Monday, November 12, 2012

October Petit Amuse Gourmet Food Sampler

Petit Amuse

Petit Amuse is a new monthly gourmet and artisan food sampler which is $10 a shipment. Based on my guesstimated sample values (most of the items did not have a listed weight) you break just about dead even, cost wise, but the true value lies in being able to sample unique treats from around the country. Just the opportunity for even one mind blowing item makes it completely worthwhile. My only complaint is that when my credit card got stolen and my bank froze my account is when they tried to charge me. Instead of contacting me to let me know there was a problem, I just had to figure it out and then missed a month because of how their billing cycle falls. (I thought I might have gotten charged before the account freezing since I hadn't heard from them of a problem.) Petit amuse is also known as amuse bouche, tiny nibbles offered by chefs to showcase their work and this fits the bill. 

In my first package I received:

Mixed Fruit + Nut Press
Grace & I Fruit & Nut Press
Awards & Accolades"2011-2012 Gourmet Product Award" - Chicago Tribune
Value maybe $2.00?
Ohhhhhh the overwhelming disappointment :-( I had such high hopes for this, but it had an odd rancid undertaste, like maybe it had been sitting around too long. I ate it right after I got it so I don't think that the roughly 36 hours between arrival and consumption did it in but based on the simple ingredients and other rave reviews it certainly can't be the intended flavor. Maybe it was at the sample box office too long before shipping? I dunno, but that made me sad. This is truly beautiful food and an awesome concept. 

Castleton Crackers Rutland Rye
Awards & AccoladesJuly 2010 review - The New York Times
Value roughly $1.00
Normally I'm not a big fan of the flavor of rye as it always seemed a little weird to me except for when used in booze. I actually liked these crackers though! By itself it didn't really do anything for me, but then I used them as a base for some fabulous artisan cheeses ( rosemary & olive oil asiago and a super aged romano) and the crackers were transformed. They were the perfect counterpart to the flavor of the cheeses and somehow the rye flavor made the cheeses flavors sing. I'm a convert! Castleton Crackers, be proud that you are the official purveyors of the only rye flavored food I ever liked. Brava. 

Caramoomel Ice Wine Jelly
Value $6.99
AND WE HAVE A WINNER!!!! Dude........ I glazed some salmon steaks with this then baked them and the flavor was PHENOMENAL. My husband had a piece of the salmon fall off of his fork and onto the floor and he seriously considered eating it anyway. Caramoomel made my husband contemplate floor food. When one of the cats quite excitedly went to town on it, he glared at her and said "I hate you, cat!" In the jar it most certainly does smell like ice wine- methinks this would be an incredibly bizarre PBJ addition, but with savories? Mama mia. 

Olivia's Croutons Butter & Garlic Croutons
Awards & AccoladesFinalist, Outstanding Classic Category - 2005 Sofi Awards

Value .60 cents
Nom nom nom..... These were crisp and buttery with a garlic snap that was just the right amount. Maybe the perfect crouton. Seriously. Well after all, that's all they make is croutons! I floated these on a bowl of aged cheddar and broccoli soup and they held their own, absorbing a touch of the soup but remaining crunchy. 

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