Posts Tagged ‘Black’

fruitymangochutney

Photo from Graze.
Click on the pic to go there.

Product Information:

fruity mango chutney with black pepper dippers

I received this snack in my January Graze box.

Tea Suggestion:

This mango chutney with black pepper dippers has plenty of kick to it, so I suggest iced tea with this snack!  And the iced tea that I have cooling in my fridge now is this Vanilla Cola flavored Black Tea from Southern Boy Teas!  It was a very refreshing tea to enjoy with this spicy snack.

What I Think:

When I saw what Graze was sending me in my January box, this was the snack I was the most excited to try.  I LOVE chutney.  And this has to be one of the best chutneys I’ve ever tried.  I confess that most of my chutney experiences have been with chutneys that I’ve found in my local grocery stores, so I don’t think it would be too difficult to produce a chutney that would impress me.

I can see chunks of mango and I can TASTE the cumin seeds in this.  It has a deliciously spicy, smoky taste, and the mango adds a sweet fruitiness to it.

The dippers that come along with this chutney are called “black pepper dippers” and they’re like a small breadstick, only they’re made from rice rather than wheat flour, so they have a light, “airy” sort of crunch to them rather than the denseness I’d experience if these were made from wheat.  And there’s PLENTY of peppery kick to them too.  

I like that there’s just enough dippers to go with the amount of chutney that’s included too.  There’s enough chutney to add a heaping scoop of chutney onto each dipper … no leftovers!

My Final Thoughts:

LOVE this.  After my first taste, I clicked on “love” on my graze page, because I wouldn’t mind receiving this every month.  So good.

blackpepperpistachios

Picture from Graze.
Click on the pic to go there.

pistachios, salt, natural black pepper flavors

I received a tray of these pistachios in my November Graze Box.

Tea Suggestion:

I recommend a fruity iced tea to drink while snacking on these flavorful nuts.  I drank some of this Acai Squeeze from Argo Tea – a ready to drink tea?  Yes!  The tart, fruity notes offered a really interesting contrast to the peppery kick of the pistachios.

What I Think:

Of the four snacks that I received in this month’s Graze box, this was the snack I was least excited about.  Don’t get me wrong, I love pistachios!  But, I have tried a salt and pepper version of pistachios before and I wasn’t all that excited about it.  I mean … it was alright, but, it wasn’t something that I’d ever buy again, and because we purchased a rather large bag, some of those pistachios ended up wasted because they weren’t as good as I imagined them to be.

???????????????????????????????So … I had my misgivings when I opened the tray of these pistachios.  But these are really tasty, and much better than I remember that previous version of salt and pepper pistachios.

First of all, these aren’t overly salted.  There’s a small amount of salt on these, just enough to bring out the natural flavors of the nut and to enhance the pepper.

Second, the pepper isn’t overdone either.  It’s the perfect amount of pepper.  It is enough so that there is a distinct peppery kick but not so much that I feel like I need to take a sip of tea in between each nut.  Neither seasoning is so overdone that the pistachio is overwhelmed.

My Final Thoughts:

The nut tastes toasty and has a pleasant crunch.  The pepper adds a pleasing contrast to the sweetness of the pistachio.  Not too salty, not too spicy … just the right balance of flavor with this snack.  I like it a lot more than I thought I would.

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Yay!  It’s always a happy time when I receive a treasure in mailbox, and this month’s Love with Food box certainly qualifies as a treasure!  This is a seriously awesome box!

This month’s box had NINE treats in it, plus a bunch of coupons, including a coupon for a gift subscription to Love with Food.  I’m thinking I might treat my oldest daughter to a subscription.  In addition, I also received a $1. off coupon toward a Green & Black Organic Chocolate bar (yum, chocolate!) and there’s even a recipe card from Chef Ryan Scott (who curated this box).  The recipe is for green olive tapenade, which I will definitely try.

