Contest and Another Contest!
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If you haven’t read my interview about Rudolph Foods, then I suggest you do!

The folks from Rudolph were kind enough to send me some of their great pork rinds to try and I gotta tell you – they didn’t last long! They sent me Plain, Bold and Spicy BBQ, and Hot and Spicy.

I haven’t really eaten pork rinds a lot, but these were the best I have had, honestly. They were crunchy and fluffy, and very flavorful. The BBQ ones had a gentle tang, and the Hot ones definitely had some zing, but weren’t overpowering. The whole family loved these, and they really did go quick.

The Rudolph folks are running a really cool contest, you can play here: Pass The Pork Rinds CONTEST

You can play daily and win $3500 and some yummy snacks! Further, if you make a purchase, Rudolph’s will make a donation to Grid Iron Greats!

Finally, the good folks at Rudolph’s have graciously offered to sponsor a contest here! So, here’s how you enter to win a bunch of snacks for your own “nom nom nom”:

1) LIKE Rudolph’s Foods on Facebook

2) Follow my sister site Desert Rat Outdoors on Twitter

3) Add a COMMENT here, saying you’ve completed steps 1 & 2

For everyone who completes all 3 steps, I’ll put your names in a hat and pull a winner!

You may be surprised at the nutritional facts about Pork Rinds!

Learning More About the Man Behind Rudolph Foods
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I’m hoping you saw my post about Rudolph Foods. This looks like a very cool company and they’re sponsoring a contest here next week, and I’m going to review some samples as well. In the meantime, I wanted to learn more about the man behind Rudolph Foods.I’d really like to thank Sue from RMD Advertising who was instrumental in helping with the interview, and Mark Singleton – the man answering all those questions! ~DRR

1. How on earth did you get into the snack food business? Specifically – pork rinds?

Ever since I was a wee lad I wanted to be in the food business. The pork rind business was a lucky accident. Someone once wrote, “the purpose of food is to nourish our bodies, the power of food is to bring people together.” I like that a lot. Every week we make millions of people happy for about a buck…not many people can say that. After graduating from college, I worked for a consulting firm. One of my clients made food processing equipment. I joined them in 1992 as cice President and General Manager. We bought the company in 1996 and sold it in 2003. Rudolph Foods Company was one of our bigger customers and I joined them later that year. The rest is pork rind history.

2. For those who might not know – what is the difference between “rinds” and “cracklins”?

People have been eating pork rinds for more than 2,000 years. Remember nothing is wasted on a pig but the squeal! If you talk to whole hog BBQ pitmasters they will tell you the crackling is full of flavor and pulled pork is not the same with out it. The crackling is from the shoulder or ham skin of a pig and is made with fat attached. The rind is made from back and belly skins and has no fat attached. Both are great!

3. What’s your favorite snack?

My favorite snack is my daughter’s homemade chocolate chip cookies followed by our new Chili Limon Dipper Cracklins.

4. What’s the farthest your company has shipped an order?

We ship to more than 28 countries and to hundreds of customers. We have even managed to get rinds to our troops in countries around the world!

5. Do you think that you will stick with pork rinds and cracklins, or do you see diversification in your future?

We love our customers and are continuing to develop new snacks that we think will surprise and satisfy. Our Jalapeno Cheese Curls, Dulce Caliente Popcorn and Tropical Plaintains are just a few of the new snacks.

6. I hear you’re a hunter. What’s your favorite hunt?

This year marks the 50th anniversary I will be going deer hunting with my dad and the 27th year with my kids. We have been hunting on the same lease in south Texas for more than 30 years. As my mom says, we are “making memories”. We hunt about 11,000 acres of some of the finest whitetail country in Texas. We also have over a dozen Asian and African species. Lots of deer, food and campfire stories.

7. What’s the dream hunt on your wish list?

Cape Buffalo. I would love to hunt something so powerful! We have been hunting wild boars with knives for the last ten years or so and I would like to turn it up a notch.

8. Do you have distributors in the Southwest, or is the best way to purchase online?

We have distributors in most major cities in the south. You can find us in all Walmarts and customers can purchase online as well.

9. What is something about your business or products that might surprise my readers?

Pork rinds are 0 carbs, 0 trans fats, and high in protein! We contain more protein than a serving of peanuts.

A huge “Thank You” to Mark Singleton, VP of Marketing for Rudolph Foods for taking some time out to talk about himself and his company! You can check them out on Facebook too!

Learning More About Salsa Maya
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I’m really hoping that you read my review on Salsa Maya. What a great product! Well, I was so impressed with this great product that I wanted to learn more about their company.

A huge “Thank You” to Victoria Gonzalez for taking some time out to answer questions about her company! ~DRR

1) How long have you been in business? How did you decide to go to market with this product?

