Category Archives: New Products

Red Duck Gourmet Condiments — And A Food Gal Giveaway

Everyday sausages turn special with a topping of Red Duck Curry Ketchup.

Everyday sausages turn special with a topping of Red Duck Curry Ketchup.


With summer weather comes prime condiment season.

Red Duck has got you covered, no matter what you’re grilling.

The Portland, OR-company makes a range of ketchups, barbecue sauces and taco sauces, all gluten-free and certified organic. The tomatoes used are all grown in California’s Central Valley, too, picked ripe in season from late-June through July.

The business is the brainchild of four MBA students who were studying at the University of Oregon when they came up with the idea for the condiments for a class project. The name “Red Duck” takes its name from the color of ketchup, their first product, plus the mascot of their college.

There are 11 products now, sold either separately or in trio samplers: “Quite Traditional” (Original Ketchup, Approachably Mild Taco Sauce, and Smoked Applewood Molasses BBQ Sauce); “So Unique” (Curry Ketchup, Uniquely Korean Taco Sauce, and Sweet Mustard Peppercorn BBQ Sauce); and “Fairly Spicy” (Spicy Ketchup, Actually Spicy Taco Sauce, and Hot Honey Chipotle BBQ Sauce).

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Get The Skinny On Pressels

Everything Pressels (front), and Sesame Pressels (back).

Everything Pressels (front), and Sesame Pressels (back).


Think of them as ultra skinny pretzels. That’s what Pressels are like.

As thin and crisp as crackers but with the toasty, malty taste of pretzels, the new snack apparently has 75 percent less fat and 35 percent less sodium than other pretzels on the market. They’re baked, and contain no preservatives, too.

I had a chance to try samples of its four flavors, all of which are vegan: Sea Salt, Everything, Sesame, and Sriracha.

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A Meaty Snack

Jeff's Famous Jerky (front to back), Korean Beef Jerky, Turkey Thai Satay, Jamaican Jerk Beef, and Smoked Paprika Steak Tapas.

Jeff’s Famous Jerky (front to back), Korean Beef Jerky, Turkey Thai Satay, Jamaican Jerk Beef, and Smoked Paprika Steak Tapas.


After I finished a punishing cycling class at the gym the other day, I came home spent and reached for a much needed energizing snack — beef jerky.

I know, I know, who would have ever thought I’d be typing those words?

Yes, I bypassed the usual glug of coconut water or bite of banana for a dried meat product instead — Jeff’s Famous Beef Jerky, of which I had just received samples of its newest flavors.

I don’t know about you, but after sweating up a storm…uh, pardon me, perspiring daintily…I often crave a hit of salt and protein. Jeff’s Famous Beef Jerky satisfied on both accounts.

Founder Jeff Richards, a food service industry veteran, started experimenting with making jerky after purchasing a dehydrator from the county fair in the 1970s. In 2010, at the age of 55, he launched Jeff’s Famous Beef Jerky in Mission Viejo. He now makes a variety of flavored beef, bacon and turkey jerky, priced at $6.99 per bag on his web site.

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Chef Jen Biesty Designs “The Spaniard” for Zume Pizza; Plus The Winner of the Food Gal Contest

Zume's "The Spaniard'' pizza.

Zume’s “The Spaniard” pizza.


Sink your teeth into a pizza topped with piquillo pepper sauce, Spanish chorizo, Picholine olives, Manchego and mozzarella cheeses, and saffron onions.

And help renew a park in the process.

You can — by ordering a new pizza from Zume, the Mountain View company known for its innovative robots that help assemble pies to order. Although the pizzas used to baked en route on specialized trucks, they are now cooked at its headquarters before being loaded onto trucks for delivery.

“The Spaniard” is a new, limited-time-only pizza designed by Jen Biesty, chef-owner of Oakland’s Shakewell. The “Top Chef” alumnus is the first chef to be featured in Zume’s “Pies With A Purpose” program, in which 10 percent of net sales from that special pizza is donated to a local cause. In this case, the proceeds will go to the Oakland Parks and Recreation Foundation to help revitalize Tassafaronga Park, which is located in Biesty’s home neighborhood of East Oakland.

Zume's unusual circular pizza box.

Zume’s unusual circular pizza box.

This also marks Zume’s delivery expansion beyond the Peninsula and the South Bay to certain parts of Alameda County.

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Prepare to Devour Kinako Brown Butter Shortbread

Buttery, toasting tasting kinako shortbread cookies.

Buttery, toasting tasting kinako shortbread cookies.


Vancouver, BC has always captivated me. It reminds me so much of San Francisco with its compact size, distinct neighborhoods, cultural diversity, and great eats. Plus, let’s face it — it’s way cleaner than The City By the Bay, and the exchange rate is usually quite favorable to visitors from the States.

I mean, what’s not to like?

Get to know this wonderful city even more in “Vancouver Eats: Signature Recipes from the City’s Best Restaurants” (Figure 1, 2018) by Vancouver food writer Joanne Sasvari, of which I received a review copy.

The cookbook includes 80 recipes that are sure to whet your appetite, from “AnnaLena Chicken Skins” (dipped in chocolate, no less) from AnnaLeana restaurant named for Chef-Owner Michael Robbins’ grandmother, and “Poached Lamb Shoulder with Butternut Squash-Ricotta Gnocchi” from The Dirty Apron Cooking School to “Morel Mushroom and Stinging Nettle Tart with Brie” from Forage and “Vikram’s Bone-In Goat Curry” by celebrated Chef-Restaurateur Vikram Vij’s new My Shanti.


Since I’ve been on a kick baking and cooking with Japanese soy flour, I had to try my hand at “Kinako Brown Butter Shortbread.” The recipe is from Betty Hung, owner and head baker of Beaucoup Bakery, a Parisian-inspired patisserie.

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