Posts Tagged ‘cherry’

bumblebarcherry

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

Product Information:

Bumble Bars are crafted by hand in Spokane Valley, Washington. These tasty snack bars are organic, gluten free, non-GMO and provide a great energy boost.

I received this Cherry Chocolate Bumble Bar in my September Knoshbox!

Tea Suggestion:

For this flavorful energy bar, I chose something equally as energizing:  Green Tea Powder!  Specifically, I added a couple of these Japanese Organic Green Tea Powder Packets from Shi Zen into my water bottle, gave it a vigorous shake and enjoyed this invigorating – power packed! – snack!

What I Think:

This is the best Bumble Bar that I’ve tried yet.  So far, I’ve had the opportunity to try the peanut Bumble Bar and the Chocolate Crisp Bumble Bar.  (My review of both of these can be found here.)

But I’m favoring this one because I love the sweet-tart note that the cherry brings to the bar.  Yes it’s chocolate-y and that’s AWESOME … but I love the combination of the chocolate and the cherry.  It’s sweet, fruity and just deliciously yummy!

I’ve tried quite a few different energy bars, and of all the ones that I’ve tried, the Bumble Bars really stick out in my memory as certainly one of the tastiest (if not THE tastiest) that I’ve tried.  There’s a good balance of flavor here, and I love the crunchy crackly texture of the seeds.

My Final Thoughts:

I really like the Bumble Bars!  I love that Bumble Bars are a locally crafted product, and some of their other flavors sound very appealing to me like their Chai Almond (you know I’m going to love that one!) and Awesome Apricot … just to name two!  They’ve got a bunch of flavors though … I’m definitely going to have to try some more flavors out soon!

???????????????????????????????Product Description:

Try our raw style unbaked honey cookie. It’s our option for those of us in the gluten free world and they’re delicious. Sweet and crunchy flavors meld with nutritious organic oats and delicious organic cherries and blueberries. Who says you have to sacrifice flavor to be gluten free!

I received a Cherry Berry Raw Cookie in my September Love with Food box!

Tea Suggestion:

I brewed up a cup of this Kenyan Black Tea from Justea … and I wanted something a little sweet to enjoy with my cuppa … and I reached for this raw cookie.  The tea was better than the cookie, but the tea certainly did make the cookie more enjoyable!

What I Think:

This is the first product from my September Love with Food Box that I reached for … I was wanting something a little sweet to go with my tea, and this is what appealed to me in my stash of treats.

This is a gluten free, raw cookie.  Contrary to the above description … there really isn’t anything in this cookie that would qualify to me as “crunchy” … it’s a tart, sweet, spiced, chewy “cookie” that sort of tastes … healthy.

Nothing wrong with that, of course.  It’s not bad … it’s actually pretty tasty, but I don’t think I’d go out of my way to order this particular product, for a few reasons:  First … it’s a bit more tart than it is sweet.  I’m not a big fan of tart, and I do have a bit of a sweet tooth, so I really prefer the balance to be the other way around … that is, more sweet than tart.  Second, this goes a little overboard on the cinnamon.  I like cinnamon, but there’s just too much in this cookie.

OK, so I told you what I wasn’t crazy about with this cookie, so now I’ll mention what I do like about this:  I like the chewy texture, the coconut and the fruity taste.  It’s a hunger satisfying cookie.

My Final Thoughts:

Not my favorite gluten free product that I’ve ever tried.  Not my favorite “raw” product that I’ve ever tried.  It’s not bad and I wouldn’t turn it down if I were offered one of these cookies … but it’s not something I’d buy.

Product Description:

Nothing says Country Summer Fair like cherry pie and barbecue. These fresh organic cherry preserves are amazing on anything from waffles to bbq pork, and we frequently eat them straight out of the jar!

Grown in Washington state, these are some of the best preserves on earth. Lori & Gary Middleton built their business on passion for the land and a promise to create healthy organic foods.

I received this jar of Bing Cherry Sauce and Preserves in my August Knoshbox.

Tea Suggestion:

When I eat this preserves spread on toast, I like to enjoy it with a breakfast-y blend, and one of the best morning/breakfast type blends I’ve come across lately is this Organic Morning’s Journey from Hugo Tea.  It is so rich and smooth, and the natural fruit notes of the tea go together very nicely with the bright, sweet flavor of the bing cherries.

