27 December, 2007

Nestle Christmas Tree Cookies

While Christmas has passed us by, I couldn't help noticing this package of Nestle Christmas Tree Cookies.

Nestle Christmas Tree Cookies
Doesn't the font in the words "Christmas Trees" look strangely similar to a Dr. Seuss book?

I'm guessing someone at Nestle's package design department is on to something.
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25 December, 2007

Falafel Chips

A company called Flamous Brands, Inc., based out of Pasadena, CA, is now marketing Falafel Chips, claiming to be the first chips made from falafel.

Falafel is made from chickpeas (garbanzo beans), combined with spices and grains, and then fried as patties, balls, sticks, or whatever your imagination comes up with. Finally, it's topped with hummus, or eggplant, or spicy sauces. People have been eating falafel for thousands of years.

Falafel ChipsThe company sent me a couple of bags of Falafel Chips for me to sample, hence this review.

I notice there is a "Since 1959" stamped on the bag, next to the name "Falafel Chips", so I'm guessing that while these are the first falafel-based chips, they've also been around for long time.

I have to say that Falafel Chips actually taste great. I didn't know what to expect, considering they're made from chickpeas, but when I ate one they taste very much like Doritos tortilla chips. That might be because Falafel Chips do include ground corn as an ingredient. But they do include chickpeas as an ingredient too, and there is a subtle difference in texture from Doritos chips. I don't think real falafel includes ground corn, but whether or not Falafel Chips is supposed to be real falafel is probably not the point. It's a chip that's meant to resemble falafel.

Falafel Chips are lightly seasoned with salt, pepper, cumin, and herbs; the seasoning is not overpowering. The cumin seasoning creates a taste and aroma that reminds me of walking into a Middle Eastern restaurant. They taste like they'd go well with a creamy dill dip. The company recommends a hummus dip, or a "babaghanogue", a roasted eggplant dip.

The chips are stamped as "USDA Organic", 100% vegan, and Kosher Parve. The company claims they're low in sodium, high in protein, and contains no trans fat, gluten, cholesterol, MSG, hydrogenated oil, GMO, preservatives, artificial colors or flavors.

Overall, Falafel Chips are a welcome change from the onslaught of tortilla chips. Even though they taste similar to tortilla chips, they still have a subtle difference in texture, and the seasoning has a Middle Eastern flavor.

I don't know what stores you can buy these from, all I can do is direct you to Flamous Brands' website...

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24 December, 2007

Yow - Sports Almonds

Yow AlmondsYow is a new brand of foods that takes natural snacks, like blueberries and nuts, and packages them in drink bottles.

I kinda like the image of a runner "drinking" this bottle of roasted salted almonds.

The product labels actually touts almonds as a "health food", claiming that it's a great source of monounsaturated fats, which lowers bad cholesterol, and raises good cholesterol. It also lists out several vitamins.

The combination of the sports style drink bottle and the claim to be heart-healthy, is a way to position salted nuts as some kind of muscle-building product.

Visit Yow Snacks online at...
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Sweet Potato Hoe Cakes

Sweet Potato Hoe CakesI wasn't aware of "hoe cakes", until I saw this Sweet Potato Hoe Cake under the "Lawdy Miss Clawdy" brand.

According to the product's page, hoe cakes are flat bread pancakes that were baked over an open fire on the blade of a hoe. They were cooked and eaten by railroad workers.

This particular brand of hoe cakes uses a cinnamon flat bread with sweet potato topping.

It also claims to be an original product of Lloyd Price. Price is the guy who owns the Lawdy Miss Clawdy brand, and he was known for his television appearances on some variety shows and dramas.

The Lawdy Miss Clawdy brand includes several varieties of sweet potato-based products. Check out their Sweet Potato Cheesecake.

Visit Lawdy Miss Clawdy online...
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King Cheese - Spicy Sopresatta

For lunch today I decided to eat this spicy sopresatta wrapped in mozzarella cheese. It's sold under the King Cheese brand, and I found it today in the international deli section of my local Albertsons.

