Posts Tagged ‘Cashews’

Picture from Petit Amuse. Click on the pic to go there.

Product Description:

You haven’t tasted real cashews until you’ve had them from Nuts + Nuts. They are incredibly fresh, crunchy, and highly addictive. These are similar to the lightly salted cashews but slightly caramelized to enhance the crunch add a touch of sweetness.

This Nuts + Nuts product is available at Petit Amuse.

Tea Suggestion:

I like to grab iced tea when I have a salty snack, because it’s easier to guzzle down iced tea than it is hot tea (which I prefer to sip), and when the salt builds up on the palate, you want to wash it down!  I wanted something unflavored, though, so that I could enjoy all the layers of flavor that these cashews had to offer.  I decided to brew up some of this Shou Mei White Tea from BigTeaHouse which is light and allows for the enjoyment of the snack while still providing some intriguing flavors on its own.  The sweetness of the tea and the creamy vanilla tones really brought out the sweetness of the caramelized cashews.  A very nice pairing!

What I Think:

Oh yum!  These are amazingly good.

When I saw “sweet and salty” on the package, I knew I’d like them.  I love flavor contrasts like sweet and salty or spicy and sweet.  What I’m really loving about these cashews though, is that they’re not heavily sweet.  They’ve been lightly caramelized … and there’s not even enough caramelizing to this to make the nut feel sticky.  Just enough to add a little texture to the already crunchy cashew, and a hint of sweetness to contrast with the saltiness.  In fact, I’d say these are salty and sweet … not sweet and salty, if you know what I mean.

The small package I received in my sampler box from Petit Amuse was vacuum packed, so while the package was very compact, it held a LOT of cashews in it!  Most of the cashews are whole, not broken up bits, or even halves.  I like that.  (Seriously, I think I found enough small, broken bits to comprise just one whole cashew.  Not much at all!)  You get a whole nut and they taste fresh and have a nice crunch to them.  The caramel coating on this is very slight, not enough to add any kind of chewy texture (in fact, it adds to the crispness of the cashew).

The flavor is of course sweet and salty, but there is a certain savory quality to these too.  What is that?  It almost tastes like … garlic!  Or possibly onion?  Then I read the nutrition information for the ingredients:

Roasted cashews, garlic, sugar, sea salt, coconut oil.

Yep, garlic.  I love the size of this ingredient list.  Just five ingredients:  short and simple!  I even love that these are processed with coconut oil instead of some of the cheaper “filler” type oils that are on the market and over-used in snack foods.  I feel like these are healthier snacks, even with the sugar in them, than a typical “junk food” snack.

My Final Thoughts:

The sweet, the salty, and the crunch are all very satisfying to those snack/hunger cravings that we all get from time to time, and I like that these satisfy those cravings without lots of extra ingredients that we don’t need.  I feel like this is not only a delicious snack that curbs the hunger pangs but also somewhat healthier than some of the snacks I might otherwise reach for.   Put simply, these are really delicious – tasty enough to eat instead of a sweet treat, but also salty and savory enough to enjoy as a fatty potato chip substitute.

Where to Buy:  Oren’s Kitchen on Foodzie

Price:  $6.99 for a 4-oz. pouch

Product Information:

Ajwain, a delicious unusual spice reminiscent of fresh cedar, cumin and ghee (clarified butter) are the perfect Indian flavor compliment to the simple pleasure of fine whole cashews.

What I Think:

When I received my September Tasting Box from Foodzie and discovered that these cashews were part of the Tea Time Treats themed box, I was elated!  I found these on Foodzie some time ago, and have wanted to try them ever since, but was a little afraid.  Even though I consider myself to have somewhat of an adventurous palate, I don’t like the idea of spending money on shipping an item to me only to regret it because I didn’t enjoy what I purchased.  That’s one of the reasons I love Foodzie’s Tasting Box … it enables me to try things that might otherwise not have.

And I’m really glad I got to try these because they’re really quite delicious.  Before opening the package, I had read one less-than-satisfied Foodzie customer’s remarks on Foodzie’s Facebook page, complaining about the greasiness of these nuts.  And yes, they are on the oily side (have a napkin close by when you snack on these!) as they are processed with not only olive oil but ghee – and nuts have their own natural oil as well.  But I’m not finding to be too oily, but perhaps that’s because I like the way every flavor (including that of the oil and ghee) comes together on the palate. Or maybe it’s because I always order my popcorn with extra butter.

The cumin, the ajwain (which has woody, resinous sort of flavor that is somewhat reminiscent of rosemary with cedar-ish top notes), the salt, and the sweet nutty flavor of the cashew combined with the olive oil and ghee make for an explosion of contrasting flavors.  It is very savory, but with hints of sweetness in the background.  A little smoky.  Warm with spice.  Salty.  And irresistibly crunchy. YUM!

And when it comes to tea time – these are a delightful snack.  I don’t know that I would serve them at a tea party because as I sad, these are somewhat greasy and you don’t want guests wiping their fingertips on their tea party dress.  But, they’re excellent now, as I sit here on my own, just contemplating the joy of my tea and these cashews.  The tea I chose to enjoy with these cashews is this Wuyi Oolong from the Tao of Tea.  I like the way the smoky tones from the tea and the smoky notes from the cumin enhance each other without one overpowering the other.

