Archive for July, 2013


Product Description:

Bubbly and refreshing, this natural soft drink is uniquely robust with bright notes of black current, tangerine and lemon. Created with the input of professional chefs, this soda’s complexity makes it delightful chilled on its own or paired with food.

I received a can of this soda in my January Goodies Box.

What I Think:

I’m not one to drink soda on a regular basis.  In fact, it’s really a rare occasion when I indulge in a soda, I am usually drinking tea.  (Not a big surprise there, right?)  So, when I receive sodas in my tasting boxes, I sometimes end up stashing them in the fridge and forgetting about them … such is the case with this Berry Cassis soda from Cascal.

However, my iced tea is still chilling … and I wanted something cool to drink and I’ve been drinking water all day, so I decided to reach for this and give it a try.

A quick glance at the ingredients:

Contains:  Sparkling Water, White Grape and Black Currant and Tangerine and Lemon Juices from Concentrate, Natural Flavors, Concentrated Fermented Cherry Juice and Rebiana (Stevia Extract).

Well, I’m glad that this has stevia rather than aspartame (otherwise, I couldn’t drink it because I’m allergic to aspartame!)  And I can say that I’m not noticing any of the occasional weird taste I get from stevia here.  This tastes like it was possibly sweetened with sugar … although it wasn’t heavily sweetened at all – allowing the natural sweetness of the fruit juices to come through.

What I like best about this soda is that it doesn’t taste overly sweet – it’s not like a thick, syrupy soda.   It has a very light and crisp taste, and it tastes a little bit like wine … which I attribute to the fermentation as well as the black currant.  Not bad.

My Final Thoughts:

It’s a pleasant enough soda, but I don’t know that this is something that I’d want to drink again.  I’m enjoying it, I’ll finish the can, but, will I buy it again?  Probably not.  I’m not big on soda anyway, and I’m really not that big on wine, so drinking a soda that tastes a little bit like wine is not all that appealing to me.  I do like that it’s not as sweet and cloying as a typical soda … but it’s still a soda and I’d rather be sipping iced tea.


Photo from the Hagensborg Chocolate website.
Click on the pic to go there.

Why Pigs?

If I only had a dollar for every time somebody asked me why we put “PIGS” on our chocolate bars I would be a very wealthy lady!  The truth of the matter is quite simple.  We produce high quality All Natural European chocolate truffles.  When we decided to create a chocolate bar we researched where the word truffle originated from and learned everything there is to know about the subject.  What we learned is that truffles are a rare mushroom found in the forest, also called the diamond of the kitchen. To find these unique delicacies pigs were used because they have an innate ability to sniff out these exotic treats.  Understanding that chocolate truffles and truffles have nothing in common we decided to bring these two ideas together, thus creating “The Truffle Pig”.  Aren’t those pigs smart?

I received two Truffle Pig’lets in my February Love with Food box!

Tea Suggestion:

Since I was devouring two different flavored Truffles with one cup of tea, I decided to go with a pure, unflavored black tea blend, and I went with this Golden Blend from Harney & Sons.  It was a sublime combination!  The tea was rich and earthy, with notes of chocolate and caramel which perfectly melded with the chocolate (and caramel!) notes of the pig’lets!

What I Think:

Mmm!  Truffles.  There are few words that pique my interest quite as effectively as the word Truffle.  I love chocolate truffles and I also like the mushroom too.  Truffles rock.

In my February Love with Food box, I received two truffle Pig’lets from Hagensborg Chocolates.  YUM!  The first one I tried was the peanut butter pig’let, and it was really delicious.  The peanut butter truffle filling was so incredibly smooth, and the milk chocolate was … well, it was chocolate.  What more needs to be said?  I did find myself wishing for a darker chocolate here, because the peanut butter truffle filling was sweet, and I thought that the darker chocolate would have been a nice contrast.  But it was delicious as it was.

Not surprisingly, my favorite of the two truffle pig’lets that was the Milk Caramel Pig’let.  The caramel was oh so gooey and creamy and delicious.  A slight bitterness to the caramel that complemented the sweetness of the milk chocolate very nicely.  Again, I do prefer dark chocolate so I think I would have enjoyed a dark chocolate shell as opposed to the milk chocolate, but as it was … it was still YUMMY!

My Final Thoughts:

Truffles – yum.  Nothing more needs to be said.  I’ve seen these pig’lets in Whole Foods … so the next time you’re in there, pick one up for a sweet treat! Your taste buds will thank you!

And it arrived in a timely manner too!  I was happy about that … it would seem that Goodies is getting into the groove!


And there were some tasty items to be found in May’s Goodies Box!  First of all, there was a coupon for a free package of Wholly Guacamole, and as I’ve professed in this review, I love this stuff!  Since Wholly Guacamole has to be refrigerated, it makes sense to send us a coupon for a free package rather than sending us a package of it … it would have spoiled on the journey.  Also included was a “chip clip” from Wholly Guacamole.  A nice freebie gift.