Victoria – Salsa Maya became an idea in 2012 and we began the process of starting a new company but it wasn’t until 2014 that I was able to do it full time and we began placing it in the market. Salsa Maya has been loved by many members of our family and friends. It got to a point where we would make gallons for our friends because they kept on running out and stealing all of our tupperware, so that was when we decided that if we had so many people hooked, why not develop this Salsa Maya and share our product with the world? At the time when we were developing the idea I was at The Culinary Institute of America studying to be a chef and I saw it as a perfect opportunity to follow my time at this prestigious school.

2) The product is amazing! Is it an old family recipe? How did you come up with it?

Victoria – Salsa Maya is an old family recipe and I do not remember a time were the habanero aioli wasn’t on our table. Obviously back then it was just called the salsa and it was made by my Dad weekly. We actually named it Salsa Maya because in 2012 when we were developing the idea it was the end of the Mayan Calender and it was a perfect way to begin a new era.

3) One thing that was interesting to me in your literature is the health benefits of habaneros – can you talk about that?

Victoria – As a Chef, I have to be conscious of what I serve and for Salsa Maya to taste great it has to have the best ingredients. People are becoming a lot more aware of what they put in their mouth which is great. This isn’t a fad, it is a way of living and I feel that it was a custom that was lost with mass production. So I like to share the information and health benefits of the habanero so people learn more about Salsa Maya and learn that the habanero isn’t just a “really hot scary pepper”. The habanero has incredible health benefits, which comes to no surprise when you learn the indigenous people consume it in their everyday diet.

4) Do you think you will diversify and develop new products, or are you going to stick with this?

Victoria – As a company of course, we want to keep on growing and developing new products. It is in our goals to develop more great tasting products and of course keeping the Deliciously Spicy flavors going. Many people ask us if we would make a mild version, but until this moment we really enjoy our habanero aioli and when we develop a mild product maybe it will be something different.

5) If someone had never heard of your product, what would you want them to know?

Victoria – As I mentioned before, this is our first year in the actual market and we are trying to reach as many people as possible. I would want the people who are just learning about Salsa Maya to know that it is a Deliciously Spicy sauce and it goes great on everything and it serves many uses while cooking. Salsa Maya can be used as a marinade, dip, spread, dressing and many other ways. Salsa Maya is full of flavor and yes it is spicy but it won’t overwhelm your palate and will enhance your food without overpowering it.

6) Are you nationwide? What is the best way to buy?

Victoria – We are trying to sell nationwide, but everything comes with time and we aren’t trying to rush it. I am really enjoying this process of growing and growing with my company. I do believe we have grown a lot in these past months. Currently we are selling in certain cities in Texas and Colorado. Visit our web page – we like to hear from people who want to see it in a store near them and we are trying to enter as many states as possible in order to get it to our customers. To make it accessible for the rest of the country we sell it through the help of many great online companies who love Salsa Maya for example; iBurn, Texasfoods, JustEnoughHeat, and others who are in the process of selling it through their online stores.

I truly hope that everyone enjoys and loves our product and hopefully one day it can become to many families what is has become for us!

Thanks again to Victoria! You can also find them on Facebook

How To Load Your Man Cave With the Right Snacks
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I’d like to thank Maryam and Sue at RMD Advertising, and especially the good folks at Rudolph Foods for reaching out to me and offering info about their company, recipes, tips for stocking your man cave with snacks and even some goodies for a contest!

Also – I’m going to do an interview with company founder Mark Singleton!

So while you’re waiting for the contest (wanna win free pork rinds??), go ahead an poke around the Rudolph sites:



Check out yummy recipes, huntin’ stories and more – MAN TALES

Review – Espresso Bean Balsamic BBQ Sauce
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You may have read my review of the Queen Creek Olive Mill, a cool local attraction. I was there picking up a gift a few weeks ago and saw some BBQ sauce that I really had to try!

Coffee (espresso) is one of my favorite flavors when it comes to barbecue. I love it in sauces, and I especially love it incorporated into rubs, so I was anxious to give this sauce a try.

It was amazing! You get the deep, rich notes of espresso – they weren’t stingy, but it doesn’t overpower the sauce either.I also loved the tangy, swirling flavor of balsamic – those 2 flavors are the perfect partners! This sauce has exactly what I enjoy – complexity. It’s cool t take a bit of something and have a whole bunch of different flavors bouncing around in your mouth!

The sauce is thick, with some chunks in it too – this isn’t some goop that was pureed to death.It is a great consistency, and very flavorful. I have used it on pork, on chicken and even in some sandwiches!

Although the Queen Creek Olive Mill is a local attraction, you can absolutely buy online too! Visit their store – I guarantee you could spend an entire morning or afternoon browsing online just like you could at their real store in Queen Creek! You can learn more about their great sauces here: Herbs, Spices & Sauces