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Brand Packaged Food Video

Hidden Valley Ranch Releases New Line of Restaurant-Style Secret Sauces

Few things on this Earth are more dependable than the fact that if a restaurant has a “secret sauce,” that sauce is undoubtedly going to be delicious, and go well with almost anything on the menu. The only problem with “secret sauce” is just that— it’s secret.

Well, fear not my sauce loving friends, Hidden Valley Ranch has solved this issue. They have a new restaurant-style sauce that brings that classic “secret” taste to your home.

The new sauce is available in three flavors, guaranteeing a pairing that’ll spice up almost any food you bring home. Each will have you reaching to throw away that crusty bottle of ketchup in your fridge, but here’s a quick breakdown to help you choose one that’s right for you. Feel free to mix and match, though. Go crazy.

The original flavor is cool and tangy, and goes well with any classic takeout foods, like burgers or sandwiches.

The smokehouse is reminiscent of a BBQ ranch, and can kick any boring fries or tater tots up a notch or five.

And, of course, there’s got to be a spicy one. The last kind will make zesting up any taco or meat/rice bowl easier than ever.

Best of all, each bottle comes equipped with a trusty cap that makes drizzling sauce all over your meal a breeze.

Check out the above News Bites video for trusted Foodbeast Elie Ayrouth’s in-depth tasting notes and advice on pairings for each variation of the sauces.

Hidden Valley Ranch’s new Secret Sauce can be purchased at Walmart, online or in-stores, for $3.48.

Secret sauce lovers, ranch lovers, rejoice. Your issues have been solved.

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Brand Cravings What's New

Skittles Premieres New Sour Skittles-Infused Ice Cream Bars

As spring transitions to summer, so too do snack cravings. Gone are the big bags of sweets that are to be devoured under three blankets while watching movies. It’s time for ice cream. But, as we sit in the in-between period of the change — too hot for a sweater, but not hot enough for a t-shirt— a cravings crisis begins to form. Much like choosing an outfit, choosing the appropriate snack can be a downright challenge.

Enter, Crazy Sour Skittles Coolers, the hybrid ice cream-candy. 

The new treat is the latest in the candy’s ice cream bars, the first of which dropped last February. The premise remains the same: deliver the Skittles experience, but make it ice cream. Except now, the humble Sour Skittle is the star of the show. 

This is accomplished by dipping a fruit-flavored, Skittles-infused ice cream bar in a “sour fruit sorbet.” 

The results can be seen on the Instagram page @newfoodsuk, who reported the find at an Iceland Foods supermarket. 

The response to the account’s post were, unsurprisingly, mixed. But, it’s hard to imagine ice cream and candy not being good together (or at least good enough to try) so this seems like an easy move for candy fiends.

Unfortunately, this is a UK-only product, so any stateside Skittles fanatics will have to find something else to fulfill their cravings.

I’m sorry, Marshawn

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Brand Products What's New

KIND Promotes Gender Equality for International Women’s Day

Photo provided by Bridgit Kasperski for Kind Healthy Snacks

KIND, known for their healthy snack bars, has announced a new initiative named KIND EQUALITY. The initiative was created to support the passing of The Equal Rights Amendment (ERA), which guarantees equal rights for all American citizens regardless of gender.

Originally proposed by National Women’s Party founder Alice Paul in 1923, near ratification of ERA was subsequently stopped cold 50 years later, ironically enough, by a woman named Phyllis Schlafly, leader of the Stop-ERA Campaign. That basically means it took 50 years for women to almost convince state legislatures to pass the bill before a woman-led campaign successfully prevented it. This excerpt from USHistory.org details some of the absurd arguments used to shepherd state legislatures away:

“Protective laws like sexual assault and alimony would be swept away. The tendency for the mother to receive child custody in a divorce case would be eliminated. The all-male military draft would become immediately unconstitutional. Those opposed to the ERA even suggested that single-sex restrooms would be banished by future courts.”

Another surprising tidbit is that America is one of the only modern countries that doesn’t constitutionally guarantee equal gender rights. Public polls report a staggering 80% of Americans falsely believing otherwise. Fortunately, an opportunity to successfully pass ERA has presented itself in the form of Virginia’s recent decision to become the 38th state to ratify the amendment. Originally stopped at 35, the past few years have shown a tide change. It takes 38 states for amendment ratification, after which it must traverse the hurdles of Congress and the Republican-controlled Senate. 

