Ok, I admit it. I’m spoiled. My office happens to be directly above a virtual treasure trove of some of the freshest, coolest, hottest and most interesting ingredients and products in Southeast Michigan. And besides all of the thousands of uber-cool things we already have on the shelf, we’re adding dozens of new items just about every week.
I taste most of them.
Being a so-called king’s taster is problematic. In other words, (sticking with the royalty theme) it’s kind of a double-edged sword.
Let’s just say (for your sake) that not everything sampled makes it to the shelves.
Still, besides what’s new, I have, over time, found some personal favorites and a growing number of products that just seem to be everyone else’s.
I call them Pete’s Picks.
To begin, you may have already noticed that we’ve expanded our Organic Produce selections and given them a dedicated space. They’re easier to find, easier to shop and very popular.
Another very popular and beloved product is our in-house, fresh soup. We’ve recently added or returned four flavors, which will remain until spring. They are our Sweet Corn Chowder, Chicken Forrester, Navy Bean with Smoked Ham and Minestrone.
For all of you on a gluten-free diet, I’m really excited about a new bread. It’s called B Free, and it’s one of the best gluten-free sandwich breads I’ve ever tasted (and believe me when I say I’ve taken a few bullets for the team along the way). When it arrives, you’ll find it in our frozen foods section.
Also in the frozen foods aisle, Yasso frozen Greek yogurt bars are a big hit! They come in multiple flavors, are only 80 calories and have 6 grams of protein. I’m also a fan of Edy’s Outshine Frozen Fruit Bars, which are also only 80 calories (and zero fat!)
Back in the grocery aisles, one of my new picks is Gia Russa’s Mini Gnocchi with Potato. What’s great about gnocchi is you can enjoy them in so many ways:
Poached and tossed with pasta sauce and topped with basil pesto and Parmesan cheese (Speaking of pasta sauces, Gia Russa also has a NEW Low Sodium Tomato & Basil pasta sauce, which you should put on your grocery list soon.)
In soups (as a pasta replacement)
Sautéed in olive oil with garlic, onions, rapini and Romano cheese and served as a starch
Over ice cream (just kidding). I just wanted to see if you were paying attention.
When it comes to the sweet things in life, I’m switching my sugars. I’m now into Whole Earth® Raw Cane Sugar, which is not only better for you than refined white sugar, but it tastes better too!
Lundberg Family Farm’s Wild Blend Rice is another better-for-you Pete’s Pick. It is not only delicious but also colorful, with an enormous amount of fiber and flavor. It’s easy to prepare and delicious.
Lastly, I can’t say enough about Nino’s own house-made Maple & Cinnamon Granola, which, due to popular demand, it seems we are always baking (I know that because my office is directly above the Troy store bakery, and the aroma is intoxicating.).
So, there you have it. These are just a very few of the tempting products you’ll find on the shelves at Nino’s. I hope you’ll check out a few of my picks and let me know how you liked them. I’m always interested in your feedback.