???????????????????????????????Anyway … on to the yummy goodies in this month’s box.  There’s a bag of Tuxedo Popcorn from Kukuruza, a bag of Sweet Potato Popchips, a sample of Rosemary and Pink Sea Salt Shortbread Cookies from Dancing Deer Baking Co., an Almond Apricot and Yoghurt bar from Eat Natural, a bag of Sweet Corn Crunch Snack from Sensible Foods, Ginger Twist Tea from Mighty Leaf (Yes TEA!), Maple Fudge from Laura Secord, a small organic dark chocolate bar from Green & Black, and Indian Spices from Arora Creations.

Wow!  This may be the most plentiful box that I’ve received from Love with Food yet!  And what’s more, I haven’t tried any of these things … including the tea!  I’m excited to start digging in!

black-raspberry-flavored-sparkling-water-beverage

Product Information:

rich. refreshing.  naturally flavored with just a hint of tartness. taste the burst of billions of bubbles in our sparkling black raspberry flavored fruitwater®. it’s a little tart, a little sweet. all delicious. just like you.

I received a bottle of fruitwater in my July Goodies Box.

What I Think:

So, the first thing that I check out when I get a drink like this in one of my tasting boxes is the label.  Does it contain Aspartame?  No, this product doesn’t, it contains Sucralose … which is still an artificial sweetener but, it isn’t as dangerous to me personally as Aspartame is.  I’m quite allergic to Aspartame, when I consume it, I am pretty much OUT for the day.  I start feeling sick, like I’m going to vomit, and I feel dizzy – well, dizzier than usual! – and I need to lay down.  I’m just NOT good after I consume Aspartame.

But, Sucralose doesn’t affect me that way, so I felt safe cracking open this bottle of fruitwater.  Unfortunately … it still tastes very artificially sweetened.  Icky!

Once my palate can get past that yucky artificial taste, I can taste the berry flavor.  This … on it’s own, beyond the artificial sweetened taste is alright … I think this would actually be something I could drink if it had been sweetened with something like cane sugar or even agave nectar.  As it is, though, I can’t drink much of this, because my palate is just telling me NO!  I suppose I’ll give the rest of this to my husband … he’ll probably love it.

My Final Thoughts:

Didn’t like it enough to even drink half a bottle of it.  The berry flavor would be nice if it was sweetened with something not artificial.  For those who don’t mind that “diet-y” chemical-y taste and aftertaste, I can see the appeal of a drink like this, but me … I’ll stick with my tea, thanks!

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Sweet Lemon Pepper Biscotti

Product Information:

Not too sweet but very flavorful and somewhat addictive; do not let the “pepper” throw you. Made with Gran Marnier and fresh lemon peel. You will be pleasantly surprised.  Perfect for serving with a glass of wine and cheese or just as a dessert.

I received a bag of this biscotti in my February Knoshbox.

Tea Suggestion:

I enjoyed my biscotti with this Budlabeta Estate Assam GBOP SPL from Upton Tea Imports.  This was a perfect pairing!  A bold, rich flavor of the tea was enhanced by the delicious, bright flavor of the lemon-y, peppery biscotti.  A really great tea-tea time treat!

What I Think:

Before dunking (because really, that’s the joy of biscotti, isn’t it?  Dunking it in tea?) I took a bite of the biscotti to test the texture.  Most biscotti is hard and crunchy … some veering on the side of rock hard!  Right off the bat, I notice that this biscotti is different!  Yes, it has that dry, crunchy texture, but it’s softer … not quite as hard on the tooth (and necessitating the dunk to soften the bite!) … this biscotti could actually be eaten without dunking, if you so desired.  It has a texture that reminds me of shortbread … buttery … almost crumbly/flaky!  It’s really quite splendid and a welcome change from the standard biscotti.

The difference – for me at least – between dunking and not dunking is that I found that the flavors were intensified when I dunked them into my cup of Assam tea.  Dunking brought out the sweet-tart flavor of the lemon and the hint of spicy bite from the black pepper!  The pepper was especially noticeable from the dunk … and not quite as prominent when it isn’t dunked.  But when not dunked … I notice more of the buttery, flaky, melt in your mouth consistency of the cookie, and I really liked that too!

