Posts Tagged ‘Petit Amuse’

petitamusejanWell … actually, it arrived a couple of days ago.  It had been mis-routed, the postal carrier delivered it to the wrong house … fortunately, I have honest neighbors and they brought me the box. 

If you’re interested in receiving a box of gourmet samples delivered to your door every month, learn more here.

This month’s box brought me samples of four different products:  a pouch of Original Granola from Oat Cuisine, two items from La Vigne Organics – Dried Persimmon Slices and Kumquat Fruit Leather, and a Porky Pop from Black Pig Bacon.  (As in a bacon lollipop!  Yes!)

I’ve previously reviewed the Kumquat Fruit Leather, so I won’t review that one again, but I did enjoy it so I’m looking forward to enjoying it again.  As for the rest of these goodies, I can’t wait to get started!

champagnevinegar

Photo from Petit Amuse.
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Product Description:

Most versatile of the Chaparral bunch, this vinegar is light with citrus notes.  It’s perfect for any type of salad, marinade, or sauce.

I received this sample bottle of vinegar in my November Petit Amuse sampler box.  You can subscribe to Petit Amuse here.

What I Think:

Happy New Year!

And what better way to ring in the new year than with some Champagne?  Well, since I am not much of a drinker, I think I’d prefer to go with this Champagne Vinegar from Chaparral Gardens, thank you!

For the purposes of this review, I used this vinegar as a salad dressing for a basic green salad of romaine lettuce, cucumber, radish and carrots.  I didn’t add any oil, nor did I add any extra spices – just Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper.

And really, I didn’t need any more than that to have a very enjoyable salad!  I think that’s what I like best about this vinegar, is that I can enjoy a salad without the extra fat and calories that oil would add.  This has a really lovely taste to it.  I can’t tell you that I’m tasting the difference here that the champagne adds to the vinegar, because, this doesn’t taste like champagne … at least, not to me it doesn’t.  It doesn’t even hint at champagne to me.  What I taste is a crisp, light vinegar taste that tangy, but also a little bit sweet.  I notice the citrus-y notes as described in the above description.

My Final Thoughts:

This is really good.  It’s light and refreshing, and I like it a lot more than I thought I would.  To tell you the truth, I wasn’t all that excited when I received this in my tasting box in November.  Not that I was disappointed, really, but, let’s face it, it’s not as exciting as the other items in the November box.  However, this turned out to be a very exciting way to enjoy a simple salad!

passion_fruit

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

Product Description:

If you love passion fruit, this is the treat for you! The tart, tropical passion fruit truly shines and is complemented but not overshadowed by the smooth caramel and luscious chocolate.

I received a box of these caramels in my November Petit Amuse box and they can be purchased on the Petit Amuse website.

Tea Suggestion:

Given the delectable, intense flavor of the passion fruit in these caramels, I recommend going for a pure tea, rather than one that’s flavored.  No need to obscure the flavors here!  I chose this Pheonix Pearl Black Tea from Zen Tea.  The rich, natural cocoa notes of the tea enhanced the luscious flavor of chocolate in these caramels … and the caramel brought out the natural caramel-y undertones in the tea.  A very synergistic pairing!

What I Think:

Oh my goodness!  These are so good!

Before biting into one of these soft, sweet caramels, I worried that the flavors of caramel and chocolate would overwhelm the flavor of passion fruit, but it doesn’t.  The passion fruit comes through loud and clear!  It is sweet, luscious, and just a wee bit tart.  And it’s that tart note that (surprisingly, at least for me!) makes all the difference with these caramels.  Because as much as I love caramel, I often find it to be just a wee bit cloying, especially when it’s been encased in milk chocolate like these have been.  So, my palate really appreciates a little contrast like sea salt, for example, or in the case of these caramels, the tartness from the passion fruit.

The caramel is a rich, soft and gooey kind of caramel … the kind that sumptuously melts in your mouth rather than a harder caramel that requires some effort to chew it.  Both are very satisfying caramels, but they are different!  The passion fruit tastes very true to the fruit, as if real passion fruit was made to create the chocolate covered caramels, rather than a flavor extract.  And a quick glance over the ingredient list tells me that this is the case.

