Posts Tagged ‘ whatsnew ’

Review: Telenti Tahitian Vanilla Bean Gelato

So, I promise that I’m not on a kick here (okay, so maybe I am), but these Talenti Gelato’s have kept finding their way into my freezer, and I’m stalling while I work on getting a decent picture of a new sweet potato recipe that I want to share.

So, this time we’re looking at Talent’s Tahitian Vanilla gelato. Now, it may come as a surprise, but as much as I like ice cream, I very rarely dig into some plain old vanilla. I’m truly a mix in guy at heart, and that’s probably why I love Ben & Jerry’s so much. Well, the amazingly intense flavor of the last Talenti I tried has gotten me to step out of the usual, and give a classic a try.

Now for me, vanilla ice cream has always been a second fiddle to other desserts like apple pie, or fresh brownies. It’s not something that I usually tackle alone. Still, after the last flavor, I wanted to see what this gelato would do with something so…vanilla.

Wow….yeah…umm…wow. This is once again a very intense experience. This is not some mild-mannered pasty frozen second stringer. This vanilla flavor is in your face. The intensity of the vanilla flavor actually had me setting down my spoon after the first bite. This wasn’t because there was anything wrong, it was simply because I needed a moment. I didn’t know that vanilla could be so rich. It’s like the punch of a dark chocolate, except with the purest vanilla flavor.

Talenti really took something plain and made it extraordinary. I will say that, hands down, this is the best vanilla frozen anything that I have ever tried. It should never be sullied by even the best of grandmother’s pies. It is a masterpiece all to itself in its plain white splendor.

So, if you are a vanilla person, and I mean really a vanilla person, give this a try. It is the essence of the flavor, and will have you making some inappropriate noises for something eaten with a spoon.

It’s Not Ice Cream: Talenti Gelato

So, I consider myself a fairly adventuresome eater, and am willing to try almost anything once (I’ll definitely “try” it more if I like it). Still, when it comes to Ice Cream, or “frozen desserts” I have pretty faithfully stuck by Ben & Jerry’s.

Well, a while back I stopped by a neat little place called Swan Chocolates in Merrimack, and managed to try some of their homemade gelato. Without going into a review of that, let’s just say that my eyes were opened to the possible wonders that gelato holds.

Now, for a little context. I won’t paste the Wikipedia article here, but I will point out that gelato differs from ice cream primarily by using less butterfat, and less sugar. The result is a much creamier texture, and a more vibrant flavor in every taste. Now this doesn’t really make gelato any healthier,  but it does make it a very different frozen animal.

Okay, on to the actual review. For a long time now, Talenti gelato has been catching my eye as it is parked next to my beloved Ben & Jerry’s in my local grocery store’s frozen food aisle. You can see some of the allure in the image above. Even though the shot is straight from Talenti’s website, it’s actually what it looked like in person (you know, excluding the cookie and caramel sitting next to it). Really, the stuff comes in a neat little plastic container with a screw top so you can see the food you’re buying. It’s pretty novel, and very eye-catching…you to distract you from the nearly five dollar price tag.

To the actual flavor: holy wow on my taste buds Batman! Gelato really doesn’t beat around the bush when it comes to getting flavor to your brain. It’s instant, and delicious. It’s hard to put my finger on one flavor, but it’s really like the most pure cookies and cream flavor that I’ve ever tasted, infused with a rich, and decadent caramel that adds a deep body to the ice cream’s taste. Needless to say, more than one of these has already been consumed since I discovered this flavor. I haven’t even grabbed Ben & Jerry’s since. Now I’m not saying that this is better than the old B & J, but it’s definitely completely different, and a nice change of pace.

If you want to try something with a little more class, and give yourself a treat, try Talenti Gelato out. I will again, and will bring some thoughts on their other flavors here as well.

Review: Hershey’s Halloween Holiday Kisses

 

Photo courtesy of Baking Bites

 

Continuing with the trend of holiday fair, and the nine million blogs that seem to have already reviewed these products, I’m looking at some of the seasonal Kisses put out By Hershey’s. This year at my local target, I discovered Pumpkin Spice, Caramel Apple, and Candy Corn Kisses, only bringing the first two specimens home with me.

Looking at the photo in the upper left (taken by Nicole

Photo Courtesy of The Chocolate Review

at Baking Bites) you can see my favorite of the two varieties that I tried: the Pumpkin Spice. These were a real unique flavor, truly driving home a sweet and spicy flavor. The pumpkin was actually pretty muted in these, overwhelmed by what felt like a strong white chocolate that when combined with the spice component, almost burned the throat a little. They were pretty decent, but I’m more interested in the possibilities of baking with these. Hopefully for this Halloween weekend I will be able to find another bag to add to this 3G brownie recipe I found.

 

Moving on to the Caramel Apple kisses, all I can say is “whoa”. These things were crazy sweet, almost searing the back of my throat with how potent the filling is inside. To me, these tasted a lot more like a candy apple than caramel. I think that was due in part to the artificial apple flavoring used in these things. It also reminded me that although I love caramel, and eat apples every day, I’m not that huge a fan of the combo. I can’t put my finger on a reason why, but to me some things shouldn’t be tampered with.

Overall, these two flavor of Hershey’s Kisses are neat, and worth trying for the novelty, or if you are a seasonal food nut like I am. Still, I’m more excited about some of the varieties we may see more towards Christmas time. Bring on the mint and chocolate people!

Review: Ben & Jerry’s Limited Edition Pumpkin Cheesecake

So, if you can’t tell by the picture to the left, this limited edition Ben & Jerry’s flavor that I found along with the Exclusive Carrot Cake flavor is a returning contender to the seasonal lineup of ice cream in the freezer.

