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Bolder Beans Add Crunch to a Bloody Mary

Bolder Beans produces crunchy, pickled green beans and other pickled vegetables that are a healthy snack, a perfect addition to a Bloody Mary, or even a great gift. Bolder Beans are sugarfree, fat-free and even gluten-free. There are less than 100 calories in the entire jar and each serving has
only 1 carb. In addition, there is nothing artificial added and all ingredients can be pronounced.
Bolder Beans Jars 2014Bolder Beans started as a wonderful addition to a Bloody Mary. Just add a couple pickled green beans instead of a piece of celery and your Bloody Mary is transformed. “I first tried a pickled green bean in a Bloody Mary in New Orleans. When we returned home to Colorado, we couldn’t find anything we liked, so I decided to make my own!” said Rogue Edwards, Owner of Bolder Beans.
A single jar is perfect for a hostess gift, a teacher appreciation item, a pot luck dinner, or just a simple thank you. Purchase a jar online at or custom order a gift box that will really stand out. Prices range from $8 a jar to $30 a gift box depending upon the
items selected.
For the Bloody Mary lover, a Bolder Beans Bloody Mary gift set is really unique. This special gift box includes a jar of Bolder Beans, Bloody Mary concentrate mix, rim salt, a bean fork and even a pack of beef straws! Just add the vodka for a complete set that will make any Bloody Mary lover smile.
Bolder Beans come if three tasty flavors: mild, medium and hot. The mild beans have a big, bold, dill pickle taste that are crunchy and zesty without the added heat. For the medium flavor, a jalapeño is added to the jar to give it a big, bold kick with a peppery jalapeño taste. A habanero is added to the hot and gives the bean a sweet heat. Whether they are chopped up in a salad, added to a Bloody Mary, or eaten right out of the jar as a good snack or an easy appetizer, Bolder Beans are sure to please any pickle person.

Greek Yogurt-Based Salad Dressing Named Dressing of the Year

LitehouseOpa by Litehouse Feta Dill Greek Yogurt Dressing was named The Association for Dressings & Sauces (ADS) Dressing of the Year at the ADS Annual Meeting held October 11-13 in Naples, Florida. Litehouse Foods launched OPA by Litehouse to rave reviews: in just one year in the market the best-selling dressing has reached over 50 ACV in 47 of the top 64 IRI markets and is already 21 percent of the yogurt refrigerated salad dressing category.

“We are so honored that Litehouse was chosen for this prestigious award,” said Maria Emmer-Aanes, Vice President Marketing and Communications for Litehouse, Inc. “OPA by Litehouse Greek Yogurt Dressing was the first fresh, Greek yogurt based dressing to market, and we’ve received rave reviews from consumers since its launch. We are thrilled to be acknowledged by our peers as well.”

The Dressing of the Year Award is presented by ADS to recognize and celebrate truly innovative and delicious dressing products. Nominations for the award were received from ADS members and were then voted on by members via a blind taste test at the ADS 2014 Technical Meeting in San Diego, California. ADS members voted for the dressing deemed to have the best overall taste.

Using Greek yogurt as a salad dressing base provides a lower calorie dressing with twice the protein of a traditional dressing. OPA by Litehouse dressings are free of trans fats, have no MSG or artificial preservatives and only 0-1 gram of sugar per serving.

Study: Mothers More Likely Than Fathers to Read Nutrition Labels

Mothers are more likely than fathers to read nutrition labels when considering food and drink purchases, according to the latest C.S. Mott Children’s Hospital National Poll on Children’s Health.

Results from the poll showed that 40 percent of mothers say they read the nutrition labels either “very often” or “always.” Just 35 percent of fathers say they read the labels “very often” or “always.”

Sugars (total sugar and added sugar) topped the list of “very important” nutrients that parents consider overall. But mothers are more likely than fathers to say total sugar, added sugar, protein and dietary fiber are “very important.”

