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Products that we recommend

Dole Organic Salad Mixes

Dole expanded its Organic Salad Mixes to six different varieties including baby spinach, spring mix, 50/50 salad mix, kale, super spinach, and baby spinach and arugula. All mixes are available in 5-ounce containers serving two - the baby spinach and spring mix are also available in 16-ounce containers serving five. Save Save

By | September 19th, 2017|Food & Drinks|0 Comments

Emile Henry Fish Steamer

The Emile Henry Fish Steamer, made out of high resistance ceramic, steams fillets or whole fishovercooking without the need to add fat or oil. It features bottom ridges that keeps the fish above its own juices preventing overcooking. The lid traps flavors and aromas until serving and fits upside down in the base for compact storage.

Sancerre… yes, Rouge

"A red Sancerre?" I said somewhat bewildered. Until that moment, Sancerre was Sauvignon Blanc, I hadn't a clue that Sancerre Rouge even existed! I learned about the Loire Valley red through a chilled bottle of Lucien Crochet: La Croix du Roy, an elegant light-bodied, bright but earthy, Pinot Noir at dinner at Montmartre. The sommelier had kept the wine at 50 F, making it much more drinkable with the French foods. Interestingly, I also drank Pinot Noir chilled while dining with master sommelier Fred Dexheimer early this summer. "Chill ... and the natural beauty comes out," Fred explained. We were at Artisinal, where Fred — spokesperson for Pays d'Oc IGP [...]

By | August 18th, 2013|Food & Drinks, Rambling|0 Comments

Good Food Made Simple Original Unsweetened 100% Steel Cut Oatmeal

bonnie_webBonnie:Steel-cut oatmeal is my breakfast grain of choice. I love it plain, with just a smidgen of salt -- no added sugar or sweetener, no dried or fresh fruit and no nuts. I like the nutty flavor of the grain that best comes through in steel-cut versions.

About five years ago, we recommended...

BiteoftheBest bloggerBryan: You've got to love any ingredient list that's just a simple, graphic representation of three items. If you're checking out GFMS's website and navigate over to the page for steel-cut and organic rolled oats, you will see that three small pictures serve as your entire guidance on what you're about to eat. Sometimes simplicity speaks volumes. A small pile of whole ...

Eric (2 sunglasses)Eric: On a cold Winter morning, I would admit that I'm a fan of oatmeal. The hearty, stick-to-your-bones texture warms me up on cold mornings, but the bland flavor leaves me desiring more. Plus, quality oatmeal is laborious, taking a good amount of time to make from start to finish; time most of us need in the morning....

     

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By | October 2nd, 2012|Food & Drinks|5 Comments

Villa Manodori Artigianale Aceto Balsamico di Modena

bonnie_webBonnie:" Good vinegar can turn an ordinary dish into something ethereal.

Artisan-made Villa Manodori Artigianale Aceto Balsamico di Modena begins with the boiled down must (juice) of locally grown Trebbiano grapes that’s aged in wood — oak, chestnut and juniper — barrels to yield a rich, dark balsamic with an intense aroma and syrupy consistency.

Chef Massimo Bottura, of the three-star Michelin restaurant Osteria Francescana in...

BLOGGER-B_2Bryan: This stuff is already vouched for by freakin' Mario Batali! What could I possibly tell you about it that would make you feel more secure about its quality than this: the king of Italian cuisine in the United States has given it a shout-out on his menu at Babbo. What more can you ask for? Try it. As such, I thought I'd take a moment to talk about balsamic vinegar, as it can be quite a confusing food product. Why are some so...

BOTB bloggerEric: Balsamic vinegar is a fickle product, manipulative in myriad forms. For some consumers, the flavor profile of mass-produced balsamic vinegar is synonymous with salad dressing. For others, more "gluttonous" consumers, balsamic vinegar is a flavor-enhancing agent to pasta, cheese, charcuterie, meat and dessert.

To compare a high quality balsamic vinegar such as Villa Manodori to ...

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By | September 18th, 2012|Food & Drinks|0 Comments

34º Caramel Crisps

bonnie_webBonnie:

Craig Lieberman is the man behind these paper-thin crisps first introduced in 2003 with savory flavors and earlier this year with sweet ones. The new sweet ones include chocolate, cinnamon, graham and today’s FeaturedBite, caramel. All are made using ingredients you...

BOTB BloggerBryan:

Today’s Bite seems to have more than a few fans. Now, we certainly don’t base our product recommendation decisions on other peoples' opinions, nor necessarily on mass appeal. In fact, many of our chosen...

Eric (2 sunglasses)Eric:

The original savory 34° Crisps are designed to treat the palate of your average cheese aficionado; they're thin, flavored with subtlety and nearly melt in your mouth. The new 34° Sweet Crisps are also designed to treat the palate. However, it's ...

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By | July 3rd, 2012|Food & Drinks|0 Comments

High West Campfire Whiskey

bonnie_webBonnie: David Perkins, proprietor of High West, the gastro-distillery on Main Street in Old Town Park City, Utah, recently introduced a one-of-a-kind blend of smoky scotch, fruity rye and sweet bourbon whiskeys that he calls Campfire Whiskey. He named it in celebration of the western tradition of ...

