THE NIBBLE BLOG: Products, Recipes & Trends In Specialty Foods
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Archive for June, 2010

JULY 4th: Gifts For Deserving Hosts, Friends & Family

Red, White & Blue Fruit Medley from
Harry & David.

Need a special July 4th gift?

Harry & David has a couple of real cuties.

  • We love this box of cherries and blueberries displayed in the shape of the American flag. If you’re handy, you can make this yourself: Configure a white gift box or find a white tray and add the fruit.
  • There’s also an Old Glory Gift Tower: five keepsake red, white and blue boxes filled with different goodies—Moose Munch, cookies, Gummi stars and “patriotic” taffies.


We’re ready to start celebrating: Please pass the Moose Munch!

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JULY 4th: Red, White & Blue Cocktail Shots + Dessert

To please your guests on July 4th, we present for your consideration red, white and blue “cocktail shots.”

In this recipe, seasonal fresh fruits are puréed and mixed with Navan vanilla liqueur.

You can serve the flag-themed cocktails as a trio of shots, or pour them as standard drinks.

  • Get the recipe for red, white & blue cocktail shots.
  • For a bright red cocktail packed with antioxidants that can also be served virgin, look at these cherry juice cocktails.


And now for dessert:


Stay tuned for more!

Drink the flag. Photo courtesy Navan.

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TIP OF THE DAY: Farmhouse Cheddar

One of our favorite farmhouse Cheddars,
award-winning Fiscalini Farmstead bandage-
wrapped raw-milk Cheddar

Americans love Cheddar. Connoisseurs of fine cheese have discovered farmhouse Cheddar, an artisan product made by hand in small batches.

Americans tend to pair fine Cheddars with apples and grapes. But these complex, full-flavored cheeses go well with a wide range of accompaniments.

  • Try fresh figs and dates, or mostarda, glazed fruits in a mustard sauce.
  • In summer months, a sliced vine-ripened tomato drizzled with sea salt, some celery stalks, Cheddar and crusty bread make a lovely, light lunch.
  • Or, combine Cheddar with prosciutto, fruit chutney and fennel sticks plus raisin bread or a crusty farmhouse loaf.
Read our review of a great English-style farmstead Cheddar made in the U.S. by Fiscalini Farmstead.


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PRODUCT: Ham Sandwich, $40.00

There are two great hams from Spain: jamón serrano, made from the Spanish white pigs, cerdo blanco, and jamón ibérico, made from the dark Iberian pig, cerdo ibérico. (For those who haven’t studied Spanish, jamón, pronounced hah-MONE, means ham.) Both hams are salted and air-cured, not smoked.

At a dinner Wednesday at New York City’s La Fonda del Sol restaurant, we enjoyed the most outstanding Serrano ham ever, in an all-serrano dinner (an outstanding creative menu by Chef Josh DeChellis and team).

The serrano ham served was not just any serrano ham, but ham produced by a member of Spain’s relatively young Consorcio Serrano. A consorcio (con-SOAR-see-oh) is an association of producers of a particular product. Its purpose is to maintain the highest standards of quality, and to ensure that any product bearing the consorcio’s seal has passed the exacting review of expert inspectors.


The world’s most expensive ham sandwich?
Photo courtesy Jezalin’s Gourmet Market.

The fine hams that get the seal of approval are worth seeking out. In addition to a hang-tag, the Consorcio’s stamp is applied to each approved ham. So if the ham is fresh-sliced for you, ask to see the S-shaped seal. Don’t believe a retailer who tells you that the seal has been carved off, or that a non-Consorcio ham is just as good.

Not all serrano hams are Consorcio-approved. Some don’t pass the test, others are made outside of Spain, with less attention to the artisan techniques and authentic serrano flavor. “Serrano” means mountain dweller, by the way; the hams are made by “serranos” in the mountainous areas of Spain, and dry in the fresh mountain air. Learn more about serrano ham.

And Now, The $40.00 Ham Sandwich

While almost everyone can afford a slice of serrano ham, the more limited-production ham in Spain is jamón ibérico. The black Iberian pigs have black feet (pata negra), and the ham is often called by this nickname.