The “Nutrition Facts” labels are required for most foods sold in the United States. For the first time in two decades, in 2014 the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has proposed key changes to the labels to feature clearer information about calories, fat, and sugar. “The hope is that changes in the labels can make them easier to read and understand, and that will help consumers make healthier choices,” says Susan J. Woolford, M.D., M.P.H., a faculty collaborator in this month’s poll. “We decided to find out how mothers and fathers currently use the labels, and how they think about the information that’s contained there.”

In the poll, 1,481 parents were also asked about using the labels when comparing two similar foods or drinks to buy. Forty-six percent of mothers versus 33 percent of fathers said that information from the nutrition label “very often” or “always” influences their decisions.  More fathers (16 percent) than mothers (10 percent) indicated they never read nutrition labels.

Woolford says she was surprised how many parents, particularly fathers, don’t use the labels. “We didn’t ask specifically for the reasons why parents do not use food labels in this poll, so it’s hard to pinpoint a cause with certainty. But it may be that parents find it difficult to make the connection between the information on the nutrition facts labels and what it means for their health and their child’s health,” says Woolford, who is medical director of the Pediatric Comprehensive Weight Management Center at C.S. Mott Children’s Hospital and a member of the Institute for Healthcare Policy and Innovation.

“It’s also possible that they have already made decisions about what they plan to purchase, and the nutrition information is not a factor they consider.  Nonetheless, it is still important for fathers to make nutritious choices that safeguard their children’s health,” Woolford says. “The results of this poll indicate an opportunity for further research into how we can improve the nutrition facts labels so they might be something that parents – both mothers and fathers –use and so that they provide information in a manner that promotes healthy food choices.”

Top Ten Food Trends That Will Flavor the Foodscape in 2015

Sterling-Rice Group (SRG) has identified its top ten culinary trends that will stand out on restaurant menus, expand onto grocery shelves, and attract consumer attention across the U.S. in 2015.

Next year, consumers’ food preferences will be driven by a continued interest in global cuisines, balanced nutrition, community connections, and a desire for adventurous eating experiences. Look for these culinary trends to expand and grow next year as they move from the cutting edge into our popular foodscape:

  1. Advanced Asian: From Filipino food to a new generation of Thai, not one but a host of more complex and true-to-region Asian foods will dominate in 2015.
  2. Matcha Madness: The never-ending quest for wellness and energy will lead many to Japanese matcha, a nutrient powerhouse green tea now hitting the market in convenient formats like lattes, sodas, and ready-to-drink cans.
  3. Cannabis Cuisine: Edible marijuana moves far beyond cliched pot brownies. In states where it’s legal, look for new, sophisticated options from gluten-free baked goods and confections to bottled cold-brewed coffee and flavored syrups.
  4. Hop-Free Suds: Channeling their medieval predecessors, craft brewers are making unhopped beers with herbs, spices, and bitter plants yielding unique and intriguing flavors instead of hoppy bitterness.
  5. Incendiary Charcoal: Look for more excitement around Asian styles of super-hot burning charcoal as well as charcoal coloring and enhancing breads, crackers, and even cosmetics.
  6. The Local Grain Network: Products made from freshly milled flour are making their way to consumers thanks to the growing network of farmers, bakers, and chefs committed to local grain production.
  7. Coconut Sugar Sweetness: Boasting a lower glycemic index than white sugar makes coconut sugar popular among consumers—from natural food fans to sweets-loving Paleos to Southeast Asian food lovers—looking for better-for-you foods.
  8. Farm to Table Kosher: With keeping kosher on the rise, kosher food businesses address consumer demand to eat in more sustainable, conscious, and cultural ways.
  9. The Hunger Games—Restaurant Edition: Dining concept incubators create lively experiences where curious diners test experimental eateries and vote with their forks in revolving pop-up settings or hip dining parks.
  10. The Ugly Fruit & Vegetable Movement: Misshapen and funny-looking produce will no longer get picked over as food resourcefulness and efforts to combat hunger come into sharper focus.

