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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 April, 2010

TIP OF THE DAY: Lemon Water

We squeeze fresh lemon juice into our water bottle and enjoy lemon water all day long. It not only tastes good; it gives us a big hit of vitamin C.

THE NIBBLE kitchen enables us to squeeze fresh lemon juice. But if your workplace doesn’t afford that luxury and you drink lots of water, bring extra bottles filled only with 1/4 to 1 teaspoon of lemon juice. The almost-empty bottles don’t weigh much, and you can fill them with tap water when you get to work.

Other options:

  • Keep lemon juice at work if there’s a fridge. Italian Volcano Lemon Burst is the only bottled lemon juice we use. It doesn’t have that “reconstituted” taste because it isn’t reconstituted—it’s real organic lemon juice and tastes like fresh-squeezed.
  • True Lemon is a powdered option that requires no refrigeration. It comes in tiny packets like artificial sweetener and has an excellent flavor.
  • Another option needing no fridge: lemon extract. Find it in the supermarket with the other extracts and add a few drops to your water bottle. (We use a medicine dropper to do this neatly.)
  • Try lime water, too!
  •  

    lemon-burst-230

    When life gives you lemons, make lemon
    water. Photo courtesy Italian Volcano.

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    GOURMET GIVEAWAY: Mama’s Goodies

    Several mouth-watering flavors of Mama’s
    Goodies. Photo by Hannah Kaminsky |
    THE NIBBLE.

     

    Mom deserves some goodies on Mother’s Day, so share these if you win this week’s Gourmet Giveaway prize of Mama’s Goodies Butter Nut Crunch. The winner will receive five boxes—one of each flavor—which is enough to give some to mom while still having plenty to enjoy yourself!

    Mama’s Goodies blends seeds and nuts with honey, maple syrup and real butter. This all-natural (and kosher-certified) treat can serve as dessert or as a sweet snack. It’s not a classic buttercrunch (made with sugar and without the seeds), but it’s a honeyed delight. (Don’t know the difference between toffee and buttercrunch? Find out in our ABCs Of Toffee Article.)

  • THE PRIZE: One winner will get to taste all five flavors of Mama’s Goodies: Almond, Cashew, Macadamia & Coconut, Pecan and Sesame Seed. All five boxes will be shipped just in time to share with mom. Approximate retail value: $25.
  • To Enter This Gourmet Giveaway: Go to the box at the bottom of our Toffee & Buttercrunch Section and enter your email address for the prize drawing. This contest closes on Monday, April 26th at noon, Eastern Time. Good luck!
  • Learn more about Mama’s Goodies.
  • Comments

    PRODUCT: Scrape Without Scratching

    So you have a glass cooktop. Terrific! But cleaning it is not so terrific. To remove a cooked-on mess, you need to use a razor blade-type instrument, ?very carefully.

    The SKrAPr was born after its inventor scratched his own glass cooktop with the conventional razor-type cleaning implement. Made with a patented blend of ?resins that will not mark or damage any surface, The SKrAPr easily pushes through hardened food deposits. The hard edge also is effective for digging into corners.

    But The SKrAPr (we’re getting dizzy from looking at this silly spelling) has proven its usefulness for multiple scraping tasks. It safely cleans pots, pans and glass cooking ?vessels, and enables scratch-free scraping of hardwood floors, tiles, granite counters, windows and ?more.

    The tool sports an ergonomically correct handle for optimum ?leverage and scraping ability. It’s dishwasher safe.

     

    skrapr-230

    Scrape without scratching. Photo courtesy
    Handy Home Products.

    More benefits: You save money. You can clean a glass ?top stove with nothing more than water—no need for expensive glasstop ?cleaners. There’s a lifetime warranty, as ?opposed to a razor blade scraper, which constantly needs fresh, sharp ?blades.

    And you preserve that pricey cooktop from ugly scratches.

  • Learn more about The SKrAPr. You can get the 8-inch SKraPR and a mini 4-inch SKrAPr for $14.99 at: TheSKrAPr.com.

  • Comments

    TIP OF THE DAY: Easy Dessert Topping

    green_tea_mousse_cake-230

    Improvise with melted ice cream to create
    a dessert sauce. Photo by Rie Shoji | SXC.

