Today I ran into two food demos in a local grocery store that I could actually partake in. I'm much less sensitive than I used to be, so what's safe for me, is not necessarily safe for you... but it's nice at least finding things I can demo with the laundry list of allergens I have.
Blake Hill Preserves. I spoke with one of the actual cooks of the preserves. How cool is that? They're based out of Vermont, and say they use fruits from locally grown organic and ecologically sound farming.
To tell you the truth, I wasn't even going to look at her display. It was clearly jams, and I've been bitten by those so often that even at my lessened sensitivity I am extremely shy with it.
But as I was walking by, I hear her say loudly, "No chemicals, not even citric acid.... No corn syrup or anything..."
Upon hearing "no citric acid", she had my attention. So I picked up one of her jars to see what else might be hiding in it.
"There's no pectin even!" I said.
"No, nothing but real fruit and sugar... " She went on to try to tell me about how they boil the fruit down to thicken it.. but I know enough about how to make jam that I told her she didn't need to waste her pitch on me.
The ingredients on all the jars were: Fruit, Cane sugar, Lemon juice. (well the one I bought has hibiscus flowers as well if you want to be technical.)
She said they only work with those ingredients in their kitchen. No gluten, grains, nuts, and a bunch of other stuff she was rattling off.
I asked her about cross-contamination between the batches. She said the cook one batch/flavor per day, and clean everything spotless every night.
Out of courtesy, I did not ask her about her cleaners. I don't think it's kind to people to ask questions like that in public. Just asking the questions, gets other customers worried about the cleanliness of the lines, jars, product, and thinking about chemicals and nasty stuff. It ends up tainting other customer's view of the product... which I think is unfair because it's not the company's fault that we have to ask them a million questions. So I won't do that in public unless the sales person is a jerk or I think the company is crap.
I also didn't question her about cleaning the fruit or how pure the lemon juice was. For those of you who are more sensitive, I will let you ask them.
She gave me her card to contact her, but all the contact info is on their website. Please let me know if any of you investigate deeper and how you do on the products. Thanks!
However, their Super Green Medley, looks like it might be fairly safe. Ingredients are: Spirulina, Chlorella, Wheat Grass, Barley Grass. That's it.
This is a local Texas company based out of Katy, TX.. and I believe they may be just starting out.
Generally this kind of product is not my thing. I have a whole jar of Amazing Grass wheat grass powder just sitting in my fridge because no matter what I do the stuff adds the wonderful flavor of "mowed lawn" to whatever I try to mix it with.
However, when I tried the Oriya Super Green Medley, it had a slightly different flavor.. a bit of a nutty flavor actually. Just enough to make it not completely taste like mowed lawn. I had a sample of it mixed with water, which I could tolerate if I did it like a shot. Sipping it was horrid. I also had a small sample of it mixed with apple juice, and that was fairly tolerable.
I bought some.. because my veggie allergies are too numerous to count and getting some actual real food nutrition in me is something I should work on. I won't however be sipping on it like a Mai Tai as the promo guy mentioned. I will be shooting this with a chaser.
It is hands down better tasting than the Amazing Grass, for whatever that's worth.