Blue Moon Brewing Company began producing its signature Belgian-style wheat Ale in 1995. Its moniker came about when it was proclaimed that a beer this good only comes about once in a blue moon. Its claim to fame was a distinct blend of tartness and subtle sweetness conferred by Valencia orange peels. Its latest inspiration hopes to brighten your holiday season with a limited-time-only line of seasonings.
The Zesty and Pie Pint Seasonings were crafted to capture the signature sweet and savory balance that made Blue Moon's original Belgian-style wheat ale a fan favorite. Each is infused with elements of coriander and hops for a unique, zesty treat that will amp up your Thanksgiving or Friendsgiving game.
I had the opportunity to sample these specialty seasonings, and evaluated each based on aroma, taste, and how well it encapsulates the flavors of a classic Blue Moon Belgian-Style Wheat Ale. I also considered how these seasonings could be implemented to enhance my culinary creations this holiday season. Read on for the full scoop.
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What Does Blue Moon's Zesty Seasoning Taste Like?
The Blue Moon Zesty Seasoning was developed to have bright, savory flavors of coriander paired with zesty citrus, a hint of salt, and subtle hoppy notes. Recommended uses include seasoning turkey, stuffing, mashed potatoes, and more.
When I opened the jar, the aroma of the bitterness of hops was almost overwhelming. It slowly yielded to expose faint floral orange notes. Unfortunately, I had a difficult time getting past the initial hoppy hit that permeated my nose to be able to appreciate those.
The flavor did not markedly improve either. The first thing I tasted was intense salinity, which muted virtually everything else. While I did detect the bitterness of hops, which I typically enjoy, it was overwhelmed by an astringency that made my lips pucker and feel numb.
Valencia oranges are generally subtle and sweet. Coriander seeds can be somewhat astringent, but I enjoy cooking with them when they are added using a delicate hand. This seasoning combination was neither sweet nor subtle. It almost reminded me of orange-scented essential oils, which, in moderation when properly diluted, can be soothing but, when applied too heavy-handedly, can be unpleasant.
What Does Blue Moon's Pie Pint Seasoning Taste Like?
The Blue Moon Pie Pint Seasoning is intended to capture similar flavor components, with citrus and coriander being the star. In this case, the sweetness is supposed to be highlighted, making it ideally suited to adding to desserts, like a pie filling.
My initial impression was that it smelled virtually identical to the savory seasoning blend. If you read the labels, the ingredients are almost the same, with the noticeable absence of salt in this iteration.
The flavor, while perhaps a hint sweeter than the Zesty seasoning blend, was remarkably similar. It lacked the excess salinity from which the Zesty seasoning blend suffered. Unfortunately, it had the same aggressive astringency and heavy-handed use of citrus that made the Zesty seasoning unpleasant. If I had to pick a favorite seasoning blend between the two, this one would come out ahead, but by a very slight margin.
Nutrition Information For Blue Moon Seasonings
Ingredients for these seasonings include sugar, maltodextrin, dried beer extract, orange juice powder, spices, silicon dioxide, and natural wheat beer-type flavor. The Zesty spice has added salt, but all other ingredients are identical to the Pie Pint seasoning.
These Blue Moon Seasonings contain 5 calories per ¼-teaspoon serving. The Zesty seasoning has 45 milligrams of sodium and 1 gram of sugar. The Pie Pint seasoning has 1 gram of sugar but no sodium. Neither spice blend is a significant source of vitamins or minerals. Because these seasoning blends use a dehydrated beer extract, they are not gluten-free. They also may not be suitable for children or those who cannot consume alcohol for any reason.
The Blue Moon Zesty and Pie Pint Seasonings will be available online for a limited time while supplies last. Consumers must be 21 or older to purchase these seasonings. The cost for the two-pack is $11.26 plus shipping.
While neither of these seasonings inspired me to incorporate them into my holiday culinary arsenal, they might be ideal for someone less sensitive to the bitter and hyper-citrus flavor profiles that characterize the blends. I will stick to drinking a bottle of Blue Moon beer if I am seeking to enjoy that distinct Belgian-style wheat ale flavor alongside my Thanksgiving turkey or pumpkin pie. As far as integrating them into my recipes, however, they are not my cup of tea.
The one potential application for these that might be interesting is as an addition to cocktails. The Zesty seasoning could be effectively incorporated into something like a spicy Bloody Mary, where the salt and hoppiness might enhance the complexity of the beverage rather than distract from the flavor of a dish. The Pie Pint seasoning could be used to enhance a cocktail that has citrus liquor in it, like Cointreau or Grand Marnier. Either way, I recommend using these sparingly so they do not overwhelm the remaining ingredients in your cocktails.
Read the original article on Daily Meal.