TASTE Blowouts

My discoveries of TASTE Blowouts -- Mind-blowing treats that make your tastebuds quiver !!!!

Oatcakes ~ Pittenweem

Most people think ho-hum when it comes to oatmeal. Well, if you are in that number, you haven't had a handmade Pittenweem Oatcake. They come in circular quarters and have an indescribable crunch from the stone ground oatmeal. They are nutty to the taste, wholesome and lipsmacking ~ leaving you wanting more. If you use them like a cracker for sweet or savory, you can't go wrong. There is nothing like Adamson's Pittenweem Handmade Oatcakes.

Note: Although I approve of this product, I wasn't paid to endorse it. They are thrifty Scots you know, and getting even a penny out of them is nigh impossible.

Wild Pig on a Bun ~ Not Boar-ing

My favorite Homer Simpson quote goes like this:

Homer: Lisa honey, are you saying you're never going to eat any animal again? What about bacon?
Lisa: No
Homer: Ham?
Lisa: No
Homer: Pork chops?
Lisa: Dad those all come from the same animal
Homer: (laughing)Yeah right Lisa. A wonderful magical animal.

Well, the wonderful magical animal just got better tasting. I had my first Italian sausages made with farmed wild boar (now that's an oxymoron). Wild boar is pork with an attitude. It is less fat and not the other white meat. Stunningly delicious whether it is pig on a stick, pig in a poke, pig 'n eggs, pig chops, minced pig or any combination that makes eating bits of the wild boar a magical delicious experience.

Note: There was no pork barreling in endorsing this product. I wasn't paid to poke this pig.

Dutch Processed Cheese

The Dutch have been master cheesemakers for centuries. They have even learned the art of making processed cheese. Usually when I see the words "processed cheese", I know that I am in for a clammy vapid piece of too-orangey linoleum that passes itself off as cheese.

I was recently in Schipol Airport in Amsterdam and wanted a snack of something healthy, and so I bought this round of various processed cheeses. It was a heck of a lot better than eating sweet crap or potato chips. There were eight triangles of individually wrapped processed cheese hunk, and I am here to tell you that they were delicious. This stuff completely erased my bias against processed cheese, and if I see it in the supermarkets or specialty shops, it will go into my basket.

Note: It would be very cheesy if I took money or product to endorse this -- so I didn't.

Flapjacks ~ No, not pancakes

Mention flapjacks in North America, and everyone thinks of pancakes. Mention flapjacks in the UK, and what comes to mind, is a thick bar made of oatmeal and syrup. It is like a one inch thick oatmeal cookie, but more like a granola bar. It is slightly sweet, creamy mouth feel and goes incredibly well with a cup of coffee. Mmmmmmm.

Note: No money or product changed hands for this endorsement. I was not paid to flap this jack.

Gentiane Liqueur - Beverage Taste Blowout

Liqueurs ~ if you think that you have seen and had them all, you are terribly mistaken if you haven't tried Gentian liqueur. It is made from alpine mountain flowers and root extracts in Europe. This particular brand pictured is a bit of a home brew, distilled in the French alpine region of Jura.

When you first taste this, it is a huge WTF !!!!!!!!!!! But like Jagermeister, it is an acquired taste. It is like nothing that you have ever tasted before (unless you mix Jagermeister with Campari and shoe polish). However once you get used to the taste, you will be reaching for the Gentian every time you want to be refreshed, or you have an upset stomach, or you need a quick boost that is better than Red Bull. The best use of Gentiane, is to cure a hangover the next day.

This is definitely one taste orgasm of a different sort.

Cheese Crispies ~ Blow Me Away With Sharp Gouda Taste

Beefy, nutty, tastebud tingly sharp cheese is a taste orgasm in itself. Popping it into your mouth lets you know that you are alive and glad that you have this bit of aged cow udder byproduct on your tongue.

Now, imagine this. Take a piece of toast. Butter it and crumble sharp Gouda cheese through and through. Dip it in pesto. Then dry it until it is like a cracker or a potato chip. That's what eating the Roka Cheddar Crisps is like.

Roka is made in the Netherlands. You will have to look for it in North America, or buy it at Schipol Airport next time you are travelling the continent. This is one taste sensation that you can't miss.

Note: I wasn't paid to endorse this. That's the way the crispy crumbles. It's a bit cheesy, but what the heck.

Taste Bud Puckering - Dill Pickle Sunflower Seeds

The snap of vinegar and dill always ruckles your taste buds. That's why dill pickles were invented. I didn't think much when I popped a dill pickle flavor sunflower seed into my mouth, but it was like a tasty suicide bomber going off in my mouth. I couldn't believe the richness of the taste and how authentic it was.

