Friday, January 02, 2015

My favorite foods and destinations of 2014

As the new year has nicely entered our life, I reiterate my annual tradition of listing my favorite items of the previous year -all of them related to food. This year's favorites include dishes, specialty foods and destinations that were bold, influential and had an impact in my personal food world.

My first time at the largest food trade show in the world, SIAL was impressive, overwhelming and amazing. I documented my experience through this post on the Huff Po which says everything:

Doing tapas at Calle del Laurel, Logroño’s famous tapas street
Mini fish bites, grilled mushrooms and cheese and ham tiny sandwiches, Logroño's street food has everything. Highly recommended when you visit this part of Spain. Pair it with a glass of Rioja wine and you are all set while you do your tapas pilgrimage.

Cyclades islands, Greece
After a few years of absence, I returned to Syros and Paros, two wonderful Cyclades islands. Except for their Mediterranean beauty, the islands are known for their traditional local food of notable cheeses, capers, fava dishes, sweet delights and local wine varieties among others. Try an “envelope” of San-Mixali cheese with grape syrup and sesame on top or a fennel cheese pie with yogurt.

Savory energy bars
Strong & Kind from the well-known for bars brand Kind, it is a tasty surprise for those who like savory and need a break from the chocolate peanut-y bars. I love the Thai Sweet Chili Almond Protein bar, a nice combination of sweet and spicy and the Jalapeno bar for a more grown up taste.

The Wild Hibiscus Flower Pyramid Salt Flakes
This gourmet finishing salt is made from a blend of hibiscus flowers and delicate Australian pyramid salt. Great taste and flavor that pair well with almost any food, from salads and soup to your margarita cocktail.

The Angel’s Share 2009 Petit Syrah and Albariño Burgáns, 2013 Rias Baixas are my top two wines of the year for their sophistication, balance and freshness. For the sparking effect, try the Marqués de la Concordia Reserva de la Familia 2010 Brut Millésime Rosé Wine, a limited edition Cava.  

The new look from Terra Chips. Those colorful pieces of happiness are sweet and salty and pair nicely with your favorite beer. You can also eat them just plain out of the bag instead of dinner.

Sexy Pop popcorn. Light, low in calories and loaded with antioxidants, this popcorn will be in my snack pantry for a long time. I love the cheddar flavor but also the banana for a unique taste.

The RAP protein gummies  
They may have a texture that is different and not always likable, but those gummies have plenty of protein to satisfy you during the day or before the gym. My favorite is the orange citrus.

The Kettle Brand Thick+Bold Dill Pickle Potato Chips are free from gluten and trans fats. Crunchy, thick and bold, they do have everything, including many calories but they are so delicious! 

The Crisp melon cutter. Melon and cantaloupe are my favorite fruits for the summer so the Crisp knife is a must-have. The knife is extra long, has a sturdy blade and provide an easy slicing with its ergonomic handle. It also comes with a detachable seed removal scoop which gives this knife an edge.  Get it here: