Product Review: Dole Peach Fruit Crisp

I first saw an ad for Dole’s new fruit crisps in the Sunday coupons and was immediately excited.  Peach crisp is one of my all-time favorite desserts.  Could this fruit company create something that tasted similar to a good, homemade peach crisp for enjoyment when peaches are out of season?  I was dubious, but willing to try.

I had to wait a few months for this item to show up on my supermarket shelves, and even now, peach is harder to find than the apple varieties.  I recommend stocking up when you see it, because the peach crisp is quite good in its own way.

I brought the crisps to work with me, which was very convenient.  There are two crisps in a package, each consisting of a peach cup and an oat cup.  The peach cup is difficult to separate from the oat cup.  Once you figure that out, peel back the plastic cover on the peaches and microwave for 30 seconds.  I then sprinkled a bit of cinnamon on the peaches before stirring in the oat mixture.  I recommend using a larger bowl if you have one because the little peach cup can overflow.

Voila!  A little peach crisp.  It’s a bit syrupy and lacks the flavor dimension of fresh summer peaches, but it makes a good afternoon snack at work or anywhere there is a microwave.  It would have been great to have these in my college dorm room.  Plus, at 150 calories and with no artificial sweeteners, it is reasonably healthy.

I’d like to see Dole come out with additional flavors.  Blackberry, anyone?

Overall Grade: B

Note: I purchased Dole Peach Fruit Crisp at my local supermarket at full price.  This review is not a paid product endorsement.

Almost as Good as Eating Dessert? Reading About It

I have always been interested in American food history.  How have we gotten, for better or worse, to the food culture we have today?  This new book, Sweet Invention – A History of Dessert by Michael Krondl, promises to answer some questions I’ve always had about the origins of today’s desserts.  In this article, Krondl discusses how biscotti are derived by biscuits given to sailors to last over lengthy sea voyages.  Many, if not most, of today’s typical American desserts have their origins in places like Belgium, France, and Italy.

I am ordering this book today.  I’ll have more to say on this topic after I read it. Sweet reading!

Photo courtesy of NPR.  Book information: Sweet Invention: A History of Dessert. by Michael Krondl. Text copyright 2011 Chicago Review Press. Published by Chicago Review Press (distributed by IPG). Available in October 2011.

Bakery Review: Danielle’s Desserts, Tysons Corner, VA

Did you know there’s a delicious bakery on the third floor of the Tysons Galleria?  I had no idea.  Danielle’s Desserts serves cakes and pies whole or by the slice, along with cookies and fair-trade coffee and tea.  It’s a great place to stop for dessert after a meal in one of the restaurants downstairs.  (I raced to Danielle’s after dinner at Lebanese Taverna).

 I tried the blueberry buckle and the triple chocolate cake.  The blueberry was very generously sliced and tasty, though a bit underdone in the middle.  The chocolate cake, however, was a real stand-out.  It had the bitter, intense flavor of dark chocolate (maybe some espresso powder in there also) and was rich without being cloyingly sweet.  Two people could easily share the slice.

 I was pleased to see that Danielle’s emphasizes seasonal ingredients.  Danielle herself was behind the counter, which gave this bakery additional charm.  Located in a mall full of chains (which most people don’t shop in—Neiman Marcus, anyone?!) it was nice to see a bakery with a local owner.  Despite its location, I thought Danielle’s was affordable, especially considering that the portions can be shared.

 I’ll definitely be heading back to Danielle’s to try some more items the next time I’m in the area.

 Grade: A