Editor's Choice: The Hampton Popcorn Company

For me popcorn has always been a comfort food, associated with lots of good memories. Growing up, it was a special treat. Back then my dad made the popcorn for us. Hearing the sound of the kernels being poured into the pot signaled good things ahead. Minutes later fresh, hot popcorn was served.

Later on popcorn became a part of going to the movies  — something that’s true to this very day. It was also part of baseball and basketball games. My popcorn tastes expanded: caramel popcorn, cheese popcorn, a couple of other toppings that seemed like good ideas at the time.

But what if someone took another one of my favorite things, like chocolate, and combined it with the popcorn in one treat? That’s what The Hampton Popcorn Company ( does in its White & Dark Chocolate Swirl Popcorn.

Appropriately enough, I tried the popcorn the other night while watching a movie on TV. The popcorn is a great blending of flavors. The caramelized popcorn has just enough crunch. The white chocolate drizzle is light and sweet and makes a good contrast with the rich dark chocolate.

The popcorn is packaged in a cute red and white striped box, which would make it a good gift. It is even tied with a red ribbon and bow. In addition, the clear window on the package lets you see all the good stuff inside.

The popcorn is available in a variety of flavors and package sizes — all ready to be a part of more good memories.


Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Editor's Choice: Cat Cora's Kitchen Olive Snack Pack

I have always loved Greek food. And, when it’s possible to get Greek food minus the fat and calories, I’m doubly excited. That being said, it’s obvious that I’m an avid Cat Cora fan. Cora, who’s known for her dedication to a healthy Mediterranean diet, recently teamed up with Gaea — Greek for mother Earth —  a company that shares her vision. Together, the two created the Greek Harvest Whole Kalamata Olive Snack Pack. My Papaw first introduced me to Kalamata olives when I was a child. And, they’ve held a soft spot in my heart ever since.

The first thing I noticed about Cora’s pack wasn’t the taste or texture of the olives inside, however. The first thing I noticed was the convenient packaging. The olives are contained in a handy resealable package perfect for use in lunch boxes or picnic baskets. These snack packs would be a wonderful addition to a Greek themed gift basket, as well.

After sampling the olives, though, nothing but the flavorful taste resonated. The packaging states that the, “Kalamata olives are sun ripened and 100 percent natural. But, more than anything else, the olives are a delicious snack that’s perfect anytime of day.” I couldn’t agree more. Seasoned only with the finest sea salt, vinegar and extra virgin olive oil — Cora’s olives were beyond flavorful. They were perfection. Moreover, the olives are rich in natural antioxidants, vitamin E and dietary fiber. And, if consumers are looking for products and companies that give back, look no further. Cat Cora’s Kitchen and Gaea donate a portion of the proceeds from this product to Chefs for Humanity — a non-profit that battles world hunger. My Papaw would certainly be proud!