BiteoftheBest bloggerBryan: Park City, Utah... one of the most magical places on Earth. Truly a ski-Mecca, Park City offers access to seven of the country's greatest resorts, airy powder snow unlike anywhere else on earth, an amazing après-ski centered town with fantastic dining options... it's heaven. That is, unless booze....

eric...Eric: I enjoy the occasional weekly glass of whiskey. Actually, I am joking with you; I enjoy the occasional weekly bottle of whiskey, and just like many notable men of History, it is usually part of my daily routine. Now some might scoff at the idea — shouting ...

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By | June 19th, 2012|Food & Drinks|0 Comments

Lucini Infused Extra Virgin Olive Oils

bonnie_webBonnie: I met Daniel Graeff, one of the founders of the Lucini Italia Company, at a private home in San Francisco many years ago when he conducted an olive oil tasting for a group of food editors who were in that city attending the Fancy Food Show. Just as for wine tasting, we sniffed, swirled and sipped to...

Bryan 3aphoto - Version 2Bryan:

Olive oil is one of those special kitchen ingredients that somehow makes its way into almost everything I cook. Pretty much anything that's going in a pan gets a coating of olive oil (especially before it's seasoned). Even many noncooked items, especially salads, get a splash of this heavenly liquid before making...

Eric (2 sunglasses)Eric: "Simply the Best" is certainly a statement worth touting for Lucini and for the myriad products they produce, bottle and sell. I believe most consumers couldn't care less about the olive oil they're consuming or, for that matter, with what they are cooking. But we epicures sing the praises of the...

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By | June 12th, 2012|Food & Drinks|0 Comments

Coach Farm Fresh Goat Cheese with Fig

bonnie_webBonnie: We do love our cheese, especially fresh chèvre. Today's feature is about Coach Farm Fresh Goat Cheese with figs.

I've been in love with Coach Farm's chèvre since my first bite of its fresh goat cheese back in the '80s. That's when the company began making cheese in a small Hudson Valley (New York) town, just two hours from New York City. The company boasts more than 900 dairy goats, born and raised on its farm.

And to answer the question always asked: Yes, the name...

BLOGGER-B_2Bryan: Figs and goat cheese... Can you think of a better combination of flavors? This combo has to be the perfect example of sweet and savory goodness; it is a product that makes my mouth water even as I type right now. Coach Farm's new offering wonderfully pairs the subtle barnyard creaminess of fresh goat cheese with beautiful, ripe, delicious figs. This is good eating at its very best!

As with almost any cheese (especially ...

BOTB bloggerEric: I've always been a glutton for combining fresh goat cheese (_fromage de chèvre_) with dried fruits: My favorite combination is using dried cherries. There is something incredibly sumptuous about the tart flavor and almost candyesque texture of the cherry paired with the creaminess of the cheese that leaves your palette salivating for more; and that's only one flavorful combination.

Coach Farm has always (at least ...

By | April 10th, 2012|Food & Drinks|4 Comments

Harney Hot Cinnamon Spice Tea

bonnie_webBonnie: This hot cinnamon-spiked tea is an oldie but goodie blend of tea flavored with three types of cinnamon, plus orange peel and sweet cloves. Harney now offers new varieties of Hot Cinnamon Spice Tea that include a green, herbal and decaf versions. All are delicious.

I fell in love with the Harney Hot Spice Cinnamon Tea the first time I brewed it many a decade ago. I also fell for the members ...

BOTB Blogger Harney & Sons has been in the tea business going on 30 years! That's a lot of tea expertise, especially when their only product is tea. John Harney, the company's founder, worked in the tea business for 13 years before starting his company, making for almost a half century of tea know-how... that's possibly 15,000 cups of tea he consumed himself. Let's just say the man knows his teas.

Harney & Sons is inspired by the British Legacy teas, and while the world ...

eric5Eric: I’m loving that tea now has become a mainstream affair in this country — not to say that it hadn’t been consumed prior, but for a while it seemed that we depended on coffee to get our fix of a hot beverage and caffeine. (Thank you Starbucks.) Some people might not realize it, but tea primarily contains more caffeine than your average cup of coffee; and the effect also lasts longer; as an experiment, try it next time ...

By | March 13th, 2012|Food & Drinks|2 Comments

PackIt Double Wine Cooler

bonnie_webBonnie: As Bryan and Eric can attest, I’ve always been a stickler about food safety — keeping my cold foods chilled and warm foods warm whether at home or on the go. Their school lunches were always packed with something to keep their meals chilled, either a cold pack or a frozen aseptic juice pack. And I schlepped (and still do) a cooler filled with ice packs whenever food shopping on warm days.

So when I was walking...

Bryan 3aphoto - Version 2Bryan: PackIt claims that over a 30-year professional career, a person will save nearly $100,000 by packing lunch rather than eating out. I don't know exactly how they have come to this particular figure, but they are spot on about a simple fact: You absolutely will save money by bringing your lunch with you rather than eating out or on the go. More importantly, you also will...

Eric (2 sunglasses)Eric: In a society focused on convenience and instant gratification, it's nice to know there are companies helping these causes; just in a practical way. When was the last time you packed a lunch to take to work? Packed a few bottles of wine to take with you to dinner? Packed a lunch bag for a summer hike or winter excursion? Simple, convenient and cost effective are all reasons to bring your own food and drink, and PackIt, a company focused on earth-safe, eco-friendly, reusable...

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By | February 28th, 2012|Kitchen Counter, Drawer and More|0 Comments

Kerrygold Cashel Blue

bonnie_webBonnie: Each year the folks from Kerrygold invite food editors to an event to sample its Irish dairy products such as butter, cheese and cream. At this year's event I sampled the new Cashel Blue, an authentic artisanal farmhouse cheese.

