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The 12 Best New Groceries We Tried in 2021

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Some people like to watch birds or whales. We like to watch the grocery store shelves. In fact, we have a monthly column that’s dedicated to spotting new groceries hitting shelves in store and online every month. (It’s appropriately called Grocery Spotter!). Over the past 12 months, we tried hundreds of new groceries across every category you can think of — and probably a few you didn’t. Living Tonics, anyone? 

Among all the frozen foods, future pantry staples, and seasonal treats we tried, these were the best of the best.

1. Boursin Caramelized Onion & Herbs Gournay Cheese

For a cheese that contains just toasted onion powder and less than two percent dried onion, the scent and flavor is surprisingly similar to caramelized onions. (We likened the smell to French onion soup.) Add this creamy, crumbly cheese to any board and we guarantee it’ll be the first to go. The leafy packaging of the limited-edition flavor was meant for fall, but soon after launch we got word the cheese will be available year-round!

Learn more
: Boursin Caramelized Onion & Herbs

2. Acid League Living Tonics

If you’re the type of person who starts your day with a shot of straight-up apple cider vinegar, we think you’re a badass. For people who are interested in the benefits of apple cider vinegar without the intense assault on your palate, the mad food scientists at Acid League have released a collection of Living Tonics. Available in three flavors, each apple cider vinegar blend is made with premium ingredients and functional botanicals. They sum it up well: “Apple cider vinegar that tastes as good as it makes you feel.”

More info: Acid League

3. CAULIPOWER Cauliflower Pasta

The pasta pun on the product packaging immediately won us over: “They said it was impastable.” This pasta has a three-minute cook time and 1/3 cup of veggies per serving. Pair it with a jar of Rao’s pasta sauce for an easy weeknight dinner — it’s perfection.

Buy: CAULIPOWER Cauliflower Pasta, $44.95 for six 8.8-ounce packages

This braising sauce is meant to be simmered with your protein of choice until the sauce thickens and the meat is tender (20 to 30 minutes), but we had some thinly sliced beef in the fridge and decided to cook it with this sauce, stir-fry style, and eat it along with some fluffy white rice. The sauce is based on a family recipe from Red Boat Fish Sauce founder, Cuong Pham, and was developed to help home cooks make Vietnamese dishes at home.

Buy: Red Boat Kho Sauce, $8.95 at Red Boat

5. Moonshot Climate-Friendly Crackers

Runamok Maple, known for their artisan maple syrups, debuted their line of raw (Florida Orange Blossom, High Plains Clover) and infused honey (Lemon Verbena Infused, Hibiscus Flower Infused) in September. If you’re looking for hot honey, we recommend the Chipotle Morita, Chile de Arbol, and Szechuan Peppercorn infusions. For something a bit more fall-foward, there’s the Beekeeper’s Cut, which is derived from Northern Appalachian autumn wildflowers.

More info: Runamok Maple

7. Food for Life Ezekiel 4:9 Sprouted Flourless Flax Tortillas

Sprouted! Flourless! Tortillas! You can find them in the freezer section at natural food stores and supermarkets nationwide.

More info: Food for Life

8. Austin Eastciders Blackberry Cider

Described as a “cobbler in a can,” Austin Eastciders’ latest flavor release came highly requested from their customers. It’s made with a blend of European bittersweet apples and blackberry juice from California, Oregon, and Washington. We recommend pouring this one into a glass so that you can enjoy its beautiful pinky-purple hue.

More info: Austin Eastciders

9. Pop Bitties Air-Popped Ancient Grain Chips

Made with whole-grain sorghum, brown rice, quinoa, and chia seeds, this plant-based snack is just the thing if you’re looking to do more mindful munching. It actually tastes good, too. Available in four flavors (Pink Himalayan Salt, Maple & Sea Salt, Hickory BBQ, and Vegan Sour Cream & Onion), these chips were developed by Mark Andrus (the founder and product developer of Stacy’s Pita Chips!).

10. SkinnyDipped Peanut Butter Cups

Marking the brand’s first foray outside of coated nuts, these low-sugar peanut butter cups are a risk worth taking. SkinnyDipped nailed this lower-sugar alternative, without using sugar alcohols, or artificial sweeteners, colors, or flavors.

11. Fly by Jing Soup Dumplings

Fly by Jing has done it again. Like all of the brand’s pantry staples, the flavors in their new dumplings are rooted in Sichuan tradition and made in California. It was hard to choose a favorite between the three new soup dumplings: Pork, Shrimp, and Scallop versus Pork, Shrimp, and Mushroom or Pork. All the dumplings, which come in sets of two, four, and six are available online now.

12. Snow Days Sausage Pizza Bites

Pizza bites! But made over! Since they launched earlier this year with their delicious gluten-free, veggie-packed cheese blend, Snow Days has been on fire. The Veggie White flavor was a huge hit, and humanely raised pork sausage joins the pack this month, just ahead of a new (hint, hint) football season-appropriate flavor headed our way in late January. The sausage of this one takes the form of crumbles within the cassava flour pockets, and has a pronounced flavor in the best way possible.

Did you try any of these new groceries? Let us know in the comments below!

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