Dec 30, 2009

Two Great Food Products of 2009

As a food writer, I'm occasionally sent products for review. I'm happy to try them out, but it's rare that I find a product to be so exceptional that I'm willing to fork over valuable real estate to write about it. In fact, all this year I only reviewed two products: chocolates from Jean-Philippe Patisserie (in the Belagio, Las Vegas) and Fever Tree's new Ginger Beer.

However, there were two more new products this year that I wanted to tell you about. Since time is running out on 2009, I'm going to do quick reviews on both:

Donsuemor French Almond Cakes: Last year I wrote a review about Donsuemor's Madeleines, which were sinfully delish--as good as any madeleine I've ever had in France, and better than many. So earlier this year, when I received these French Almond Cakes, I approached them with a bit of skepticism. How could they possibly improve on the madeleines?

And, in fact, they don't actually improve on the madeleines; but they're not supposed to. These petite and elegant cakes head in a different direction, one that's equally luscious. They have a more "cakey" mouth presence, while being moist and light and almond-ish. I savored them slowly, one a day, always with a glass of milk. They are just heavenly. Donsuemor does a fabulous job with their packaged delights; they really do seem to be bakery-fresh. I continue to be really impressed with this company. For more info and to buy a supply of your own, visit Donsuemor's website.

OliVaylle Extra Virgin Olive Nectar: An Australian company, OliVaylle unabashedly describes this ultra-premium product as "the finest extra virgin olive oil in the world." It just might be! I have treasured every drop of this taste-explosion, saving it for simple salads where the nectar's slightly biting taste can rule in all its glory.

Australian olive oil imports are something new, but at one time the importation of Australian wine was new, too--and just look at what's happened with that. Australia's climate is similar to other wine- and olive-producing regions in the world: California, Italy, France, etc. So, really, it should come as no surprise that Australia can turn out a fabulous olive oil.

OliVaylle was founded in 1997 by Jorge de Moya with the express intent of producing the world's best olive oil. Moya's family-owned olive plantation and olive oil producing facility are both located in Victoria.

Why do they call it nectar? Simple: in classical mythology, nectar is considered the life-giving drink of the gods.

Visit the Olivaylle site, where you'll find lots of info and recipes for an Australian Family Dinner, a Cuban Fiesta, an Italian Date Night, a South African Fusion meal, and an evening of American Entertaining Elegance. You can also order Olivaylle's olive oil nectar in the site's shop.

Pop those corks tomorrow night, readers, and here's to a great 2010!

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