31 May, 2009

Riteway Meat Company - Pepperoni Tid-Bits

Riteway Meat Company - Pepperoni Tid-BitsThe cool thing about the Internet is that it lets us city-slicker geek types gain access to junk food found exclusively in the rural areas of America's back country.

That is, if someone in the rural area of America's back country is set up for e-commerce.

Riteway Meat Company is one such entity. Basically a butcher shop serving local ranchers and hunters in the small town of Dundee, OR. They sell beef jerky and other meat snacks though their website. Junk foodies like me living in the suburbia of Southern California can now enjoy processed meat munchies the way real, honest-to-God, down to earth folks make it, without having to drive a thousand miles to get there.

Actually, I didn't buy these Pepperoni Tid-Bits. They sent it to me for free, after I ordered a few packages of their beef jerky. I didn't tell them that I publish food blogs, so maybe they're just really hospitable, friendly, country folks. Anyways, I figured I had to return the favor by giving them some free pub here on JFB.

These do have the flavor of pepperoni, but a little more mild than what I'm accustomed to getting from atop of pizza or italian sub sandwich. They're quite flavorful, rather salty, and smoky. They don't have any of the papery chewing texture that a Slim Jim has, but rather quite sausage-like.




These "tid-bits" are named such because Riteway sells a longer variety, at 5 feet in length. You actually buy it that long.

So I'm guessing these tid-bits are like the ends they chop off after measuring out 5 feet of meat rope.

The size and shape of these Pepperoni Tid-Bits are quite comparable to a package of Little Smokies, except these are a little more stiff. I think they'd still do quite well simmering in a Crock Pot of BBQ sauce, or cooking in a pan of beans.

Riteway prices a package of tid-bits at $8.99 a pound. The package depicted above weighed 0.68 pounds, for a price of $6.11.

I recommend a lightly flavored pale ale, or a cream ale, to go with these.

Visit Riteway Meat Company online...

http://ritewaymeat.com
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28 May, 2009

Jamba Juice's New Blackberry Smoothie

Jamba Juice's New Blackberry SmoothieJamba Juice announced today the national rollout of a limited time only seasonal smoothie, the "Blackberry Bliss".

The new flavor is part of Jamba Juice's summer promotion, "Summer Bliss". It's made with whole fruit including blackberries, blueberries and strawberries.

With the Summer Bliss promotion, customers can earn coupons and prizes by uploading a photo of their faces to Jamba Juice's new website, and paste the photos over action scenes.
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Chick-fil-A Offers New Peach Milkshake

Chick-fil-AChick-fil-A announced today that it is adding a new peach flavor to its line of Hand-Spun Milkshakes for the summer. The Peach Milkshake will be offered as a limited-time flavor from June 1 through Aug. 22 at the chain's mall and stand-alone restaurants nationwide.

The new peach flavor is made with real peaches and is hand-spun with Chick-fil-A's "Icedream", and topped with light whipped cream and a maraschino cherry.

It's fitting enough the company come out with a peach flavored shake, being Chick-fil-A is based in Georgia, the "Peach State".

Coinciding with the Peach Milkshake rollout, Chick-fil-A will also introduce a smaller milkshake option that will remain on the menu permanently. Chick-fil-A Milkshakes will be offered in 14 oz. or 20 oz. cups and priced at $2.49 and $2.89, respectively (at most locations).

Since Chick-fil-A first introduced its line of Hand-Spun Milkshakes in May 2006, the desserts have proved to be one of the most popular products on the menu. Building upon its increasing milkshake momentum, the chain has added limited-time flavors to its milkshake menu annually. Chick-fil-A offered a Mint Cookies and Cream Milkshake in 2007, followed by a Coffee Caramel Milkshake last spring and a Peppermint Chocolate Chip Milkshake during the holidays last year.
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27 May, 2009

Quiznos Launches New Turkey Subs

Quiznos logoQuiznos, the chain of fast-food sandwich shops, announced today the introduction of two new turkey sub sandwiches to its menu, beginning June 1, 2009...

  • Cool Turkey Caesar: lettuce, diced tomatoes, peppercorn Caesar dressing and a blend of cheeses paired with oven-roasted turkey and creamy mozzarella cheese.

