Posts Tagged ‘Earth Day’

quinnpopcorn

Photo from Quinn Popcorn.
Click on the pic to go there.

Product Description:

Subtle, sweet, salty, and slightly addictive, our Vermont Maple & Sea Salt is a little like kettle corn excpet with the smooth sweetness of maple.

Like all of our popcorn, we never use GMO crops, coatings or chemicals on the bag, or any other scary stuff! This is truly microwave popcorn reinvented.

Learn more about Quinn Popcorn on their website.

Tea Suggestion:

I generally like iced tea with popcorn, because I like something I can drink easily (not so hot that I need to blow on it to cool the surface!) to help tone down the saltiness as it builds on my palate.  I wanted something crisp and clean, something that wouldn’t interfere with the yummy flavors of the popcorn.  I chose to chill some Dragon Well Tea from Foxfire Teas, and it was just perfect.  The tea was sweet and mild, slightly vegetative, and allowed the flavors of Maple from the popcorn to really shine through.  Yummy!

What I Think:

This review is LONG overdue.  I received this popcorn in my Earth Day Foodzie box (yes, that’s right, back in April), and I did eat one bag of the popcorn back in April.  It was so good, and impressed me so much, but the flavor was so distinctly autumnal, I decided to save the second bag of microwave popcorn for an evening later in the year, when the maple flavor would be something I really savored.

This popcorn reminds me a little bit of the original Orville Redenbacher’s flavored microwave popcorn varieties that were released a few decades ago … back when the cheese powder or the caramel were packaged separately from the popcorn, and you’d first pop the popcorn and then add the caramel or cheese powder.  Not in flavor or quality, mind you, because this is infinitely better than anything I’ve ever tasted from Orville Redenbacher’s, but because the flavoring comes in a separate pouch and you sprinkle it on yourself after the popcorn has been popped.

But that’s where the similarities end.  First of all, unlike the microwave popcorn that you buy in the grocery store, this is not all caked onto the center portion of the bag, because there is no oil or whatever that congealed gunk is in the microwave popcorn bag.  The popcorn in this compostable, chemical-free bag is loose, freely roaming in the popcorn bag, not stuck together in some weird goop.

After the popcorn has been popped, you open the bag, and pour in the package of canola oil.  According to this, the oil used is supposed to be good for you, or at least better for you than aforementioned caked gunk that is in the other microwave popcorn bags, and I’m inclined to believe it.  I don’t know why I believe it, I just do.  congealed goop versus clear, pourable, expeller pressed canola oil.

This canola oil doesn’t really impart a lot of flavor, but it does keep the powdered flavor of maple sugar and grey sea salt on the popped corn kernels.  I like that these flavor pouches come separately, and I can choose how much of each ingredient I want in my popcorn.  I used half the pouch of the oil, and I still very much enjoyed the popcorn.  This did result in some of the maple and salt ending up loose, in the bottom of my bowl rather than stuck to popcorn, but I didn’t really seem to mind as the bowl of popcorn vanished in record time.

The popcorn – underneath the flavored sugar and salt, underneath the canola oil – is the key to what makes this popcorn so much better than any popcorn that had been popped in a microwave.  It is light and fluffy.  Tender yet crispy.  The hulls are thinner and not as hard as some other microwave popcorn.  Even without the flavoring, this is easily the best microwave popcorn I’ve ever had.

But the flavoring!  Oh wow!  Maple sugar and grey sea salt.  Do I need to say more?   This is the best kettle corn ever!  This flavor of popcorn could easily be a vegetarian’s substitute for bacon.  All that’s missing is a little bit of smoke, which could easily be supplied by tea if you choose a Lapsang Souchong like the one I mentioned above.

My Final Thoughts:

I requested an air popper for Christmas, because I do prefer air popped popcorn.  I like the option to serve popcorn without any additives (although occasionally, I’m sure I’m going to melt some butter and have a little sea salt on it), but, for the times when I want flavored popcorn, I’m probably going to order some Quinn’s Popcorn online.  I want to try the other flavors too!   This stuff is outstanding!  My one complaint:  I wish there were fewer unpopped kernels in the bottom of the bowl.  Other than that, this popcorn is without fault!

Product Description:

Bubbling with bright tamarind and lime delights, the Sparkling Classic Gold is the latest small miracle to flow from the yerba mate tree.

Learn more about Guayakí on their website.

What I Think:

A can of this crisp, bubbly beverage was included in my Earth Day Foodzie Tasting Box.  And to tell the truth, even though Yerba Maté is something that the tea community (at least some of us) embrace as a “tea-like” beverage, I wasn’t sure how I was going to like this.  I have had Yerba Maté on many occasions, but, I don’t recall having it served chilled.

But, I had some faith (or at least some hope?) that the people at Foodzie would not disappoint me, so I popped open the can and gave it a try.  And you know what?  This is really quite good!

