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Perfect compliment to an ice cold beer!
These nuts are dry roasted with a Hickory Smoke flavour and a dash of spices along the Cajun lines. If you love the smokey flavours of salami you will be hooked on these nuts. Also Extremely Delicious warmed in the sun or microwave/oven bringing out the natural oils and smokey flavouring which makes the spices roll over your tongue.
I have to say that I am usually a bit of a wimp when it comes to hot and spicy foods, so I spent a bit of time humming and haing as to whether or not I should review these nuts, but I can happily say that I am glad that I did so. Though these nuts do have a bit of a kick to them it is not to overpowering that my mouth catches on fire, so I can totally tolerate them.
With a very cute and nicely presented packaging that is resealable these bags of nuts really would look 'topnotch' if they were to be sitting on a shelf alongside other brands of nuts. I love the viewing window at the bottom of the packet where you can see the exact product in which you are potentially buying, the colours of the spices are beautiful a mix of brown, black and orange tones which add such a nice colour to the product. I love that these nuts are NZ grown as I prefer to buy NZ products when I can and if price allows me to do so.
In my opinion these nuts are more of a smokey flavour rather than a spicey flavour, which in my books is all good. Reading the ingredients list on the back of the packaging I can see that these are hickory smoked, and seasoned with salt, herbs, spices, garlic and onion, I would love to know what herbs and spices these do actually contain as I couldn't work this out from tasting them. I took these to work for other staff members to try as they are huge macadamia nut fans and they loved them also, they said they weren't to spicy and one person even said they felt they had an Indian spice to them. We all agreed that we couldn't eat too many of them at a time, and that the seasoning was somewhat unevenly distributed over the nuts as some nuts had our mouths on fire and some didn't even make our tongues tingle.
Out of all of the nuts which I reviewed these are the only ones I have some left of, just because I can't eat as many at a time. These have great as a afternoon snack and also as a great addition to salads and stir fries over the past week, they are really easy to either crush or finely chop up which is awesome.
I could possibly see myself buying these again however I much prefer the other varieties.
When I first tried these Top Notch Macadamias Smoke 'N' Spice I was blown away by the double hit of the smoked sensation hit but also the lovely spicy hit as well. Not to strong and over powering but just enough. I had mixed reviews with these smoke and spice macadamia nuts as sometimes I really enjoyed the smoked flavour and other times this flavour seemed to be the one I did not crave like the others. I did however like how it was like a savoury hit of yummy little macadamia nuts.
I found I could only have one or two of the smoke and spice macadamia nuts at a time rather than a small handful like and other flavours. Which in the long run made the pack last longer and also was a better satisfaction when I craved something after tea time and instead of over indulging I would have one or two and I was satisfied. So long term it would be beneficial healthy eating wise and not snacking to much before bed time.
I love the simple yet eye catching packaging which is great with the clear part so you can see the macadamia nuts. The colouring of the nuts with the flavour is great and appealing. These being my least favourite of the 3 flavours I probably would not buy them the same as I would the sweet and salty as those are my all time favourite. I would however recommend to family and friends who I know are into those kind of flavours more so then me and tell them about the great smoked hit you get from the macadamia nuts. Thinking about it now these smoke and spice macadamia nuts would be yummy crushed up and tossed in a salad for extra flavours and crunch and would go well with feta cheese and haloumi cheese I reckon.
I enjoy macadamia nuts, and I enjoy spices. Salami I can eat, but am not the greatest fan of, but hey I thought I'd give it a try. Not sure whether it was chance or not, but on average, the macadamia nuts in this product are smaller than those in the 'Roasted Salted' variety. Perhaps it could be to balance value out (less ingredients, so more macadamia?), or whether its to just increase the flavour overall. Small macadamia nuts, means higher surface area to volume ratio, so having more spices than the salted variety AND being smaller, means you get a double dose of flavour.
As far as flavours go, this isn't bad. You can definitely taste the salami flavour, and the cajun spices are definitely there. In fact if you eat an entire portion (75g) You're mouth does get a bit of warmth to it. The flavours do overcome the natural macadamia nut taste though, which is kind of a pity. When you're paying $12 for two portions of nuts, you'd want to enjoy the nutty flavour a bit more.
Do I like the flavour? It's okay. Personally I love chili, so I was hoping for a bit more of a kick from it. When I generally purchase nuts to eat as a snack, I'd simply add salt, garlic powder, and chili powder as my flavourings to add a a savoury taste, with a zing and a kick. Perhaps that will be a future flavour for Topnotch to look into.
As with the other varieties, it comes in a plastic foil resealable bag, so you can keep the product fresh for longer. Interestingly, this product is very high on the calorie/energy scale, as one portion would add up to over 1100 calories out of my current daily 1200 calorie diet. So this product is something that I would recommend taking in moderation.
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