  • Crisp Turkey Bacon Swiss: lettuce, diced tomatoes and creamy ranch dressing paired with oven-roasted turkey, smoked bacon and creamy Swiss cheese.

The two new sandwiches are part of Quiznos' "SummerTastes" promotion, which are designed to offer cool, crisp, fresh, sandwiches to combat the hot, sweltering heat of the lunch hour.

The new subs start at $4.39 for a small, $5.39 for a regular and $6.89 for a large.
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Jim Beam Red Stag - Black Cherry Bourbon

Jim Beam Red Stag - Black Cherry BourbonThe makers of Jim Beam Kentucky Bourbon announced a new variant called "Red Stag", basically the same bourbon they've always made, except with a touch of black cherry flavor.

It's not a liqueur, it's not cough syrup, but actual straight 80 proof bourbon, just like what you might take a shot of, or mix with with Coke. Except it has some fruity flavor to it.

Through a unique infusion process, they introduce natural black cherry flavor to their four-year-old Jim Beam Bourbon. The tasting notes are said to be distinctively fruity, without disguising the familiar scent of Jim Beam Bourbon.

Red Stag is said to go on sale to the public in June 2009.

My best guess on why Jim Beam would market straight kentucky bourbon with a fruit flavor is to go after a younger consumer base, or better yet, women.

Women seem to love alcohol with some kind of fruitiness to it. In fact, the marketing materials that Jim Beam is developing for Red Stag depicts 20-something year old women, partying up. Next month they'll launch a media campaign with Kid Rock.

The bottle will continue to have the "Jim Beam" name, and will look very similar to a Jim Beam bottle, with its square shape, and familiar white logoed cap. Red Stag is a way to extent brand familiarity to a young hip consumer, until one day that consumer becomes old and fat and is ready for the real thing.

Read a taste review at Liquor Snob.
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25 May, 2009

Hiyoko - Baby Chick Pastry

Hiyoko - Baby Chick PastryBefore there were marshmallow peeps, there was "hiyoko". It's a traditional japanese confection, usually presented in a pastry, such as this.

This is filled with a sweet lima bean paste, and surrounded in a pastry bun shaped like a baby chick. But they can also come in other types of confection, candy, cookie, chocolate, etc.

Hiyoko has been around for generations, invented by a pastry maker in 1912. It's a reflection of Japan's love affair with nature, finding grace in simplicity, and anything that's cute. That itself (minus the cute part) stems further from Japan's national religion, Shinto Buddhism.

The pastry bun itself has a sweet flavor, similar to that of King's Hawaiian Bread, but not as soft. This is a little more dry.

The sweet lima bean paste inside is eerily similar to that of an egg yolk, in terms of color and consistency, which is interesting considering the baby chick theme. It's just sweet tasting, and tastes nothing like an egg yolk. This paste, however, does include egg yolk as an ingredient.

I've had these before while growing up as a kid, but it's been years since the last time I've had one of these. I think these would actually be tastier with a cream filling, like custard or something.




I bought this at the Mitsuwa Market in San Diego, but I'm sure you can find these at any Mitsuwa Market, and at most Japanese food stores, if not this particular brand, but others too.
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22 May, 2009

Let's Party with Dried Crabs!

Found this package of dried, roasted baby crabs, with sesame seeds at a japanese grocery store in San Diego last Wednesday.

let's party dried crabs
I thought it was cute with the "Let's Party" call-to action.

No, I didn't try it.
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21 May, 2009

Cracker Barrel - A Review

cracker barrel pancake breakfastLast weekend, while my wife and I drove home from a trip to the Grand Canyon, we stopped at a Cracker Barrel restaurant in Kingman, AZ.

The Cracker Barrel is a chain of restaurants that serve the usual Americana fare of breakfasts, burgers, steaks, pretty much what you might expect to find at any family-style restaurant.

But they have a "country store" that sells candies, books, clothing, knick-knacks, toys, resembling something you might expect to find on an episode of the Andy Griffith show.

They're also known for selling wooden rocking chairs that sit on display outside the restaurant on the front patio.

