Sunday, December 6, 2009

Cardamom ascending

A news site from India reported that prices of Cardamom were rising. Meanwhile, Lucila, from Mexico discovered that Laleh's Iranian Cardamom tea settled her upset stomach. Intrigued, I checked it out on Wikipedia and learned that cardamom is known for its digestive properties even in China.

For a perfect holiday drink then, new HUM Botanical Spirits based on rum infused with hibiscus, cardamom and ginger is sure to get and keep you in the Christmas spirit.

It's beautiful red and richly delicious--and your stuffing-stuffed tummy will thank you for the healing properties of cardamom and ginger.

Monday, August 24, 2009


My prediction (and recommendation) for this year's holiday gift is a sturdy Le Creuset pot, thanks to "Julie and Julia." My first one was a wedding present 34 years ago, still one of my three favorites, I use it every week.

Proof? I went to screen-grab a pic for you, and found that the model I chose was already sold out.

Sunday, August 23, 2009


Chris writes about his plot in northern Illinois, "Well, not all is gone to ruin, as the picture shows. That represents perhaps the first tenth of the fruit on our vines. Whereas we did very well with cherry tomatoes last year, whatever inscrutable weather pattern variations that favor one plant over another have given us a bounty of cucumbers and heavenly big, rich, complex heirloom tomatoes. Cool and wet this year."

Notice the book. The family will be "eating local" all winter, this week they're making preserves.

Saturday, March 14, 2009


When in Germany on Nestle biz, I watched Aldi squish Wal-mart's bananas. Aldi had its own wine label, cheeses from local farmers, gorgeous produce and stunning low prices. Wal-mart finally left the market. Now I'm watching Aldi expand in the US.

What a terrific competitor for Wal-mart in grocery. Target can't prevail here, they come from dept store roots--Aldi is the same family as Trader Joe's.

Could Aldi US, based in Batavia, join McD and Kraft as Illinois's next great food company?

Saturday, May 24, 2008

Flatbreads and geometry

At the Fancy Food show in Chicago last month, along with Lithuanian liquors, Japanese pine needle juice and all manner of "healthy" dark chocolate, were homely flatbreads.

Why are they popular these days?

The answer offered by an enthusiastic flatbread puveyer was that they're "not the circles and squares that everyone's so tired of." I wondered if rectangles could possibly be so much more appealing a form. He said, "No, they get broken up--into sharp angles and uneven shapes. That's what makes them interesting."

I thought of Cheetos, which get their appeal from weird shapes--and that was the only thing that made me keep from raising a skeptical eyebrow.

Monday, January 28, 2008

Ian's Natural Foods

Keep your eye on this dynamic, young company. They have switched their focus to kids. With antibiotic-free, gluten-free nuggets and chocolate chip buttons, they're poised to meet a big need. Their bright yellow packages and a new character (why an otter?) should convince kids that they provide "for me" food. And parents will show little price resistance.

Even their marketing director, Claire, is a human dynamo. She was a fellow-speaker at the Kids Marketing Mega Event.

I put my chips on this square.

Sunday, January 13, 2008

Slice of Pie

This week, a new product caught my eye. A freezer package containing two slices of key lime pie. Nice!

Hot pie, no leftovers. A novel interpretation of the portion-pack trend.