Products that we recommend

Saco Chocolate Chunks, A Favorite

I've had a love affair with Saco real semi-sweet chocolate chunks since I discovered them early in my career as a food editor. Actually, my affaire de cœur was with the company and its products.  I used only their  Cultured Buttermilk Blend for making pancakes as the boys were growing up. To this date, I won't make pancakes with the blend. Yes, that good. My memory has faded on how I met Ray Sanna (the son of Bartel Sanna, the founder of Saco), but I do recall what a gentleman he also was. I hear that at 74, he's still on the floor every day fixing things.  With the resurgence [...]

By |2020-06-03T13:29:54-04:00June 7th, 2020|Food & Drinks, Recommended|0 Comments

Shy Brothers Cloumage, A Versatile Tangy Cheese

Cloumage is made from Shy Brothers' coastal Massachusetts farm's cows' milk plus three ingredients. According to the company, their Ayrshire cows enjoy seasons of grasses and herbs influenced by the salty, foggy ocean air. They batch-pasteurize their milk to preserve its natural enzyme. In recipes, use this tangy cheese in place of sour cream, yogurt, crème fraîche, buttermilk or mascarpone. Cloumage keeps for 12 months refrigerated and one month after it’s opened. It can be baked, frozen or both. Two tablespoons contain 20 calories, 1 gram fat of which 0.5 grams is saturated and 110 mg sodium. Cloumage is available in 7 -ounce packages, plain and flavored with an average [...]

By |2020-05-24T11:11:09-04:00May 17th, 2020|Food & Drinks, Recommended|0 Comments

Pressels Compared to Snack Factory Pretzel Crisps

Oddly when the person promoting these new Pressels emailed us, she knew nothing about  — nor seemed interested in learning about — the competition. Snack Factory Pretzel Crisps, a company that we've written about many times, also offers crunchy and flavorful crisps strong enough for dipping that are also lower in both sodium and fat than traditional pretzels, which is a claim made by Pressels. Specifically, one ounce (about 20 quarter-sized) of the everything variety Pressel  has 120 calories, 2 grams fat (of which 1 gram is saturated) and 210 milligrams sodium compared to the everything variety of Snack Factory Pretzel Crisps (of about eleven  2-x-2 1/2-inch crisps) that have [...]

By |2019-05-13T14:08:03-04:00June 22nd, 2019|Food & Drinks, Of Interest, Products|0 Comments

Not Just For Tacos: Organic Red Duck Taco Sauce

Earlier this year, Red Duck foods, an Oregon condiment company, introduced a line of three organic sauces. The company is a Certified B Corporation, meeting the highest standards of social and environmental impact. It took me a while to sample these, as I don't often make tacos. I decided to try these certified organic, gluten-free and vegan sauces on chicken, fish, veggies, egg dishes and sandwiches and where I was looking for a bit of spice. Unlike many other condiments, these are extremely low in sodium and calories. One tablespoon of the mild and spicy one contains a mere 5 calories and 50 milligrams of sodium; 15 calories and 15 milligrams [...]

By |2018-12-02T16:12:58-05:00December 1st, 2018|Food & Drinks, Products, Recommended|0 Comments

Bubble Tea at Ten Ren Tea, Chinatown, NYC

While waiting in the seemingly interminable line outside a restaurant on Elizabeth Street, we decided to quench our thirst with some bubble tea around the corner on Mott Street. Ten Ren named one of the best Bubble Tea places in NYC in Time Out, The Gothamist and Yelp. I had tried it a few years ago and wasn't wild about it. Thought I'd give the Taiwanese drink invented in the 1980s another chance. Don't go if you have trouble making decisions. After picking the type of tea and flavor, you select both your sweetness and ice levels. One friend chose 100 percent sweetness for his black milk tea ($5.05 large), the other 50 for her [...]

By |2018-10-06T08:16:31-04:00October 5th, 2018|Food & Drinks|0 Comments

TrüCup low acid coffee

To say I'm skeptical about food claims is an understatement, especially after reviewing products for most of my life. Trücup's claim is that their coffee is a stomach-friendly alternative to traditional coffee. Java for Americans who either avoid coffee or cannot drink as much as they like, due to stomach irritation (GERD or acid reflux) caused by acid. The company says, "trücup Born To Be Mild (Light Roast) clocked in at an impressive 5.74 pH level – making it up to 4.6 times less acidic than roasts from leading national coffee brands." The coffee is made using South American Arabica beans using a proprietary steam process to remove the acids that can irritate your stomach [...]

By |2018-09-15T15:24:30-04:00September 17th, 2018|Food & Drinks|0 Comments

Acme Fish Fridays, Greenpoint, Brooklyn

If you — like me — are catatonic over the high price of smoked fish in Manhattan, you need to know about Acme Fish's Fridays. Zabar's website offers hand-sliced Nova salmon for $32 - $64 a pound. On Friday's from 8 am to 1 pm, you can buy the same smoked salmon, pre-sliced for $9 a pound. That's not a typo! Zabar's whole whitefish is $64, at Acme a 2-pound whole one is $16 ($8 a pound). Acme probably supplies the smoked fish to most places you shop. Every Friday morning, they open their factory located at 30 Gem Street, just off North 15th N Street in Greenpoint, Brooklyn and sell [...]

