Imitation Vanilla Flavor and Bibingka

Filipino food isn't as popular as Chinese or Thai food, but it is just as good. One Filipino food my family is particularly fond of is Bibingka. Bibingka Bibingka is a rice cake style dessert which has a milky, vanilla coconut custard flavor. It is rich and creamy like pudding, has a crunchy top coat and is chewy. We have never seen it at the supermarket, but are fortunate that have relatives or my husband to bake it for us. The ingredients for Bibingka vary, and my husband uses butter,sweet rice flour, sugar, evaporated milk, egg, coconut milk and vanilla to make it. Vanilla Flavor My husband has baked so much Bibingka recently that he ran out of real vanilla extract; so he picked up some imitation vanilla flavor at the supermarket. … [Read more...]

Fenugreek Extract and Maple Flavor FEMA #2486

Fenugreek seeds Until recently, I did not know Fenugreek seeds were one of the main ingredients in Indian spiced curry. My experience with Fenugreek was that it is brown sticky mass that smelled like maple. I knew Fenugreek not as a seed or a plant, but as a botanical extract. Extracts Extracts are concentrated natural products obtained by solvent extraction (i.e. ethyl alcohol or hexane extraction). The aroma and taste components that are extracted by the solvent are further concentrated by evaporating the solvent residue. Once the solvent is removed, a botanical extract is made by mixing the remnants with glycerine, caramel color and corn syrup. A flavor chemist can use either roasted or unroasted Fenugreek. Fenugreek extract is the … [Read more...]

Starbuck’s Via Cool Lime Refreshers, flavor review

Starbucks, you stole my idea!  Thank you, because I love your new Cool Lime Refreshers™. Seven years of my life were spent blending mint with all sorts of flavor combinations. My favorite mint variety to blend with fruity notes is Native Spearmint (Mentha spicata): herbal, green leafy, tea like and dry. Scotch Spearmint(Mentha gracilis) is preferred for chewing gum: creamy, green and buttery. Truthfully, I never perfected the mint blend: Starbucks did with their Refreshers™ Cool Lime. Some successful flavors I made were pear mint, melon mint and key lime mint. If I were to mix all these flavors, I'd have Cool Lime Refreshers™; perfection!  The Starbucks Via box claims Cool Lime combines kaffir lime, hints of mint, … [Read more...]

Nature Valley 100% natural, Protein Chewy bars review

There were two new Nature Valley chewy bars in the grocery store last week:  Peanut Butter Dark Chocolate and Peanut as well as Almond and Dark Chocolate. The last breakfast snack (belVita Breakfast biscuits) I choose lacked protein, these Nature Valley bars with 10 grams of protein might redeem me. The peanut butter dark chocolate naturally flavored bar was eaten quickly in the car, while drinking a latte. It was confusing: lots of peanut butter flavor, slightly sweet, very chewy with a lingering aftertaste. The fullness of the product seemed to be missing. My expectations were that the bar would be extremely nutty, very sweet and crunchy as well as chewy. After all, the bars appeared to be packed with nuts. When I read the … [Read more...]

Starbucks Refreshers, Sparkling Energy Beverage with green coffee extract, flavor review

Starbucks RefreshersLike most moms, I survived the new baby/full-time work phase with lots of caffeine. Coffee is my beverage of choice for "energy". Energy drinks are popular and most flavor chemists have made flavors and energy blends for these beverages. In early 2000, I copied Red Bull (TM) flavor for a successful bar drink. My flavor memory of Red Bull (TM) was cherry cough syrup. It is shocking to find out that Red Bull and Vodka is served at bars (combination of upper and downer drugs), but maybe not so different than the Cola mixed drinks I had become accustomed to. Through my career, I've created other flavors for energy drinks: passionfruit, orange, and melon; then I moved on to confection flavors. On a recent trip to Target, … [Read more...]