Thursday, January 27, 2011

Boston Wine Expo: Seeds & Greeks

While perusing some of the food vendors, I made a stop at Gerbs Gourmet Treats, to check out their flavored pumpkin seeds and sunflower seeds. Based in Rhode Island, this company concentrates on pumpkin seeds and if you have allergies, this might be the snack for you.  Many of their pumpkin seed products are gluten free, wheat free, peanut free, tree nut free, egg free, soy free, and dairy free.  They are dry roasted and do not include any preservatives or artifical flavors and colors.  Plus, pumpkin seeds are supposed to have numerous positive health effects.

My concern though was not health, but taste.  I tasted the Sea Salt & Cracked Pepper Pumpkin Seeds and the Red Pepper Sunflower Seed Kernels.  I enjoyed both seeds, each with just enough salt and/or pepper to add flavor but without overwhelming the taste of the seed itself.  The Red Pepper Sunflower had a spicy kick to its nutty flavor while the Pumpkin seeds still had that prominent pumpkin flavor.  These would be a great snack and a healthy alternative. 

Greece via Maine

Lakonia Greek Products is a family owned business offering numerous food products from Greece, from olive oils to herbs. The company's founder is Daphne Contraros Rioux, whose roots extend into Greece, and she purchased land rich with olive trees in the region of Lakonia.  Her children now work for the company.  They first started selling their products in 2006 at farmers' markets in Saco, Maine, and their business has since grown.

I got to taste three of their extra virgin olives oils, which had a clean, fresh flavor and distinctives tastes.  They also offered a few of their dressings, included a Balsamic and a Red Wine.  Both also had clean flavors, and I especially enjoyed the Balsamic. Their olives too had a nice freshness to them, with an intriguing taste from the brine, one which was not overly salty. Their products are generally shipped from Greece to Maine, where they then bottle and package everything in small batches.  This helps to maintain the freshness of the ingredients.

They also sell herbs and teas, such as wild bay leaves and wild Greek mountain tea.  I smelled their Greek oregano and it was extremely pungent, one of the most pungent I have ever experienced. Their products are not inexpensive, but they are of high quality.  For example, a 5oz bottle of dressing is $12.50-$12.95 and the oregano is $8.50 for .56oz.  Based on what I tasted, I would recommend these gourmet products.

No comments: