Blue Diamond Natural Oven Roasted Almonds, Butter Toffee Flavor review

These natural butter toffee flavored roasted almonds are delicious and healthy. A great snack option for those of us with new year resolutions of eating better and losing weight. A great feature of these almonds is their handy serving size measurements on the side of the container. You can see how much you are eating or portion the servings out accordingly. Besides being able to judge serving size correctly, these almonds are deliciously sweet & satisfying without much sugar. Stevia is a sweetener in these almonds. Usually, I find stevia (a natural high potency sweetener) disagreeable with a bitter aftertaste. In these Blue Diamond butter toffee almonds, there are no off notes or a lingering bitter aftertaste. The sweetness level is … [Read more...]

Jelly Belly Dips review, Orange Flavored

Dark chocolate covered candied orange peel is one of my favorite treats.  A peely orange flavor goes amazingly well with a good dark chocolate. When I saw that Jelly Belly had a similar flavor combination, Orange Chocolate Dips, I gave them a try. I was not disappointed, these Jelly Belly Orange Dips are amazing, I'm impressed. There is a very high load of sharp peely orange in the gelatin center. A juicy, sweet, fruity orange flavor would not be as good chocolate covered. The dark chocolate use to coat the gelatin center has good strong bittersweet chocolate character. Sometimes chocolate used in confections is inferior and has a waxy, chalky and powdery character. The ingredient statement on the beans is very "clean" and pure/natural … [Read more...]

Jufran Banana Sauce (aka Banana “Ketchup”) review

Ketchup is known as "America's National Condiment".  The sweet & sour taste of ketchup goes extremely well with fried foods and is always available  at places that serve hotdogs, hamburgers and french fries. Recently, I read the book Pure Ketchup by Andrew Smith. This book was well researched and enlightening. Something I learned that there is banana ketchup in the Philippines. My husband is Filipino and I was surprised that he never introduced me to banana ketchup. Therefore, on our recent visit to Seafood City outside of Seattle, I went shopping and picked some up. There is no tomato in Jufran Banana Sauce and yet it is reminiscent the tomato ketchup I know.  There is a slight texture difference and higher sweetness and banana … [Read more...]

M&M’s Cinnamon Flavored Chocolate Candies, review

The tag line "M&M's make friends" is one of my favorites.  It describes M&M's brilliantly: colorful, yummy and easy to share. Mars (M&M's parent company) can be relied upon to come up with innovative, delicious new food products.Pretzel M&M's are my favorite new candies and were awarded Product of the Year for snacks in 2011. At a recent visit to Target, I found the newly released Cinnamon flavored M&M. It's interesting that the package has a green M&M's character on the front, because the M&M's in the bag are red, burgundy and dark brown/black.  Oddly enough, there are also different sizes of M&M's: one smaller and larger size of each color. In the sake of research, I evaluated each color and size.  At … [Read more...]

Flavorists: the enablers & my Grandmothers

CBS 60 minutes recently aired a special report on : "The Flavorists: Tweaking tastes and creating cravings". I would have appreciated the segment more if it actually went into explaining food flavors and the flavor industry, but instead Morley Safer indicated that the flavor industry is "the enabler of the Food Processing Industry".  The implication then being that processed foods taste delicious and therefore people eat too much and become obese.  This program attracted a plethora of negative comments about the flavor industry and one commenter even mentioned her disgust of flavorist morals.  Some untruths from the written segment: 1) They (flavorists) mimic mother nature's molecules with chemicals.  Molecules are the same as chemicals … [Read more...]

Cottonseed or Peanut oil; Deep Fried Turkey review

Institute of Food Technologists When food technologists get together, the topics always center around food and evaluating products. On September 19th 2011 the local Puget Sound Institute of Technologists had a meeting. The topic of the meeting was "Texas Turkey Shootout" and the speaker was an expert in the sensory & nutritional qualities of food oils:  Dr. Clay King, a professor of Food Science at Texas A&M. Dr. King's has a specialty in frying oil, so it was fitting that the topic was "choices of oil to deep fry turkey:  cottonseed or peanut oil". Deep Fried Turkey vs. Roasted Dr. King and a former student, Bradley Scott, rolled up their sleeves and fried the group two turkeys to taste. And a local IFT member prepared an oven … [Read more...]

Chobani Greek Yogurt Vanilla Review

I was in love with Chobani Greek yogurt, until I tried vanilla flavor. The texture and creaminess of this yogurt is delicious, but the vanilla flavor is terrible. Vanilla is my favorite flavor,  I stock a 16 oz of Costco's vanilla extract in my kitchen . You can  use vanilla extract in about everything sweet: milk, hot cocoa, cakes, lattes, teas, cookies, etc. Vanilla enhances flavor and adds a nice creamy sweetness to foods and beverages.  The vanilla flavor used in the Chobani Greek yogurt did none of this.  Chobani vanilla yogurt started out sweet and beany, but had a terrible smokey,woody character that came on strong and lingered unpleasantly.  The vanilla flavor did not balance well with the tart yogurt. The ingredients in Chobani … [Read more...]

Crest Complete Whitening +Scope Citrus Splash Review

Flavoring toothpaste isn't the same as flavoring food products. Number 1, toothpaste isn't ingested and has different regulations than a food product. Number 2, toothpaste is typically basic and most food products are acidic.  Mint oils and especially menthol are extremely stable and hold up well in basic and acidic conditions. Therefore, besides the fact that mint freshens breath, it is a good flavor choice for toothpaste. I imagine, though, that there are some people who want choices and feel like mint toothpaste is too harsh or not pleasant. Recently, Crest complete launched a Citrus Splash flavored toothpaste.   It has an aroma reminiscent of St. Joseph's baby aspirin, a creamy sweet orange flavor. Those of us born in the 1960's, before … [Read more...]

Trader Joe’s soy yogurt strawberry flavor review

There has been a lot a press about soy's heart benefits and possible positive affects on women's health http://www.webmd.com/food-recipes/news/20110630/benefits-of-soy-a-mixed-bag.    In general it is best to have a varied diet and try new things. This is, however, the first cultured soy product(a yogurt style non-dairy food) I have tried, Usually, it is the beany, cardboard taste of soy products that sways me towards the more familiar dairy products. I was pleasantly impressed with soy yogurt, though. Although, there is a distinct soy taste, it isn't unpleasant and blends well with the creamy, tart character of the yogurt. There is a green, sour, slightly floral fruity note that is supposed to be strawberry flavor. It isn't a distinct … [Read more...]

UP2U Mentos Gum MandarinStrawbery/Spearmint Review

This is the 2nd gum flavor pack from UP2U I am reviewing. As previously stated, I love the marketing of this new Mentos gum and find it new, fun & exciting. I wish I could say the same about mandarin strawberry flavor. It's an interesting concept for a gum flavor and seems better suited for an adult beverage. Strawberry lemonade is more mainstream and would most likely taste better. My biggest complaint about the strawberry mandarin flavor is the floral flavor, it made the gum perfumey. There were some green strawberry notes, woody mandarin character and orange follow through, but in general the floral note made it unappealing. The coolness level and lingering sensation was perfect.  At 5-6 minutes into the chew my mouth was … [Read more...]