But it's mostly their restaurant that attracts locals.

Cracker Barrel started in 1969 with a location in Tennessee, built around an "old country store" theme where travelers could get "home style" cooking, where kids could get some candy, and moms could shop for souvenirs. And then it just spread from there.

You typically find Cracker Barrel restaurants in towns where folks still hold on to "core values", where NASCAR is always on the front page, and where people still cling to their guns and their religion.

We don't have Cracker Barrel restaurants in California, but yet the chain claims to have locations in 41 states.

Awesome Pancakes!

Make a point to visit a Cracker Barrel for breakfast, and get one of their pancake breakfasts, which comes with three buttermilk pancakes, two eggs, and two sausage or bacon.

The pancakes have crispy edges. I think they fry them with lots of oil. In fact, I think they might fry them on the same griddle as with all the other food, because my wife's pancakes showed bits of burnt bacon. To a junk foodie, that only makes the pancakes better.

I've had pancakes at IHOP, and Denny's, and even at The Original Pancake House, and I'm sorry, but Cracker Barrel beats them out.

Here's photos...














Visit Cracker Barrel online for locations..

http://www.crackerbarrel.com
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20 May, 2009

Mollicoolz Shakers - Perfecting the Milkshake

Mollicoolz Shakers MolliCoolz, a brand of frozen beaded ice cream, has a product line called "Shakers". It's found in the freezer aisle of grocery stores.

It's a cup filled with their pelletized ice cream beads. You pour milk into it, and then shake. You end up with a colorful, flavorful, milkshake.

Shakers are currently available in four flavors, vanilla, chocolate, strawberry, and cookies n cream.

You can find them in most grocery store chains, as well as Wal-mark Supercenters, priced around $2.00 per cup.

Check out the video...
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-SbJP4u5HQk

Visit Mollicoolz online at:
http://www.mollicoolz.com/
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Fazoli's Introduces New Menu

Fazoli's, the chain of fast-food italian fare, is introducing a new menu to better compete against the on-slaught of burger and mexican food joints.

Tortellini & Sun-Dried Tomato Rustico, pictured below, is made fresh with sun-dried tomato sauce, artichoke hearts and sun-dried tomatoes, topped with a basil pesto drizzle.

Fazoli's Tortellini & Sun-Dried Tomato Rustico

They also have a new Chicken Piccata, described as linguini with creamy marinara, sliced grilled chicken, capers, broccoli and a lemon wedge.

The new entrees start are priced at $5.49, and come with Fazoli's signature unlimited breadsticks.

Also in the new line up is their Fire-Roasted Red Pepper Chicken Submarinos, their Cranberry & Walnut Chicken Salad, and new dessert items, Chocolate Chip Cannolis, and Choco-Lato Mousse.

To encourage fast-foodies to try its new menu, Fazoli's is offering some money-saving deals at a special website, http://www.freespaghetti.com.
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Carl's Jr. Portobello Mushroom Burger is Back

Carl's Jr. Portobello Mushroom BurgerCarl's Jr. announced today that it's bringing back the Portobello Mushroom Six Dollar Burger, permanently starting right now.

The fan-favorite burger was originally introduced in 2005 for a limited time, and then again in 2007.

The burger is just a standard Six Dollar Burger, but with slices of portobello mushroom sauteed in garlic-butter sauce, along with swiss cheese.

During its initial appearance on the Carl's Jr. menu in 2005, The Portobello Mushroom Six Dollar Burger won the product award for excellence from Produce Business Magazine, and was among a handful of menu items profiled by USA Today for a trend story on fast-food going gourmet.

Carl's Jr. is also offering a coupon for a free Portobello Mushroom Six Dollar Burger with the purchase of a $20 Carl's Jr. gift card. Gift cards can be purchased in restaurants or online at http://www.carlsjr.com/giftcards/.
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15 May, 2009

Doodles Organic Chocolate Chip Cookie Mix

doodles cookiesDoodles Cookies is a new brand of cookies focusing on cookie lovers who want to snack on organic ingredients. They're sole offering at this point is an organic chocolate chip cookie mix.

However, they're getting set to launch a gluten-free sugar cookie mix next month.

