Friday, July 11, 2014

Snacks from Hail Merry

At work, we have an event every year where vendors bring in assorted chips, nuts, bars, and other snack foods.  We taste all of the products, and then vote on which items we'd like to see stocked on campus.  Knowing how much I love sampling things and trying new products, you can imagine how much fun this is for me!

I could easily fill my blog for an entire year with just the products I have tried at these product fairs.  But, I'll spare you and only share the ones I found to be particularly noteworthy ... like the vanilla maple almonds from Hail Merry!

I was addicted to these nuts.  Unfortunately, they did not get selected so my supply has run out, but since then I've also had the chance to try more Hail Merry products, like aboard Virgin America.  Hail Merry has several product lines: nuts and seeds, macaroons, and "miracle tarts".  I've never tried the tarts, but they look like little refrigerated tarts.

Hail Merry products are all raw, gluten-free, vegan, do not use refined sugar, non-GMO, etc, etc.  And, it just so happens, actually taste good too!
Vanilla Maple Almonds.
"Rather than roast our almonds, we season them with organic Madagascar Bourbon Vanilla and then dehydrate them at very low temperatures to protect the naturally occurring plant oils."

I adore these.  Fresh tasting almonds, coated in the most absolutely delicious vanilla maple stuff.  Sweet, but not too sweet.  The vanilla flavor is really strong.  They go well with coffee, with tea, or just as a snack.  Love them.

Additional tasting notes: [ Awesome!  Really good.  Nice maple flavor, sweet, delicious. Definitely sweet, but addicting! ][ I’m in love with these ] [ So sweet, love the vanilla, delicious ] [ I really love these.  Great vanilla flavor. ] [ Love love love the flavor in these. ] [ Seriously love the coating on these, but some individual nuts don’t have much. ] [ The coating on these is addicting.  I love it.  I eat far more of these in a sitting than I expect because I’m chasing after more of it, since they are unevenly coated. ]
Salt N Black Pepper Sunflower Seeds
"Our sunflower seeds are dehydrated at low temperatures to protect the natural oils that absorb our classic seasoning combo of fresh salt and a kick of black pepper."

These are exactly what they say they are.  Just … salt and pepper sunflower seeds.  Interesting kick from pepper.  Not my thing though.
Orange Rosemary Pecans
"Instead of roasting our nuts, we season then dehydrate our nuts at very low temperatures.  Orange Rosemary blend tastes of fresh pine, tangy orange and a touch of sea salt. "

Nice flavors, strong, a little unexpected.  They go very well with red wine and cheese.

Additional tasting notes: [ Strange to just snack on, but on a cheese platter, these would be perfect ] [ Nice subtle orange flavor, rosemary good combo.  Somewhat savory.  I prefer sweeter nuts, but these are interesting. ] [ Good flavors, complex, almost really love these. ] [ Yes, indeed, they go well with red wine and cheese! ]
The Royal Blend.
"This nourishing Royal Blend of raw cashews, Celtic sea salt almonds and Chimayo Chile pecans is a satisfying snack any time of day."

Chimayo chile pecans, sea salt almonds, cashews.  All very … plain.  I expected a lot more flavor, particularly since Hail Merry’s other nuts and seeds had so much.  The majority of the mix was cashews, next prevalent was almonds, and finally, pecans.  The almonds and cashews seemed to just be salted, no additional seasoning, the cashews even more plain than the almonds.  But the nuts were high quality.  The pecans were the best, a tiny bit of interesting spice from the chile, but also, there was pepper.  The pepper ended up overwhelming most other flavor, which was surprising, but grew on me.
Chocolate Macaroons 
“This decadent dessert snack is perfect as a mid-afternoon pick-me-up, or as a guilt-free treat. Merry's macaroons are dehydrated at low temperatures to protect the raw coconut oil for a melt-in-your-mouth taste experience.”

I was surprised by the very simple ingredient list: organic maple syrup, organic shredded coconut, Fair trade dark cocoa, organic extra virgin coconut oil, organic Madagascar bourbon vanilla, sea salt.

These weren’t quite what I was expecting, as they were intensely chocolatey.  They reminded me more of a brownie, albeit one with a lot of coconut flakes, than a macaroon.  The strong cocoa flavor was complex and fairly dark and bitter, and although there was sweetness from the maple syrup, these were not particularly sweet.

They were decent, but I'd like to try some other flavors before I'd go for these again, like the Caramel Sea Salt or Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough macaroons.

Each macaroon was a little puck, and a serving size listed on the package was two, which seemed about right for a small snack.
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