An online community for gourmet and specialty food retailers.

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, March 26, 2014

Editor’s Choice: Lid Pocket

This past week I had the pleasure of discovering the Lid Pocket when I used my slow cooker to make my St. Patrick’s Day dinner. I am a huge fan of slow cookers, because I love the convenience of throwing a variety of ingredients into a pot and arriving home to the wonderful aroma and the spectacular results of what turns out to be a delicious meal.

One problem with the slow cooker though, (at least mine, which is the large size) is that the lid often causes condensation that drips all over and makes a mess. And there’s not ever a convenient place to put it down. But the Lid Pocket holds the cover in place and out of the way, collecting condensation with its built-in reservoir. It also frees up your hands if you need to stir or add spices or ingredients.

The Lid Pocket is designed for use with nearly all slow cookers.  It fits the three-quart slow cookers all the way up to the large round and oval slow cookers. It is BPA-free, dishwasher safe and stores conveniently inside the slow cooker. I like that because space is always an issue inside my cabinets!

It’s a pretty clever concept that works like a charm. This would make a great hostess or shower gift.


Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Editor’s Choice: Mayana Chocolate

I had the pleasure of testing three very unique, luxurious and indulgent chocolate bars this week from Mayana Chocolate: The Fix Bar, The Kitchen Sink Bar and The Space Bar. The first thing that I noticed was the beautiful composition and design of each piece, more like a work of art that I didn’t want to mess up! And the size of each bar was so thick and filling, making for a rich, chocolate bite that I just had to share with my family.

The Fix Bar (my favorite) consisted of Vanilla Bean, Shortbread, Fleur De Sel Caramel and 66 percent Dark Chocolate. I could really taste that pop of salt that counter-balanced the sweetness of the chocolate and caramel. Each bite was like a nice little surprise on my tongue.

The Kitchen Sink Bar was an explosion of flavors, with Pretzel, Milk Chocolate, Crisp Rice, Peanut Butter, Fleur De Sel Caramel and 66 percent Dark Chocolate. Just like its name, it has everything you could possibly crave in one sweet snack.

The Space Bar was very satisfying with Toasted Almond Nougat, Vanilla Bean, Fleur De Sel Caramel, and 66 percent Dark Chocolate. One heavenly bite was followed by another.

Mayana Chocolates is the winner of several awards and its line of artisan candy bars features the same artisan techniques and ingredients as its fine chocolates. You can really taste the passion that goes into these beautiful, indulgent bars. They were an exquisite taste experience.


Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Editor’s Choice: Seely Mint

There’s nothing more refreshing than the cool, crisp taste of mint. When I sampled a Seely Mint Patty, I was amazed at the fresh and clean flavors of this patty compared to others I have tried. And the reason, I think, goes back to the history of the Seely family farm. Located in Clastskanie, Oregon, it grows, harvests and prepares the highest quality peppermint and spearmint oils in a secluded valley nestled between the coast range and the Columbia River.

It’s the combination of the mild coastal climate and dark river bottom soil that produces a sweeter, smoother mint of premium quality and flavor. The family also harvests only once each summer when the mint flavor components are at their optimum levels.

The outside of the patty has a luscious coating of Belgian bittersweet chocolate and the mint inside is a rich, thick filling that counter balances perfectly. I also found the generous size of the mint patty to be very satisfying.


Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Editor’s Choice: RiceSelect

When faced with the choice, I usually pick white rice over brown, even though I wish I could find a brown rice that would appeal to me as I could use some whole grain alternatives. But now that I’ve sampled RiceSelect Texmati Brown Rice, I can honestly say I’m a convert. 

I ate this as my main course—not even as a side—and I was happy to indulge. The aroma as it cooked (I microwaved mine) was enticing enough, but the flavor was unique and outstanding, and the nutty, fluffy texture was terrific. I was pleasantly surprised at how good this tasted but even more pleased at how good it is for you. The all-natural, whole grain is a smart choice for a healthy lifestyle.

Although I ate mine as the main course, this would be great paired with seasonings, sauces, stir-fries, soups, pilafs or stuffings too.

I can’t recall having tasted such a good brown rice before. I’m glad I found one that not only appealed to my taste buds, but to my quest for improving my eating habits as well.