Farmhouse Gut Shots

Have you ever seen an item at the grocery store that you thought there would be no way that thing would ever end up in your cart? Looking at said product makes you recoile. No how, no way am I buying that. Yet somehow, someway it finds it’s way into your shopping cart? I have had those experiences in the past (example: asparagus, brussels sprouts) and I just had one of those experiences again today. At my local Whole Foods market, I have been noticing these gut shots from Farmhouse Culture. The company is known for their sauerkraut and kimchi. I also think they have really lively packaging – with vivid colors and bold & easy to read words in an attractive font. It was practically jumping off the shelf – big props to their marketing guy (or girl).

What Am I Doing?
Back to the point, I thought I would never try this stuff. I am not a “kraut fan” to begin with. So why am I even talking about this right now? I am in the midst of a 3-day cleanse to help fight off excess yeast in my body that may be the root of my continual sinus troubles. During this cleanse, I am eating only vegetables. No fruit, no cheese, no meat, none of the things I love and carve. The veggies I am having are low sugar and low starch vegetables. No potatoes, carrots, sweet potatoes, beets, etc. Not easy to do, but good for my health. When I spotted the Farmhouse Culture Gut Shot drinks I decided this is the time to try it. The cleanse is all about improving gut health which in turn should improve my overall health. The gut shots contain natural live probiotics, just what my gut needs.

Farmhouse Gut Shots

Choosing my Flavor
They had several flavors available – Classic, Ginger Beet, Garlic Dill Pickle, and Smoked Jalapeno. For my cleanse sake I needed a flavor that didn’t have any sweet veggies in them, so I passed on the Ginger Beet. I also say the Classic has caraway in it, and I can’t stand caraway at all, I don’t even like the smell. So Garlic Dill Pickle it is – I do like pickles.

Farmhouse Gut Shots

The First Taste
When I opened the bottle I was greeted by a strong scent of garlic, cabbage, and cucumber. What the heck I am thinking – this stuff smells as bad as it sounded to me. I gave myself a pep talk, making sure a sink was nearby in case, pouring the drink into a little disposable cup and went for it. I was floored. It didn’t taste bad. No at all. In fact, it was quite good. I got the sensation of eating a dill pickle in liquid form. It sounds weird, didn’t taste weird. I can’t get over actually how good it was. The flavors were well balanced. I can’t imagine they could do a better job. My hat’s off (if I wore hats) to Farmhouse Culture – you have one surprised and satisfied customer here. It also helped out with the stomach ache I was having at the moment. Happy tongue, happy tummy, happy gut equals a happy blogger!

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Minute-Maid-Pomegranate-Blueberry Discontinued

When I first began this blog, one of the things I use to do was review different types of drinks, whether it be soda pop, juice, smoothies, cider, etc. I have gotten away from that in recent times, however lately I have been getting a lot of comments about a juice drink from Minute Maid. People are asking where to find it as it seems their local source stopped carrying it. I decided to do some detective work and sure enough it has been discontinued. Explains why no one is finding it after being use to buying it at stores like Walmart, Kroger, Smith’s, etc.

Why Was Minute Maid Pomegranate Blueberry Juice Discontinued?
According to the official Minute Maid facebook page the juice is no longer available. A couple people have asked recently about it and they just were told it was discontinued without a real reason given to why, other than all good things come to an end. But I think I may have an idea as to the why. Apparently this juice has been through a lot of legal troubles. Maybe Minute Maid and it’s parent company, Coca-Cola just got tired of it and gave up.

Legal Problems
It started back in 2008. POM Wonderful sued Minute Maid (see more about the case here). POM makes a 100% pomegranate juice. The Minute Maid Pomegranate Blueberry was actually only .3% pomegranate juice. It is mostly apple and grape juice as the case with a lot of juice blends. Apple and grape juice is a lot cheaper to produce the pomegranate juice. POM felt the package was misleading consumers and creating an unfair competition as their juice is more expensive (as it should be). However POM lost the case as the FDA has ruled the name to be acceptable and the courts didn’t want to undermine them.

More trouble came Minute Maid’s way. In November 2014, a class-action lawsuit was filled against them for labeling the juice as containing DHA, which is suppose to support brain health. The suit claims they has no scientific evidence to support the claim. It would seem this was the final nail in the coffin and the juice started to disappear. I got my first comment back on January 12th asking what had happened to the juice. It seems that this last legal issue was the death of the juice. The comments just started pouring it at that point asking what happened to the juice.

