NuMystic's Profile

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SOS Chefs - Recommendations? Favorites? Must Try Items?

Exactly. My apologies if it wasn't clear from the title. I only just realized that to anyone unfamiliar with the place it may have just sounded like "Help Chefs - Give me recommendations, full stop". :)

It's also confusing matters since my first reply above was to someone that most likely made that exact mistake, and apparently deleted their comment after I responded to them. :|

For those curious here's their website:
http://sos-chefs.com/about/our-story/

In any case, I'm actually not looking for anything specific which is why I was hoping to hear from some folks that have frequented this wonder emporium.

Given their insane selection of gourmet goods, the next time I DO head over for a particular hard to find item, it would be fun to come armed with a few other recommendations to bring home at the same time.

Open to anything unique and interesting really. For example I've heard they make their own in house Juniper Vineger that I'm excited to try.

about 10 hours ago
NuMystic in Manhattan

SOS Chefs - Recommendations? Favorites? Must Try Items?

Not a chance. :)

The question was intentionally open so as to not narrow or limit the responses.

There have been dozens of sprawling threads devoted to nothing more specific than people's favorites at places like Fairway, Trader Joe's, Kaluystyan's, and Penzey's.

My intention was to gain just as broad a survey of chowhounder's favorite things from SOS.

So all responses including items procured here that were particularly noteworthy will be "good responses". :)

about 15 hours ago
NuMystic in Manhattan

SOS Chefs - Recommendations? Favorites? Must Try Items?

Was wondering what you feel are particular standouts I shouldn't miss on my next visit?

about 17 hours ago
NuMystic in Manhattan

Your Top 5 Trader Joe's Products? [OLD]

If it wasn't the organic then I'd recommend giving that one and the roasted garlic marinara's a try. They're not as thick as PNO of course (which is one of the thickest store bought I know of) but they're definitely tasty. The organic Tomato Basil is thicker than the Roasted Garlic Marinara if I recall, though I enjoyed the flavor of the latter enough to forgive it that.

You're not alone in that complaint about the thinness by the way, at least one store bought taste test article I read had the same to say

Attaching pics of the Reg, Org., and Roasted Garlic Marinaras. It's the last two that I'm recommending.

Traditional Marinara:
http://3.bp.blogspot.com/_He-xbNUiza4/TGy-CirGmBI/AAAAAAAAFy0/iiQYvVDd1GM/s1600/Trader+Joe's+Traditional+Marinara+Sauce.jpg

Tomato Basil Marinara:
http://jetsetlife.tv/JSB/wp-content/uploads/2013/11/marinara.jpg

Roasted Garlic Marinara (looks like the same manufacturer as the above Tomato/Basil):
http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-yXG4fp7-y-U/UfqRo6Eu-JI/AAAAAAAAEeE/cVQc0rXkHTw/s1600/TraderJoesRoastedGarlicMarinara.jpg

Organic Tomato Basil Marinara:
http://media.oregonlive.com/foodday_i...

Feb 18, 2014
NuMystic in Chains

Your Top 5 Trader Joe's Products? [OLD]

@FitMom4Life

Which one did you not like? (they have quite a few)

My current favorite is the Roasted Garlic Marinara, but enjoy the Organic Tomato Basil Marinara as well. Neither is thin or lacking in flavor. I still prefer Newman's Own Sockarooni but these two are more often in my pantry due to price/convenience.

If you tried the non-organic Marinara you should know that many of these have entirely different recipes so don't assume the only difference is organic vs commercial tomatoes.

They source their pasta sauces from multiple manufacturers which is why you see so many different size and shape jars. (though the jars which are the same size/shape are likely from the same producer)

Feb 18, 2014
NuMystic in Chains

Cronuts that good???

Thanks so much for sharing your experience of the two. I certainly look forward to trying Ansel's when the day finally comes that one be acquired without waiting on a ridiculously long line at some ungodly hour. (or for an equally insane price to forego that process) :)

Feb 08, 2014
NuMystic in Manhattan

Cronuts that good???

It's insane, uninformed, or both to waste time on that line now that you can get a fresh Do'ssaint at Chikalicious any time they're open with no more than a 10 minute wait.

Especially considering the comments here from those that have had both pointing out that the Cronut is inferior.

Stop by Ansel's later after the crowds have gone for the Frozen S'mores, D.K.A., Paris-New York, and made to order Madeleines.

Feb 08, 2014
NuMystic in Manhattan

Marcona Almonds - Inedible?

So very sorry to hear about your brother!

Would have been great if you did have a link because the only clinical studies I can find specifically cite almonds and almond milk as being strongly recommended specifically for those with prostate cancer:

"According to a study published in a 2011 issue of “Cancer and Nutrition,” cow's milk stimulated the growth of prostate cancer cells, while almond milk suppressed prostate cancer cell growth. The same study found that soy milk increased growth rates of breast cancer cells, but almond milk did not affect breast cancer cell growth."