It just looked so appetizing, most likely because it was 1:00pm, and I hadn't eaten anything yet.

King Cheese Spicy Sopresatta

It comes in a log, which you're supposed to cut into slices. I thought about sticking to my junk food tradition by just grabbing the whole thing and eating it like a Snickers bar, but it's rather greasy.

The mozzarella is very soft and has a smooth creamy texture in my mouth.

The spicy sopresatta is medium in spiciness, very thinly sliced, and gives off a subtle flavor. It's probably more oily than anything, but then again, I'm not an expert in spicy sopresatta.

The cheese itself has a spiciness to it also because its topped with red peppers.

Together it's absolutely delish.

But it's not something you'd eat like a snack, nor eat whole the way I did. You'd probably eat just a couple of slices and share with friends.

In terms of fat, cholesterol, sodium, and carbs, it's not that bad actually. The entire roll is..

560 calories
32gm fat
20mg cholesterol
1,360mg sodium
16gm carbohydrates

There are 8 servings per roll.

I guess I'd call this junk food since I ate the whole roll. But if you eat just one serving you can feel better by calling it an "appetizer".

I paid $6.99 for this at Albertsons. Add a Dr Pepper to wash it down, and it's not too bad of a price for lunch.

Visit King Cheese online at...
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23 December, 2007

Does Sauerkraut Bring Good Luck?

sauerkrautThe Great Lakes Kraut Company of Shortsville, NY, issued a press release today reminding everyone of a "long-held Pennsylvania Dutch tradition" of eating sauerkraut on New Year's Day to bring good luck for the rest of the new year.

I've never heard of such "tradition", though I'm not Pennsylvania Dutch. But I do like sauerkraut though...

Eating Sauerkraut on New Year's Day is a long-held Pennsylvania Dutch tradition that's believed to bring good luck throughout the upcoming year. The traditional meal usually also includes pork to represent rooting into the New Year. "This year we're ready. We've produced more than 130,000 tons of Sauerkraut to meet the demand. And we provide Sauerkraut connoisseurs plenty of ideas for preparing Sauerkraut recipes at our web site, sauerkrautnews.com," added Downs.

The company also mentions recent studies showing that chemical compounds in sauerkraut and cruciferous vegetables offer the body improved cancer-fighting abilities.

So does this mean sauerkraut is a health food? Sauerkraut also contains a lot of sodium, so would that make it a junk food? Or, is it somewhere in between?
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22 December, 2007

Coca-Cola 1899 Hutchinson Bottles are Back

Coca-Cola is releasing a series of limited edition bottles filled with the famous soft drink.

Coca-Cola Hutchinson Bottle
First up in the series is the first ever bottle used by drink's first bottler, Joseph A. Biedenharn, the 9.3oz "Hutchinson Bottle", of 1899.

The Christmas-themed six-pack is making its way to retail outlets all over the country, priced around $4.99.
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21 December, 2007

Soda Splash - Soda Flavoring Spray

Soda SplashFigueroa Brothers, Inc. of Dallas, TX has an answer to all these odd-ball soda-flavor combinations coming out these days: sell bottles of flavoring.

Soda Splash is a pressurized can of flavoring that you can spray (or spritz) into a glass of soda, allowing you to create flavor combinations.

They come in three flavors, Cherry, Lime, and Vanilla.

So, you can create a Cherry Lime Rickey by shooting in some Cherry and Lime into a glass of 7-Up. Or, you can make your own Cherry Vanilla Dr Pepper. Or how about a Lime Vanilla Rootbeer?

The company says it contains no sweetener, and adds no calories.

I don't know where or when Soda Splash is available, but you can keep track of it on its own website...

