Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Bella Viva Orchards Spotlight Sponsor Review

You are gonna love Bella Viva Orchards! I was sent this wonderful box of 5 different fruits and nuts covered in chocolate, called Chocolate Gift Pack to review for my Valentine's From Our Hearts to Yours Gift Package that starts on the 1st of February! In the package was this tempting morsels to try:

1. Chocolate Covered Almonds
2. Chocolate Covered Grapes
3. Chocolate Covered Cherries
4. Chocolate Covered Peaches
5. Chocolate Covered Apricots

Oh, Gosh, where to start? Well, I will start with Mike's favorites because I have never seen a man eat a bag of anything that quick! He attacked those Chocolate Covered Grapes like he was a man on a mission or hadn't eaten in a week! I have to admit they were awesome but I think he was definitely in heaven with those grapes! If you love Chocolate Covered Raisins, then this one is gonna knock the Raisins right out of the ballpark! These are really made with such a rich but not too sweet chocolate that you really do taste the grapes. They know just how to cover them just enough so that it does not drown out the flavor of the grapes! Kudos to Bella Viva for accomplishing that because some companies drown their raisins or grapes in so much chocolate that really, that is all that you do taste!
Mike's next favorite was the Chocolate Covered Almonds and I have to admit I loved them, too! I have always loved Almonds and can pretty much eat them anyway they are made or anything that they are added to, so it was no big surprise to me. Of course, I have gotten ahold of some that tasted pretty bland and some were down right awful but Bella Viva Orchards are nice and fresh and just are totally the bomb! They use Premium California Almonds and dip them in savory milk chocolate then topped with a rich chocolate. Does that not sound like pure chocolate heaven? Mmm, we are still working on those, trying not to be pigs and eat everything all at once! But it is hard. We keep eyeing that bag like we are food starved addicts to the point where I had to put it up and dole out the precious things like a soldier on K rations! God, my Dad would be proud of me for using that Army term! And believe me, I have had my share of K rations! Course, I was just a child but to a child they tasted pretty darn good.
I will have to tell you though that my absolute favorite was the Peaches! Now, I know you are gonna say it is because I am from Georgia and we are a Peach State and all that, but the truth is, they really are fantastic, wherever they got the Peaches! Now, do keep in mind that these are dried fruits so they are gonna be a little more firmer than a fruit you would eat from a produce department. For those of you who do eat dried fruit, you already know what I am talking about. Okay, just went and checked and they are grown in Bella Viva's own Orchards out there in California! So, looks like another state has a good eye for making great Peaches. They do these about the same way they do the Raisins, first the savory milk chocolate then a peach colored chocolate is put on top of that! If you are a peach lover, then this is the one for you!
I don't think I am gonna have enough room to show you all of the fruit but from my descriptions, I think you will get a pretty good idea of what I am talking about. From the three that I have shown you get a pretty good idea of how the Chocolate Covered Apricots and Cherries will look. I was also very impressed with the Chocolate Apricots. They are similar to Peaches but are just a tad more firmer than Peaches tend to be when dried. But, because I love both of them, I had no trouble finishing off the bag of Peaches and moving on to the Apricots! The Apricots are also grown in Bella Viva Orchard's just as all the fruits are. Only difference in the two is that the Apricots are covered in a chocolate similar to the color of Apricots. Almost the same but with just a hint of a slight different color. But, they truly are awesome!

Finally, the Chocolate Covered Bing Cherries! At first I thought maybe this would be Mike's first choice because when I first met him he loved those that you buy in the grocery store and would always ask for them at holidays. These are nothing like those cherries. The chocolate covered cherries sold in stores always have that slightly runny stuff coming out of them whereas these do not. They are truly a dried Bing Cherry swallowed in rich milk chocolate then topped with a cherry colored rich chocolate. Now, while these are very good, they were the last ones I tried. I guess it was that fear that they would be like the ones that have stuff running out of them but these absolutely do not! So, I was surprised and happy when I could say pretty darn good, Bella Viva for taking a fruit I used to hate to one I wouldn't mind having more of. Guess what? I did have a little room to show you the Bing Cherries!
All of these fruits can come in 8 oz bags, 12 oz jars, 1 or 2 pound trays or 60 oz tins! You can also get the nuts and fruits mixed together in tins and trays. The other Chocolate Nut that I did not get to try was the Walnuts. So, if you prefer Walnuts over Almonds, then you can also get those. And then lastly, there is the 5 bags in the gift box that I got to try. So, there is a wide range of different options for you to choose from.

Bella Viva Orchards also offer Fresh Fruits in boxes which will have either Peaches or Persimmons! You can either get them by themselves or in a mixed box if you so choose. They also have a Fruits & Nuts Trail Mix that you can order if you like that instead of the Chocolate Covered Fruits & Nuts. Then lastly, you can get all kinds of Dried Fruits from Bella Viva Orchards! I am not even going to try and tell you all about them so I left you the link to follow. There are over 79 kinds of Dried Fruit and that will give you something to research on your own. I think though, if I went that route, I would do the Mixed Dried Fruit so that I could get a little of all or at least most of all.

Here is what I found under About Us:
Farming the rich soil of the Central Valley is a Martino family tradition Bella Viva carries out with pride. We produce and sell exceptional fresh and dried fruit, nuts and chocolate to loyal customers at our stands in northern California's celebrated farmer's markets, in select restaurants and to our online customers across the country.

Named for our daughters, Vivian and Belle, Bella Viva means beautiful long life in Italian. The name captures the essence of Bella Viva Orchards and all we at Bella Viva aim to provide for our customers.

Quality is of utmost importance to us here at Bella Viva. Growing the fruit that we dry and market enables us to have complete control over the fruit quality from the initial growing phase on through the final packaging and delivery.

To our long-time customers, we say welcome back. To our new ones, we say welcome home to Bella Viva.

Bella Viva would like to offer my readers a 15% off discount that is good until March 10, 2012 if you use the code cupoftea. I hope that some of you will take the time to check them out and maybe even order something to see how wonderful the fruits and nuts taste.

Follow them on Facebook or check them out on YouTube. Or give them a call at 855-888-8482. You can also use their Contact Us form for any questions you may have.

Mary Bearden personally reviewed these products. I did not receive any monitary compensation for my review. All opinions are mine and belong to me solely. My thoughts and opinions may differ from yours. The photo's used in this review were provided by images from Mary Bearden with my still very cranky camera and one image from Bella Villa Orchards.