Saturday, August 23, 2008

Review: Valdosta Pecans

I haven't done a review for a while, so maybe this is due. This past week I picked up a bag of Valdosta Pecans by Sahale Snacks. This wasn't my first bag. Or second. Or even third. In fact, I've pretty much lost count by this point. I have become an addict.

First of all, Sahale Snacks has other nut blends as well. These are not your traditional trail mixes with a few cliche roasted peanuts plus some crappy dried fruit. Oh, no. These are high-end. There is some sugar, but not enough to be overpowering; just enough to stick some flavors together. There really isn't so much of an emphasis on nuts, despite being called a "nut blend". The focus seems to be on making a single dish of flavors that compliment and even enhance each other.

I've found however that if you don't like the nut that the blend is based on, you won't like the rest of the blend either, even if you would normally like all of the other ingredients separately. For instance, I didn't care much for Soledad, featuring "a sunkissed combination of almonds, flax seeds & tender dates, tickled with balsamic vinegar and cayenne". Man, that all sounds good... except for the almonds. I hate whole almonds. But I'm in the minority there.

Perhaps you'd be interested in Sing Buri, with "tastes of Lemongrass, soy-glazed cashews, pinapple, peanuts & sesame seeds, lightly dusted with Chinese chili". It all sounded so good, so perfect! But when I tasted it, the wow factor just wasn't there. Don't get me wrong, it was good. But again, just not my thing.

Then I tried Valdosta, "pecans with sweet cranberries, black pepper & orange zest". So simple. Such a beautiful list of ingredients. It has sweet, but also spicy. Cranberry and orange are a match made in heaven, and pecans only add to the delight. But that black pepper bit, that was just genius. I once bought two or three bags of this stuff at once, and it didn't last the weekend. And bonus: this stuff seems to be kind of good for you too. It has a little saturated fat and a little sugar, but it seems to come from the right places. The closest the ingredient list comes to sounding like processed food is "organic evaporated cane juice", followed by "organic tapioca syrup".

This is a great snack. It's extremely low in sodium, has no cholesterol, and no fake sweeteners. Not even a drop of corn syrup. But heed my warning well: this stuff is addictive. You may stop eating "real food" in favor of it. Then again, if by "real food" you mean a burger and fries, maybe filling up on this stuff will do you better anyway.


  1. Hi Joseph,
    Thank you for the great review! Valdosta is absolutely delicious, and highly addictive - I have to agree. (Have you tried it on mixed greens with a bit of chevre and a vinaigrette? Delish!!)
    We're launching a new line of nut snacks that is scheduled to arrive in stores late next month. Are you interested in a preview?

    Best Regards,
    Sahale Snacks

  2. Dear gawd....I'm an addicted convert myself. Wow. Good stuff.


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