I asked for samples...

BOTB Blogger >Kerrygold's Cashel Blue cheese (actually produced by J&L Grubb Ltd.) is made by Jane and Louis Grubb on their farm in County Tipperary, Ireland. And, like any good cheese maker, they've been making it the exact same way, in this case, since 1984.

Cashel Blue is actually the first farmhouse blue cheese to be ...

eric5Eric: Kerrygold's Cashel Blue is one-of-a-kind (although mass produced) and would be one of my choices as an accompaniment to my "last meal". By no means am I a blue cheese advocate -- most of the time, blue cheese taste just like it smells, pungent with an almost mildewy ...

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By | November 29th, 2011|Food & Drinks|1 Comment

Trois Petits Cochons Mousse Truffee

bonnie_webBonnie: All year, BOTB has been scouting for products to share with you during the holiday season. Today's FeaturedBite is just that — another goodie to serve at one of your upcoming gatherings or to bring as a hostess gift. This Trois Petits Cochons Mousse Truffee is a delectable combo of chicken liver, pork, truffles, sherry and Pineau — a French aperitif. And for anyone who likes liver pâtés, it’s addicting.

I like to unmold the tub version onto a platter for easy slicing and attractive presentation surrounded by...

Bryan 3aphoto - Version 2Bryan: Les Trois Petits Cochons began humbly in 1975, a small charcuterie in New York's Greenwich Village taking its name from the three young French owners who are the self-titled "Three Little Pigs." The shop was a quick culinary success, counting James Beard amongst their friends and customers. So successful in fact, that Les Trois Petits Cochons closed the store to open a larger kitchen in order to turn out what was to some in New York City simply the best pâté around.

Les Trois went on to supply....

Eric (2 sunglasses)Eric:I never thought I’d see a day when pâtés became nearly, dare I say, mainstream. The term liver doesn’t usually jump off the plate and make your taste buds dance with delight; in fact, I imagine most people cringe at the idea of eating anything more ...

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By | November 8th, 2011|Food & Drinks|1 Comment

Graeter’s Black Raspberry Chocolate Chip Ice Cream

bonnie_web Bonnie Cincinnati natives and visitors have known it. And their friends and relatives have heard them rave about Graeter's ice creams, especially the signature eye-catching, berry-colored Black Raspberry Chocolate Chip.

The fourth generation of Graeter's makes this ice cream just as Louis Graeter did in 1870, using a French Pot method. It's a small-batch way (they tell me that's only ....

Bryan 3photo - Version 2Bryan: Leave it to your friends to have the best recommendations. This is the social age (as you read this blog), is it not? So, kudos to my friend Alex, who has sung the praises of Graeter's Ice Cream for almost as long as I've known him. Today, your recommendation is official.

The discussion actually began over a product called Skyline Chili. You may or may not have heard about it. It is apparently a Cincinnati ...

Eric3Eric:: I've never indulged in ice cream as fast as I did when I popped the top on the Graeter's Chocolate Chip. The written word can barely describe how delicious this product truly is. Sure, it's ice cream, but in my opinion, it's more than that; it's ice cream with purpFB_Graeters_raspberryose.

Small batch translates to...

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By | July 26th, 2011|Food & Drinks|6 Comments

Fever-Tree Premium Indian Tonic Water

Bonnie: We do like our libations!

Generally the only sweet mixer I ever use is tonic — especially in summer. For me, I mix it with vodka; for some friends, with gin. And to save calories, I made a "sonic" — the alcohol mixed with part bubbly club soda or seltzer + part tonic. For the seltzer, you can either ...

Bryan: What more can I do to let you know how amazingly good and unique Fever-Tree beverages are than to simply list the collection of outstanding, luxury, eating establishments that currently serve it? What more would it take for you to think these tasty drinks are worth a try? What wonderful adjectives could I put forth that would do better than noting that Fever-Tree mixers are currently served in seven out of ...

Eric: I wouldn't consider myself a tonic drinker. In fact, it was only while I was spending time in Africa that I found myself sipping a gin and tonic -- and that was mostly due to my belief in the "medicinal" benefits as it's a natural mosquito repellent.

Tonic has never found a spot in my fridge; the bitter, dry flavor is something my ...

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By | June 7th, 2011|Food & Drinks|0 Comments

Cypress Grove Humboldt Fog

Bonnie: Yes, it's true. The Bite of the Best team loves cheese.

When I'm fantasizing about those foods I must have on my desert island, goat's milk cheese (chèvre) is on that list. I smartened up recently thinking that instead of cheese, I should have a goat or two for an endless supply, but then I'd need to learn both how to milk the goat and make the cheese. Nah!

For now, I'll just get some chèvre...

Bryan: What an absolute delight it is to taste-test cheese for a living! So many different types, different flavors, textures and smells. Did you know that there are more than a thousand different types of recognized cheese and cheese products in the world? And though there are terrible ones (Cheez Whiz), there are also wonderful ones... like today's offering from Cypress Grove, Humboldt Fog.

So what, you ask, is on the cheese ...

Eric: All bleu cheese is not created equal, but I imagine you're aware of that. As fellow foodies, I'm sure you've encountered a variety of cheeses that have made you question your palate. And that's great. That's what being a true epicure is all about -- the process of trial and error in finding the tastes that delight your senses and make you hungry for more.

