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2023 Was a Very Good Year for New Supermarket Products

Kara Kimbrough

Donuts on Cake

As promised, I compiled a list of my “favorites” from 2023 – included are new supermarket products and hidden gem restaurants that deserve a look in 2024. Without further ado, here’s what captured (and held) my attention in the previous year.

1. Yellowstone Coffee, Steak Rub/Seasoning and Chili– First, full disclosure: I’m not an avid viewer of Yellowstone, the modern-day version of “Dallas” with Kevin Costner as patriarch. However, after I received a box of products created as a result of the show’s popularity, I was eager to see if they lived up to the show’s hype. The answer is a resounding “Yes!” Caramel oatmeal light roast and heavy-duty medium roast bunkhouse coffee met my high coffee expectations. The flavorful steak rub and seasoning transformed a good piece of meat into a great one. And while I found the chili to be a little spicy, it’s a product I would purchase in lieu of any other of the canned varieties on the shelf.

2. Rao’s Made for Home Ketchup– I’ve long been a fan of the New York-based Italian restaurant’s pasta sauces, so I was excited to try the chain’s newest venture into the food business. Three varieties are available: Roma Tomato, Arrabbiata and Truffle Ketchup. I’m not a fan of spicy Arrabbiata pasta sauces, so I tried the milder Roma flavor. Flavorful and delicious, it’s now a staple on my grocery list.

3. Garcia’s Donuts in Laurel– Before you state the obvious... yes, I know doughnut shops are a dime a dozen in Mississippi. But hear me out. This is no ordinary doughnut shop. In fact, I haven’t even tried their doughnuts, although they looked absolutely fabulous. I visited the small restaurant located on 16th Avenue near the U.S. 84 intersection to enjoy lunch with a friend who’d been raving about Garcia’s burgers. So, a burger was on my radar and I wasn’t disappointed. I selected the Comeback burger, but there were many others from which to choose, each one unique and equally delicious-looking. Also on the menu are sandwiches, blue plate specials and original creations that aren’t always on the menu. It’s time for a return visit so I can sample Garcia’s newest invention, fried King Cakes filled with every delicious flavor imaginable. Hours of operations are: 6 a.m. – 6 p.m., Monday-Saturday; closed on Sunday.

4. Oreo Thins Lemon Cookie– Since I’m not a huge fan of chocolate, I was excited to see a Golden Oreo filled with a citrusy lemon filling. When the craving for a cookie arises, this variety of Oreo’s famous snack more than rises to the challenge.

5. Kettle Brand Unsalted Chips– I’ve long been honest about my love of potato chips, especially the uber-thick, crunchy variety produced by Kettle Brand. However, I almost had a coronary after adding up the sodium content of the chips I was consuming in one sitting. Learning Kettle produces a salt-free variety was exciting, especially since I had no viable plan for giving up my favorite snack. The only drawback is that the salt-free variety is hard to find…Walmart, Kroger…are you listening?

6. Entenmann’s Glazed Cookie Donut Ice Cream Sandwiches– I’ve always been a fan of Entenmann’s packaged baked goods, but their newest product blows everything else out of the water. Picture a vanilla doughnut filled with vanilla ice cream topped with a sugary glaze. The fact that each delicious sandwich is only 7 grams of fat is the icing on the cake.

7. Activia Probiotic Dailies Lowfat Probiotic Yogurt Drinks– Being able to grab one of these flavorful drinks after a workout or any time, really, and receive my daily dose of protein, calcium and probiotics (whatever that is) made these small bottles of goodness a lifesaver this year.

8. Woody’s Roadhouse– I know I’m going to get negative feedback for including this Biloxi restaurant (there’s also a Gulfport location) on the list instead of mentioning one of hundreds of locally-owned places, but here goes. Meeting a friend at the Biloxi beachfront restaurant was a decision based on convenience, but once we arrived, I was pleasantly surprised. The menu was filled with a variety of burgers, sandwiches, salads and seafood choices. Yes, it’s a franchise restaurant, but when the food is delicious, the view is outstanding, it’s easy to access from U.S. 90 and the price is reasonable, I have no problem recommending it as a place to enjoy a meal when visiting the Gulf Coast.

9. Mrs. Butterworth’s Epic Cinnabon Pancake Kit– Who doesn’t love a massive Cinnabon cinnamon roll…or a stack of pancakes? Now, you can have the best of both worlds with this crazy-good innovation from Mrs. Butterworth. With a packet of cream cheese frosting and cinnamon-sugar sauce, it’s a win-win for every pancake-lover.

10. St. Pierre Brioche Waffles with Butter– I’ll admit it; I was a skeptic when I saw this package of shelf-stable waffles in the bread aisle. However, curiosity got the best of me and I decided to give it a try. I’m not sure how they do it – but the waffles DO taste like they’re homemade or at least, fresh from the freezer, then toaster. With a light sugary coating that does a good job of taking syrup’s place, they’re the perfect on-the-go breakfast (or anytime) snack.

Donuts on Cake
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