Eliot’s Adult Nut Butter, garam masala

Flavoring peanut butter is challenging A memorable project assigned to me is grape flavored peanut butter. A large peanut butter manufacturer asked my company to supply some grape flavor samples for the project. My mentor, Mr. Takeda, who entered the United States from Japan on a work visa, was confused about the project. Peanut butter and peanut butter and jelly sandwiches are popular in the States, but not Japan or other countries. Since I grew up on peanut butter and grape jelly sandwiches and not Onigiri (Japenese rice balls) my input on the project was needed. Mr. Takeda went to his formula book and selected a few grape flavors for me to collect and try in peanut butter. He chose the strongest artificial oil soluble grape flavors for … [Read more...]

Mott’s Apple Mango Juice Packs

The juice pack aisle at the grocery store is boring. So, when I saw Mott's 100% juice apple MANGO juice packs, I ignored the $4.88 price tag and grabbed a box to take home. I smiled pushing my cart through the grocery store thinking "finally, a juice pack my kid will be excited about". Will My Kids Like it? My daughter only likes apple, mango, mango peach and POG (Passionfruit Orange Guava) juices. The others are "too sour". Therefore, I was hopeful when I asked how she liked the apple mango juice. Not surprisingly, her response was: "it's not very good, do not pack it in my lunch again". Juices with mango in the description that my family finds acceptable include: R.W. Knudsen Family Organic Mango Nectar Langer's Apple Peach … [Read more...]

Tazo Tea Vanilla Bean Macaron

Stomach issues and weight gain have forced me to seek medical advice on my diet and exercise routine. I'm nearing 50, so it's time to admit I that I do not have an iron stomach anymore. An occupational therapist is helping me find a good "routine" and adjust my diet to suit my nutritional needs. I've also connected with fitness advisors that offer similar services. After a few weeks, we determined I should eat smaller, more frequent nutritionally dense meals to avoid sugar cravings and prevent overeating treats. I like treats, so thankfully, I've been told desserts are just fine (in moderation). Desserts are everywhere. They are even in the tea and coffee isle at the supermarket:   This trend of adding dessert … [Read more...]

Apricot Tea

On a recent weekend get-away to Victoria, I encountered apricot tea at Murchies Tea & Coffee. Their apricot honey vanilla tea latte is out of this world. We do not have Murchies in the States, so I purchased a box of 50 apricot tea bags to take home with me. That was a mistake, I should have bought a case. Since that day, I have forgone my usual English Breakfast tea for an apricot tea with soy vanilla creamer. Murchie's apricot tea is not too fruity or sour like an herbal tea, but has a sweet, creamy, sweet apricot flavor tea nicely enhanced by black tea flavor. Apricot Honey Vanilla My husband tasted a sip of my apricot honey vanilla tea latte during our visit to Murchies. The sip ended up being "sharing". I did not willingly … [Read more...]

Cactus Jelly

Traveling The best part about traveling is trying new foods. Some memorable food experiences I have had include: gjetost in Norway turtle soup in New Orleans street tacos in Tijuana aperitifs in Italy okonomiyaki in Tokyo poke in Maui barbecue in Kansas City Still, there are a million more places to visit and foods to try. My flavor chemist career had me traveling the globe, but since I have had children, my once fast paced life has changed. Now, when I travel, I look for places with amusement parks and kid friendly meals. Unique food from other regions are gifts I receive from globe-trotting friends or family members. More recently, my brother-in-law gave me a jar of cactus jelly that he got in  Arizona, a … [Read more...]

Butter Flavor, Diacetyl FEMA 2379

Diacetyl (2,3-Butadione), the characterizing component of butter, is a naturally present flavor component in many of my favorite foods: butter, wine, coffee, strawberries, cheese, tea, beer and mangos. Essential Ingredient Just like butter is essential to any good recipe, diacetyl was an essential ingredient for flavors. I say was, because now we know diacetyl is hazardous and causes bronchiolitis obliterans, a debilitating and sometimes fatal lung disease. Workers in the food and flavor industry have suffered from this disease (http://defendingscience.org/case-studies/case-regulatory-failure-popcorn-workers-lung). Adding diacetyl to flavors is now restricted. Diacetyl, a yellow liquid,  is naturally present in food and safe to consume … [Read more...]

Starbucks VIA Ready Brew Pumpkin Spice Latte, flavor review

Starbucks Starbucks President, Howard Schultz states,"we believe you should never be without great coffee". Amen. I am a faithful Starbucks customer. I know when I order a coffee at a Starbucks store, it will always taste amazing. Starbucks unflavored coffee VIA are excellent, the perfect accompaniment on a camping trip; where there is no coffee maker. Flavored coffee VIA is not always so  perfect. Balance is difficult to achieve. Often the flavors pop out, taste artificial and are not balanced. Milk fat flavor Pumpkin Spice latte (PSL) is no exception. There are way too many milk fat notes (capric acid, caprylic acid,lauric acid) popping out of this ready brew mix. Drinking the VIA Pumpkin Spice latte, leaves sour, fatty milk notes … [Read more...]

Chobani Greek Yogurt Strawberry fruit on the bottom review

Greek Yogurt Price I'm cheap. Therefore, even though I've heard people RAVE about Chobani Greek yogurt (because of the high protein), I still did not buy it. Greek yogurt is almost always 3-4X the price of regular yogurt. I have been missing out. Last week I tried the Yoplait Strawberry Greek style yogurt and liked the low sugar, high protein and creamy texture. Today I tried the  Strawberry Chobani Greek style yogurt and fell in love. This yogurt and flavor is absolutely delicious and good for you. Ingredients in Chobani Chobani is most likely more expensive because it uses evaporated cane juice instead of high fructose corn syrup and other all natural ingredients. The process to make Greek yogurt is also different than the standard … [Read more...]

Zico Coconut Water w/Pineapple & Citrus Flavors review

Fun Evening Last night was Halloween. As always, I was rushing around getting the kids ready for the evening and didn't get a chance to  eat dinner. The kids were excited and crazy, so I decided to "numb my nerves" and fill a coffee mug with an alcoholic beverage while I follow them around the neighborhood.  My evening diet consisted of wine, candy and a few specs of dinner. Tough Morning Needless to say,  I didn't feel great this morning. Therefore, I decided it was a good morning to try the Zico Pure Premium Coconut water I had in my frig.  I understand that coconut water is extremely healthy and can help with hangovers. My Impression My impression of this product is that it must be healthy, because it looks like a medicine … [Read more...]

TIC TACs Limited Edition Pink Grapefruit review

Tic Tacs are a fond memory of my youth. Sometimes my mom would let me get a box of orange Tic Tacs at the grocery store, my favorite as a kid. As I got older, my taste changed and I would get the original mint (white) ones. Tic Tacs are delicious. I enjoy how the outside coating is sweet & flavorful and the inside is more intense. The Pink Grapefruit Tic Tacs follow suit. The outside pink layer of the candy has a nice, sweet and distinct citrus like flavor (almost orangey),  while the inside is sour, slightly bitter, cool and tingly. There is also a hint of a creamy coconut that rounds the flavor out and presents the mouth with a full  flavor. Overall, these candies are mouth-watering and refreshing. The only problem I see is that … [Read more...]