Deborah Sievers, owner of Doodles Cookies, is an avid cook who first got the idea for marketing her cookie mix after winning two awards from Chile Pepper magazine for an original chocolate chip cookie recipe. She used only organic products in her chocolate chip cookie mix in order to appeal to the growing population of organic food buyers...

"I had been looking for a healthy, good-tasting alternative cookie to make for family and friends. My goal was to make an organic cookie that was healthy and also delicious."

The new gluten-free sugar cookie that she's coming out with next month is her entry into growing market of hypoallergenic foods.

The Organic Chocolate Chip Cookie Mix is currently available on the company's web site:

http://doodlescookies.com
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Carl's Jr Kentucky Bourbon Burger - Review

Last March, the Carl's Jr chain of fast food joints introduced their newest burger, the Kentucky Bourbon Burger.

They had sent me a coupon for a free burger, and today I finally got around to having one for lunch.

The inspiration for this burger starts with the fact that burger joints today are in a rat race over finding new and usual burger recipes to attract impulse junk foodies like me. But this particular idea for a Kentucky Bourbon comes from all the bourbon and whiskey infused BBQ sauces that many steak houses and rib joints utilize.

The burger itself doesn't have any alcohol in it, the company notes that it's "0 proof". Rather, it's just the unique sauce that makes this burger. Aside from that, it comes with crispy, seasoned onion straws, a slice of pepperjack cheese, and bacon.

The burger comes in three sizes, single ($2.99), double ($3.99), and Six Dollar Burger ($4.89).

Taste

I got the Six Dollar Burger variety.

To sum it up, the sauce is very tasty. It's very sweet, but tangy, and spicy. It does indeed have that "bourbon" flavor, with a caramel character, and that spicy bite that create a light burn on the tongue. But mostly, it's a very sweet sauce.

Unfortunately, the Carl's Jr location (Menifee, CA, Newport Rd) that built my burger forgot to add the crispy onion straws. I think that would have really made the burger better.


Otherwise, I thought it made a for a tasty burger. I would have been happier with more sauce however. Since that's really what makes this burger, they need to put more, enough so that it runs all down my hands and arms.

I'm probably a littled miffed I didn't get the crispy onion straws, but then again I got this burger for free. The coupon said that I would still have to pay sales tax, but the girl working the drive-thru didn't ask me for it.

I suppose a rash of mediocre help at fast food joints is what prevents companies like Carl's Jr from gaining more traction with the general populace. They come up with great burger ideas, but have to rely on apathetic teens to put it together.

By the way, I didn't have a bottle of Kentucky Bourbon to go with the burger, but I did have a bottle of Tennessee Whiskey.
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14 May, 2009

Bob Evans Restaurant New Appetizers

The Bob Evans chain of restaurants announced today the launch of new appetizers to its menu...

  • Blue Ribbon Apple Pie Fries, dusted with powdered sugar and served with caramel dipping sauce.

  • Loaded Baked Potato Bites, stuffed with cheddar cheese and bacon.

  • Bob Evans Wildfire(TM) Chicken Quesadilla made with slow-roasted chicken and topped with Wildfire BBQ sauce, onions, green peppers, tomatoes and cheeses.

  • County Fair Cheese Bites, filled with white cheddar cheese and served with marinara sauce.

  • Itsy Bitsy Sandwiches, a trio of signature sandwiches with Bob-B-Q pulled pork, slow-roasted pot roast and Bob Evans sausage.

The new appetizers are part of Bob Evans' baseball themed "All Star Line Up" for summer, and the restaurant has launched a media campaign focused around baseball.

Appetizers start at $3.99 and will be available chain-wide.

The introduction of the appetizers also coincides with the return of Bob-B-Q, made with the restaurant's very own Bob Evans Wildfire Sauce. The Bob-B-Q includes Bob-B-Q Baby Back Ribs, Bob-B-Q Chicken Knife & Fork Sandwich, Bob Evans Wildfire Chicken Salad and Bob-B-Q Oven-Roasted Chicken.

