Sensations kettle style potato chips from Sobeys

My new favorite potato chips come grocery stores.  They are  Sensations by Compliments brand, which is equivalent to President’s Choice at Loblaws, Independent Grocer or Superstores…

 

These extra crispy, kettle style chips are sensational (pun intended) tasting and always reasonably priced.   I am particularly fond of the black pepper & lime, and sweet chili & sour cream flavours pictured below.  There are many other varieties to choose from too, such as jalapeno, hickory barbecue, balsamic vinegar & caramelized onion, sea salt & malt vinegar, and more…

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The best part is that these Sensations kettle potato chips are gluten-free and processed in a gluten-free environment, with no artificial flavours or colours to trigger my food allergies…

 

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Sobeys’ slogan is Better Food For All; these Sensations kettle chips are definitely better for me.  Unfortunately for many of you, Sobeys locations are limited to Canada.  For you Canadian readers, give these chips a try soon, I’m sure you will love them too.  Your biggest dilemma will be deciding which variety to try first!

 

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Free Jamie Oliver knife collection available at Sobeys

If you spend any time in the kitchen, you will know who Jamie Oliver is.  His professional quality, stainless steel knife collection is currently available  for free (sort of) at Sobeys grocery stores.

For every ten dollars spent on groceries at Sobeys, shoppers are given one coupon.  The yellow coupons have a sticky backing, so can easily be collected in a booklet, also provided at Sobeys…

 

Collectibles include paring, utility, bread, carving, santoku and chef’s knives, as well as a sharpening tool, scissors, a carving fork, and a knife block.  Items range from 30 to 70 coupons, although they can be purchased with a combination of cash and coupons or just cash.  The chart in the center picture above describes all of the options available.

 

I have collected two knives so far, an 8 inch bread knife (pictured at top) for 60 coupons and a 6.5 inch santoku knife (pictured below bread knife) for 70 coupons.  I am thrilled with both.  The bread knife slices baguettes and fresh bread without crushing them and the santoku slices through partially frozen chicken breasts like warm butter. I hope to collect as many as possible.

The best thing about this Jamie Oliver promotion is that coupon redemption is simple; choose the knife you want, take it to the cashier with your groceries, and redeem your booklet of coupons to pay for the knife.

I love this kind of promotion.  No extra money is required, coupons for groceries purchased means everyone and anyone can collect them, it does not take long to collect enough coupons to redeem them for a knife, and you do not have to mail anything or wait to receive your free products.

 

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Mangoes and dragonfruit

Dave, an employee in the produce department at my local Sobey’s grocery store, supplied the inspiration for this blog post.  I knew that mangoes and dragonfruit are not grown here in Canada due to our weather conditions. I also know these two exotic fruits are delicious, but that was about the extent of my knowledge of them.

Mangoes are imported from Brazil, at least the ones at the Sobey’s in Kanata are.  Most mangoes are picked and transported before they are ripe, then allowed to ripen in the store or in your home. Dave told me that Palmer mangoes however, are picked when they are ripe and then transported quickly to keep them at their peak.  This difference in harvesting makes the Palmer variety of mango sweeter without the characteristic sharpness of other mangoes.  Palmer mangoes also have a pale yellow flesh instead of the typical orange. Palmer mangoes are slightly more expensive than other varieties because of the expedited shipping, but well worth the difference…

Whatever the type of mango you have, you can tell when they are ripe by pushing gently on the skin with your finger, similar to testing the ripeness of an avocado.  If the skin dents, it is ripe.  If it remains undented, it is not yet ripe, and will taste bitter.

The biggest obstacle when cutting a mango is the large, almond-shaped pit in the center of each mango.  Cutting or slicing mangoes can be done in several ways…

  • slice the mango in halves or thirds, then carve a checkerboard pattern into the flesh of each slice without cutting into the skin.  From the skin side, push the cubes so that they pop out.
  • cut the mango in wedges, using the pit as a guideline for the knife.  Then eat the pulp from the skin, similar to eating a slice of watermelon.
  • after cutting in wedges as described above, use a drinking glass to remove the skin from the pulp.  Simply put the lip of the glass between the skin and pulp of each slice, and gently push.  The glass should slide along the wedge, neatly and cleanly removing the skin.

Since our mangos are imported from Brazil, I thought I would ask my favourite Brazilian, my son’s girlfriend, whom I have nicknamed Stella Bella, which way her family peels mangoes.  Apparently mangos are not such a big deal in Brazil, probably like our very common apples here.  She did say they use the drinking glass method to peel them…

pictures compliments of thekitchn.com

I also had the opportunity to taste test white and red fleshed  dragonfruit.  Dragonfruit, also known as Pitaya are imported from Asia.  Dave suggested that red fleshed dragonfruit cut into cubes and frozen makes great ice cubes for the Christmas season.  The mild flavor of the fruit will not alter the taste of the cocktail and the bright red color adds a festive touch.

 

Thanks to Dave and Stella Bella for the lessons learned!

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