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Category Archives: Products

reviews of cooking ingredients and equipment

Blair’s 3 A.M. Reserve

If anyone wants to make Zach happy, gift him a bottle from Blair’s.  Blair’s makes snacks as well as hot sauces, but the sauces make the brand famous all over the globe.  The 3 A.M. is the second in a series of the “A.M.” Reserves extracts, which are named for when Blair worked in the bar business.  Any patron who wanted to stay past closing at 2 am had to eat four hot wings with Blair’s dastardly sauce, but none ever succeeded.  The 3 A.M. Reserve has a range of 900,000-1,200,000 scoville units, comparable to ghost peppers.  Blair’s mix of red savina habanero chili, cayenne chili, and special extract is recommended to use extremely sparingly – a teaspoon is more than enough to enhance a gallon of your own sauce, as per Blair.  He signs and numbers each bottle and can even personalize if you like, so hardcore chiliheads would go gaga over a gift like this.  As a collector’s item, some editions have been known to resell for BIG money, so it’s a hard choice: crack the seal and enjoy the extract, or save it and bank it?  What would you do, reader?

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Blair’s Salsa de la Muerte

salsa de la muerte

salsa de la muerte

(The label is in Spanish, so we thought we’d follow suit today!  See below for translation)

Blair’s es una compañía que produce una variedad de salsas, todas picantes pero a niveles diferentes.  Hemos escrito de cuatro, pero ésta de que escribimos hoy se llama “Salsa de la muerte” y ella misma tiene dos caras.  Ambas tienen puestas etiquietas en español, y afortunadamente August conoce la lengua.  Pero aparentemente, las botellas que se exportan a países de América Latina llevan más chile habanero que la versión que se vende en los Estados Unidos, para los gustos del mundo hispano.  Ambas “salsas de la muerte” contienen chipotle como ingrediente prinicpal por su sabor, mas zumo de lima y cilantro, pero las dos se contrastan por el sudor que causan por comérselas.  Los usos sugeridos incluyen mariscos hasta huevos rancheros (y podemos pensar en más), entonces es bastante versátil para servir con cualquier plato.

Blair’s is a company that produces a great variety of salsas, all spicy but at different levels.  We have written about four, but this one of which we write today is called “Salsa of death” and it itself has two faces.  Both have affixed labels in Spanish, and fortunately August knows the language.  But apparently, the bottles that are exported to Latin American countries have more habanero than the version that is sold in the United States, for the Hispanic peoples’ tastes.  Both “salsas of death” contain chipotle as a main ingredient for its flavor, plus lime juice and cilantro, but the two of them contrast by the sweat they cause when eaten.  Suggested uses include shellfish and huevos rancheros (and we can think of more), so it’s fairly versatile to serve with any dish.

Coolhaus Ice Cream Sandwiches

coolhaus

coolhaus

Coolhaus started as a little ice cream truck in Los Angeles toting sandwiches inspired by architecture.  Thankfully for those outside of L.A., Coolhaus now commands a fleet of trucks posted in several states, plus it has made its way into Whole Foods.  Of all grocery chains, that would be the most suitable and aligned with Coolhaus’s philosophy, as the masterminds are committed to using all-natural, handmade, and organic ingredients and products when possible.  Like the extreme attention to quality, the flavor combinations are extremely striking.  Each creation intends to satisfy sweet and savory cravings; to reflect that sense of polarity, we picked up two sandwiches to sample, one bacon and one vegan.

"louis ba-kahn"

“louis ba-kahn”

Louis Kahn, one of the most famous architects of the 20th century, was inspired by ancient ruins.  For this little structure, the roof and floor are made of chocolate chip cookies (not ancient at all).  Soft but firm enough to hold the ice cream, these cookies would easily disappear quickly into the mouths of chocolate chip lovers of any age.  The rich and creamy ice cream, though, is what made this sing, with brown butter and candied bacon.  The bacon, more than candied, was vibrantly smoky but not overwhelmingly so.  It balanced just fine throughout the sandwich, since there was enough sweet to go around from the vanilla undertones of the ice cream and the chocolate chip cookies.

"thomas mayne-go"

“thomas mayne-go”

Considering vegans don’t consume chocolate, this is one heckuva decadent dessert alternative.  Providing this vegan option is right along the lines of Thomas Mayne and his pursuit of architecture with a focus on social agenda and urban planning – all those within the population must be considered in urban planning and development, just like all those within the population must be offered a delicious ice cream sandwich that suits their diet.  The mango sorbet was sweet, tart, and tangy like true mango, and for how creamy it was without any actual cream, the texture was excellent.  By missing the egg to help bind the cookies, there was a little bit of crumbliness, but vegans are likely accustomed to texture differences.  Moving past the texture, the taste of the molasses cookies was spiced like the holidays, which accented the mango very nicely.

Making appearances and garnering fans from the audiences of Good Morning America and Coachella, Coolhaus has a following as eclectic as its selection.  Figures, since it would seem that there is a flavor for everyone.  When you find yours, your palate will be ecstatic.