Cheese, like wine, is a product of many different...

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By | August 31st, 2010|Food & Drinks|4 Comments

Salem Baking Signature Collection Moravian Cookies Mint

Bonnie: Watch out Girl Scouts! These chocolate mint cookies that are just being introduced this month could hurt the sale of your Thin Mints. These — like those — contains a wafer enrobed in chocolate. And so sorry Girl Scouts, I prefer the flavor of the Moravian Cookies enrobed in an artisan blend of chocolate to yours. (Nutritionally ounce for ounce, they...

Bryan: We're talking about the Salem Baking Co. today. Salem Baking produces a variety of desserts and baked goods, but they are known for their Moravian cookies. "Okay, great. What are those?" I asked myself. A brief, but thorough investigation (God, the Internet is amazing, isn't it?) into the matter led me to find a wonderful food story, so, I felt I must share a (brief) synopsis of ...

Eric: My cookie of choice has always been the Pepperidge Farm Brussels. It has the perfect ratio of crunch to chocolate, and the flavor of the cookie dough has subtle sweetness that dances over the palette (as you can tell, I enjoy my cookies). When I took the first bite of the chocolate-enrobed Mint Moravian cookie, in my mind, it was as if...

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By | August 24th, 2010|Food & Drinks|3 Comments

Fabulous Flats Tandoori Naan

Bonnie: To me, no meal is complete without bread. Because I travel lots — and there’s no good bakery near my home — I always keep bread in the freezer to warm and serve when needed, buying it when I frequent one of my local farmers’ markets.

When we ....

Bryan: I’ve always got to have bread on hand, but oh the headache in keeping it fresh. The problem is, any bread that actually lasts on the counter is not real bread at all. Hence, my freezer is full of time-tested, freezer-stable breads ready to join in on any meal.

My personal freezer aisle started...

Eric: I usually eat bread with most of my meals — in fact, I’ve been laughed at by most of my European friends because I will always make a sandwich out of whatever I’m eating, even, on occasion, with mashed potatoes. From my understanding, most people view bread ...

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By | June 15th, 2010|Food & Drinks|0 Comments

Annie Chun’s Pork & Ginger Mini Wontons

Bonnie: Annie Chun’s recently introduced frozen mini wontons are something that I can rave about. I’m as surprised as you that I’m recommending a convenience food. But one look at the ingredient list of these small, round dumplings with a savory pork and ginger filling assured me that these contain the same ingredients I’d use if I were making them myself: wonton wrappers filled with...

Bryan: If you haven’t heard of them before, Annie Chun’s is a San Rafael, Calif.-based company that offers a wide selection of shelf-stable pan-Asian foods. I’ve tried a number of its products before and have always been wowed by the strong flavors. It’s a great thing, as I’ve come to rarely expect...

Eric: I love Asian food – or more specifically, I love American-Asian food (as well as European-Asian food). I enjoy eating Asian-inspired cuisine so much that I have my very own pair of chopsticks, and an endless supply of Asian cooking sauces and a wok that’s probably been around since...

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By | March 2nd, 2010|Food & Drinks|9 Comments

Melissa’s Steamed Blackeyed Peas

Bonnie: My love for beans grew when I penned a cookbook by that name with my friend and co-author Joanne Lamb Hayes. We created recipes using beans in every possible way — including white bean ice milk! And during that time, I had bean-tasting parties to sample the foods that I was testing. I needed testers as oddly at that time — in the early ’90s — neither Bryan nor Eric ate beans.

Blackeyed peas are a medium, kidney-shaped, off-white bean with a purplish-black color in its keel. They have...

Bryan: I often do a bit of background research on the food products we review on Bite of the Best. I am a foodie at heart, intrigued by the nutritional value of different foods, their cultural significance, history, etc. I just find that a better understanding of a food at its core gives me a greater appreciation for the unique variations and presentations I get to sample… whether it’s foie gras, Kobe beef, a beet, or...

Eric: It’s ironic, but the diet of a hospitality worker (i.e. restaurant employee, hotel clerk, banquet server, etc) is not comparable to those of the people they are “serving.” The combination of long hours and short breaks leaves little time for a healthy diet; sandwiches, coffee and the occasional piece of fruit seem to be the standard staples, as well as the cause of any malnutrition.

I like to...

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By | February 23rd, 2010|Food & Drinks|1 Comment

GoodyTwos Toffee

Bonnie: My holiday gift from Robin Miller — of Food Network’s Quick Fix Meals and my client when I don my talent agent hat — was a box overflowing with a plethora of her favorite local Phoenix-area foods.There were lots of goodies including spicy nuts, hot sauces, honey, olive oil, Parmesan crackers, jellies, mustard, tomatillo salsa and small bags of GoodyTwos Nutty-Twist, Traditional and Double-Crossed fresh toffee.

The toffee was the easiest to sample, so I reached into....

Bryan: GoodyTwos Toffee Company. “Who?” I asked. “They’re a mother/daughter team based out of Arizona,” Bonnie said. “It’s very small-batch stuff. They’re a specialty producer, and I think we should try them out. Just let me know what you think.”

I definitely let her know what I thought — and quickly. I got the toffees in the mail and was in my email only minutes later. “These are...

Eric: My brother already has boasted about these delicious (and I repeat, delicious) pieces of toffee, and I would be doing the same if it were not redundant.