What I Think:

My review for this jar of preserves is long overdue, as I received it in my first Knoshbox.  However, I had received a couple of different boxes around that time that all seemed to have some sort of preserves or spread in it, and I don’t eat that much toast!  So, I needed to wait until my supply of preserves had dwindled somewhat before cracking open another jar.  Actually, I did open this jar a while back, just to try it on the Belgium Waffle (also from Knoshbox), but, after I closed it tightly, I stashed it in the back of the refrigerator so that I could finish off the other jams/jellies/preserves that I had in the fridge.

Enough with the excuses already, right?

This stuff is really good.  As I scoop out a spoonful of it, I can see the huge pieces of bing cherry in there – most of them look like they’re WHOLE, pitted cherries!  This chunkiness makes it a little difficult to spread onto toast (for the purposes of this review, I tried the preserves on a piece of toasted, buttered 8-grain bread), but given that these are big, juicy cherries, I’m not complaining about the ability to spread.  It does spread onto the toast, it just takes a little more effort than with your average jelly.

I also tried this as a sauce.  I warmed it up a little in the microwave, and then topped a slice of pound cake with the warmed sauce.  This was really delicious!  When served over a sweet, rich piece of pound cake, it made the sauce taste even sweeter, so this application is recommended for those with a sweet tooth only!

My Final Thoughts:

This is no average preserves.  I LOVE that it’s a local product, made right here in the state of Washington.  It really tastes like fresh, sweet Bing Cherries that have been pitted and simmered in a light syrup to bring out the natural juices to create a loose preserves.   I like that it’s not too sweet (unless it’s topping something that is already sweet!) because Bing Cherries are typically a sweeter cherry anyway, and if they had used too much sugar to make this preserves it would have ended up like a cloying, candied cherry sauce.  But, that’s not the way this one turned out at all!  This tastes very true to the fruit, and maintains the level of natural sweetness that Bing Cherries have, without being too over the top sweet.  Overall, a very enjoyable preserves.

photo from Sensible Foods. Click on the pic to go there.

Product Details:

100% Fruit – 100% Fat Free – Gluten Free – No Added Sugar – No Additives/Preservatives – Crunchy, Sweet & Delicious

This product was part of my Goodies Tasting Box for September.

Tea Suggestion:

Because the dried fruit is so flavorful and such a strong taste, I decided to go with something on that had good flavor but wasn’t a strong, overpowering flavor so that the snack and the beverage were not competing with one another.  I selected this tasty Hazelnut Vanilla Oolong from Zenjala Tea Company.   The sweet, creamy vanilla and nutty tones provided an excellent contrast to the bright, flavorful fruits of this product.

What I Think:

I am really liking this snack … and so far, it may just prove to be my favorite product in the September Goodies Box.  These fruits are freeze-dried, which I like better than the dehydrated fruit, because I love the crunchy texture that the freeze-dry process imparts on the fruit.  I’ve tried a few freeze-dried fruits up until this point:  apples, strawberries, and pineapple … and of these three, pineapple is definitely my favorite.  It tastes like candy!

This package of Cherry Berrry Crunch doens’t have pineapple, but it does have apples, strawberries, blueberries and cherries.  Of the four fruits, there is far more apple.  I found this kind of interesting since the mix is called “Cherry Berry” … and based on the name I would expect there to be more cherries and berries than apples, but, I’m not entirely surprised, since apples are cheaper than cherries, strawberries and blueberries.

And the apple is nice in this.  It is sweet and crunchy, and when eaten by the handful with the cherries and berries, the apple gives off a mellow enough flavor that the flavor of the cherries and berries really shines through.  The cherries aren’t really strongly flavored, though, which kind of surprised me – I expected a slight tangy-tart note from them but they’re rather mild.  The blueberries are only slightly more tart and flavorful than the cherries.  Of the fruit, the strongest flavor is the strawberry, and it is bright and very sweet and has a tart finish.

