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Archive for August, 2008

FOOD HOLIDAY: August Is National Peach Month

Peaches originated in China. They were the first fruits to be domesticated, 4,000 years ago. Asians prefer the low-acid, sweeter, white-fleshed peaches while Europeans and North Americans have historically grown the yellow-fleshed varieties. Whichever you prefer, celebrate National Peach Month with some of these past NIBBLE selections:

No-Calorie & Low-Calorie Treats:

AirForce NutriSoda Focus (Peach & Mango)

Inko’s White Peach Iced Tea

Republic of Tea Ginger Peach Black Tea

Wild Thymes Peach Chutney

Frontera Foods Salpica Mango Peach Salsa

Two Non-Caloric, Non-Edibles

Bluewick Peacharine Candle

Hella Good Peach Bath Scrub

 
In China, the peach tree is considered to
be the tree of life, and peaches are
symbols of immortality.

And Two Spreads With A Few (Well-Worth-It) Calories

Frog Hollow Farm Peach Preserves & Pies

San Saba Peach Pecan & Amaretto Preserves

Cherith Valley Spicy Peach Amaretto Jelly

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NEW PRODUCT: Khaya Cookies

  The people at Khaya Cookie Company aren’t just about cute cookies; they have a social mission, too. The word “khaya” means “home” in Xhosa, the language spoken in a region of South Africa where the Khaya Cookie Company’s cookies are baked. True to “home,” they are made with ingredients from the region, like rooibos extract, grapeseed powder, and local dates and apricots. The cookie production creates jobs and trains local residents with job skills, so that they’re not just baking—they can also learn to work in the customer service or packaging departments.

Khaya’s employees come mainly from a township called Khayelitsha, where one of every four children suffers from chronic malnutrition and almost one million people live below the poverty level. Alicia Danielle Polak, the company’s founder and CEO, an investment banker in her former life, now uses her skills to help the impoverished. Every 150,000 boxes of cookies sold creates 100 jobs in South Africa.

Whether you’re entertaining guests or simply like to eat in style at home, Khaya’s tiny shortbread cookies are shaped at approximately the size of a thumbnail and are available in Orange Rooibos and Cranberry Rooibos flavors. Khaya also produces a chewy Granola Fruit Krunchi made with dates and apricots. The products are all-natural and preservative-free. At $5.75 per flavor, the attractive boxes make nice holiday stocking stuffers and teacher gifts, for a good cause. Order the cookies online at www.khayacookies.com.

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RECIPES: Cooking With Beer

You can make almost anything with beer—from bread to ice cream to some of these more obvious beer recipes, compliments of Gordon Biersch. These recipes are made Gordon Biersch Marzenwith Märzen or Märzenbier, an amber-red (auburn), smooth, mildly sweet, Vienna-style lager with a malty aroma. It originated in Bavaria where it was originally brewed in March (Mär zen) and laid down in caves before the summer heat made brewing impossible. At the end of September, any remaining kegs were consumed during the two-week Oktoberfest. While some brewers make a Märzen that is seasonal to the Oktoberfest, others, like Gordon Biersch, brew it year-round.  

Märzen is Gordon Biersch’s sweetest brew. Company co-founder Dan Gordon describes it as the “universal donor,” meaning that it goes well with just about anything. Some strongly-flavored beers can turn bitter if you cook with them, particularly if you use them to boil or braise. Weizens (wheat beers) are too light to cook with, and hoppy beers like pilsners don’t reduce too successfully.

If you can’t find Märzen, you can substitute any slightly sweet and malty lager, a darker lager or, in season, festbiers and Oktoberfest brews.

Barbecued Märzen Ribs Recipe

Beer Batter Onion Rings Recipe

Märzen Barbecue Sauce Recipe

Märzen Mustard Recipe

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PRODUCT REVIEW: Martine’s Sugar-Free Chocolate

Martine’s sugar-free almond bark
doesn’t skimp on good ingredients;
sweetened with maltitol, the only thing
it’s missing is regular sugar.
  It takes a true master of chocolate to make delicious sugar-free versions of his or her art, and who better to take on the challenge than Manhattan’s own Martine Leventer, creator of Martine’s Chocolates? We’ve already raved about her top-notch gourmet chocolate in a past review, but we are delighted to report that she makes excellent sugar-free chocolates, too, from the fine Belgian chocolate of Callebaut. They are perfect for people who have been searching for a high-quality gourmet chocolate that’s so good, it’s easy to forget that it’s sugar-free. (Please note that this is not a low-calorie product, and should be consumed by people who need to restrict their intake of sucrose. Those on restricted diets should consult with their healthcare advisors before consuming any sugar substitutes.)

Martine Leventer experiments with every one of her chocolates until she is satisfied, so we aren’t surprised that her sugar-free line meets high standards. After careful investigation, she found that maltitol was the only artificial sweetener that did not leave an aftertaste. That may be why her sugar-free chocolates leave plenty of folks fooled (including us!), in a good way. Martine’s sugar-free chocolates have the same charm as their sugared counterparts; both are made with fine Belgian Callebaut chocolate and hand-crafted with elegant molds.

Read the full review on TheNibble.com.

 

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RECIPES: White Bean Dip & Bruschetta

If you keep a can of white beans in the pantry, you can whip up a bean dip in five minutes. It’s handy to do this, because when guests drop by, you look like a kitchen magician, when all you’ve done is toss some ingredients into the food processor.

Variations: After you’ve made the basic recipe, try variations with your favorite flavors: anchovy, basil, chive, green or black olive, jalapeño, parsley, roasted red peppers, sundried tomato, etc. These flavors are easy to add with Amore Pastes. Add two tablespoons to the food processor.

Then do even more, by making bruschetta with your bean purée, or you can use Cool Beans dip, a NIBBLE Top Pick. It makes a delicious, garlicy snack, cocktail pairing or first dinner course.

White Bean Dip Recipe

White Bean Bruschetta Recipe

Find more articles and reviews of bean products in THE NIBBLE‘s Rice, Beans & Grains section.

 
Bean purées can scooped, spread or
spooned.
 

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