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Wednesday, May 5, 2021

Good & Gather Sesame Teriyaki Sauce

Since my wife's family speaks Spanish, I've been using Duolingo to brush up on my Espanol for the past year or so. It's a free download, and it's a fun and effective way to learn a language. Just for kicks and giggles, I also started checking out Japanese. It's crazy difficult, and it makes Spanish seem so much more familiar by comparison. But just in the very beginning levels, out of a total of maybe a dozen words, they've already given me "teriyaki" as a Japanese vocabulary word.

I suppose it's just one of those Japanese concepts that Americans are probably already familiar with, but it's also a testament to how integral the flavor is to Japanese culture. I, personally, love good sushi, but eating raw fish might not be quite as accessible to other cultures, while a sweet, salty, and savory condiment that goes on grilled meats is right up the average American's alley.

This sauce flaunts that familiar sweet, salty, and savory teriyaki flavor, as well as a bit of sesame essence, too. The sesame lends a nuttiness to the product that blends well with all the other teriyaki flavors.

Texture-wise, it's a medium thick liquid, brown in color, and it's very smooth. We had it most recently with a pre-packaged stir-fry meal with noodles, vegetables, and shrimp, and it worked splendidly.

We've also tried it as a glaze for salmon, and it's just as good like that. I'd even try putting it on a burger with some grilled pineapple rings and provolone cheese for that Hawaiian teriyaki effect. $2.99 for the 12 oz bottle. Would definitely buy again.

I give this sauce 8 out of 10 stars.

Friday, April 16, 2021

Good & Gather Everything Cashews

Ah, it's time for Target's Everything but the Bagel Cashews. Oh, no wait. Must be thinking of another brand. 

These are Everything but the Girl Cashews, right? No? 

Everything but the House. That has to be it. 

Everything but the Kitchen Sink?

Nope. Just "Everything Cashews." 

Or "Everything Seasoned Cashews Made with Sesame Seeds, Garlic, Onion, Salt & Poppy Seeds" if you're not into the whole brevity thing.

Let's dive in. GAG has blessed us with another relatively tasty snack. If you're going to pick a single nut to mix with everything bagel seasoning, I think cashews are probably your best bet.

I feel like everything seasoning might clash with some other tasty nuts like almonds or peanuts, and nuts I'm not as fond of, such as Brazil nuts or pine nuts, would ruin the salty seediness of the everything seasoning. The rich creaminess of cashews balances out the potent taste of onions, garlic, and sesame seeds fairly well.

The everything seasoning adds a little bit of an extra crunch, too. I think most of the elements in the seasoning are crispier and harder than the texture of the average cashew. They tend to be soft, as nuts go.

The resealable bag is always handy and welcome. No matter what product it is in the package, it'll stay much fresher with that convenient ziplock seal. 

$5.99 for the 7.5 oz bag. That's a fair price point in my opinion. Cashews aren't generally cheap, since they only grow in frost-free tropical areas. 

I'd buy again if I were in the mood for cashews—and yes, I do think I prefer this seasoned version over plain cashews, just ever so slightly.

I give these nuts 7 out of 10 stars.

Tuesday, March 30, 2021

Good & Gather Banana Nut Granola

Ah, another Good & Gather cereal. We used to try a different Archer Farms brand granola every other month back in the day. I don't know how many varieties we looked at on this blog. At least a dozen or two I'm pretty sure.

Anyway, this is only the second I think as far as GAG is concerned. Banana Nut. Yummy. Let's dig in.

We'll start with the negatives first and get those out of the way. Number one: some chunks of granola are enormous. They're way too big to shovel into your mouth and too big to fit on the average spoon. There's a good bit of breaking apart and size reduction to be done by smashing the boulders of granola. 

Second: if this is banana cereal, why not throw some significant amounts of dried banana pieces in there? The ingredients say there's dried banana, but I don't really see any dried banana. I mean I taste a banana essence of sorts, but to me this product is just begging for larger chunks of dried banana and/or full on banana chips.

Third: it could use a wee bit more chocolate.

Other than that, this is a solid granola cereal. The overall taste is very enjoyable. As aforementioned, there is a nice sweet banana essence. It's not overbearing or overwhelming, and it's not too sweet, either. 

There are a fair amount of almond slivers that fulfill the "nut" part of the equation. Why do most people put walnuts in banana bread and other banana nut products? Almonds are so much better. Nothing against walnuts. I'm just saying next time you bake banana bread, use almonds instead. They're at least as good, right?

The texture is nice and crunchy, even after a significant amount of time submerged in milk. Other than the enormous mountains of granola all wadded together, everything else is bite size and crispy.

$3.79 for the 12oz bag. The wife likes it even more than I do, although she doesn't think she tastes banana at all. Resealable bag is a plus. Would definitely buy again.

I give this granola 8 out of 10 stars.

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