Posts Tagged ‘Raspberry’

black-raspberry-flavored-sparkling-water-beverage

Product Information:

rich. refreshing.  naturally flavored with just a hint of tartness. taste the burst of billions of bubbles in our sparkling black raspberry flavored fruitwater®. it’s a little tart, a little sweet. all delicious. just like you.

I received a bottle of fruitwater in my July Goodies Box.

What I Think:

So, the first thing that I check out when I get a drink like this in one of my tasting boxes is the label.  Does it contain Aspartame?  No, this product doesn’t, it contains Sucralose … which is still an artificial sweetener but, it isn’t as dangerous to me personally as Aspartame is.  I’m quite allergic to Aspartame, when I consume it, I am pretty much OUT for the day.  I start feeling sick, like I’m going to vomit, and I feel dizzy – well, dizzier than usual! – and I need to lay down.  I’m just NOT good after I consume Aspartame.

But, Sucralose doesn’t affect me that way, so I felt safe cracking open this bottle of fruitwater.  Unfortunately … it still tastes very artificially sweetened.  Icky!

Once my palate can get past that yucky artificial taste, I can taste the berry flavor.  This … on it’s own, beyond the artificial sweetened taste is alright … I think this would actually be something I could drink if it had been sweetened with something like cane sugar or even agave nectar.  As it is, though, I can’t drink much of this, because my palate is just telling me NO!  I suppose I’ll give the rest of this to my husband … he’ll probably love it.

My Final Thoughts:

Didn’t like it enough to even drink half a bottle of it.  The berry flavor would be nice if it was sweetened with something not artificial.  For those who don’t mind that “diet-y” chemical-y taste and aftertaste, I can see the appeal of a drink like this, but me … I’ll stick with my tea, thanks!


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

While wild raspberries can be traced back to eastern Asia during prehistoric times, with certain varieties also found in the Western Hemisphere, no one thought to cultivate their deliciousness until the 16th century, historians believe. Thanks to human travelers and their animal counterparts, the seeds were carried and spread—both intentionally and accidentally, worldwide.

I received this Raspberry Fig Bar in my January Goodies Box.

Tea Suggestion:

These fig bars make a really scrumptious tea time treat.  I enjoyed my fig bar with a cup of steamy Yunnan tea, specifically, this Golden Buds Black Tea from Spire Tea.  Because I already had a cookie with fruity flavors, I didn’t want extraneous flavors to interfere with the cookie.  This Yunnan tea was instead a delicious, caramel-y, rich and satisfying accompaniment to the cookie.  Or perhaps it as the other way around …

What I Think:

I love fig bars.  Yes, the popular brand in the grocery store.  I don’t buy them though, because I know my weakness for them and I usually eat more of them than I should, especially since they aren’t something that the rest of my household would eat, and I realize I’d be the only person eating them.  I know that they aren’t very good for me, they’re way too processed. So I tend to leave them on the grocery store shelf, opting for things that I know that the rest of the house will help me eat!

But these … are really yummy.  The whole wheat “cake” part of the bar is hearty and doesn’t taste too sweet.  The filling is delicious, tasting of fig and raspberry.  I like that it isn’t too “seedy” … Yes, there are some seeds, but, I don’t feel them getting lodged in my teeth, which is one thing I HATE about raspberry foods.  I love the flavor of raspberry, but I hate those seeds.

My Final Thoughts:

These are tasty.  I don’t know that I love them enough to buy them on a regular basis, but, I think that I might consider buying them instead of the usual fig bars when I have that craving, and that would be a healthier choice than the usual!

Product Information:

Raspberry Soda has a bright, clear flavor, shouting in all glory of peak Oregon summer. A favorite with kids, it is rich and light at the same time—the radiance of the color matched by the explosion of flavor.

The raspberries for our soda are grown in Western Oregon, picked at peak freshness, and minimally handled before getting into the bottles.

Mixes beautifully with ice cream, chocolate, other juices, tea and vodka. Very nice served with lemon or sweet lime garnish.

Learn more about HOTLIPS Soda on their website.

What I Think:

Generally speaking, I’m not particularly fond of soda.  In fact, if it were not for the fact that my husband enjoys drinking it on a regular basis, it wouldn’t even be stocked in my house.  I am a tea drinker, and for the most part, I drink tea or tisanes all day, every day.  (And while the description above does mention that it “mixes beautifully with … tea …” for the purposes of this review, I chose to drink it straight)

I do, however, on occasion find a soda that I enjoy.  This Raspberry Soda from HOTLIPS is one such example.  I was first introduced to HOTLIPS soda from a store called “Made in Oregon” which is located in the Clackamas Mall (there are other locations as well).  A few years ago while shopping at the Clackamas Mall with my family, we stopped in the Made In Oregon store to browse around, and ended up purchasing a bottle of HOTLIPS pear flavored soda, and I was very impressed with the flavor of the beverage.

This is, however, my first time tasting their raspberry soda.  It is a beautiful color – it’s a deep rose hue and looks very much like a glass of pureed raspberries when you pour it.

