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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, December 17, 2013

Editor's Choice: Fusion Gourmet

It’s that time of the year. Most of us are well on our way to having enough cookies, candies and other treats in the next couple of weeks to last us through the winter. Come mid-January, however, we’ll be on the hunt once again for a little something sweet, but not too big, to go with coffee or tea, or as a mid-day treat.  

That’s why I was delighted to discover a box of Dolcetto Gourmet Cookies from Fusion Gourmet, Inc. ( that I had recently received as a sample. The cookies are bite-size crispy pillows filled with creamy fillings. They satisfy that wish for something sweet, without being too full. In my case, it was a delicious chocolate cream that brought happiness. The cookies are great with coffee or hot cocoa. They would also be good with ice cream or yogurt.  

Besides the chocolate, the all-natural baked cookies are offered in Café Mocha, Tiramisu and Coconut. The company has also recently introduced a 7 oz. Grab-and-Go 100 Calorie Bag.

For retailers, Dolcetto Petites would be a great impulse item. It would be good in a variety of themed gift baskets or looking ahead to next year, as a stocking stuffer.

Like they say, good things do come in small packages.


Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Editor’s Choice: PRESSELS Pretzel Chips (Everything)

American cities have a tendency to lay claim to certain foods, attacking counterfeits and taking bragging rights to new extremes. New York has a few items in their winners circle, but the boroughs’ introduction of the Everything bagel has made the breakfast fixe quite iconic. With its disgruntled varnish of sesame, poppy, caraway seeds and a distinct amount of salt, onion and garlic, the Everything bagel matches the frenetic melting pot of characteristics and cultures found in New York. Similar to the city itself, the bagel is complex. And don’t start to understand the schmear. It’s of course an unsaid culinary regulation in the city that a dollop of cream cheese just won’t do. Instead, bagel artists slather the high-fat, cheesy delicacy on thick, with over-sized spreading knives that rival wedding cake servers. When I lived Manhattan, my diet included weekly pre-work bagel purchases (“Everything, toasted with veggie cream cheese”), and it’s forever made a culinary imprint in my heart.

The Everything bagel is arguably one of the most “New York” items on a menu, and its crossover into other food staples is on-trend lately. From everything bagel-flavored pastas to hot dog buns, the mix of seeds and spices transitions to savory items with ease. But where the “everything” flavor is quite expected (and at the top of its game) is scattered on pretzels—crisps, buns, you name it.

The idea isn’t new, but it’s instead being reinvented for the all-natural food group. PRESSELS is making its debut in the U.S., and they’ve already got my vote for a great representation of the Everything flavor. PRESSELS is the first all-natural, non-GMO certified, pressed pretzel to hit the market, and a guilt-free snack that does my favorite New York-style bagel justice. They’re super thin and baked, with 80 percent less fat than a typical chip. They’re coated with garlic, black caraway, sesame and onion, but also available in Original (salted) and Sesame flavors.

Although I’m hard-pressed to find something I won’t dip in hummus or cream cheese (Everything PRESSELS were delicious in both), they’re seriously flavorful without anything added.


Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Editor's Choice: Arvinda's Butter Chicken Masala

WWJD, What Would Jessa Do?

Jessa is a character on the HBO Series Girls. She’s spontaneous, lives in the moment and throws all caution into the wind. Sometimes, I have to remind myself that I should be more like her. One of the ways I could be more adventurous, is by trying ethnic foods.   

Until last week, I had never prepared or eaten Indian food. I was worried it would be too spicy or that I wouldn't like it for some other reason. Then, my co-worker received some samples of Arvinda’s spice blends in the mail. He encouraged me to try them, and in a “What would Jessa do?” moment, I agreed to make Butter Chicken using Arvinda’s Butter Chicken Masala.

Arvinda’s is a line of spice blends (also known as masalas) that are roasted and ground in Canada. They allow home cooks, like myself, to prepare healthy, delicious and home-style Indian meals easily. The blends can also be used as rubs and marinades for meats, poultry, fish, seafood, vegetables and tofu. All of Arvinda’s spice blends are gluten, preservative and oil free.

The recipe that I used to make Arvinda's Butter Chicken Masala can be found here and it only requires a low to moderate level of skill to prepare and cook. I invited a friend who likes Indian food over for dinner that night. I was anxious about how it would turn out, and paid very close attention to the directions. After removing the pan from the stove, we (me much more nervously) dug in and to our delight, loved it! The seasoning was moderately spicy (although I am sure that if I had marinated the chicken for more than a few hours it would be hotter), was slightly tangy and tasted fresh. Next time I make this dish, I will make naan to go with it. The sauce is good enough to eat without the chicken.

To summarize, Arvinda’s Butter Chicken Masala was a hit and I can’t wait to try Arvinda’s Tandoori Masala which smells a even stronger…after all, that is what Jessa would do.