Tuesday, April 2, 2013

The Creation of Barsy's Almonds

Maybe it would be a good idea to talk about what we're talking about here.

The Barsy's website, http://barsysalmonds.com/index.html, says this about Barbara and Jason:

            Tired of working in an office for someone else,
            they were determined to start a business of their
            own. But what kind of business?

They had been the creative team for a business-to-business mail order company which its founder had bootstrapped from himself, an accountant, and a shipping-receiving guy to a thirty-some-employee, eight-digit concern. In failing health, and not up to the challenges presented by the Internet, the founder sold his brainchild to a company full of bean counters that buys going concerns from people who know what they're doing. It was the turn of the millennium.

The two hung in there for a few years. In 2008, they took a recipe of Barbara's -- Smokies -- to Minneapolis' Midtown Farmers' Market. Smokies were a hit!

What are Smokies? Here's what the website -- http://barsysalmonds.com/about.html -- says:

         Sometimes called our “regular almonds”, these are
         the first almonds we sold and they’re still
         our most popular. They feature a deep hickory flavor
         that’s been called “vegan bacon”. The delightful
         crust is nutritional yeast, believe it or not.
         Wonderful with beer!

That "delightful crust" gives Smokies the savory, umami flavor that rockets Smokies to the next level of sensation. (Umami is a Japanese word for one of five basic flavors, along with sweet, salty, bitter, and sour. It's the one they didn't teach me in fifth grade science.)

At the Midtown Farmers' Market Barbara and Jason realized they might be able to fulfill their dream of freedom and self reliance.

Customers suggested a cinnamon almond. Always alert for the surprising, subtle twist, Barbara and Jason covered almonds with the spices of chai lattes, and invented Sweeties. (Barbara has always made a fabulous cup of tea!)

They also created Naughties, Hotties, and Stuffies. A very bright niece suggested a maple-flavored almond, named Sappies, but so far the motif seems to be names that only just get by the censor.

More on Barsy's flavors later.

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