Tuesday, August 7, 2012
Artisan Treats and Petit Amuse: a Review
Petit Amuse explores interesting little shops around the world on a never ending quest to find and eat only the best small batch artisan treats - the kind you won't find at most groceries. You eat right along with them for a low monthly membership fee ($10) when a collection of treats arrives at your home all wrapped up in a little surprise box of deliciousness. Although you are not obligated to buy anything at all, you might find yourself very tempted to do just that.
How can one say no to the request to eat and review good food? My box came in the mail the other day.
I assembled my most experienced Tasting Team (Husband, Son, and Daughter), set up the scientifically precise dessert plates with glasses of cold filtered water for cleansing the palate between tastes, and positioned paper and pencil in anticipation of making learned and quotable comments.
I very much liked the thoughtfully designed menu card.
The reverse side of the card detailed the ingredient list for each item in nice reasonably sized print.
No squinting and peering at tiny little labels required. No reading glasses needed. Nicely done.
Yes, jelly made with Eiswein, the dessert wine that is made when a freeze occurs before the grapes are harvested... and before they rot on the vine. Freezing intensifies the grape's naturally sweet flavor and makes for some pretty dratted awesome wine.
If you like sweet spreads (and this was very sweet), this jelly will rock your socks. The jelly clearly tastes of wine and was delicious spread over a piece of bread.
Salted Rosemary Shortbread
This was a major hit with all four of our tasters, even the more dubious member of my staff ("Shortbread and rosemary???!!!"). The savory rosemary and salt were perfectly balanced by the not too sweet shortbread.
Well done, this is one treat we would buy.
Oh, how I wanted to add an extra Cha on to the name.
This looked so awesomely dark chocolatey that we could not wait to try it. The flavors were superb. Unfortunately, the texture did not match the standard set by the flavor or the anticipation. It was a little dry and hard, and all tasters agreed that was disappointing.
One nice thing about sampling this cookie via Petit Amuse is that we did not waste money on an entire package purchased at a store.
If nothing else, the names of these treats were great fun.
For this bar, think backpacking in Colorado Rocky Mountain National Park. You've stopped to sit on a large flat rock and enjoy the sights and sounds of rushing white water cascading over a particularly gorgeous collection of fallen boulders. You sip from your Earth friendly refillable water bottle and open a chewy Garukabar. The bar's recyclable brown paper wrapper encloses an amazing amount of hiker health with its natural grains, seeds, dried fruit, honey, and brown rices. Fortunately you also brought along a small handkerchief which you dip into the icy cold river and use to dab off the sticky gooey goodness from your fingers after carefully stowing the wrapper in your backpack so as to leave the view as you found it - unsullied by man.
The was definitely the hit of the day. We finished every little kernel of the perfectly seasoned non-GMO popcorn. What's not to love here?
Would we buy more? Absolutely. Hopefully it is available in very large containers so we can stock up.
Is a monthly membership worth the cost?
Tasting Team members huddled and compared notes, debated and wrote copiously as they analyzed each experimental morsel. We then correlated value with epicurean delight in an abundance of colorful pie charts. Does Petit Amuse have what it takes? Does it deliver what it says - good value and a fun foodie experience? Absolutely. Excellent premise, reasonable price, with fun and deliciousness delivered right to your door.