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

TOP PICK: Daphne Baking Company

This raspberry tart in a chocolate crust could be in your freezer, ready to serve in 15 minutes. All you need to do is add some whipped cream, mascarpone, fresh raspberries or a few chocolate curls.
Sometimes a cookie or slice of cake won’t do: You simply pine for a great tart. You wish you could transport yourself to the pâtisseries of Paris, the best tea rooms of London or that little bakery where you enjoyed so many memorable nibbles. You think that if you only had the time, you’d pick up some of the best butter and a fresh sack of flour from a great mill, drag out the rolling pin and tart tins and fill those crusts with—oh, where shall we start? Chocolate? Lemon? Macadamia? Passionfruit? Pumpkin? Raspberry?

Yearn no more, foodie friends: Daphne has anticipated your needs; all of these tarts can be in your freezer tomorrow. And what lovely tarts they are! All natural and made from top ingredients; just thaw and serve, plain or with a selection of traditional toppings like whipped cream, or with creative garnishes (suggested on the box). You can feast alone or dazzle guests, send memorable gifts or enjoy indulgent snacks for two (each box contains two 3.5-inch-diameter tarts). You can also buy the delicious, buttery tart shells unfilled, and add your own favorite filling.

The tarts are not just tasty but beautifully packaged. Mom won’t complain that you didn’t take the time to bake personally, should a shipment arrive for Mother’s Day. Read the full review, and send your Queen of Hearts these Queens of Tarts.

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RECIPES: Tequila Cocktails

Tequila is North America’s first indigenous distilled spirit, a strong distilled alcoholic liquor. It’s made from the blue agave plant, and is produced via double-distillation in the area around the city of Tequila, located in the western Mexico state of Jalisco. The agave plant grows exceptionally well in the volcanic soil of the region, and Mexican law dictates that tequila can only be produced in Jalisco. Mezcal, the precursor of tequila, can be made from five different varieties of agave, is single-distilled, and is made mostly in the Mexican state of Oaxaca.

The traditional drink of choice for Cinco de Mayo, tequila can be used in the classic margarita or more creative concoctions. The Nibble has put together a collection of fruity, spicy and margarita drinks for your Cinco de Mayo party. Drink up!

Fruity Tequila Cocktails

Cabo Lima
Melon Mambo

Spicy Tequila Cocktails

Cabo Almeja
Cabo Jalapeno
Gazpachito Shot


Melon Margarita
Spicy Yubari Margarita

Turn up the heat with a spicy Cabo Jalapeño cocktail.
Read more about the History Of Tequila and the different Types Of Tequila.

The orginal sugar free, o calorie, 0 sugar cocktail mix


TOP PICK: America’s Best Artisan Chocolatiers ~ Part IV

Bonbons and truffles from Bespoke Chocolates. Bespoke is a British term for custom-made, applicable to all of the lovely chocolates in this article.
When we were a New York City teen with a palate for good chocolate, we enjoyed Teuscher and Corné de la Toison d’Or, two classic Belgian brands that served a discriminating population. Then came the Godiva revolution—the real Godiva, imported from Belgium, made for Europeans. It was a very different experience before it came to be manufactured here and was Americanized. In its luxurious gold ballotin, for many years, to many Americans, Godiva meant “fine chocolate.”

Then, along with the rest of the food revolution that began in the 1970s, young American chefs and other culinary artists developed a new American cuisine. Along with it came artisan baking, cheesemaking and confectionary. In 1973, amid the Belgian chocolate shops on Madison Avenue, Tom Krön opened Krön Chocolatier with a new American vision of fine chocolate. Other young chocolatiers followed, melding European technique with American flair. Today, America is much like Europe, with numerous cities and towns boasting a notable artisan confectioner.

The chocolatiers in this article are a joy for chocolate lovers. Thanks to the internet, you can visit stores across the country and sample their wares. In Part IV of her sampling excursion, THE NIBBLE’s chocolate sleuth, Stephanie Zonis, presents her latest favorites for your consideration—and in enough time to order them for Mother’s Day gifts. Read the full review, and enjoy her chocolate discoveries.

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TIP OF THE DAY: Butter Ramekins

Instead of bringing butter to the table in a rectangular brick, serve it in ramekins, like some fine restaurants do. In addition to plain butter, you can easily make and serve different flavored butters with style. Use a knife to score decorative cross-hatches on the top; and if you’re of an artistic nature, add a few fresh herb leaves or capers to the center or edges. Or, sprinkle the top of sweet butter with sea salt.

– Find recipes for flavored butters.
– Read the history of butter.
– Learn all about butter in our seven-page Butter Glossary.
– Use these butter tips.

D'Artagnan Truffle Butter

D’Artagnan black and white truffle butters.



RECIPES: Elegant Tofu

Koketsu’s Spice-Seared Tofu.

To any suspicious foodies out there who think of tofu as a little more than the poor man’s protein: Executive Chef Craig Koketsu of Park Avenue Spring and Quality Meats has recently proven you wrong. As it happens, April is “Soy Foods Month,” and in honor of the sometimes-stigmatized soy product Koketsu created and executed a tofu-centric gourmet menu, featuring the ingredient in an appetizer, entree and dessert. Click here to read more about Koketsu and his ingenious experiment with tofu’s taste and texture.

