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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 July, 2009

PRODUCT: Glutenfreeda Gluten Free Burritos



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A gluten free burrito bonanza. Photo by Hannah Kaminsky | THE NIBBLE.

 

People cutting out wheat don’t need to be deprived of their burritos. Glutenfreeda has introduced four frozen burrito flavors:

  • Breakfast Burrito
  • Chicken & Cheese
  • Vegetarian Bean & Cheese
  • Vegetarian & Dairy Free (vegan)

  • The burritos are easily microwaved. Breakfast Burrito, with well-seasoned ground beef and potatoes, is the most flavorful and our favorite, followed by Vegetarian Bean & Cheese. Chicken & Cheese and Vegetarian & Dairy Free needed spicing up with some condiments—but there’s always a ton of salsa around THE NIBBLE offices.

    Glutenfreedas Burritos are made from all natural and organic ingredients and, of course, contain no trans fats, no hydrogenated oils and no GMOs. The four-ounce burritos have a MSRP of $2.99 to $3.29. See retailer locations.

  • See reviews of delicious gluten free foods on TheNibble.com.
  • Comments

    PRODUCT: Probiotic Iced Tea From Red Mango



    red-mango-tea-230

    A glass of probiotic tea a day may keep the
    doctor away. For that matter, so may a Red
    Mango frozen yogurt!

     

    What could be better than a refreshing glass of antioxidant iced tea? One that’s been fortified with probiotics! The Red Mango frozen yogurt chain has added probiotic-fortified iced teas to its menu of probiotic frozen yogurt. Probiotics, which are beneficial bacteria that live in the human gastrointestinal tract, are believed to benefit the immune system and help regulate digestion. A recent study conducted by Danisco shows that they may also reduce the incidence of cold and flu-like symptoms in children by 50%.

    The all-natural teas, available in Lemonade Green Tea, Vanilla Black Tea and Wildberry Hibiscus Tea (herbal), use a new patented strain of probiotic called GanedenBC30, which will also be used in the frozen yogurts by September. This patented strain has been shown in clinical tests to have superior stability, which allows it to survive the journey into the digestive system, where it can be beneficial.

    WHAT WE HADN’T THOUGHT ABOUT UNTIL TODAY: While many foods are labeled “probiotic,” and quite a few yogurts are probiotic or otherwise carry the “Live Active Cultures” seal from the National Yogurt Association, these terms only refer to the amount of live bacteria present in the manufactured yogurt. Many of these strains do not survive the journey through hostile environments to the stomach (temperature, acid, moisture levels). The genius of GanedenBC30 is that it is introduced to the body in spore form; when the spore gets to the intestines and deems that everything is A-OK, the beneficial bacteria inside are freed to multiply and do their thing.

    Here are the four things to look for in an effective probiotic, according to Ganaden:

    1. Survivability. The probiotic needs to survive the harsh acids of your stomach in order to arrive in your intestines.
    2. Safety. An effective probiotic will have published clinical studies on its specific bacterial strain. Often, probiotic manufacturers claim safety studies conducted on strains different from their own.
    3. Colonization. Even though a probiotic is able to survive your stomach acids and is safe, it still needs to be able to colonize, or multiply, to have a positive effect on your digestive health. Choose a probiotic that is able to colonize your intestinal tract with beneficial bacteria.
    4. Quantity. Look for probiotic-fortified foods or supplements that contain at least one billion or more probiotic cells per serving.

    The probiotic teas have five billion cells per serving and are made to order. The probiotics are mixed into the tea right before it is served, to ensure efficacy. They have fewer than 50 calories per 8-ounce serving and are sweetened with cane sugar. They are priced at $2.75 for a 16-ounce cup, and $3.25 for a 24-ounce cup. Our favorite was the Vanilla Black Tea—it had the most tea flavor. Wildberry Hibiscus was our second fave. We love hibiscus, and this tea is brewed with real hibiscus flowers. But the racy red flavor and acidity of real hibiscus is overpowered by the (admittedly more mainstream) wildberry flavor. Lemonade Green Tea needed double the amount of lemon flavor. These teas are brewed fresh and therefore not subject to a uniform quality control. We’ll have to try it again to see if Lemonade Green Tea was brewed with too little tea, or if the flavor itself needs some added oomph.

    If you don’t live near a Red Mango, you can purchase GanadenBC30 in capsule form via Sustenex, which is carried by many drugstores and vitamin shops. A two-month supply is $19.95, and there’s a free offer at GetSustenex.com.

