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nar gourmet foods {review}

April 30th, 2014 | 2 Comments »

Unique food items always intrigue me, and I tend to have an eagle eye out for anything different from the mainstream offerings available. This is becoming more and more difficult, as the food scene in Minnesota has expanded exponentially to include food items from various cultures, with ethnic markets, gourmet food shops, fine spices, and artisan products of all kinds at the ready, with a willingness to drive being your only obstacle to finding what you want.

NAR Gourmet food products ~~ Kate in the Kitchen

NAR Gourmet contacted me about trying some of their unique handmade food items, all sourced locally in Anatolia, (formally known as Turkey), and embodying the rich flavors of the Mediterranean. With a North American option of purchasing their products on Amazon, NAR Gourmet can begin spreading it’s gorgeous flavors and packaging beyond the local borders, bringing these beautiful, delicious and rarely found foods to US customers.

{I have no affiliation with NAR Gourmet, or Amazon, and am not receiving any compensation for this post.
The products from NAR Gourmet were free; all opinions of them are my own.
I will not receive anything from Amazon for any purchase of NAR Gourmet products made on their site.}

First thing I noticed about these products upon opening the box was the beautiful packaging and jars. These are the kind of jars that you can wash and re-use in your kitchen, with fabulous thick, sturdy lids. I received Bergamot flavored Olive oil {the light colored oil on the right} and I absolutely loved the long, lean bottle. The oil was phenomenal drizzled on salads. It’s very light, but cleanly flavored and the taste is pure and fresh. Bergamot Oranges are grown mostly in southern Italy and France and used for essential oils; the fruit grown in Anatolia is primarily used for flavoring food-grade oils and making marmalades. 

Another oil that arrived was Pistachio oil, a deep green oil that is also wonderful on salads or drizzled over roasted vegetables. It’s flavor is rich and nutty, and it’s actually a good oil to use on your skin as well. For more kitchen uses of this gorgeous oil, check out this article on The Kitchn. One suggestion was brushing the oil on fresh apricots, then grilling them; with apricot season just around the corner, you can bet I’m going to try that.

I received two jars of marmalade- Mandarin and Apricot. The Apricot marmalade went in to a delicious tea cake recipe I found on The Yellow House, one of my blog reads. The cake was tender and delicious, with a bright spark of flavor and a sunny color. It vanished like a snowflake in July. The Mandarin marmalade was made in to Marmalade Butter on two occasions, spread on toast and pancakes with plenty of oooohs and aaaaahs to compliment the wonderful taste.

Mandarin Marmalade Butter ~~ Kate in the Kitchen

The recipe for this is simple: soften one stick of butter and add two heaping tablespoons of your favorite marmalade, then mix with a fork to combine. Adjust more or less to taste and keep tightly covered on your counter for spreadability. Trust me… this will not last long. I added a touch of Maldon Smoked Sea Salt for flavor and it did not disappoint. Try it on sourdough toast, or crisp waffles.

Other items I received were Sour Cherry Jam and Lemon Peel Preserves. These have yet to be opened, as I’m still determining the best route to use for them. The Lemon Peel Preserves have huge chunks of whole lemon rind in it. Another item, Ground Dried Tomato, has been making it’s way in to various dishes and toppings, such as mixed with olive oil and brushed on vegetables for roasting, mixed in to lentils when cooking or sprinkled over potatoes. It’s texture is soft between your fingers; I expected it to be crumbly and dry but it’s very fresh, the scent is much like sun-dried tomato, and the flavor is very subtle. A little goes a long way and I know this will get a lot of use in my kitchen.

NAR Gourmet has a huge line of products, with lots of jams, oil, spices and other food products like vinegars and teas, as well as candies and pure, natural soaps. The line on Amazon is strictly food items, and is not a full list of what NAR Gourmet offers, but there is something for every taste available there.