I’ve never been a fan of toffee — it usually sticks to my teeth or has this chewy quality that leaves me unsatisfied — but GoodyTwos Toffee was almost like a new ...

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For the month of February, Stacey — the daughter in the mother-daughter duo behind GoodyTwos — is offering Bite of the Best visitors a 15% discount on all orders. Shipping, BTW, is $10.95 for up to 2 pounds to anywhere in the US.

By | February 9th, 2010|Food & Drinks|1 Comment

Mary’s Gone Crackers Original

Bonnie: “What are those?” asked a guest in my home when I put out a bowl of Mary’s Gone Crackers to accompany my cheese and hummus nibble platter. Obviously from her tone, she thought the thin, seeded crackers looked odd.

It took but one bite to turn her into the fan that I am.

Mary’s are thin, crisp and nutty...

Bryan: Mary Waldner originally started going crackers in 1994, when she made the unfortunate discovery that both she and her son had a gluten allergy. Gluten allergies are actually more common than you might think, with a whole host of foods causing problems for sufferers. The dietary difficulties are caused by a...

Eric: Mary’s crackers are not just crackers, they’re an experience. Sure, they cater to those with celiac disease with a wheat-free, gluten-free, organic mixture, but as a “mere” cracker, they’re a powerhouse of rich, nutty flavor. The crunchiness is unsurpassed, and the...

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By | February 2nd, 2010|Food & Drinks|8 Comments

Just BARE Chicken

Bonnie: I like everything about this new Just BARE Chicken from Gold’n Plump Poultry, a family-owned company.

Its chickens are raised humanely, vegetable-fed, contain no antibiotics or hormones and come in easy-open, clear, recyclable plastic trays, allowing you to see what you’re purchasing; the whole chicken is in see-through plastic.FB_JustBarethighs The company is also transparent about its chicken sourcing. Next to the manufacturer’s freshness-date code on each package, there is also

Bryan: Just BARE Chicken. Could there be a more simple or straightforward product name? It’s a pure concept; Just BARE chicken is simply chicken. That might seem overly simplistic, but in a world where even our bottled waters have additives, that’s unique!

Just BARE Chicken has no added hormones or antibiotics. All of the chickens raised for Just BARE Chicken come from family-run farms, with each package of chicken coming with a three-

Eric: What a concept – take one chicken, add fresh drinking water, all-you-can-eat natural locally sourced feed and a loving farmer. Sound surreal? What’s amazing is that this concept doesn’t only exist – but it goes the distance in incorporating a sustainable mentality, from 100% recycled packaging to the use of bakery and brewery “leftovers” as part of...

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By | January 27th, 2010|Food & Drinks|23 Comments

McCormick Black Peppercorn and Sea Salt Grinders

Bonnie: What a difference a few grindings make!

Seriously. Freshly ground pepper provides so much more of an intense, bold flavor punch to food than does the preground regular. Same with freshly ground sea salt. To me, it’s like the fresh-taste contrast between freshly squeezed vs. pasteurized...

Bryan: Properly seasoning your food is an art. You will notice that many recipes call for you to “salt and pepper to taste.” What does that mean, I always thought? To taste? To taste what? Well the answer is, to taste good. Bringing ingredients together to create a dish is great, but if you forget to salt, or even worse, over...

Eric: How do you explain the obvious? It’s always been a trial for me to do so, having always being under the impression that what is of value and wisdom to one man can seem nonsense to another. McCormick salt and pepper grinders are the obvious, and I implore you to heed our advice in...

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By | January 20th, 2010|Food & Drinks|9 Comments

The Cheese Ambassador

Bonnie: I admit when I’m wrong.

This past turkey day, while sitting around the holiday table, we discussed some of the products we’ve tried and whether we felt them worthy of being a FeaturedBite. Yes. Yes, we’re always discussing food!Earlier this year, I had decided to write only a TidBite about The Cheese Ambassador and not a bite because I felt their offerings were pricey.

“The cheeses are fabulous,” said Bryan. “The Cave-Aged Blue was the big hit at a recent dinner party….”

“We’ve recommended pricey items before,” added Eric....

Bryan: It’s a hard job always being right ;-)

I’ve been pushing for The Cheese Ambassador as a featured bite for a while now. In actuality, it wasn’t really that hard of a sell, as all of us really enjoyed the concept and the cheese itself; it’s just that there are so many products vying for our (and your) attention that sometimes a small knock against something will cause it to...

Eric: One of the hardest choices I have to make when food shopping is the type of cheese to buy. It may sound silly, or even ridiculous, but the right cheese (flavor, not slice or shred) will make the difference between a good meal and a great one.

I’ve written about cheese in the past, and how my love affair with it began at my aunt’s house in Brussels, with the usual...

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By | December 9th, 2009|Food & Drinks|4 Comments

Materne GoGo SqueeZ Applesauce on the Go

Bonnie: GoGo squeeZ is a new single-serve applesauce modeled on Yoplait’s pioneering Go-GURT squeezable yogurt in a tube. Go-GURT contains artificially Day-Glo colored, artificially flavored yogurt that’s sweetened with both sugar and high fructose corn syrup in a flimsy tube. (Read: Can be messy.)

GoGo is 100 percent fruit, sweetened with apple-juice concentrate, in a GoGo-squeeZ_cinnamonsturdy ...

Bryan: Europeans dunk their French fries in mayonnaise; Americans use ketchup. It might seem like a small thing, but I’ve always found this divergence in toppings for one of the Western World’s most-often consumed side dishes was indicative of the differences between European food culture and US food culture. It’s not that one way is better than the other — actually, mixing the two together to form ....

