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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.

                  2. I like to call those moments where you find something far better than you expected "Susan Boyle moments", after the ubiquitous singer who initially was off-putting with her gawkiness, but later became a hit among the audience, even earning a standing ovation (right after the first line!).

                    My favorite food-related Susan Boyle moment (I'm sure I'll think of more) was eating Udi's gluten free cinnamon bread at my grandmother's house. I am unapologetic about my disdain for packaged GF foods, but I promise you this didn't even taste like it was GF. In fact, it reminded me of my days as a little kid, snacking on buttery cinnamon raisin toast Mom would make in the toaster oven.

                    1. Snickers bar.

                      But this was before Halley's Comet last perihelion.

                      Nothing since then, unfortunately.

                      1. Costco pizza - the slices (or whole pies) they sell at the snack bar. Very good and cheap.