'Try It...You'll Love It!'

It's easy to see how  leading grocery store private label  President's Choice (PC)  enjoys enviable national brand status in Canad...

It's easy to see how leading grocery store private label President's Choice (PC) enjoys enviable national brand status in Canada, what with delivering on their mission of developing unique or superior products that offer better value, and their recent commitment to making each and every one of their over 4000 SKUs preservative-free while maintaining the highest levels of taste and enjoyment.  

This spring, PC invites you to get creative and think about meal preparation a little differently.  To help show you the way, they've come out with a host of new products, billed as the PC Insiders Collection, that just hit grocery store shelves and which we were invited to sample during a presentation by Executive Chef Martin PatenaudeWhile many products can be enjoyed as is, the real delight comes when you combine them in unique recipes of your own. Here are our top 5 picks from the buffet, all of which you should add to your next grocery list.

Skyr Icelandic-Style Yogurt
If Icelanders are known to be among the highest consumers of dairy products worldwide, it's most likely thanks to Skyr, their national yogurt. Head-to-head it beats natural Greek yogurt in a number of ways: less acidic, higher in protein, and 100% fat free, yet is incredibly thick nonetheless. PC makes theirs in three flavours: vanilla, strawberry, and fortifruits (blackberry, blueberry, and cherry), vanilla being our hands-down winner. Singletons do like me and enjoy fridge-to-spoon-to-mouth or, more civilized, as a dollop on top of pancakes with berries and maple syrup.

Protein Cereal with Mango and Pineapple
From the PC Blue Menu, a product range dedicated to balancing healthier choices (less fat, sodium, more fibre, Omega-3s etc.) that don't compromise on deliciousness, this cereal will keep you going all morning with its mix of naturally sweetened crunchy whole grains with bits of dried mango and pineapple. Protein cereals are the rage right now, and with the addition of skim milk you have a complete, no-cook, no-mess breakfast in a bowl, not to mention a go-to on rushed mornings. Partial like I am to warm cereal? 15 seconds in the microwave is all it takes to enjoy.

Grandi Ravioli with Heirloom Tomatoes and Burrata
Among grocery-store foodies the brand's 'best-ever' status goes to its Black Label Collection featuring fine foods and flavours from around the world with PC's hallmark value and convenience. These jumbo ravioli are imported from Italy and double-filled, one side with creamy burrata, the other with softly roasted tomatoes. Directly from frozen, throw them in a pot of boiling salted water for three-four minutes, drain, and dress simply with olive oil and/or butter to enhance a flavour marriage that sings of 'la bella vita'. True to their name, they are large so you'll find them easier to eat if you halve them as you savour.

Eggplant Dip with Muhammara
To me the PC collection of dips and spreads is already addiction-worthy, and this flavour is just the latest to join the brigade. Inspired by the Middle East's medley of exotic flavours, this one starts with a base of roasted eggplant that's been lightly pureed until thick which is then enhanced with muhammara, a rich mélange of roasted red peppers, walnuts, and pomegranate juice, all spiced to give it just a little heat. The obvious is to serve dips with naan bread triangles and crudités, but at your next gathering try serving it as a condiment alongside grilled brochettes or roast chicken. 

Brooklyn Bialys
A fusion between a bagel and an English muffin, the bialy comes with a half-hollow center that's been garnished with minced onions and is oven-baked until lightly puffed and crisp on the outside while keeping a soft interior. If you're wondering about the name, it's from Bialystok, the largest city in northeastern Poland and birthplace of the bread before it exploded in New York City as 'the next big thing'. Like its predecessors, it's best served sliced crosswise in two and toasted, before finishing simply with butter or cream cheese, but I favoured it best as a breakfast/brunch sandwich vehicle for a homemade egg, cheese, and bacon McMuffin.



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