July 4, 2012

National BBQ Day

"Begin at the beginning and go on till you come to the end; then stop and barbecue." - Lewis Carroll

It's National BBQ Day!
(Please note: I don't know if this is actually a "real" food holiday, but I'm celebrating it anyway!)

Sponsored bySahale Snacks

When I was working at a brewery, I found - as cliche as it sounds - that nuts were my favorite go-to snack when drinking beer (either the one's we provided to our customers or something someone had brought in for us to try). But I'm a class act and wasn't about to settle for anything that came out of a barrel (like, a literal one), so I began searching for something that the foodie in me could appreciate. That's when I stumbled upon Sahale Snack's "Sing Buri" cashews (which were made with pineapple, peanuts, lemongrass, and a mild Chinese chili).

They were one of my best discoveries (especially when enjoyed with a pint of something hoppy), until I tried their "Valdosta Pecans" (made with cranberries, black pepper, and orange zest). I don't even like pecans, but these little bad boys with a more fruity beer? Oh man. Sahale Snacks made four of these worldy-inspired nut blends (including "Soledad Almonds" made with apple, flax seeds, dates, balsamic vinegar, and red pepper; and, "Ksar Pistachios" made with sesame seeds, pepitas, fig, and Moroccan harissa) but my local grocer only carried the two I had already tried.

Today (and a couple other times throughout the year) I joyously get to try one of their products I've never had before. Actually, I didn't even know they made BBQ Almonds (behind pistachios, almonds are my favorite nut; and before I went veg, BBQ was one of my favorite types of food). Apparently, these nuts are smothered in a proprietary "dry rub" spice blend, accented with ranch, and are roasted to perfection.

Yes they are, yes they are, and yes they are.

Before I popped one in my mouth I was expecting that stereotypical BBQ potato chip flavor. You know the one: it tastes like how cheapo BBQ sauce smells. But, because of the delicious blend of seasonings in the "dry rub," these almonds were far more authentic tasting. And while the ranch is mellow, it really is the perfect accompanying flavor to the very rich, bold BBQ flavors. They certainly caught me by surprise (in a good way).

Sahale Snacks was started by old firends Edmond Sanctis and Josh Schroeter in August 2003 on a hike up Mt. Rainier. The ultimate goal for Sahale Snacks was to provide healthy and "extraordinarily great tasting food that could travel anywhere."

They've absolutely outdone themselves. I'm actually proud to be associated with this company.

And the name? Sahale (which is pronounce sah-HA-lee and not sa-hale)? Apparently it's a Northwest Native American word and the name of a mountain peak in the North Cascades National Park in Washington. Cool stuff, if you ask me.

Happy National BBQ Day!

Disclaimer: The product(s) featured in this review were provided free of cost to me by the manufacturer. Opinions expressed are totally my own and are NOT in anyway influenced by monetary compensation. Logo used with permission by company.