Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Roseberry Dark Chocolate

Dagoba Organic Chocolate – Roseberry

An organic chocolate company that uses Rainforest Alliance Certified Cacao, Oregon based Dagoba offers a wide range of dark chocolate bars mixed with other organic ingredients along with drinking chocolate options and baking products. Some of the flavors that they offer include Lavender Blueberry, Chai, and Lemon Ginger. You are able to order their products online from their website.

Dagoba Organic Chocolate

-The Gamer-
Dawn and I found this little bit of chocolate at one of the grocery stores that we frequent, and I have to say that I'm pleasantly surprised, considering the last couple of chocolates we've sampled recently. Upon first opening the wrapping you can immediately smell a delightful mixture of dark chocolate and raspberries, which happens to be one of my more favored chocolate/fruit combinations. There is also rosehip in it as well, according to the wrapper, but I don't think my senses are attuned to the flavor enough to have actually picked up on it, although I do think I can smell a hint of it.

Regardless, the chocolate was quite good, a nice mixture of dark chocolate with a slight tangy sweetness from the raspberries, with a smooth texture that is pleasing to the tongue. The company seems to have decided to put actual raspberries into the chocolate, rather then simply settling for raspberry flavoring. This is rather nice, in my opinion, although it does come with the minor disadvantages that come naturally with raspberries. Namely, the fact that there are raspberry seeds in the chocolate itself. As anyone who had raspberries before would know, those can sometimes be a bit annoying to remove if they get stuck in your teeth, but again, this is only a very minor thing. Overall, I would definitely recommend this to anyone who enjoys chocolate and raspberries together. It might even make a nice addition to an ice cream smoothie if it's chopped up first.

-The Artist-

Of the world of chocolate, I have never been much of a fan of dark chocolate. Though I'm well aware of how much healthier it is to have compared to the milk and white varieties, dark always tasted, well, bitter. To say I was hesitant to try this particular chocolate was an understatement but the fact that there was raspberries and rosehips in it had perked my curiosity. I was taken by surprise to find that the flavor of the chocolate wasn't heavy as many dark chocolates can be. The raspberries and rosehips was actually a pleasant compliment, seeming to enhance the natural fruitiness of the chocolate itself. It was certainly an enjoyable surprise which now has me wondering about the other flavors that the company has available.

Sunday, October 6, 2013

Rice Cheese

Galaxy Nutritional Foods – Rice Cheese

A company based in Orlando, Florida which specializes in cheese alternatives for those who are on special diets. Providing soy cheese, vegan cheese, rice cheese and organic cheese alternatives with amazing flavor, their website actually includes recipes and a way to find out where to purchase their products.

Galaxy Nutritional Foods
Orlando, Florida

-The Gamer-

Upon first opening the cheese, the first thing one will notice is the texture. Despite being made mostly out of rice, it actually has the texture of regular cheese, somewhat of a mix between cheddar and monterey jack. It is what I would call a medium cheese in terms of firmness, mostly firm but with a little give. It slices much like regular cheese as well, able to be made into slices or chunks as one pleases. The texture of the cheese when eaten ends up being somewhat like a feta or a low moisture mozzarella. As you continue eating you may note the flavor, which tends to hover somewhere between a mild cheddar flavor and monterey jack, a somewhat salty, slightly tangy cheese flavor. When melted, more of the cheddar flavor ends up coming out, with the taste becoming a bit more salty than when it is eaten cold. Overall, the cheese was rather pleasant and somewhat surprising, as I think both Dawn and I were expecting something more akin to tofu cheese.

Monday, September 30, 2013

Thai Curry Noodles

Indo Cafe – Thai Curry Noodles

A small restaurant located in Old Sacramento, California, Indo Cafe offers patrons a deliciously varied menu of Asian and Indonesian cuisine. Priding themselves on freshness and healthy choices for their customers, there's always something tasty to try.

