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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 March, 2011

PRODUCT: Deli-Style Sandwich Wrap

We have a new favorite sandwich wrap.

Tumaro’s, the first company to introduce flavored tortillas, has added New York Deli Style Wraps to its line of gourmet tortillas and wraps.

The five flavors are inspired by New York deli breads: Rye, Pumpernickel, Sour Dough, Everything and Cracked Pepper.

The wraps are rolling out now to both mainstream and specialty markets nationwide. A four-pack retails for $2.99 to $3.99.

The extra-large, 10″ wraps are 96% fat-free, cholesterol-free and high in fiber. And they’re a caloric bargain:

Tumaro’s New York Deli Style Wraps range from 80-100 calories per wrap. A sandwich uses two slices of bread, adding up to 140-240 calories. Bagels, depending on the size, can range from about 215 calories for a small bagel to almost three times that.

We appreciate that that the wraps are thin and flexible—easy to fold. All the flavors are delicious, but Pumpernickel and Rye provide authentic “deli sandwich” flavor. Cracked Pepper offers a nice burst of pepper that works especially well for a scrambled egg wrap.

 

Our new favorite wraps, Tumaro’s New York
Deli-Style Wraps. Photo by River Soma |
THE NIBBLE.

  • Find more of our favorite breads, plus recipes, in our Gourmet Breads Section.
  • See all the different types of bread in our Bread Glossary.
  •   

    Comments

    PRODUCT: Royal Wedding Cookie Tin

    The official engagement photo. The smiles
    must be for the shortbread. Photo
    courtesy Walkers Shortbread.

     

    If you have a crush on Prince William, want to dress like Kate Middleton or are simply an Anglophile, you might also like a limited edition Royal Wedding Commemorative Tin filled with Walkers Shortbread.

    The wedding is April 29th and the commemorative tin will be released on April 12th, but you can beat the crowds by pre-ordering on Amazon.com.

    The 15.8 oz. collectible tin is $22.95. The cover is blue and gold, framing the official engagement photo of the happy couple. The back of the tin features images of two places of great significance to them: Westminster Abbey, where they will be married, and Clarence House (former home of the Queen Mother), which will be the London residence for the prince and princess.

    Order yours today. The limited edition may sell out quickly.

  • Find our favorite cookies, recipes and tips in our Gourmet Cookie Section.
  •  

      

    Comments

    TIP OF THE DAY: Spring Picnic Under The Blossoms (Hanami)

    The annual Cherry Blossom Festival will be held in Washington, D.C. beginning this Saturday, March 26th through April 20th.

    This is the trees’ 99th anniversary. In 1912, the Committee of Japanese Residents of New York donated two thousand Japanese Flowering Cherry trees to New York City. Most of them were planted in our nation’s capital as a symbol of friendship between the two countries.

    Breathtaking white and pink flowers blossom for a month each spring. In Japan, people picnic and drink saké under the flowering trees—a practice known as hanami, which began in the eighth century.

    If you have a cherry tree (or other flowering tree), lucky you! If not, you can grow your own (buy them from ArborDay.org). Of course, it will take some time before you can hold your own hanami under the blossoms.

    Otherwise, seek out a flowering tree near you and plan ahead for a picnic (or just a snack). Get ready for the next warm day and prepare to enjoy the fresh air and the blossoms.

     

    A beautiful grove of blossoming Japanese
    cherry trees. Photo courtesy ArborDay.org.

     

    By the way, the Japanese cherry tree bears no fruit. However, look forward to fresh cherries from June through August.

  • Learn more about the Cherry Blossom Festival at NationalCherryBlossomFestival.org.
  • All about cherries: history, facts and trivia. For example, each cherry tree produces about 7,000 cherries per season.
  •   

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    TOP PICK: Gourmet Vegan For Everyone

    Delicious Vegan Ginger Chicken. Photo
    courtesy Vegetarian Plus.

     

    If you’re not already a flexitarian, pescatarian or vegetarian, a vegan diet may seem extreme. Give up all animal products, including dairy, eggs and honey?

    If that sounds like too much sacrifice, you should still consider choosing it for a day or two each week. It’s not only healthy, but it’s also painless. Just browse through a vegan cookbook and see all the delicious things you can have – from chili, pasta and stir-fry to hummus, tabbouleh and many global favorites.

    Typically, people adopt the vegan lifestyle for compassionate reasons, wishing no harm to animals.

    But concerned environmentalists have joined in as well, on the grounds that the planet’s livestock are the number one contributor to global warming.*

    *Manure produces methane.

