I'm sitting on a plane, listening to the list of snack options being presented to me by my American Airlines attendant, turning them all down, knowing I have something with me that's even better. Rosted Spicy Crunchy Lentils. Otherwise known as My Latest Obsession.
Have you had these things? They are crunchy, spicy, tasty goodness in a snack-sized pouch, with hardly any sodium and even fewer calories.
Some might think, being that I am a current resident of Los Angeles, that this healthy little treat is a product of the west coast and its crazy diet fads. Not so! In fact, these delightful snacks are made in Michigan - and this native Michigander found them when she attended the Buy Michigan Now Festival
in Northville this summer.
I love them so much, I spent significant time at this vendor's booth, imploring him to expand into California. Not going to happen. So....I found them online and now plan to keep them stocked, bigtime.
The BMN Festival is also responsible for another one of my family's obsessions. I received my first Scotty O'Hotty
Beer Bacon Chipotle/Ghost pepper sauce gift set a couple years ago, and have been a faithful fan since then. Stopping at their booth to sing their praises to the owners in person, I was handed a sample of their newest item: The Ghost Pepper Salsa. OOOOOOOHhhhhhhh. I had it on a chip and it had me at hello. Deciding it was too challenging to take back with me to California on the plane, I promptly ordered a jar when I got home. It lasted in my house about two days - so I immediately ordered six more jars.
I grew up in Michigan, and when I think of food that reminds me of home, I think of Polish food....Coney Island hot dogs...Sanders hot fudge...and Vernors. Having moved out of state when I was in my early 20's, though, I missed out on a lot the great state of Michigan has to offer! I'm focusing here on the food (because I'm always hungry) but the fact is, the BMN fest has provided me with some of my new favorite things! Unique jewelry, clothing and gifts that just can't be found anywhere else.
So each year now, I make it a point to return, not just to visit family, but to attend this fascinating festival that always provides something tasty to try, and something new to explore.
If you haven't yet been, put it on your calendar for next year...and if you're considering being a vendor, best to reserve a spot now - and whatever you're selling - save me a sample! I'll be there to try it out, and spread the word.
Suzanne Sena is an Emmy-nominated TV host, commercial spokesperson, author and entrepreneur. Raised in Michigan, and a graduate of Michigan State University, she now resides in Los Angeles.
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