Chicago Tribune
Wednesday, December 14, 2005

TOP 12 OF 2005 Our favorite products of the year can decorate your holiday shopping list By Renee Enna

Tribune staff reporter

December 14, 2005

Every week, Good Eating's Off the Shelf column features products that we think readers will want to learn more about. But for every product that we feature, there are dozens that we have tried--and eliminated. We taste and/or test everything prior to featuring it.

We look for food that tastes good, gadgets that work--and we also want items to be a step above the competition, or offer something new that home cooks might find worth adding to their arsenal. Value for cost is factored in, and we love it when products are sold in area stores as well as by mail-order.

Here's a look at 12 of the products we were most impressed with, and which might come in handy during the busy holiday season--in the kitchen or as a gift.
8. EPICUREAN BUTTERS These are infused with a creative array of sweet and savory ingredients. Tomato chipotle, cinnamon raisin, orange coconut and honey pecan were particular favorites, but we liked all flavors. A 6-ounce package is $7 in the dairy case at Whole Foods Markets and Wild Oats in Hinsdale and Evanston