My Final Thoughts:

This was a very tasty mix, although I found myself wishing for more flavor from the blueberries and cherries.  The strawberries seemed to dominate the entire pouch, and as a strawberry lover, I didn’t really mind that, but, I think it would have been neat to taste more from the blueberries and cherries.   If I see this in the store while shopping, I might pick up a bag.  It is an enjoyable, healthy and energizing snack-time choice.

Picture from Chukar Cherries. Click on the pic to go there.

Product Description:

Sweet Bing and Rainier cherries alongside Montmorency Tarts. Ideal if you want to try all three varieties of our Northwest cherries and don’t know which one to choose.

Learn more about Chukar Cherries on their website.

Tea Suggestion:

These cherries make a wonderful alternative to the typical tea-time treat!   I like these with iced tea too, but, I think I like them best with some hot tea – and I found these cherries to be especially delicious with this Laoshan Apothecary Green Tea from Verdant Tea.  The tea is so pleasantly balanced  with a gentle warmth of the spices in this blend, as well as the exhilarating taste of the mint really brought out the flavor of the cherries in a very interesting way.  Even the creamy, buttery elements of the tea enhanced the flavor of the cherries.  The cherries became sweeter, while the tart elements also emerged.  I could even note some savory elements to the cherries that I had not previously tasted.

What I Think:

These cherries are remarkable.  The first thing I noticed about them is the size of them.  I’ve had dried cherries before (I try to keep dried fruits in the pantry, as I like to add a handful of them to my hot cereals when I make them, and they make an excellent snack that is a bit healthier than my usual sweet go-to snacks, and they taste great!), but these seem so much larger and plumper than the ones I usually get from the supermarket.  I also like that they don’t feel as sticky as the other cherries I’ve had before.  There is a slight stickiness to them (I think this is normal with dry fruit, although I don’t consider myself an expert), but, they don’t feel super sticky or oily.

Another thing that I’ve noticed as I pour these out into my hand is that they aren’t all clumped together – they aren’t stuck together.  I have a slight aversion to stuck together dried fruit … and there’s a reason behind it, and it’s one I don’t like to discuss because it grosses me out.  It is the reason that I pretty much refuse to buy raisins anymore, and whenever I encounter a recipe that calls for raisins, I substitute dried cranberries.  And really, this is a very disturbing subject for me, especially when I’m eating, so I’m going to stop talking about that, and move on to these cherries!

I’m really enjoying these … they make a fabulous snack.  I like that there are a couple of sweet varieties along with one tart variety of cherry, so that you get a nice “medley” of flavors as you eat.  They’re bursting with flavor!  They have a very satisfying, chewy texture, and a handful or two is enough to satiate the hunger pangs that hit in between meals.  Sweet, with a delicious “juiciness” that makes my mouth water, and just enough tartness to keep it interesting.

My Final Thoughts:

I really like these.  I love that it is a medley of cherries, and not focusing on just one – I think that this provides a more satisfactory taste because it appeals to both the sweet and the tart.  For an even more satisfying snack, I like them served alongside something a little bit salty, like peanuts or cashews.  I also LOVE that this is a local company (well, somewhat local … Seattle.  The other side of the state, but, still, within the state!)  This is a brand that I will keep an eye out for when I visit Whole Foods or New Seasons next time, because I’ll be wanting more of this when it’s gone!

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

About Spun City:

Seeking a way to satisfy snackers who had both a serious sweet tooth and an eco-centric sensibility, Spun City fluffed up its first batch of cotton candy using organic sugar in 2008, starting with classic grape flavor and ultimately spinning out to cherry vanilla. Their cotton candy has no chemicals, dyes, or pesticides, and is vegan, fat-free and sodium-free.

Learn more about Bernod’s Spun City on their website.

Tea Suggestion:

Cotton candy has a way of drying the mouth, so I recommend something you can gulp down quickly and easily … it’s iced tea to the rescue again!  Because I really wanted to explore the cherry and vanilla notes of this confection, I went with something simple:  Green Rooibos from Shanti Tea.  This unflavored, pure green rooibos has a light, natural fruit-like taste to it that really seemed to bring out some more of the cherry and vanilla tones, which I found to be a bit delicate with this cotton candy.  A perfect pair.

