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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, July 31, 2012

Editor's Choice: Kettle Brand Potato Chips

I come from a long line of grazers. My mom should've invested in stock in Goldfish Crackers years ago. And, while I have a propensity for all things sweet — occasionally something salty and delicious will cross my path. In these rare instances, I take note. So, when we got a big box of Kettle Brand potato chips in all sorts of unique flavors, I was excited.

The first flavor to cross my desk was the Salsa with Mesquite. And, I must say, it's a favorite. The chips — like all in the Kettle Brand line — had just the right amount of crunch. It was enough to be enjoyable without totally annoying my coworkers. The Salsa with Mesquite flavoring wasn't overwhelming either. The mesquite gave it a barbeque like taste while still pairing seamlessly with the salsa essence. The chips would be perfect during the summer months at a picnic, while watching a big game or even just for a lazy afternoon snack where you don't have the energy to scurry up both chips and salsa.

Other unique flavors in the line included: Red Chili, Cheddar Beer and Jalapeno Jack. However, this line is a "limited batch." So, you should stock up quickly!


Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Editor's Choice: Dazbog Coffee

You wouldn't think of Russia as a place with great coffee, or at least I wouldn't. Vodka, borscht and gymnastics, definitely, but not coffee. It isn't the right temperature to grow the beans, for one. So when the Dazbog Svoboda blend showed up in the office, I was skeptical.Well, the catch is that it isn't made in Russia, just with a Russian tradition of flavor and fullness. That is something I can believe in.

The coffee is rich and powerful. I am not a coffee junkie. I need one really big cup every day, but I won't stand in line for it and my coffee maker was only $40, so not a huge investment. I usually buy whatever will give me the caffeine I need, and taste is secondary. I don't want to be so dependent on coffee, and it is my only caffeine source.

But, when I can get a good cup, I do appreciate it. Dazbog has my appreciation. 

Being a gourmet coffee roaster, Dazbog slow-roasts coffee daily in small customized batches. A full line of fine estate coffees is available, including varietals (single origin), special blends, decafs, flavors and an extensive line of organics, all only the best 100% Arabica coffee. Dazbog samples coffee from hundreds of farms around the world to select only the best estate and plantation beans.

I have tried this coffee in my $40 machine and at my mom's, because she has a fancy-coffee-drink-maker-thing (official name) and it has held up. It has a deep taste with no bitterness that is associated with burnt beans, and since my bag was pre-ground, it has maintained the flavor despite that grinding. I even bumped my intake up to two cups. 

Now, that is a dangerous cup of coffee.


Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Editor's Choice: Mary's Gone Crackers

It will come as no surprise to some of my co-workers, but I’m still working my way through the bag of goodies I collected at this year’s Sweet & Snacks Expo. One of my recent finds is definitely a keeper. It’s Sticks & Twigs pretzels from Mary’s Gone Crackers (

Being a pretzel fan, it was an obvious choice. It is the Sea Salt flavor, something I’ve grown to like, and that’s the first thing you taste. The pretzels delivered that great pretzel soft crunch. They provided a nice rich flavor — they are made from whole grains — and substantive feel. Good out of the package, the pretzels would make a welcomed choice served with dips.

And it turns out that these pretzels offer something more. They are gluten-free, a consideration for many people. They also offer a healthy alternative to a favorite snack for those of us who are trying to eat better. The pretzels are also available in Chipotle Tomato and Curry flavors.

For retailers, the pretzels would be great for sampling. They could also be used in snack baskets or as part of college care package.

As for me, they are another munchy, tasty snack that you don’t have to feel guilty about. That truly is a find.


Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Editor's Choice: Callie's Charleston Biscuits

Living in Chicago, there are things I consistently miss from my southern heritage. Certainly, a level of hospitality tops the list. However, more noticeably, I miss the food. There are some southern delicacies that even the best Yankee chef shouldn’t attempt. On every journey home, I find myself begging my parents to prepare grits, biscuits and gravy, and cornbread. But, one of my favorite childhood sandwiches that I miss in Chicago is the Pimento Cheese sandwich. That is, until I discovered Callie’s Charleston Biscuits’ pimento cheese spread. This tastes like my childhood summers.

Callie’s is kind enough to offer a regular and a Fiery Pimento Cheese. Both spreads use freshly shredded cheddar cheese hand-mixed with pimentos and a signature blend of savory spices. However, if you’re looking for a little kick, the Fiery spread is sure to put hair on your chest. While I’m a fan of incorporating the spreads onto a sandwich with mayo and ripe tomatoes — Pimento Cheese spread can accompany a variety of other dishes. Use it as a condiment on hamburgers or merely create a summer antipasta platter with Pimento Cheese at the center. Be sure to allow consumers to sample Callie’s spread in your store. They’ll quickly notice that this isn’t the run-of-the-mill grocery store variety. It’s flavorful without being too rich.

To order either of Callie’s pimento spread, you first have to order the signature biscuits. But, this shouldn’t be a problem as they both sell seamlessly together. It’s the perfect taste of the south for southerners far from home.