Manischewitz Gets a Gold Star

Special thanks to Courtney Manders of Bender Hammerling  for the products I sampled! All opinions are my own – I received product to sample, no financial compensation.

Several years ago, the only things I associated Manischewitz with the following: overly sweet kiddish wine, matzo, and jarred gefilte fish.

In the past few years the list came to include TamTams and Passover macaroons.

This past year, the list expanded to canned meat gravies and boxed broth.

Now, it seems that Manischewitz is determined to shatter the glass ceiling it found itself under, especially in the taste category.  And for this, they get a gold star.

 

Some of the newest products in the Manischewitz Gluten-Free/Passover line

Some of the newest products in the Manischewitz Gluten-Free/Passover line

 

I (and my family) recently sampled the following products: Magic Max’s Chocolate Chip Passover cereal, Gluten-Free Crackers, Almond Butter, and Guiltless Gourmet Cashew and Almond bars.

DH liked the cereal dry (” Hey, that’s not bad”- high praise from him indeed. DS7 loved it( “This is my favorite cereal – please don’t give any to the other kids. I want it all for me) DS3 liked the taste and the character on the box. (“I want the star cereal, Mommy)

DH and I both tried the Guiltless Gourmet nut bars. I liked the cashew one: my only thoughts were a) there should be more cranberries and b) something needs to added so it doesn’t break into pieces inside the wrapper, before I even opened it.  DH liked almond one – he thought the cashew one was a bit sweet. I disagreed – I thought the almond one was sweeter, and I felt that it needed something more to break up the nuts – raisins, perhaps.

Where DH and I agreed: the almond butter and Gluten-Free Crackers. Breakfast one morning was DH and I, leaning against the kitchen counter and eating the crackers straight from the box, dipped into the almond butter straight from the jar. We agreed we’d do that again – it was that good. Even plain, the Gluten-Free Crackers were very good. Not too heavy, a little taste of salt, and I could imagine eating them with a variety of toippings.

To conclude: Don’t underestimate Manischewitz. Go to www.manischewitz.com/ to see their full product lines.

 

Highlights of Kosherfest 2012

In no way is this blog suggesting its readers eat anything that they normally wouldn’t because it is listed here. In any cases of doubt, please consult your rabbinic authority.

I feel like Kosherfest was a few days ago, but I know it wasn’t. I have been going through my photos and samples, and remembering who I met and spoke to at the event. For me, it was fantastic time. I met (and re-met) so many people, and tried so many different things from so many different places! The world of kosher is really expanding, and there are now products for people who eat all types of diets.

This year seemed to focus on “alternative” products – products for the gluten free, dairy free, wheat free consumer. One of the things that fascinated me the most was a line of products..from coconuts? There was coconut flour, sugar, oil, even vinegar. These products were brought to the show from the Philippines, and I had to ask: how do you use coconut flour? Apparently you can replace up to 25% of a more traditional flour source with the coconut flour. It doesn’t rise, so it is better suited to something like cookies versus cakes.

There was a vendor showcasing a form of a corn crisp/cake that I found interesting because 1) it tasted really good plain and 2) it didn’t crumble! I love rice and corn cakes, but cannot stand that they crumble.

Another product that stood out was a corn tortilla! I have never seen (til Kosherfest) a kosher corn tortilla that was available in the grocery store! When I found out about these I went to the store and bought two packages..they are that delicious! Look for them under the Yossi’s Bakery label.

What would be amazing on a corn tortilla for a gluten-free FLT (facon, lettuce and tomato) wrap? FACON. That’s right, no mis-spelling. Kosher form of bacon, from Jack’s Gourmet. And I have to say, (and I can say this with authority) it is the closest thing the kosher world has to the non-kosher product. It won top awards at Kosherfest, and there is no doubt as to why. This is a must-buy product.

 

For the meat-free consumer, you would be missing out if you did not try to get Seasoned Seitan. A high-protein meatless product, it is thin and has a delicious meaty flavor. I am extremely skeptical of meat replacements, (they usually taste artificial, or they are hard to digest for me) but this one I will be buying. 3 thin slices of this product contain 25 grams (25!) of protein.

Now to my favorites: desserts! This was the year of the gelato. One took top awards, and two others were showcased that were really something else. It is time this dessert came into its own (kosher-wise) and this seemed to be the year.

We all know Gelato Petrini took a top award for their delicious chocolate gelato, and it was impressive. However, I deliberately go away from the trends and the crowds and as always I was not disappointed. KOV Gelato and Gelato Giuliana were two to have not missed.

KOV’s Gelato is completely dairy, soy, gluten AND nut free, so they use coconut milk as their base. I tried the chocolate raspberry, and despite the coconut flavor, it was not overwhelming at all.

 

Gelato Giuliana does all fruit based gelato flavors, and it is literally all fruit. You could tell there was nothing artificial in the product at all. I will proudly say I visited her twice for her cantaloupe gelato.

There were so many products to try, and it was really difficult to pick out my absolute rave-about favorites. G-d willing I will try to put pictures of my other favorites on my Pinterest boards!