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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, March 27, 2012

Editor's Choice: Lance

I’ve been a big fan of Lance’s ( products ever since I tasted the Toasty Crackers & Peanut Butter samples I picked up at last year’s Sweets & Snacks Expo. Since then, I’ve bought some cracker packets to keep in my desk drawer at work and always stash a couple in my carry-on bag when I travel. They make a great snack on the airplane or in the hotel room since they need no refrigeration.

While shopping recently, a display of the company’s Cracker Creations caught my attention. The seasoned crackers have a cream cheese filling and come in several flavors. I bought a box of the Garden Vegetable. Later that day I was looking for a snack and decided to try them.

The crackers have a savory taste from the combination of tomatoes, bell peppers, onions and herbs  baked into the cracker. They made a nice contrast with the lighter than expected smooth cream cheese spread. It was a fresh, satisfying taste, perfect for an afternoon snack. 

The crackers are all-natural, made with whole grain and two cracker sandwiches provide 6 percent of your daily calcium — so there’s less guilt. But mostly, they just taste good.

The box contains six individually sandwiches wrapped 2-in-a-pack, so everything stays fresh and crisp. And, of course, the packets can be slipped into a pocket, purse or travel bag.

The crackers are also available in Parmesan Herb.

Cracker Creations — an addition to the snack drawer and potential travel take-a-long.


Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Editor's Choice: The Great San Saba River Pecan Company

I am a good, Southern girl. And, like all good, Southern girls — I love pie. There’s something so special about ending a meal with something sweet and homemade. But, if like me you’re a worker bee, you might have difficulty finding time for the homemade portion of the equation. Luckily, The Great San Saba River Pecan Company has the perfect solution for such a dilemma. Why not create gourmet pies in a jar? This takes the muss and fuss out of the entire process without affecting the end result. I must say, I’m hooked!

Approximately 10,000 pecan trees grow in a park-like setting bounded by the San Saba River and located in the Hill Country of Central Texas. All of The Great San Saba River Pecan Company’s award-winning gourmet products are produced and shipped from facilities housed within the orchard. I was lucky enough to sample the pie in a jar at the International Home Housewares’ Show and was greatly surprise by the melody within the filling. It was sweet without being too sweet. And while the nuts were the highlight of the show, they didn’t overpower the rest of the dish either. To create this pie filling at home (or better yet, to pass out as samples within your store) just add eggs and butter. Customers will go crazy.

This would be a welcome addition to any baking gift basket. Regardless, it’s definitely made its entrance into my rotations of favored sweets.


Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Editor's Choice: Dizzy Pig Shakin' the Tree Rub

We can't get enough of the chicken in my house. So this week we decided to try Dizzy Pig's Shakin' the Tree Rub.

I got my fresh, whole chicken, coated it lightly in olive oil, shook on the whole sample package of Shakin' the Tree making sure to cover the outside of the chicken and get plenty of spice on the inside as well, popped one quartered onion, one quartered lemon, and one apple (my standard juicy chicken stuffing) into and around the bird and put it in the oven for an hour at 400 degrees.

Shakin' the Tree is a pretty simple rub; it is a basic lemon/pepper mix with a few other flavors thrown in. I wasn't expecting to be blown away by this mix. This is basically what  I use at home for baked chicken; lemon juice, pepper, salt, sprig of rosemary or whatever else I have in the fridge and Bob's your uncle.

Frankly, this rub was delicious. As I was cutting up the bird, I tasted a little piece of the skin (my favorite part) and I was so pleasantly surprised. It tasted familiar, not unlike the bird I usually make, but better! I kept nibbling on the skin and a little piece of juicy delicious meat as I separated wing and thigh and leg and breast from body. By the time I was done, I had nibbled so much I was almost full! My boyfriend felt the same; that this was a good bird, not so much different from what we usually sup on but like a deluxe version of it.

I can only imagine this rub and any others from Dizzy Pig would only be improved by more marinating time (which I did not give it much of) and adding it to things that are going on the grill. With 11 spices in their catalog, Dizzy Pig has something for every meat lovers palate.

-Elizabeth Dugan

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Editor's Choice: Happygoat

I have to admit, I’m not a big fan of caramels. It is always one of my last choices from a candy box assortment. That’s why it was such a pleasant surprise recently when I became acquainted with the goat. Well, not a real goat, though they obviously are living somewhere.

I’m referring to the Happygoat ( Handmade Caramels that arrived in the office recently. The caramels are made with goat milk and that sounded interesting. Adding to that, one of the choices was Chocolate & Sea Salt.

One taste and you know as the package asks: what makes you happy? The caramel was soft and luxurious. It was accented with a touch of sea salt, which gave it a nice salt and sweet mixture. Blending with the dark chocolate, it was a full, rich flavor.

The Vanilla Bean caramel offered that same soft texture. It also had a true, rich flavor.
One of my co-workers tried one of the Coconut and Lime caramels and proclaimed that another tasty choice.

There was also some caramel sauce that disappeared quickly. It was later reported to be great on vanilla ice cream. I could also see it drizzled over bread pudding.

The caramels are packaged in 2-ounce packages, great to slip into a pocket or bag. They would also be perfect as part of a gift basket, or looking ahead, tucked into a Christmas stocking. There is also a  4-ounce size.

All in all, the goat represented in the charming drawing on the package made us very happy indeed.