I quickly went through the whole bag and it left me wanting more. It is the perfect mix of salty, nutty, umami party in your mouth.

Note: There isn't a kernel of truth that I was paid by Krispy Kernels to endorse this. I just like them.

Kalik ~ The Beer of the Bahamas

There is an interesting thing about Kalik beer. If you are not drinking this beer under the hot tropical sun, on a beach near the salt air, then it is rather mundane ordinary beer. As a matter of fact, it tastes like its been through an organic filter called a horse.

But get on the beach, with the salt water on you lips, and the sun beating down on you, and it is a nectar of the gods. It is the perfect thirst quencher, and the ideal accompaniment to all food and life. It isn't robust. It isn't hoppy. It isn't astringent. It is just a damn good drink in the Bahamas sun.

Note: Kalik the word comes from the sound that a cowbell makes at Junkanoo which is like a Bahamian Mardi Gras held at Christmas and New Year. I was not paid by Kalik to shill this brew.

Olive Bread ~Artisan Bread with Taste Torpedos

The first time that I tasted crusty olive bread, I came across the black olives that were a taste flavor of a savory kind. The olives add a salty umami presence in the already good artisan crusty bread that is indescribable.

This stuff just makes you want to loaf around and not leaven the table. Sorry for the half-baked puns, but I have a rye sense of humor. One thing for sure, is that when it comes to taste sensations, olive bread is definitely upper crust.

West Indian Chiton ~ Seafood Taste Blowout

A West Indies chiton looks like a cross between a barnacle and a dinosaur. The locals call them kerbs or curds. It cements itself to rocks and coral outcrops, and when the tide is low, you can go to the exposed rock and peel them off. They are stuck rather tightly to the rock.

I was readying to go snorkeling to hunt fish when a security guard came upon the beach and told me about chiton. He took my fishing spear and pried one off the rocks. Using my diving knife, he cut away the bits, washed off a chunk of orange flesh in the ocean and handed it to me raw.

I popped it my mouth and bit down. It was an immediate blow-out of salty, crunchy, oyster-like, conch-like blasts of seafood. The mouth-feel was tough but crunch, but in the end the aftertaste was that of an incredible potato chip. These aren't for everyone because of the perceived toughness of the flesh, but I'm willing to bet that these little dinosauric babies would make one great seafood linguine.

If it is taste dynamics you are after, the West Indian Chiton is a "can't miss" in the must-taste once in a lifetime category.

Not Gibberish, Just the Best Moving Water Ever

I don't like flat water. I like moving water -- sparkling water -- carbonated water. This stuff from Wales is unpronounceable. Ffynnon Yrystog is the name of the water and where it is bottled in Wales. If you haven't had your tastebuds tingle with this water, you gotta do it again. If you aren't tongue-tied by pronouncing it, you will be after you drink it. God Bless those perverse Welsh minds who wrap themselves around a language that is worse than Latin to the common bloke.

Note: I wasn't paid to endorse this water. I just drank it and passed it. If I was paid, I am sure that the bank wouldn't accept the cheque with that name on it.

Mull of Kintyre Old Cheddar Cheese ~ Dairy Taste Blowout

So you have made a hamburger and you want a slice of cheese on it. Instead of a plastic wrapped piece of processed cardboard, you reach into the fridge and pull out a block of cheddar cheese from the Scottish isle, the Mull of Kintyre. You put on Paul McCartney's song of the same name as you slice the crumbly cheese and put it on your burger. When you bite into it the sharp cheddar taste, the exquisite savory snap kivvers all of your tastebuds and tells you that you are eating the real thing!!!

Maybe its the grass and sea air, and cows that aren't pampered, but the extra mature Mull of Kintyre Cooperative cheddar cheese plays bagpipes in your head with almost every nibble.

Note: This is an unpaid endorsement. I would take money to profile this product, but the cheese joint had udder thoughts about paying me.

Dillies ~ Fruit Taste Blowout

A dilly is a dilly of a thing. It is actually a sapodilla and when you bite into this tropical fruit, well it is cross between a pumpkin pie and custard detonation on the tongue. It is marvelous. You can almost taste the cinnamon and pumpkin pie spice in the creamy texture of the fruit.

The other neat thing is that the tree produces chicle when the bark is cut and the sap is collected. In the old days, this was the base of all chewing gum, and that's where the word Chiclets comes from. It is an amazing tropical fruit.

