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    THE NIBBLE’s Gourmet News & Views

    Trends, Products & Items Of Note In The World Of Specialty Foods

    This is the blog section of THE NIBBLE. Read all of our content on TheNibble.com,
    the online magazine about gourmet and specialty food.

Archive for October, 2008

TIP OF THE DAY: Observe & Serve

Look for serving pieces that double as objets d’art. Bowls, pitchers and trays fall into this category: You can showcase them all year as room decor, then put them to use as needed during formal dinners. If you like to collect and have more items than room to display them, rotate pieces on a schedule so family and visitors will enjoy different pieces of your collection. If you want to read more, check out our article, “Fun With Tabletop.”  
These blown glass pitchers from Orbitz
will make any table setting look
beautiful. Read The Nibble’s review

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PRODUCT: Oikos Organic Greek Yogurt


Readers of THE NIBBLE know of our devotion to the plain, 0% fat FAGE Total Greek Yogurt. We eat it daily, sometimes with sweetener, sometimes plain, sometimes with cereal, sometimes with fruit or farmer cheese. (We prefer farmer cheese to cottage cheese—it’s a dry curd product like pot cheese, made in a loaf and sold in 8-ounce slices, or in specialty stores cut to order from the loaf. We like the Friendship brand, with salt.) We enjoy different yogurt brands throughout the day—usually fruit-flavored ones as dessert. But one deserves a special shoutout: Oikos Organic Greek Yogurt, made by Stonyfield. It tastes very much like a light-flavored sour cream, with all the body and thickness of sour cream. And the 0% fat Oikos is only 130 calories for an entire cup (8 calories/tablespoon), compared to 480 calories/cup (30 calories/tablespoon) for sour cream. The entire line is 0% fat, and includes Blueberry, Honey and Vanilla flavors, plus Plain, in 5.3-ounce cups. We haven’t gotten to the fruit flavors yet.

Oikos isn’t cheap (our local store charges $5.99 for 16 ounces, compared to $4.69 for 16 ounces of FAGE Total), but you can get a $1.00 coupon on the OikosOrganic.com website for the 16-ounce and 5.3-ounce sizes. And what’s money when you could lavish an entire cup of “sour cream” on your baked potato, chili or salmon caviar (if you wanted to be so extravagant) for just 130 fat-free calories? We tested Oikos next to Cabot Fat Free Sour Cream, which is the best fat-free sour cream we know of (10 calories/tablespoon, $2.69 per 16 ounces at our store, also OU(D) certified kosher). We prefer Oikos for the “sour cream effect.” For the record, FAGE Total 0% Fat, which has a sweeter profile than Oikos, is 120 calories/cup, 7.5 calories/tablespoon.

Oikos is USDA-certified organic as well as OU(D) kosher-certified.

-Read more about our favorite yogurts in THE NIBBLE’s Yogurt Section.
-See our favorite organic products in our NutriNibbles Section.
-See our favorite kosher products in our Kosher Nibbles Section.
-Check out our Yogurt Glossary.

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ARTICLES: Cooking Oil Glossary & Mustard Glossary Updates

Did you know that THE NIBBLE has 60 or so food glossaries where you can learn lots about your favorite food categories? There’s everything from A (Antioxidant Foods) to Y (Yogurt—sorry, no Z foods yet). Several of them, including the Chocolate Glossary, Pasta Glossary, Squash Glossary and Sushi Glossary, are the most frequently-read articles among THE NIBBLE’s 20,000 pages of content!We’re always updating our glossaries with current information and new terms. This month, we updated our Cooking Oils Glossary and Mustard Glossary. Check ‘em out!  And, see our master glossary directory for all the glossaries on TheNibble.com.
Does America love squash? All year
round, the Squash Glossary is one of our
most popular articles!
 

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NEW PRODUCT: We’re Juiced For Organic Biotta Juices


A glass of Biotta’s Beetroot Juice is pure
beet heaven.
One of our favorite finds at Expo East, the huge natural and organic products trade show that was held last weekend in Boston, was the beautiful line of juices from Biotta, an organic beverage company founded in 1931 in Switzerland (the company was a pioneer in the production of 100% all natural, organic juices). You can find seven varieties of Biotta at natural foods stores. But in 2009—three months from now—ten new fresh, delicious vegetable juice and fruit juice varieties will be added to the line. We tasted a dozen of the juices at Expo East, and fell in love. In addition to the current 16.9 fl oz (500ml) size, 2009 will bring a new single-serving 8.4 fl oz (250ml) size.