The 2015 Cutting-Edge Culinary Trends were compiled by SRG’s Culinary Team led by Culinary Director Kara Nielsen and feature examples of trailblazing food and drink and the brands leading the way for each trend. An extension of Culinary Shifts™, SRG’s proprietary research based on key societal shifts affecting consumer behavior around food, the predictions provide insight for food industry companies to better develop, position, market, and sell food products.

For a complete look at SRG’s 2015 Cutting-Edge Culinary Trends, visit

Producers Deliver Extra Spice to Retailer Sales with Unique Seasoning Blends

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By Dave Bernard

Whether it’s a coffee-inspired seasoning blend that highlights the meat and poultry dishes of a popular Denver spice shop’s customers, a delicious all-purpose blend from St. Augustine, Florida featuring the sweet and fruity yet sharp bite of native datil pepper or the endless custom seasoning possibilities of Midwest spice stalwart Wixon, home chefs and the retailers that serve them have more delectable choices in seasoning blends than their pantry or store shelves can hold.

When it comes to unique flavor combinations, Coal Gulch Trading Company packs quite a punch for its small size. The three-employee Madrid, New Mexico company, which partners with a co-packer and is in its fourth year of operation, boasts a Scovie Award for its Ancho Herb Seasoning, a salt-free Italian blend that works with lasagna and spaghetti as well as a dry rub for meat and fish. The company also has a Great American Barbecue People’s Choice award for its Chipotle Seasoning blend.

Coal Gulch looks to infuse a dash of originality into its seasoning blends, as with its new Cayenne Seasoning that surprises with brown sugar. “We try to start with a traditional base,” said owner Michael Scott Reilly. “That’s a typical cayenne base, and then I try to twist it to my own taste and create something unique that sets it apart from everybody else. That and the fact that we’re salt-free and gluten-free as well – we’re getting a nice response to it.”

In addition to its cayenne, ancho herb and chipotle blends, Coal Gulch offers a habanero blend, as well as two glazes and a habanero mustard. Its products are sold in markets and gift shops in New Mexico and Arizona as well as in Ohio’s Jungle Jim’s International Markets.


Seasoning Blends from The Spice & Tea Exchange

St. Francis, Wisconsin-based spice company Wixon focuses on custom seasoning blends for private-label retail and foodservice clients. When Moe’s Southwest Grill needed a hot seasoning blend for its spicy guacamole, the 500+ location casual restaurant chain turned to Wixon. While Moe’s requested a very specific flavor profile with particular finishing notes, Wixon Corporate Chef Steve Padley and his team negotiated the complex arena of hot seasoning combinations to create a habanero-based blend for the chain’s now highly successful guacamole.

Whether solving seasoning challenges for a large casual dining chain, private-label client or startup gourmet food manufacturer, Padley finds this an exciting time for seasoning creators given the surging and varied demands of consumers looking for adventurous new tastes as well as authentic ethnic flavors. “American consumers are fascinated by what’s not here,” Padley said. “When they see the Travel Channel going to all of these exotic locales, and then they get on the Internet and do a little more exploration, they start to wonder what these flavors are like. And now with the millennials coming through and the generation behind them, I think they’re a little more adventurous in their eating.”

While the opportunity to create unique seasoning blends is “the greatest thing in the world,” according to Padley, he also emphasized the care that goes into creating the authentic ethnic flavors that consumers crave. “People are looking for flavors that are more real now, more authentic,” he said. “So it’s about getting the right type of chilies, the right type of herbs for this traditional fare. And having been in the business for as long as I have, I can take all the past learnings and really explore the world and do this sourcing.”

Other companies have found success with a business model that includes manufacturing as well as online and brick-and-mortar store sales. As these spice houses create new and unique blends as well as spot-on authentic combinations, they focus on bonding with in-store customers over the cooking experience.

“Our stores are about interaction,” said Mike Johnston, co-founder of Denver-based Savory Spice Shop. The staff at his stores focus on sampling and engaging with customers about cooking and goals in the kitchen. A perfect example is the company’s popular Mexican Mole blend. After a number of regular customers asked Johnston to come up with such a blend as a convenient alternative to the one to two-day intensive from-scratch process of creating authentic mole, he created a delicious chocolate-chili blend that turns two days of work into 45 minutes for savory ready-to-eat beef, chicken, pork or vegetable dishes.