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Altoids Monopoly Game Piece

Altoids Monopoly Game PieceHasbro launched a new edition of its Monopoly board game called, "MONOPOLY: Electronic Banking Edition", which includes all new game pieces, among them a tin of Altoids.

The new Monopoly game edition is supposed to be the modern-day antithesis to the old world of the standard edition. It embraces pop culture, and so, the toy company needed game pieces that encapsulates an entirely new world. And so, Altoids made the cut.

I'm sure it's great advertising assuming the new board game can catch on. I wonder if Wrigley had to buy its way into the board game.
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19 December, 2007

Yucca Fries

Hemisphere Foods LLC, of North Miami Beach, FL, is offering these "Yucca Fries" and "Yucca Bites" in your grocer's freezer.

Yucca fries
Yucca is quickly gaining a following as a food source in the USA. It's already a staple food in Latin American countries. It's also known as "Cassava", and we've seen cassava chips being sold under several brands.

This is the first time I've seen it positioned as an alternative to french fries. Yucca-based foods are typically made from the root.

Marketed under their "Latin Fiesta" brand, the company packages these in pre-cooked form. They suggest using them to accompany other foods, just like real french fries.

Read more about it on the company's website...
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18 December, 2007

Miguel's Salted Plantain Strips

Miguel's Salted Plantain ChipsThe Miguel's brand of chips now includes these new Salted Plantain Chips.

Plantains are similar to bananas, but not as sweet or soft.

The concept of plantain chips are not new at all, being a favorite snack food in Caribbean cultures. My step-mother is Puerto Rican, and she's been known to slice up some plantains, fry them, and salt them. You can also find these in most Cuban and Puerto Rican cuisines.

Miguel's is just mass producing it for retail. I imagine other brands sell plantain chips, but out here in Southern California, I haven't seen them.

Plantains are kinda bland. I imagine people from the Caribbean love to eat them plain, but for me, they're like potatoes, where you need to spice them up, top them up, or use them as an ingredient.
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Hot Pockets Twisted Stix

I just noticed this new variety in the line of Hot Pockets microwavable pizza snacks, called "Twisted Stix".

Hot Pockets Twisted Stix
It's basically a pizza bread stick with a pizza inside.

It's perhaps a commentary on how Americans have a love affair with food stuffed inside of food. It's like being able to eat a more complete meal in a smaller, compact size. Or maybe, people just love the idea of finding something pleasant hiding inside of something else.

I suppose what's next is for Pizza Hut to replace it's cheese-filled pizza crust with a pizza-filled pizza crust.
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Wendy's New Stack Attack

Wendy's Stack AttackWendy's today announced the launch of their newest hamburger, the "Stack Attack", which puts an aggressive name on what's otherwise a diminuitive burger.

It's basically a double cheeseburger, with no added rabbit food, which could be a good thing for some people.

It's primary purpose for existence is its low price point, at just 99 cents, putting it squarely within Wendy's "Super Value Meal", for those consumers that want the same artergy-clogging performance as a full-blown Wendy's Hot-n-Juicy, but are trying to curb their appetite.
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17 December, 2007

Orville Redenbacher and ACT II Popcorn - Diacetyl Free

ConAgra Foods today announced that it has reformulated its Orville Redenbacher's and ACT II microwave popcorn brands with a new butter flavoring that has no added diacetyl. These newly reformulated products are arriving on store shelves now.

Orville Redenbacher
Diacetyl has been under scrutiny because of its ability to cause lung cancer. The chemical is added to microwave popcorn because it provides the buttery taste. Both factory workers and popcorn eaters are said to be at risk just by smelling the aroma.

All packages with the new taste formula will have "No Added Diacetyl" printed near the date code. Additionally, ConAgra Foods is introducing a new packaging design for all of its reformulated microwave popcorn products that will state "New Great Tasting Butter Flavor".