Googling almonds and prostate cancer turns up literally hundreds of such results.

Dec 20, 2013
NuMystic in General Topics

Marcona Almonds - Inedible?

No idea where you got the idea that Almonds have a negative impact on sex hormones "like soy". Soy is linked to elevated estrogen levels which poses a health risk.

Almonds on the other hand have a documented positive effect on sex hormones and are a known libido booster for both men and women:
http://www.google.com/search?client=s...

Dec 19, 2013
NuMystic in General Topics

TJ's Items That Would Devastate a Non-Initiate

I share that hope!

The fine powder is great for a few specific things (part of popcorn seasoning, even incorporation into flour like mixes, etc.) but I have much more use the granulated style.

Dec 12, 2013
NuMystic in Chains

TJ's Items That Would Devastate a Non-Initiate

Is it granulated style garlic powder (like pourable table salt) or the kind that's more like baby powder or confectioner's sugar?

Dec 12, 2013
NuMystic in Chains

Marcona Almonds - Inedible?

I hide them in my stomach to control myself.

Only way to keep from eating more is for there to be no more to eat. *nods*

Dec 01, 2013
NuMystic in General Topics

Any tips for peeling green plantains for tostones?

Step by step guide with photos show's this being done with a green plaintain here:

http://latinfood.about.com/od/cooking...

Nov 22, 2013
NuMystic in Home Cooking

Marcona Almonds - Inedible?

Inevitable is right. :)

Interestingly though, between being richer than regular almonds and the added oil they've been lightly fried in, I find I'm satisfied with far less than the common nonpareil variety.

Oct 17, 2013
NuMystic in General Topics

Marcona Almonds - Inedible?

@fldhkybnva - Been eating them for the last 3 weeks. They're stellar and haven't come across a bitter one yet. Don't hesitate to buy and enjoy them.

Especially since TJ's will happily take back anything you're not happy with for any reason.

Oct 17, 2013
NuMystic in General Topics

TJ's Items That Would Devastate a Non-Initiate

+1 on the EVOO

Always have a bottle in my cruet and a back-up in the pantry. For true gourmands the price will provide the wow, and show the palates of average consumers what they've been missing with mainstream supermarket brands.

As for other bonafide "wow" items for TJ's newcomers:

- Rosemary Olive Oil Toasted Marcona Almonds

- Organic Thompson Raisins (anyone used to sunmaid will find these a plump moist revelation)

- Sweet and Spicy Pecans (try and eat just one, I double dare you. It's a wonder these even make it back home.)

- Belgian Dark Chocolate Pudding (Dark. Chocolate. Pudding. 'Nuff Said.)

- Frozen Vegetable Biryani (nothing transcendent but a frozen indian rice dish worth reheating is itself wow-worthy in my book. Even better with an additional handful each of the TJ's frozen org peas and the org. thompson raisins mentioned above.)

Oct 03, 2013
NuMystic in Chains

TJ's Items That Would Devastate a Non-Initiate

Wow. So sorry to hear your local TJ's seems to be such an exception 512!

In years of going to multiple locations we decided long ago that theirs is the friendlies staff we've ever dealt with in any chain store bar none.

We've even had staff shoo us off helping with the bagging when they're not enormously busy, and everyone from the stocking crew to the management has bent over backwards at the slightest request without exception.

Oct 01, 2013
NuMystic in Chains
2

TJ's Items That Would Devastate a Non-Initiate

"Nobody digests mushrooms well. They're pretty much indigestible, period."

Nonsense.

They're scientifically proven to be a good source of potassium, B, selenium and many other nutrients which wouldn't be possible if we weren't digesting them.

Heck, Maitake mushrooms are a super-food known for aiding in digestion and boosting the immune system.

The indigestible myth stems from mushroom's raffinose content which is something the body does indeed struggle to digest, so it ferments in the intenstinal track causing flatulence.

That's only one element of the mushroom though and doesn't hinder the body utilizing the rest.

Raffinose is also present in Cabbage, Broccoli, Brussels Sprouts, Beans and countless other vegetables infamous for their familiar gastronomic side effect… and they're all still quite digestible despite this common trait.

Raffinose only needs to be avoided if you're someone prone to painful gas and bloating along with all the other usual suspects. Otherwise they're both nutritious and good eats.

It can also be easily dealt with by taking any decent digestive enzyme containing alpha-galactosidase which breaks down oligosaccharides like raffinose.

Sep 30, 2013
NuMystic in Chains
4

TJ's Items That Would Devastate a Non-Initiate

Not pushing you greygarious! :)

That said, it's not even remotely unfair to the store and they know it. That's why every staff member is trained to encourage taking full advantage of the policy.

