String Cheese Battle!

String Cheese Battle!

The not-so-ultimate, String Cheese Battle!

The contenders:

Galbani, Sunnyside, Frigo, Sargento, Queso Oaxaca

Not that we really need to battle it out, all string cheese has strengths and weaknesses. I have found over the years that string cheese preference is a very personal thing.  My boyfriend and I both enjoy a certain style and flavor profile, others may enjoy something the opposite.  I rated out of 5 for Stringyness and Flavor and provided some footnotes on variety.  I only included cheeses available in my area. 

Let’s get started!

Galbani

Sorrento Original. The most moist of the string cheese on today’s list. Least preferred. Honestly really gross.

Stringyness: 2 out of 5. It’s so moist it really does not string well.

Flavor: 1 out of 5. There isn’t much flavor in the ones I’ve had. It just had texture. I had to heat it up to melting for any flavor to come through and even then it was not very good.

Variety: On par with their competitors, they have a large variety to offer consumers.

It is interesting to note that I can’t find the “Sorrento” version on their website. Just at Costco and all of my local stores. I also can’t find other items on their website that are sold locally. I’m inclined to think we are getting some lower quality version packaged in bulk, as I see rave reviews for Galbani and I raise an eyebrow every time.

The Galbani logo is the same, but packaging is quite different from their website offerings: Left is the slop offered here, right is the one officially on their website.

 

 

What’s up with that, Galbani?

Sunnyside

Original. Least moist, my preferred level of moisture and most liked of all of the cheeses available here.

Stringyness: 5 out of 5. I can peel super thin strings for a while on one stick. Great fun.

Flavor: 3 out of 5. I wouldn’t say it tastes like Mozzarella, but it is a pleasing flavor and good saline quality.

Variety: None. There is one kind of string cheese available in my stores from this company. If they make more, that’s awesome, but I’m not aware of it. They are a local company to me as well.

Frigo

Owned by Saputo USA. Original flavor. More moist, but not the most moist of them. Added vitamins to keep you healthy.

Stringyness: 3 out of 5. It’s a bit difficult to string from the moisture level, but still strings some.

Flavor: 4 out of 5. Has a nice saline hit that I enjoy, and tastes like mozzarella.

Variety: Large! 5 out of 5.

Sargento

Original. Low moisture, part skim, mozzarella.

Stringyness: 4 out of 5. Have no problems getting my tiny cheese ribbons from this cheese.

Flavor: 3 out of 5. It tastes like mozzarella. It’s saline quality is very neutral. Probably the most pure of the cheese flavors.

Variety: Sargento has a large variety of cheese stick snacks. 5 out of 5 as well.

Queso Oaxaca by El Mexicano and Cacique

 

This is a special kind of cheese my friend’s Abuelita calls “Mexican String Cheese.” My initial taste of this from El Mexicano earned it a place on this list. Cacique makes a wonderful one as well. My most recent batch of El Mexicano was a huge disappointment in quality. I will be trying Cacique again after that.  That said, let’s get on with the ratings:

Stringyness: depends on the batch. The first batch of Queso Oaxaca I ever had was super stringy 5 out of 5. The most recent batch I got was 1 out of 5. Too moist and not stringy at all.

Flavor:  1st time: 5 out of 5. I had to lock this stuff away, it was so good. Cheesy and salty. Perfect.  Most recent batch: Not flavorful and bland.

Variety: None. Queso Oaxaca is it’s own style of cheese. When it’s good, it’s amazing. When it’s not, it’s disappointment.

Other Brands

I know of other brands such as Kraft, Lucerne, Precious, Polly-O, Meijer, Crystal Farms, Horizon, H-E-B.  I have tried Kraft, Precious, Horizon, and Lucerne, but not in the last 5 years and they are not offered in my new local area.  The others are just not available in my area or even my state.

 

Note: I’m not getting paid by any of these companies. I’m just a lactose intolerant cheese enthusiast with time on her hands. Though, if you are from one of these companies and want to pay me, contact me and we can chat. Seriously.

 

Pillsbury Cinnabon Cinnamon Rolls

Let’s have a review while the disappointment is still fresh, shall we?