Other Alternatives
I wish I had better news for the fans of this juice. It is always a frustrating feeling when a product you enjoyed suddenly is gone without warning as Minute Maid made it quietly go away. Below you will find a list of alternatives to the Minute Maid juice. They may be better or they may not be. They may come at a higher cost. The cheapest is the one made by V8. (Please note the links below are affiliate links).

V8 V-Fusion Pomegranate Blueberry 100% Juice, 8 Oz Can, Pack of 24
Pomegranate, Blueberry Juice, 6 X 16 Oz
Lakewood Organic Smart Healthy Pomegranate with Blueberry Juice, 32-Ounce Bottles (Pack of 6)

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For the person that doesn’t like waiting in long lines in crowded stores after just eating a Thanksgiving feast, today might be the day for you. Or was it yesterday, or maybe tomorrow, or all week long. The terms “Black Friday” and “Cyber Monday” are really getting blurred by terms being used on days that are not “Friday” or “Monday”. But let’s just forget about all that goofiness today (which is Monday) and look at some great kitchen/food related deals you can find on Amazon this year.

50% off Soda Stream
You know here at Eat Like No One Else, we are all about making things ourselves. Why buy your soda when you can make it. Amazon is offering the SodaStream Fountain Jet Home Soda Maker Starter Kit (Black and Silver) for 50% off the normal price of $99.99, so it’s yours for $49.99. That is not a bad deal for this unit. I have never personally owned one, but has seen one in action at a friend’s house. It seems to work well.

The Perfect Carbonation
Whenever you buy soda pop in a plastic container it’s carbonation level is a mystery. Plastic does a bad job of keeping in the bubbles. Overtime carbonation will be lost through the plastic. So often they put too much carbonation into the bottle. If you get a hold of a fresher bottle, it can feel like your tongue is being burned. But if you find some bottle that has been sitting on a store shelf for months, you could open it up and have it be immediately flat. Glass bottles do a much better job sealing in the carbonation, so there is little to no loss. Or you can use a Soda Steam and add the right amount of bubbles. The unit gives you the ability to control, which normally you have no control over at the store. I like having control!

Make Your Own Flavors
My first recommendation when you get your unit is to take the syrups that come with it and toss it out with the rest of the packaging. I tried them at a Bed, Bath, and Beyond before and they were awful – think drug store brand soda awful. I would make your own recipes from scratch. Not sure how? There is an awesome book I discovered at my local library called Homemade Soda. The book gives you multiple ways to make each drink even if you don’t own a SodaStream or similar device. And all books are 30% off until the end of the day by just entering in the code “HOLIDAY30” at checkout.

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Calypso Pineapple Peach Limeade

The lemon and the lime. A popular flavor combination in the soda world. But I am a firm believer that these two flavors are best when they are not together. Every lime flavored soda pop I have had has tasted better than any lemon-lime combo. This doesn’t mean I don’t like to mix up my lemon and lime flavors with other flavors, just not each other. I am a big fan of flavored lemonades. I am also a big fan of flavored limeads, which I believe are often overlooked. Those days of being overlooked may be over with Calypso Limeades available on the market from the same people who brough us Triple Melon and Ocean Blue Lemonade.

Calypso has 6 flavors of limeade – Natural Limeade, Sweet Cherry, Tangerine, Pink Guava, Pineapple Peach, and Coconut Coloda. The only two that I have had myself were the Pineapple Peach and Sweet Cherry – both of which I liked. The Sweet Cherry Limeade is a classic combination that Calypso does justice to. The pineapple peach is a more unique concept which I found to work, with all three flavors – peach, pineapple, and lime shinning through.

Anyone that knows me, knows that I look finding things for people. So of the best and most popular posts on this blog have been “my where to buy posts.” I want to help you locate these limeades. You can check out my Calypso Lemonade post to see where that is available as you might be able to find the limeades at the same location. If you found them, let me know where and what you thought.

Where to Buy
Busch’s (Ann Arbor, MI)
Holiday Market (Canton, MI)

These first 2 locations is where I have found them myself.

Zanotto’s Family Market (San Jose)
Foodtown (New Jersey)
Smith’s
Menard’s

Distributors
Here is a list of distributors that I found carry the limeads. You can check to them to see what retailers might have them –

Rhode Island Distributing
Cherokee Distributing

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Attention all you Harry Potter fans; now you can get your very own butter beer. While Harry Potter is not really my thing, drinking new soft drinks is. So I was pumped when we got several cases of Flying Cauldron Butterscotch Beer in at work this week. This is a non-alcoholic cream soda with a butterscotch flavor. It is made by Reed’s soda, who make some of the best tasting and most potent ginger ale you can buy. They also make the Virgil’s line of sodas. With that being said I was very optimistic before the first sip that this is going to be a winner.