This policy has led to us "risking" a try of far far more things than we ever would at another market, especially things of the odd/unusual variety that normally would get passed with little more than a muttered "interesting".

So while we have returned a great many items over the years that didn't pass muster, it's also added literally dozens of items to our regular shopping list that are now household staples. Many of which have replaced things we used to buy elsewhere which is exactly what TJ's had in mind in creating the policy.

I'd say we easily spend twice what we once did at TJ's thanks to that policy alone, so they are surely not getting an unfair shake from our liberal use of it.

Sep 30, 2013
NuMystic in Chains

TJ's Items That Would Devastate a Non-Initiate

Sandy, are you keeping the cheese in the plastic after getting home? Our cheesemonger tipped us off to always transferring to a container right away and now our cheeses are lasting dramatically longer than they ever did wrapped. (we use glass but I doubt that's a factor, tupperware should serve the same purpose)

I suspect the temp changes from the fridge to the basket/ride home can cause condensation which will then lead to early molding.

Sep 30, 2013
NuMystic in Chains
2

TJ's Items That Would Devastate a Non-Initiate

Almost all their tub cookies are deadly. Just finishing off the Oatmeal Raisin which were spectacular even if there's not a raisin in sight. Their on the ingredients list though so perhaps their finely ground into the batter? In any case they're still great.

The dark chocolate chip almond cookies in a tub are so devastatingly good that I won't let them in the house any longer lest they be scarfed in a single evening.

Sep 30, 2013
NuMystic in Chains

TJ's Items That Would Devastate a Non-Initiate

Their Organic Thompson's are also oustanding at a very reasonable price.

Large, plump, moist and unsulphured unlike most of the other TJ's raisins. These fired Newman's Organics raisins in my pantry as soon as I discovered them.

Sep 30, 2013
NuMystic in Chains

TJ's Items That Would Devastate a Non-Initiate

Dorot Garlic is always a nice backup for when I've run out of fresh.

Sep 30, 2013
NuMystic in Chains

Cronuts that good???

scoopG it's WAY more than .50 cents extra to get them delivered by these kids.

For 3 hours of line sitting plus delivery they're asking $25 or more:

https://www.taskrabbit.com/new-york-c...

Sep 13, 2013
NuMystic in Manhattan

Vegetarian (or just non-anchovy) fish sauce?

Here's a recipe:
http://www.thekitchn.com/recipe-vegan...

Also for commercially produced Vegetarian Fish Sauce you'll want to try stores that specialize in Vietnamese rather than Chinese products.

Aug 18, 2013
NuMystic in Manhattan

Your Top 5 Trader Joe's Products? [OLD]

Wonderful ideas, and both things I've never used it for. Thanks for sharing!

Jun 30, 2013
NuMystic in Chains

Your Top 5 Trader Joe's Products? [OLD]

What are you using the Almond Meal for? I'm always after new uses for it.

Jun 28, 2013
NuMystic in Chains

Trader Joe's Yay/Nay Thread - June 2013 [OLD]

Just a follow up to post a picture of the Panich brand.

For what it's worth, fans of the TJ's will likely favor Panich as it too has more garlic and sweetness than most others.

The Cock and Shark brands are closer in flavor and heat level to the U.S. Huy Fong squeeze bottles found everywhere.

Jun 28, 2013
NuMystic in Chains

Trader Joe's Yay/Nay Thread - June 2013 [OLD]

I never even bothered tasting their Sriracha after seeing the ingredients…

Dextrose
Vegetable Extract
Natural Flavor
Xantham Gum

All things I just don't need in my Sriracha.

I stick to the authentic made in Thailand brands that are preservative free:

Cock Brand - Not to be confused with the ubiquitous preservative laden Chinese/Vietnamese Huy Fong Rooster brand made in California. (Cock Brand is the red, yellow and green labeled plastic bottle w/ pic attached below)
(Chilli, Vinegar, Sugar, Salt, Garlic)

Shark Brand - Glass Bottle
(Chile, Water, Sugar, Garlic, Salt, Vinegar)

Panich - Everywhere I went in Thailand this was the brand most likely to be found on tables. Hard to find until recently in the US, this is now showing up on the shelves of Whole Foods, at least in NYC.
(Chili, Chili, Sugar, Acidifier, Garlic, Water, Salt)

These can be found in most Asian Markets that carry a good selection of imported Thai products. I get the Cock brand in Elmhurst here in NYC.

Jun 28, 2013
NuMystic in Chains
1

Your Top 5 Trader Joe's Products? [OLD]

Being that I've never seen rosemary *extract* in a recipe or product before, a quick Google turned up the interesting fact that it's primarily used as a natural preservative in meat.

I would have guessed it was there simply as a seasoning but it seems rosemary extract prevents rancidity in omega 3 oils and reduces carcinogens that are created when meat is cooked.

Color me fascinated.

Jun 27, 2013
NuMystic in Chains