ConAgra has been trying to position its popcorn brands as health food, by touting the puffy white snack as a source of whole grains, fiber, with zero trans fat and zero cholesterol. But instead, the snack food was hit with a black eye as being a cancer food.
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13 December, 2007

Easy Open Sardines in a Can

Season Canned SardinesIt's been a long time since I've eaten sardines from a can, so I'm totally out of the loop of sardine can technology.

This new pull-tab design seems like a great way pull open a can without fussing with a key.

The new pull-tab can is available from the Season brand of sardines.

Visit Season online...
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Peeps Peppermint Stars

The Peeps line of sugar-sprinkled marshmallow candies has gone peppermint for the first time with the introduction of its new Peeps Peppermint Stars.

Peeps Peppermint Stars
The full Peeps Christmas lineup includes:

  • PEEPS Trees

  • PEEPS Snowmen

  • PEEPS Cutouts (Cookie Flavored)

  • PEEPS Decorating Kits

Just Born Inc., the company behind the Peeps, says that 30% of their popular marshmallow confection is used in crafting, hence their push towards the decorating kits.

Visit Peeps online at...
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12 December, 2007

Guacamole Grinch Sandwich

Guacamole Grinch SandwichWholly Guacamole, a maker of guacamole, tells us all that its green chip dip is the best material for making a Grinch...

To make this tasty version in your kitchen, cut your favorite sandwich into a triangle, cut off the points to make a pear shape. Top with Wholly Guacamole classic, smooth and etch Grinch brows and cheeks. For eyes, use yellow pepper circles topped with pimento stuffed olives. Cut an olive for the nose and add a sprig of celery greens for hair.

There you go. All you have to do is make of bunch of these, and you'll be the biggest hit at the Christmas Party.

Leave this open-face sandwich sitting on the table and watch the Grinch turn into an ugly gray-brown.

Visit Wholly Guacamole online...
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Huevos Rancheros Breakfast Burrito - Carl's Jr.

Huevos Rancheros Breakfast Burrito Carl's Jr.Carl's Jr. today announced their newest burrito, the Huevos Rancheros Breakfast Burrito. It's available beginning today.

The Huevos Rancheros Breakfast Burrito contains refried beans, scrambled eggs, shredded jack and cheddar cheeses, and Carl's own Ranchero sauce, topped with corn tortilla strips.

The company states that they wanted to take the traditional Mexican breakfast of Huevos Rancheros and put it into a portable form.

Being that Carl's Jr. is a prominent fast-food restaurant in south western states, where Mexican immigrants have high concentration, it makes sense for the company to better position itself for America's future voters.

The Huevos Rancheros Breakfast Burrito sells for $2.39, or $3.89 as part of a breakfast combo meal.

Visit Carl's Jr. online at...
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10 December, 2007

Coconut Curry Ice Cream

Luxlait Coconut Curry Ice CeamA Luxembourg-based frozen confection maker, Luxlait, offers some really strange flavors of ice cream and sorbet.

Among them is "Coconut Curry. And by all accounts, it seems like it actually contains indian curry seasoning. It actually sounds like it could be tasty. I love Indian cuisine, and have tried some of popular Indian style desserts, and something like this seems curiously palatable.

The company also offers some other eye openers...

  • Olive Sorbet

  • Wasabi Sorbet

  • Roquefort (cheese) Ice Cream

  • Lavendar Ice Cream

Check out all of their flavors...
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06 December, 2007

The Whopper Gets Waxed

The WhopperBurger King's famous offering, The Whopper, is 50 years old this year (as of March 4, 1957).

And if you thought it tasted kinda stale the last time you bit into one, now you know why.

But to celebrate a piece of American fast-food folklore, The Whopper was immotalized in wax at Madame Tussauds wax attraction in New York City's Times Square. Also getting waxed is the "King" character of famous chain.

The Whopper becomes the first food product to have its likeness honored by Madame Tussauds.