Save 20% on one item with Coupon Code: H4E7B3W


RECIPES: A Time to Grill

Turns out there is no such thing as Grill Season. Serious grillers and so-called barbecue-tionists use their grills all year round, according to a recent survey by The Hearth, Patio and Barbecue Association. Still, when the rains pass and the weather gets warm, we find ourselves drawn out of doors…into the streets…and, inevitably, toward the wafting smell of charcoal. Click here for a round-up of 15 grill recipes that recently won a place in Crisco’s Cooking Spray Hall of Fame. Recipes include Pineapple Ribs, a Grilled Sweet Potato Salad, and Cardamom-Scented Tropical Fruit Skewers. Grill away– but don’t be too surprised to find a NIBBLE editor wandering up your driveway.

-Recipes: The Grilling Hall of Fame.
-Master the basics of barbecue with our comprehensive BBQ Guide.

Grilled Avocado Shrimp Boats.


GOURMET CONTEST: Say It with Cheesecake

White Chocolate Raspberry Truffle Cheesecake
We don’t need too much encouragement to indulge in cheesecake. But The Cheesecake Factory is offering perks to entice customers to visit and visit again. (That is, perks on top of the permanent perk of the restaurant’s consistently good you-know-what.) Stop into your local Cheesecake Factory before Mother’s Day–that’s May 10, for the deliquent children out there–and you’ll receive two gift cards: the first for a complimentary small plate or snack with the purchase of any two entrees of $9.95 or more; the second, for a complimentary slice of cheesecake with every $30 purchase. Think about it, friends: eat a lot of food, and you will be rewarded with a lot of free cheesecake.
The Cheesecake Factory is also holding the Share Your Celebration Sweepstakes. Submit a photo that captures a celebratory moment and you’ll be registered to win a four-day trip for four to Celebration, Florida.

Click here to learn more about special offers at the Cheesecake Factory and the Share Your Celebration Sweepstakes!



CHARITY AUCTION: Win Dinner with “Top Chef” Judge Toby Young

There are many wonderful rewards for those who give generously to charities. Some of them go beyond feeling good about helping others, and reward you for your generosity with swag…the best of which might be celebrity swag, rubbing shoulders with the famous. Starlight Children’s Foundation and British food critic Toby Young invite you to help Starlight continue to provide ongoing support for seriously ill children and their families, by bidding on a once-in-a-lifetime foodie experience that includes joining Toby as he reviews Tom Colicchio’s latest restaurant in Las Vegas. Toby Young
Photo: Critique Tom Colicchio’s new resto with food critic Toby Young.
If you liked the snarky Brit who subbed for Ted Allen on this past season of “Top Chef,” go for a chance to join him for dinner, with a guest of your choice, and help him review the new Craftsteak resto at the MGM Grand Hotel. (But seriously, folks—is Toby going to give the “Top Chef” Head Judge a bad review after TC made him a “name” to America’s foodies…and might invite him back again? And given how opinionated TY is, how can anyone “help” him? Plus, Craftsteak already has proven its concept in New York City to a demanding audience, so the risk of disaster is minimized.)

Nevertheless, it is a moment with bragging rights that benefits a great cause. So if you’ve got the cash to bid, here’s what you can win, as you make a difference in the lives of very ill kids and their families:

– A 2-night stay at the Las Vegas Hilton (1 room, double occupancy) for Friday and Saturday, May 1st and 2nd.
– Dinner for you and a guest with “Top Chef“ judge Toby Young on Saturday, May 2nd at Tom Colicchio’s new Craftsteak restaurant at the MGM Grand Hotel, Las Vegas.
– Exclusive signed memorabilia, including a Season 5 “Top Chef” t-shirt signed by the entire group of chefs and a “Top Chef” cookbook signed by Tom Colicchio, delivered to you by Toby at the dinner.

Toby put together a really funny video to explain and promote it, which you can enjoy at

Visit to bid. The auction ends April 25 at 19:00 PT. The current bid is just $510, but you know how sneaky those eBay bidders are. All proceeds benefit Starlight Children’s Foundation.



GOURMET TRAVEL: Visit Switzerland For The Cheese

Swiss Cow
Get a mooove on and visit me in Switzerland.
It’s a question we’ve all pondered upon biting into a perfectly sharp Parmigiano-Reggiano or spreading a fresh chèvre: How is the very existence of this magically varied product—cheese!—even possible? Famed NYC landmark Murray’s Cheese Shop wants to help you find the answers. This June, the shop’s director of education will lead an educational cheese expedition through Switzerland’s central region. Cross the Alps with with a small group of fellow turophiles to meet the cheese-makers—the families—behind a few of Murray’s favorite Swiss cheeses. Learn how the landscape shapes the region’s cheese-making tradition—and, ultimately, how culture contributes to the creation of the cheeses we love.

For more information on the tour, call ext. 12.

– Study up! Prepare to impress the cheese-makers by mastering THE NIBBLE’s Cheese Glossary.

– Think you know enough about Swiss cheeses? Test yourself.

– Fondue originated in the Swiss canton of Neuchâtel. To savor the tastes of Switzerland from home, try this classic recipe for Swiss Fondue.



FOOD HOLIDAYS: It’s Grilled Cheese Month

Only the Cheese Grinch would say no to grilled cheese. Even if you’re lactose intolerant, you can try the far more tolerable goat’s, sheep’s and buffalo’s milk cheeses. (Grilled mozzarella di bufala—yum!) So, let’s celebrate!

– Tips To Make The Perfect Grilled Cheese Sandwich
– Gourmet Grilled Cheese Sandwich Recipes
Mascarpone Grilled Cheese Sandwich With Chocolate Soup
Fiscalini Farmstead’s San Joaquin Gold—A Great Grilling Cheese
– Discover Cypress Grove Chevre Goat’s Milk Cheddar
– Cabot Reduced Fat Cheddar—We Live On It!

A Tuscan-style grilled cheese, with Fontina,
mozzarella, grilled vegetables and fresh basil.



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