To raise awareness for the passing of ERA, KIND has announced the EQUALITY Bot, a quick and easy service for supporters to text elected state officials. A simple text of “Pass the ERA” to 50409 will automatically sign KIND’s petition, which will be sent directly to your state officials. If you’re then so kind as to share proof of signing to Twitter and tag @kindsnacks during March, KIND will donate $1 to the Alice Paul Institute.

Photo provided by Bridgit Kasperski for Kind Healthy Snacks

Additionally, the brand has created a limited-edition caramel almond & sea salt snack called KIND® EQUALITY bar that supports and promotes gender equality. With a minimum donation of $10,000, 100% of the proceeds will go to the Alice Paul Institute (API), a non-profit whose mission is to advance gender equality. The proceeds will assist with educating the public about ERA as well as leadership development for teen girls. Elle Lanning, Chief of Staff at KIND, offers further insight into the new initiative’s purpose:

“KIND has always used our voice to elevate kindness and empathy. In this case, our team, which is comprised mostly of women, is proud to support the ratification of the ERA. Through this program, our hope is to help solidify gender equality as a basic human right in this country, once and for all.”

KIND EQUALITY is part of KIND Snack & Give Back Project, a multi-year program to inspire kindness and empathy. The program features special edition bars, each created to support communities that “haven’t received their fair share of kindness.

If you’re looking to join the push towards making gender equality a constitutional right, you can purchase the KIND® EQUALITY bar exclusively on www.kindsnacks.com during the month of March.

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Adventures Brand Cravings Features FOODBEAST SPONSORED Video

Between 2 Meals: This Isolated Restaurant Can Only Be Reached By Horse-Drawn Sleigh Or Skis

When I heard that the Foodbeast team was going to Aspen for the new episode of Between 2 Meals, I was worried. There was no doubt in my mind they could do what they set out to— create a utility guide of good eats and a possible excursion for any curious travelers in Aspens, that is. But a bunch of Southern Californians in the mountain cold? I was sure someone was going to end up like Jack Nicholson in The Shining.

Luckily, it appears they kept the Java Monster flowing and their bodies moving. Indeed, only once did they come close to a frozen Foodbeast when the episode’s host Geoff Kutnick mistook how to cross-country ski (walking in the snow on skis, for the uninformed) and tried to, literally, ski two miles uphill.

Needless to say, this did not go well, but it did provide for one of the episode’s best moments. And that’s saying something, as Geoff explored two of Aspen’s prime eateries and one of its signature activities.

At the first stop of the episode, Geoff explores the accidental history behind Aspen hotspot Bamboo Bear’s signature fried chicken, which is double fried for a remarkably crispy skin. The dish has become a staple for Aspen eaters, along with the restaurant’s traditional banh mi that uses fresh baguettes from a local Vietnamese bakery. Judging by the look of pure bliss on Geoff’s face after dunking a wing in the restaurant’s Bear’s Breath sauce, there’s no doubt that this is a must visit in the Colorado town.

Before the next meal, our host was joined by twelve-time X Games medalist Jackson Strong. The two tour Aspen’s main attractions, the slopes, via snowmobile. While most people opt for skis or snowboards as their mode of exploration, when an X Games contender approaches you with snowmobiles, you take the snowmobile. Once Geoff had a snowmobile ride that was a little more than he bargained for, it was off to the next restaurant.

After the aforementioned uphill trek, the two reach the Pine Creek Cookhouse, a local stronghold that’s only accessible by sleigh or cross-country ski, to check out it’s surprising specialties. The first is the massive Kurt Russell burger, sourced straight from the actor’s cattle farm. The second, a type of Nepalese dumpling called momos, is a tribute to Pine Creek owner John Wilcox’s extensive experience in the Himalayas. The restaurant’s forte is handmade by actual sherpas, who staff much of the kitchen.

Check out the full episode at the top of this article to see these delicious eats, Geoff’s misadventures, and the beautiful snowy mountains of Aspen.


Created in partnership with Java Monster. 

Categories
Adventures Brand Features Hit-Or-Miss

Parmigiano Reggiano’s Impact on Food Culture

A couple hours south of Milan is one of Italy’s most treasured and storied regions that you may not know about. The Emilia-Romagna region of Northern Italy is a beautiful countryside that encompasses a lush pasture — the ideal place to cultivate epicurean goods. This region is home to important staples of Italian cuisine, with deeply rooted traditions that stretch their influence worldwide, lending itself to be superior producers of ham, balsamic vinegar, and of course Parmigiano Reggiano (parmesan cheese) —”The King of Cheeses.”  If your travels ever take you to this land of plenty, it would be easy to see why the culture of food in this region is especially valuable.     

