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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.

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

February's Gift, Gourmet & Decor Digital Issue is Now Available for Viewing

GGD Feb Cover

Dear GGD Reader,

Welcome to February's digital issue of Gift, Gourmet & Decor Magazine.

This Month's Featured Content:
 Little Luxuries
• Artistic Adornment 
• Gift Alerts
• Beyond Bling
• Mother's Day
• Living Easy
• Candles
• Home + Houseware Show
• Seven
• Flavor Focus
• Storage Solutions
• Ride Off into the Sunset
• Look Book
• Newsmakers
• Calendar
• And Much More...

New Feature:
Now viewable on all mobile & tablet devices...

Please Note:

GGD 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 GGD. Feel free to contact us with your thoughts and feedback at

The GGD Team

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Editor's Choice: St. Dalfour

It’s a cold, snowy day, but this morning just for a little while, it had a tropical charm and for that I have the French to thank. To be more precise, St. Dalfour ( for its Pineapple & Mango fruit spread, which is made from an old French recipe. The fruit combination intrigued me when I picked up the jar in the store and my choice was more than proven correct.

The scent of the fruit as the jar is opened provides the first hint. The conserve, as it is called, is thick with  pieces of fruit. The richness of mango blended with the refreshing pineapple elevated a simple slice of toast to a sunny treat. It had me going back for another spoonful.

The conserve is made of all natural ingredients, 100 percent fruit, sweetened only with grape juice and, extra bonus, is only 35 calories for a tablespoon. I can’t wait to try it on waffles, pancakes, French toast and even to make a PB & J with a continental flair.

It would also be good with cheese and crackers and I could see it as a something different on vanilla ice cream or in a smoothie.

For retailers, the jar has a charming French country look and the conserve would be great for sampling. It could also be used in breakfast, housewarming or other types of baskets.
Or maybe, you can just treat yourself to a spoonful out the jar to brighten a winter day.


Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Editor's Choice: Divine Caramel Creations

Salutations, Fancy Food blog readers! Today we have a special interview-style review with Fancy Food Magazine associate editor Marc Kozak. We will be talking about the gourmet line of sea salt caramels from Divine Caramel Creations - Ellie's Edibles. Mr. Kozak was very excited to try these out and share his thoughts. So let's get to it!

Fancy Food: Thank you for joining us, Marc. What can you tell us about these caramels?
Marc Kozak: Mfffph.....nomm.....

FF: Oh, I see you're still eating one of the caramels. 
MK: (Happy yet indecipherable noises)

FF: We'll give you a minute.


MK: Sorry about that. I'm a little embarrassed.

FF: It's okay. We could tell from your desk that you snack hard.
MK: Oh man, really? Great, now I'm the "Snack Guy".

FF: We're not judging. It is a food magazine. So about the caramels?
MK: Right. Well first of all, let's talk a little bit about sea salt. It's a really big trend in the food industry. Chefs and food companies are using it on everything because of its stronger flavor in comparison to regular salt. I've been saying this for years, ever since I noticed this obscure local restaurant that I eat lunch at all the time was putting it on their side dishes.

FF: Are you talking about the fries at Wendy's?
MK:'s....well, I mean you've probably never heard of the place. Anyway, it IS true - there's a lot you can do with sea salt. These Divine Caramel Creations are a great example. The salt is only lightly sprinkled on each one, but the first few bites pack SO much flavor. It was really surprising in a totally good way.

FF: Ellie's Edibles mentioned that the sea salt caramels were their best sellers without a doubt.
MK: That makes all kinds of sense. And see, we're only talking about the salt. Even without it, these caramels would be special. They make it the old-fashioned way - with heavy cream, no harsh preservatives, artificial flavors or colors. It's really rich and flavorful in itself, and when you add the sea salt into the mix...I just can't stop eating them.

FF: We noticed. What kind of varieties are there?
MK: Their #1 seller is the Vanilla Caramel with Fluer de Sel Sea Salt from France. I really enjoyed the fruit caramels, like Cinnamon Apple Cranberry and Huckleberry. Ellie's Edibles is from the Spokane, Washington area, and they have their own orchard where they grow and use their own fruit. The huckleberries are grown on a mountain that is literally just east of their farm.