These pigs are raised only in the west/southwest area of Spain, where the breed originated. The diet is very specific; there are three levels of jamón ibérico. The top-of-the-line pigs forage in the acorn forests to become even more flavorful before harvest (bellota ham has been called the finest ham in the world). You can read more about jamón ibérico here.

Jezalin’s Gourmet Market at Limelight Marketplace in New York City is now serving the “Conquistador,” a $39.95 ham sandwich, made of the top-of-the-line acorn-fed pigs, jamón ibérico de bellota. The sandwich is served plain on a baguette so as to not interfere with the ham’s flavor; but the Spanish would eat it in plain slices from the plate, which is truly the best way to savor each slice. sells the same ham online: $49.95 for four ounces. Those in the chips can buy the entire bone-in ham for $1,395.00, or $96.00/pound (it does come with free shipping). This is a bargain compared to Jezalin, which sells the ham for $150/pound.

Bellotta ham is delicious, but like a kobe beef burger, to our palate it isn’t worth breaking the piggy bank. For us: $20 or so a pound for Consorcio serrano ham hits the spot. The ham slices are light as a feather, so one pound buys a nice amount for a couple of ham lovers or a first course at a dinner party.

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RECIPE: Frozen Yogurt Sundae Toppings

Treat yourself to a watermelon Pinkberry sundae. Photo courtesy


Adjust your schedule, Pinkberry lovers: the new summer flavor, Watermelon, debuts tomorrow. It’s made with real watermelon. And there’s a great half-price deal.

The new sweet-and-tart treat is watermelon frozen yogurt topped with fresh watermelon purée, diced watermelon and diced cucumbers.

If cucumbers sound strange here, they’re actually a close relative of watermelon. Both are members of the Cucurbitaceae plant family. Taste the white watermelon rind—it tastes like cucumber (and because we like cucumbers, we eat that white rind!).

You can have it without the cucumber, of course. And you can enjoy the new flavor for half price during Watermelon Happy Hour: 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. daily at all Pinkberry locations. During Happy Hour you can have any size and configuration of Watermelon Pinkberry (cone, swirl, side-by-side) for half price.

You can be certain that we’ll be ready and waiting for our first serving at 5 p.m.

Pinkberry is made from nonfat yogurt, from milk that is rBST-free. Watermelon Pinkberry will be available for eight weeks, or until supplies run out.

It’s only here for a short time, so gather ye watermelon rosebuds while ye may. Here’s the store locator.

Find more of our favorite frozen delights, plus recipes, in our Gourmet Ice Cream & Yogurt Section.


If you’ve ever been to Pinkberry, Froyo World or other frozen yogurt shop, you’ve seen the 50-plus toppings you can use to create your own sundae.

  • Baked Goods: Cubed brownies and other cookie bars, cubed pound cake or other loaf cake, crumbled cookies, fan cookies, graham crackers, wafer cookies.
  • Candy: Brittle, Butterfinger, caramel corn, chocolate chips, chocolate-covered pretzels, gummies, Heath Bars/toffee (chopped), Junior Mints, M&Ms, Mini Peanut Butter Cups, Reese’s Pieces, sprinkles.
  • Cereal: Cocoa Pebbles, Corn Flakes, Frosted Flakes, Fruity Pebbles, granola.
  • Fruit: Apple chips, bananas, berries, coconut, dried cherries or cranberries, grapes, kiwi, lychees, mango, melon, citrus sections, pineapple, pomegranate arils.
  • Gummy: Boba (tapioca balls), cookie dough balls, gummy candy, mochi.
  • Nuts: Almonds, pistachios, walnuts or other favorites.
  • Syrup: fruit syrup for fruit flavors, chocolate or caramel syrup for others (chocolate, coffee, vanilla, etc.).
    Plan ahead for a DIY frozen yogurt sundae party. National Frozen Yogurt Day is February 6th and June is National Frozen Yogurt Month.

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