Posts Tagged ‘Spicy’

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!

Product Description:

We blend the spicy tea ourselves for this puff

What I Think:

I love chai … I love 240Sweet’s marshmallows … it’s kind of a no-brainer!  I knew I’d love these puffs!  They are so fluffy and sweet, but also deliciously spicy.  And these aren’t like vanilla marshmallows that have been rolled in finely ground spices and tea, the spiced tea has been infused into the marshmallow, flavoring every inch of these huge marshmallows, making for a very satisfying tea and marshmallow experience … all in one!  Of course, a cup of tea along with it doesn’t hurt!

Believe it or not, though, I found these to be better with a cup of hot cocoa.  I put one in the cocoa to melt while I munched happily away on another (for review purposes only, of course, I needed to see what it tasted like without the cocoa’s influence).  Because of the spices and the hint of tea in the marshmallows, they offered a lovely layer of flavor to the cocoa that I really enjoyed.

I can taste the cinnamon and the peppery kick of the ginger in this.  I also taste hints of clove and I can even taste the subtle note of tea in there.  The aftertaste is a little bit like cardamom.  The spices are very warm and delicious, and offer a pleasing contrast to the sweet flavor of the marshmallow base.

My Final Thoughts:

240Sweet’s marshmallows are my favorite and there’s a reason for that.  They’re superb!  Have you ever tried a homemade marshmallow?  They are so much better than anything store-bought.  You really MUST get to 240Sweet and order some Marshmallows.  They have so many tempting flavors from which to choose … and this one may be my favorite one yet.  I love the spices here – they’re spicy without being out-of-control hot … tempered by the sweet, luscious, puffy marshmallow.   So good.

photo is from Olympic Provisions, click on the pic to go there.

Product Description:

Chorizo Rioja (chor-IZ-oh ri-OH-ha) is a Spanish-style salami with sweet & smoked paprika, garlic and oregano. Best enjoyed with copious amounts of Spanish wine.

The Chorizo Rioja is available for a limited time from Knoshbox.

Tea Suggestion:

I sliced this sausage super thin, served it with the Castleton Crackers that also came in the Knoshbox this month, and instead of serving it with lots of red wine … I poured a cup of this Pu-erh Cabernet from Vintage TeaWorks.  The spicy flavors of the sausage really complemented the gentle spices of the tea blend, and the sweetness of the tea softened the somewhat oily/greasy taste of the sausage, while the rich, buttery, grainy taste of the crackers toned down the overall spicy note.  This was a spectacular FEAST!

What I Think:

This isn’t the first sausage that I’ve tried from Olympic Provisions … I had the Cacciatore Salami which was featured in my Portland tasting box from Foodzie.  So, I had a pretty good idea of what I might expect from this sausage – it would be really hard, but also full of flavor.  I was a little worried that this was a chorizo sausage though, my experience with chorizo has always been a VERY spicy sausage.

And while it IS spicy, it isn’t “mouth-on-fire” spicy.  The spices are warm, and if I ate a lot of it at one time, my mouth might be on fire, but when sliced thin and eaten with crackers and tea, it is a very enjoyable, mildly warm sausage that is very flavorful.

It has a delicious, meaty flavor that is well-spiced.  But the spices are not out of control HOT with this sausage like I expected it to be.  The spices maintain a balance with the meat and allow the many layers of flavor be experienced without setting my tongue aflame.

My Final Thoughts:

I was thrilled that Knoshbox included a sausage from Olympic Provisions!  They’re a local company, and I love supporting local business, and I found this particular sausage to be even more enjoyable than the Cacciatore Salami that I tried previously.  This surprised me because I typically steer away from chorizo because of its spicy reputation, and my few experiences with chorizo in the distant past had taught me that chorizo is a bit too much for me, but, this experience has opened my eyes to new possibilities with this sausage!

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

Product Description:

Lark combines intense dark chocolate with spice and heat for the ultimate chocolate-lover’s treat. These are perfect with coffee but would also make excellent gourmet oreos or ice cream sandwiches.

These cookies are available on Petit Amuse.

Tea Suggestion:

I couldn’t resist trying these cookies with this Hong Jing Luo from thepuriTea.  A perfectly lovely match, these two!  The cocoa notes of the tea work wonderfully with the dark chocolate flavor of the cookies, and I notice more of the sweeter notes as well as the savory qualities of the tea when enjoyed with the cookies … while I notice the smooth chocolate seems to glide over my palate while simultaneously being hit by the zesty spice.  On their own, this tea or this cookie would be really amazing, but together, it becomes a truly delicious culinary experience!

