Some of the most intriguing food products aren’t on specialty-market shelves, but at websites. These two online companies offer some taste-tested items that are worth the wait for them to be delivered to your door:
The website extravagonzofoods.com sells a line of “artisan-crafted” flavor-infused blends of 80 percent extra-virgin olive oil and 20 percent grapeseed oil – roasted garlic, Meyer lemon, blood orange and jalapeno-lime. The jalapeno-lime flavor just won an award from the 65-year-old Specialty Food Association for Best New Product in the oil category, beating out hundreds of other entries.
Extravangonzo also offers aged white and dark balsamic vinegars from Modena, Italy. For texture and sweetness both contain grape “must,” the cooked and aged concentrate derived from fermenting the byproducts of wine-making – grape skin, juice, stems and seeds.
We drizzled jalapeno-lime oil and white balsamic vinegar over three different salads. The combo was outstanding, the sweet, semi-acidic vinegar mingling with the citrusy oil, culminating in a mild kiss of jalapeno burn on the finish.
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Oils are $14 for 6.8 ounces and $18 for 12.7 ounces. Vinegars are $15.50 for 6.8 ounces and $25 for 12.7 ounces.
All things maple
Specializing in all things maple, www.mapleguild.com of Island Pond, Vt., starts with seven flavors of maple sap-infused water and nine of green and black teas. There’s even maple vinegar, aged in Napa Valley wine barrels.
Two Maple Guild products in particular caught our eye. Organic maple sap is “steamcrafted” in a proprietary process to produce a clean syrup of “golden color with delicate taste.” We poured it over waffles and pancakes and found it neither overly sweet nor heavy with burnt maple taste. Or you could go with four flavored maple syrups – cinnamon, vanilla bean, salted caramel and bourbon barrel.
Organic maple cream is a unique spread made by churning maple sap until it reaches a texture that’s thicker than syrup but not quite so viscous as honey – almost like soft butter. We spread it on scones and used it as a dip for fresh strawberries and found lots of maple flavor to complement the fruit. Original maple syrup is $11 for 8.5 ounces, the maple cream $13 for 10 ounces. Larger sizes are available.