Just like everyone else, I have my favourite holiday foods:
- Turkey, stuffing and cranberry sauce
- Mashed potatoes and gravy
- "Nibble Bait" (a kind of party mix my mom and little sister make each year)
- My mother-in-law’s gingerbread cookies
- Egg nog with nutmeg
But, you know, I’m adventurous and willing to try new things. So this year, when President’s Choice asked me if I’d like a selection of their new products for Holiday 2008, I willingly (and gratefully) accepted. I was so excited when the package arrived – almost as much for the PC "green" bag that it came in as for the contents of the bag!
The "green" bag was full of an amazing array of holiday goodies, and we’ve managed to sample nearly every one of them so far:
Okay. It’s made with real chocolate shavings, and 65% rich dark chocolate and definitely lives up to its moniker! Only drawback? This ain’t your boil the kettle, stir in the chocolate hot chocolate. No, you have to brew this stuff in a saucepan on the stove with milk. But the result? Well, what else can be said? Decadent.
Put up your hand if you’ve had lingonberry sauce anywhere other than the IKEA cafeteria. I thought not. So of course, the first thing I thought of when I saw the jar of lingonberry sauce was: Swedish meatballs. But the serving suggestion is as follows: Excellent as a topping for pancakes, crêpes, waffles, yogurt and
ice cream or as an accompaniment to meats and poultry. I tried some on pancakes and crackers (delicious) and we plan to try some on our turkey on the 25th.
Okay, okay, I did go out and buy a box of PC Swedish meatballs and kicked it old school, too. Also delicious.
Now I make a similar candy cane bark every year to ship off to
far-flung family and friends, so I was skeptical that a commercial
product could live up. But I gotta give the prez credit: this stuff is good!
Ahhh, but the all-time favourite on the list this year has got to be the Dark Chocolate Covered Caramels with Sea Salts. They aren’t branded "The Decadent" but they truly are. The soft caramel on its own would be a treat, but covered with wonderful dark chocolate they are transformed. And just to please both sides of the palate (and the salty/sweet debate), they’re sprinkled with PC Memories of Sicilia Sea Salts. Yummm…If it weren’t for that pesky Jiminy Cricket warning me off after two caramels, I might have finished off the box. They’re just that good. Only drawback? 50% of the children we tested these on didn’t like the salt. Then again, that might just be considered a really strong benefit – if half the kids aren’t eating them, there’s that much more for the grownups.
And then there’s one thing that I picked up on my own at the grocery store. It didn’t come in Santa’s big "green" bag, but it looked so good I just couldn’t resist. And I’m glad I didn’t.
The folks at the PC food labs sure do know how to do marvelous things with candy canes…the candy cane bark, PC Candy Cane Chocolate Fudge Crackle Ice Cream and now Candy Cane Egg Nog. I will admit, I bought it on a whim – I mean really…egg nog and candy canes? Together?? But it is, actually, a perfect combination. If it’s possible to make egg nog taste more like Christmas, this is how to do it.
There was a lot more in the goodie bag, including a bottle of PC Célébration Sparkling De-alcoholized Wine (blanc), which my Dad and I each drank two glasses of (he’s a tee-totaller, I was the designated driver – a job that’s hard to back out of when the other two people in the car are eight and five).
We liked it. It tasted, actually and surprisingly, like champagne. A bit more fruity, maybe, and without the giggles (although it had enough bubbles to blow the cork off the bottle while my sister was still untwisting the wire!) But certainly a respectable alternative to the Dom Perignon if (for whatever reason) you don’t drink the hard stuff.