My Final Thoughts:

I really loved the texture of this biscotti – it was almost tender rather than the rock hard biscotti that is so common.  It reminds me of a buttery shortbread.  It was sturdy enough to maintain its integrity when thoroughly soaked from a dunking, but, tender enough to bite into without the dunk!  You won’t break your teeth on this biscotti!

Product Description:

Our original spicy blend and boldest brew, with traditional flavors of cardamom, ginger, clove, pepper and cinnamon. Brewed with organic Assam black tea and sweetened with
organic cane sugar.

Learn more about Dragonfly Chai on their website.

What I Think:

I found a bottle of this chai concentrate at New Seasons Market when I visited them recently.  I had tasted (and really enjoyed) Dragonfly Chai before when I dined at Cup and Saucer Cafe, but I really wanted the chance to experiment with the concentrate myself.  So, I decided to pick up a bottle of the Spicy Black Tea Chai concentrate.

And it is SPICY!  Usually with spicier chai blends like this one, it is because they added lots of ginger, but, what is different here is that it doesn’t taste overly ginger-y.  I taste a lot of ginger, but, I also taste cinnamon, clove, pepper and cardamom.  It is spicy but it is not a concentration of peppery spice, allowing the other spices to reach the palate.

It is really easy to prepare a cup of latte:  2 parts of chai concentrate to 1 part milk.  I tried it once using coconut milk in place of my milk mixture, and I didn’t really care for it, so I think I’ll leave the coconut milk to my smoothies and keep using a mixture of 1/4 cup one percent milk and 1/4 cup half & half (to make 1/2 cup of milk mixture) and add that to 1 cup of chai concentrate.  Then you can heat it on the stove or in the microwave until its a suitable temperature … and enjoy.

Really, it’s not that much easier than to make a stovetop chai latte using loose leaf tea, BUT it is a lot less messy, and that’s just as important to me as simplicity because I hate cleaning up the mess after preparing chai using the stovetop method (that is, simmering the loose leaf chai blend on the stovetop in a mixture of milk and water for a few minutes, straining and serving) It’s messy, and for that reason I rarely make a stovetop chai.

DragonFly Chai to the rescue!

My Final Thoughts:

I’ve tried a few different chai concentrates, and there are some that I really enjoy, and some that I really didn’t enjoy at all.  This is one that I really enjoy!  I also LOVE that DragonFly Chai is a local company, based in Portland.  If you like chai, but find that you don’t want to deal with the fuss and mess of making your own on the stovetop, give DragonFly Chai a try!

Product Description:

Unapologetically flavorful with a splash of bergamot citrus. A refreshing new take on the classic Earl Grey.

Learn more about Teatulia Teas here.

What I Think:

As you may recall, this is the tea that I received in my Tea Time Treats tasting box … yes, the tasting box from September!  I had tried and reviewed this tea before, but, since I am just now finishing up the last of this tea from my September tasting box, I thought I’d explore it a little via review for this blog.

I do love Earl Grey, it is one of my favorite flavored black teas.  There is just something about the tangy flavor of bergamot when combined with the bold flavor of black tea.  An incredible flavor combination.

What makes this Earl of Bengal a bit different from a typical Earl Grey is the tea base that is used which is a black tea from a tea estate in Bangladesh.   This gives the black tea a different flavor:  it is robust and full-flavored, but with a smoothness to it that is moderately astringent.  In my first tasting of this tea, I did not note any bitterness to the cup, and while there is not a strong bitter taste with this tasting, I notice just a hint of bitterness – a savory bitterness – that hits about mid-sip.  The bitterness leaves almost as quickly as it arrives, offering just a bit of contrast to the sweeter tones of the tea and the tangy notes of the bergamot.

My Final Thoughts:

I really enjoy this tea.  A lovely rendition of Earl Grey!