There is nothing I like more than trying new flavors, experiencing new to me brands, and ever expanding my culinary knowledge. All of this happened recently when I received a care package from a company called Vital. The package included some pellet and spice samples, and before going into more details I can emphatically say I really enjoyed everything I received.
Vital is based out of Montreal, Quebec, Canada, and on their website they say, “Rediscover the love of the table. From the rediscovery of wood fire cooking to the redefinition of gourmet quality, Vital inspires passion in exploring the world culinary traditions.” They have a variety of spices, spice mixes, wood chips, pellets, and powders, with some truly unique flavors and concepts that kind of blew my mind.
For example, their Hickory Smoke Powder was confusing to me at first, and honestly a little intimidating. I wasn’t really sure how to use it, and when I first smelled it the scent kind of knocked me back a bit, it was quite strong with a very heavy smoke scent. I was really worries that whatever I did with it, it would be the dominant flavor and overwhelm whatever I was cooking, but I was shocked at how much I enjoyed the subtle smokey flavor it imparted to my food. I used it on a rack of Iberico spare ribs and it added a surprisingly light, but incredibly delicious smoke flavor above and beyond what my pellet grill provided. It wasn’t harsh or bitter at all, instead it was a crowd favorite and everyone I served it to preferred the ribs with the smoke powder over the ones without. This was hands down the biggest surprise, but I agree with my guests, the ribs with the powder tasted better.
From their spice mix selection they sent their Montreal Meat & Poultry, which I liken to Montreal steak seasoning. This stuff was awesome! I put it on hamburgers, steaks, chicken, even fish and everything I put it on was delicious. I want to buy this stuff by the truckloads, it is that good. Maybe it’s in my head that because it’s actually from Montreal it tastes better, but I thought this was leaps and bounds better than a McCormick Montreal seasoning. They have some other really interesting spice mixes I am eager to try now like their Portuguese Discoveries and Maple & Pepper.
Lastly are the pellets and wood chips. Vital offers a nice mix of flavored pellets and wood chips to choose from, like Cherry Wood and Sugar Maple wood chips, along with hickory and sugar maple pellets, as well as an essential mix pellets and an oak wine barrel pellets. I found both the pellets and chips to burn cleanly, giving a nice and subtle taste to the food that I really enjoyed. There is nothing worse than bitter smoke taste, and these passed that test with flying colors. The pellets were large and solid, with no excess saw dust in the bag. They looked, felt and gave the flavor of very high end pellets, and I would, without question, buy them and use them again and again.
Overall, I was really impressed with everything I received from Vital, and I am looking forward to trying more items from them. While they are based out of Canada, they do ship to the United States for very reasonable flat rate fees. You can learn more about Vital, and see all they have to offer on their website www.vitalgrill.com.