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Soledad nut blend
The Soledad nut mix: healthy almonds, flax seed and dates with a touch of balsamic vinegar and cayenne pepper.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

 

MELODY LAN is a member of THE NIBBLE editorial staff.

 

 

August 2006

Product Reviews / Main Nibbles / Snacks

Sahale Snacks

Page 2: Nut Mix Flavors

 

This is Page 2 of a 3-page review. Click on the black links below to visit other pages.

 

Flavors

Each Sahale nut mix is named to honor the region of an ingredient in the blend, and the combinations with prominent flavor profiles are reminiscent of distinctive ethnic cuisines.

  • Ksar is an Arabic word that translates to “fortified villages,” and the word is part of place names across Morocco, Algeria and Tunisia, North African regions where harissa originates. The sweetness comes from the honeyed, dried figs, which fades into a slightly smoky, “meaty” flavor from the fresh pistachio kernels, pepitas (pumpkin seeds) and roasted sesame seeds. When you are just about wondering where the harissa spice is, it gives you a one-two punch for the finale with its fiery heat. It has the most assortment of textures.
    †Harissa is a spice made from peppers and tomatoes.
  • Sing Buri, a province in central Thailand north of Bangkok, is the nut version of the Chinese dish, Spicy Cashew Chicken. The soy-glazed cashews, rice wine vinegar, black and white sesame seeds and essence of Chinese chili paste (barely any spiciness) remind us of Chinese-style cuisine. Thai flavors are represented through the infusion of lemongrass, the tangy notes from the pineapple and the crunchy peanuts. Saké is listed as an ingredient for Socorro nut cluster this mix, but the flavor is barely discernable. Still, it’s a perfect combination of salty, sweet and nutty.
  • Socorro is a city in New Mexico, where chipotle is a major ingredient in Tex-Mex cuisine. The smoked jalapeño pepper, along with cumin, accents this blend of mango, papaya, macadamia nuts and hazelnuts. The flavors are much more mellow than the other blends: the cumin flavor is the top note. The dried fruit bits are studded onto each nut, photo above and to the right, as if every piece were hand-crafted to ensure a perfectly balanced bite. Pleasantly addicting, it is the sweetest of the group. Above: mango and papaya bits on a macadamia nut. Photo by Melody Lan.
  • Soledad is a town in central California, where almonds are grown. This blend boasts peeled and unpeeled almonds, flax seeds and tender dates, all kissed by the tartness of balsamic vinegar and zesty cayenne pepper (photo at top left). The initial flavors can be mistaken for a Southwestern accent because of the cumin, but after several bites, they reveal themselves to be Mediterranean, an assertive mixture of cumin, oregano, paprika and rosemary. This is the stickiest of the mixes, by far the spiciest, and with the largest clumps.
  • Valdosta is a town in the pecan state of Georgia. The most simple and straightforward mix of the group, Valdosta was a finalist for Outstanding Best Seller at 2005 New York Fancy Food Show. The black pepper-flecked, roasted pecans taste like they are drizzled with maple syrup, but it’s just pure brown sugar glaze. The nut flavor complements the slight bite of pepper and the tartness of the sweet cranberries, and captures the flavor of the American South. The added orange zest is more for fragrance than for taste.
Valdosta nut cluster
Valdosta nut blend. A top-notch trail mix that will make your fruit and nut experience exciting whether you like your snacks sweet or savory. Photo by Melody Lan.

Continue To Page 3: Serving Suggestions

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