  • Become a probiotic pro: Read our Introduction To Probiotic Food.
  • More on probiotics, including foods that contain probiotics.
  • Check out our Probiotics Glossary.
  • Comments

    Tip of the Day: Goat Cheese “Caprese”



    Mozzarella, tomato and basil, the classic “Caprese salad” (named after the Italian island of Capri) is a popular first course. For a change, substitute goat cheese. Its creaminess pairs beautifully with the sweet acidity of tomatoes. For a beautiful dish, slice circles from a log of goat cheese and plate with sliced heirloom tomatoes and fresh basil leaves; drizzle with fine olive oil and balsamic vinegar. Variations include serving the sliced goat cheese with a “salad” of red and yellow tomato wedges (or sliced cherry tomatoes) in a red wine vinaigrette. Or, you can stack the cheese, basil and sliced tomatoes in a “napoleon.” When tomatoes aren’t in season, substitute roasted red peppers.

    Comments

    CONTEST: Heinz Ketchup Wholesome Memories



    Do you have happy ketchup memories….great cookouts, playing vampire with ketchup “blood,” the first time you made dinner for your parents? Share your memories, and maybe you’ll be one of the 57 who win a Growing Wholesome Memories Kit, with a digital camera to capture new family memories. The kit includes actress Josie Bissett’s book, Making Memories, Heinz Ketchup, kitchenware, recipes, HeinzSeeds, garden tools and more. Estimated value: $250. Entries are due by 8/31/09.

    Visit the Heinz website for contest rules and to enter your memory. For each memory received, Heinz will make a donation to the National Gardening Association, a nonprofit organization that works to sustain the connection between people, plants and the environment through gardening.

  • Check out THE NIBBLE’s reviews of 42 different ketchups. Some are so wonderful, we recommend them as gifts.
  •  

    heinz-ketchup-230

    If you’ve got the memories, you could
    take home the prize.



    Heinz Ketchup Trivia:

  • Once advertised as the “slowest ketchup in the West,” Heinz Ketchup exits the glass bottle at 0.028 miles per hour.
  • The secret to releasing the ketchup more quickly from the glass bottle: Apply a firm tap to the “57” on the neck of the bottle.
  • The company no longer makes green ketchup—only red.
  • Comments

    TIP OF THE DAY: Spicing Up Store-Bought



    If you buy store-made salads—tuna, chicken, egg, potato and macaroni salad, cole slaw and others— there’s generally room for improvement. Add diced onion for flavor and celery for crunch…lemon or lime zest or a squeeze of lemon or lime for spark…fresh tarragon, chives, basil or parsley for fresh herb flavor…dried celery seed or toasted sesame seed for nuance…or a tablespoon of mustard, wasabi, vinegar or capers for spice or tang. Select two or three seasonings to layer flavor.

    Comments

    RECIPE: Waldorf Tuna Salad



    waldorf_salad

    From the Waldorf-Astoria Hotel to your lunch
    box: the Waldorf tuna salad. Photo courtesy of StarKist.

     

    Waldorf Salad was created in 1896 by Oscar Tschirky, the maître d’hôtel (dining room manager) of New York’s Waldorf-Astoria Hotel. Containing only apples, celery and mayonnaise on a bed of lettuce, it was an instant hit. Chopped walnuts were later added to the recipe, and subsequent variations included grapes. You can update this old-fashioned favorite of the “ladies who lunch” by adding tuna, which gives it universal appeal. Here’s a quick recipe from StarKist. Prep Time: 10 Minutes. Serves 2.

    Ingredients
    – 2 cans (4 ounces) tuna, drained and chunked (or one 6.4-ounce pouch or two 2.6-ounce pouches)
    – 2 tablespoon lemon juice
    – 1/3 cup raisins
    – 1/2 cup mayonnaise
    – 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
    – 3 apples, medium, cored and cubed
    – 1 cup celery, chopped
    – 1/3 cup walnuts or pecans, chopped
    – 1/4 cup milk
    – Lettuce leaves

    Directions
    1. In a large bowl, toss together apples and lemon juice. Add celery, raisins, walnuts and tuna; toss gently.
    2. In a medium bowl, combine mayonnaise, milk, and cinnamon; blend well. Pour dressing over apple-tuna mixture; toss gently to coat.
    3. Serve over greens.

  • How about Barack Obama’s favorite tuna salad recipe?
  • Go gourmet with a recipe for seared sesame tuna with lemongrass and lychee coulis.
  • Our editor’s favorite tuna recipe is Daniel Boulud’s tuna tartare.
  • Comments

    CONTEST: $25,000 For A French’s Mustard Recipe



    If you’ve got an original, very tasty and easy-to-make recipe that uses mustard, hot sauce, Worcestershire sauce or another French’s product, French’s Foods invites you to submit it to the 2009 Cook-Off for your shot at the grand prize of $25,000 and a 6-month supply of French’s products. Five finalists, determined by online voters and a panel of judges, will compete in a live cook-off to be held in New York City.