And it TASTES like pureed raspberries that have been carbonated with soda water and lightly sweetened. All that’s missing is the seeds, and to be honest, I’m not missing those at all.  The flavor is crisp and sweet, but it’s a fruit sweetness rather than a soda sweetness.  It doesn’t taste sugary or overly sweetened, it tastes to me as though the sweetness of this soda was derived from the natural sweetness of the berry.

My Final Thoughts:

This is exceptionally good.  It is so good, in fact, that it has sparked my interest to try some of the other flavors, including trying the pear soda once again!  And best of all, I don’t have that icky, sticky, teeth-rotting caramel-y feeling in my mouth after finishing the bottle.  This is the way soda SHOULD be!

I received my shipping notification yesterday afternoon, so imagine my surprise when the shipping notification indicated that the package was actually out for delivery!  Yay!  I ended up getting this package much earlier than I expected because I hadn’t gotten my notification … it might be nice if Foodzie delayed the notifications like this in the future, that way I’m not constantly and impatiently checking the tracking to see when it will arrive!

The three box themes that we could select from this month were:  Portland Box, Spring Brunch Box, and Some Like it Hot Box.  I was really tempted by the Some Like it Hot Box (I LOVE spicy food!), and I would have selected it if not for the Portland Box.  I mean, come on!  I’m Hungry in Portland!  You know I’ve got to choose the box that represents my beloved city!

OK, yeah, so I actually live in Vancouver, but Portland is right over there.  Like, a five minute drive.  And usually when I go out to eat, it’s in Portland, and really, I doubt Foodzie will ever have a Vancouver, Washington box … because typically when someone mentions “Vancouver” … people think Canada, not Washington state.

So let’s talk a bit about the Portland Box.  Here’s what Emily and Rob at Foodzie had to say about their inspiration behind the box:

People often make the joke that Portland is the place where young people go to retire.  But if retirement tastes like this, we’re all for it.  For a mid-sized city, Portland’s food scene is packed with food trucks, farm-to-table cuisine, and talented artisan foodmakers.  We rounded up some of our favorites that show off the Pacific Northwest’s finest flavors.  Get ready to taste locally grown hazelnuts, roasted with just a touch of salt.  You’ll also taste the sweet, earthy flavor of the native marionberry, the “cabernet of blackberries,” packed inside tender pâte de fruit.  And you’re in for a treat with Good Food Award-winning, local charcuterie.  No travel required for this tasting trip to Portlandia, dig in and enjoy.  ~Rob & Emily

And you know what?  Surprisingly enough, even though I live there (or very close to “there”), these are all foods I’ve not yet tried!  Inside this month’s box, I received a bottle of Raspberry Soda from Hotlips Soda, a package of Roasted Hazelnuts from Freddy Guys, a Chocolate Coconut Cookie from Sunna’s Cookies, Cacciatore salami from Olympic Provisions, and Marionberry Pâte de Fruit from Willamette Valley Confectionery that’s been packaged in a cute produce basket.

I am really excited to start tasting from this box!  YUM!

Product Description:

This jam is bright and fruity, a burst of tart-and-sweet classic raspberry flavors with floral violet tones. We use fresh organic raspberries from Yerena Farm and prepare the jam in a way that retains the raspberries’ fresh flavor.

Learn more about Inna Jam on their website.

Tea Suggestion:

I recommend a robust black tea to serve with this jam (although, I think it would be tasty with just about any tea, really!) like this Thirsty Elf Elixir from Damn Fine Tea.  The strong flavors, smoky undertones, and caramel-y sweetness compliment the true fruit flavor of this jam quite nicely.

What I Think:

I typically do not purchase raspberry jam.  It isn’t that I dislike raspberries, in fact, I love them (raspberry + chocolate = one of my favorite all-time flavor combinations).  But what I don’t love is the seeds of raspberries, which seem to get lodged in between the teeth.  And it would seem that with raspberry jam the seeds are very abundant.

Having said that:  this is seriously good jam.

For the purposes of this review, I toasted a slice of 8-grain bread, and topped it lightly with butter, and then spread a generous amount of jam on top.

The raspberry tastes very fresh and bright, and it reminds me of the jam my gramma used to make – she didn’t make raspberry jam, she made ollaberry jam (which is kind of cool since her name was Ola) – but, what makes this jam similar to gramma’s ollaberry jam is the fresh, true-to-fruit flavor.  Very vibrant and flavorful, without being too sweet.

It tastes like fresh, sweet-yet-tart raspberries.  And as I eluded to above, there seems to be very little sugar or other sweeteners added to this.  Yes, it is sweet, but, it tastes like a fruit sweetness, not a sugary sweet sweetness.

It is as if the berries were picked at the peak of freshness and then processed into jam promptly to preserve that fresh, naturally sweet flavor of the berry.  This jam is a celebration of fresh berry flavor, not sugar.

And a bonus:  the seeds are not problem.  Yes, they are there, but they aren’t as course or hard as I’ve experienced with other raspberry jams.  The seeds are soft and they aren’t getting uncomfortably lodged in between my teeth.  I don’t know if that has anything to do with the way the jam has been processed or if it has to do with the actual type of raspberries used in this jam.  I just know that I’m not needing to run to the bathroom to floss my teeth after eating a piece of toast, and I’m very pleased about that.

