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Products That Have Surprised You

Are there any product6s that you have had that ended up being far better than expected?

My mother in law gave me a tub of Boar's Head Traditional Hummus. I was blown away by it. It was perfectly smooth and creamy like the hummus I used to eat in Dubai. There was not even a hint of grainy texture like other commercial hummus I have had.

How about you? What commercial products have blown you away?

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    1. re: meatn3

      Was it a whole belly and was it affordable? I have been looking for a source of pork belly to make pancetta.

        1. re: jpc8015

          It's not a whole belly. Istr the price in the $5-$7 dollar range. As Lingua said, it is precooked. I find it to be a terrific convenience item.

          1. re: meatn3

            I see, that is not what I am looking for then.

            1. re: jpc8015

              Do you have an Asian market? They generally sell pork belly, pretty affordable.

              1. re: fldhkybnva

                There are two Asian markets near me, neither sell fresh meat. I might be able to find one in a Latino market though.

      1. Trader Joe's Balsamic Glaze. It was like $2 and I bought it on a whim. I LOVE anything balsamic but I hate reducing vinegar just for one, since I'll eat it on almost anything. It's nice and smooth, very thick, just sweet enough. Despite using it very liberally, I just finished my first bottle and it lasted a good 6 months. Great buy.

        6 Replies
        1. re: nothingswrong

          What are some of your favorite uses for it?

          1. re: calmossimo

            Nothing too outlandish... I drizzle on sandwiches and pasta. I like to make bruschetta for dinner on homemade baguette slices, then I'll drizzle some balsamic glaze on top.

            I know a lot of people like some on their ice cream or fruit, but I prefer it in more savory applications.

            1. re: calmossimo

              I used as a salad dressing, ontop of soup, over strawberries, plus same as what nothing said to use for

              1. re: Ttrockwood

                Yes, salad dressing! I like it because it adds a lot of flavor without diluting or making the dish too liquidy. Like in a grain/pasta salad, this works really well.

                What kind of soup would you add this to?

                1. re: nothingswrong

                  Sorry to butt in, but a drizzle of vinegar or glaze is great in lentil soup!

                  1. re: nothingswrong

                    I use it over my individual serving bowl, basically any soup i make since they are all dairy free vegetarian... Perfect for bean heavy stews like those 7bean mixes or the ones i make "creamy" with blended potato like my "cream" of celeriac. Nothing is safe from the basalmic!! ;)

            2. Costco's Bacon Crumbles. When DH brought them home I thought they would be yuck. However, they have proved to be a real time saver. I find they need to be reheated (and then cooled or not) before use. Once the package has been opened, store in the freezer.

              1 Reply
              1. re: jmnewel

                I agree with this. The Coscto bacon crumbles are surprisingly good!

              2. Coconut bliss, naked coconut flavor. Kicks dairy ice cream butt.
                http://coconutbliss.com/coconut-bliss...

                1. Bridgford MonkeyBread... $2.98 and 3 minutes in the microwave... and I tried it the day after I made Monkeybread from-scratch, with yeast!!, and this $2 edition could definitely compete with the from-scratch one.

                  Trader Joe Chocolate croissants. I had them after I returned from Paris.. and I hate to be so honest, but they were pretty close to a mainstream-breakfast cafe in Paris.

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: GraceW

                    Additions:
                    WOW Snickerdoodle Cookies--gluten-free, now available at Target. Seriously, the Snickerdoodles melt in your mouth. I don't know how they are better than homebaked cookies.

                    .... and Chex Muddy Buddies-Brownie Supreme flavor.. tastes basically as good as making it yourself. Not that making muddy buddies is hard, at all.