Also in this month’s box were two packages of Sour Power Straws which are a gummy-like candy.  I am not all that in to sour candy, so, I passed these along to my eleven year old daughter, and she enjoyed them.

There was a small pouch of SuperSeedz Sea Salt flavored Pumpkin Seeds and I enjoyed these.  SuperSeedz has some really intriguing flavors of Pumpkin seeds, including Cocoa and Tomato Italiano … and I’d really love to try some of the other flavors.  The sea salt was tasty, certainly, but rather ordinary when compared to some of these other unique flavors.


Beanitos Original
with Sea Salt

The Beanitos Black Bean chips (again, sea salt flavored) were yummy, I really enjoyed these.  Imagine corn tortilla chips that were dipped in black bean dip … then take out the corn and add a little bit of rice … and you have these chips!  Nice, crunchy texture with just the right amount of salt.  With these chips, I didn’t mind so much that they were the “original” sea salted flavor, because it allowed me to really experience the flavor of the black bean and the hint of rice.  These have definitely piqued my interest and I’d like to try some of the other flavors from Beanitos.

Also in May’s Box was a teabag pouch of Numi Moroccan Mint Herbal Tea (watch for the review of this tea on SororiTea Sisters), large carton of Zico Coconut Water (Yes!), two small sampler packets of California Olive Ranch Olive Oil, and a small jar of Bronco Bob’s Roasted Mango Chipotle Sauce … I haven’t tried these yet, so watch for individual reviews of them … the Olive Oil and the Sauce will probably come along with some sort of recipe … I haven’t decided how that will go just yet though!

A really good box … I’m happy with it!


Product Description:

Toffee Break Dark Chocolate Jer’s Squares are crafted with buttery rich toffee bits mixed with all natural Valencia peanut butter covered in premium dark chocolate.

I received a package of Jer’s Squares Toffee in my February Love with Food box.

Tea Suggestion:

I think that these squares could go with just about any tea, but I wanted to choose a pure tea – that is, an unflavored tea – so that the flavors of the tea wouldn’t attempt to compete with the delicious flavors of dark chocolate, peanut butter and toffee because that’s what I wanted to taste!  Instead, I chose a tea that would complement the flavors of the Jer’s Square … I chose Master Han’s Wild Picked Yunnan Black Tea From Verdant Tea … and what a delightful pairing it was!  The rich tea with it’s hints of spice and unique complexity brought the flavors of the square into focus, while the chocolate seemed to enhance the spice notes and bring forward some of the underlying layers of the tea.

What I Think:


The rich dark chocolate is a thin shell of chocolate, just enough to give it a delicious, chocolate-y taste, but not so much that it overpowers the flavors locked inside the shell.

Peanut butter!  Creamy, delicious peanut butter and tiny bits of buttery toffee.  Crunchy little bits, and a smooth creamy peanut butter filling.  I think the peanut butter is a really interesting and compelling component in these delicious squares – I don’t think I’ve ever tasted toffee and peanut butter together before … but I like it!

My Final Thoughts:

Delicious!  But then, I’m not surprised … it’s chocolate!  It’s peanut butter with chocolate!  And it’s TOFFEE with chocolate!  I mean, come on … seriously?  What’s not to love?  A perfect treat – goes so nicely with my tea!


Effie’s Oatcakes

Product Description:

One bite of these buttery, crisp and flaky oatcakes will transport you to Effie’s farmhouse kitchen. Made by two best friends from mother Effie’s fourth generation family recipe, these lightly sweetened biscuits taste of pure homemade goodness.

I received a package of these Oatcakes in my December Goodies Box.

Tea Suggestion:

These Oatcakes go great with a cup of hot tea … a delightful breakfast or tea-time treat!  I like them with this New Vithanakanda Ceylon from Kally Tea.  The flavor of the tea is bold enough to enjoy with a dense “cookie” like this, and the two complemented each other quite nicely.

What I Think:

I wasn’t sure exactly what to expect from these before I opened the package, but I was definitely intrigued!

They look a bit like … well, I guess they are aptly named, because they look like what I would think an oatcake would look like.  They look like cookie bars with visible bits of oats baked in them.

They taste a bit like a cross between a granola bar and an oatmeal cookie, with the texture of a crisp oatmeal cookie.  I can taste the salt, and the sweetness.  I taste the oats, but it doesn’t have a really mealy texture … not bad … not bad at all!  In fact, I really like these!

My Final Thoughts:

These are really tasty. I saw an Oatcakes display when I was at Chuck’s Produce the last time I shopped there, so I think I might take a closer look next time I’m there and maybe pick up another package of them, because these definitely belong on the “I’d eat them again” list!  I’m also interested in trying their Nutcakes and their Semolina Crackers (the lavender flavor is especially intriguing!