Category Archives: product review

The Best Honey Ever

I attended the Terroir hospitality symposium in Toronto this April. Terroir is an exceptional one day event where I learn many new and interesting ideas about food. One of the sessions I attended was about food innovation in a presentation given by Societe Orignal

During the session, some original concepts in food production were presented and of course, there was tasting of various items the company sources and produces. Their raw honey was unbelievably delicious, as it tasted of caramel, flowers and a hint of marshmallows as well. The bees that produce the honey are treated nicely to a diet of whatever they wish to eat, which I imagine influences the great taste.

I finally got my hands on this honey today and I love it!

Treat Inspiration: Yogorino’s

I walked by Yogorino’s during my last trip to San Francisco. I had eaten plenty already, but their tagline was ‘the best tasting yogurt in the world’ caught my attention. And there was something about the shop that seemed a little different than the choose your own topping frozen yogurt places that are proliferating everywhere.

I went in and inquired about the claim and the helpful young lady there, Aljarice was happy to give me a sample. The frozen yogurt, which I tasted with no toppings was delicious, with a creamy texture like soft serve icecream. This frozen yogurt was the best I have tasted from a frozen yogurt shop. She told me the difference was 2% organic yogurt and natural sweeteners.

I had a mini sample with a little bit of topping for fun, very tasty and satisfying because of the creaminess of the yogurt.

I was told that the small portion of the frozen yogurt before toppings is 80 calories and a similar amount of sugar to regular sweetened yogurt, but so much more fun to eat! This was such a tasty treat, that I almost forgot that it qualifies as a healthier type of treat. It was like having an icecream with probiotics, lower fat and real fruit toppings. 
Yogorino’s is in San Fran and Philadelphia so far in North America, but is fast growing in Italy where it originates and is branching out through Europe, Asia and other parts of the world. 

Blue Hawaii Acai Cafe

I saw a few spots on Oahu, Hawaii last year that served ‘bowls’ of fruit, non dairy milk and granola that looked interesting, but I did not get around to trying out. I finally tried an acai bowl yesterday at Blue Hawaii in San Francisco. What I ordered was called the Blue Hawaii and it consists of frozen acai pulp blended with organic soy milk, topped with organic granola, sliced banana, strawberries, blueberries and honey. It was a delicious refreshing treat that was satisfying and great to have for some energy just before a run. I imagine it would be good to have after a workout as well. My Blue Hawaii acai bowl was so delicious that it qualifies as a healthy dessert, breakfast or snack in general. The antioxidant boost that the acai and berries provide is a great bonus!

Blue Hawaii Acai Cafe is in Honolulu, San Francisco and Shanghai so far. Look for an acai bowl at a juice bar near you. Otherwise, I will have to try and replicate the recipe myself and post it here.

Laurent Perrier Champagne

I purchased a two bottle package of Laurent Perrier last year at the London airport duty free shop. Buying and collecting duty free champagne is a ritual I have had for many years. There can be great prices, brands that are not ordinarily available in Toronto and the champagne becomes a travel memory to be enjoyed at a later date. I’ve been ‘aging’ the bottles of Laurent Perrier for about a year. My dear friend and pilates instructor Lisa Kojola and I shared a bottle last night. We loved it! It was exceptionally smooth and delicious with delicate bubbles for a non vintage bottle of champagne. Laurent Perrier is on par with my perennial favourites Pommery and Moet. Sharing and enjoying a bottle of champagne with strawberries definitely makes life good!

Coconut Dream

I have been trying to use a non-dairy milk for a couple years now. I started with soy milk, which I did not love the taste of and later found it did not agree with me. I used almond milk for a period of time, but developed an intolerance for almonds. Rice milk tastes like liquid cardboard to me. Hemp milk has a strange taste. Finally, I found So Delicious coconut milk beverage to be a great milk alternative, because of the taste. I suggested it to a client who is a real foodie and although he liked it he pointed out that it was a little too thick or viscous. That was a good point that he made. The product gets even thicker if you don’t finish the box either in the large carton or the 946ml tetrapak very quickly.

While on Oahu, I looked for So Delicious and found Coconut Dream instead. I used it on my granola while I was there and really enjoyed the taste and texture of Coconut Dream. I looked for it when I came back to Toronto and found it at Sobeys. I have yet to find the unsweetened version yet to give it a fair comparison, but so far, the Coconut Dream original is ahead of the So Delicious original in terms of taste and texture. Coconut Dream also comes in a chocolate flavour, which is nice to have after a tough workout. Another difference to note is So Delicious is an organic product, while Coconut Dream is not. Both contain medium chain fatty acids, the special type of saturated fat that is found in coconut, which is easy to digest and utilized quickly in the body. The saturated fat found in coconut is different, because it is from a plant source and its chemical structure of a medium chain fatty acid is different than the long chain fatty acid that comprises saturated fat from animal sources.
The concept of having a coconut milk beverage and working out is pictured in an ad for So Delicious featuring America’s toughest trainer Jillian Michaels. I saw the ad in Bon Appetit magazine this fall, long after I started using the product. I had no idea who Jillian Michaels was, because I do not watch much television. The ad was a good one, because it stuck out in my mind. America’s toughest trainer seems a real claim to fame. A few weeks later, I recognized Jillian Michaels on the cover of her book, Unlimited (which was on sale), so I purchased and read the book. I will happy to review the book at another time.
Why try a non dairy milk? From observation, it seems that many people become less able to digest milk and dairy products as time goes by and/or exposure increases. The symptoms of being intolerant to milk and dairy products include gas, bloating, cramps and even diarrhea. To prevent such symptoms, having an alternative to milk can lower your intake of dairy products and minimize the possibility of developing intolerance. Another reason to try is the health benefits of a vegan diet, which includes lower risk of heart disease and cancer. Having a non dairy milk with your morning cereal and fruit makes your breakfast a vegan one, which is a great healthy meal idea to try.