THE NIBBLE BLOG: Products, Recipes & Trends In Specialty Foods
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Archive for January, 2009

SUPER BOWL: Splurge On Pickles

Don’t blow your New Year’s resolutions on fattening Super Bowl food this Sunday. Buy yourself a Pickle Pack from Rick’s Picks and indulge on low-calorie, high fiber, high-taste artisan pickles. The all-cuke Pickle Power Pack is currently on sale for $29.95; although if you’re in the chips, we also love the Pickle Party Pack for $41.95 (two types of pickled green beans, smoked okra and pickled cukes).

These vibrant veggies are brined without salt or sugar—but with the best herbs, spices and vinegar. They’re a NIBBLE Top Pick Of The Week.

– Read our review of Rick’s Picks.

– Check out the different types of pickles in our Pickle Glossary.

Kool Gherks

KegWorks.com (Dot Com Holdings of Buffalo, Inc)

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NEWS: No Surprise ~ Restaurant Closings Are Up

Starbucks The national restaurant count has slipped for first time in eight years, according to a news release from The NPD Group, a market research firm. Typically, the number of U.S. restaurants grows each year, with increases of 1.8 percent in 2007 and 0.4 percent in 2006, for example. The number of total restaurant locations in 2008 contracted from 2007 by 0.1 percent, driven by closures of independent restaurants, including such prominent names as Emeril’s in Atlanta and San Domenico in New York, and units within large chains such as Starbucks and Bennigan’s. While family-dining and fine-dining segments showed drops, casual-dining and quick-service locations showed small but positive growth in 2008, NPD data shows. The industry is battling a slowdown in consumer spending, especially for dining out, as well as escalating operating costs.

Free Coffeemaker - 120x60

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DISCOUNT: Heavenly Soufflé For Valentine’s Day

Want to send your sweetie (or Mom and Dad, for that matter) a sweet soufflé Valentine? It’s more creative than a box of chocolate, and in addition to Chocolate and Chocolate Mint, there are Raspberry and Pumpkin soufflés. Go to HeavenlySouffle.com and use coupon code Val2009.

Read our review of Heavenly Soufflé, a NIBBLE Top Pick Of The Week.

Find more Valentine gifts in the February issue of THE NIBBLE specialty food magazine.

Heavenly Souffle

Bake Me A Wish!, bakemeawish, gourmet cake, valentine cake

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PRODUCT: VitaMuffin VitaTops

VitaMuffin Muffin Tops People who like muffins, chocolate, muffin tops and reduced-calorie foods have discovered VitaMuffins (read our review). The 100-calorie chocolate muffin tops are so popular that VitaMuffin expanded the options from the original Deep Chocolate to Chocolate Fig, Dark Chocolate Pomegranate, Double Chocolate Dream (with white chips), Fudgy Peanut Butter Chip, and Triple Chocolate Chunk. There’s also a Sugar-Free/Low Carb Velvety Chocolate.

We recently tasted all seven chocolate varieties in one sitting and found the original Deep Chocolate to have the most satisfying chocolate flavor (it contains chocolate chips). In retrospect, that’s not much of a surprise: the semisweet chocolate flavor of the chips is taken away when white chips, PB chips, pomegranate and fig are substituted in the other flavors.

A box of 12 two-ounce individually-wrapped muffin tops is $16.00 ($18.50 for sugar-free) at VitaMuffin.com. They freeze beautifully. The all-natural VitaTops are also made in Banana Nut, BlueBran (blueberry), Golden Corn, CranBran, MultiBran and AppleBerry. The non-chocolate varieties retail at $14.45 per dozen and most have 80 calories.

Vitalicious, the manufacturer apprises us that you can walk off the 80-100 calorie VitaTops in 13-15 minutes. Share a muffin top, coffee and a stroll with a friend.

A box of chocolate VitaTops goes on our list of Valentine gifts for people you love too much to send a box of chocolate. Gift certificates are available. Read the full review at http://www.thenibble.com/reviews/nutri/breadstuffs/vitalicious-vitamuffin.asp.

Vitalicious

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CONTEST: Great American Pie Show

How good is your best pie recipe? The First Annual “Great American Pie Show,” featuring weatherman and bon vivant Al Roker from NBC’s Today Show, will take place April 24-25 in the Branson (Missouri) Convention Center. If your recipe is the winner, you can finally get your piece of the pie, which includes a first prize of $2,500 cash plus a 4-day/3-night fun-filled vacation for two in Branson.

Enter your recipe in any of four pie categories—Fruit Pies, Nut Pies, Refrigerator/Freezer Pies and Pudding/Cream/Custard Pies. The contest rules and entry form are at GreatAmericanPieShow.com. Finalists will be invited to Branson on April 24 and 25, where their pies will be presented to the judges

Al Roker
Al Roker himself.

Valentine's Day Cookies

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