Sunday, August 09, 2009

Nuts over Nuts and Trail Mix

People who know me don't hesitate to call me nuts. In fact, my father lovingly called me a "nut job", one of the last things he said on my last visit before he passed away. So I take the term as one of endearment.

I'll admit that I can be a bit nutty and over exuberant about things, especially if they involve "real" food.

I had the immense pleasure of receiving some Braga Farms raw trail mix, roasted, salted pistachios and roasted salted almonds with garlic, all of which are certified organic and come from a small, family farm in California.

The good thing is that I love nuts, and eat them almost every day. The other good thing is that gift or not, I am likely to tell you what I really think because I am a bit of a "nut job."

So, here is my critique of Braga farms organic raw trail mix. It may be one of the best trail mix blends that I've ever had, not mucked up with lots of seeds (like those, too but often they compose the bulk of the mix because they are less expensive) and containing large firm, fresh nuts. It tastes clean, containing walnuts, almonds, pistachios, dried cranberries and large plump raisins (which I believe may be coated with sunflower oil because it's listed on the label but I'm not sure). This stuff is so much better than any other trail mix that I've had which says a lot. It's also a lot more expensive at $8.86 per 8 ounce bag, but in my case, that's a good thing because even when not on the trail, I don't seem to have a limit to how much I can, and do, eat of this stuff. Rating: 5 out of 5 for freshness, taste and overall palatability.

The salted pistachios are good, as good as any that I buy but discernibly better than my usual organic purchases. I am sure, though, that buying the already shelled organic ones is a treat because it makes it easy to add them to dishes, such as my Quinoa with Currants and Pistachios. For just eating, though, I'll stick to those in-the-shell as it slows me down so I don't eat the whole darned bag. Fresh and flavorful but not likely to make the switch to these, mostly due to price. Rating: 4 out of 5. $7.86 per 8 ounces

I hesitated to try the salted garlic almonds, thinking that they'd be very garlicky or have some "fake" taste. But I was wrong. They are addictively delicious, and once again incredibly fresh. When buying nuts, freshness really counts, which is why supporting small farms makes a huge difference. Heck, I ought to know since I live in California, known for its nuts (and kooks). The garlic almonds are lightly flavored and oh-so tasty.

Rating: 5 out of 5. $8.86 per 8 ounces. I've not had flavored almonds with such real flavor.

These products, and much more, are all available from Gourmet Shopping Network .

If I didn't live in such a nutty place and wanted to be sure that I had great products, I would order often from Braga Farms, supporting a small organic farm that has high standards. If you are in the market for great tasting nuts and some dried fruit, check them out.

1 comment:

Sono-Ma: Holly White-Wolfe said...

Another really good snack to promote is fruit leather! Do you have any favorite recipes or vendors to promote?

I found this recipe: How to Make Fruit Leather

I'd like to post some ideas for my readers on:

Thanks for sharing!