Friday, June 9, 2017

Happy Post: I.G.A. Roasted & Salted Pumpkin Seeds

This web site has not featured a happy product review, books apart, for a long time. Well, here is one.

Yesterday I went to the Independent Grocers Association store, all the way down the state line, because that was the closest store running a good sale on small bottles of Coca-Cola products. I wanted to sell cold drinks in the Friday Market this morning.

As local lurkers may have noticed, the owner of the cooler didn't show up again. She's not old, but has been ill. Pray for her. So once again what I had for sale were warm drinks. Last week I found a sale on Pepsi products, stayed with them until they actually started to feel warm, and took them home and drank them before they could deteriorate from the heat. Today I found a sale on Coke products, and people snapped them up before the chilly fog even lifted.

Anyway, while in the I.G.A. store, I dillydallied about waiting for a relative to load up a cart, in hopes of getting a lift home--which I did--and I found a whole rack of off-brand snacks, including ridiculously overpriced nuts, standard-priced candies, and a really good price on roasted and salted pepitas.

I've not seen roasted and salted pepitas in a U.S. supermarket before. They've not really achieved mainstream snack status in the Eastern States. I've seen Badia brand raw, green, unsalted pepitas--which are scrumptious, having a flavor of their own that's different from nuts or sunflower seeds, and good all by itself without any salt or other additives--and David brand pumpkin seeds in the big white outer shells, which I've never risked trying. I don't like peanuts "salted in the shells" and don't imagine I'd care for pumpkin seeds prepared that way either.

Recently, GBP having finally run out of pumpkinseed meal for my cats, I'd shared a pack of pepitas with them. They did figure out how to chew them properly, but the litter box showed that they swallowed an awful lot of those expensive, tasty snacks whole. I don't own a blender or grinder, or want one, and was not exactly looking forward to grinding my own pumpkinseed meal for the cats.

Much as the cats have learned to like pumpkinseed meal on their canned cat treats. Much as all outdoor cats need occasional pumpkinseed meal treats. Cats can benefit from the same proteins and minerals humans get from pumpkin seeds, but a lot of the internal parasites cats pick up from rodents don't tolerate pumpkin seeds.

Anyway, I bought a package of roasted and salted pepitas. Well, I'm human, with teeth designed for grinding, and I'm used to eating pepitas raw. But what I noticed right away was that being roasted in oil had softened the seeds even further. It gave them a gratifying crunch, but it made them easier to chew.

I said, "Heather! Kitty-kitty-kitty! Have I ever found a treat for you!" I ran a handful of pepitas under water to get the salt level down where a cat could stand it.

Heather agreed that they were a treat. Cats' teeth aren't designed for grinding things that are naturally thin and flat, like pepitas, but the softer, oilier shells of the roasted kind crunched just right for a cat.

I'm not going to post a picture, or even a description, of the contents of the litter box this morning. Let's just say they were gratifying.

For myself...the price is about the same, Badia being a name brand and the I.G.A. special being unadvertised, and I'd probably pick the raw pepitas next time.

Since I'll probably continue buying pepitas to share with the cats, any time I'm in (or passing by) the I.G.A. store, I'll probably pick the roasted, salted pepitas every time I have a chance.

I'll probably have to give the cats their treat first in order to get the package inside and eat any pepitas for myself, and since the cats don't enjoy taking worm medicine and do enjoy eating pumpkin seeds, that's a clear gain. (They'll still get worm medicine occasionally, but less often.)

This post was mainly about I.G.A. Can it have an Amazon book link? Well, if we count Kindle "books" as books, here's one some readers may enjoy:

Texas Jack's Famous Pumpkin & Pumpkin Seed Recipes: (36 Recipes For Delectable Pumpkin & Pumpkin Seed Treats) by [Waller, Dennis]