Each of the juices has a homeopathic focus, but we like them because of the amazing taste (they are also great ingredients for soups, sorbets, ice cream, cocktails, marinades and a long list of others). At present, you can find Beetroot Juice (to boost the immune system), Wild Bilberry Juice (builds strong blood vessels and improved circulation), Breuss® Vegetable Juice (pronounced “broyce,” a combination of beetroots, carrots, celeriac, radish and potatoes, which is a formula developed by the Austrian naturopathic Dr. Rudolf Breuss for purification and cleansing), Carrot Juice (for vision), Celery Root Juice (regulates pH), Sauerkraut Juice (aids digestion) and Vegetable Juice Cocktail (helps the immune system). Among the new flavors we look forward to is a dynamite Potato Juice—made of raw potato, but tasting like a potato-lover’s dream (it is intended to help the stomach, but we think all of these juices are gourmet food finds).

We can’t stop dreaming of the high quality of these juices. Like a fine wine, you know from the first sip that you’re at a different level of appreciation. Retailers of America: stock your shelves! See more of our favorite juices in THE NIBBLE online magazine.
 

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NEWS: Vermont Butter & Cheese Wins 5 Awards At World Cheese Competition

Vermont Butter and Cheese Company, a NIBBLE Top Pick Of The Week, won five awards at the World Cheese Awards held in Dublin, Ireland earlier this month. The winners include Vermont Chevre, Vermont Fresh Crottin, Vermont Creamy Goat Cheese, Vermont Quark and their Signature Aged Cheese Bijou. Company co-founder Allison Hooper is credited for helping to start the artisan goat cheese movement in the U.S. The company will celebrate its 25th anniversary next year. The company, located in Websterville, VT, is dedicated to crafting artisanal dairy products in the European style through a vital link of local Vermont farms. The company supports a network of more than 20 family-owned farms, providing milk that meets the highest standards of purity, and is a proud contributor to the health of local agriculture. Vermont Butter & Cheese is a NIBBLE Top Pick Of The Week. Read our review of their delicious products.Read more information on the World Cheese Award winners.  
A snowy white crottin of chèvre from the
Vermont Butter & Cheese Company.
 

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RECIPES: Election Night Cocktails


The Obama Rama.


The Obama Poma.


10 Cane On The Baracks.


The McCane Mojito.


John 10 Cane Punch.
  If you’re planning an election night get-together, the folks at 10 Cane Rum have made it easy to celebrate (or drown your sorrows) with these toasts to the candidates.

OBAMA DRINKS

Obama-Rama
A nod to Obama’s home state of Hawaii!
1-1/2 ounces 10 Cane Rum
1 ounce Grand Marnier
1/4 ounce orgeat syrup
1 ounce fresh squeezed lime juice
1/4 ounce simple syrup
Garnish: mint sprig & lemon wheel

Directions: Combine all ingredients into mixing glass. Add ice and shake vigorously. Pour all contents into a rocks glass. Garnish with mint sprig and lemon wheel.

Obama Poma
2 ounces 10 Cane Rum
1 ounce pomegranate juice
3/4 ounce fresh squeezed lemon juice
Dash simple syrup
Garnish: pomegranate seeds or lemon twist

Directions: In a mixing glass, combine all ingredients. Add ice and shake vigorously. Strain into martini glass. Garnish with pomegranate seeds or lemon twist.

10 Cane On The Baracks
10 Cane Rum
Cubed ice

Directions: Pick out a rocks glass. Add cubed ice. Pour 10 Cane. Sip.


McCAIN DRINKS

McCane Mojito
2 ounces 10 Cane Rum
1 ounce fresh squeezed lime juice
1 ounce simple syrup
8-10 mint leaves
Splash of club soda
Garnish: mint sprig

Directions: Place mint leaves and simple syrup in the bottom of a tall glass. Press gently with a muddler. Fill with cracked ice. Add 10 Cane and lime juice. Stir gently and top off with soda. Garnish with a mint sprig.

John 10 Cane Punch
2 ounces 10 Cane Rum
1/4 ounce pineapple juice
1/4 ounce fresh lime juice
1/4 ounce Grenadine syrup

Directions: Combine all ingredients into a mixing glass. Add ice and shake vigorously. Strain into a chilled cocktail glass or on the rocks with a lime or a flag!


