A single list comprising both the sweet and the savory might suffice for Halloween or Easter, but the insane proliferation of Christmahanakwanzika-themed products warrants multiple blog posts. Or at least two. Here are my top five savory holiday commercial foods for 2012.
Frozen-water-crystal-flavored cream cheese? Woohoo! Well, not so much. Technically, it's just regular cream cheese, but something about that charming silver package adorned with snowflakes makes it taste so much better.
4. Christmas Tree-Shaped Pasta
Hard to find on your grocer's shelves but easily procured online, these seasonally shaped noodles are perfect for making Christmas Eve macaroni and cheese. Better yet, toss them in pesto with some sun-dried tomatoes for an especially festive entrée.
Number 4 on last year's combo list, Snowflake Ritz move up a notch in 2012. In the past, I've advocated using America's Favorite Cracker as support for dips and cheeses, but why adulterate that lustrous buttery sheen with toppings? Plus you're obscuring the emblazoned snowflake, which is why you bought them in the first place.
Serve this cheese with some Triscuits as a pre-holiday meal "nibbler" and I guarantee everyone will be too full for the real dinner. Strong spice notes and tart fruit flavors allow this seasonal-edition product to toe the line between sweet and savory, but at the end of the day it's the familiar herbal creaminess that makes it unmistakably delicious boursin.
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1. Holiday Tortilla Chips
With these red and green tortilla chips (available at Randalls), you can make sure your weekly Tex-Mex feasts are never out of season. Also handy when making those traditional Christmas Eve nachos.