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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, May 27, 2014

Editor's Choice: Indulgent Confections

One of my favorite smells is the scent of nuts roasting in the oven. The spices heating and meshing with the hearty flavors really make me, well, nutty. Roasting nuts yourself is a lot of work though, which is why I am happy to have discovered Indulgent Confections.

The company’s tagline is “Delicious Inside. Beautiful Outside. That’s Perfections in Confection.” and it couldn’t be more accurate. The sophisticated package design appeals to gift givers looking for something special, and the elegant color palette creates a beautiful product array when displayed together. Eight flavors are offered: Almond Cluster, Dark Chocolate Tart Cherry, Almond & Raspberry Bark, Chocolate Carmel Popcorn, Blueberry & Pomegranate Nut Crunch, Caramelized Nut Mix, Cinnamon Toffee Almond, and Pecan Praline.

The Caramelized Nut Mix is crunchy to taste. Slightly sweet without overdoing it, this mix of cashews, almonds, and pistachios really hit the spot and gave me the boost of energy I needed after lunch.

Indulgent Confections ships their chocolate snacks September 1 through March 31 and their nuts year-round.

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Editor's Pick: Nutiva

Considering bathing suit season is just around the corner (fingers crossed), I figured going to the gym will work in my favor much more if I’ve got the energy to actually stay longer than it takes to get through two songs on my “sweat” playlist.

Eating healthy is where we get our main source of energy, so a few weeks ago I tried Nutiva’s new Organic Superfood line. The Organic Buttery Spread is a vegan spread that acted as a great replacement for the typical Land O’ Lakes butter. Trying it on bread first, it looks, tastes and spreads just the same, my roommates didn’t even realize I had swapped it out. I eventually started using it as a replacement in cooking and I’ve definitely noticed a difference. I’ve also started using the Red Palm Oil to sauté veggies and, most recently, have introduced it to previously olive-oiled pasta. Both are full of antioxidants and it makes me feel a lot better to know I’m including simple ingredients in my dishes.

For dessert (there’s always room for dessert), I tried the O’Coconut snacks. Lightly sweetened coconut flakes in a small bite were easily combined with different ingredients for a personal-sized dip. I tried it with Nutella and spread it on whole wheat toast and it’s become a new favorite with a glass of red wine (full of antioxidents!)

Nutiva is a wildly popular brand of organic coconut, chi, hemp and red palm superfoods that are all organic and non-GMO certified. What’s also admirable about the company, is the donation they make to support sustainable agriculture programs.


Thursday, May 8, 2014

Churchill’s Combines Charming Giftware with Delicious Confections

A British family business staked on novelty, beautiful design and delicious confections, Churchill’s has been supplying high-end department stores around the world since 1984. 

Their treats, a mouth-watering assortment of shortbread, cookies, tea, etc. are complemented by their embossed souvenir tins and novelty packaging, a recognizable feature of the company’s history. Flavor and presentation play equal parts here.
The thorough manufacturing process and handmade artwork makes Churchill’s range of products so giftable for occasions year-round. From chocolates and biscuits to sweets and caramels, all of Churchill’s confections are housed in beautiful and iconic British packaging, and did we mention they’re delicious?

Take the London Bus Money Box, for example (seen right). The tin conjures nostalgic thoughts of London’s past and present and is filled with golden-wrapped English Cream Dairy Toffee. Or the Carousel Tin: like something from a childhood dream, the tin evokes the wonder of a carnival with carousel horses whirling by. It’s intricately embossed and stacked to the brim with a collection of toffees and vanilla fudge.
With more than 25 years experience, Churchill’s Confectionery has grown from a small, independent candy company to an iconic, award-winning global company, serving the UK and 60 countries worldwide.

And when excellent souvenirs and luxury gifts merge with flavorful, delicious sweets we can’t help but notice.

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Editor's Choice: Gary & Kit's Napa Valley Dark Chocolate Toffee Pistachios

This week Megan was rummaging around the cabinets in the office looking for a snack. Lucky for me, she came across Gary & Kit's Napa Valley Dark Chocolate Toffee Pistachios. She brought them back to her desk and tried them and offered them to the rest of us. I wasn't hungry but I thought I would try them and I am so glad that I did.

The delicious California pistachios are coated in rich toffee and dipped in a layer of premium dark chocolate.  The indulgent treats are irresistible for even the most discerning palates and make a perfect gift.  She ate a few and I admittedly ate the rest of the beautiful metal can over the next few days.

With only a few ingredients in the product, it was refreshing to know what I was eating; just organic dark chocolate, pistachios, sugar, butter and salt. They're extremely satisfying and clocking in at 210 calories for one serving, I didn't feel like I needed to go home and run five miles to burn them off. 

I was at the office when I was eating these so sadly, pairing them with wine wasn't an option. The website suggested that they be paired with Cliff Family Winery Climber Limited Release, Napa Valley Bordeaux style blend and served at parties.