With the new year, it seems that some new food products have arrived to add excitement to our supermarket visits. Or to be more accurate, my supermarket visits, because Mr Bite has a calmness in the supermarket that I suspect I will never achieve.
These crackers were a particularly thrilling find last week:
I've not tried the Roccas Deli cracker range before, but these almost jumped off the shelf into my trolley. Thin and crisp in texture, the crackers are potato based with either beetroot or sweet potato as the secondary ingredient. Unlike the rice crackers I favour most often in the cracker department, the flavour of these is all on the inside - there are no added spices on top of the cracker, or seasoning that rubs off on your hands.
I expected to like the sweet potato crackers best, but found myself completely won over by the Beetroot Infused with Mint. Admittedly, I couldn't taste any beetroot. I could taste a slight glimmer of mint, but the taste - to my complete surprise - was like the plain, lightly salted and lightly peppered crisps that I remember from my childhood. I rarely eat crisps these days as they're not something I really enjoy, but these were less oily, less potato-y, and more flavourful than the traditional variety. The pink colour is a bonus.
The ingredients in these crackers are fresh potato, fresh beetroot (38%), vegetable starch, sunflower oil, salt, vegetable gum (zanthan), mint, and black pepper. Nutritionally, 100g (equivalent to the full packet) has 413 calories, 10.3g fat (0.8g saturated), 3g protein, 74g carbohydrate (7g sugar) and 910mg sodium. I'd have liked less salt, but that is really par for the course with most commercial crackers.
All in all? I really, really liked these. I will definitely be buying them again.
The Seasoned Sweet Potato crackers were slightly softer and less crisp than the beetroot variety, and the sweet potato was definitely detectable. In fact, sweet potato and pepper were the dominant flavours. The slight heat from the pepper lingers after the cracker is over, and would probably work well with cheese, if you liked cheese.
The ingredient list starts off, again, with fresh potato, followed by sweet potato (30%), vegetable starch, sunflower oil, salt, garlic powder, coriander, vegetable gum (xanthan), cumin, and cayenne pepper. The nutritional information is comparable, with slightly less fat.
I did like these, but not quite as much as the beetroot ones. When comparing them, my overall impression was that these were less 'sharp' than the beetroot, both in texture and in flavour. They seemed slightly more starchy and less captivating in taste, although pairing them with cheese or dip would no doubt rectify that (I ate both varieties plain).
These crackers were $2.99 per packet and I found them at Woolworths.
On the same shopping trip, I found two new herbal teas, complementing two I tried for the first time last December. I also re-visited an old favourite, and thought I'd mention all five teas in the one post.
The new varieties were 'Higher Living' Cinnamon and Ginger Kick. Higher Living is an English company I hadn't heard of before, but a look at their website confirms they make plenty of tea flavours I'd like to try.
The reason these caught my attention is that the Cinnamon and Ginger Kick teas don't just have cinnamon or ginger. The Cinnamon includes cinnamon, whole fennel seeds, licorice, citrus peel and ginger, whilst the Ginger Kick has ginger, lemon peel and safflowers.
Herbal teas do have a tendency to be more vivid in look and smell than in actual taste, so I was rather delighted to be able to detect the licorice and ginger, as well as cinnamon, in the Cinnamon tea. The Ginger Kick tasted more like traditional ginger tea, with no real identifiable differences to the other brands I've tried, but was still enjoyable. These were $3.69 each.
The two teas I picked up in December were Celestial Seasonings Red Zinger, and Madame Flavour Green Tea with Jasmine and Pear. The Red Zinger includes hibiscus, rosehips, peppermint, lemongrass, orange peel, lemon myrtle, licorice, and wild cherry bark. Overall, it tastes like berry herbal tea with peppermint and licorice. This flavour combination works very well, and it really is zing-like, despite the tea being caffeine free. The Madame Flavour Green Tea has a shorter ingredient list, with green tea, jasmine and 'natural pear flavour'. To me, it really just tastes like a slightly sweet green tea. Quite pleasant, but not anything very new.
Lastly, I have returned to the Italian Almond Tea that I purchase every now and then. This tea captivates me because it smells just like almond finger biscuits (the dense, cakey ones) - in other words, very almond essence-y. In contrast to the smell, the taste of the tea disappoints just a little, and I do tend to like it in small doses spread at medium intervals. When I am in the mood, though, it is very enjoyable. The taste definitely includes almond essence, and as it is a black tea base you could serve it with milk (although I haven't done so).
So there we go! Any new supermarket discoveries in your area recently? Or have you tried any of the above products?