By |2018-06-11T09:30:09-04:00May 25th, 2018|Food & Drinks, Products, Recommended|0 Comments

Breads Bakery, Union Square, NYC — Chocolate Babka

One of the stops I need to make before heading to visit one of my sons is Breads Bakery (on 16th just off Union Square) for their incredibly decadent chocolate babka ($14.95 or 2 for $22). Theirs has rightfully been voted the best in New York City. Babka — the braided, chocolate-veined interior — was made mainstream by Seinfeld in the '90s, babka. It's a half-yeasted-bread, half-cake irresistible treat to eat anytime. Breads makes theirs using butter and spreads the dough with a blend of Nutella and dark chocolate chips. They bake it several times a day, so it's always fresh. If you've never tried this crisp crust, moist babka, [...]

City Bakery’s Pretzel Croissant, Gramercy-Flatiron, NYC

An out of town friend emailed to meet at City Bakery. She wrote, "Gotta have one pretzel croissant per visit." I was looking forward to both seeing her and also trying my first pretzel croissant ($4.50). It has a crisp, salty slightly crunchy crust sprinkled with sesame seeds — the inside is pure flaky croissant. An absolute treat. If you've never had one, be sure to stop in on 18th Street when in the hood. City Bakery Gramercy-Flatiron 3 W 18th Street New York, NY 10011 (212) 366-1414

The Donut Pub, Chelsea, NYC

I go to The Donut Pub but don't eat donuts. Instead, I stop by this 14th Street establishment only for their Black & White cookies ($3.25 each) served with a smile. When I moved to the city, I learned theirs are the best; as I learned Breads Bakery has the best chocolate babka. I stop in at The Donut Pub when I'm running around the city picking up bagels, whitefish salad, chocolate babka and black & white cookies to pack when I'm boarding a plane to bring these goodies to family. When I'm heading to Paris, I purchase one all white (Yup! they make all whites, but not all blacks!), for [...]

By |2018-04-26T06:20:11-04:00April 26th, 2018|Food & Drinks, Products|1 Comment

Cypress Grove Humboldt Fog Dill Remix

I've always been a fan of Cypress Grove's signature soft, surface-ripened, award-winning buttermilk and fresh cream Humboldt Fog cheese. I was thrilled when a publicist emailed me about this new Dill Remix limited edition (only available through April), offering a sample. This is  not to be missed. It's filled with a distinctive ribbon of dill, ash and hand-harvested dill pollen giving a citrus finish to this creamy goat cheese. Uncut, it has a white cake-like appearance; once cut, you’ll notice the ribbon in the center. One ounce contains about 100 calories, 7 grams of fat (of which 4 are saturated) and 200 milligrams sodium A three-pound wheel is available for $70 on their site, while cheese [...]

By |2018-03-01T13:48:48-05:00March 2nd, 2018|Food & Drinks, Recommended|1 Comment

Li-Lac Chocolates

A publicist asked if he could send me some Li-Lac Chocolates from Manhattan's oldest chocolate house. How could I say no? He mentioned that for nearly 100 years, the company has been handcrafting gourmet, small-batch chocolate and confections using the same old-world cooking methods and time-honored recipes. I luckily had friend visiting when the chocolate arrived  - otherwise would have been a disaster for my waistline. The bark ($36 per pound) had freshly roasted almonds enrobed in white, milk — and my favorite — dark chocolate.   The butter crunch are addictive squares of almond toffee coated in milk chocolate and sprinkled with almond dust ($36 per pound). I sliced the almost [...]

By |2018-02-05T15:43:49-05:00February 14th, 2018|Food & Drinks, Products, Recommended|0 Comments

Moët Impérial Golden Sparkle Bottle: Holiday Gifts

For an always perfect hostess gift, bring a bottle of bubbly as it's always a welcome addition to any holiday get together. Consider Moët Impérial dressed up in a golden sparkly bottle (SRP $39.99). This Moët & Chandon champagne — in a gold bottle —adds a touch of glamour to all holiday celebrations.The bubbly  has bright fruitiness and elegant maturity with a seductive palate.

By |2017-11-26T18:10:45-05:00December 4th, 2017|Food & Drinks, Products, Recommended|0 Comments

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 |2017-10-02T16:20:55-04:00September 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.

Gourmet Garden Lightly Dried Herbs

Lightly Dried Herbs are organically grown herbs that are washed, roughly chopped and lightly dried, allowing the herbs to stay fresh for up to four weeks. They refresh completely in cooking. Available as lightly dried ginger, basil, chili pepper, cilantro, chives and parsley. Store the click 'n stack bowls — that won a design award — in the refrigerator for "fresh" herbs at anytime.   - bonnie -  I liked the fresh flavor of all but the cilantro. I'd recommend keeping the the fridge or freezer to have almost "fresh" herbs at anytime. BonnieBOTB Follow @BonnieBOTB  

By |2018-01-29T11:57:22-05:00April 14th, 2016|Food & Drinks, Recommended|0 Comments

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 |2017-09-02T16:06:21-04:00August 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 |2017-09-04T10:42:53-04:00October 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 |2017-09-04T11:20:06-04:00September 18th, 2012|Food & Drinks|0 Comments

34º Caramel Crisps


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 |2017-09-04T10:54:16-04:00July 3rd, 2012|Food & Drinks|0 Comments