Eric: My love affair with applesauce was rekindled during my first month overseas after I finished an order of rotisserie chicken. Odd as it seemed to me, the chicken was not only accompanied by traditional French fries (pommes frites), but also contained a side of applesauce (or applemoes, as the Dutch refer to it). The applesauce added a sweet, ...

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By | December 2nd, 2009|Food & Drinks|4 Comments

Barefoot Contessa Dark Chocolates

Bonnie: My mailbox overflows with chocolate samples. Yes, yes it's a hard job but someone has to do it! So when I received my samples of the Barefoot Contessa's dark chocolates, they sat on my desk with no urgency for me to taste test.

barefoot contessa on Bite of the Best But then one evening...

Bryan: Though I'm still a fan of the channel, I'm definitely not the same Food Network junkie that I used to be. There was a time when the foodie programming lineup was one of the few go-to's for my TV watching... A little Mario Batali, a bit of Bobby Flay, a smidge of Alton Brown, a dash of Robin...

Eric: Chocolate, like most supermarket products, is produced and packaged in myriad ways so that choosing the richest, creamiest, most sweet-tooth satisfying option tends to turn into a crusade down the confectionery aisle.

Now I'm sure that for the majority of us, the traditional notion of "decadent ...

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By | November 17th, 2009|Food & Drinks|3 Comments

Surry Farms Surryano Sliced Dry-Cured Ham

Bonnie: Think of Surry Farms Surryano sliced dry-cured hams as the American versions of the European prosciutto and serrano ones — produced from Six-Spotted Berkshire hogs that are pasture-raised and free of antibiotics or added hormones. That, and the fact that Surryano ham has a rich...

Bryan: Surry Farms Surryano ham, a sublimely clever play on words for “Surry” and “serrano,” is a culinary European classic. Surry Farms introduced Surryano ham a few years back. The product is a domestically produced version of Spain’s jamón serrano, literally “mountain ham.” Serrano refers to...

Eric: In 2002, I visited the Vatican. Words cannot describe the beauty of the architecture and the insignificant feeling that comes over you when you walk into the main hall. I vividly remember a statement my brother made upon first entering the main hall. He had eloquently (in his standard...

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By | November 4th, 2009|Food & Drinks, xyz misc|7 Comments

Roth Käse Buttermilk Blue

Bonnie: Lots of people claim to find blue cheeses strong and overpowering. If you’re one of those, I suggest you try this creamy, mild buttermilk blue from Wisconsin’s Roth Käse, as I think you’ll like it.

Buttermilk blue is not only for those who enjoy veined cheese, but for those who haven’t yet developed a palate for them. Seriously, this raw milk cheese is ...

Bryan: A few weeks back, I had the chance to invite some friends over for a small dinner party. Co-authoring a food blog does have its perks, and the occasional foodie press package does make its way to my door from time to time. Hey, we really do try these products to let you know if...

Eric: In the world of cheese, blue cheese is like the antisocial kid in elementary school who sits in the corner; it has a pungent smell and a defining unique taste, is covered in mold and is disliked by a select people. With these characteristics, I’m sure you’re beginning to wonder why such a cheese...

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By | October 28th, 2009|Food & Drinks, xyz misc|20 Comments

Ninja Master Prep

Bonnie: “Rule the kitchen with this new Ninja Master Prep,” boasts the makers of this new kitchen appliance.

They claim that this under-$50 Ninja could dice more evenly than my expensive food processor and chop ice better than blenders.

“Skeptical,” is an understatement.

So, when asked, I agreed...

Bryan: Ok, so I’m not going to lie. I definitely felt a little twinge of “infomercial” when first seeing my Ninja Master Prep. I mean, it slices, it dices… Don’t look at it the wrong way or it’ll kick your a$$! I heard the voice of kitchen gadget guru, Ron Popeil echoing in my head: “It’ll solve all your kitchen needs,” he whispered. “But I’ve heard that all before,” I answered.

Could it be true this...

Eric: To explain this in modern written language, OMG this product is not a WTF. The Ninja, or as I like to refer to it, “the little infomercial product that could,” is an appliance designed for the modern kitchen as well as for the fast-paced lifestyle many of us live. Similar to its infomercial nemesis, “The...

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By | September 16th, 2009|Kitchen Counter, Drawer and More, xyz misc|930 Comments

Lucini Italia Delicate Cucumber & Shallot Vinaigrette

Bonnie: In general, the only time I add bottled dressings to my fresh salad is when I need to test them for Supermarket Sampler, my syndicated column where I review what’s new on the grocer’s shelf.

I prefer whisking together freshly squeezed lemon juice, a soupçon of a light vinegar, some Dijon mustard and some extra virgin olive oil. Sometimes I blend in fresh...

Bryan: The beautiful thing about a salad is that it can be whatever you want it to be. I was with a friend at a sports bar recently; though I wasn’t eating, most at the table ordered cheeseburgers (what else?) except my friend, who ordered a garden salad. He was being teased for his choice until he ....

Eric: I love a tasty salad dressing and, like my mother, prefer to create my dressing from scratch (the olive didn’t fall far from the tree). I have a pretty straight-forward philosophy on salad: if you’re going to go the distance and define it as I do — consisting of leafy greens and vegetables — then make sure to keep it...