    If you feel compassion for animals or for the planet, the international recipes from Vegetarian Plus frozen entrées are so delicious that eating vegan one or two days a week is a snap—no cooking required (a microwave is not “cooking”).

     

    The Vegan Ginger Chicken, Kung Pao Chicken, Orange Chicken, Chicken Tikka Masala and Lamb Vindaloo are so good that we prefer them to alternatives with real meat.

    Read the full review and promise yourself that you’ll try them. The review also contains a list of vegan celebrities. Would you believe that Mike Tyson is a vegan?

      

    Comments

    PRODUCT: Hot Chocolate On A Stick

    It’s March 21st—the first full day of spring—and it’s snowing in our Mid-Atlantic burg of New York City.

    Time for some hot chocolate!

    We just tried Hot Chocolate On A Stick from The Ticket Kitchen of San Francisco. A high-quality block of chocolate is molded onto a stick and you stir the stick in a cup of hot milk until it becomes hot chocolate.

    This is not for the impatient. The chocolate doesn’t melt quickly (and in two tries we couldn’t get it to melt entirely, either). But that’s the fun of it—as well as tasting your hot chocolate at numerous different degrees of chocolatiness as more chocolate melts into the milk.

    The French couverture chocolate is very good. So if you get tired of stirring or waiting for the chocolate to melt, eat it like a lollipop.

    If you’re looking for a special party activity or a treat for kids, this is different and fun.

    Chocolate On A Stick can also be a special party favor or gift. You can download a customizable label template to mark festive occasions (a baby shower, for example).

     

    Stir in a cup of hot milk and you’ve got hot
    chocolate. Photo by Stephanie Faye | The
    Ticket Kitchen.

     

    We only tried the French dark chocolate, but we’re intrigued by the Three-Chili, which blends ancho, cayenne and chipotle chiles into the chocolate for a hot-and-hotter effect.

    But, with all the couverture chocolate we have around here, we’re first going to try to make our own chocolate-on-a-stick in an ice cube tray—some with mini marshmallows, some with fresh mint leaves (seems like we’ve got a lot of that, too).

  • Hot Chocolate Extravaganza: Reviews of more than 65 hot chocolate brands.
  • Terminology and the difference between hot chocolate and cocoa.
  • Try ‘em all: 25 variations you can make with hot chocolate.
  •   

    Comments

    PRODUCT: New Flavors Of FAGE Total 0% Yogurt

    Cherry-Pomegranate, one of five new 0%
    flavors. Photo courtesy FAGE.

     

    FAGE (pronounced FA-yeh), the first major Greek yogurt brand in the U.S., has expanded its Total 0% line with flavored yogurts.

    In addition to the original plain yogurt, those who want to cut out the fat can enjoy the rich, creamy, triple-strained yogurt in Blueberry Açaí, Cherry-Pomegranate, Honey, Mango Guanabana and Strawberry Goji.

    Each 5.3-ounce container has 120 calories, zero fat or cholesterol, 11g protein and 19g total carbohydrate (including 16g sugar). One serving contains 15% of your Daily Value of calcium.

    The flavoring is kept in a separate compartment to maintain the integrity of the yogurt until right before consuming.

    FAGE began in 1926, when Athanassios Filippou opened a small dairy shop in Athens, Greece. It was a rural neighborhood with a single train station nearby. As travelers came and went, Filippou’s store gradually became known for its creamy and delicious yogurt.

     

    Still family owned, the company is now Greece’s largest dairy company, producing milk, cheese and yogurt for customers worldwide. FAGE opened a United States plant in Johnstown, New York in 2008. It is the only Greek company producing Greek yogurt in the U.S.

  • Learn more at FageUSA.com.
  • Learn all about yogurt in our Yogurt Glossary.
  • See all of our favorite yogurts, recipes and more.
  • Read our review of FAGE Total Yogurt.
  •   

    Comments

    TIP OF THE DAY: Farmers Markets

    This tip comes from Alissa Dicker Schrieber, The Kitchenista:

    We love shopping in farmers markets. The pleasant environment, the food and the ability to buy directly from the grower can’t be beat.

    Everything is super fresh, often picked (or caught) just the day before. The food is locally produced: It doesn’t travel across the country (or across continents) to get to you. And since the variety of fruits, veggies, meat, poultry, fish, cheeses, breads, etc. is always changing, shopping at farmers markets can add instant variety to your diet.