Smoked Ham And Pickle Potato Chips ~ Snack Taste Blowout

In the early 1990's, I stayed in Wokingham in the United Kingdom (England). While there I was introduced to Brannigans Crisps, as they are called in England. We call them potato chips. Long before the esoteric flavors of chips came to North America, Brannigans had them. They had a wonderful roast chicken flavor, as well as roast beef.

One of the tastiest morsels made by Brannigans, is their smoked ham and pickle potato crisp or potato chips. It really does taste like a nice slice of ham with pickle. Eating this is like having a whole tasty meal with every bite. The taste of salty and savory detonates every taste receptor on your tongue with a satisfying flavor when you need loving from a snack. It just might be worth the trip to Merry Olde England.

Rock Lobster ~ Seafood Taste Orgasm

I shot this rock lobster near the One & Only Ocean Club. Tropical spiny rock lobsters have incredibly sweet meat. The taste is lighter than the Maine lobster, and it is an amazing taste orgasm of the seafood kind.

Many seafood restaurants serve the spiny rock lobster, or langouste, and if you see it on the menu, get it. This is a bucket list item.

Club Soda with a ZING !!! ~ Beverage Taste Blowout

Early Summer. All the fruits and vegetables are at the Farmer's Market and coming into season. Working outside in the garden. Sun is warm. Need a refreshing drink. Crush a bunch of mint into a glass. Dump in fruit of the season and fill with chilled club soda. Pure Heaven !!!!!!!! Minty Goodness. Totally Refreshing !!!!!!

Sweetened Condensed Milk in Coffee ~ Dairy Taste Blowout

When you live on an island in the tropics, everything is shipped in by boat. You never know if the foodstuff that you bought has baked in the tropical sun on a dock somewhere while the workers took a siesta in the hot part of the day.

That is why milk is iffy at the best of times. It is nothing to get home, open a quart of milk and find that it has soured into something full of lactic acid that only Birkenstock sandal-wearing treehuggers would call organic yogurt like kefir or something. But the sour lactic acid does nothing for a morning cup of java from my bodum.

So when this happened, the only thing vaguely resembling something tasteful that came from the udder of a cow, was sweetened condensed milk that was to be used in a baking recipe. Into the cup of coffee it went -- and KAPOWWWW !!!! Not only did it cream the coffee, but it sweetened it in one shot. Not only is this a taste orgasm, it is also a labor-saver when you are not fully awake yet.

(note that my coffee mug advertises a tropical beer -- how fitting !!!)

Strawberry Champagne Mojito ~ Alcohol Taste Orgasm

This ain't yer momma's boat drink. It was invented by Kendall Nixon at the Beach Club in Nassau the Bahamas. He is originally from the island of Inagua, and was the bartender at the Nassau Yacht Club for 14 years. This variant of the mojito is gloriously classy, amazingly thirst-quenching and tastebud tingly.

Instead of using a syrup like a regular mojito, Kendall uses brown sugar. He muddles the mint, the sugar and a strawberry. Then comes the ice and white rum. Instead of using club soda, he tops it with champagne. Ooooooooohhhhhhhhhhhh yummmmmmmmmmm!

When I went back to the Beach Club, Kendall was no longer there, but the memorable taste moment lives forever in this photo.

Prunes Ain't For Constipation ~ Dairy Taste Blowout

Let's face -- you say prunes and you think of old geezers with loose dentures, adult diapers, and constipation remedies. Prunes aren't exactly gourmet, or even appealing. And a bowl of stewed prunes is like a bowl of crap mixed with cod liver oil.

Then you take yogurt. Health food -- right? Not exactly something exciting in the tasty food category. When you mix probiotic with yogurt, well it conjures up the hypochrondiac Allan in the TV show Two and Half Men.

So if you take prunes, yogurt, probiotic and get them in a plastic tub labeled Activia, what do you get ??????? A freaking taste blowout -- that's what!. !!! In a totally unexpected burst and explosion of wonderful taste, you get an ice cream feel, rich in flavor and massively good.

If you haven't tried this before, you'll need a cigarette afterwards.

Note: I wasn't paid to endorse this product.

Taste Blowout From Fruit ~ Custard Apple

Go into a specialty fruit shop. Buy a soursop. It is also know as a custard apple. If it is hard, put it in the window until it gets soft. Cut it in half and get a spoon.

Even though this thing looks like a cross between a cactus and green heart, it is pure ambrosia.

The taste blowout in your mouth is a wild explosion of citrus and strawberry, pineapple, banana and coconut overtones, all in a custard texture and creaminess. There is a custard tree, and this is it. Get dirty with this one !!!