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By | September 9th, 2009|Food & Drinks, xyz misc|4 Comments

Vinturi Wine Aerator

Bonnie: Last week, when in Des Moines, Iowa, I was at the home of Linda Funk, executive director of the Soyfoods Council. She served wine, cheese and chocolates. Soy foods, too.

Before sampling the edibles, I reached for the bottle of Charles Krug (2005) Peter Mondavi Family Generations to pour myself a glass, when there on the counter at the serve-yourself bar, I noticed...

Bryan: You’ve got to love science. Yes, yes. There is always something to be said for doing things the old fashioned way. We all have a romantic view of the way things used to be, but I must say that on more than a few kitchen gadgets, I see no need to turn back the clock. I don’t know anybody who would like to puree anything without the assistance of a food processor nowadays… So why shouldn’t ...

Eric: I’d consider myself more of a beer/bourbon drinker than a wine enthusiast, so when it was time to test the Vinturi aerator, I wasn’t as enthused as my mother and brother to break open a bottle and watch physics in action. With a degree in hospitality, and a few years of banqueting and restaurant service under my belt, I’m more than familiar with how to properly serve wine, as well as the many...

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Peanut Butter & Co Dark Chocolate Dreams

Bonnie: The Bite of the Best team first learned about Dark Chocolate Dreams from a community member who suggested we try it.

”If you like peanut butter and you like chocolate you will love this product,” wrote Barbara Allen. “I used to be able to find it only in gourmet shops and I am embarrassed to say that I would travel ...

Bryan: Raise your hand if you don’t like peanut butter and chocolate. OK, the two people out there with their hands up can simply stop reading now. For everybody else, listen up…. This stuff is good! I have to admit upfront that I’m a super fan of this flavor combo. A warm peanut butter cup is one of my all-time favorite candy choices and the cooler version, found by combining the two into...

Eric: I am probably one of the biggest peanut butter enthusiasts out there. On a daily basis I eat at least one peanut butter sandwich, usually switching between a combination of strawberry jam, Nutella or banana (although when I was growing up and visiting my friend Eric ...

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By | August 5th, 2009|Food & Drinks, xyz misc|14 Comments

California Cantaré Burrata

Bonnie: I was first introduced to burrata in the Puglia region of Italy, where it is said to have originated. (Pronounced BURR AH TA) This artisanal cheese is basically mozzarella with a luscious soft creamy interior that spills onto the plate as you cut into a ball of it. It truly was amore at first bite. I savored each bite of this runny cheese ...

Bryan: Growing up in New Haven (a strongly Italian-influenced food city), I thought I was pretty well versed in the ways and means of the mozzarella. I can still remember, as a little boy, going to one of the many specialty grocery stores in town (Luzzi’s Market) to pick up fresh bread and cheese. My treat on the way home always was a handful of bite-sized mozzarella balls, lightly dipped in ...

Eric: Ricotta cheese enveloped in a thin layer of mozzarella — do you really need any more explanation before adding burrata cheese to your shopping list. I highly doubt that our reviews of burrata will be the only factors influencing your decision to buy a package. Honestly, if you’re not intrigued just by the idea of what this product is, then I have to question your love of food. My mother...

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By | July 29th, 2009|Food & Drinks|8 Comments

Vande Rose Farms Applewood Smoked Artisan Uncured Ham

Bonnie: Uncured ham? I’d eaten uncured bacon, but had never handled uncured ham.

Having just started tweeting, I thought I’d ask the fellow foodies who I was following on Twitter: “Received an artisan uncured ham. How would YOU prepare it? All suggestions welcome!”

“Is it fresh pork or more like prosciutto?” asked a NY Times food writer who...

Bryan: Vande Rose Farms is not your average meat packer. This boutique farm has been raising award-winning Duroc hogs on its family farms for more than 100 years.

A growing number of Americans are finding out that our system of food has become overly industrialized. The facts are: Most store-bought pork doesn’t even bother to display the breed of the pig, let alone the land, environment or feed the animal was reared on. We, as a society, have become...

Eric: I think I’ve written it in an earlier posting, but to quote Homer Simpson, the pig is a “wonderful, magical animal.” Although it yields a variety of particular and delicious cuts, this week the focus is on smoked artisan ham, more specifically, the brined and smoked hind leg of the Duroc pig.

“What’s so particular about this ham?” was the first question out of my mouth when opening the ...

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By | July 22nd, 2009|Food & Drinks, xyz misc|8 Comments

Seeds of Change Madras Simmer Sauce

Bonnie: Simmer sauces are the new convenience food. Keeping a jar in your pantry allows you to make a meal with a foreign flare almost immediately as the sauces instantly capture various regional flavors that would require a mixture of many spices not traditionally found in the American cupboard.

When I first tested Seeds of Change Madras Simmer Sauce, I had no meat or fish on hand, but I did ...

Bryan: All of the attempts to reproduce my favorite Indian cuisines in my home kitchen have resulted in flops. There, I’ve admitted that aloud. I feel better. It’s not that my homemade chicken tikka masala was inedible, it just wasn’t what I wanted it to be. Over and over again. Though I hate to admit it, Indian food has been a definite shortcoming in my culinary development.

I’ve spent a good amount of time in kitchens (my own and those of many restaurants). Having been able to make...