Another blend that has been getting fantastic results for Savory Spice Shop is the company’s signature Baker’s Brew Coffee Spice. By combining a dark roast coffee with sugar, cocoa, cinnamon, allspice and cardamon among other ingredients, Johnston has hit on a blend that delights in both savory and baking uses.Assorted spices

Based in Palm Harbor, Florida, The Spice & Tea Exchange has 37 stores spread throughout the country, five of which are company-owned, including locations at Walt Disney World and Tampa, Florida’s Busch Gardens. When a walk-in customer at one of The Spice & Tea Exchange’s nationwide locations has questions about the inclusion of black tea in a peppercorn salmon rub, interaction is the keyword there, as well. “Our experience is all about smell, taste and getting to know what works for you and what you prefer,” said Libby Breivogel, Corporate Marketing Coordinator for The Spice & Tea Exchange. “Since nearly all of our blends are hand-mixed right in-store, we encourage customers to ask questions, and our stores host a lot of educational sessions and cooking classes.”

One of the company’s top sellers is its all-purpose Signature Spice Blend, created by founder and Managing Partner Clay Freeman. This blend includes the fruity yet hot datil pepper native to the St. Augustine area where the company’s warehouse is located.

Whether authentic traditional or new and unique, there is always room on the retail shelf for a quality gourmet seasoning blend. The nice thing is spices and blends never really go out of style. “If you look back at history, there have been wars fought over spices,” said Michael Scott Reilly of Coal Gulch Trading Company. “And just about every futuristic magazine, it’s all about spice miners and traders. So spices are a big part of culture and a big part of life. It’s something everybody can relate to.”


This story was originally published in the October 2014 issue of Gourmet News, a publication of Oser Communications Group.

Vanilla Bean Clementine Sandwich Cookie Creates a Burst of Flavor

5-Vanilla Bean Unique CookiesHoliday entertaining is not the same without Vanilla Bean Unique Cookies. The company’s Clementine Sandwich Cookies are made with real butter, pure cane sugar, cage-free eggs and fresh orange zest. The unique combination of crisp, buttery, orange-infused shortbread cookies sandwiched with a slightly sweet and tart butter cream creates a burst of unique flavors. As one customer said, “It’s like sunshine.” What better way to spend an afternoon than relaxing with a cup of tea and a Vanilla Bean Clementine Sandwich Cookie?

Packaged in a new carton which is bright and beautiful, Vanilla Bean Clementine Sandwich Cookies make a great addition to holiday gift offerings. Customers love making lasting first impressions, which is easy to do with these cookies. Vanilla Bean Unique Clementine Sandwich Cookies are the perfect gift for any season.

For more information on Vanilla Bean Unique Cookies,

Invisible Chef Mixes Simplify Holiday Baking

The Invisible Chef_HOLIDAY_ChocolatePeppermint_CakeDESIGN-PROOFCelebrate the joy of the holiday season surrounded by friends and family with The Invisible Chef’s Holiday Collection. The collection features flavors steeped in tradition in products that are designed to save time while creating new family memories. While the fire is roaring and the snow is falling, just add a few ingredients to The Invisible Chef’s mixes, and your holiday baking is complete. The mixes make a perfect gift and are sure to delight everyone, making the holidays sparkle with love!

Featured flavors from The Invisible Chef include Chocolate Peppermint Coffee & Tea Cakes, Cranberry Spice Scones, Red Velvet Cupcake Kit and Macaroon Chocolate Chip Blondies. Each mix is blended with all-natural ingredients and needs just a few items from your kitchen to bake and enjoy.

Other favorites from The Invisible Chef product line include the company’s Coffee & Tea Cakes, Blondies & Brownies, Frosted & Fabulous Cupcake Kits, Bake It Quick Breads, Simple Sweet & Savory Muffins, Bed & Breakfast Favorites (including scones, pancakes and waffles) and Cookie Jar Classics. With so many categories and flavors to choose from, you’re sure to find a favorite.

