So, recently I had the pleasure of receiving my very first shipment of goodies to sample from my friends at Earth Cafe out of sunny California. This blogging thing is becoming glamorous very quickly. Whoever it was that said food is the way into a person’s heart was just about the smartest person on Earth, and I am no exception to this rule.

On Wednesday, fresh on the heels of my first blog post here on Delectabelle, I made my way home through the tough streets of upper Georgetown, DC, throwin’ gang signs as I pulled up to my crib, cause I’m gangsta like that.  Um, in my head at least. The most traumatic experience you are bound to have in my neighborhood is seeing that someone is running with their pure-bred chocolate lab off of its leash…oh the humanity! But again, I digress.

So I strolled up the stairs, ready to kick off my shoes and brush off the tribulations of my work day, when I was greeted with a lovely surprise perched atop my doorstep.  A big old box with the logo for Earth Cafe emblazoned across the site (solitary fist pump was involved…yesssss!).

What a day, my first blog post, up and running, and now delicious, free treats to test out…what could be better I ask you?!

So, a little about Earth Cafe.  I connected with Craig Ahrens through the fabulous networking tool that is LinkedIn, and he so graciously offered to send me some treats to help our collective cause of loving, living and appreciating good food. I was intrigued by the company’s mantra, followed by its small, but dedicated, group of employees/devotees. This excerpt reached out and grabbed me and I couldn’t agree more with this fashion of thinking…Amen.

So, with all that said, back to the treats. (Wow, I really do have ADD!) After swooping up the box, I made my way to the kitchen to let the taste testing commence. I pried open the box, and peeled open the thick layer of insulation keeping these delicacies icy cold and fresh, and was slapped in the face with the refreshing mist of the dry ice; not an intended part of the experience I am sure, but I enjoyed it. After hovering over the cool sensation for an awkward amount of time (complete with my roommate’s dog-like cat Ronan staring at me like I am crazy), I peered inside to see FIVE different cakes, neatly packed slices, each in their own lovely little container complete with descriptions. So here is the skinny on each:

Let’s just kick it off with my fav, the Raspberry Blast Cheesecake. So, at first bite, it took a minute to adjust to the unique flavors of this cake. I will preface this by saying I have never really eaten gluten-free or have ever really gravitated towards vegan food, but there is a first time for everything, and I was pleasantly surprised. At first bite, it instantly reminded me of a yogurt pie my Mom used to make for us in the summertime, which was a frozen yogurt mixture served in a graham cracker crust. Maybe it was the texture, or perhaps the raspberry flavor that sparked the memory, I am not sure which. It didn’t quite resemble the texture of cheesecake proper, but I really don’t think that made an ounce of difference to me.  This cake was full of berry and nutty goodness and I thoroughly enjoyed polishing it off. That vibrant streak of fuchsia you see through the center of the cake is pure, blissful heaven. It is the real deal of raspberries, complete with those yummy little seeds to nibble on, one of my favorite parts of any real raspberry treat. Well done guys. I would definitely come back for a second helping on this, and I usually am not even a sweets kinda gal!

Next up, the Who’s Ya Daddy Cheesecake, complete with Carob topping. I will admit, at first I was an instant fan because, let’s face it, how can you resist anything that goes by such a name? But, my mind quickly shifted gears once I got a taste of the pie. It had a chocolatey outward appearance and a unique flavor that was a balanced mixture of carob, pecans and slight coconut flavor. I was very pleased with it, and although it was something different and new for me, it was very tasty and satisfying. You really do taste the fresh goodness in each of these cakes and it allows you to really enjoy the fact that you are actually eating cake the closest thing to guilt-free! One of my tasting accomplices picked the carob flavor out instantly, which she pointed out is a great alternative for chocolate for nursing mom’s whose babies have lactose allergies. Just sayin!

The next lovely little delicacy is called Strawberry Fields Forever cheesecake. Hey, you can’t ever go wrong in mixing cake with the Beatles. This was a light and airy, fruit packed cake with a hint of nuttiness that made it the whole package. Because I had so much cakey goodness at home, I decided to bring it in and share with my office pals. This flavor was the hands down favorite of one of the ladies, and I would venture to say, the hands down favorite of her little one on board as well! Happy baby, happy mama!

Next up, Blueberry Thrill Cheesecake. I have to say, I am really liking this song/cake pairing. It works for me! This guy was similar to its strawberry sibling, with a texture much like a smooth yogurt, topped off by a hearty pecan flavor to round it out. Again, you can taste the presence of real fruit and real, healthy ingredients and it makes a world of difference, it really does!

Lastly, but not leastly (yes I know this is not a word, but I had to make it work somehow…like the guy in the “Nation-pam” commercials) was the California Lemon Cheesecake. Again with the Mom references, but she makes the most delicious little lemon squares with fresh lemons, and this was reminiscent of her treats, although the consistency was different. This was, as it sounds it would be, a refreshing and light treat, which I imagine would be the perfect palate cleanser after a meal. I can only guess at this point, as I am incapable of eating a meal after stuffing my face full of cake.

So there it is, my humble , long winded opinion. If you still aren’t sold on my reviews, i will point out that Vegetarian Times Magazine recently honored the company with an award for its goodies…an added incentive. Congrats!  If you are looking for a new and healthy alternative to your desserts, give this site a visit and give something new a try!

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