DRINKS FOR THE STILL UNDECIDED

Red, White, & Blue Mojito
2 ounces 10 Cane Rum
9-10 mint leaves
Juice of 1/2 lime
Splash simple syrup
Club soda
5 blueberries
2 strawberries, quartered

Directions: In a mixing glass, combine 10 Cane, mint leaves, lime juice and simple syrup. Add ice and shake vigorously. Pour into a highball glass, add fruit and top with soda.
 

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QUIZ & CONTEST: Fun With Mustard

The folks at French’s have conjured up some condiment fun for you at FrenchsMustard.com.

-First, there’s a Condiment IQ Quiz that’s quite eye-opening. Here’s one giveaway: If you switch from mayo to mustard on your daily sandwich, you’ll save almost 10,000 calories in a 12-week period. The average person would have to run 73 miles to burn those calories!

-Have a favorite recipe that uses mustard? Enter French’s “The Skinny on Mustard” Contest and you could win a Spa Getaway for two worth up to $1,500 or one of 10 American Express gift checks valued at $100 each.

-If you don’t have a recipe, French’s has plenty for you.

Want to learn about all the different types of mustard? Check out THE NIBBLE’s Mustard Glossary.

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HALLOWEEN: Perfect Party Favor

If you’re looking for something sophisticated and sweet to give special guests on Halloween, may we suggest Sugardaddy’s seasonal Harvest Sumptuous Sweetie? This round blondie is made with a rich pumpkin purée, a 5-spice harvest blend, chopped walnuts and white chocolate chunks, then topped with an apricot cardamom swirl. It‘s a memorable way to celebrate Halloween; packaged in a round acrylic gift box, it will keep for several days afterwards. There’s no trick about this treat: Read our review of Sugardaddy’s Sumptuous Sweeties. And while you’re at it, read the History Of The Brownie.

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RECIPES: Gourmet Pizzas

October is National Pizza Month. This most popular of American dishes started out as a primitive flatbread and cheese meal somewhere in the Mediterranean region. While pepperoni wins as America’s favorite topping, the folks at Wisconsin Milk Marketing Board—whose members make much of the great cheese that tops your pizzas—have developed some groovy recipes that let you defer the tried-and-true pepperoni, meatballs, mushrooms, onions and pepper for another day. So call your friends, tell them to bring the craft beer or artisan soda, and celebrate National Pizza Month in gourmet style. But before you hit the recipes, chow down on the history of pizza.

-Pizza-Making Tips

-Barbecue Chicken Pizza

-Buffalo Chicken Pizza

-Calypso Pizza

-Piña Colada Pizza

-Gorgonzola & Caramelized Onion Pizza

-Pear, Walnut & Gorgonzola Pizza

-Andouille Sausage Pizza

-Middle East Pizza

-Greek Pizza

-Mediterranean Pizza

-Pancetta & Potato Pizza

-White Cheddar With Bacon & Walnuts Pizza
 
Beyond pepperoni: This White Cheddar
Pizza includes bacon and walnuts.
 

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NEW PRODUCT: Alligetter Retrieves Hard-To-Reach Items


  People who drop one too many things down the garbage disposal may wish to spend $19.99 for the Alligetter retrieval tool. It keeps fingers and hands safe, and eliminates the “yuck” factor of reaching in to, say, the garbage disposal (according to research, there are more germs in a sink and garbage disposal than in a typical toilet). The Alligetter turns the retrieval chore into a kind of amusement park game, but instead of a toy, you get your spoon or jewelry back. The Alligetter is an ergonomic, trigger-activated grabber attached to a 12-inch-long handle with a directional LED light that shines into the area to help locate the object. A combination of a flap spreader, serrated teeth and grabbing tip can help remove rings, coins, large seeds, shards of glass and much more. The teeth are uniquely designed to pinch any foreign object and pull it out easily and quickly. (The gerbil, however, may not enjoy it.) The Alligetter can retrieve objects from under the stove or refrigerator, behind furniture and beds, even between car seats and consoles. According to the manufacturer, there is currently no product available to the consumer which incorporates an LED light and can easily and safely remove objects from a garbage disposal and other hard-to-reach places. Find it at Alligetter.com.
 

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