Sisters’ Gourmet Makes Dessert Mixes Look Good

Sisters GourmetFor nearly 20 years, Sisters’ Gourmet  has made baking easy and convenient with its eye-catching dessert mixes. As a gift, these mixes are attractive and unique, and the jars are reusable. Since the packaging is a key “ingredient” at Sisters’ Gourmet, the jars stand out on the store shelf. Customers love being able to see the ingredients in the jars, which are carefully measured and proudly packed by hand in the United States.

Using only the highest-quality ingredients available that not only taste good but are good for you, such as whole grain oats, sun ripened cranberries and select indulgent chocolates, most mixes require the addition of just eggs and butter to make about three dozen cookies.

Sisters’ Gourmet was founded by Lisa Sorensen and her sister Suzy. It is now owned and operated by Lisa and her husband Rob. They produce gourmet baking mixes which are sold directly to consumers via their website as well as to specialty shops worldwide. Products have been featured in the finest specialty shops and have been selected as some of Oprah’s favorite products on her coveted O-list. Everything is produced in a facility 45 minutes NE of Atlanta. All of the layered mixes are packed by hand and use only the best ingredients available.

For more information, visit to see the full line of gourmet mixes. Sisters’ Gourmet can also be found on all social media outlets.

The Spice Lab Introduces Hot and Spicy Sea Salts

3-The Spice LabOne of the hottest condiments on the market right now is Sriracha hot chili sauce, and the team at The Spice Lab has developed an innovative new take on the product – Sriracha Sea Salt. Made from sun-ripened chilies, finely ground Sriracha powder is infused with sea salt to create this amazingly versatile condiment.

The selection of hot and spicy seasonings from The Spice Lab does not stop at Sriracha Sea Salt, however. The company’s product selection also includes Scotch Bonnet Pepper Salt, Ghost Pepper Salt, Smoked Ghost Pepper Salt, Scorpion Pepper Salt, Jalapeño Salt, Smoked Chipotle Salt and Cayenne Hot Sauce Sea Salt.

Made with all-natural unrefined sea salt and premium, finely ground chili peppers from around the world, each unique salt offers distinct flavor and heat, true to the peppers that season it. The salts are available in both 100-milliliter glass jars and 3-ounce stand-up pouches.

For more information on The Spice Lab, visit the company online at

Award Winning Condiments from Uncle Bunk’s

UncleBunks-SSUncle Bunk’s Mustard Relish, Rustic Pepper Sauce and 14 Day Sweet Pickles are handcrafted in small batches, using locally-grown produce and old-fashioned Appalachian recipes.

Uncle Bunk’s has won numerous awards for its products. The company was recently voted WV Living Magazine’s “2013 Made in WV Award” winner for outstanding Food & Drink. The company’s Mustard Relish was a 2011 sofi™ Silver finalist. And it won the condiment category at the 2013 Hot Pepper Awards.

Uncle Bunk’s award-winning Mustard Relish is a sweet, hot mustard that gets its kick from a mix of eight peppers. It will spice up anything you put it on. In addition, the company turns up the flame with its Rustic Pepper Sauce. Not a spicy ketchup or salsa, this secret family recipe has a unique and zesty taste that makes it a multiple award winner that includes Fiery Food Challenge, Hot Pepper and Scovie wins. Both the Mustard Relish and Rustic Pepper Sauce are available in 9-ounce and 14-ounce sizes and in medium or hot heat levels.

Featured in Country Living, Uncle Bunk’s crisp and crunchy 14 Day Sweet Pickles add a sweet and peppery flavor to any relish tray. Made with the company’s 100-year-old family recipe, they are available in 9-ounce and 17.5-ounce sizes. Fiery 14 Day Hot Sweet Pickles are a 2013 Fiery Food Challenge, Scovie and Hot Pepper Award winner. Available in a 17.5-ounce size, these hot pickles are the best around.

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