     

    When you need a quick topping for cake, pie, or bread pudding, melt a pint of superpremium vanilla ice cream! The high butterfat content in superpremium brands makes a creamy sauce.

    1. Melt a pint of ice cream at room temperature or in the refrigerator.

    2. Stir in 2 ounces (jiggers) of Bourbon. Makes 2 cups.

    Melted caramel, chocolate, coffee and dulce de leche ice cream also work as sauces. Instead of Bourbon, you can use rum, chocolate liqueur, coffee liqueur, orange liqueur or other spirit that picks up accents in your dessert.

    Instead of pouring them over (or under) a dessert, you also can serve these “sauces” in jiggers or liqueur glasses as a “chasers” to the dessert, right before coffee.

  • Find reviews of our favorite dessert sauces plus recipes in our Dessert Sauces section.
  • What’s the difference between a coulis and a purée? Crème anglaise and sabayon? See our Dessert Sauces Glossary.

  • Comments

    PRODUCT: New Pepperidge Farm Vanilla Grahams Goldfish

    Today is National Animal Crackers Day.

    Animal crackers originated in England in the late 1800s, as animal biscuits. When, in 1889, P.T. Barnum decided to tour England with his circus, several manufacturers took advantage of a marketing opportunity and called the biscuits “Barnum’s.”

    The animal biscuits were exported to America, inspiring local bakeries to make their own. The National Biscuit Co. (today, Nabisco), introduced them 1902 as “Barnum’s Animals” (they added the word “Crackers” in 1948). The “circus car” box with the string handle was introduced later in the year, as a Christmas tree ornament for Christmas 1902. (Neither P.T. Barnum nor the Barnum & Bailey Circus ever got a cent in licensing fees from any “Barnum’s” crackers or biscuits!)

    Other companies continue to make animal crackers. But perhaps the biggest unsung producer is Pepperidge Farm, manufacturers of Goldfish snack crackers. Fish are animals, too! They’re just aquatic animals covered with scales, instead of land animals covered with fur.

    Pepperidge Farm founder Margaret Rudkin discovered the snack cheese cracker on a trip to Switzerland and returned with the recipe. Goldfish were launched in 1962.

     

    pkg-with-loose-fish2

    New Vanilla Grahams Goldfish. Photo
    by Katharine Pollak | THE NIBBLE.

    Today, Goldfish are made in 10 savory flavors and, with the launch of new Vanilla Grahams, five sweet flavors as well (the others are Chocolate Grahams, Cinnamon Grahams, Honey Grahams and S’mores Adventures).

    Unfortunately, the new small fry are just as addictive as all of the other flavors. How did that 6.6-ounce bag end up empty so quickly?

  • To avoid Entire Bag Consumption Disorder, pour your allotment into a ramekin and enjoy it plain or with the beverage of your choice (sweet Goldfish are absolutely perfect with hot chocolate).
  • In addition to snacking, sprinkle your favorite flavor of sweet Goldfish onto ice cream (great crunch!).
  • Let us know if you have a favorite alternative use for sweet Goldfish.
  • Comments

    TIP OF THE DAY: Yogurt Parfait

    yogurt-parfait-230

    Turn everyday yogurt into a yogurt parfait.
    Photo courtesy California Milk Board.

     

    If you have parfait or sundae dishes, use them to enjoy your yogurt, granola and fruit instead a regular bowl. It turns everyday yogurt into something festive for breakfast, a snack or dessert.

    Layer the ingredients for an attractive visual presentation.

    1. First add yogurt to the dish.

    2. Alternate layers of your favorite sliced fruits or small berries with layers of granola until the dish is full. (You can create more layers than shown in the photo.)

    3. Top with some granola and a piece of fruit.

    Bordeaux goblets and tall glasses also do the trick—use iced tea spoons to scoop down into tall glasses.

  • Discover all the different types of yogurt in our Yogurt Glossary—including the truth about “live and active cultures.”
  • Find our favorite yogurt brands, recipes and much more yogurt information in our Yogurt Section.
  • Comments

    PRODUCT: Edamame

    Edamame, pronounced eh-dah-MAH-may, are baby soybeans. If you frequent Japanese restaurants, you’ve probably had them. The green pods are boiled in salted water and served whole as an appetizer.