Tonight I had a hankering for some gooey, light, yeasty cinnamon rolls.  Nowadays, I don’t get sweet treats like these, and it’s the time of year for being decadent. I didn’t want to make them from scratch, I don’t have that kind of time. So I pulled a page out of my Mom’s book and picked up a blue tube of Pillsbury Cinnabon Cinnamon Rolls. I remember these puffing up golden and yeasty, so they will do to sate the cinnamon and frosting beast.

The Reveal

I open the tube and am greeted by cinnamon “rolls” that are falling apart and look like they’ve been cut by a drunk person. Great. Are these expired? Nope. Date says they are practically fresh.

Looks Can Be Deceiving, Right?

Maybe it’s just an off batch, and I can arrange them into some semblance of a cinnamon roll before baking.  After a little bit of dough Tetris, the falling-apart pieces stay in shape.

I follow the simple baking directions, but they don’t smell right.  You know what I’m talking about.  You bake a batch of yeasty delicious cinnamon-laden pinwheels, and the house smells like a beautiful cinnamon bakery.  That isn’t the smell I’m getting.  There’s barely a smell at all.  Time to triple check:  No they are not expired, and yes I am following the directions to the letter. Oven at 350? Check. In a greased square baking pan? Check. Cooked for 29 minutes? Check.

29 minutes is up!  They aren’t even close to brown.  Back into the oven for 5 more minutes.  Still barely any smell.  At the end of my 5 minutes, they are still barely browned. What the heck was going on with these things?

I gently tap the outer layer of one of them with the back of a spoon. Sounds hollow–outside is definitely done.  I look at the inner swirl and notice it looks very dry.  I tapped the inner swirl.  Sounds like the outside layer.  That’s not right. The inner swirl of a cinnamon roll is supposed to be moist and gooey. Not tap-tap-tap hard!  Have I baked them too long? No, they’re barely browned.

I throw my hands up in frustration and reach for the cream cheese frosting.  Upon opening it, I notice that it doesn’t look like cream cheese frosting. I stick a knife in it, and it doesn’t behave like cream cheese frosting either.  Par for the course.  I grudgingly frost them and serve one up.

The Reveal!

I pull off that beginning outer layer, and bite down.  My mouth was flooded with the disgusting taste of a Pillsbury biscuit and cinnamon.  Now I have moved from disappointed and frustrated to outright disgusted.  Going for the ultimate test, I dove a fork into the middle and pulled out the center swirl.  Biscuits.  These disgusting cinnamon “rolls” are made with biscuit dough.  I am now very pissed off. I want cinnamon ROLLS, not Cinnamon BISCUITS. Puzzled, I check the wrapping from the tube. Yes they were calling these horrid abominations Cinnamon Rolls.  Cinnabon branded, no less.  They don’t even come close to the heavenly flavor and aroma of a Cinnabon Cinnamon roll.

Pillsbury has this distinct acrid, salty, sour biscuit dough that can’t be missed. Hide it how you want to, I can always tell when it’s a Pillsbury biscuit.  They are nasty, and I will make my own biscuit dough before I use Pillsbury’s dough.

I do not enjoy the flavor or texture of biscuits.

My much-anticipated delicious treat is a $5 can of biscuits. Of all of the giant fuck you’s from food manufacturers, this is a rather nasty one.  I can deal with Cadbury mangling the creme egg to a grainy nasty mess. I can deal with Hershey making some of the most acidic chocolate on the market. I will deal with Pillsbury the same way I deal with these other cost-cutting, lazy, out of touch companies.  You get not one cent more from me and I will blast your pathetic products on my review site that nobody reads!  Take that corporate America!

Conclusion:

Rating: 0 out of 10. Poor quality product and false advertising.  Cinnamon rolls are a yeast dough product.  Biscuits are not a yeast dough. How do you sleep at night? Oh, right. On a pillow stuffed with cash.

I can get a more authentic Cinnabon taste from the Taco Bell drive through.

Martinellis Sparkling Cider

Christmas! It’s almost here, and I am in the mood for a nice glass of Martinelli’s Sparkling Apple Cider. Original Apple is my favorite flavor, followed closely by Apple Cranberry, then Apple Grape. There is also an Apple Peach flavor.

Martinelli’s has, in my extended social circle, been the non-alcoholic drink of choice for toasts, celebrations, and just kicking back with a few girl friends.