My Final Thoughts:

These cashews are deliciously different.  I really like them, and trying them makes me curious to try Oren’s Kitchen’s other offerings … Coconut Chili Macadamia Nuts?  Those are a definite must try!

Where to Buy:  Simple Squares on Foodzie

What I Think:

Yes… I am still eating from my August tasting box and it’s September, and I’ve already received my September tasting box!  I’m a little behind… but I guess that’s obvious.

Anyway… I’m really enjoying this Coconut Simple Square.  I think I like this one better than the Rosemary Simple Square, although I did enjoy that one too.  I can really taste the almonds in this and the coconut is plentiful.  This bar is crunchy, sweet, and delicious.  This one is a little less savory than the other (due to the fact that this one doesn’t have the rosemary), this one is a little more on the sweet treat side – and my sweet tooth definitely approves of that.

I like the simplicity of these bars.  They don’t have a lot of complicated ingredients that I cannot pronounce.  It’s all natural, no sugar, no preservatives – it is a simple and short list of ingredients.  It’s something that I can snack on without guilt, and it is pleasantly sweet and satisfying.

That being said, I think they are a little too little for such a hefty price tag ($2.49 per square).  While I wouldn’t feel guilty about eating them, I would feel guilty about ordering them because they are on the pricy side.

My Final Thoughts:

Tasty and wholesome?  Yes.  A treat I could feel good about snacking on any time of day?  Yes.  A treat I could feel good about ordering?  No.  These are just a little too expensive for what they are, I’m afraid.

I’m usually excited and happy when my Foodzie Tasting Box arrives, but this month, I’m all that times ten!  Why?  The theme!  The theme this month is Tea Time Treats!!!

Could there possibly be a more perfect theme for me?  I mean, seriously, the only way to make it more perfect would be to make it a “Tea Time at the Metropolitan Museum of Art with Harry Potter.”  And… when that box arrives – I think I shall faint.

As it is though, I’m thrilled with this box.  It may only have five items (the boxes usually have six), but they are all perfect choices for Tea Time.  The selections this month include:  Salted Rosemary Shortbread Cookies from Lark Fine Foods, Snicker Dudes Cookies from Liz Lovely, Indian Ajwain Cashews from Oren’s Kitchen, Tupelo Honey from HoneyPax, and of course TEA … Earl of Bengal Tea from Teatulia.

What an awesome selection, right?

I’m so excited about each of these items … I have tried the Earl of Bengal Tea from Teatulia before, however, I’m happy to have it back in my cupboard, because it’s yummy.  I’ve tried a few of Liz Lovely’s cookies before, but not the Snicker Dudes, so I’m happy to try something different.

There is also something new about the map card this month… and that is … it’s not a map card!  It is a card telling us a little bit about the theme:

Sometimes I hit those moments (I’m sure you do too…) where things are swirling around so fast in my head, I call my own “tea time-out”.  There’s this amazing local tea shop in my neighborhood called Samovar Tea Lounge that I’ll pop into either on a Saturday morning after yoga or on a weeknight evening.  Sipping slowly on some good tea always clears my head.  This month we’ve packed your box with some amazing black tea (in compostable containers!) along with treats to pair with each sip.  Weather you throw a tea party or your own “tea time-out”, I hope you enjoy your tasting this month.

~Emily, Chief Eater

The card also features a little bit of information about each product in the box.

Best. Box. Ever!

Where to Buy:  Simple Squares on Foodzie

Price:  $29.99 for a package of 12 squares

Product Description:

Simple Squares are nut and honey confections infused with vanilla and herbs. Take one nibble and you will immediately taste the sweet honey followed by hints of herbs and coconut. It’s truly a unique flavor.

What I Think:

When I received these “Simple Squares” in my Foodzie Tasting Box for August (I received two) I was really unsure about them.  They were a product I had not yet heard of.  Curiosity got the better of me and I decided to open the Rosemary Simple Square.

And you know what?  This is yummy.  I really didn’t think I’d like it.  But, I am finding it difficult to stop eating it!  The ingredient list is simple:

Organic Cashews, Organic Almonds, Organic Honey, Unsweetened Coconut, Vanilla Extract, Sea Salt

These six ingredients are apparently simply put into a bowl (along with rosemary), mixed to incorporate the ingredients equally, and then shaped into bars.  They are not baked or cooked in any way.  They are raw.  They are simple… and they are simply delicious.

Because it is a raw bar, each of the ingredients can be tasted, and each ingredient contributes its own uniqueness to this bar.  I like the contrast of the sweet, salty and savory.  The rosemary gives a sort of woody, resinous note to the bar.  The coconut offers its distinctive texture.  This is – put simply – a nutty bar that is slightly crunchy and chewy, sweet yet savory.

My Final Thoughts:

I didn’t really think I’d go nuts for this nut bar, but, I really enjoyed it.  I was very happily surprised.  But will that inspire me to buy these?  Probably not, because at $2.49 per bar, I find them to be a bit out of my price range.  Delicious, but a bit too expensive for my taste.