Parmigiano Reggiano is a cheese that bears the weight of centuries old tradition. It carries with it an immortal process of cheese making that has been unchanged since its conception.  The process, developed by the Benedictan monks in the thirteenth century, uses only three ingredients: raw milk, rennet, and salt. With that, they were able to develop a method that safely aged cheese over a long period of time.  To this day, Parmigiano Reggiano, the authentic parmesan cheese can only be produced within the Emilia-Romagna region, using the same ingredients and methods.  

The 352 dairy farms within the Parmigiano Reggiano Consortium (the union of producers and traders) abide by a strict process in creating this natural cheese.  The process begins by combining fresh, raw, unpasteurized milk from local cows with calf rennet — the enzyme used to jumpstart the curdling process. It is whisked around in a large copper vat, separating the solidifying cheese and the liquids over a short period of time.  Once the cheese completely sinks to the bottom, it is scooped up and molded into a large wheel. It is later brined in salt and is set to mature properly over the course of at least two years before being sold.

This arduous and meticulous process requires a masterful hand to create, and goes on year round without fail.  It makes absolute sense that these wheels (of fortune) cost what they do at market.   

True Italian chefs know that there is no substitute for authentic Parmigiano Reggiano, and it’s potential in dishes soar higher than as just a garnish on a bowl of bolognese.  Unlike its American counterfeit of the grated variety, parmesan in its truest form can be delivered in innovative ways that take advantage of its robust flavor.

Over time, Parmigiano Reggiano was established as a Denominazione di Origine Protetta (DOP), a product with a protected designation of origin — which means that it is a good produced only in a specific region of Italy, requiring a specific production process that cannot be duplicated elsewhere, due to its association to culture and historical value. 

Parmigiano is truly valued in many frames of Italian culture, especially in the Emilia-Romagna region.  It’s special to all the chefs and gourmands — who value true craftsmanship and artistry; and the pursuit of authenticity.  But especially for the Consortium’s 352 dairy farms and its farmers — the literal nine centuries old art of cheesemaking tradition that spans several generations; all families that are prepared to pass down a noble livelihood to the next generation.  It is pride, passion, and genuine love that is at the center of this story.

Categories
Alcohol Beer Brand Cravings Sweets

These Boozy Chocolates Are What You Need To Get Through The Holidays

Christmas is fast-approaching with retailers being swarmed by mobs of holiday shoppers. If you’re like me, you probably wait until the last minute to grab gifts, wrongly assuming a strategic edge. No matter your approach, finding the perfect presents can be a tad stressful. New babies tend to pop out yearly and shoe sizes grow quicker than heavy snowfall. It’s worth it of course, few things bring more joy than the smile on a loved ones face after receiving the perfect gift. 

Furthermore, along with joy, the holiday season always offers treats to help take the edge off. Spiked eggnog is an obvious favorite. Rum cake is another. For true sweet and slizzard spirits, boozy confections are definitely this year’s go-to. These clever creations contain enough alcohol content to give your Santa hat an extra lean. Below are a list of boozy chocolates that are sure to get you through the holiday hooplah:

1. Cognac Pine Cone

andSons’ Cognac Pine Cones are crafted to be the perfect balance of French Delamain and 61% dark chocolate ganache. Two pieces come in each box at a retail price of $15.50. 

2. Eggnog Snowmen Box

Hand-painted with care, andSon’s Eggnog Snowmen Box offers a fun take on a holiday confection. Each snowman is made with Tahitian vanilla eggnog white chocolate ganache, nutmeg and a touch of rum. Try taking a bite of one and saying that three times fast. You have the option of purchasing a box set of 6 or 13 at $19.50 and $39.50 respectively.

Photo By tomsgroup.com for Anthon Berg

3. Anthon Berg Liquor Bottles

Featuring a wide selection of premium liquor brands like Remy Martin, Cointreau and Grand Marnier, there’s no better companion for your holiday sweet tooth. These miniature bottle shaped treats are made with delectable dark chocolate and have an alcohol content that ranges from 2.5%-5%. A box of 16 bottles will run you just under $25.

Photo by butlerschocolates.com for Butlers Chocolates

4. The Cocktail Menu by Butler’s Chocolates

These cocktail inspired chocolates are sure to leave you shaken, not stirred. Including 8 varieties of popular cocktails like Espresso Martini, Classic Gin Martini and Whiskey Sour. You can be the life of the mixer with this Great Taste Award winning box for just $20.  