The restaurant chain used TasteCasting.com, a service that organizes a group of Internet savvy consumers to review the new menu offerings, and then have them broadcast their thoughts and gather feedback through social media channels like Twitter, Facebook, et al.

Bob Evans restaurants have some 569 family restaurants in 18 states east of the Rockies, and also operate 140 Mimi's Cafe restaurants west of the Rockies.

Source: Press Release
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13 May, 2009

Kettle Brand Potato Chips - Jalapeno - Review

Kettle Brand Potato Chips JalapenoKettle Brand Potato Chips introduced this new Jalapeno variety earlier this month, timed with Cinco de Mayo.

Here's what Kettle has to say about this new flavor...

"Kettle Brand Jalapeno Potato Chips strike the perfect balance between fresh, well-rounded flavor and the simple heat of green, spicy jalapeno peppers. A fiery, festive flavor with a Kettle Brand twist, these all natural Jalapeno potato chips are easy to eat with a satisfying heat that sneaks up on you. Paired with an ice cold cerveza, these chips are a delicious fiesta in a bag."

The company sent me a sample bag for review.

Taste

Well, these chips are not exactly hot. And, they're not exactly spicy. They do have a low degree of heat, but it's so low that it only creates a tingle in my mouth. I do eat a lot of spicy foods, so maybe for others these chips could be construed as hot.

But they don't have any jalapeno flavor to them.


They still have that same crunchy, crispy, thick potato chip goodness that you come to expect from kettle cooked potato chips, and they have that same signature flavor that the Kettle Brand puts into them.

It has the split second sweetness off the surface that the Kettle Brand always seems to give you, and it gives off that light potato flavor, and light saltiness.

Overall, what I'm getting from these chips is the same flavor of regular Kettle Brand Potato Chips, but with a faint spicy heat.

These Jalapeno variety chips are selling in grocery stores all over the USA as of this writing.

If you can't find them locally, buy them online from Kettle's website...
http://www.buykettlechips.com
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11 May, 2009

Bacardi Launches New Raspberry Mojito

Bacardi today announced the launch of the Bacardi Classic Cocktail Raspberry Mojito, the second addition to its ready-to-drink portfolio.

Presenting the same taste as the original, this new raspberry offering is made with Bacardi Rum, natural lime and mint flavors and an extra burst of ripened raspberries.

Bacardi Rum Raspberry Mojito
According to Gordon Chisholm, brand director for Bacardi Flavored Rums, the raspberry flavor came about after demand from bars and nightclubs...

"After the original mint and lime mojito, the raspberry mojito is one of the most popular mojitos requested at bars and nightclubs, so offering a convenient, ready-to-serve raspberry mojito for home entertaining was a natural extension for the brand."

The 15-percent alcohol-by-volume (30 proof) ready-to-drink cocktail is available in a 750-ml size as well as a 1.75-liter. It has a suggested retail price of $12.99 and $19.99.

Source: Press Release
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Chili's Debuts in India

chili's restaurantThe "Chili's Grill & Bar" chain of Tex Mex restaurants opened its first location in Bangalore, India, the company announced today...

The first Chili's in India opened in Bangalore and was developed by Jawad Business Group. This restaurant is part of a 15-restaurant, five-year agreement that will expand Brinker's presence throughout India. Jawad Business Group is experienced developing other restaurant brands in India and has been a Brinker partner for several years, franchising Chili's in Bahrain and Maggiano's in Saudi Arabia.

The menu at the Bangalore Chili's was developed specifically for the region, with more than 80% of the menu capable of being prepared vegetarian. Such items include...

  • Tandoori Chicken Sandwich

  • Paneer Bites

  • Bombay Burger

All of the menu items are tailored to the Indian culture, but styled or flavored in Tex Mex.

Source: Press Release
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New Transformers Edition M&Ms

Mars Snackfood US announced today the availability of limited-edition M&M's Strawberried Peanut Butter Chocolate Candies and SNICKERS Nougabot Bar to celebrate the June 24 release of "Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen".

The new M&M's are available today, while the movie doesn't debut until June 24.
Transformers Edition M&Ms
The M&M's Strawberried Peanut Butter Chocolate Candies feature smooth peanut butter and sweet strawberry flavor. The new M&M's are offered in singles (1.4 oz) and medium bags (11.4 oz) and retail for $.79 and $3.49, respectively.

