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Wednesday, August 26, 2020

Good & Gather Roasted Artichoke & Spinach Hummus

Flavorful and fiber-rich, there's nothing like a good tub of hummus. It's so easy to eat, too. Just warm up a piece of pita bread, and soon you've got a makeshift Middle Eastern restaurant on your coffee table while you watch TV.

I usually don't even take the hummus out of the tub. I just dunk the bread right into the container, and when I'm done, I put it all back in the fridge. This product was no different.

I'm not sure if Archer Farms, Simply Balanced, or Market Pantry ever produced any hummus or not. If they did, I somehow missed it all those years. I'm a pretty big fan of the swirled chickpea delight, so I'm sure if I had ever seen it at Target, I would have tried it and probably reviewed it.

There's a subtle artichokey kinda flavor to this hummus, and like many other varieties and brands, there's a nice garlic undertone. I don't really remember tasting much in the way of lemon, capers, or spinach in the actual hummus mix. The peppers are mostly in the middle, where you'll also find bits of artichoke and spinach leaves. I usually feel like there aren't enough vegetable chunks in the middle of tubs of hummus like they did here. Sabra brand does something similar. But if you evenly disperse the center veggies throughout this product, there's plenty of them in this case.

There's nothing harsh about the taste. Sometimes there's just too much garlic or a nasty aftertaste with certain hummus. Not so here. It's got a refined mellow essence that makes it uber-noshable. Quality-wise, I'd put it on par with any other major hummus brand, and honestly, this flavor is probably one of the best combos I've ever tried.

All things considered, this is an extremely tasty condiment. $2.99 for the 10 oz container. I'd absolutely purchase again, and I'll be on the lookout for other flavors in this lineup.

I give this hummus 8 out of 10 stars.

Monday, August 3, 2020

Good & Gather Panang Curry Simmer Sauce

Whether you're scared of the virus or not, dining out in 2020 is significantly less practical than it was in the carefree days of yesteryear. I'm not saying the wife and I don't go out anymore at all, but I'm saying we eat out somewhat less, as is likely the case with most of you.

So, logically, it behooves us to find tasty, gourmet-ish alternatives to our favorite sit-down restaurants. Sonia and I looove us some good Indian and Thai food, so curry is something we like to have on hand at home. We love all the curries: red curry, yellow curry, green curry, Tim Curry—and we both prefer his Pennywise to Bill Skarsgard's. Sorry, Millennials.

But in all seriousness, I was under the impression that most curries were Indian rather than Thai, so I was a little surprised to find out that this Panang stuff is actually not Indian. Technically, it's not Thai either, although you'll often find Panang dishes in Thai restaurants. Penang is an island right off the coast of Malaysia. But Malaysia and Thailand are neighbors, so...close enough, right? Also, there just aren't enough Malaysian restaurants in this country.

Anyway, my wife and I loved this stuff. It's mildly spicy. The base is coconut milk, cream, and peanut butter. It's thick and rich. The flavors here are so complex, yet so easy to appreciate. The notes of garlic, onion, and chili peppers come through, but don't overwhelm the sweet, creamy foundation of the condiment.

It says there are three servings in the container. We managed to finish it in two. This bottle was just enough for a single meal for both of us. We had it with tilapia and sliced bell peppers, served on white rice, and it was amazing. White fish is neutral enough to let the curry shine and be the centerpiece of the meal. We'd love to try it with veggies, shrimp, or chicken next.

This will absolutely be a repeat purchase for us. We're anxious to try the Pad Thai and Butter Chicken sauces in this Good & Gather line. Not sure if anything like this was available under the old Simply Balanced or Archer Farms monikers, but it gets a big thumbs up from me. I think this is the first thing we've tried from Good & Gather that really wowed us. The quality is top-notch and the flavor is restaurant-caliber all the way.

I give this simmer sauce 9 out of 10 stars.

Thursday, July 9, 2020

Good & Gather Yukon Gold Mashed Potatoes

Mashed potatoes aren't exactly a summer food in my mind. They're more of a fall/winter side dish—a staple at Thanksgiving and Christmas time—but every once in a while, I get a craving for them just the same, even if it's hot outside.

We picked these up for the second time just recently. The first time we had them, it was around the holidays, and they had the luxury of being served with stuffing, corn, and cranberry sauce, all of which mixed together and helped their flavor a bit. This time around, we just had them as a side with some sandwiches we made. We added salt, pepper, and a few other random seasonings, which provided a significant boost in the flavor department.

It's not that they taste bad by themselves. They're just a bit on the bland side, despite the fact that there's "whole milk and butter" already in there. I guess you sacrifice a bit of quality and flavor for the convenience factor. You can taste a hint of butteriness, and they're also fairly creamy. They just lack the earthy root vegetable flavor you might get from freshly mashed homemade potatoes.

The texture is very nice. It's thicker than a lot of pre-packaged mashed potatoes. There are small chunks of potato throughout the mixture, which makes it feel a bit more rugged and hearty. Maybe that's where the "Yukon" factor comes in. You know? Nothing's smooth out on the wild Yukon frontier. Not even the mashed potatoes. Or maybe they harvested the potatoes from the Yukon...? 

There is an inviting warm yellowish hue to the taters, hence the "gold" part of the product title.

Here's a link to the nutrition facts, as the photo that we snapped of them was unreadable due to the glare-factor.

At any rate, these GAG Yukon Gold Mashed Potatoes are easy to prepare. They've got a pleasant look and texture, and while nothing to write home about in the flavor category, they'll do in a pinch, especially if they're dressed up with spices and/or gravy and paired along with other sides.

I give these mashed potatoes 7 out of 10 stars.

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