RiceSelect Organic Pearl Couscous

RiceSelect recently launched Organic Pearl Couscous and is the first company to produce couscous in the US and the first in the world to commercially make an organic version of the ball-shaped Middle Eastern staple that has become a popular side dish among American consumers. Produced entirely in the USA with organic, durum semolina wheat, it is available in both Original and Tri-Color varieties. Also known as Israeli couscous, because of its larger size, pearl couscous has a slightly chewy texture and, because it is toasted, it has a slightly nutty flavor. Pearl Couscous is shaped into small balls and then toasted in an open flame oven. Toasting also allows it to absorb liquid without falling apart. This toasting technique differentiates Pearl Couscous from other pasta, and enhances the multitude of recipes in which it can be included.

What’s more, Organic Pearl Couscous is low in fat, cholesterol and sodium and is also Non-GMO Project Verified, Star K kosher certified and certified organic by the Texas Department of Agriculture TDA and the USDA.

I googled and found a recipe clone for an Israeli couscous dish containing golden raisins and pistachios served at a restaurant chain that has long been a favorite of my household. As this chain no longer has a restaurant in my area, I was happy to discover the recipe tasted exactly how we remember it and also glad to find the availability of this US-made couscous. If you email me and ask nicely, I will be willing to share my newfound recipe.

RiceSelect Organic Pearl Couscous is sold in convenient 24.5 oz. re-usable, recyclable jars, and available for purchase at grocery stores nationwide and online at www.riceselect.com.

Wicked Joe Organic Coffee

Another organic product I had the pleasure to sample is Wicked Joe Organic Coffee, made by a family-owned company based in Topsham, Maine. The company has a strong commitment to sustainability, with new solar-powered facilities and a state-of-the-art energy-efficient roaster. The coffee beans are USDA certified organic and non-GMO verified and purchased directly from farmers and cooperatives across the globe. It’s important to note that the company is Fair Trade certified, meaning it ensures that farmers get fair prices for their product, guaranteeing a decent, living wage in return for high quality coffee and sustainable practices that help protect the environment. The environmentally-conscious company also has an extensive recycling program which includes sharing all chaff and grounds they produce with local organic farms and gardeners to use for composting.

As if all of this wasn’t enough to make you want to check out this company’s products, after tasting the Big House Medium-Dark Roast and French Dark Roast versions I can verify that it is outstanding coffee that is quite rich and smooth and as good or better than other premium coffee brands I’ve tried.

For more information about Wicked Joe, visit www.wickedjoe.com where you can also purchase coffee. Prices range from $9.99 to $12.95 for a
12 oz. bag.

Glenfiddich IPA

A few months ago I reported on an Irish whisky distiller aging its spirits in a cask that had formerly contained beer. Now I’ve found one in Scotland, Glenfiddich, doing the same.

Created collaboratively by Glenfiddich Malt Master Brian Kinsman and IPA expert Seb Jones, the distilling company collaborated with local Speyside Craft Brewery to create a bold and zesty India Pale Ale. The beer was aged in ex-Glenfiddich casks for a month before it was removed and the casks were returned to the distillery and filled with single-malt whisky and aged for an additional three months. The final result was determined after a lengthy experimental process to determine the exact beer strength and the time the whisky spent being finished. The result is a vibrant and fruity dram that while not a beer-flavored whisky, shares some flavor touches, such as fruitiness and citrus notes, making this a true crossover between whisky and beer. Glenfiddich claims this creation is the first ever single malt whisky finished in IPA craft beer casks.

Glenfiddich IPA is distributed by Breakthru Beverage in Southern Nevada, by Young’s Market in Southern California and is available at Total Wine. The SRP is $65.99. For more info on how this product came to be, visit