Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Trying New Things...A Tasting Experiment!

I was browsing through the store recently on our weekly grocery trip and found a couple of interesting-looking items for us to taste test. I was pretty excited - new things are hard to find when you shop the same store/same aisles day in/day out. It's the little things in life that make me smile every day. :)

Both items I found were prepared Arctic Char, so I was looking forward to it. Neither were too expensive either, which was an added bonus. (Given that you can buy a whole frozen Char for about $70). Since we're in-land, we don't get any Arctic Char in our water. You have to leave town and head towards the area where the river meets the bay, and you can find Char there - about a 70km trip, I understand. Still, people go out there to fish all the time and you can sometimes find local sellers who will sell you fresh fish from their day's catch - for far less than $70 each!

If you've never had Char, it's very comparable in taste/texture to salmon. I think it tastes a bit fattier than salmon, but it's delicious every time I've had it. Hence why I was extra excited to try my new discoveries!

The first item I found was Arctic Char looked really peppery in the package so I was hoping it would have a lot of flavour. It looked like there were big fillets that were dried, so for $10 it wasn't a bad price at all. I wasn't too concerned about a fish jerky since there's an Asian treat that is dried cuttlefish, as well as dried salted fish so I didn't think it would be very different.

Verdict: it was delicious! Jeff really liked how peppery it was, and I liked that it wasn't overly salty. It was pretty dry - I'd say dryer than a piece of beef jerky, but thinly prepared, so it wasn't hard to eat. Our dog loves anything fishy, and when he got a taste of it, he'd probably start singing and dancing for a bite! We would definitely buy this again!

Next up, we had candied Arctic Char nuggets. This one, we were a little more hesitant because a friend of ours tried it and she didn't care for it at all. This was a smaller bag, but there were quite a few  pieces of it inside and it was also $10.

Verdict: I LOVED this. It had more moisture than the jerky since the nuggets were thicker, and the flavouring on it was a little sweet but still really subtle. It's like someone made teriyaki sauce and coated fish in it - and what could possibly be wrong with that? Jeff said it was "interesting" and didn't mind it, but he preferred the jerky better. The dog was doing cartwheels anytime the bag was pulled out of the fridge, so I think it's safe to say he liked it too.

Overall, we had fun taste testing and would say that this was a successful experiment overall. I was looking up the company that produced these items and they have an interesting line of products (ground caribou, anyone?) that I want to try. Hopefully the store starts carrying more things for us to test!


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