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Tuesday, March 30, 2021

Good & Gather Banana Nut Granola

Ah, another Good & Gather cereal. We used to try a different Archer Farms brand granola every other month back in the day. I don't know how many varieties we looked at on this blog. At least a dozen or two I'm pretty sure.

Anyway, this is only the second I think as far as GAG is concerned. Banana Nut. Yummy. Let's dig in.

We'll start with the negatives first and get those out of the way. Number one: some chunks of granola are enormous. They're way too big to shovel into your mouth and too big to fit on the average spoon. There's a good bit of breaking apart and size reduction to be done by smashing the boulders of granola. 

Second: if this is banana cereal, why not throw some significant amounts of dried banana pieces in there? The ingredients say there's dried banana, but I don't really see any dried banana. I mean I taste a banana essence of sorts, but to me this product is just begging for larger chunks of dried banana and/or full on banana chips.

Third: it could use a wee bit more chocolate.

Other than that, this is a solid granola cereal. The overall taste is very enjoyable. As aforementioned, there is a nice sweet banana essence. It's not overbearing or overwhelming, and it's not too sweet, either. 

There are a fair amount of almond slivers that fulfill the "nut" part of the equation. Why do most people put walnuts in banana bread and other banana nut products? Almonds are so much better. Nothing against walnuts. I'm just saying next time you bake banana bread, use almonds instead. They're at least as good, right?

The texture is nice and crunchy, even after a significant amount of time submerged in milk. Other than the enormous mountains of granola all wadded together, everything else is bite size and crispy.

$3.79 for the 12oz bag. The wife likes it even more than I do, although she doesn't think she tastes banana at all. Resealable bag is a plus. Would definitely buy again.

I give this granola 8 out of 10 stars.

Tuesday, March 2, 2021

Good & Gather Creamy Chipotle Sauce

There's a fine line between things that taste like they've been genuinely smoked and things that taste like they've had liquid chemical smoke added to them. This condiment falls very much into the latter category, unfortunately. There is, in fact, dried chipotle pepper in this product, although it's on down the ingredients list a ways. In my opinion, there's very little to suggest there's any significant amount of actual smoked, dried peppers in this sauce.

There's plenty that suggests it's made of water and canola oil, because it's mostly just oily and bland. You'd think it'd be a bit more tangy with sour cream, buttermilk powder, and greek yogurt powder in the ingredients. And yum, there's "bacterial cultures" in the mix. Twice! There's a hint of spice, but it's not enough to push this condiment into the category of "hot sauce." It's a very mild level of heat.

I shook the little squeeze bottle vigorously before pouring, as the oil had visibly separated from the rest of the mixture in the bottle. You can almost kind of see it in the picture at the top of the post—and that's already after a moderate amount of shaking the container. I absolutely manhandled the thing after snapping the pic to try to really get it blended well, but even after pouring, there was evidence the oil still hadn't reintegrated with the rest of the composite fully. Kinda gross.

I'm generally a fan of chipotle-flavored things. We even reviewed a chipotle salsa on this blog many moons ago. I think it's one of those flavors that has a lot of potential, but it's easy to screw up. I also think most Americans don't know what good chipotle flavor should taste like. In my humble opinion, this isn't it. Oddly, my Mexican-American wife wasn't quite as turned off by this sauce as I was, although she wasn't exactly wowed and agrees that the spice level is too low.

$2.79 for the 8.4 oz bottle. Not a repeat purchase for me. Maybe if it were cooked into some ground meat or poultry it would blend a bit better. We'll try it that way and report back.

I give this sauce 4 out of 10 stars.

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