As I indicated before, the chocolate used here is a milk chocolate, and I think if I were to change anything at all about these chocolates, it would be to change it to a dark chocolate.  I think that the complexity of a dark chocolate would have enhanced these even further.

My Final Thoughts:

So yummy.  I’m really glad that I got to try them.  I still prefer a salted caramel, but, these are really good – and different!   Sometimes it’s nice to change things up a little bit, and these certainly are a delicious surprise for the taste buds.  I think these would make a great gift for the passion fruit aficionado!

I know I’ve mentioned this before, but I love how quick the Petit Amuse box arrives every month.  Just yesterday, I started to “realize” that it’s December and my mind began to wonder to what my sampler boxes might deliver this month, and already my box from Petit Amuse is here!  (and, I might sheepishly add that I’ve not even reviewed all the products that I received in last month’s box!)

You can subscribe to the Petit Amuse Sampler Box here.

petitamusedec

Interested in subscribing? Click on the pic to go to the Petit Amuse website and subscribe!

This month’s box has only three products, but every one of them elicited some excitement from me.  The first is a jar of crystalized honey from Champlain Valley Apiaries.  I do love honey, and while I tend to prefer raw honey, and not researching this particular honey beyond what is provided to me on this month’s product card, I don’t see that it is raw … then again, I do not see that it isn’t.  I will have to research more about it before I sample it to learn more about it.

The second item was exciting because I’ve actually had this particular product in a previous Foodzie box … and it was incredibly awesome.  I still think about this Pistachio and Almond Nougat from Va De Bon Coeur (and my apologies, as I did not know it was spelled like that!  I thought it was all one word when I wrote the review last year.)  This Nougat rocks and is one of the most memorable treats I’ve ever had in a tasting box … and I’m very happy to have it again!

Finally, the third item is CHOCOLATE!  And not just any chocolate, but chocolate truffles!  Everyday Truffles from Coco Zen to be precise.  There are few sweets that make me happier than chocolate and I am already loving this chocolate, if for no other reason than the name and the packaging (a cute little tin!  I love tins!)

So needless to say, I’m really excited about each of these products.  Please watch my blog for in-depth reviews of each … except for the nougat which I won’t be reviewing since I already have!

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

Oren’s Kitchen nuts are high quality, farm-fresh, and uniquely seasoned to create gourmet treats. Their elegance is perfect for dinner parties but their delicious taste will keep you snacking.

The coconut chili macadamia nuts have the perfect balance of salty, sweet, crunchy, and spicy. Fresh macadamia nuts are paired with generous amounts of coconut, a hint of honey, and red chili for a hot kick at the end.

I received a pouch of this snack mix in my November Petit Amuse Sampler Box, and is available for purchase from Petit Amuse.

Tea Suggestion:

OK… so this spicy-spicy-SPICY sweet salty snack packs a real punch of flavor, so I wouldn’t recommend choosing something that will detract from that, instead, I would recommend ICED TEA because you will want to refresh your palate!   I chose this tea:  RadioactiviTEA Southern Boy Teas from 52Teas mostly because it was the iced tea that I had already prepared in the fridge, but I think any unflavored iced tea will do when it comes to refreshing the palate, but what I really liked about this selection is that while it is a good, strong tea, it’s not overly sweet nor does it offer flavors that either get lost or interfere with the distinct flavors of this nut mix.

What I Think:

This stuff is good … but be warned, it’s got some KICK to it!  I’m not even sure what to call this … it’s not just nuts, because there are big chunks of coconut in there too … maybe a trail mix of some sort?  But I don’t know if you’d want to take this out on a trail, only because you wouldn’t want to be too far from a source of liquid refreshment – this trail mix bites back!

Its a mix of toasted macadamia nuts and toasted coconut flakes that have been coated with honey and then tossed with red chili flakes!   The result is a deliciously crunchy, spicy-sweet-salty mix that burns so good, with a flavor that is positively addictive!  Seriously, once you get started eating this, it’s hard to stop.  It’s so yummy!

The macadamia nuts are sweet, crunchy, salty and delicious.  The coconut adds a slightly chewy texture to the mix, as well as it’s own distinctive sweet flavor.  The honey adds a touch more sweetness and I’m happy to say there isn’t a sticky texture from the honey here.  And of course, the red chili adds some serious heat!  It’s a great exploration of contrasting flavors and textures.