What I Think:

The first thing that struck me about this cookie is it’s weight.  Yes, you read that correctly.  The weight.  It was heavy for its size.  Normally, a cookie this size would be very light – so light you wouldn’t really notice it.  And while I wouldn’t say that this cookie is heavy, exactly, it seems to be more substantial a weight than other types of cookies this same size.   To satisfy my own curiosity, I weighed the cookie – .8 oz.  Then to just amuse myself, I took out a cookie of similar size (a raspberry thumbprint shortbread cookie from Knott’s Berry Farm – something I had on hand) and it weighed in at .4 oz.

After my fascination with the weight of this cookie subsided, I decided to take a bite, which lead to my next surprise about it … it’s texture.  It’s SOFT and dense.  After eating the Salted Rosemary Shortbread which is crispy, I kind of expected a crispy texture here too.  But this is soft.  My teeth sort of sunk into the cookie, as I tasted the rich chocolate-y flavor.

Then I notice the kick of spice.  This reminds me a bit of one of those gourmet candy bars that are chili pepper infused – it has that sweet-spicy quality that I love so much!  But this might be even better, because it’s in a cookie, so I get some rich, buttery goodness from the dough which gives the overall experience a very creamy sort of experience that complements the dark chocolate notes so well without making it taste like milk chocolate.

I love the dark cocoa here.  I can really taste the nuances of the chocolate – the fruit notes and the deep roasted flavor.  This isn’t filled with any unnecessary goodies – no nuts or chips or other bits and pieces – and like I said, it doesn’t need them.  This cookie focuses on the flavor of dark, rich chocolate and spice.  And it’s really executed so perfectly, that I find myself wanting nothing more from them.

My Final Thoughts:

These are exquisite cookies – perfect for the grown up palate.  This is something that you can put in the family cookie jar and not have to worry ab0ut the kids raiding – while they might think these are “OK” – I don’t think they’re going to love these the way a more mature palate would.  It’s got a delicious chocolate-y sweetness, and it’s “kicked up a notch” with that spicy note.  YUM!

And just a follow up on the Salted Rosemary Shortbread cookies (also from Lark Fine Foods and originally reviewed here) – they are every bit as good as I remember them.  Sweet and with just enough savory notes to give it a well-rounded flavor and palate-pleasing balance.  And oh-so-deliciously buttery!

Photo from Foodzie, click on the picture to go there.

Product Description:

This hot, crunchy condiment is a quick and easy way to add flavor to your meal with the combination of garlic, onion and the slightly smoky heat of chile de arbol. Although Mexican in origin, its blend of flavors make Chile Crunch a greart addition to most cuisines, from Italian to Asian. It is delicious directly on meat, poultry, seafood, vegetables, pasta and pizza, or in soups, dips and marinades. The possibilities are endless!

Learn more about Chile Colonial on their website.

Tea Suggestion:

When eating this stuff, whether it be as a dip on crackers or chips or as an accent to a meat dish, you will not just want, but NEED, a tall glass of iced tea nearby.  I suppose just about any tea that you like iced will do.  I found myself enjoying a glass of iced Moroccan Mint from Tiger Spring Tea while eating this as a topper on my roasted chicken breast.  The crisp, cool taste of mint was quite a refresher to my palate which was searing from the heat of this salsa.

What I Think:

I can see why Rob and Emily at Foodzie love this stuff so much (so much that they created a tasting box around it!)  It is addicting.

But… make no mistake.  This stuff is HOT!  You’d think that the heat would be unbearable, as I tears are running down my cheeks and I am literally sweating while I eat this stuff, but I can’t seem to stop eating it even though my mouth is on fire.  I keep adding more fuel to it as it becomes some out-0f-control inferno!

I don’t know what it is about this.  Is it the heat?  Or the crunch?  Or the fact that even though it is hot, I taste the fruit notes of the chile de arbol and the hint of sweetness from the onion, and the intensity of the garlic.  It just tastes so darn good!

I first tasted these as a salsa dip for tortilla chips, and it was delicious.  So good that I finished the bag of chips before I was ready to be finished tasting it.  So, I promptly heated a couple of flour tortillas under the broiler, getting them just slightly browned and soft, and I started spooning the Chile Crunch onto a bit of tortilla, and rolling it up like a mini burrito which contained nothing but the Chile Crunch and the tortilla itself.

The next time I tried it, I purchased a box of Nabisco’s Garden Vegetable Wheat Thins to accompany it.  YUM!  Then, I actually visited the Foodzie website to read more about this, and it suggests to

Think of this salsa less as a chip-dipper and more as a condiment for meats, grains, pasta or even a refreshing tomato granita.