In addition to M&M's, Mars' SNICKERS brand is launching a limited-edition SNICKERS NOUGABOT Bar with bright Yellow Nougat and Dark Caramel to resemble the colorings of one of the Transformer characters.

Source: M&M's website
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Gosling's Rum Launches New Ginger Beer

Gosling's Ginger Beer203 year-old Gosling's Rum of Bermuda has joined with 127 year-old Polar Beverages of Massachusetts to create, package and distribute what both are calling the definitive ginger beer soft drink.

Gosling's Stormy Ginger Beer, its official name, took well over a year to formulate and perfect.

"We needed to hit the perfect balance between sweetness and spiciness," explained Malcolm Gosling, 7th generation President of the renowned rum maker, Gosling's Export (Bermuda) Limited. "Our objective was to create a ginger beer that, when paired with our award winning Black Seal Rum, would produce the absolute perfect Dark 'n Stormy."

The Dark 'n Stormy, a drink of ginger beer and Black Seal Rum, is Bermuda's official national cocktail and has become wildly popular in the U.S., though also frequently mis-mixed due to confusion over which ginger beer to use. "Gosling's Stormy Ginger Beer is the product we recommend for the ultimate Dark 'n Stormy," Gosling adds.

Available in 12-ounce cans to begin with, Gosling's Ginger Beer is a refreshing, zesty soft drink by itself, as well as the perfect mate to Gosling's Black Seal Rum.

Gosling's Brothers Ltd. Is Bermuda's oldest business house. In 1806, Englishman William Gosling, sent his son James to sea, bound for Virginia with 10,000 pounds Sterling worth of wines and spirits. After ninety days on becalmed seas the charter on the good ship, Mercury, ran out and James was diverted to Bermuda, where James decided to open a wine and spirits shop. Since 2004, seventh generation, E. Malcolm B. Gosling has been spearheading a major American expansion of the brand. Gosling's offers three distinctive, award-winning products in its line: the flagship brand, Gosling's Bermuda Black Seal Rum; a new Gosling's Gold Bermuda Rum; and the ultra special Family Reserve Old Rum.

Learn more about Gosling's Rum: http://www.goslingsrum.com/
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10 May, 2009

Amazing Taste Steak Seasoning

grilled rib eye steakAmazing Taste is a brand of seasonings that's been in existence since 1977. About a year ago, they sent me samples of all their seasonings, and since then they've been sitting here in my office.

Today for mother's day, we grilled up some steaks, and I finally remembered to try this stuff out.

They have some 20+ different seasoning blends, and I chose to try the "Steak House" blend. I took a rib eye steak, and poured the seasoning over it, and then rubbed it in with my fingers. I turned it over, and rubbed some more, until the steak was covered in the stuff.

Then I let it sit for about 15 minutes before grilling.


The verdict?

We'll, it's pretty darn good!

Very peppery, very spicy. Just like what you might expect from a steak house.

But then again, it's hard for me judge steak seasoning blends. Much of the brands still taste very similar to each other.

The 1oz packets that sell for $0.99 each creates some additional convenience in that you won't be left with a shaker bottle to put back into the spice rack, you just toss the packet away.

And if you don't like the taste of this stuff, you won't be left a bottle of seasonings you don't like.

On a side note, I also bought a package of Moran's frozen sirloin burger patties, and found a packet of Amazing Taste burger seasoning in the bottom.

Visit Amazing Taste's website for their full product line, recipes, and store locator: http://www.amazingtaste.com
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07 May, 2009

Sahale Snacks - Sing Buri Cashews

Sahale Snacks - Sing Buri CashewsSahale Snacks is a brand of nut blends that's been around since January 2004. They offer unique blends of seasonings and spices unlike what you see in other brands.

I found this bag of "Sing Buri Cashews" at my local BevMo! store.

I was quite sold on the package photo, depicting what looked like cashews with a sticky sweet glaze, chunks of red chiles, and sesame seeds. It totally screamed out "asian zing".

