Showing posts with label snack. Show all posts
Showing posts with label snack. Show all posts

Introducing Laine & Lola’s PONPON cookies!

Can I get a PONPON, PONPON, PONPON… can’t stop saying the name, it’s so joyful!

So, what exactly are PONPON cookies? It’s a new confection from Laine & Lola combining bonbons with polvaron, a Filipino-style shortbread cookie. The cookie doesn’t have the typical binding agent (generally egg) in it, so you’re left with a crumbly sweet that breaks apart on first bite and covers the tongue.

If you’re like me and never had one before, it’s like trying Poprocks for the first time. I was taken aback at first, when the mouth was blasted with the flavourful vanilla powder. As it melts away and dissipates, the flavour lingers slightly, not unlike the aftermath of sucking on a candy.

Given a box of their assorted flavours, the original (or vanilla) was a little plain for my tastes. Maybe it’s the drizzle of chocolate or the decorative flair, but the cookies and cream was my favourite, also the richest of the bunch. In general, the stronger flavoured PONPONs were the tastiest to me including the powerful (in relative terms) espresso, slightly bitter matcha, and coconut that didn’t strike me as the fruit on first bite. These are ideal for someone who wants something light and not overly sugary.

Elaine Schober, founder of Laine & Lola, used her grandmother’s long-standing recipe to create the confections. These new artisan cookies were launched at William Sonoma in Yorkdale Mall on May 5th with another pop-up schedule for this Saturday, May 12th, running from 11am to 5pm… just in time for Mother’s Day!  Afterwards, Elaine suggests following their Instagram account @lainenlola because a number of partnership discussions are currently underway. Can I get a PONPON?

Disclaimer: The above samples were complimentary. Rest assured, as noted in my mission statement, I will always provide an honest opinion.

How To Find Them
 Location: Toronto, Canada

Follow me on twitter to chat, be notified about new posts and more -

Simply Snacking: Trader Joe's Giant Peruvian Inca Corn

Corn is such a versatile vegetable: eaten simply off the cob; munched on after being popped; or crunched on after being deep fried as in the case of corn nuts. As much as I enjoy these hard corn snacks, there’s always those few kernels that are way too hard and you begin to worry about chipping a tooth.

While scouring the snack aisle at Trader Joe’s, a bag of Giant Peruvian Inca Corn caught my eye. These babies are like corn nuts on steroids, each kernel equivalent to four of the normal ones. Of course, these aren’t the normal North American variety, but rather the choclo stock from the Incas, bred for their massive size.

They still have that trade mark salty crunch, but the inside is hollow providing a crisper break. 

After being toasted the normal sweetness of the corn caramelizes and takes on a nutty flavour – hence corn nuts! What an addictive snack, that almost makes me want a cold malty beer.

MORE: Back to Simply Snacking

How To Find Them 
 Approx. Price:  US$1.79

Follow me on twitter to chat, be notified about new posts and more -

Did You Hear? Menchie's Canada is Having a Contest!

When Danna and Adam Caldwell opened their first Menchie’s store in LA, little did they know the frozen yoghurt establishment would become a worldwide name! With a rotating 128 flavours – in April a new one, Skor, will soon be available – customers are able to mix and match the yoghurt bases with more than 50 toppings to create their own custom blend. Moreover, their gluten-free, vegan and Kosher options ensures most dietary restrictions can be accommodated.

Toppings range from fresh fruit (berries, a tropical selection and melons) to candies (chocolate and gummi bears) and other interesting choices (sprinkles, cookies and cheesecake). My favourite are the mini peanut butter cups and popping boba, although not generally part of the same cup.

Not to rest on their laurels, Menchies continues to develop new products including custom made cakes and real fruit smoothies … so you won’t feel guilty about stopping into a store before noon.

This spring Menchies is encouraging Canadians to SMILE! After all, the sun and warm weather will soon be gracing us and enjoying the outdoors is but weeks away. A contest is launching March 28, 2016, where participants digitally scratch and win various instant prizes. Afterwards, you’ll receive a pin number to enter towards the grand prize: a 7-night round trip for two to the 5-star Dreams Riviera Cancun Resort & Spa in the Mayan Riviera!