Photo By worldmarket.com for Guinness

5. Guinness Liqueur Chocolate Pints

What better way to show your love for beer than with these pint-sized Guinness liqueur-filled candies? Crafted in Ireland, each piece is 2.29oz and made with delicious dark and white chocolate. Grab a round at your local World Market for under $10. 

Photo By thevermontcountrystore.com for Haute Fudge

6. Baileys Irish Cream Fudge Sauce

This 10 oz jar of creamy delight comes packed with Dutch cocoa, sweet butter and Baileys. It’s the perfect topping for holiday desserts like ice cream and cake. True chocolate fiends can enjoy it by the spoonful for $12.95.

Photo By thevermontcountrystore.com for Poire Williams

7. Poire Williams Pear Chocolate Liqueurs

Why dip your fruit into chocolate sauce this holiday season when you can have fruit shaped chocolate with a saucy interior? This pear-shaped dark chocolate is filled with Poire Williams Brandy which is distilled from Bartlett pears, a unique pear liqueur known for its intense flavor of sweet, ripe pears. Each gift box is just $17.95.

Photo By amazon.com for Jack Daniels

8. Jack Daniels’ Chocolate Bar

This chocolate bar is pretty self explanatory. Made with Swiss milk chocolate, you can have your syrupy choice of Jack Daniels’ Black Label or their sweeter Tennessee Honey for $10.95.

As you can see, your sweet tooth is covered this holiday season. If you’re still trying to figure out a holiday gift for those special someones, look no further than these selections of boozy confections. Getting chocolate wasted will take on a whole new meaning this Christmas.

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Brand Cravings Culture Video

14 of the Best Holiday Foods at Knott’s Merry Farm

Rarely has there ever been a theme park with as intrinsic of a connection to food as Knott’s Berry Farm has. Originating from a roadside berry stand, the park still has an annual celebration for boysenberry season. Knott’s prides itself on continually updating the dishes around the park in accordance with its festivals, like it’s current variation Knott’s Merry Farm, where the park gets a vibrant, festive overlay.

Last week, we got to visit the freshly decorated park and celebrate the holiday season by trying several of the new dishes that will be served until Knott’s Merry Farm wraps up on January 5th. Check out the 14 foods below that made us joyfully grab a top hat and start singing Christmas carols.

Mac Lorraine

Location: Wagon Wheel Pizza

A classic white cheese mac gets mixed with bacon and wrapped in a fresh naan. It’s like if garlic bread got in the gym and beefed itself up.

Holiday Poutine

Location: La Papa Loca

A bed of crispy sweet potato fries is topped with turkey, turkey gravy, dried cranberries, and, as any self-respecting poutine should have, cheese curds.

Fried Green Beans

Location: Calico Fry Company

The best way to prepare vegetables, ironically, is frying them. After these green beans have been breaded and fried to a savory crisp, they’re served with parmesan cheese, herbs, and a side of mushroom soup dip.

Peppermint Milkshake / Eggnog Milkshake

Location: Coasters Diner and Cable Car Kitchen

I don’t know if I’ve ever seen milkshakes to this scale, as these are truly remarkable in size and taste. The first holiday milkshake features a peppermint-flavored ice cream, green frosting, a slice of roulade cake, a piece of peppermint bark, whipped cream, and as if that wasn’t enough, the cup is rimmed in crushed candy canes. The other one is an eggnog milkshake that’s covered in white frosting, a small gingerbread bundt cake, whipped cream, and comes in a cup rimmed with Christmas sprinkles.

Eggnog Cheesecake

Location: Grand Bakery and Ghost Town Bakery

Eggnog cheesecake would have been fantastic in the first place, but Knott’s takes an entire slice, dips it in a white chocolate ganache, and puts it on a stick for easy, mobile eating.

Christmas Bark

Location: Grand Bakery and Ghost Town Bakery

This season, there’s three new chocolate barks: a white chocolate peppermint bark with festive sprinkles and sugar balls, a milk chocolate toffee bark with chopped pecans, and a dark chocolate bark with pistachios and dried cranberries. My favorite candy, period, is peppermint bark, so I was excited to try the park’s bark offerings. I’ll put it this way: that bark didn’t make it out of the park.

