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THE NIBBLE’s Gourmet News & Views

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

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PRODUCT REVIEW: Southern Alps Dried Fruit

Not from Switzerland or even from New Zealand (home of the Southern Alps mountain range), Southern Alps is a U.K. company with an attractive line of artisan products. Selecting the finest fruits from around the world, Southern Alps makes “slow dried” fruit, fruit and nut mixes, and includes the fruits in granola and muesli. The fruits are a find for elegant grab-and-go snacking, and there is a beautiful dried fruit gift box. Muesli lovers fond of bananas and figs may find a new favorite in Muesli No.5.

As is often the case with specialty food producers, what started out as a healthy, homemade food has become a major success. Founders Andrew and Lotte Garner started making their own muesli at home, then moved on to selling it at their local farmers’ market in the U.K. That was in 2001. After a friend suffered a severe reaction to the sulphur dioxide used in dried fruit (some, not all, dried fruit products use the additive), Lotte, who has a master’s degree in mechanical engineering, created a warm-air fruit and vegetable dryer. Through experimentation, the Garners found that by drying high-quality fruits slowly, they retained maximum flavor and nutritional value without the need to add sugar or preservatives. The fruits were a hit and the tiny venture became a company with fans around the world.

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Sweet, thick slices of dried green apples.

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