Saturday, August 18, 2018

Degustabox August 2018

Oh lookie! Another box of free stuff from Degustabox, just so I can tell you all about it. It's kind of amazing to me that after all this time, the boxes are still filled with things I haven't tried before. Of course there are some things I'm familiar with, and there are quite a few times when I've been familiar with the company. But there are still plenty of new things.

This one had products that were new to me, although I did know a few of the companies.

So, here we go for August:

The Good Crisp Company
These are potato crisps in a can, much like that other company that makes potato crisps in a can. These are non-GMO and have all natural ingredients. They tasted like potato crisps, and I have to say that the can is a convenient package. The ones I got were a sour cream and onion flavor

Wise Snacks Stadium Nacho Bravas Tortilla Chips
Mmm. Tortilla chips. I usually never buy little bags of chips, but I'm really liking having these come to me from Degustabox. They're the right size for a snack, and I get to try a different products rather than committing to a lot of one kind of thing. I have to say I'm becoming quite fond of Wise products. Nacho tortilla chips? Yes, please!

Post Frosted Shredded Wheat Chocolate Strawberry
I'm not a big breakfast cereal eater, and I had plenty on hand. So I'll be honest here. I passed these along to someone else to enjoy. The idea is interesting, though.

Sahale Snack Maple Pecan Glaze Mix
Mmmm. Maple pecans. These also had dried cherries and apples, so it wasn't ALL nuts, and I was giddy happy to see a snack mix that didn't have raisins or coconut. This is also a great take-with-you snack for those times when you need a little something to nosh on, but it's not mealtime.

Colombina Amazon Pepper Sweet Chili
Ohhh, yes. Mix this with cream cheese for a nice chip dip. Easy peasy. Also a good start for a sauce for shrimp. The one I got was mild, which makes me think there's also a hot version.

PR Bar
This is a chocolate and peanut bar. Yum. It's supposed to be the perfect blend of carbs and protein, but I have no actual proof of that perfect. But again, it would be a nice take-with-you snack or something to tuck into the desk at work for a little boost without a carb crash afterwards.

Ready Nutrition Protein Water
I have no idea how one gets protein into water, but there it is. The one I got was grapefruit flavored. Aside from coffee or tea, I don't drink a lot of flavored beverages, but I like to have some on hand when I'm in the mood. This one is chilling in the fridge for one of those days.

Popcorn, Indiana movie theater popcorn
I love popcorn. When I make it, I make a LOT. These little bags are so handy for snacking and they're just sitting there waiting for me without having to actually make it. This is made with real butter, which is actually my favorite flavoring for popcorn.

Country Archer jerky
Ah, jerky, the perfect little bite of protein. This was sweet pork barbecue flavored. If you like jerky, you'll probably love this stuff.

High Brew Coffee
Cold brew coffee in a can. Could it be any more convenient? I'm actually setting this aside for emergency coffee, when I forget to brew my own, or when I'm out of ground coffee, or ... well, I'm sure there will be other reasons.

Prince of Peace ginger chews
These are chewy ginger-lemon candies, perfect for times when your tummy is a little grumbly, or pretty much any time you're in the mood for a spicy-sweet snack. Not as much bite as candied ginger, and not as sweet as regular candies.

So there we go. Lots of new treats for August. Thanks to Degustabox for sending me their boxes at no cost to me.

Wednesday, August 1, 2018


When I got an offer to sample Milkadamia (which is a macadamia nut milk) I hesitated because it's kind of silly to ship a refrigerated product. But, nope, this is a shelf-stable products, so shipping wasn't an issue.

It's also nice for home storage, since you can tuck a container in the pantry and it's there when you need it.

I actually buy almond milk once in a while. I like it for making hot chocolate, in particular. It seems somehow richer than regular milk. Oddly, I find the opposite is true in coffee, where almond milk seems thin.

Weird, right?

So anyway, the nice folks at Milkadamia sent along two different products - an unsweetened and a vanilla unsweetened. To be brutally honest, I didn't notice a huge difference in flavor between the two, but I also didn't do a head-to-head taste test.

I also didn't make any hot chocolate, because it's summer here and hot chocolate on a hot night makes no sense at all.

But I did use it for making cocktails a few times, and I also used it in my coffee, where I liked it better than almond milk. While it's not quite the same as regular milk, it wasn't super-thin like the almond milk I usually buy. So that was a plus. A huge plus. Because I ran out of milk and didn't want to run to the store for just one thing.

Because we all know what that leads to. Extra stuff in the basket.

The flavor of the milkadamia was really mild - not super nutty - so this could would work well in pretty much any drink and any recipe, since you wouldn't be adding a flavor that might potentially clash.

Overall, I liked this stuff. I'll be looking for it at the store, and checking out the other flavor options.

Yup, this was sent to me from the Milkadamia folks, at no cost to me. Slurp, slurp.

Monday, July 30, 2018

Salviana Raw Maguey Sap

When I was offered a sample of maguey sap from a company called Saviana (people send me lots of stuff to sample for free), I first had to ask what "pre-Hispanic" on the label meant. I'd ever seen that particular terminology before.

Easy answer: this is a food product that predated the time when Spaniards came to the Americas. In other words, the maguey is a native plant and the sap was being used by people who lived here a long time ago.

Okay, then.

After a little research, I found out that maguey is actually agave. Whether it's the same agave that goes into the agave syrup that you see on store shelves. It didn't taste like any agave syrup I've had, so perhaps it's because it's raw. Or maybe it's another species of agave. I really have no idea.

Like all the other natural sweeteners (maple syrup, honey, etc.) the maguey sap I got had a distinct scent and flavor. It reminded me a lot of corn. Now, when you're adding it to something, it's not like you're going to feel like you're gnawing on a corn cob while you're drinking your sweet tea. But it does have a corn-like aroma and flavor, so you might want to think about what you're adding it to and decide whether a hint of corn would be delicious or weird.

So far, I've added it to savory dishes, and just a little bit since savory doesn't need a lot of sweet. I think it would be lovely in cornbread or drizzled on cornbread, if that's the sort of thing you do. Or drizzled on chicken and waffles, if that's your thing. It was nice in a corn and bean salad I made, with just a little to balance the tartness of other ingredients. I'd use it for sure in corn muffins.

I think strong flavors would obliterate that hint of corn, particularly if you're not using a lot of it, but I think I'd hesitate to add it to anything with delicate flavor where corn would be a distraction.

So there we go. Raw maguey. Another first for me.

Yup, I got Salviana Raw Maguey Sap this for free.