    These tasty baby veggies, generally served in the shell, are fun to pop into your mouth. And for a fun food, they’re awfully good for you. They’re the only vegetable that offers a complete protein profile equal to both meat and eggs.

    It’s time to take edamame from the restaurant to the home. Seapoint Farms, which grows edamame in California, has national distribution of its frozen shelled and unshelled edamame (the latter are great to toss into recipes).

  • Read the full article on edamame, including health benefits and recipes.
  • Find more of our favorite veggies and more veggie recipes in our Vegetables Section.
  •  

    edamame-seapointfarms-230

    Enjoy edamame as a snack, appetizer or
    in recipes. Photo courtesy SeapointFarms.com.

    Comments

    TIP OF THE DAY: Flavored Mustards

    Asparagus-230

    Task of the week: Find two new uses for
    mustard. Photo courtesy Anton Kozlik’s Mustards.

     

    Flavored mustards can transform a dish, adding intense notes of basil, lemon, tarragon and even Roquefort to sandwiches, potato, tuna and egg salads, vinaigrettes, dips, meats, vegetables and more.

    Think of classic Dijon as “basic vanilla” and start to expand your mustard horizons. Visit any specialty food store and cruise the mustard shelf.

    As a bonus, mustard is extremely low in calories (except for sweet mustards like honey mustard). So see how many new uses you can find for mustard: Look for one new idea each week.

    By the way, our very low calorie or low-glycemic work-around for honey mustard: Sweeten plain Dijon mustard with your favorite non-caloric sweetener or with agave nectar.

    See the many different types of mustard in our Mustard Glossary.

    Comments

    ENTERTAINING: Have A Film Party For “Food Inc.” on April 21st

    How much do we know about the food we buy at our local supermarkets and serve to our families?

    Though our food appears the same as it did to our grandparents—a tomato still looks like a tomato—it has been radically transformed, and not for the better. See for yourself in the eye-opening documentary, Food, Inc., which will be shown on PBS on Wednesday evening, April 21 (check local listings for time). The film is presented by POV, the award-winning series that features the work of today’s best independent documentary filmmakers.

    In Food Inc., producer-director Robert Kenner and investigative authors Eric Schlosser (Fast Food Nation) and Michael Pollan (The Omnivore’s Dilemma and his latest, a must-read, In Defense Of Food) lift the veil on the American food industry, revealing distressing facts about what we eat, how it’s produced, who we have become as a nation (thanks to big corporations and their lobbyists) and where we may go from here.

    Invite your family and friends over for a potluck dinner (we suggest a buffet). Then watch Food, Inc. and discuss the many issues it raises.

     

    food-inc

    Be sure to watch Food Inc. You’ll never
    look at food the same way again.

    Visit the POV website from April 22 to May 3 to get planning tips and recipes and enter for a variety of gifts.

    The film will also be streaming online in its entirety for one week after the broadcast, from April 22nd to April 29th. The Food, Inc. DVD is also on sale (just $9.99 at Amazon.com).

  • If you’re mad as hell and not going to take it anymore, get a copy of the book, Food Inc.: A Participant Guide: How Industrial Food is Making Us Sicker, Fatter, and Poorer-And What You Can Do About It.
  • Send a copy of Michael Pollan’s The Omnivore’s Dilemma For Kids to help the children in your life understand the issues and make better choices.
  • Comments

    ENTERTAINING: Hummus Swans

    hummos-swans-230

    Hummus glides in a flatbread swan. Photo
    courtesy Kabobs.com.

     

    How cute are these hummus swans?

    We saw them at Kabobs.com and will have to call to see if they can teach us to fold flatbread into swans.

    In the interim, if you need a tasty hors d’oeuvre, combine the same flavors without the swan:

    1. Cut squares or wedges of flatbread.
    2. Pipe a red pepper hummus “rosette” from a pastry bag.
    3. Add a small bit of feta cheese, a slice of kalamata olive and a slice of peppadew.
    5. Garnish with a slice of chive.

    Find more hors d’oeuvre recipes in our Hors d’Oeuvres & Cocktail Snacks section.

    Comments

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