FF: Do you even know what a huckleberry is?
MK: I'm assuming it's a berry in the plant genera of awesome. But really, the inclusion of dried, all-natural fruit, plus sea salt, plus the smooth caramel - we're talking about a lot of positive mouth emotions, here.

FF: That's a pretty ringing endorsement. Where can you go to purchase the caramels?
MK: They have a shop in Colbert, WA where you can stop in and grab some, or you can go to their website and order them. They even make special order caramels, including ones with chocolate and other seasonal fruits. I'd really recommend doing so. They'd make a great gift for Mother's or Father's Day, or just for yourself to greedily hoard and eat at your own convenience.

FF: Like you're doing right now. Because no one else in this office likes caramel....
MK: Hey, you're interviewing me because I'm the Snack Guy, right? I need all of the samples I can get in order to shape my expert opinion.

FF: Whatever, Gollum.
MK: My precioussssesssssssssss!!!! (stuffs face with remaining caramels)

-Marc Kozak (

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Editor's Choice: Cahoot's House Rub

  We get a lot of BBQ sauce and other spice mixes at the Fancy Food offices. Most of them are...special, the way the French mean special. I am always delighted to find a diamond in the rough. Cahoots Catering's House Rub is a great product. Despite the misleadingly pastoral label and dilettante design, this is a rub that works, and keeps working.

I have used it at home on the grill, in the crock pot and in the oven. It adds warmth and flavor to meats and veggies without over-powering the natural tastes. There is no sugar added, just natural spices, so it is like an original blend you would buy at a fancy spice shop.

My favorite use of the House Rub is on a whole chicken. As I have mentioned before, we eat a lot of chicken from the grill at my house. I just lightly coat a whole chicken in olive oil and then with a sprinkle coating of House Rub over that, and some in the cavity, and pop it over a beer can and onto the grill for an hour (last week I used "retro" 7-Up with real sugar and it was amazing). What you get is perfectly seasoned and browned chicken with a crispy skin and flavorful meat without too much salt or overpowering spices. Perfect. When it is monsieur's turn to cook, he is always looking for, "That good spice, the one you used last time." I can't wait to try it on a roast this winter.

-Elizabeth Dugan

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Editor's Choice: Real Simple Delicious

As real winter finally settled in a few weeks ago, my “I want soup” reflex kicked in. Actually, I enjoy soup all year round, but there’s something about hot soup on a cold day—it’s one of the ultimate comfort foods. Like the kid in the TV soup ad, I used to blissfully enjoy soups of all kinds, without concern about its nutritional contents. 

In recent years, however, I find myself turning the can or packet over to check ingredients, especially the sodium level. That’s the one that is usually the show stopper and the can or packet goes back on the shelf.  I do still get my soup fix when eating out, but walking a couple of blocks with a small container of soup in the winter presents its own problems, and cold soup. And I have neither the talent nor the time to make my own soup.

Enter Real Simple Delicious ( The line of soups are already made, you simply open the soup pouch, pour into a pot or microwaveable dish and reheat. Like they say, real simple.  I, however, posed another challenge for the soups. You are supposed to eat the soups in a few days. I checked with the company and was told if that wasn’t the case, I should pop the pouch into the freezer.

So there I was one afternoon with a frozen block of Zucchini soup. To be honest, it didn’t seem too promising. But after thawing it out enough, I slipped it into the pot. After a few minutes, the delightful aroma of the soup came up. The soup is gluten-free and dairy-free, yet has a creamy consistency, which comes from the rice milk. It also has some substance from shreds of zucchini, carrots, celery and onions. It also has a little bit of sweetness and a mild kick from poblano chile. It was a very good choice. And as an added bonus, it only had about 402 mg. of sodium.

The soups come in a 12 ounce pouch and in flavors that include Carrot Ginger, Azteca Veggie, French Onion and Red Lentil and Asian Lemongrass. They would be perfect for retailers to display as part of a winter promotion or healthy eating.

As for me, I have a Tomato soup pouch waiting for me in the freezer.