How to Enter Menchie's Contest
 Starting: March 28, 2016

Additionally, check back in a few weeks as Gastro World will also be giving you a chance to win a VIP pass to Menchies - holders are entitled to any cup of frozen yoghurt (no dollar limit)! The perfect way add as many toppings as you want, to create a masterpiece that’s worthy of making you smile.

Good luck everyone!

Follow me on twitter to chat, be notified about new posts and more -

Simply Snacking: Prana Coconut Chips

Prana Coconut Chips

Even if you don’t enjoy coconuts, you may like the chips. It was a friend who first opened my eyes to these snacks about two years ago. At first, I wanted to pass; dry shredded coconut is an ingredient I still haven’t acquired a taste for. However, after one bite of the crunchy chip, I was hooked.

Until now, the chips I’ve had were plain: essentially shavings of the coconut that are roasted until they’re dried and crispy. Much like Prana’s Classic flavour, although you taste the coconut’s faint natural sweetness, it’s still relatively neutral and there’s a lovely creamy finish on the tongue.

Then, in October, Prana really made the product suitable for snacking by introducing spices to their recipe:

Hula – Sea salt and pepper flavoured, which makes an interesting sweet and salty combination with a kick at the end. For me, I found them a tad salty, but were the most reminiscent of actual chips.

Charleston – A subtle BBQ seasoning with undertones of hickory smoke that’s mixed into the sweetness. Depending on the slice, you’ll also get a hit of spice to finish.

Jive – My favourite of the three. Although it’s described as “spicy chili”, its heat was no stronger than the Charleston and noticeable as an after taste. The seasonings had a nice Cajun influence and an aromatic slightly garlicky scent.

Like their other products, the chips are vegan, organic, gluten-free and GMO-free. So, although they provide the salty crunch I crave in chips, it’s a lot healthier. Plus, the product contains a lot of natural fats and fibre, so I’ve found I’m satisfied after a small palm full. Moreover, the hint of sweetness also keeps follow-up snacking at bay as after the savoury crunch, I’m not craving something sugary to round out the experience.

Prana named the line of coconut chips after popular dances from around the world, as a reminder for customers to just enjoy playing with their food. After all, snacking is fun; you shouldn’t feel guilty about the experience, just appreciate it! 

Disclaimer: The above snacks were provided on a complimentary basis. Rest assured, as noted in the mission statement, I would never promote something I didn't actually enjoy.

MORE: Back to Simply Snacking

How To Find Them

  Approx. Price: $3.99

Follow me on twitter to chat, be notified about new posts and more -

Simply Snacking: Prana's Machu Pichu Mix

Prana Machu Pichu exotic fruit and nut mix

Fruit and nut mixes are ideal for satisfying salty and sweet cravings while providing protein and vitamins. Prana’s Machu Pichu mix, part of the June Yummy Goody Box, introduced me to a whole new fruit - the white mulberry.  

White mulberries, according to Wikipedia, is generally found in traditional Chinese medicine and believed to treat constipation, diabetes and prematurely greying hair. Luckily, I’m not suffering from any of these ailments and instead enjoyed the mulberry for its chewy light sweetness. Its shrunken yellow brain appearance doesn’t look appealing but tastes delicious.

Aside from mulberry, the Machu Pichu mix also contained almonds, pumpkin seed, Brazil nuts, plump raisins, goji berries and goldenberries. All in all, a diverse blend of sweet, tangy, crunchy and chewy elements. I like that they don’t add sugar and salt to the mix, rather retaining the ingredient’s natural flavours. My qualm with dried fruit is they often have a weird sugary crust on it.

Prana, a Quebec based company, was co-founded by Marie-Josee Richer. After travelling across Asia and living three years in Goa, India she became a practicing vegan. When returning to Quebec, she and two other travelers wanted to bring the healthy eating lifestyle they developed to North America. Hence, they started Prana, a company dedicated to vegan and organic snacks.

The word Prana means “breath” and in yoga refers to the life force connecting the universe’s elements. Thank you Prana and Yummy Goody Box for connecting me to the white mulberry.

Nutritional information is available on Prana's website.

How To Find Them 
 Approx. Price:  $4.99