Eric: As unlikely as it is, especially to readers of this blog, if you’ve never tried a curry sauce, Seeds of Change is a great company to start with. Aside from producing a variety of Indian-style heat-and-serve simmer sauces, Seeds of Change is a heavy promoter of the organic and sustainably grown-food lifestyle, especially with regard to all of its products. The company offers four varieties of the sauces, each unique in seasoning and level of heat. My opinion for the sauces, as...

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By | July 15th, 2009|Food & Drinks, xyz misc|7 Comments

Yves Tierenteyn-Verlent Fresh Mustard from Ghent, Belgium

Bonnie: “It’s the only place you can purchase this very special mustard,” explained my sister’s friend Hart as he asked me whether I’d like to take a drive with him to purchase it.

“Sure,” I said without asking any questions, as I was intrigued.

Hart and I were both houseguests at my sister’s home in Brussels during a cold and dreary February. I thought a short drive into downtown Brussels might be a fun — and interesting — outing. I’d recently...

Bryan: I love the story of Yves Tierenteyn-Verlent. It is a story of culinary romance, dedication, history and craftsmanship. Of food as art, as tradition, as a representation of a people and a place. The simple story of this mustard is a powerful reminder of what pieces of ourselves we choose to maintain as a society.

Modern Europe is formed from the cultural patchwork of thousands of cities, towns and villages spread across a number of languages and locations. With such diversity of backgrounds and geography...

Eric: There are a few condiments that I can easily live without: relish, BBQ-sauce and mustard. I’m sure there are others in my fridge that will never see the light of day, but these three, in particular, will never even see the inside of my fridge. There are a few tastes that just don’t agree with you (and if you love the taste of everything, then you haven’t tried enough). I will gladly eat just about anything, but mustard seed is one of those tastes that never ...

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By | July 1st, 2009|Food & Drinks, Recommended, World Travel|10 Comments

SunChips, Original

Bonnie: Yes, it’s true. I am a registered dietitian and am recommending a chip. No, not for everyday eating. But when you do reach for a chip, which most people do more than occasionally, I suggest you try original SunChips.

These tasty morsels are good for you and for the environment. SunChips contain 30 percent less fat than regular potato chips (that’s only 6 grams instead of 9 or 10 grams total fat per serving). They’re deliciously crisp and delicately...

Bryan: Potato chips are terrible for you, right? Well, it turns out that this is not exactly true when you really take a look at it. To turn an Orwellian phrase: “All chips are equal, but some chips are more equal than others.”

Though most standard “potato chips” servings are heavy on saturated fat and sodium while light on just about everything of positive nutritional value, SunChips has somehow found a way to turn this equation...

Eric: Healthy chips that taste good: an oxymoron, or a simple truth? In recent years, with food companies and the FDA implementing buzzwords such as “heart healthy” and “all-natural,” there have been many products vying for the top position in the consumer’s shopping cart – even within the so-called “junk-food” industry. In past Bites we’ve written on ice cream, tortilla chips and even dips that are for the health conscious, so why should potato chips...

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By | June 17th, 2009|Food & Drinks, xyz misc|10 Comments

Buitoni Whole Wheat Linguine

Bonnie: By now, I’m sure you know that health professionals recommend that you eat three servings of whole grains a day. Luckily for all of us, finding grains is getting easier. Much easier.

For one, there’s the Whole Grain Stamp on many food packages indicating that the food contains at least a half serving of whole grains — an initiative spearheaded by Oldways Preservation Trust, a nonprofit food advocacy group in Boston. In addition, many food companies — Lean Cuisine, Healthy Choice and....

Bryan: What’s not to love about fresh pasta? Americans have become so used to the dry variety, seeing fresh, soft pasta now seems like a delicacy, a treat, something reserved for a special occasion. Thankfully, in our ever-expanding food universe, there are companies like Buitoni that are trying to make us all remember that pasta can be a fresh component of our meals and not just an aging box of arts and crafts fodder, more reminiscent of a...

Eric: Fresh is the word to keep in mind when debating whether to purchase the Buitoni whole-wheat pasta the next time you’re at the supermarket. When you really think about it, unless you’re an Italian-American, how often do you really eat pasta? And when you do, would you prefer your meal to be fresh or dehydrated?

On average, I probably consume pasta three times a month, but when I do, I make sure...

By | May 20th, 2009|Food & Drinks, xyz misc|0 Comments

FlameDisk

Bonnie: Who doesn’t love the taste of food cooked on a grill? Because of that, I use my outside gas one all year round — except when the snowdrifts don’t allow me to open the screen door.

I’ve lugged charcoal, a chimney starter, newspaper, boxes of wooden matches and sometimes even a minigrill to tailgates, picnics and other outdoor gatherings. Sure it was a hassle, but there was no other option if we wanted grilled food. Until now.

Note: A chimney starter is a tall metal cylinder used...

Bryan: Cooking over an open flame imparts a different taste, texture and essence to foods that can simply not be duplicated. The love affair with the “open flame” has turned grilling into a staple of American cultural cuisine, with tailgating traditions and backyard BBQs woven through the fabric of our country’s culinary offerings.

If you grill (I do), you likely grill in two places — at home and “on the move.” Many, myself included, have...

Eric: One of my biggest problems is my inability to express what I’m thinking. Although the thoughts are clear to me in my head, when it comes time to verbally express them, I begin to trip over my words. The unfortunate part is that this affliction translates into my writing. Particular in this blog, I tend to put myself in the consumer’s shoes, and write what I would want to read if I were debating over purchasing a product. Here is my reasoning for...