The flavor of the Yerba Maté is there, but it shares the spotlight with the flavors of lime, ginger and tamarind, and yes, with the sweetener.  This is a sweet glass of iced “tea.”  But I don’t find it too sweet when I take into account that it is a canned, sparkling tea.  It isn’t as sweet as some of bottled ready-to-drink teas out there, and it certainly isn’t as sweet as a can of soda.  The tartness of the lime and tamarind as well as the slightly spicy tone of the ginger balance the sweetness out a little, making this beverage a pleasing contrast of sweet, tart, spice and earthy vegetal notes.

What’s more, Yerba Maté is a very energizing herb, and I can feel that effect doing it’s magic!  I had started the day with a cup of tea but it was on the lighter side, and I really needed some caffeine.  This will get you going!

My Final Thoughts:

I really enjoyed this.  I don’t know that I’ll keep it in stock in my refrigerator, however, if I happen to be out and about and am in need of liquid refreshment, I will look for this product and if it’s available, I’d choose this over a soda or even the average bottled ready-to-drink iced tea.

Picture from Foodzie, click on the photo to go there!

Product Description:

“People, Profit, Planet” is the triple bottom line that Bumble Bar believes in. Their chewy, sesame seed-packed energy bars are made with organic ingredients, and they enforce green practices from processing to packaging.

Learn more about Bumble Bar on their website.

Tea Suggestion:

Because the Original Peanut bar focuses primarily on the nutty flavors, I decided to go with that and chose a mild, nutty-tasting Kukicha to enjoy with this bar:  Organic Kukicha from Imperial Tea Garden.  When I enjoyed my Chocolate Crisp bar, I chose a rich, creamy Matcha to enjoy:  Organic Ceremonial Grade Matcha from Arbor Teas.  I enjoyed how the rich, supple flavor of the Matcha brought out the deep cocoa notes of the bar.

What I Think:

I really didn’t know what to think of these at first.  They kind of look like some sort of bird treat!  But after one bite, I was hooked!

Both bars look pretty much the same except for the color – the Original Peanut is a pale tan color … like the color of toasted sesame seeds, and the Chocolate Crisp bar is darker … like chocolate.  They are kind of sticky to the touch, kind of like a chewy granola bar.

The Original Peanut bar tastes pretty much like one might expect – very peanut-y.  The sesame seeds provide additional nutty flavor and lots of crispy crunch.  I can taste hints of vanilla and cinnamon within the bar – not a lot, but just enough to keep things interesting.

The Chocolate Crisp bar was my favorite of the two … I mean… hello?  Did someone say chocolate?  It is – again, as one might expect – chocolate-and-peanut tasting.  The chocolate here is a bittersweet, dark chocolate, and I like that.  It doesn’t come off as too sweet or candy bar like.  It doesn’t taste like it’s been loaded down with sugar.  It actually tastes wholesome while also tasting delicious.  Not an easy feat, but, Bumble Bar pulls it off!

My Final Thoughts:

I like these a lot more than I thought I would.  I was just kind of “meh” about receiving them in the Earth Day Foodzie box, but, as I peruse the Bumble Bar website, I find myself making a mental wish list of what I’d like to try!  Let’s see, there’s Chai Almond and Cherry Chocolate and Harvest Hazelnut … did I mention CHAI ALMOND?

My Foodzie box arrived on the afternoon of the 19th, but I decided to save this post for today – Earth Day! – since I selected the Earth Day themed box.

The three boxes we had to choose from this month were “Outdoor Entertaining” as well as this Earth Day box, and held over for another month was the “Brooklyn Box,” although by the time I had received my email and got to the website to choose my box, the Brooklyn Box had sold out.  I was a little disappointed by that, because I found it difficult to choose between the Brooklyn Box and the Ski Lodge Box last month, and while I am completely happy that I chose the Ski Lodge Box, I would have liked to have the option to choose the Brooklyn Box.

But rather than lament about not being able to choose the Brooklyn Box, I am going to spend this time effusing over the Earth Day Box!  My Box included two sesame seed bars from Bumble Bar, popcorn from Quinn Popcorn, Styrian Pumpkin Seeds from CB’s Nuts, dried plums from Blossom Bluff Orchards, and a can of Classic Gold Sparkling Yerba Maté from Guayaki … in other words:  TEA!  Yay!

So as you can imagine, I wasn’t too disappointed that I couldn’t choose the Brooklyn Box because I did get some really awesome selections from the Earth Day box.  Also included in the Earth Day box was a special bonus:  a reusable mesh produce bag from Flip & Tumble – an environmentally friendly option to those plastic bags from the store.

The theme card in the box explained the inspiration behind The Earth Day Box:

We obviously care a lot about good food, but when the foodmakers commit to earth-friendly practices, we can really taste the sweetness of saving our planet.  This month we’re featuring some of our favorite sweet and savory snacks that are grown sustainably or make a commitment to green processing and packaging.  You’ll sip on a sparkling yerba mate with organic ingredients made in a carbon-neutral processing facility, earth-conscious organic and non-GMO popcorn in compostable packaging and sun-dried plums produced with only the energy provided by Mother Nature herself.

I look forward to trying these goodies!  Be sure to watch this blog for reviews of each of these products!