Source: Burger King
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04 December, 2007

YoPRO - Frozen Yogurt for Body Builders

YoPRO Frozen YogurtYoPRO Treats Inc. of Burlington, Ontario, recently launched a new variety of frozen yogurt called, "YoPRO".

It's marketed as a low fat, high protein, frozen yogurt, and claims to be the only one of its kind. The product's website depicts photos of sports enthusiasts, fitness gurus, and mentions its review in Maximum Fitness magazine, billing it as a fitness product in the form of frozen confection.

Do fitness fanatics really want to gain muscle mass through frozen yogurt?

What happened to the old school body builders that started their day with a glass of raw eggs? It took a "real man" to swallow something like that. How come we never had companies that sold frozen raw eggs on a popsicle?

YoPRO is currently only shipping to stores throughout Ontario, Canada. But if successful, I'm sure we'll see it here in the States. As the old saying goes, "if Canadians will eat it, then Americans will eat it."

Visit YoPRO online...
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03 December, 2007

Awake - The Morning Energy Drink

Awake Energy DrinkApple & Eve, LLC, of Port Washington, NY, recently launched a new energy drink called, "Awake", billed as "the only energy juice specially formulated for morning consumption".

It's basically 100% juice, though I don't know from what fruits, but it has an orange/tangerine flavor. Except, it's spiked with enough caffeine as a tall cup of coffee, and includes an energy enhancer called, "Essentra", dubbed as a patented restorative and rejuvenating extract derived from a natural botanical.

It's like blending coffee and orange juice together, and then sprinkling in some magical herbs.

Awake also comes in a light variety, and is currently only available Northeast, with plans to roll out nationally.

Visit Awake online...
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Chocolate Flavored Imitation Crab

Chocolate flavored surimiA Lithuanian food maker named Viciunai, has launched a new treat called, "Sweets del Mare - Chocolate Flavoured Surimi".

Surimi is just a general term used to describe a wide assortment of fish cake products, most popular of which is imitation crab.

Note that this is not chocolate covered, just chocolate flavored. I'm not sure I can imagine the taste of imitation crab with chocolate. The next time I order a salad buffet at Sizzler's, I'll have to get some imitation crab, and douse it with fudge from their dessert bar.

Sweets del Mar is not available in the USA, and probably for good reason. Lithuanians, and other folks who live around the Baltic Sea, however, must really love their seafood.

Viciunai doesn't yet have this product on their website.
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02 December, 2007

Cactus Omelettes

Christian posted a review of Lucia's Tacos y Mulitas, a mexican joint in Huntington Beach, CA, and he snapped a photo of their menu board, showing "Cactus Omelette"...

Cactus omelettes
I did some growing up in San Diego between 1971-1978, and I had mexican friends across the street. Their mom frequently used cactus in her cooking. I was suprised at the time to see cactus being used, but later on in life I came to understand it was quite common in Mexican cuisine. They called them "Nopales", or "Nopalitos" for the softer baby leaves.

They kept a rabbit pen and a chicken coop, and on Sundays, would pull out a rabbit or chicken, kill it, clean it, and tossed it on this large brick grill they had in their backyard. Their mom would make the corn tortillas and salsa, and she'd pull out a jar of nopalitos, to garnish the tacos. Then we'd sit underneath this old pepper tree (or willow tree) and have rabbit tacos.

And quite good they were. The nopalitos added some "texture" to the tacos, and a bit of taste.

Cactus wasn't bad, but not necessarily what I'd call "good". It's something you'd have to grow up eating to enjoy.

I'll have to stop by at this Lucia's Tacos y Mulitas the next time I'm in that area, and try the omelette.

I also mentioned, "Cactus flavored chewing gum", awhile back on Strange New Products.
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About Steve

Affiliate marketer, blogger, website publisher, business owner, entrepreneur, motorcycle rider, living in sunny Southern California, who happens to love junk food, and makes money writing about it.

Favorite Quote:
"It's good enough for government work."
Favorite Drink:
India Pale Ale

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