OK.  So, before finally writing a review of this stuff, I decided to take Foodzie’s advice and use it as a condiment for some left-over chicken breasts.  I had a couple of left over chicken breasts from dinner the other night, simply roasted with a little Kosher salt, freshly ground pepper and a light sprinkling of another favorite Foodzie product of mine:  Bourbon Smoked Paprika.  I seem to be using this paprika on just about everything these days.  The chicken was delicious, and since I was pretty much dining on my own last night, I decided to warm one up for my dinner, and I topped it with a bit of this Chile Crunch.  Wow!  It turned a simple, rather humble chicken breast into something that was a bit like firecrackers going off in my mouth!  The crunch, the heat, the amazing flavor!  Wow!

My Final Thoughts:

Left-over chicken will never be boring again as long as I have some of this stuff on hand!  It is really tasty, although, again, this stuff is NOT for wimps.  If you find yourself cowering at mild taco sauce from the fast-food taco joint, don’t even think of trying this stuff.  If, however, you like things on the spicy side… this stuff will amaze and delight you!

 

 

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

Product Description:

Made from chickpea flour, sesame seeds and spices, we fell in love with this spicy, South Indian version of chow mein noodles. Grab them by the handful or throw them into your favorite soup.

Learn more about SCL Marketing on their website.

These crispy noodles can be purchased on Foodzie for a limited time.

Tea Suggestion:

You’ll want iced tea and LOTS of it with these spicy, crunchy snack noodles.  I brewed some of this Lemon-Lime Meringue flavored Kukicha from 52Teas and chilled it, but if you don’t have any of this amazing tea on hand (this VIT flavor has since sold out), I guess any delicious iced tea will do.  I’d recommend something light and refreshing, to help counter the incredible spice of these noodles.

What I Think:

I think I’m in love, that’s what I think!

These are incredible.  I love that they are inspired by the spices of India, and not just doused with a heavy amount of powdered hot chili spice.  I can taste the curry in these, and I love that!

At first glance, they look pretty harmless.  In fact, what they look like are the chow mein noodles that I enjoy snacking on.  They’re a little thinner, perhaps, than the kind I find packaged in a can in the grocery store, but other than that, they look just like the same noodle.  They even pack the same crunch as those noodles … but with the Indian spices, they sure don’t taste like those noodles I’m used to.  These really deliver a seriously spicy blow to the palate!

But it’s not just spicy, there’s some complexity within it, and I think that’s what I’m enjoying most of all.  The heat isn’t the type of heat that keeps your mouth on fire, after a few moments (and a swig of iced tea), the heat tapers and then I notice hints of nutty taste from the chickpea and sesame seeds.

My Final Thoughts:

These are incredibly tasty – but certainly not for wimps!  These would make great toppings for a fresh garden salad or perhaps a creamy tomato soup (YUM!) but, that’s only if you can stop eating them long enough to actually use them for something other than right out of the package snacking.

Picture from Foodzie. Click on the Photo to go there!

Product Description:

For a spicy snack, we went straight to the source. Whole jalapenos are sliced thin, fried and sprinkled with sea salt. Don’t be fooled by its mild beginnings, it takes a few seconds after the first crunch and then bam, you’re hit with the heat.

Learn more about Deano’s Jalapeños on their website.

Tea Suggestion:

With these HOT snacks, I recommend iced tea … a LOT of it!  I recommend an iced white tea with these, because white tea tends to have cooling properties, something that definitely benefits the mouth and body after popping a few of these in your mouth!   Try a Silver Needle tea, like this Organic Silver Needle from Teavivre.  It is light, crisp, and very refreshing!

What I Think:

WOWZA!  These Jalapeño Chips take the idea of jalapeño flavored potato chips one spicy, and possibly one healthier, step further.  Eliminating the potato all together, Deano’s thinly slices the peppers themselves and fries them up until they’re crisp and then lightly salts them with sea salt.

And they are indeed spicy.  But they also have some sweetness to them too … I can taste the fruity element to the pepper.  This delicate sweetness is often overpowered by the sheer heat of the pepper, but, I like that every once in a while, my palate takes notice of the sweet notes.

I love the texture of these.  They have been sliced so thin – making them light and crisp – but yet they pack such a wallop of INTENSE heat and flavor.

My Final Thoughts:

These are so addicting!  Yeah, the spiciness of the pepper has me breaking out into a sweat, my eyes continuing to well up as tears are running down my face and my mouth is ON FIRE, but, I am still finding myself reaching for the bag for MORE.

I absolutely love these!