I don’t remember seeing this flavor before, but seeing it now, I was knocked out by the one two punch of pumpkin and cheesecake in the name. I simply couldn’t leave Walmart without a pint of this ice cream to try.

So, what are we talking here with this ice cream. It’s a pretty directed flavor as people usually either love or hate the pumpkin onslaught this time of year, and the same split exists on cheesecake in general. Both are flavors that simply aren’t for everyone.

Well, digging into this flavor, I was no blown away by pumpkin flavor like I have been with some other seasonal pumpkin items. Still, it’s worth noting that I don’t think this flavor is meant to be overwhelmingly pumpkiny. Instead, Ben & Jerry’s managed to walk a fine line, and truly create  a pumpkin cheesecake combination. You get the spice, and nutmeg that characterize pumpkin flavored treats, but it’s tempered by the mild tang of the cheesecake. It has worked for me in actual pumpkin cheesecake, so I’m not surprised to see it work in an ice cream. I mean, what goes better with pumpkin than a cream cheese based flavor? Nothing in my mind.

The other component that keeps to the Ben & Jerry’s formula is the graham cracker swirl. It mixes the texture up just enough as well as adds some variety to a strong note of flavor like pumpkin cheesecake. Overall, the flavor isn’t my favorite, but still comes together perfectly as a whole. I wouldn’t change a thing, but this is definitely just right as a seasonal treat instead of a staple flavor in the Ben & Jerry’s lineup.

Blast from the Past: SpaghettiO’s

Oh the foods of our youth. Growing up, one of those was Spaghetti-O’s, a staple of the daycare I went to as a young-un. Well, recently, Campbell’s latest marketing campaign has been about not telling kids that the pasta rings in tomato goop is actually good for them. I wouldn’t be me if I didn’t check this out right?

Well, cue a trip to my grocery store with my trusty Weight Watcher’s slide rule, and me hunching down in the aisle as mom’s shovel the cans into carriages for a look-see.

Looking into it, each can has 2 servings, but I combined the nutrition as I polish off a can myself. For sheer points, I looked at a can of the “Plus Calcium” because why not? More calcium? Sure! Nutritionally we’re talking 340 calories, 2g of fat, and 6 g of fiber per can giving us a point value of 6. Not too bad at all for a 66 cent price point.

What’s more amazing is what else these can’s have to offer. With my workout, I’m always looking to add more protein to my diet. These cans are packing a whopping 12 g per pop, not to mention 60% of my daily calcium, and 50% of vitamin D as well as other basic vitamins and minerals. This stuff is good…for you.

Well, I’ll be the first to admit it folks, as an adult, Spaghetti-O’s have become my staple go-to quick meal when I don’t have much time to cook dinner. I serve them up with a chopped up 98% Fat Free turkey dog, and some green beans and I am good to go. Freakishly nutritious, and childishly delicious. Hey, whatever works right?

Review: Smart Ones Pasta with Ricotta and Spinach

So, those of us in the diet world are all to aware of what waits for us in the frozen food section of the grocery store. Moving past the temptation that is the ice cream, and dessert section, we fall upon the frozen foods. Here we can focus on our three pillars: Lean Cuisine, Smart Ones, and Healthy Choice (I’m sure there are other options, but these are what stare me in the face).

Over my years of dieting, I have learned one main rule of diet frozen food: sometimes it is good, and sometimes it is very very bad, and it has nothing to do with what the “intended” meal was. It’s just the way it goes, as some things lend themselves more easily to diet-ising. Some of my favorites are the Simple mac and cheese, or pasta with meat sauce. Salisbury steak is to be avoided at all costs. And still, that’s just my preference.

Anyways, Sunday night saw me trying to end the weekend on a positive note, so I was looking for cheap, easy, and healthy. Hello Smart Ones. Well, I say the “new” flavor, and said why not. It’s hard to go wrong with pasta and cheese.  Talk about luck, we have a winner folks.

This new frozen meal is awesome. The pasta in it was made up of hardy ribbons that oozed the surprisingly tasty and filling white cheese sauce. I mean, the stuff had substance. The pasta was weighty, and didn’t turn to mush in my mouth. The ricotta cheese sauce was actually thick, and flavorful without being a paste. If I hadn’t microwaved this, it might have been homemade for all I knew. I’m just saying this folks, for 5 points, you can’t go wrong here.

I will be buying this again, and keeping it as a staple in my freezer. You should do the same. It’s not a compromise, this stuff is a treat.

Limited Edition: Gingerbread Pop-Tarts

Okay, so I swear I’m not on some creepy Pop-Tarts related fix. I think it’s just been their push for the seasonal treats that has caught my eye. For me, it was the Pumpkin Pie Pop-Tarts, but for my roommate, it was these: Kellogg’s Limited Edition Gingerbread Pop-Tarts.

So I’m going to jump straight into my thoughts on this. First off, the package advertises soft and chewy. Okay, so I went to try my first one of these sans toaster like always. Nope, not soft. Definitely get more of a graham cracker vibe from this particular pop-tart. Still, the gingerbread flavor is decent if not mild. The frosting in the middle is different, more like a glaze than the standard pop-tart paste. Overall, I was pretty meh about these, and happily left them to my roommate.

Well, he continued with these pop-tarts, and found that they are a whole new animal when toasted. So, I had to try them again. Oh boy was he right. I didn’t get a chewy feeling from the pop-tart after toasting, but with the frosting all warm and gooey, these pop-tarts were in their natural form. Soooo much better.

Overall, these are another novelty item. They’re fun to try for the season, but past that they’re really just another pop-tart. I won’t turn one down, but you won’t see me go out of my way for them again. Still, if you LOVE gingerbread, you might be obligated to give them a shot. As a final note, I’d say these are much more a snack than a breakfast, although that goes for almost everything in the pop-tart family.