June 27, 2016
Some time ago I was offered samples of 'bacon' bits made from beans, but I ignored the offer, as I often do when companies want me to review their products. Then I read a rave review of the beans on Vegan Eats and Treats, and I had a moment of doubt about my prior decision. So, I looked up the tossed aside email, and wrote back saying I'd be happy to review the bean bacon if it wasn't too late. The sender wrote back saying not only was he sending beans, he was also sending gluten-free ice cream cones, chips and salt. I planned to write back and say only the beans, please, but didn't get around to it. (Not good timing for chips and ice cream cones when I'm trying to eliminate extracted oils and cut way back on sugar and salt.) I forgot all about it until boxes started arriving at my door. I didn't receive any bacon made from beans, but I did get three other boxes, including a box full of Pacific sea salt. The salt comes from New Zealand. "It is harvested from the pristine waters of the great southern oceans. Currents sweep up the Southern East Coast of New Zealand and into the solar salt field at the top of the South Island. The seawater is evaporated by the natural process Of sun and wind for 13 to 22 months. At the end of each summer, Pacific Sea salt is carefully gathered to retain the balance of minerals and trace elements naturally present in sea salt."
As you can see in the first photo, I received five samples — all of which I will use. So far I've only sampled the three small bottles, and all three seem excellent. In line with our oil-avoidance, we found at a resale shop, an Orville Redenbacher air popper for $3.00, which seems to be in perfect, like-new condition. The salt arrived just in time to sprinkle on our first batch, and both the barbecue and the mesquite flavors were delicious. It didn't take very much of the very fine salt to give the popped corn a delectable flavor. The smoky mesquite was my favorite, but the chipotle is excellent, too. They both will be terrific to use for cooking either on the grill, or on the stove.
The third bottle, flake salt, is a gourmet item. The description on the bottle says, "Marlborough Flaky Sea Salt has been specially evaporated to produce a unique flake shaped salt crystal prized for its enhanced natural flavor and soft texture. This makes it ideal for garnishing all your favorite dishes." It does seem to have a richer flavor than plain salt. I'm very pleased with the Pacific salts and am happy to recommend them. In fact, I think I'll have to re-buy the mesquite and the chipotle when they're gone. Have you tried any of the Pacific Sea Salts or other specialty salts?
I probably shouldn't be including the photo above since it detracts from the serious intention of my review, but I can't help myself. When I walked into the kitchen, this is what I saw. My husband had set the new popper on the counter next to the dog dish, which hadn't yet been given to the dog. When I saw the two together, I couldn't help but take a photo. It's a pretty special popper, don't you think?
I received free product. I wasn't paid. All opinions are my own.