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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.

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Editor's Pick: Bungalow 23

It's been cold outside, so I've been on an at-home cocktail mixers kick lately. I've been reading about and trying culinary-inspired mixers that will make my drinks taste like I spent at least 10 minutes developing and executing a concept. Enter, Bungalow 23. The three flavorsPear Ginger Martini, Blueberry Lemon Drop, and Prickly Pear Margaritaoffer vastly different flavors to suit any cocktail desire.
Pear Ginger Martini offers a fruity mix that's set against a spicy ginger flavor with a crisp finish, brightened by a finishing lemon and lemongrass flavor.
Limes and oranges lay the foundation of the classic Prickly Pear Margarita flavor. Agave nectar adds a sweetness and a pinch of cilantro offsets the feature ingredient, prickly pear. The pear adds a complexity to the mix, giving a new twist to the classic margarita drink.
My personal favorite, Blueberry Lemon Drop, is made of the simplest combination of lemons, lemongrass, lavender and blueberries. So good you could drink it alone or with a splash of club soda, Blueberry Lemon Drop has a crisp tasteperfect for a summer day.
Winner of one Gold and two Silver Medals at the 2014 San Francisco World Spirits Competition, and two Platinum and one Gold Medal at the SIP Awards, Bungalow 23's line of cocktail mixers is a great line to have at home or stocked at the bar.

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Editor's Pick: Oregon Olive Mill

A premier purveyor of award-winning Extra Virgin Olive Oil and home to the only estate olioteca in the Pacific Northwest, Oregon Olive Mill is also the first certified modern milling operation in Oregon. The Extra Virgin Olive Oils are sourced from the family’s grove that owner, Paul Durant, personally oversees. From what we hear, Durant’s dedication is rooted in ensuring the quality they’re known for at every stage of the olive milling process.

I can contest to that. I’ve tried and used every type of extra virgin olive oil from low, bottom-of-the-totem-pole quality for sautéing in college—when money was scarce—to the prime-time oils that are cultivated with care. A delightful and fragrant oil, the Frantoio Extra Virgin Olive Oil was my first endeavor into the Oregon Olive Mill’s line of products. The single Italian olive varietal is smooth and buttery with hints of artichoke, hazelnut and a peppery finish perfect for the light vegetables I was working with. Oregon Olive Mill grows many distinctive varieties: Arbequina, Leccino, Mission,Pendolino, Koroneiki, and Picual, as well as several others. What’s more, they supplement their estate fruit with olives sourced from prime groves in Northern California, which allows for the blending to build more distinctive flavor profiles and mitigates cool climate risk.

Oregon Olive Mill is located on Red Ridge Farms, a destination for the senses as it’s called. Quick Tip: they also encompass a variety of visual and culinary delights in the heart of the Willamette Valley, including the Durant Vineyards Tasting Room, a gourmet retail shop, nursery, as well as on-site accommodations.

A second top choice of the editors here at Fancy Food is the Arbequina Extra Virgin Olive Oil, a Spanish version with a sweet and fruity aroma. The floral undertones of the oil are accented with notes of almond and feature a mild and buttery flavor that’s delicious in any culinary setting. For more information on Oregon Olive Mill, check out their website.

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Editor’s Pick: Bellagio Gourmet Hot Cocoa Mix

With sub-zero temperatures, and tv shows back on for the season, there’s nothing more enjoyable than curling up in a couple of blankets and drinking a nice rich cup of hot cocoa.

I was fortunate enough to be given Bellagio Gourmet Hot Cocoa Mix in Chocolate Truffle for Christmas. The smooth, rich, creamy, decadent flavor warmed me up from head to toe and satisfied my chocolate craving.

The European bittersweet dark chocolate and Old World attention to tradition make this an extraordinary cup of cocoa. Other flavors include French Vanilla, Raspberry Parfait, White Chocolate, Caramel Praline, Holiday Spice, Peppermint Truffle.

It’s available in 7-ounce canister, 14-ounce canister, 2-pound bulk and sample bags.

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Editor's Pick: Crafted Cocktails

High end restaurants and bartenders who know what they're doing have the capability to make some of the most delicate, perfectly-balanced cocktails. But sometimes, sophisticated flavor profiles can be difficult to find when it comes to at-home mixers. Crafted Cocktails was developed by Felicia Vieira, who wanted to have the option to create these flavors in her own home.
The cocktail mixers line consists of two flavors so far--Moonlight and Lanai. Moonlight is a blend of natural agave, watermelon, jalapeno and lime. The balance of sweet and spicy flavors proved versatile when combined with different liquors. With tequila, the spiciness was a little more dominant, but the watermelon flavoring was soothing; and with vodka, you can really taste the agave, and adding a little fresh mint to your cocktail brings out the flavors even more. Lanai, the pineapple, lime and jalapeno blend, also offers a diverse flavor profile depending on your spirit selection. One of my favorite flavors to combine with tequila, is pineapple. And with a spicy jalapeno kick, I really enjoyed this version. I salted the rim of my glass for additional flavor, and one of my guests enjoyed the Lanai mixer with club soda for a non-alcoholic alternative.
Each mixer is only 60 calories and made with all-natural ingredients, a nice change of pace from a cocktail mixer market that's dominated by processed sugars. Both of these flavors are great to have on-hand when having guests over, since they pair well with multiple spirits, and are just as delicious mixed in a non-alcoholic beverage.