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

PRODUCT: WowBacon Microwave Bacon Cooker

wow-bacon

Crisp bacon emerges from the microwave.
Pour off the fat at the bottom of the cup.

Here’s a “green” approach to cooking bacon—and a less messy one, too. WowBacon microwave bacon cooker cooks crisp bacon in the microwave, without the greasy, spattering stovetop mess or the need to drain the bacon on paper towels.

How’s that green?

Based on National Pork Council Data, Americans buy 500 million pounds of bacon a year to cook at home, and use 3 billion paper towels to drain it on and clean up the bacon grease. Put end to end, the towels would wrap around the world 20 times.

The NPC did not provide an estimate of how many trees were felled to make the paper towels, but you can guess that it’s more than a few. With WowBacon, the fat drips to the bottom of the cup so the bacon doesn’t lie in the grease; the bacon holder lifts up and you dispose of the fat at the bottom of the cup.

You can pick up a WowBacon unit at WowBacon.com or on Amazon.com.

Think ahead: It could be the solution to your holiday gift challenges.

Love bacon? Try Skillet Bacon Spread or make your own with our recipe.

 

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TIP OF THE DAY: Double Fruit Dessert

It’s easy to create a special dessert in minutes. Sauté seasonal fruit (now, stone fruit like peaches, plums and nectarines; in the fall, apples, pears and quince) in unsalted butter until soft; then place in a shallow bowl. In a small saucepan or microwave, heat a cup of your favorite jam or jelly (not preserves), splash with a tablespoon of rum or brandy and pour over the fruit. It’s easy enough to make every day, and special enough for company. The better the jam, the better the sauce—less expensive jams are mostly sugar. You can garnish with whipped cream and/or serve with a shortbread cookie.

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PRODUCT: Dasani Essence Unsweetened Flavored Water

We carry our own water bottle, filled from the tap, to save the environment from the impact of all those water bottles (1,500 are thrown away every second, according to the Earth Policy Institute). But a flavored treat we’ve been enjoying since its debut earlier this year is Dasani Essence, bottled water with flavor but no sweeteners, no preservatives, no calories.

Unsweetened flavored water beverages are growing faster than any other segment in the $11 billion U.S. bottled water and beverage category, according to Coca-Cola, makers of Dasani. The idea behind Dasani Essence is that, according to a 2007 research study, most consumers prefer lightly flavored bottled water beverages with little or no sweetener (hmm….what about the runaway success of Coca-Cola’s own VitaminWater?). The thought behind Dasani Essence was to offer the experience of a lightly flavored water that many people enjoy when they squeeze a wedge of fresh lemon or lime into their water glass.

Two of the three debut flavors are a bit more splashy than that: Black Cherry Essence and Strawberry Kiwi Essence. The Lime Essence truly is what you’d expect by squeezing some lime in your water (and if that’s what you want, check out True Lemon and True Lime, packets you can carry with you that do just that).

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The hottest-growing category in water and water beverages. Photo courtesy of Dasani.

The Black Cherry Essence was our favorite, rich black cherry flavor tantamount to having an unsweetened, uncarbonated cherry soda. Perhaps our bottler was a bit more generous with the flavor, because we observed a complaint from another taster that there was hardly any cherry flavor in her bottle. Strawberry Kiwi Essence was in the middle: enjoyable, with more impact than the Lime Essence but less than the Black Cherry.

If you believe that you don’t need the sugar or artificial sweeteners in a soft drink, check out Dasani Essence.

 

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TIP OF THE DAY: Key Lime Delights

One of the most popular desserts, Key lime pie, is also one of the easiest to make. Fresh Key limes are ideal, but if not, Key lime juice is available in most supermarkets and specialty stores. The lime is named after the Florida Keys, which is why the word is capitalized.

  • Find recipes for Key lime pie, tarts, Key lime meringue pie and crustless pots de crème (which you can serve in martini glasses for extra panache). Key lime season runs June through August, so make pie while the sun shines!
  • Check out the different types of limes in our Lime Glossary.

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PRODUCT: Dry Soda

cucumber

Not just for salads: Cucumber is a
sophisticated sip. Photo courtesy of Dry
Soda.

As with a dry Martini, Dry Soda is a brand that delivers less sweetness: a 12-ounce bottle of our favorite Cucumber Soda has only 45 calories and 11 carbs. Cucumber soda, you say? It’s wonderful, just like a refreshing glass of cucumber-infused water (or in this case, cucumber sparkling water with a touch of sweetness).

You’ll feel cool as a cucumber with a glass, whether sipping or pairing with foods. Cucumber Dry Soda is a natural with gazpacho, grilled eggplant and other vegetables (and many vegetarian dishes), Mediterranean foods, salmon and tandoori. As a cocktail mixer, it marries with citrus vodka, tequila and of course, cucumber gin.

If cucumber isn’t your thing, Dry Soda’s other flavors include Juniper Berry, Kumquat, Lavender, Lemongrass, Rhubarb and Vanilla. We have other favorites among these, as well.

 

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