Sunday, March 7, 2010

Fresh is Best - In Guac We Trust

I feel kinda funny writing a review for a company that is based in Kamloops and only has one storefront. This storefront is three blocks from my apartment though, so I believe that this justifies my literary efforts.

Fresh is Best is based on a fairly simple concept: they sell fresh tortilla chips, and Mexican condiments/dips to accompany these chips. The key to the success of this culinary venture - like so many operations involving food - is that they create few products very well. This is much preferred over creating numerous products in a mediocre manner. The chips and dips that Fresh is Best create go extremely well together too, which is a good thing because the company's name is superlame.

While I have not tried every dip that the company produces, I have indeed depended on a fair number of these (along with a few wobbly pops and a bag of their chips) for late-night dinners. My favourite dip that Fresh is Best concocts is the guacamole. Yes, I know that only suckers buy guacamole because it is ridiculously easy to make, but we all have those evenings when we just don't want to venture out for avocodoes, cilantro and limes. FIB's guac contains intense citrus, chunky fresh tomato, and hair-curling onion/garlic domination. I really appreciate how they don't puree the ingredients. The hand-chopped salsa is also great, as there is an emphasis placed upon cilantro and jalapenos. 

The only other product I have tried is the tropical fruit salsa (which I found to resemble a chutney rather than a salsa for chip-dipping), but FIB also produces a hummus, tzatziki, garlic-spinach dip and a smoky black bean dip.

I have saved the best for last: the chips! These tri-coloured wafers comprised of artery-clogging fried cornmeal are a perfect balance of salt, crunch and density. They are a tiny bit thicker than your average tortilla chip, which encourages rigorous dipping. These chips also hold salt very well, perhaps due to this abnormal density.  

Fresh is Best's Vancouver branch is located at 2972 West Broadway, at Carnarvon.

Thanks to friend Ken Blaschuck for bringing me free chips and guac, and for getting me hooked on this deep-fried-corn-and-avocado diet.

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