My Final Thoughts:

If you’re one who has a sensitive palate to the spicy side of food, this is not a product I’d recommend purchasing.   But, if you’re someone who – like me – LOVES indulging in snacks that explode with contrasting spicy and sweet flavors – YOU MUST TRY THIS!

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

Product Description:

This is not just your run-of-the-mill caramel sauce. This is cajeta – a Mexican specialty made from caramelized, reduced goat’s milk. Compared to standard caramel sauce, this is more savory with a slight tang. Even though we usually just eat this out of the jar with a spoon, it would make a delicious sauce for baked desserts, fresh fruit (mmm…apples!), ice cream, coffee drinks, and even mild cheeses.

I received a jar of this caramel in October’s Petit Amuse Sampler box, and this caramel can be purchased online at Petit Amuse.

What I Think:

For the purposes of this review, I drizzled some of the caramel over a sliced apple.  Then… I licked the spoon.  Mmm!

I think I’ve mentioned my love for caramel once or twice on this blog.  And I’ve been hearing about Fat Toad Farm’s caramels for a while, on various gourmet food sites and such, and I’ve been wanting to try it for a long time now!  So I was thrilled when Petit Amuse included it in the October box!

This stuff is awesome.  It is not quite as sweet as other caramel sauces I’ve tried, this has a somewhat savory edge to it that I find compelling.  Oh, that’s not to say it’s not sweet … it certainly is.  It’s caramel!  But because of the goat’s milk, it has a tangy quality to it.  This doesn’t taste like caramelized sugar sauce … this is smooth and creamy and rich … with a distinctive savory tone, a tangy note and maybe even a hint of smokiness to it.

My Final Thoughts:

This is so much tastier than anything found on the grocery store shelf.  You can taste the goat’s milk and that really makes all the difference in the world.  I love that while it is sweet, it doesn’t taste sickeningly sweet … you can eat it by the spoonful!   So, so, so YUM!

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

Product Description:

These fruit + nut presses from Grace & I are elegant, delicious, and utterly unique. They are gorgeous (pictures do not do justice) and add a gourmet statement to any cheese board or fruit tray. Wow dinner party guests or surprise the foodie in your life who’s seen/eaten everything. They even come with their own wooden board for extra charm. Sweetest of the presses, the fig + nut, is one of their best sellers.

This product is available on Petit Amuse.

Tea Suggestion:

This fruity, nutty snack is something that seems like it would go very nicely with wine, so I selected a tea that is wine-infused to enjoy with this it.  This Wild Monkey Marsala seemed like the perfect fit:  the cinnamon notes of the tea really enhanced both the fruit and nut flavors, and while this tea doesn’t offer a strong “wine-y” taste, the dimension of flavor in the tea really seems to accent the Fruit & Nut Press very well.

What I Think:

This Fruit & Nut Press from Grace & I was part of this month’s Petit Amuse sampler box, and at first glance, I thought that this was a fruitcake of some sort.

But it isn’t!  Instead, it is dried figs, hazelnuts & almonds that have been pressed together into a square, cake-like form, looking very much like a dense fruitcake that’s loaded with fruit and nuts!  But there’s no cake in this, no pastry, just fruit and nuts!  Just the very best part of a fruitcake, all compressed into a square (for the sampler box, we actually received a smaller, rectangular slice of the Fruit & Nut press).

I love the delicious fig taste of this Fruit & Nut Press, and I’m also really enjoying the variety of textures within it.  The fig is soft yet chewy, and then every once in a while, I reach the solid crunch of a nut.  It’s really quite delightful to eat.

My Final Thoughts:

As I nibble on this delicious snack, I can’t help but think how perfect this would be served on a cheese platter at one of those fancy New Year’s Eve parties that my father and step-mother used to host.  It is sweet, nutty, fruity, and tart, with barely there touches of saltiness all in one bite.  It would offer such a pleasant contrast to the sharpness of a good cheddar or a Bleu cheese.  It would also be great to serve along with finger sandwiches during tea time!

Just browsing through the Petit Amuse website, I probably would not have thought of putting something called a “Fruit & Nut Press” in my shopping cart, at least, not until having tried it!  But I love that the sampler subscription lets me do just that – try some of the yummy items that are offered at Petit Amuse, all for a very reasonable $10 per month!