As a non-drinker, I am blessed that I get zero pressure from family and friends to enjoy some champagne or prosecco, as many a wedding and party have opted to serve only Martinelli’s Sparkling Cider to toast to various well wishes.

Martinelli’s comes in a beautiful dark green glass bottle, much like a wine bottle. The overwrap is removed, then the white lid is removed (save it for later in case you have leftovers,) and then, with the work of a few seconds and a bottle opener, the bottle cap is pried from the mouth of the bottle. The sweet tart smell of that wonderful cider wafts to your nose, as the first glass is poured.

Feel free to enjoy Martinelli’s Sparkling Cider in any type of glass. Champagne flutes are very festive. Martini glasses are always a good giggle.

However you elect to enjoy this sweet, crispy, fizzy, refreshing liquid, be careful, as you will find the bottle is always empty far too soon. This is a great reason to always buy more than you think you need.

Martinelli’s Sparkling Cider is and always will be a celebratory drink of choice for me. I buy the non-alcoholic cider outside of the holidays too. Sometimes a crisp, cold glass of that delicious apple sweetness is just the thing to end a long exhausting day, or start a new day off with a bit of pizzaz.

Red Bull The Blue Edition

Red Bull: The Blue Edition

Red Bull The Blue Edition
My (sadly) empty can of Red Bull.

Taste

This Red Bull drink outperforms the original flavor by quite a bit!  It’s flavor is something slightly like a liquefied fizzy Sweetart, leaning more towards sweet, with that odd aftertaste Taurine gives energy drinks. It’s tasty overall, not at all unpleasant. Blueberry is definitely the flavor they went for and achieved for the most part. Of all of the flavors in their Edition line, I like this one the most. Cranberry comes in as a very close second, and I will purchase Red if Blue is out of stock where I’m at.

Looks

Kudos to their design department for the two-toned blue-silver color scheme. I personally dislike “busy” designs on products. The more simple and clean, the better. Often times cans are cluttered up with too many colors and things plastered on it about what everyone else thinks about the product. Ironically, I don’t care what everyone else thinks about products. What is it, what flavor is it, nutrition info, your logo. That’s all anything ever needs. This can has not a lot going on, but there’s still enough information to tell me exactly what I’m getting. Red Bull energy drink. The Blue Edition. In Blueberry flavor. The particular shade of blue they use is quite attractive. My camera does not capture it well enough: it’s a deep, rich blue that just dances on the edge of purple, but is not purple. I am in love with their font choices. Clean fonts really appeal to me.  Wow, that’s a lot of words to say I love the design. Good job, Reb Bull!

Energy

This has become my preferred energy drink purchase when I feel the need for one. I do feel more peppy after drinking one and letting it do it’s work. Plenty of caffeine. It’s basically a stronger, more sugary soda though, so it’s rare that I have one at all.  A 12floz can has 38g of sugar and 41g carbohydrates. This also has a lot of Vitamin B12 in it, which, for various reasons your doctor can give you, is handy to have in your supplements.

Dietary Notes

If you are Paleo, WLS, or Low Carb, skip this and stick with espresso or tea, cream, ice, and your sweetener of choice. Energy drinks in general are not something that matches with your lifestyle.

Cost

I paid $2.50 for my 12oz can of blue go-juice. It did what I needed it to, and tasted good while doing it. I can’t ask much more than for a product to work as advertised!

 

 

This post is not sponsored and reflects only the opinions of the reviewer.

Sargento Balanced Breaks

Today I am going to be telling you about Sargento Balanced Breaks snack packages.  I bought mine at Costco, but they are available at other stores such as Sam’s Club, Walmart, BJ’s, Wegmans, etc.

Sargento Balanced Break
Sargento Balanced Break: White Cheddar, Almonds, and Dried Cranberries. My favorite!

Quick and Dirty on Sargento’s Snack:

  • 7 grams of protein.
  • 180 calories.
  • Salty-sweet-fat flavors are all there and easy to combine or eat separately.
  • Generously portioned.
  • Comes in large and small quantity packages.
  • Individual snacks are very portable.
  • 4 flavor combinations using Almonds/Cashews/Peanuts and Raisins/Dried Cranberries.  All include some kind of cheese.
  • 42 cents per snack package. Your prices will vary depending on store and where you live in the US.

 

 

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