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02/21/2012

Product review: Larrupin Mustard!  »

If you have ever tried Larrupin Swedish-style Mustard-Dill Sauce, you know that it is the best condiment known to humankind. Unfortunately Larrupin is most conveniently available only within the realm of Humboldt County! Which is why every time I have a friend going on a road trip up there, I have them bring me back a jar! There are quite a few of us who went to college at Humboldt State now living in the Bay Area, and we know the power of the Larrupin.

If you have never been to Arcata, I suggest you think about a trip up there ASAP. It’s beautiful, and the vegan eats are abundant. If a trip to Humboldt is not in the cards, never fear! You can buy Larrupin Mustard online! I did this when I moved to Chicago, as I was homesick for my college town/former home/California in general.

Ilsa Hess, the creator and chef of Nacheez, got me this particular jar pictured above. We met up at Gracias Madre one night, and it turns out that we both went to Humboldt State, and actually know a few of the same people! Small world. Ilsa obtained some Larrupin for me, and now I am ETERNALLY GRATEFUL. She likes to eat her Larrupin with Gouda Sheese on lightly toasted sourdough, while I like mine with raw crackers and Tofutti cream cheese. However, if you lived in Humboldt, you know it is best with a Los Bagels slug and “cream” cheese. Nothing beats that!

"Great! But what does it taste like?" you ask. Larrupin is sweet, yet pairs beautifully with savory foods, like a Chik’n burger, sandwich, or bagel—basically, anywhere you would normally add mustard. The dill, vinegar, and turmeric keep it from being overly sweet, yet the dill is understated. Which is good for me, because I am not the hugest fan of dill.

Watch Humboldt County while eating your Larrupin to get a better idea of the place it comes from and also how I spent seven years of my life. Actually, Rural Rock’n’Roll is a better showcase of my past, but I quite enjoyed Humboldt County. The clothing in that movie is so bad, but SO SPOT-ON.

You can purchase Larrupin Mustard online at the Larrupin website and the Los Bagels website.

12/24/2010

Product review: Lydia’s Kale Krunchies!  »

Remember that lecture your mom gave you when you were a kid about how it’s better to pour your servings out into a bowl or individually-portioned baggie before chowing down? Your Mom never tried Lydia’s Kale Krunchies.

A food that we don’t bother pouring into a bowl speaks more to its unspeakable goodness rather than, say, our innate inability to wait until we can get to a proper serving vessel. It’s undeniable that kale chips are a messy endeavor; whether baked or dehydrated, the toppings inevitably cascade off the chunks of shriveled greens onto your face, clothing, and sustainably designed floor, and to avoid spillage should probably be served in a sensible bowl.

Lydia’s kale chips defy sensibility—there’s no logical reason why her curly greens doused in a nuts-and-spices purée should taste so out-of-this-world good, but sweet lord they do. While I have enjoyed various versions of kale chips served by friends, ex-lovers, LA’s Flore Vegan, and the cafe at my raw vegan workplace, the Tree of Life in Patagonia, Ariz., and I can honestly say Lydia’s kale chips are hands-down the best chips around.

My favorite blend is Herbs de Provence— the delicate, herb-infused flavor reminds me of  summering in the south of France with my family. That’s right, I’m high class! Now excuse me while I spend 20 minutes scrubbing these kale crumbs from underneath my fingernails. Here’s to low-calorie, ethical, messy cuisine!

This is Vegansaurus raw correspondent Sarah E. Brown’s latest post, originally published here. Read more by Sarah on Vegansaurus, and visit her personal blog, Spiritual Hipsteria. Thanks, Sarah!

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