What's Fabulous: BOU
I want to introduce you to BOU, a new and truly better bouillon cube, made from chickens, beef, or vegetables. It sets a new standard for what we think of as bouillon.
This is the second time I've written about bouillon in less than six months. But bouillon and stock are staples in most pantries and since I've again come upon a product I really like, I wanted you to know about it, too.
Not long ago a friend introduced me to Better Than Bouillon, which I like very much (see our link) and I've used it instead of boxed stock with good results. But it does have the disadvantage of being a bit messy and inexact to measure because it's a loose paste that comes in a jar. Plus it must be refrigerated after you open the jar and it won't last forever (at the moment I'm daring myself to use the bottom of a jar that's in my fridge).
A New And Better Bouillon Cube
So when I went to this past summer's Fancy Food Show in New York I was introduced to BOU, and it really got my attention. BOU is a conventional bouillon cube but with 30% less salt and unconventional real flavor.
I think this is an outstanding new product. I've already used up the samples they gave me at the Fancy Food Show and have bought more.
Here's what I love about it. First, all three flavors -- chicken, beef, and vegetable -- taste terrific. Unlike what we previously knew as bouillon cubes, e.g., those made by Knorr, or Maggi, or Herb Ox, which taste like salt licks or a pot of hot salty water in front of which you held up a photo of a hen -- BOU instead tastes like chicken. Or beef. Or vegetables. Maybe that's because that's what it's made from. When you dissolve a BOU cube, you may think it's something homemade because there's a presence of real ingredients in the liquid, both in its flavor and its body. It actually looks like a good homemade stock.
Moreover, it has no additives or preservatives, no GMOs, no MSG, and it's gluten free. At the BOU website, you can see the list of ingredients and nutrition information for all three flavors.
Next, being cubes, the product is shelf stable. Six foil-wrapped cubes come in a clear plastic jar with a screw-on cap. There's no need to keep the jar in the refrigerator. They are sold with an expiration date; when I bought mine the date was about 18 months out.
Third, when you unwrap each cube, it's not hard as a rock -- it's tender and almost squishy. That means you could cut one in half or even take a smaller bit to add to a recipe for a flavor boost and you can do this without having to first dissolve the entire cube. Each cube makes 2 cups of bouillon once dissolved in boiling water. So if you were making a cup of hot broth for an afternoon snack, you can slice a cube in half with some precision, make your cup of broth, and save the rest.
There are six cubes to a jar and those I bought at West Side Market cost $3.99; it's $2.99 at Fresh Direct and prices are in this range at other markets in New York which include Fairway, Citarella, and Gourmet Garage. If you live somewhere else you can buy them from Amazon or directly from the BOU website where they cost $12.00 for six jars.
While it doesn’t have to do with flavor or salt content, the fact that BOU is a local New York company founded by a group of entrepreneurial food enthusiasts makes me like them even more. I am happily a locavore. In this case, good flavor and local pride has made me a BOU fan.