Reed’s came up with a nice little story to go with this brew:
“Since 1374, the Flying Cauldron has been making this magical brew for under aged wizards and wizards who are young at heart at their brew pub in Hogsbreath England .

The recipe has changed little over the centuries. It has the perfect combination of spells and quality natural ingredients. It continues to be prized for its creamy vanilla and butterscotch flavors. Some wizards claim that this brew places a ward of protection on those who drink it and that consuming this product has been known to accelerate wizarding abilities in borderline wizard cases.

This delicious beverage is the first wizarding drink to have widespread cross over consumption in the non wizarding world.”

My Thoughts
A pleasant butterscotch flavor meets the tastebuds and lingers in your mouth. Nicely carbonated, something Reed’s has perfected. It’s sweeter than some other sodas and people may not like that. There is more to it than if you just grounded up some butterscotch hard candies and mix them with carbonated water. One thing I don’t understand is their use of stevia extract in it along with the cane sugar, which is in a standard soda quantity. This brew is worth a try. Fun for the kids or any Hotter Potter fan. I also think a scoop of vanilla ice cream and a frosty mug would be an excellent addition.

Where to Buy
Check where ever you find Reed’s/Virgi’s products, especially around Halloween. If you leave in the Ann Arbor, Michigan area you can pick up a 4-pack or buy a single if you are worried about committing at the Produce Station just south of the University of Michigan campus on State Street. You can buy it online at Amazon.com

Believe or not this isn’t the first time the only butterscotch drink I have reviewed. Check out my earlier review of Dang! That’s Good Butterscotch Root Beer. It earned a 4-star rating. It even had an appearance on the History Channel.

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Detroit has seen it’s share of comebacks. The Lions have come back from being a 0-16 team to making the playoffs last season. That season included several exciting come from behind wins. Another comeback kid in Detroit is Towne Club soda. Not long ago this brand was difficult to find. But with a new look and a return to glass bottles (that cost 99 cents), it has made a tremendous comeback. They even have some new flavors like Honolulu Blue Cream Soda (a tribute to the aforementioned football team) and Michigan Cherry.

If you are looking to find these drinks here are list of chains stores that I have found carrying them. Not every store will carry each flavor. I will try to include the flavor selection at each store as I gather this information.

Plum Market
Nino Salvaggio
Holiday Market
Walmart (partial list: Michigan Cherry, Vanilla Cream, Honolulu Blue Cream Soda, City Rush)
Busch’s (Michigan Cherry, Strawberry, Orange)
Country Market
ACO Hardware (you can buy them by the case or mix in match in a carry home box)

I will update this list when I have more stores. Please share with me where you are finding it and what flavors.

Here are a list of the flavors that I have reviewed:
Towne Club Michigan Cherry
Towne Club City Rush
Towne Club Strawberry

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When it comes to flavoring soda, roots and fruits are the most often used flavors. Vegetables aren’t really something we think when it comes to carbonated drinks. That is why you might be surprised that there is a celery soda and that this celery soda has been around longer anyone who is reading this. Dr. Brown’s first made their celery tonic in 1868! It took a few more decades to get the name “Cel-ray”. Suripisely there have been other celery soda, but this is believed to be the only one that is still made.

The ingredient list for this drink reads like this: carbonated water, high fructose corn syrup, citric acid, extract of celery seed with other natural flavors, sodium benzoate and caramel color. The celery flavor comes from an extract made from celery seeds.

It took me a long time to finally try this soda. I saw in many times before, but never wanted to fork over the money for a 6-pack. Recently I found someone selling single cans, making the perfect opportunity to try it without the commitment of a 6-pack.

I wasn’t sure what to expect from this drink. I am not all that fond of celery in the raw state. When I popped open the can I was greeted with something that distinctively smelled like celery. I sipped it and my tongue was greeted with the taste of sweet celery. It was actually surprising like good. Similar to a ginger ale. It was similar drinking experience to drinking ginger ale but instead celery.

Where to Buy
The drink is more popular in New York City and any place that has a high Jewish population. It is a kosher drink. I find that Dr. Brown’s sodas are easier to find during the Passover time of year. Here are some stores I can confirm were carrying the drink:

Busch’s (southeast Michigan)
Produce Station (Ann Arbor, MI)
Horrock’s (Lansing, MI)

Let me know if you have any more stores to add to my list.

