Speciality Exotic Produce Blog

Satisfy That Sweet Tooth!

Joseph Coupal - Friday, December 13, 2013

Do you ever get a craving for something sweet? What something tangy and still fresh? It may sound like we’re asking for a lot but in this case it’s within reach!

Our new Fruit Crystals Cranberry finally bring together the best things in the culinary world, sweet, tangy, and crunchy. Better yet, they can be added to almost anything. I’m talking breakfast, lunch, dinner, and dessert.

The color makes them perfect for the holiday season, adding that hint of red to baked goods and savory dishes.

Here are some ideas to get you started, but feel free to grab your apron and experiment away!

  • Cranberry Orange muffins with crystals baked in
  • Mixed green salad with walnuts and Fruit Crystals Cranberry
  • Lemon cookies with Fruit Crystals sprinkled on the frosting
  • Sprinkle on top of soft cheese to add a pop of color to your cheese plate

Happy Holidays and Happy Cooking!

It’s beginning to smell a lot like the Holidays

Joseph Coupal - Wednesday, December 11, 2013

When December rolls around the holidays tend to sneak up on us. Suddenly there are commercials all over the television, radio, and in our inboxes. It can all be so overwhelming.

However, along with all those looming reminders of shopping that needs to get done comes the best part of it all; the food!

Nothing says “Happy Holidays” quite like the smell of fresh baked goods and a home cooked meal. And this year we bringing in a new ingredient to add a little bit of extra holiday cheer to your menu.

Fruit Crystals Pumpkin is made with a blend of holiday spices and pumpkin. It is the perfect addition to any part of your holiday culinary creations.

Try these out!

  • Sprinkle it on some lattes for a festive start to your day
  • Add it to your pumpkin pancakes for some subtle texture
  • Mixed greens with apple slices and a light balsamic vinaigrette paired with Fruit Crystals Pumpkin
  • Roasted Butternut squash soup sprinkled with some crystals on top

No matter how you use them, these festive crystals are sure to stand out and make this holiday season one to remember!

Bloody Mary, Bloody Mary, Bloody Mary

Joseph Coupal - Monday, December 09, 2013

The Bloody Mary has become a staple in bars and restaurants across America. Although there is debate about where it originated, Paris or New York City.

Some say Fernand Petiot invented the drink while working at the New York Bar in Paris in 1921, which was a frequent hangout for Ernest Hemingway.

Another theory is that it was first mixed at the 21 Club in New York City in the 1930’s by a man named Henry Zbikiewicz.

Let’s not forget the first mention to the drink in 1939 by Lucius Beebe, a gossip columnist, who printed the original recipe and attributed it to comedian George Jessel, calling it his newest pick-me-up of half tomato juice and half vodka.

Today, the Bloody Mary has maintained the classic base recipe and allows for a little extra flair here and there. Bartenders will add a little spice a little acid (lemon juice) and some fresh greens (celery and onion are the favorites). All in all these iconic drink may not cure that day after drinking feeling but it will take your mind off of it for a little bit.

Next time you mix up a Bloody Mary, try adding our Tiny Veggies Bloody Mary Mix to your drink. The tiny celery and tiny onion are the perfect size for your glass and it holds all the same flavor as the traditional size veggies.

And, they just look better!

Herb Crystals®, Flower Crystals® & Chocolate! Oh my!

Joseph Coupal - Friday, November 29, 2013

It’s a no-brainer. Our Herb Crystals® & Flower Crystals® make a pretty sweet addition to any chocolate treat. So if you’re a sucker for a box of chocolates or you know of one, check out The Madison Chocolatier West. They are beautifully coating their strawberries with white and dark chocolate and then covering with our Crystals and Crystallized Flowers! These fancy strawberries are not like any regular chocolate covered strawberry you see at the market. They have also put our Crystals on the inside of their chocolate ganache truffles. What a burst of flavor in your mouth. And the Crystals stay crunchy!

They create small batch chocolates, all hand made using the freshest fruits, herbs, spices and ingredients that have no preservatives added. Each ingredient provides unique flavor pairings for exceptional chocolates. Check out their mouthwatering pictures here!