So I picked up a bag of this stuff along with a six pack of Deschutes Inversion IPA.

I sat myself down in the backyard patio, tore open the bag of cashews, and popped the cap on the IPA.

My first disappointment with the cashews came when I found there was no such sticky sweet glaze as depicted on the bag. My second disappointment came when I sniffed the bag and found it to smell exactly like plain old cashews.

I mean, the back of the bag actually says, "...aromatic blend reminiscent of a great Thai dish". Well, I found no such Thai aroma.

And very little such Thai taste. I did actually taste some seasoning to this, but it's very light. I kinda wondered if maybe I picked up a bad bag or something. For the most part, all I'm tasting here are just cashews. The only burst of additional flavor came when I bit into the chunks of pineapple.

I thought the Deschutes Inversion IPA was good, however.




Sahale Snacks makes six different nut blends in all...

  • Dauphine - Inspired by French Provincial cuisine, this blend features walnuts, blueberries, bananas and coconut flakes, lightly sweetened, and seasoned with lavender and white pepper


  • Ksar - An exotic, piquant combination of pistachios and pepitas, sweetened by figs and honey, finished with a peppery kick of Moroccan harissa.


  • Sing Buri - Lemongrass, soy glazed cashews, pineapple, peanuts, and sesame seeds lightly dusted with mild chinese chili make up this exceptional, aromatic blend reminiscent of a great Thai dish.


  • Socorro - Flavors forged in the southwestern sun... chipotle, cumin, and cilantro accent this unusual fusion of macadamia, hazelnuts, mango and papaya.


  • Soledad - A delectable snacking experience, influenced by the Mediterranean, featuring almonds, flax seeds, and tender dates, tickled with balsamic vinegar and cayenne.


  • Valdosta - A sumptuous departure from everyday snack food, made with black peppered pecans and sweet cranberries, evoking a unique taste of the American south.

I could have totally misunderstood the point of these nut blends, perhaps they're not supposed to have a strong flavor. But I think the photo on the package misrepresents the actual product inside. Perhaps it would be better to have a windowed package so that the product can sell itself.

Visit Sahale Snacks online at: http://www.sahalesnacks.com
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06 May, 2009

Snack Patrol - Cheese Jerky

cheese jerky snack patrolThe words "cheese jerky" might conjure up images of hardened, chewy cheese, but in fact it's just soft and smooth mozzarella string cheese, but with bits of beef jerky mixed in.

The novel new cheese snack is produced by Snack Patrol, a business based out of Glendale, WI. It's headed up Ross Segel, the guy who came up with the idea, and perfected it after several attempts.

The perfection is in reference to a manufacturing process that allows him to incorporate the beef jerky bits but while maintaining the string cheese's stringiness. Apparently, previous attempts resulted in the string cheese breaking up into bits.

The resulting product is a 93% cheese, 7% beef jerky combination.

Ross sent me samples of his product, which included his "Original" and "Black pepper" varieties. Sure enough, I did find the taste of beef jerky in this cheese in both varieties, but I got a stronger flavor in the Peppered. The Peppered is actually pretty darn good.

In fact, it might be worth shredding this stuff up and making macaroni cheese out of it. Or even topping it on popcorn.

And yes, I was still able to pull off strings with this stuff, though the strings still tended to break off when I hit upon a beef jerky bit. You'll need to pull off thicker strings. Or, just bite off chunks instead.

But it's pretty good cheese too. Ross says he gets the cheese from a local artisan cheese maker.


Right now, sticks of Cheese Jerky are available in convenience stores throughout the upper Mid-West. It doesn't look like you can buy them online yet, but considering it's something that needs to be kept refrigerated, it might be problematic to ship this stuff out to consumers.

Anyways, I wrote a more detailed review on my Beef Jerky Blog...
http://www.bestbeefjerky.org/2009/02/snack-patrol-cheese-jerky.html

Otherwise, visit Cheese Jerky online at:
http://www.getsnackpatrol.com/
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05 May, 2009

Buffalo Bills Long Shots Beef Sticks

buffalo bills long shots meat sticksMeat snacks have been my favorite snack food for a long time, as evidenced by my Beef Jerky review blog. So as I've been writing that blog, beef jerky companies have sent me lots of free jerky to write about, and in addition, beef sticks.

