I’ve mentioned my buddy Craig Jones in at least one previous article. He’s the guy who organized the In-A-Tub outing where a group of curious foodies gathered to try the deep-fried, powered cheese loose meat offerings of that Northland classic.
By DAVE ECKERT
By day, Jones works at Sprint as a program manager for retail operations. He’s got a cubicle and a 9 to 5 gig like so many others.
However, at night, on weekends and likely nearly every hour when he’s not working for Sprint, Jones is a passionate cook, a griller and smoker extraordinaire, and the creator of a company called Savory Addictions, which creates small batches of artisan nuts.
“I experimented with the seasonings for a long time,” Jones said. “Each batch is seasoned and smoked over real wood, and each is an addictive combination of sweet, savory and smoky.”
Jones calls it the addiction you can live with.
“I did this for years before I actually made a business out of it,” Jones said. “I would try difference spices, different nut blends and bring them to work and to parties. Based on the reaction I was getting, positive and negative, I came up with the products that became the Savory Addictions offerings.”
Jones describes those offerings:
• Standard Blend — This is a premium blend of mixed nuts, seasoned by hand in small batches with select herbs and spices, then infused with real wood smoke.
• White Wine Blend — The spices are refined to specifically compliment white wines. In addition to white wines, the flavor blend plays nicely with clear liquors, champagne, margaritas, Bloody Mary mixes, and much more.
• Red Wine Blend — The spices in this blend are designed to pair perfectly with any red wine. You’ll never go back to just cheese and wine after you experience the flavor explosion.
• The Sweet Addictions Blend — Truly the best of both worlds with balanced notes of sweet and savory. Start with premium mixed nuts, selected spices, and real wood smoke. Then, we add dark bittersweet chocolate and dried tart Montmorency cherries.
I’ve had the standard and the red wine blend and I love them both. If I had to make a choice, I guess I’d lean slightly toward the red wine blend, but that’s only because I drink a fair amount of red wine, and Jones is absolutely right about the blend stepping up the wine pairing experience from cheese. And, that’s coming from a cheese addict.
It wasn’t easy for Jones to create the Savory Addictions blends, but the creation of the blends was a walk in the park compared to the business side of things.
“Everybody I talked to said I was nuts,” Jones said. “With the cost of my raw products, the time and effort it takes to create the Savory Addictions nut blend, and the packaging and production, I can’t compete price-wise with the mainstream producers.”
And, so he doesn’t. Jones’s Savory Addiction nuts are a gourmet product aimed for a sophisticated palate and a deeper pocketbook.
So, if you’re looking for a great deal on mediocre nuts, look elsewhere. But, if you want a truly unique nut experience that will enhance your snacking experience and take food and wine pairing to new levels, look no further than Jones and Savory Addictions.
To learn more about the nuts and where to get them, visit Savory Addiction’s website.
Dave Eckert is the producer and host of “Culinary Travels With Dave Eckert,” which aired on PBS-TV and Wealth TV for 12 seasons, or nearly 300 half-hour episodes produced on six continents. Eckert is also an avid wine collector and aficionado, having amassed a personal wine cellar of some 2,000 bottles.