Monday, August 31, 2015

BETTER CRUNCHES: Snacks- Part 1 Fancy Foods Show 2015



Artificial anything-particularly re: ingredients and food colorings-a disappearing act on snack food labels...even on crunchy eats which as tasty as they are, don't pretend to be nutritious-but a "Lesser Evil"-i.e. baked, healthier oils, non-GMO, organic (the real deal kind-USDA certified), and gluten free.

The name says it all "Lesser Evil"=Buddha Bowl Foods...USDA organic (that means non-GMO certified too) one of the 'hot' food categories-gourmet salts...Himalayan Pink Salt  (or Sea Salt) on everything...
Bottom Line: the emphasis is def. on the flavors (spicy is big)...and the textures.


Some crunchy sweets:
From Morocco-crunchy buttery Orientines Palmiers+crackery Craquants 

Dip-able hybrid-melba toast- biscotti fusion-Almondina Toastees-no preservatives, no cholesterol, dairy free...4 flavors
the best part of brownies-duh-the crunchy top-edges parts---violà-this genius 'invention' Brownie Brittle---are so popular now-we got a pack on a recent flight home instead of the usual pretzels. In convenient, relatively low calorie packets-SHEILA G Brownie Brittle own this category-serving up 4 flavors-chocolate chip, mint chocolate chip, salted caramel (a duo that is another popular 'it' flavor), and toffee crunch. Widely available...and inhale-able---and satisfying...a great way to placate that needed crunchy sweet craving-without dangerously adding to one's daily calorie counts. YAYY!

CHIPS get hip...and hot...made from bumped up ingredients- vegetables, whole grains, and beans.
Jans...Mixed Root Chips...3 flavors Rosemary Garlic, Coriander Sea Salt, Slat+Vinegar-joins giant Terra Chips-crispy root vegetables...purple+orange sweet potatoes, taro & cassava -2x fiber and 30% less fat than potato chips-with vitamin E... 
Mama Zuma's Revenge (haaaa) Habernero Potato Chips...nifty packaging and fiery BBQ  taste

GRINGO JACK's Flaky Tortilla Chips -a tasty crunchy product from a  Manchester Vermont based SW restaurant/caterer

These are def. hot...BLAIR's Death Rain Habanero Pepper Potato Chips...
Feel Alive-and potentially sinus clearing...

a SOFI AWARD WINNER...Maya Raimal (pictured on the right)...Chickpea Chips-a taste of flavors inspired by South India-murukku a crispy snack made from chickpeas and rice+Asian spices.
3 flavors available-Chickpea Chips are gluten free and have protein too!

if you like your salsa-medium-to hot...Pop Gourmet-SRIRACHA Hot Chili Sauce Croutons, Potato Chips and Popcorn...should be on your snack equivalent of voice command- speed dial.
our sample lasted oh---an hour! A worthy heated snack for game night...the POP Gourmet SRIRACHA Hot Chile Sauce Popcorn-had powerful flavors featuring intense chili, garlic, vinegar, salt+sugar)-not too greasy either---and  was quickly devoured-with thumbs up for the 'spicy but not too spicy' (meaning tear is inducing) balance of seasonings! Non-GMO, gluten free and no trans artificial flavorings or colors.

we tried these...salty sweet and flavorful
Gourmet Kettle Chips: SEXYChips and SexyPop...exotic flavors and interesting combos...with a marketing MO of having confidence in our unique selves ---imo not necessary--- the flavors work.

Most interesting use of Matcha-the new 'it' tea with the healthy attributes of green tea, magnified---in the Spinach and Matcha Tea flavor...
non-gmo kernels
Similar graphics- fonts to Pirate Booty we thought -and it makes sense as both companies share the same visionary entrepreneur...Robert Ehrlich.

Bonus points: Gives Back.

Pirate's Booty

PIRATE'S BOOTY...adds to its winning Pirate's Brand snacks-with-new to us: Fruity Booty...baked rice and corn puffs...really do have that berry flavor (dried raspberries)...a sweet-salty (brown sugar, sea salt) crunch that satisfies without the artificial colors, flavors or preservatives! Widely available...

 ERIN's CHURRO POPCORN---inspired by that cinnamon-sugar fried dough dessert treat from Spain---this is a new popcorn flavor ...from a brand with no artificial colors, flavors or preservatives. NICE...a crunchy sweet salty snack...from well-known Pacific Northwest company-Tim's Chips. Bonus points: a true commitment to eco production and recycling- we wish all companies did.

Erin's White Cheddar flavor Popcorn...light crunchy with just a hint of spice (barely)-cheddar flavor is real-and favorable....becoming widely available...

Truffle salt-insta-gourmet...Seattle Popcorn's Uncle Woody's has a patriotic give back several flavors including caramel -truffle salt.
Pop'd Kerns™...retro packaging---crunchy good four flavors-non-gmo, gluten free---imo very well branded given the history of the company-from its rural Minn. farm beginnings...

a holiday flavor...Ginger Snap

SPROUTED= nutrition packed seeds, grains  and beans (flaxseed, chia seeds, quinoa, black beans, broccoli seeds and daikon radish seeds) ---gets main billing in  WAY BETTER SNACKS...making these tasty crunchy tortilla chips from stone ground non-GMO billed---way better with added nutrition. Certified gluten free - these delicious tortilla chips that are worthy of being eaten straight outta the bag -come in seasonal flavors -as well as good to eat year round flavors. YUMMY! 

no surprise to us-----ingredients that naturally add anti-oxidants/protein/minerals/vitamins to a snack food- is a booming Americans snack more and eat sit down meals, less. Bonus-each serving delivers 190mg of Omega-3 essential fatty acids!

we tried this---the Pumpkin Cranberry flavor-delivers on the tarty sweet with a hint of pumpkin that works with naturally sea-salty crunch. Recipes on their websites...we used a bag of these instead of bread- for a crunchy take on a sandwich...more fun too.