    The four runners-up will each receive a new 7-quart Cuisinart Stand Mixer (we’re dying for one—the SRP is $725) and a 6-month supply of French’s products. Alas, food writers and other food professionals (chefs, restaurateurs and recipe developers) are not eligible to enter.

    All submissions must be entered by October 31, 2009, so click over to Frenchs.com for details.

     

    frenchs_contest

    Will your recipe take home the 2009 $25,000 grand prize?

    Comments

    TOP PICK OF THE WEEK: The Best Ice Cream



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    Jeni’s uses fresh, local ingredients such as ripe summer strawberries in its Strawberry Buttermilk
    Ice Cream.

     

    July is National Ice Cream Month. We began the month with Ruby et Violette’s cookie dough ice creams; we’re ending it with two more all-stars: Jeni’s Splendid Ice Creams in Columbus, Ohio and Silver Moon Desserts in Los Gatos, California (Silicon Valley, south of San Francisco). Each is very distinctive and worth the treat of having it shipped to wherever you happen to be. Jeni’s focuses on local and organic seasonal ingredients, Silver Moon on liqueur-flavored ice cream and sorbet.

    If sending away for ice cream sounds unusual to you, it’s no different from mail ordering Riviera pears from Harry & David in Oregon, chocolate from Larry Burdick in New Hampshire or USDA prime beef from Allen Brothers in Chicago. Sure, you can get a decent pear, box of chocolate or steak in your town, but when you want a special treat, get it from the best source possible.

    So if you adore, luxuriate in, relish, revel in and savor ice cream as we do—or know someone who would rather get a gift of ice cream than, say, that box of pears or steak—read about two very special ice cream artisans—individuals or duos whose passion for the best ice cream led them to set up shop and make it themselves.

  • Read more about Jeni’s and Silver Moon ice cream and their wonderful, creative flavors in the full review.
  • See another of our favorite artisan ice cream makers, Ciao Bella (also a Top Pick Of The Week).
  • This week’s Top Pick ice creams may come in interesting varieties, but take a look at these extreme ice cream flavors.
  • Comments

    TIP OF THE DAY: Ginger Beer Cheer



    Ginger ale lovers who want more spice in their life should get to know ginger beer, a more intensely-flavored, spicier brew. Historically fermented, today’s ginger beers, like Reed’s Original Ginger Brew, are alcohol-free, sophisticated soft drinks that can be enjoyed straight from the bottle, or as cocktail mixers. Try a Moscow Mule, with 2 ounces of vodka, 1 tablespoon of lime juice and a bottle of ginger beer. Add the vodka and lime juice to a highball glass filled with ice. Fill with ginger beer and garnish with a lime wedge.

    Comments

    RECIPE: Orange Madeleines & More

    Madeleines are small buttery cakes with a distinctive shell shape. This French delight is named for Mary Magdalen (the French name for Magdalen is Madeleine). Food historians believe that the recipe originated with nuns from a convent once dedicated to her, as nuns traditionally raised money by baking and selling sweets. Many people liken the madeleine to pound cake, although it is actually a sponge cake (génoise). Madeleines are easy to bake, requiring only a special madeleine pan with shell shaped depressions.

    Recipe #1
    Here’s a recipe flavored with orange liqueur, courtesy of GranGala Triple Orange Liqueur. It was created by Tony Aiazzi, former Executive Chef at one of our favorite restaurants, Aureole, in New York City.

    If you love madeleines but don’t have time to bake, look for Donsuemor madeleines.

     

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    Don’t be intimidated by their shape: madeleines are easier to make than they look. Photo courtesy Donsuemor Madeleines.

    Don and Susie Morris started baking madeleines in a small kitchen in Berkeley in 1976; more than 30 years later, their company is baking 15,000 madeleines an hour. Their all-natural madeleines are available in Traditional, Lemon Zest, Chocolate, Traditional Dipped and Chocolate Dipped. The cakes, which are certified kosher (by Kosher Los Angeles), are distributed nationally at leading retailers including Albertson’s, HEB, Peet’s and Whole Foods, plus specialty and natural food stores. You can see more retailers and also order them online directly from Donsuemor.

    Recipe #2
    We followed one of Donsuemor’s website recipe suggestions and it is now on our list of “signature” house desserts: madeleine ice cream sandwiches. Split the madeleine in half and fill with ice cream. Gild the lily by pressing chopped nuts, chocolate shavings, mini chips or other favorite garnish around the edges of the ice cream. Madeleines freeze beautifully; you can make these in advance of the party and keep them well wrapped. The biggest challenge is to keep your hands off of them until serving time.

  • Take a look at our Cake Section for more great recipes.
  • How many types of cakes are there? Find out in our Cake Glossary.
  • Comments

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