My Final Thoughts:

This is, without a doubt, the best raspberry jam I’ve ever tasted.  It tastes fresh and flavorful and I’m not having to fish out raspberry seeds from between my teeth.

This afternoon, I arrived home to find my Foodzie Box waiting for me.  I had put my subscription on pause for the month of January, so I actually received this Breakfast in Bed box by mistake, but, I am still quite happy with the contents, so I’m not complaining.  Despite my previous complaints about the changes made with the Foodzie Tasting Box, one thing this company has got going for them that has kept me with them is an exceptional customer service department.  They allowed me to keep the box, which is very cool of them.

As I said, the theme of this box is “Breakfast in Bed,” and just as the name implies, it includes all of the ingredients you need for serving an amazing breakfast in bed!  Tucked inside the extra large box were full-sized packages of Hazelnut Pancake Mix from Freddy Guys Filberts, Polka Raspberry Jam from Inna Jam, and Original Granola from Michele’s Granola.  There were smaller bottles of Bloody Mary Mix from Fat & Juicy, as well as Medium Amber Syrup from Crown Maple Syrup.

Also inside the box were two recipe cards (one for Stuffed French Toast with Brie & Berries, and one for homemade yogurt), and the Theme Card, which explains the inspiration behind “Breakfast in Bed”…

We’re fortunate to live in San Francisco, where even the darkest days of winter are still pretty temperate.  Still it’s not uncommon for mornings to be socked in with fog or rain and gloom.  On those dank days when we don’t feel like facing the chill, we want nothing more than to cozy up with a comforting breakfast.  We’re stocking your pantry with everything you need so you can stay in your pajamas and fuzzy slippers a little longer.  Whip up a stack of hearty, nutty pancakes that are so good they don’t need anything on top — though they won’t suffer from the addition of a rich, aromatic maple syrup.  We found a fresh, crisp granola that you’ll want to eat right out of the bag, and a raspberry jams that beams the summer sun across the months to your table.  And if you needed to stay under the covers maybe a little longer than usual, go ahead and mix up a smoky, spicy bloody mary.  Or two.  If you end up lounging in your peejays all day, your secret is safe with us. 

Well, living in the Pacific Northwest, I can relate to gloomy, rainy mornings.  But, I rarely complain about them, because to tell the truth, I actually love the gray weather.  It is one of the things I am fondest of where we live, I love the cool, crisp weather.  It makes a good, hot cup of tea all the more comforting.  And I’m all about comfort, and it would seem that this box is also about comfort!

I’m really excited to try these goodies, with the possible exception of the Bloody Mary Mix.  I guess that’s mostly because I am not much of a drinker and have never had a Bloody Mary.  But, I’m willing to try it, who knows, I may have found something delicious, and, Bloody Mary mix is essentially tomato juice, right?  If all else fails and I’m not in to the Bloody Mary thing, I guess I could add this to my chili, right?

I might end up ordering the Jump Start the Year box … because there’s TEA in it!  You know, I just may be coming around to embrace the changes made with the Foodzie box!

Where to Buy:  The Groovy Baker on Etsy

Price:  $10. for a package of 7 lollipops

Product Description:

Blue Raspberry ~ 100% Awesomeness, 0% Pretense

Made with *real* blue!! <–HA! Oh, how I crack myself up =)

Seriously ~

I was always intrigued by ‘blue raspberry flavor’ it’s awesome….but blue doesn’t have anything at all to do with raspberries….so….huh???? Please understand I was a pastry-chef-in-training, so I might have different experiences than ‘normal’ kids *laughing*

But it was my favorite ~ picture a hot, sunny day in your childhood…showing off your newly ‘blue’ tongue…good times, my friend, good times.

These have a generous dose of pure vanilla in addition to the raspberry…..so they’re a bit easier on your grown-up palette

100% Pure Cane Sugar – Never any Corn Syrup

What I Think:

This is another (and the last) of the free sample lollipops I received with my order from The Groovy Baker.  I am not sure why I decided to save this one for last because to honest, this is the one I figured I’d like least.  Not that I dislike raspberry or sno-cones… but it just seemed a little ordinary.  A little like something I could get anywhere.  You know?

Boy, was I wrong!  Yes, the raspberry flavor is there, but it certainly isn’t an ordinary raspberry flavor!  This tastes authentic.  This tastes like raspberry and vanilla.  It doesn’t taste like an artificially flavored raspberry candy.

This is a sweeter raspberry though, the tartness of the berry isn’t there as much as I might have expected.  But I’m not disappointed because I’m not overly fond of tartness anyway.  The vanilla gives it a smooth, creamy flavor.  And yes… my tongue IS blue!

My Final Thoughts:

Don’t judge a lollipop before you lick it!  Pure yummy goodness from The Groovy Baker.  And… I’m so happy to see that they’re back in action now (their shop was on vacation for a while there) because I might just need to place another order soon!