Not too hot-those opting for mild salsa---will be able to handle this sweet chili flavored chip....with 400mg or Omega-3 essential fatty acids!

VEGGIE Pasta Chips...non-GMO baked crunchy snacks that come in 120 calorie packs - fit in that cracker-chip middle ground.... make great scoopers for dips...and the flavors-are like the varieties of fav sauces that get poured on pastas. Buon Gusto!
a trip to Tuscany inspired these made in the USA Pasta Chips-made with imported semolina flour-just like Italian pasta-with fragrant herbs. Six flavors...baked crisps-very fun product. No wonder we see these sold -like-everywhere. On trend-less fat than regular potato chips, no cholesterol...

Light and crunchy-nutritious laden- non-GMO, certified gluten free... QUINOA PUFFS from I Heart KEENWAH a Chicago brand-with new for 2015 eats. Low glycemic, fiber loaded quinoa flour (combined with white+brown rice flours) deliver protein to these airy little bites. We tried the Aged Cheddar...authentic cheese flavor, right amount of salt...and 5 grams of protein per serving---a winner.

Premier Chocolates+Caramels: Part 1Part 2

Sunday, August 30, 2015

WALDLÄUFER, SPORTO, KOMBU Comfort Fashion Footwear Fall 2015


Comfort fashionable shoes are NOW the norm for American gals -even those chic city ladies-coinciding with the whole athleisure clothing boom-we don't remember a time when all but the tiniest fraction of men ever put up with uncomfortable shoes.

Reasons abound-including more female urbanites taking mass transit, walking and/or biking to the acceptance of casual summer office attire-paired with lifestyle sneakers and sandals with cork footbeds, setting a high bar for bearable, wearable all day wardrobes, year round.

Colder temps do mean different head to toe ensembles...and foot-wise, three lines previewed certainly offer many stylish feet worthy shoes that are pavement pounding, durably acceptable-and affordable.


WALDLÄUFER-a German brand (aka Forest Walker), is putting down roots on this side of the Pond...with quality classic styles and boots for men and women.

Made in Europe ---the WALDLÄUFER selections we saw had signature comfort footbeds, durable air cushioned outsoles, breathable linings, supportive constructive features--- and tonal wise-deliver in Fall fav colors.
FAME $170-easy slip on

Rocker style all day walkable WALDLÄUFER dynamic BLISS-textured leather combo $175
energy-cushioning outsole

in Suede-Toni $170-cute with jeans/trousers

ELIZA $170-we got  pair of these---in black combo---the ahhh comfort is there at the first step-fit wise ---we found this style runs big and wide-especially in the heel compared to our Made in Italy shoes...buyers might want to size down and a narrower width ---

CINDY-pretty pump $170

TARA $170-in breathable Black Microfiber

footbeds are removable---but imo-you won't want to-they have great arch support+cushioning

IRIS $255 in Corda (or black)-soon enough  will need cozy warmth of push lining...nice bucks details.

FOR THE GUYS...Dress, Dynamic and Tex collections... front Jared $210, right back Tom $215,  left back Tyler $215
New to us-but what we consider to be a USA heritage brand "reimagined"... SPORTO expands beyond it's Original Duck Boot™ offerings---with some really cute bootie styles...a silhouette that works with a lot of wardrobe options. Onboard-comfort+durability including EcoSystem-weatherproof-ness, cork footbeds or latex foam footbeds insulted with Thermolite, vulcanized rubber shells (not an industrial mold)...and... MAJOR BONUS POINTS-founders gave the seed money and locale (210 Lincoln Street) to the Two Ten Footwear Foundation charity.
cute cute cute...feminine silhouettes...plush faux fur-shearling lining, on block heels that are easy to walk on...Lark, Harlie styles 

RANDY---got back strap buckle it ankle detail

Ravine mixed textures-in chelsea boot style 

Duck Boots are always practical...leather upper/rubber bottom Dede $

adorbs-Pam-Alah  five color options including purple (not pictured)
a trendy version of a  Duck Boot classic---
add some warmth---Delinda -waterproof-and with slip resistant outsoles. Like-the contrast stitching on leather upper...and patent...nice combo for winter!

quilted upper sheds the wet weather well-Lydia 

DARLA-has the metal eyelets of hiker styles...with wooly lining 

WHITE FOX---outsole that is a platform sneaker hybrid-super popular---with cool quilts upper=

KHOMBU had its antecedents in outdoor footwear-now with city style cues... PLUS-
 paired up with the USA SKI TEAM...for this agrees and before the race waterproof toughie boot-

USA SKI TEAM -KHOMBU boot=FAB-and made in the USA TOO!!!! ALTA
ethnic wool upper...atop duck book...Maya

KIDS get the cutest boots-KIDS SWEATER=patterned wool inland-nice boot bottom ---like-pull tab in back---makes on/off easier

More kids-weatherproof, grippy outsoles, a colorful package! 
Sleek Lady Boots...water-snow tough, grippy outsoles, all weather comfort...

sometimes need a higher boot-the Anne lace-up works for narrow+wider calves,

Annie-color options...
Annie----quilted upper upper, faux fur plush lining, patent black duck boot reinterpretation we thinks would look great with skirts too. Like the lace-up details too...NICE. 


guys like outdoor sneaker styles---and black with yellow pops-perfect! Pete-ultra lightweight too.

weatherproof workbook ...burly one ----that we see on city streets more and more...nowadays-lightweight enough to wear off a construction site or the farm!

meets OSHA standards-grip on slick, oil laden surfaces

imo-another kicking' workbook style-that wears well off the job...Carter