Top Pick Of The Week

December 22, 2009

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French Fries

Fusion flavored sea salts put a whole new spin on fries, roast chicken, salad, Margaritas or anything sprinkled with salt. We try a different flavor each time—from hot Habanero to tangy Lime Fresco to Aged Balsamic. It’s the easiest way to make the same recipes taste a little different. And sea salt is better for you than iodized table salt. Photo © Idaho Potato Commission.

WHAT IT IS: Part I of our Top 10 specialty and gourmet food picks of 2009, selected from our Top Picks Of The Week.
WHY IT’S DIFFERENT: While we love all of our Top Picks, these are the ones that we’ve integrated into our lives.
WHY WE LOVE IT: They make it easy to add variety to our daily diet—most without adding many calories, too!
WHERE TO BUY IT: See individual listings.

The 10 Best Specialty & Gourmet Food Of 2009:
Part I: Savory Foods & Beverages

CAPSULE REPORT: For the next two weeks, we’ll be sending you “The Best Of 2009”: the Top Pick Of The Week specialty and gourmet food products that have become a permanent part of our lives.

In this week we share, in alphabetical order, our favorite savory foods and beverages. Next week we’ll present the sweets.

You can click to the original reviews via the bulleted links links below, or read our “Best of 2009” full review to learn why these have become permanent additions to our home pantry and to THE NIBBLE kitchen as well.

Happy holidays from all of us at THE NIBBLE!

(K) Kosher; (O) USDA-Certified Organic; (V) Vegan

THE NIBBLE does not sell the foods we review
or receive fees from manufacturers for recommending them.

Our recommendations are based purely on our opinion, after tasting thousands of products each year, that they represent the best in their respective categories.

More 2009 Top Pick (& Healthy!) Favorites

Squirrel Brand Nuts Fennel Pollen Biotta Juice
Squirrel Brand Gourmet Nuts. The truffle almonds and five-pepper private reserve cashews are the best cocktail nuts we’ve ever had. Hoard them—don’t let the squirrels near them! Read the review. Pollen Ranch Fennel Pollen. Our favorite spice of the year, fennel pollen works wonders and contributes zero calories. We would have put it in the Top 5, but some might find it esoteric. It isn’t! Read the review. Biotta Organic Juices. Eye-openingly good vegetable juices, including beet, carrot, celery root and potato—yes, potato juice!—can also start you on the road to a healthy new year. Read the review.

The Best Of 2009: Savory Foods & Beverages


Click on the product links to see why we love:


  • THE NIBBLE’s Top Pick Archives
    We’ve only mentioned a few items above. See everything that’s appealed to us since we launched the Top Pick Of The Week.
  • RECIPES: Savory Cheesecakes
    You’ve had sweet cheesecake, but have you ever had the savory kind? If not, get out the pan and start baking: Blue Cheese Cheesecake, Basil Cheesecake, Lobster Cheesecake and more!

Ayala’s Herbal Water

For sophisticated palates, there’s one flavored water—Ayala’s herbal water. Infused with organic garden herbs, blended with spices and citrus peel, it has zero calories and tons of flavor. You never think you’re drinking “just water,” and people who can’t drink alcohol think they’re having as much fun as the people who can. Read the full review of Ayala’s herbal water.

Golden Star Sparkling Tea

Here’s another breakthrough product for those who want excitement without alcohol. Golden Star looks like a glass of Champagne and has the sweetness of Sauternes. Dazzling the palate, it’s a real find for anyone who seeks something new and exciting. Read the full review of Golden Star sparkling tea.

Field Roast Grain Meat

The carnivores at THE NIBBLE keep asking for more Field Roast grain meat. It’s an all-grain, vegan line that tastes like meat—delicious meat. For those thinking of adding more vegetarian or vegan foods their diet—whether through love of animals or the environment—read the full review of Field Roast grain meat.


Golden Star Tea
There’s no alcohol, but you’ll have all the thrill of a
fine cocktail. Photo courtesy Golden Star Tea.

Corn on the Cob
Why season your corn with ordinary salt, when you
can ratchet up the flavor with Smoked Serrano Chile, Black Truffle, Lime Fresco, or Chile Verde sea salt?
Photo by Anna Rosell | IST.


Fusion Flavored Sea Salt

Often, all it takes is a pinch of something special to take food to a new level. In the case of Fusion Flavored Sea Salt, there are 20 pinches—20 flavored salts—to season everything from cocktail glass rims and make main dishes shine so diners sit up and take notice. Read the full review and discover flavored sea salt.

Marvelous Mayonnaise

Two very different mayos caught our hearts this year. The first is Baconaise: kosher, bacon-flavored mayo that’s the most exciting product to come from J&D’s, originators of Bacon Salt. The second are the three spicy Lemonaise mayos from The Ojai Cook (already a Top Pick Of The Week for their original line). The cayenne/cumin, chipotle and wasabi mayos add gourmet glamour to just about anything. Read the reviews of Baconaise and Spicy Lemonaise.

And if you’re busy as a bee with holiday preparations, print out this page as a reminder of “things to buy in January.”

We wishing you a merry and delicious holiday season.

—Karen Hochman


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