What I Think:

Cotton Candy has always been a favorite of mine, especially when I was a child.  As a youngster, whenever I’d visit an amusement park, there were two culinary delights I wanted:  corn dogs and cotton candy.  So, something inside me gets very excited when it comes to cotton candy, and it was this item that prompted me to select the Boardwalk Box this month.

But let’s face it, packaged cotton candy has nothing on the freshly spun sugar floss that is found at the amusement park, and sadly, the same is true of this packaged cotton candy.  Don’t get me wrong, this stuff is really good, sweet, fluffy and melt-in-my-mouth delicious, but, it doesn’t have that lighter-than-air taste and texture that I miss from the amusement park.

All that said, this stuff IS good.  Very good.  It melts as soon as it hits the tongue, dissolving into a sweet, slightly grainy crunch of sugar with a hint of cherry and vanilla flavor.  My sweet tooth approves.

My Final Thoughts:

I loved this product.  Will I buy it again?  Well, I don’t think I’ll go searching for it, or pay shipping charges to purchase it online, but, if I found it while shopping, I might pick up a bag or two.  I think I need to save my pennies and get myself a cotton candy machine, though.

This month’s Foodzie tasting box selection was probably the most difficult choice for me to make since the kick-off of the “new and improved” tasting box program last year.   I found each of these boxes to be enticing!

First, we have the Energy Boost Box.  I have always been somewhat anemic, and following the birth of my youngest daughter, things got even worse.  My iron levels had become dangerously low.  And one of the worst things about being anemic is that my energy levels are often disturbingly low.  So, I would love to find some delicious energy boosters – I nearly chose this box.

Then, there was the Backyard BBQ Box.  I love my charcoal grill.  I know a lot of people swear by gas grills, but, to me, there’s nothing like the flavor of cooking over charcoal.  Now, I’m not talking those disturbingly uniformed shaped briquettes that have been doused with chemicals for a quick and easy light; I use natural, hardwood charcoal and a chimney starter for that real BBQ flavor.  And this box promised to offer some very intriguing items to use while barbequing this summer.  My inner chef was drooling with excitement and wanted this box!

Ultimately, it was these four words that won me over:  Cherry Vanilla Cotton Candy.  My sweet tooth had chosen the box (yet again!) without even consulting my inner chef nor did it consider my desire to try the delicious offerings in the Energy Boost Box.   My inner child wanted the cotton candy, and was threatening a temper tantrum if the inner child did not get her way!  These temper tantrums are never pretty, so, I relented quickly and chose the Boardwalk Box.

In addition to the Cherry Vanilla Cotton Candy from Bernod’s Spun City, this box was packed with goodies!  There was a bottle of Root Beer from Maine Root, Salty Peanut Salt Water Taffy from The Salty Road, Spiced Almond Caramel Corn from CC Made, Roasted Pistachios from CB’s Nuts, and a Strawberries & Cream mini swirl Lollipop from Hannah’s Naturals.  (Note:  at the time of this writing, I was not able to locate any online presence for Hannah’s Naturals)

The box also included the usual theme card, which describes the Boardwalk Box theme as

The smell of cotton candy will forever remind me of summer vacation spent at the beach.  The boardwalk was always the best place to hang, especially the arcade for me where I would dominate the skee ball lanes.  Yes, dominate.  Some treats like caramel corn and root beer floats always tasted better seaside, with a little salt in the air and wind in my hair.  This box combines those childhood memories with an adult palate.  You’ll get a taste of our favorite boardwalk discoveries like artisanal salt water taffy with a creamy milkshake-like texture, handcrafted caramel corn, an all natural root beer for your floats and of course some organic cotton candy.  Dig in, enjoy the sunshine, and we hope you have a sweet, sweet summer.  ~Emily & Rob

The unveiling of the June box themes also brought some other news.  Specifically, the acquisition of Foodzie by Joyus, a company that I was previously unfamiliar.  On what seems to be the heels of the changes that were made to the Foodzie box last November, I feel like I’m on some sort of rollercoaster.  While I’m happy for Rob and Emily who have worked hard to make their company a success, I can’t help but feel more than a twinge of sadness that things are changing.

Rather than dwell on the upcoming disappointment, though, I think I should instead enjoy the box that sits before me.  It’s calling out to me!  I will, of course, review each item as I enjoy it … until then, Cheers!