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

PRODUCT: Reusable Produce Bags A Greener Alternative

Do you carry your own grocery tote to the supermarket instead of taking bags that just get thrown away? Good for you! Another way for environmentally-concerned people to save the environment: reusable produce bags let you BYO to the supermarket, so you aren’t throwing plastic into the landfill every time you buy lemons, apples and cucumbers.

The bags are made of fine mesh with a drawstring, are machine washable and virtually weightless. They’re see through, so cashiers can scan or input the code. Using these three bags just once a week can save as many as 150 plastic bags per year!

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Go green with reusable produce bags.

Sold in sets of three bags for $7.50, two of the bags measure 11.5 X 14.25 inches and one is 14 X 16.25 inches to hold large items. Get some for yourself and note them on your holiday list as a good, inexpensive green-conscious gift. At 3Bags.com.

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RECIPES: Pairing Hors d’Oeuvres With Gourmet Tortilla Chips & Cocktails

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For a twist on the campfire classic, try these Cinnamon S’Mores.
Good tortilla chips are always welcome at a party. But there is so much more to tortilla chips than salsa, guacamole and Margaritas. To celebrate their four new tortilla chip flavors, Food Should Taste Good, a company that specializes in gourmet flavored corn chips, (so good, they were a NIBBLE Top Pick of the Week—read our review), has glamorized chips and dips by hiring a top French chef, Florent Tourondel of New York City’s BLT Market, to create party fare. Tourondel and his team combined the flavored chips with gourmet dips and cocktail recipes. We attended a party with four “tasting stations”: Check out the recipe links below, and host your own pairing party. There’s every level of sophistication, from a cheese fondue with amber ale to cinnamon s’mores with a cappuccino cocktail.

  • Cheddar Chive Fondue & Microbrew Ale
  • Cinnamon S’Mores & Cappuccino Cocktail
  • Creamy Guacamole & Watermelon Basil Martini
  • Tomato Mango Chutney & Mango Rum Punch
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    PRODUCT: Oikos Organic Greek Yogurt

    When you’re Gary Hirshberg, founder and CEO of Stonyfield Yogurt, the daily choice of yogurt is pretty vast. So who’d have guessed, after looking at the Stonyfield Yogurt empire, that his favorite treat as a boy was authentic Greek yogurt, made by his next door neighbors? Last year, he launched his own brand of Greek yogurt, under the Oikos Organic Greek Yogurt label. Oikos is the Greek word for house, and also the root of the word for ecology, which is fundamental to the organic, environment-supportive Stonyfield brand. The Oikos line has 0% fat, is certified organic and kosher and is available in Plain plus Blueberry, Honey, Strawberry and Vanilla.

    Oikos Greek Yogurt is thicker than regular yogurt, but not as thick as FAGE Total Greek yogurt or another relative newcomer, Chobani probiotic Greek yogurt, both of which can pass for thick sour cream. There’s a big difference in the texture—with Oikos being more like “normal” yogurt—as well as in the flavor. Whereas FAGE Total and Chobani can sometimes pass for sour cream (wishful thinking), Oikos is definitely yogurt.

    Read the full review and find out what makes a yogurt “Greek.”

    • Find more reviews of our favorite yogurts in THE NIBBLE’S Yogurt Section.
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    Oikos Organic Greek Yogurt is fat free, organic and kosher. Photo by Hannah Kaminsky | THE NIBBLE.

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    TIP OF THE DAY: Make Waffles For International Waffle Day

    It’s International Waffle Day! Make your favorite waffles for breakfast, lunch or dessert. For a savory main course, top waffles with sour cream or crème fraîche and salmon caviar; with smoked salmon or poached salmon, sour cream and dill; with poached chicken or seafood and dill; with creamed chicken or seafood and mushrooms. For dessert, top with ice cream, chocolate or caramel sauce, dulce de leche, custard sauce and fresh fruit, or simply a touch of powdered sugar or jam. But don’t waffle-choose one!

  • You won’t believe how many different types of waffles there are! See them in our Pancake & Waffle Glossary.
  • Use a waffle iron that makes heart-shaped waffles (plus a recipe from Jacques Pépin)
  • From Villaware: Mickey Mouse waffles for the kids, beautiful rosette waffles for the aesthetes.
  • Great pancake and waffle mix from San Saba River pecan Company.
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    TRENDS: Whole Foods Over-Stretches The Definition Of “Local”

    Most food-centric people are interested in “local” foods these days: to support their local family farms; to eat foods in season, when they taste the best; and for environmental reasons, because locally-grown food doesn’t have to be transported long distances, which saves on fossil fuel. While “local” has become a hot marketing word, we think that Whole Foods Market has taken the concept a bit too far. As we walked past the bags of coffee at one of the New York Whole Foods stores this afternoon, we saw two brands produced by New York-area companies, heralded with “local” signs. Militant locavores—restrain yourselves from marching on Whole Foods Market and tearing these signs down. Instead, if you concur with our grievance, complain to the store manager. coffee-plantation-230
    A coffee plantation in Brazil. All coffee beans sold in the continental U.S. are grown elsewhere and shipped here. They are not “local” foods. Photo by Daniel Zandonadi | SXC.
    What’s the grievance? No coffee is grown anywhere in the Continental U.S., so therefore, no coffee can be a “local” product in the sense that the industry uses the term, to apply to products that are farmed, raised or fished locally (only Whole Foods Hawaii can promote Kona and a few other local coffee varieties). Typically, coffee beans for American brands are shipped green to the U.S. from the semitropical country in which they are grown, whether they’re destined for Maxwell House or an artisan label. They do get roasted locally, for freshness; but that’s like saying that macadamia nuts from Australia that are roasted in New York are a “local” product.

    So these beans were roasted in New York instead of Seattle. That’s not what “local” means, and to say so is duping customers who want to do the right thing but don’t stop to think that coffee isn’t locally grown. If WFM wants to flag a brand of coffee that roasts the beans locally as “local,” then they’ve got to flag every ice cream, yogurt, jam and other food manufactured in the region as local, regardless of where the ingredients come from. At least the local ice cream and yogurt makers are using local milk!

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