Indo Cafe
1100 Front St.
Sacramento, CA 95814
Hours: Monday 11am – 3pm
Tues. - Sat. 11am – 6pm
Sunday 11am – 5pm

-The Artist-

Not on the main menu but on a small white board off to the side, the Thai Curry Noodles comes with a choice of either mild (yellow curry) or hot (red curry) then either chicken, beef or pork as the meat that you can choose from. Having made a decision of mild curry with chicken, a plate of golden noodles with mixed vegetables and chicken came to the table glistening with curry sauce. Please keep in mind that the mild curry depends on your tolerance for spice. The balance of flavors was able to be noted; hints of ginger and red pepper mingling with turmeric and other spices worked together in harmony. Tender bamboo shoots along with the sweetness of cabbage and carrots brought everything together while juicy chicken pieces absorbed the sauce wonderfully. 

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Dark Chocolate Espresso Beans

California Sungold Pistachios Co. - Dark Chocolate Espresso Beans

California Sungold Pistachios, a gourmet nuts and treats company based out of Oakhurst, California has amongst their products Dark Chocolate Espresso Beans. Their products are available for purchase at CVS Pharmacy and their website by the case (for wholesale trade only).

California Sungold Pistachios
Oakhurst, CA 93644

-The Gamer & the Artist -

After trying a couple of beans each we came to an agreement that though the flavor is nice, the chocolate seemed to have the taste more of a milk chocolate then dark. Another inconsistency that we noticed was that yes the size of each blob of chocolate are the same (about the size of a peanut), this is not an accurate indication to the size of the espresso bean on the inside. Some will be a full sized bean while others will be either a half or even a fragment of a bean. With this in mind, they do taste alright but is a disappointment when having the expectations of having a full bean cloaked in a dark chocolate.

Friday, September 20, 2013

Stawberry Rhubarb Apple Pie

Abel's Apple Acres – Strawberry Rhubarb Apple Pie

Abel's Apple Acres, located in Placerville, California is an orchard which is part of a small collective in the area commonly known as Apple Hill. Every year for a couple of months during the Autumn season which is the peak of the apple harvesting season, Abel's Apple Acres opens its doors to customers to purchase apples, honey, and pies which they can take home to bake in the comfort of their own kitchen. One of the pies that they have available is a Strawberry Rhubarb Apple pie.

Abel's Apple Acres
2345 Carson Rd.
Placerville, CA 95667-3766

-The Gamer-
Somewhat rich with a decent amount of sugary sweetness. Can be a bit tangy if your slice has a few pieces of the rhubarb in it, but otherwise the strawberries, apples and rhubarb tend to blend well. The crust ends up being flakey and just a touch buttery when fully cooked. The filling has healthy portions of sliced apples, with pieces of rhubarb and strawberry spread throughout the pie. Since the pie isn't one of those mass produced kinds, the rhubarb and strawberries may not be evenly distributed, though this doesn't take away from the flavor for the most part.

-The Artist-
Having really not been well acquainted to rhubarb, I was curious how this strange celery-like veggie would be in a fruit pie. Would it make the dessert taste too bitter or would the flavors compliment each other? Cutting into the pie, chunks of rhubarb, apple and bits of strawberry slowly oozed from their flaky crust prison. I was pleasantly surprised by how sweet the pie was overall but even more so when I discovered that the tangy-ness of the rhubarb gave just the perfect amount of tartness which worked well with the apples. I would highly suggest, however, that if you purchase and bake this particular pie that you put a small sprinkling of brown sugar on the top.

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

And so it begins...

Once there was a Gamer and an Artist. It was an odd partnership but there was one thing that they did have in common- the love of good food. After bouncing the suggestion around over several meals in various locations, it was agreed upon that they should record their journey through the culinary world. So joining forces, they prepare themselves for an epic quest to discover good food and share their discoveries.

-The Gamer-
Name: Jerry Mick
Favorite Food: Not picky

-The Artist-
Name: Dawn Star Wood

Favorite Food: Asian and most European cuisine but willing to try things at least once