Christmas Cookie Dough Bites

Location: Ghost Town Grub

If having an insatiable sweet tooth is an issue, here’s the answer. Made with a holiday sprinkle cookie dough, the sweet spheres are dipped in funnel cake batter, fried, and topped with powdered sugar.

Apple Crumble Dessert Pizza

Location: Beachy Keen’s Pizza

In a lineup of pizzas, the apple crumble dessert pizza would stand out of the crowd for its originality. Butter, cinnamon sugar, apple pie filling, and a brown sugar crumble are plentifully spread on a pie crust (which, luckily, rises and acts just like pizza crust). After being topped with a cream cheese icing, this dessert resembles a delicious deconstructed apple pie.

White Christmas Pizza

Location: Beachy Keen’s Pizza

Topped with a white sauce, ricotta and mozzarella cheese, garlic chives, and chunks of chicken, this is Knott’s version of a classic white pizza pie.

Gingerbread Churro

Location: The Churro Factory

The classic churro is flipped on its head and dressed up in it’s best holiday outfit for this holiday season. In this festive iteration, a gingerbread spiced pastry dough is fried, coated in cinnamon sugar, and filled with a gooey dulce de leche sauce.

Turkey Dinner Burger

Location: Coasters Diner

With a turkey patty, sage sausage-apple stuffing, and a cranberry mayo placed on a pretzel bun, this is like the sandwich you create the day after Thanksgiving, but way better.

Turkey Bites

Location: Santa’s Christmas Cabin

Turkey, stuffing, and cranberry sauce are hugged by a golden-brown breading and served with a side of gravy. Props to Knott’s, it’s one thing to come up with the idea to fry an entire turkey dinner, but it’s a whole different ball game to actually do it and make it taste good like they did.

Turkey Pasty

Location: Ghost Town Grill

Turkey breast, wild mushrooms, potatoes, cranberries, spinach, and cream sauce are all wrapped up in a delicate pastry crust. This one is for all the pot pie lovers out there.

Horchata / S’mores / Maple Pecan Funnel Cake

Location: Sutter’s Funnel Cake, Log Ride Funnel Cake and Cable Car Kitchen

Funnel cake options are aplenty at Knott’s Merry Farm, all of which are topped with their soft serve ice cream. There’s a horchata funnel cake topped with a cinnamon sugar dusting, whipped cream, and an entire churro doughnut. Other holiday variants include a s’mores one topped with a s’mores snack, marshmallow fluff, chocolate chunks, graham crumbs, and maple pecan with whipped cream, maple icing, and candied pecans.

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Brand Cravings Restaurants

The Halal Guys Confirms New Burrito Nationwide, And Secret Menu

The Halal Guys grew their legend slanging delicious meal platters built for easy consumption on the go. Piles of chicken and gyro meat, falafel, rice, dabs of red sauce, waterfalls of white sauce — all are part of the delicious hype. The popularity of this cart-turned restaurant chain cannot go unnoticed, and their latest menu addition proves their prominence on the list of Top 10 Fast Food Game Changers for 2019 (link: restaurant game changers).

Keeping in their habit of serving iconic street food, The Halal Guys have confirmed that they will now be serving burritos filled with their beloved rice platter ingredients. Additionally, they’ve unveiled a new, creamy, luscious cheese sauce that’s blended with their famous white sauce. It’s a big move for the chain, but they’ve shown in the past how nimble their model can be with new offerings that continuously capitalize on trends or simply recognize the tastes and wants of their customers.

We got our hands on these new burritos and instinctively ordered an extra side of that new sauce because we had to experience its velvety high. Dunking this burrito all up in it? It would be criminal not to. All of your favorite choices, whether it be chicken, gyro meat or falafel, can be stuffed into this burrito, so trust the platter essence remains true regardless of the vessel.

Feeling a little more hungry than usual? The Halal Guys has verified the ability to order the burrito as secret menu item that’s double the size — and it’s all thanks to the viral creator of “The Blake Diet,” Blake Horton AKA @blake_201 on Instagram. Horton is known for creating and eating massive meals, with portions built for competitive eaters, rather than any normal human, to promote the intermittent fasting diet. The Halal Guys contacted him for the release of their new burrito, which now birthed a version that’s, as Horton put it, “Twice the size, twice the nutrients, twice the gains.” Pretty much think of it as two burritos in one.

So if you’re up to the task of taking down one of these behemoths, make sure to request your burrito be “Blake-sized” and The Halal Guys will serve you up a meal that would make Blake himself nod in approval. 


Created in partnership with The Halal Guys