    Best of all, when you bring home great-tasting, high-quality fresh ingredients, your job becomes much easier. With some simple, unfussy cooking (often, merely some chopping), you can look like a culinary genius. The food already tastes great!

  • For the best selection, arrive at the market early. Certain items sell out very quickly.
  • That being said, farmers will often offer specials and discounts toward the end of the day, when they’re getting ready to leave.
  •  

    Look for dandelion greens in spring farmers
    markets. An excellent source of calcium
    and vitamins A and C, they contain more iron
    than spinach. Enjoy them in a salad.

     

  • A good plan is to start by walking through the market in one direction, to see what all the vendors are offering. (Who has the best strawberries? Who has better prices?) Then, reverse your direction and purchase what looks best.
  •  
    Find a farmers market at LocalHarvest.org.

    While you’re there, click on the CSA tab to learn about Community Supported Agriculture. It has become a popular way for consumers to buy local, seasonal food directly from a farmer. Participants get a weekly box of seasonal food, ensuring that they get the freshest fruit and produce and guaranteeing an income for the farmer.

      

    Comments

    TIP OF THE DAY: Spring Cleaning Tips For Your Kitchen

    Pleasantly scented products make cleaning
    more enjoyable. Photo courtesy Mrs. Meyer’s Clean Day.

     

    Today is the first day of spring. It officially begins at 7:21 P.M. Eastern Daylight Time.

    So it’s time for a little spring cleaning.

    Here are some kitchen spring cleaning tips from Chef Geoffrey Zakarian of The National restaurant in New York City.

  • Throw away your spices and buy a fresh supply. Salt and pepper can stay.
  • Send knives to be professionally sharpened. They will last longer; plus, dull knives slip more easily.
  • Check if your freezer needs to be defrosted and throw away anything that has freezer burn (or has been there for more than a year).
  • Check expiration dates on condiments in the refrigerator, and throw away anything that’s expired.
  •  

  • Empty all cupboards and clean out the dust and crumbs that have gathered, then deep clean cabinets and shelves to remove grease that has filtered in from cooking.
  • Organize your cookbooks and put the ones that you have not been using front and center, in order to mix up your repertoire. If you’re not going to use particular cookbooks, give them away—perhaps have a cookbook exchange with friends.
  • Have your floors and kitchen rug or carpet professionally deep cleaned to extract bacteria and germs.
  • Clean all garbage cans inside and out with bleach.
  • If you have granite or marble countertops, have them professionally polished.
  • Cut up a lemon and run it through your garbage disposal to eliminate odor.
  •  
    Before you start, treat yourself to some great-smelling cleaning products. We like lavender, and have stocked up on lavender countertop cleaner, scrubbing powder and all purpose cleaner from Mrs. Meyers Clean Day. The company also has products in Apple, Baby Blossom, Basil, Geranium, Honeysuckle and Lemon Verbena scents.

      

    Comments

    TIP OF THE DAY: Drink Beer From A Globe Glass

    Historically, different beers have been drunk from differently-shaped glasses. For example, Germans created the tall pilsner and the handled stein. The British prefer the pint glass. Belgians favor a globe glass.

    It turns out that the Belgian glass may be the best for enhancing the flavor of beer.

  • The globe shape captures and directs the beer’s aromas toward your nose.
  • The tapered opening harnesses the foam and enhances the beer’s bouquet.
  • The stem keeps your hand from warming the beer.
  • Like a Champagne glass, a good globe beer glass has etched lines at the bottom of the bowl that help to create a continuous stream of bubbles.

    Wine glass expert Riedel—which makes a different-shaped glass to enhance the unique qualities of each type of wine—sells a modified globe glass for beer.

    If you’re in the market for new drinking glasses, check out the globes.

    See the different types of beer glasses.

     

    The Belgian “globe” glass may deliver the
    tastiest beer. This glass is from Spielgau.

     

      

    Comments

    COOKING VIDEO: Spring Salad In A Cucumber “Vase”

     

    Some things that look hard are actually really easy.

    Take Spring Salad In A Cucumber Vase. The “vase” is actually a cucumber wrap filled with a multicolor spring lettuce mix.

    What’s a spring lettuce mix? It varies by producer, but can include arugula, baby spinach, endive, frisée, green and red oak leaf, mustard greens, red and green romaine, lolla rossa (a fully curled red lettuce), radicchio and Swiss chard.

    Take a look at how to turn a cucumber and a bag of spring lettuce mix into a work of art:

       

       

    Find more salad recipes in our Vegetables Section.

    Comments

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