Posts Tagged ‘Truffle’

info-piglets-caramel

Photo from the Hagensborg Chocolate website.
Click on the pic to go there.

Why Pigs?

If I only had a dollar for every time somebody asked me why we put “PIGS” on our chocolate bars I would be a very wealthy lady!  The truth of the matter is quite simple.  We produce high quality All Natural European chocolate truffles.  When we decided to create a chocolate bar we researched where the word truffle originated from and learned everything there is to know about the subject.  What we learned is that truffles are a rare mushroom found in the forest, also called the diamond of the kitchen. To find these unique delicacies pigs were used because they have an innate ability to sniff out these exotic treats.  Understanding that chocolate truffles and truffles have nothing in common we decided to bring these two ideas together, thus creating “The Truffle Pig”.  Aren’t those pigs smart?

I received two Truffle Pig’lets in my February Love with Food box!

Tea Suggestion:

Since I was devouring two different flavored Truffles with one cup of tea, I decided to go with a pure, unflavored black tea blend, and I went with this Golden Blend from Harney & Sons.  It was a sublime combination!  The tea was rich and earthy, with notes of chocolate and caramel which perfectly melded with the chocolate (and caramel!) notes of the pig’lets!

What I Think:

Mmm!  Truffles.  There are few words that pique my interest quite as effectively as the word Truffle.  I love chocolate truffles and I also like the mushroom too.  Truffles rock.

In my February Love with Food box, I received two truffle Pig’lets from Hagensborg Chocolates.  YUM!  The first one I tried was the peanut butter pig’let, and it was really delicious.  The peanut butter truffle filling was so incredibly smooth, and the milk chocolate was … well, it was chocolate.  What more needs to be said?  I did find myself wishing for a darker chocolate here, because the peanut butter truffle filling was sweet, and I thought that the darker chocolate would have been a nice contrast.  But it was delicious as it was.

Not surprisingly, my favorite of the two truffle pig’lets that was the Milk Caramel Pig’let.  The caramel was oh so gooey and creamy and delicious.  A slight bitterness to the caramel that complemented the sweetness of the milk chocolate very nicely.  Again, I do prefer dark chocolate so I think I would have enjoyed a dark chocolate shell as opposed to the milk chocolate, but as it was … it was still YUMMY!

My Final Thoughts:

Truffles – yum.  Nothing more needs to be said.  I’ve seen these pig’lets in Whole Foods … so the next time you’re in there, pick one up for a sweet treat! Your taste buds will thank you!

About Bernod’s PopCity:

Just the most trend-setting new products to explode onto the scene of the ever-popular world of flavored popcorn. It’s no wonder Americans eat 17 billion quarts of the stuff each year! We handcraft fresh recipes for our line of flavored popcorns, making sure that you get only the highest-quality product.

Learn more about Bernod’s Group on their website.

Tea Suggestion:

When it comes to popcorn, I generally prefer it with iced tea, because it tends to refresh the palate quickly (it’s easier to guzzle iced tea than it is hot tea!) and cleanly.  This is especially true for savory popcorn like this Truffle Salt Gourmet Popcorn.  I chose this Organic Spring Twist from Butiki Teas and poured it over ice, and the light, crisp, fruity taste with vegetative undertones seemed to meld in perfect harmony with the savory, salty, earthy flavors of this Truffle Salt popcorn.  YUM!

What I Think:

Recently, I was contacted by the nice people at Bernod’s Group, and as a thank you for mentioning them in one of my posts, as well as reviewing their yummy organic Cherry Vanilla Cotton Candy, they sent me a package of not one, not two, but FOUR of their yummy gourmet popcorn treats!  I’ve already reviewed the two that are readily available from their website:  the caramel corn and the kettle corn.   (and just as a side note, my husband touts the caramel corn as the BEST caramel corn he’s ever tasted!)

But this Truffle Salt Gourmet Popcorn is not on their website, so I contacted Bernod’s to find out where one might be able to obtain this yummy popcorn, and they informed me that their gourmet popcorn selections are also available at HomeGoods.   Awesome!  I love that store anyway, so this is just another excuse to shop!

Anyway, this stuff is awesome!  The popcorn is fluffy and lightly seasoned with truffle salt.  The truffle is what really makes the difference here between ordinary popcorn and something extraordinary – because it gives it a delightful, savory taste that is so irresistible!  There is a hint of buttery goodness too – it’s not a heavy buttery essence, but just a hint that accents the sweet, toasty, popped corn taste.

