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Tuesday, December 1, 2015

The Perfect Purée

We're all looking for shortcuts in the kitchen, but hesitance to use prepared foods in your favorite recipe creeps in when you think about the ingredients - or the source of those ingredients - from an unknown product.
Step in The Perfect Purée of Napa Valley, whose ingredients are so simple and natural that the company feels completely comfortable displaying them front and center on the top label of the eight single-serve samples that were sent to my office.
Ingredients for Passion Fruit Concentrate, for example: passion fruit juice concentrate and filtered water. That's it. You can't get more simple than that, I suspect. Other refreshing flavors like Prickly Pear Puree and White Peach Puree might throw in additional elements like cane sugar and citric acid, but there's nothing - for once - that I can't pronounce.
Flavors range from pantry staples like raspberry, strawberry and banana to the exotic lychee, passion fruit and pink guava. All products contain no artificial additives, preservatives or sweeteners, and the fruits are harvested at the peak of season. Finally, they're puréed and packed frozen to maintain optimal freshness, flavor and color.
Now satisfied with its makings, I was eager to use the White Peach Puree in a cocktail. Once at home, I added some to my Champagne, producing an instant fizzy kick of natural fruit. It was different, fun and pretty to look at, a perfect fit for my next holiday party, I thought.
The company features 30 premium flavors and nine blends for mixology made easy. A visit to the website,, reveals many more recipes waiting for experimentation: White Peach Sangria, Green Apple Martini and Blood Orange Margarita, to name a few. Of course, the options don't stop at the bar, as the company suggests many ways in which these natural fruit purees can help jams, sauces, soups, cocktails and desserts.
Just to get your mind thinking, here are a few recipes that stuck out to me: Pear Poundcake with Pear Liqueur Sauce, Seedless Red Raspberry Jam, Chilled Pomegranate Champagne Sauce, Banana Mini Muffins and even Decadent Raspberry Soup. Of course, chefs can mix and match purees with different recipes, leaving the cook with endless options of new and creative dishes and drinks.
All flavors can be frozen for up to 24 months. When thawed, the purées, concentrates and specialties last 7-10 days in the refrigerator, and blends for 21 days..
The Perfect Purée of Napa Valley started in 1988, and today it caters to restaurants, hotels, bakeries, catering kitchens and, yes, bars. According to its press release, it has "indulged the culinary passions of chefs, mixologists and food enthusiasts with effortless products that provide the ultimate in fresh fruit flavor without the peeling, dicing and simmering required to make purées from scratch."
For order information, visit For daily recipe ideas and inspiration, visit, or