This pineapple-flavored soft serve is amazing. Last year when we went to Walt Disney World for Food Blog Forum, we stayed at the Polynesian Resort — and I even picked up a quick dinner at the quick serve restaurant there known for its self-serve Dole Whip machines. Yet, I didn’t even give it a second glance. One year later, and hearing so much about this frozen treat, I couldn’t go to Disney World without trying it. So first chance I got, I bought a Dole Whip at a stand in EPCOT. It was amazing … Dole Whip is a soft-serve pineapple frozen treat. And depending on where you get it, it comes in float form, swirled with froyo or even spiked with rum. But the plain, pure Dole Whip was what I wanted most — and I loved it. In fact, so did Paige.
Get It: We had our Dole Whip at Walt Disney World where it’s sold in select locations like the Polynesian Resort, the Magic Kingdom and EPCOT. It’s also available at Disneyland. And I also have it on good authority that there are some shops beyond Disney that sell it too.
Starbucks Caramel Ribbon Crunch Frappaccino
When the Caramel Ribbon Crunch Frappaccino sign appeared in my local Starbucks, I couldn’t resist the layers of chilly Frappaccino and sweet, buttery caramel topped with creamy whipped cream and caramel crunchies. Apparently, it was its debut day and I was only the second person to order it. Right afterwards, I worried that I would have a little buyers remorse. You know how some too-fancy coffee drinks can be overly sweet and all? Fortunately, that wasn’t the case. In fact, I liked it so much I have ordered it repeatedly since then. Those little crunchies on top of the whipped cream add something special to this perfect summertime drink.
Get It: This is available at Starbucks locations. Be sure to get the whipped cream and crunchies — they are musts for maximizing the amazingness.
al fresco Country Style Breakfast Patties
The first time I spotted the al fresco Country Style Breakfast Patties in our local grocery store, I talked myself out of buying them. It’s not like I ever had any interest in breakfast patties before — we prefer the links with our eggs and toast. But al fresco sausages are a favorite around our house (we love the Apple Maple breakfast sausages!). So, I finally picked up a package along with the fixings to make sausage, egg and cheese breakfast sandwiches.
I am so glad I did. These patties are super flavorful with just the right around of seasoning, and they fit perfectly on an English muffin. What’s more is that they are gluten-free and made with lean, skinless chicken. I hope they release an apple maple version soon.
Get It: You can find al fresco Country Style Breakfast Patties at grocery stores around the country. Locally, Caraluzzi’s carries this product.
Ski Queen Cheese (aka Gjetost Cheese)
Inside that red wrapper is one of the most amazing cheeses I have ever had. It’s called Ski Queen (or Gjetost) and is made by Jarlsberg (in the interest of disclosure, I tried it at Eat Write Retreat, where Jarlsberg was a sponsor). This goat’s milk cheese has a rich caramel color and is made from whey. But I am totally obsessed with this cheese because of the flavor. It’s on the sweet side with a richness like caramel. Sure, it sounds odd, but this smooth cheese reminds me of childhood. It’s like a much better, adult version of my childhood favorite — that cheese that came with crackers and a little red stick. I can’t wait to introduce my family to Ski Queen.
Get It: I found the cheese pictured at our local grocery store, Caraluzzi’s. It’s available at cheese shops and grocery stores with good cheese counters, and also on Amazon.com. In New York, it’s sold at stores including Murray’s, Fairway and Zabar’s.
I first tried pea shoots a year or two ago and fell in love. They are sweet, little bits of green goodness. With more flavor than alfalfa sprouts, they are great piled on top of pizzas, stuffed in quesadillas and even on salads — like these amazing beet salad bites that were served at an Eat Write Retreat event at Williams-Sonoma in Philadelphia last weekend. If you haven’t tried them and are a fan of greens, I highly recommend them.
Get It: These pea shoots are available in the produce section of some grocery stores. Trader Joe’s sells them in a clamshell, and Whole Foods carries them too. Locally, Caraluzzi’s sells them as well.
Disclosure: Except for the Ski Queen cheese that I sampled at Eat Write Retreat, these products have been purchased by me — in many cases over and over again. In all cases, my opinions are totally my own.
Sarah Walker Caron is a cookbook author, freelance writer and founder of Sarah’s Cucina Bella. She is the author of four cookbooks including The Super Easy 5-Ingredient Cookbook and One-Pot Pasta, both from Rockridge Press. A single mother to a tween and a teen, Sarah loves nightly family dinners, juicy tomatoes plucked fresh from the vine and lazy days on the beach. She also adores reading and traveling.