Cocktails and Mini Herb Crystals® & Mini Flower Crystals® – A Perfect Pair

Joseph Coupal - Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Creating a cocktail is just as much about pleasing the eyes as it is pleasing the pallet. Enter our Mini Herb Crystals® & Mini Flower Crystals®, the vibrant colors draw attention and the crystal’s fresh flavors are captivating to the taste buds. The uses are varied and can be incorporated into something as subtle as being a different substitute for plain white sugar, adding a unique sweetness to any drink, or as an eye-catching rim on a cocktail.

The Mini Crystals® are a smaller, more granular than the regular Crystals, making them more adhesive and ideal for rimming cocktail glasses. Check out Mixologists like Junior Merino with his The Big Apple cocktail. Rimming his cocktail with Herb Crystals® Fennel, and garnishing with our Apple Mint Tops. Check out his recipe:

2 oz Hudson Whiskey
1/2 oz grilled apple juice
1/2 oz cinnamon syrup
3/4 oz fresh lime juice
1/4 oz Xtabentun Mayan Liqueur
1 dash of Junior Merino Roasted Apple & Toasted Spices Bitters

Pour all ingredients into a mixing glass. Add ice and strain into a rocks glass rimmed with Flower Crystals® Fennel and garnish with an Apple Mint top.


Create A Buzz This Holiday Season!

Joseph Coupal - Monday, November 25, 2013

Entertaining during the holiday season is the perfect way to show off your culinary and cocktail skills. Create something unique and memorable with our Buzz Buttons. Stimulate your taste buds with this exciting burst of energy! These yellow, cone shaped flowers produce an electrifying effect on the palette. With a slight citrus flavor, it gives your mouth an exciting tingly feeling with an almost numbing effect.

This unique flower stimulates saliva and cleanses the mouth with a refreshing cool feeling. Use sparingly by shredding the flower and sprinkling over food or muddle in cocktails to add electricity! Here are some ideas on how you could use them:

  • Add to Lemon Sorbet
  • Shred & sprinkle on chocolate desserts
  • Infuse in sauces
  • Muddle in cocktails
  • Shred & sprinkle on salads


Buzz Thriller Cocktail
Servings: 1 drink

  • 6 Buzz Buttons™
  • 1oz Citrus Rum
  • ½ oz Blue Curacao
  • Float of Cachaca
  • Lime
  • Cup of Ice

Cut 5 Buzz Buttons™ into pieces, put in a blender. Add Sweet and Sour, Citrus Rum, Blue Curacao, and juice from half of a lime. Blend mixture then pour into a glass filled with ice. Top with a float of Cachaca. Serve with 1 Buzz Button™ for garnish, but be sure to caution your customers of their tingly sensation. Since alcohol dehydrates you, the Buzz Button™ is a perfect ingredient because it stimulates salivary glands, keeping your mouth from getting dry and giving you a refreshing hydrated feeling!

Tingly Citrus Vinaigrette
Yields: 2 cups

  • 2 Buzz Buttons™
  • 2 oz lime juice
  • 3 oz orange juice
  • 2 oz grapefruit juice
  • 2 tablespoons red rice wine vinegar
  • 1 tbsp honey
  • salt, pepper to taste
  • 3/4 teaspoon mustard Dijon
  • 3/4 cup olive oil
  • 2 sprigs Fresh Thyme

Combine all ingredients in a blender. Blend until smooth.

Citrus Buerre Blanc with a kick!
Yields: ½ cup

  • 2 Buzz Buttons™ shredded
  • ½ Shallot minced
  • 3 oz orange juice
  • 2 oz lemon juice
  • salt, pepper to taste
  • 1 pt cold butter, cubed – ½”

In a hot small saucepan, add shallots and juices. Simmer and reduce until au sec (nearly dry, about 1 tbsp of liquid left). Add Buzz Buttons™, salt, & pepper. Take off heat and add a few cubes of butter at a time, whisk quickly and constantly until melted. Careful not to “break” the sauce (separation of fat and liquid). This will happen if it is too hot. The finished sauce should be thick and smooth.