I never created a blog just for beef sticks, and didn't really want to mix them into my beef jerky blog, so I've been writing about them here on Junk Food Blog.

These "Long Shots" are from Buffalo Bills, a meat snack brand based out of Lebanon, PA.

Beef sticks seem to take up the "dark side" of meat snacks compared to beef jerky, which the industry has managed to paint in a healthier light as being low fat, and low carb. But beef sticks are like sausage, where you love to eat them, but don't want to know what goes in 'em.

Part of the bad rap that beef sticks, in my opinion, comes from the God-awful Slim Jims. How that brand ever got to be #1 in the beef stick market is beyond me. Honestly, they're like chewing wads of toilet paper, but with a meaty flavor.

These "Long Shots" from Buffalo Bills are perhaps the closest thing they have to a Slim Jim in that they're a the same thin and long shape, and they seem to have a similar "toilet paper" chewing texture, except I think Buffalo Bills has managed to shred the toilet paper into a finer pulp for easier chewing.

And these are beef sticks, not meat sticks, in that they only use cattle carcass.


Buffalo Bills offers several varieties of beef sticks, in fact I reviewed their "Extra Smokies" on this blog, and found those to be very good. Very meaty, very smoky, with some slight chocolatey notes, and chews very similarly to hard salami. If you're looking for a good beef stick, try those.

But if you're someone who just really likes Slim Jims, then you might want to check out these Long Shots, I think they're a tad better than Slim Jims.

Otherwise, get those Extra Smokies instead.

Visit Buffalo Bills online at: http://www.choochoorsnacks.com/
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04 May, 2009

Pastrami Burgers at The Hat

the hat pastrami burgerAsk a Southern Californian where to get the best pastrami, and chances are likely they'll say "The Hat".

The Hat is a small chain of restaurants in SoCal that got started in 1951. I'm told their Alhambra location was the first, and I think their Lake Forest location is the newest.

Yesterday, I went to their Pasadena location.

One thing the The Hat is known for is large portions. Order a pastrami sandwich, or a pastrami burger, or get the chili fries, and more than likely you won't have room for much more.

If you order a side of fries, they take a brown bag about the size of a lunch bag, and fill it up. After eating your sandwich, you'll maybe only have room for a three of four pieces of french fries. The same is true when you order onion rings.

If you get about four of you going to The Hat, then only order ONE side of fries, and split it. That's what we did yesterday, and we still could not finish off the fries.

the hat pasadena



the hat pastrami burger with cheese

Visit The Hat online, and try their Pastrami Burger:
http://www.thehat.com/
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03 May, 2009

Macaroni Cheese Burrito

Hungry after spending the whole morning implementing a new template for Junk Food Blog, I wandered over to the kitchen to see what looked good in the refrigerator.

I found a tupperware container full of my wife's homemade macaroni cheese.

But I also happened to see the bag of flour tortillas.

And that's when my left-brain kicked in, and thought, "Oh yeah, macaroni cheese burritos".

Add to that a sprinkling of my favorite hot sauce, and I had myself some lunch...







macaroni cheese burrito
Nuke the finished product for about 30 seconds, or until the tortilla is soft and warm, and indulge!
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01 May, 2009

Twisted Grandma Pretzels

Twisted Grandma PretzelsTwisted Grandma is a brand of flavored pretzels, offered by a company of the same name, based out of Aurora, CO.

As the story goes, there was a crazy grandma who lived up in Eveleth, MN who always did everything different, starting with her spiked hair, and her tattooed toe. But she had apparently had an awesome recipe for pretzels.

And so became the basis for this line of salted and seasoned flour snack.

The company was nice enough to send me a sample bag of their "Buttery Garlic Goodness", and sure enough they do have a buttery smoothness, and garlicky goodness. Combined with some salty and onion flavors, they don't really need to be dipped into anything. All you need is a cold beer.



They also offer them in "Get's Hot Mild" and "Get's Hot Spicy".

Buy them online: http://www.twistedgrandma.com/
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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."
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India Pale Ale

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