Posts Tagged ‘california’

This is the long overdue review of the Chile de Arbol spice that was featured in the “Some Like it Hot” tasting box from Foodzie (sigh, how I miss the old Foodzie … before all the changes when it was more like Etsy for food artisans).  This isn’t my first time trying the spice, but it’s the first time I’ve taken the time to sit down and compose my thoughts on this rather heated product!  Err… well, what I mean is, this spice has got some HEAT! 

Product Description:

Closely related to the cayenne chilies, it has a tonic, smoky, and grass flavor with acidic heat. The heat level is 7 and the Scoville Heat Unit is 15,000-30,000. This chili powder can be used in soups, stews, and sauces.

Learn more about Whole Spice on their website.

Photo from Whole Spice. Click on the pic to go there.

Taster’s Review:

For the purposes of this review, I sprinkled the Chile de Arbol powder over a couple of fried eggs.  Not a heavy sprinkling, because as I’ve learned from previous tastings of this spice that this does not require a heavy hand to taste it!

The amount of heat that this gives off reminds me of cayenne pepper.  But it also has a smokiness to it that almost reminds me of chipotle.  There’s even a hint of earthiness to this.  If one were to somehow “marry” the flavor of the chipotle and the heat of the cayenne, they’d have something a bit like this ground Chile de Arbol.  And I’m liking that!

I love the dimension of flavor that comes with this Chile de Arbol.  Sure, it’s got some heat, but as long as I don’t go overboard when I sprinkle it on something, it adds just the right amount of kick to my fried eggs, and I’m thinking that I may just have to try adding this to my taco meat the next time I make tacos, and to my chili the next time I make that.  This may even add a compelling dimension to a cup of hot cocoa the next time I’m in the mood for something creamy, rich and with a little bit of bite to it.

My Final Thoughts:

This has a nice amount of heat as long as it’s used with a careful hand, and it adds more than just heat to the dish.  It has a pleasant earthiness to it, and an enjoyable smoky tone that is somewhat reminiscent of the chipotle (just hotter!)  This is something I can see myself keeping in my spice pantry for when I make chili (I’ll be making lots of it in the cooler months ahead) – in fact, I think that this may be replacing the cayenne pepper that I normally keep for when I make chili.  This has about the same heat but will add some other desirable flavor to my pot of chili!

Product Description:

Almonds are our secret weapon against weight gain and mindless snacking. Six almonds contain only about 100 calories, and will absolutely stave off the in-between-meal grumblies. They’re also believed to lower LDL (“bad”) cholesterol and raise HDL (“good”) cholesterol, reduce risk of cancer and even improve complexion. Oh, and did we mention they’re delicious? They are, especially these fresh almonds roasted to nutty perfection.

Learn more about Stackhouse Brothers Orchards on their facebook page.

Tea Suggestion:

I chose a naturally sweet, nutty green tea:  Organic Green Tea from TeaSpree.  I just love how well green tea and roasted almonds go together:  a deliciously sweet combination.

What I Think:

After popping the first couple of almonds in my mouth, I couldn’t help but think that something was missing.  No salt!  These roasted almonds are unsalted, which is alright, I suppose, but I wasn’t quite prepared for it.  I guess I should have paid better attention to the labeling, as it says, in red letters right in the middle of the label:  No Salt.  It’s even in parenthesis, which should have called my attention to it.

That’s what I get for not reading the label before I start munching.

Don’t get me wrong, these nuts actually taste quite good without salt, but, I guess I’ve just come to expect salt on “snacking” nuts … however, since these did come in the “Jump Start My New Year” tasting box, it makes sense that the healthier option would be unsalted, roasted almonds.

Other than not having salt, these taste very much like I’d expect them to taste.  They taste like almonds.  They taste like they’ve been freshly roasted, and they have a nice crunch to them.  Sweet, toasty, and delicious.  And just as the above description (from Foodzie) suggests, they definitely do help satisfy that in-between-meals hunger.

My Final Thoughts:

I really enjoyed these almonds.  I don’t know that I liked this particular brand enough to set out and buy them rather than another brand from the grocery store.  As I said, these taste remarkably fresh, but is it that noticeable to where I’d want and crave these over a supermarket brand?  I don’t know.  But what I do know is that I found my hunger satisfied by snacking on some almonds while sipping on my green tea.  A delicious yet healthy way to snack!