Straus eggnog/Leonidas chocolates
'Tis the season for gourmet treats, so here are a couple of my recent finds.
I spotted some organic eggnog from Strau dairies last night and immediately took it home to sample it. It's not as rich as homemade eggnog, but the flavors are wonderful and pure (lots of organic nutmeg). No artificial flavors, colors or corn syrup as found in most commercial eggnogs. It was $3.99/qt. at my local organic foods market.
Also, I dropped into the newly opened The Candy Store on College the other day. Although most of their stock is pretty uninteresting (the kinds of things you can buy at Cost Plus for a lot less), they carry Leonidas chocolates from Belgium ($27/pound). I got one each of all the dark chocolate-enrobed flavors. I really liked them a lot. The chocolate shells are much thicker and had more of a snap than most European chocolates, but I actually preferred this style (I find most European or European-style chocolates, i.e. Godiva and Neuhaus, to be too oily). The fillings were very fresh tasting and delicious. They will hand-box an assortment for you at the store.
The Candy Store on College
6311 College Ave., Oakland (the same block as Ver Brugge, La Farine, Grasshopper, etc.)
re: jen maiser
re: Missy P.
I agree -- a capital offense!
I shared a small amount with my housemate -- but that's only fair, since every year she shares the homemade, heavily spiked eggnog a friend of hers makes with me!
All that alcohol sterilizes any organisms that might be lurking in the raw eggs, right? ;-)
re: Ruth Lafler
Well, if the alcohol doesn't kill the germs, at least you will die happy.
Thanks for the tip. There's a place down here that sells Strauss products. I'll look for the eggnog. If not, sigh, next year.
A friend bought some eggnog this year with ... lumps ... and they weren't whole eggs either ... it smelled fine according to her and she bravely drank it down. She still lives, so I guess it wasn't harmful. It was the only good thing about having the flu, I was too sick to drink any.
re: jen maiser
Agreed, Strauss Organic eggnog is actually an eggnog that I'd consider calling "light" (not lite) in flavor and body -- if you can call something made with whole milk, cream, whole eggs, and sugar "light". It's not thickened or emulsified in anyway, and has a consistency analogous to whole milk. It is delicious (to me) and not heavy tasting. I serve it to guests with some more Strauss whipped Whipping Cream on top, which makes it a rich but not overly heavy beverage.
Please note--- this is one product you definitely need to shake before using. The lovely organic nutmeg that Ruth refers to settles at the bottom (since there are no chemicals to keep them suspended) in a brown layer. If you shake very very thoroughly before pouring this will re-distribute.
This product is pasteurized, and unlike the other Strauss glass-bottle products is homogenized. I actually think an eggnog would have to be homogenized or else it would separate. I generally dislike homogenized dairy, but this Strauss eggnog is my one seasonal exception :)
It reminds me of the "everyday" eggnog my grandmother would make for me and Grandpa all the time when I was a kid. She was from Norway and had no qualms about raw eggs. She'd take sugar and milk, sometimes a little leftover "coffee cream" (high-butterfat cream, thicker even than heavy or whipping cream, not seen much these days -- sort of like British "double cream" but even a bit higher fat than that) and a raw egg and mix it up in a glass for us to drink. This was either a quick breakfast or a snack in the afternoon, or occasionally she'd heat it gently as an evening before-bed drink. The eggs were from the hen-house that day, the milk was raw, and these were the old days (1970s) so I'm not advocating trying to replicate this drink, but Strauss eggnog, especially in texture, reminds me of this most delicious drink of my childhood.
But fear not, for those of you who may fear raw milk and eggs -- Strauss is fully cooked, I'm sure -- but at least it does preserve some of that fresh flavor and texture.
Ah, the joys of the holiday season.
(PS -- for anyone who hasn't tried Strauss's whole milk yogurt before -- I am an AVOWED yogurt-hater, plain or flavored, and have been for years. Since I know yogurt is healthy and full of all sorts of wonderful bacteria I thougth I'd force myself to try some Strauss plain. I actually kind of like it! It is sour, but not sharply so. It has a vague nutty undertone that I think comes from the high-quality milks it's made from . If you feel like you should eat yogurt sometimes, and haven't found one you like, try Strauss).