Thursday, March 14, 2019

Hepp's Salt Passport Collection

Salt is something you'll find in pretty much every kitchen. Even people who don't use salt in cooking probably have some sitting around for guests who want to add salt at the table.

Some people have more than one kind of salt. Perhaps it's a flavored salt. Perhaps it's bigger flakes. Perhaps it's canning salt. And then some other people have a lot of salts.

This passport collection from Hepp's Salt is perfect for people who want to explore different salts, but who don't want to commit to large quantities. It would also be a sweet gift if you have a friend who likes to cook.

The jars are small, but since these are meant as finishing salts, there's enough for several recipes or many plates of food. So they're not just tasters. There's enough to use. And then when you decide that you love the lemon salt but the ghost pepper salt is too scary, you can order just the salts you love the most.

Not only is this a fun collection, the packaging is nice, too. The box holds the little jars neatly and the cover slides on to keep them secure. I could imagine using the jars and the box afterwards for other things. Maybe spices. Maybe crafty things.

My favorite was the lemon, which is nice on a lot of things. Salad, fish, vegetables. The black lava makes a pretty presentation. Imagine it sprinkled on shortbread cookies or eggs. The Thai ginger was different. I've tried flavored salts before, but I don't think I've ever seen a ginger salt.

All of the salts were interesting, though. I loved some more than others, but that's kind of the point of a collection like this. You get a chance to try before you buy the big bottles.

I got these at no cost to me from Hepp's Salt. Besides these salts, they have others that aren't part of this collection. They also have flavored sugars. Yum.

Tuesday, March 12, 2019

True Made Sauces

My dad wasn't a particularly demanding guy, when it came to food. Whatever my mom cooked, he was happy with. It helped that she was a pretty good cook, but he was also pretty chill about whatever got put on the table.

I can only think of three times when he said anything negative about food. The first was the great rant about ketchup on a hot dog. The short version is that hot dogs are sausages, and you put mustard on sausage. Ketchup is for burgers and meat loaf.

The second time was when my mom tried instant mashed potatoes. Let's just say that she didn't buy them a second time.

The third was not at all my mom's fault. He read somewhere that a ketchup manufacturer was using sugar beet pulp to help thicken their ketchup. This was well before there were GMOs, and he had nothing in particular against sugar (which he put into his coffee) or sugar beets, when used as a sweetener. What he didn't like was the pulp. It was an impostor!

Prior to this horror, ketchup was thickened using tomato pulp. Allegedly. According to my dad. But I don't actually know for sure. I just remember him being all mad about sugar beet pulp that was being substituted for tasty tomatoes.

The reason this comes to mind is that the nice folks at True Made sent me a selection of their sauces. There was barbecue sauce, ketchup, and sriracha. The labels make a point of saying that these are vegetable sauces, which I thought was kind of odd because I didn't expect to find meat in my ketchup. But their point, really, is that they use a selection of vegetables to make these sauces, and they don't include sugar. Or no sugar beets, I guess. Which would have made my dad really happy. The ketchup label lists tomatoes, butternut squash, carrots, and spinach.

To be honest, I wouldn't have noticed that these were so vegetable-forward if the information wasn't on the label. Which is a good thing. I like it when my food tastes like it's supposed to, and the healthy aspect is just there, in the background.

If you're looking for tasty and less sugary condiments, these are worth a look. If you're not stuck on particular brands and you like trying different flavors, for sure give 'em a try when you see them.

Why, yes. I did get these at no cost to me.

Monday, February 11, 2019

Degusta Box February 2019

Another month, another box of goodies from Degusta Box. They send me a box every month, at no cost, so I can tell you all about it.

The theme for this month's box was ... hmmm ... I'm not sure. There were some Mexican-related items, but there were others as well. In any case, here's how it went:

Manitou Trading Company Truffle, Parmesan and Black Garlic Seasoning
Okay, I'll admit it. I've been sniffing at this stuff like a bloodhound. Or maybe a truffle dog. I haven't used it yet, but this would be excellent on popcorn. Or chicken, I think. Or anywhere that truffle, parmesan and black garlic would play well. Oh! On potatoes! That would be awesome. So anyway, it's a standard size spice jar full of yum.

Manitou Trading Company Piri Piri Sauce Starter
This is a pouch that you'd use to make a piri piri sauce - which means "pepper pepper" in Swahili - that can then be used for cooking, sauces, dressings, and dips. I haven't tried this yet, but I've had piri piri sauces before. Tasty stuff.

Just Add Guacamole Quick Mix
This was interesting. It's a powder that you add to two avocados when you're making guacamole. It add flavor, but it also helped to keep the guacamole from browning, so it can sit out at a party and not get all brown before the night is over.

Raindrops Candy Taco
This was candy in the shape of a taco. It was a bit much for me, so I passed it along to someone else. It looked interesting, though, and one would be plenty to share.

PB Fit
I've had this stuff before. It's powdered peanut butter with the fat removed. You can make fat-free peanut butter by adding some water to it, or you can add the powder to smoothies or baked goods or wherever you want peanut flavor. They sent three pouches, which is enough to see if you like it before you commit to a big jar.

Sourdough Craft Beer Pretzel Rings
Hey. they're pretzels, Ring-shaped. And they include malted barley and some hops. Good for snacking. I thought they were particularly good with a little smear of pimento cheese. But I'm weird like that.

These are little cups with dehydrated refried beans. You just add boiling water or you add tap water and then microwave it. Then wait and stir. Admittedly, these weren't the best refried beans I've ever eaten, but those take hours. These were ready in no time. When I need a lot of refried beans, I'll probably spend the time with them, but when I want just a little for a few tacos or a side for a single meal, or when I'm craving beans and chips, these make sense. They sent two of these in different flavors, but I've only tried the cheesy one so far.

I freaking LOVE these things after getting my first sample from Degusta Box, and I've gone on to buy them several times. They're triangle-shaped, like a tortilla chop, but they taste like popcorn. The ones they sent this time were spicy queso flavor which was pretty darned good.

Emmy's Organics Coconut Cookies
And here it is, the item with coconut. I really wish coconut wasn't so trendy, since it's showing up everywhere. But hey, other people like coconut, so I found a good home for these cookies. I'm sure they were good. Just not my thing.

So there we go. Lots of stuff, lots of winners. And, no, you can't have my PopCorners. As I mentioned up top, I get these boxes from Degusta Box every month, at no cost to me. Yum.