I am actually one of those people that has been a fan of dried (and later freeze-dried) fruits since my first taste of astronaut ice cream and strawberries when I was a kid. Always obsessed with technology I found it amazing that freeze-drying was possible as a child – remember this was long before the Internet – and there was a single store that actually carried these “space” treats.
Okay, so that is likely more than you needed to know but I reminisce for a reason. You see freeze-dried fruit, while cool, was always bigger on the novelty factor rather than taste. At the recent Food Fête I attended a few back, I was a bit hesitant to try yet another dried fruit brand but boy am I glad I did.
The company was Crispy Green and they were sampling a range of their dried fruits. I had not seen tangerine before so was particularly excited to give it a try. From the moment you first pop-it into your mouth you are hit was a zing that was truly amazing. I could actually taste the tartness of the tangerine followed by a subtle sweetness. Most importantly it tasted like a tangerine.
Crispy Green comes in a range of fruits: apple; Asian pear; banana; cantaloupe; mango; pineapple; and tangerine. I have tried their tangerine and cantaloupe – both of which are amazing and I am definitely looking forward to working my way through their fruit portfolio. Tip: The tangerine adds great crunch and flavor when mixed-in to vanilla Greek yogurt.
While I am know more for my love of all things decadent than my healthy eating habits – these actually met both criteria. They were sweet enough to feel like a treat but at just 55 calories (or less) there is no sweet remorse that sometimes follows.
Update 10/23/13: After some recent e-mail and comments received, I reached out to the company to comment on their manufacturing and quality control processes. They are clearly committed to ensuring a high-quality product regardless of where it is produced. I thank them for their transparency and will continue to enjoy their products.
I want to assure you that Crispy Green has a deep commitment to quality and safety of its products. We’ve been selling our Crispy Fruit products for over eight years and we can say proudly that we have no quality complaints about our products. We have vigorous quality control systems in place to make sure that every product we sell meets our high quality standards.
We start with top-quality fresh fruit, sourced from certified, carefully selected growers who undergo a stringent audit review process. Qualified fruit is subsequently processed and freeze dried in facilities that are U.S. FDA-registered, internationally-certified (HACCP Certified) according to the strict quality standards. Our products have not only passed the quality controls in China but, more importantly, they are routinely tested independently by the FDA or FDA certified labs in the U.S. This allows us to respond firmly to specific questions from our customers on product additives (there are none) and any concerns about ingredients. When we test our products, the lab results confirm that our product is in compliance with the FDA specifications. To demonstrate our commitment, we have a trained professional on our team to addresses Food Quality & Safety and monitors our compliance with the latest FDA standards and requirements.
And this might surprise you – the main reason we produce our products in China is because of the quality. China is the world’s leading freeze-dried fruits and vegetables producer and it produces some of highest quality products in this category. Many US food companies purchase freeze-dried fruit from China including a large percent of freeze-dried fruit commonly used in the breakfast cereals sold in the US. Often, consumers are unaware of this because there is no requirement for the cereal manufacturers to declare the source of each ingredient.
In addition, our CEO/Founder travels to China at least 4 times annually to inspect the manufacturing facilities and ensure they meet the highest standards of quality. Because our Crispy Fruit has only a single ingredient, it makes it easy for us to implement rigorous quality control for our products so customers can feel confident about exactly what they are consuming. Please feel free to read more about us and the freeze-drying technology we use to make our products on our website.