The only other foodpr0n of late has been my sudden obsession with italian sodas. Back in '99, I had a phenomenal butterscotch italian soda on my Seattle trip at a panini place just south of the Arboretum (the shop is still there). I tried recreating it a few times, but could never get it right. rainbear got me onto the DaVinci syrups back when we worked together, but it didn't take for whatever reason. On my previous trip to Cash'n'Carry, I picked up a few sugar-free syrups, gave up on anything fancy, just did a straight soda water and syrup, and totally ignored the suggested water:syrup ratio on the bottle (3:1 works for me, not 5:1). I was hooked. It's diet soda in whatever flavor I want!
Cash'n'Carry has TONS of these syrups (from DaVinci, Stasero, and Torani), including many sugar-free flavors, and they're all super cheap: the most expensive are $3.73 for a 750ml bottle. This may be because 2 of the 3 brands are made here in Seattle, but that's just a guess.
What I've tried so far (all sugar-free):
- DaVinci Butterscotch
- 3/5. Very good flavor, slightly bitter, minimal aftertaste.
- DaVinci Caramel
- 1/5. Unconvincing flavor, tastes pretty bad. Works OK in coffee.
- DaVinci Raspberry
- 3/5. Good flavor, if not exciting. Slightly tart (a good thing!).
- DaVinci Peach
- 3/5. Good, not as rich/deep as I'd like. Odd aftertaste.
- Stasero Irish Crème
- 5/5. Excellent flavor, genuinely creamy aftertaste. Outstanding.
- Stasero English Toffee
- 4/5. Very good, slightly bitter overtones.
More reviews at some point, for sure.