You can also purchase it online through Amazon’s website

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Some companies like to claim they are the best. This is a difficult claim to live up to. It’s hard to be the best. I found one soft drink that may not be claiming it’s the best, but it certainly claims it’s better. Reed’s Inc has come out with a Dr. Pepper type soda called Dr. Better, under their Virgil’s brand. I have been looking for this drink for months, and finally was able to local it at Country Market in Saline, Michigan, which was a most unexpected place to find it.

The company was looking to make a Dr. Type soda, so they researched to try to find recipes from the past to make their brew. Unfortunately for them those recipes are so guarded they couldn’t even get a wiff. So they had to use their tongues and their knowledge of how to make flavorful soft drinks to come up with this new Doctor drink.

With a name like Dr. Better, this drink had to be better than Dr. Pepper or I was going to be disappointed.

As you see with the number of stars to the left, I was not disappointed in the least. They got it right, this is Dr. Better. The carbonation was spot on. All of the Reed’s/Virgil’s sodas are perfectly carbonated, and this one is no different. The flavor of this is spicy, a little fruity, and a lot delicious. Even better it’s caffeine free, gluten free, and all natural. What more could you want? Another winner from Reed’s/Virgil’s.

Where to Buy
I found mine at Country Market in Saline, Michigan. You can check their website for where their products are sold, but it doesn’t necessarily mean Dr. Better will be at that exact location.

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On the first day I meet my wife, we ate at an Old Country Buffet. I remember going to get her a orange soda pop out of the fountain machine. Fast forward 10 years later, I am looking for an orange pop to give to her as a treat for our 10 year celebration. My local Mejier just started carrying Northwoods Sodas. I already had their root beer, so I thought this occassion would make the perfect time to try out their orange cream soda.

Whenever I open a bottle of orange cream soda, I am expecting a few things. I am expecting to be drinking something reminiscent to an orange cream ice cream bar. It needs to have a good orange flavor, along with a creaminess mouthfeel with a pleasant vanilla flavor in their somewhere. I have found my soda companies (Frostop for example) to have done this well. So how did Northwoods do with their Wild Bill’s Orange Cream?

I loved this drink as an orange soda pop. But as an orange cream, I don’t think it packed the creaminess I wanted. I really didn’t get that sense of drinking a liquid orange cream bar. This is not an overly sweet concoction, which some of the other orange creams I experienced I have been. But like I said as an orange soda, this was has a good depth to it, with some vanilla undertones. Boylan is the best orange soda I have had. Frostop is the best orange cream soda I have had. This one fall somewhere in the middle between those. So I will go ahead with a four star rating, which means it will find a way into my shopping cart again!

Where to Buy
You can find it in the new Made in Michigan section at your local Meijer store. You can also purchase it directly from the company, through their website.

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I recently wrote a post celebrating the pop (or soda) that is made in Michigan. While doing research for that post, I read about a soda called Northwoods Soda. It is made up in the Grand Traverse area of Michigan. I have never seen it in stores before. That was until yesterday. Meijer stores across Michigan have begun an initiuative to support Michigan made products. There is a new section in select Mejier stores featuring just Michigan made products. One of those products selected to be a part of this program was Northwoods Soda.

Whenever I trying out a new brand of soda pop, I tend to select root beer first. I figure if your root beer isn’t good, then it’s likely the rest of your flavors aren’t going to be good either. Northwoods Soda calls their root beer “Wild Bill’s Root Beer”. “Wild Bill” is company founder, Bill Fosdick. The recipe for this brew has been perfected over a twenty year time period. The bottle boasts the claim “A Rare, Smooth Beverage”. So I keep that in mind as I took my first sip

No false promises on this bottle, it is definitely a smooth root beer. Not over carbonated. It has a nice, bold, but not too bold root beer flavor. It’s not overpowered by vanilla or any other flavoring. It’s pure root beer. It’s as close to getting it right out of the tap as you probably can get. So I will be giving their other flavors a try.

Where to Buy
You can find it in the new Made in Michigan section at your local Meijer store. You can also purchase it directly from the company, through their website.

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WELCOME TO MY BLOG

I'm Eric. I live in Ann Arbor, MI with my wife, 3 kids, and a flock of ducks. I love grocery shopping, trying new fruits, farmer's market, and traveling.
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