My Final Thoughts:

Slightly earthy, and tasting truly gourmet, I found myself not wanting to stop!  Just so good!  Yes, I absolutely need to make a stop into HomeGoods the next time we’re in the area (if you’re in the Portland/Vancouver, WA area, the HomeGoods where I shop is located in the Cascade Station near the airport.)  I want more of this Truffle Salt Popcorn, and I think that my husband wants more of that caramel corn too!

I fell in love with Little Big Burger about a year or so ago, before I had tried Burger Bungalow. I found them on Living Social’s list of 365 Things to do in Portland (a list that is actually longer than 365, but who’s counting?)  By the way, Little Big Burger is #110 on that list:  Best Stand In for In-and-Out.  And, while Burger Bungalow is #1 on my list for burgers, Little Big Burger is #1 on my list for Fries.  They have the best fries EVER.  And I’d take Little Big Burger over In-and-Out any day!

Order:  Cheeseburger with Bleu Cheese and Order of Truffle Oil Fries.

Location:  3747 N. Mississippi Ave, Portland, OR (North Portland location)

What I Think:

I had ordered my Cheeseburger with Bleu Cheese, but, it was Swiss Cheese that adorned my burger.  It was still delicious, but, I really would have been happier with the Bleu Cheese … there is just something amazing when Bleu Cheese and beef come together; it is one of those combinations that just makes me happy, like bacon & chocolate and sea salt & caramel.

As I mentioned above Burger Bungalow makes my favorite local burger, and they have the variety and all kinds of crazy toppings for the burger that will please even the most eccentric burger enthusiast, but when it comes to simple burger pleasure, Little Big Burger is tops.  It is a bun, catsup, lettuce, tomato, pickle, onion and burger (and of course, cheese if you order a cheese burger).  But it’s the quality of those ingredients that makes this burger so great!

The burger appears smaller than a typical 1/4 pound burger from a typical burger joint.  It actually looks like something between a slider and that typical burger.  But, I actually like the size of it, because it makes for a thicker, juicier burger and you can taste the beef.

The bun from Little Big Burger is my favorite burger bun.  They use brioche buns and they’re lightly grilled so they have a crispy inner surface, and then it’s all fluffy and soft and even a little bit sweet.

And let’s not forget the other ingredients:  local beef (Cascade Natural Beef), fresh veggies, Tillamook cheese and Camden’s catsup. The pickle and the lettuce are the two veggies that stood out most prominently for me because the pickle was crunchy and the lettuce was not wilted.  Usually when I get a burger, I remove the lettuce and discard it because it is wilted and sometimes even slimy.  Gross!  But, not at Little Big Burger.  Everything is fresh and crisp and delicious.

But it’s their fries that put them over the top.  Sure the burger is delicious (and superior, in my opinion, to In-and-Out) but, the fries are sublime!  They are the best fries I’ve yet to taste in the Portand/Vancouver area (and believe me, I’ve been searching for good fries).

These fries are fried crispy and I am not sure if they are then treated to a spritz of Truffle Oil, or if they are cooked in a Truffle Oil blend, but, given how expensive Truffle Oil can be, I suspect that they are instead given some sort of spritz or drizzle of Truffle Oil rather than a cooking in the stuff.  If anyone knows for certain, please feel free to comment and let me know, I’d love to hear from you!  They are salted, and this time, I think they could have gone lighter on the salt, but, they weren’t really too salty.  They were toeing that line between just right and too salty though, and I would have rather it been just a little less salt.

My Final Thoughts:

Sure, the burger is delicious, but, its the fries that will keep me going back to Little Big Burger again and again, because, well, Burger Bungalow is not quite as far a drive.  I’ve tried both locations of Little Big Burger (the Pearl District and the North Portland locations – there are two new locations expected to open some time this year as well), and I’ve not been disappointed by either location, although, if I were to choose one, I’d go with the North Portland location, just because of it’s proximity to The Meadow (YUM!  Chocolate!)  … but then again, The Pearl District location is right down the street from Cupcake Jones.  What to do?

Little Big Burger (N Mississippi) on Urbanspoon

Where to Buy:  Woody’s Gourmet on Foodzie

Product Description:

Most truffle sea salts use dehydrated truffles. Woody’s Gourmet takes that a big step further by using FRESH TRUFFLES. After sea salt, real French black truffle is the second ingredient. The aromatic scent is out of this world and has been know to drive people to do impulsive things.

And oh yeah, it has a complex flavor profile that you will love too! Our proprietary method of Wet Infusion™ blends essential oils from fresh ingredients with sea salt. This blend is bursting with complexity that will surprise you.

What I Think:

Oh, my!  This stuff is absolutely INCREDIBLE!  This has to be the first time ever that I’ve eaten a burger without anything except meat, seasoning and bun.  No cheese.  No ketchup or mustard, no lettuce, tomato or onion.  Not even my beloved bread-and-butter pickles which I previously believed MUST be on every burger I would eat.  (Of course, I did have a couple of pickles on the side!)

And without any embellishment other than this sea salt blend, the burger ended up being the BEST burger I’ve ever eaten.  This Black Truffle & Fresh Thyme Herb Sea Salt made the most delicious, mouth-watering, savory burger experience I’ve ever had.  And I even pan-fried the burger, I didn’t grill it!

The salt blend is a little on the moist side – which I guess is because the herbs are fresh.  But even though it was moist and therefore “clumped” in places on the burger rather than sprinkled evenly, my burger didn’t taste over-salted.

As I would have expected, the salt gave the burger a nice flavor – bringing out the meaty flavor that I wanted.  But then… there’s the truffle!  It gave the meat an earthy depth and a savory quality that lingers on the palate – my burger is now devoured and even though I am no longer hungry, I find myself wanting more truffle … more of that mouth-watering sensation.

The thyme enhances that earthy quality, and gives it a slightly woody taste as well as a fresh, herb-y character.  And, similar to the Rosemary & Sage Sea Salt blend, it is very skillfully minced in this blend – no tiny branches or stems.

After trying this blend, I realize another thing that makes these sea salt blends from Woody’s Gourmet so special… the salt is not only blended with the herbs, because fresh herbs are used, the sea salt is actually INFUSED with the flavors.  The fresh herbs really do make a big difference!

My Final Thoughts:

I love this stuff.  I had hoped I wouldn’t … because I would feel a little guilty keeping truffle salt in the pantry (it won’t be the most reasonably priced item in my pantry, to be sure!) but, I’ve determined that it is well worth the price.  I can’t wait to try it on a steak!

Where to Buy:  Susan Rice Truffles on Foodzie

Product Description:

Charlie’s Truffled Popcorn incorporates the finest imported Sicilian Sea Salt, Black Diamond French Truffles ($1,500 per pound), and summer truffles with hot-air-popped corn, lightly misted with soy oil to ensure each kernel is substantially flavored. All this for your maximum eating pleasure.

What I think:

To be honest, my experience with truffles is limited (except for with the chocolate variety!) so I wasn’t really sure what to expect with this popcorn.  But I must say, this Truffled Popcorn from Susan Rice Truffles is outstanding!

Even with the light misting of soy oil, this popcorn is not oily or buttery at all, and it doesn’t need it.  And that’s coming from someone who prefers her popcorn with extra butter!   This popcorn has so much flavor, that butter or more oil would detract from it.

It is salty though, but I don’t find it to be too salty.  It has more salt than I would normally put on my popcorn, but, I don’t find it to be off-putting.  On the contrary, the salty notes bring out the other flavors here.  However, if your palate is particularly sensitive to salt, you might find this to be a bit too salty.

There is a savory appeal to this popcorn.  The truffle gives it a slightly earthy kind of taste, but a very delicate earthiness that isn’t fully realized until you reach the bottom of the bag.  That – of course – didn’t take long, because this is so good that I couldn’t stop eating it!

My final thoughts:

Absolutely delicious, without a doubt the best prepared/packaged popcorn I’ve ever had!

Being a foodie, I was very excited to learn that Foodzie had started a Tasting Box subscription.  Every month, they put together a box filled with samples of tasty morsels from various sellers on Foodzie.  When I saw that it was actually an affordable price (just $19.99 per month), I decided that I must sign up!

My first box was for the month of February.  Six samples were tucked inside, as well as a card from Foodzie detailing a little bit about the contents of the box and on the opposite side of the card there is a map to show the location from which each product hails.

What fun!

My package contained:  Sweet & Spicy Walnuts from NutC, Cabernet Brownies from Marché Noir, Parisian Mendiants from La Châtelaine Chocolat, Caramels from Liddabit Sweets, Charlie’s Truffled Popcorn from Susan Rice Truffles, and a Chocolate Peanut Trail Bar from Olympic Granola.  YUM!

On the homepage of Foodzie, it indicates that Clarine’s Florentines were also supposed to be in the box… they weren’t in mine though.  Perhaps some boxes are different from others – I don’t know. Also, as you can see from the above scan of my enclosed postcard, the trail bar from Olympic Granola should have been the Almond Chocolate bar, but instead, I got the Chocolate Peanut bar.

Other than these few minor discrepancies, this box exceeds my expectations! I’m excited to dig in and start sampling! I will review these items I did receive individually as I taste them.  Please stay tuned!

My final thoughts: 

A great box of Foodzie delights, I’m excited to try them and I look forward to next month!