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Archive for June 2, 2011

FOOD HOLIDAY: National Rocky Road Day

June 2nd is National Rocky Road Day, a flavor created in 1929 in Oakland, California.

Rocky road ice cream is chocolate ice cream mixed with nuts and marshmallows, the “rocks” in the road. The original nuts, walnuts, were later replaced with toasted almonds.

In the prior year, William Dreyer and Joseph Edy had founded Edy’s Grand Ice Cream.

William Dreyer’s professional relationship with ice cream began in 1906 when, as a galley boy aboard a German passenger ship, he was tasked with making a frozen dessert to celebrate the ship’s arrival in America.

By the 1920s, he had established an ice cream manufacturing facility in Visalia, California. In 1926 he was recruited by National Ice Cream to run a large plant in Oakland. In Oakland he met Joe Edy, a prominent confectioner.


The original rocky road ice cream. Photo
courtesy Edy’s Grand.


In 1928, Edy and Dreyer teamed up to manufacture premium ice cream under the name Edy’s Grand Ice Cream, focusing on creative flavors. At the time, ice cream was only sold in basic flavors such as chocolate, strawberry and vanilla.

Dreyer was inspired by Edy’s use of marshmallows and nuts in a candy creation. In those days there were no miniature marshmallows. So in March of 1929, Dreyer cut up marshmallows with his wife’s sewing scissors, and added them along with walnuts to a base of chocolate ice cream.

The flavor was named Rocky Road for the texture. You’ll also find references that it was named for the troubled economic times of the Great Depression. However, the flavor was created in March 1929 and the stock market crash that engendered the Depression didn’t happen until October of that year.


If you don’t want to make chocolate ice cream from scratch:

1. LEAVE a quart of store-bought chocolate ice cream on the counter to soften. You want it just soft enough to mix in the “rocks.”

2. STIR in 1 cup of miniature marshmallows and 1/2 cup roughly-chopped almonds or pecans.

3. RETURN the quart to the freezer to harden.


Here’s a recipe for rocky road brownies.


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PRODUCT: Skinny Cow Chocolate Candy

We can’t believe we ate the whole thing.
Photo by River Soma | THE NIBBLE.


The Skinny Cow line, which for years has offered reduced-calorie ice cream sandwiches to diet-conscious ice cream lovers, first expanded to ice cream cups, cones and bars.

Now, there’s candy. And we like it.

There are:

  • Dreamy Clusters: Bite-sized chewy clusters of creamy caramel and crispy pieces, covered in dark chocolate or milk chocolate (120 calories, 3g fiber, 6g fat, 4 Weight Watchers points).
  • Heavenly Crisps: A wafer bar in peanut butter creme and/or chocolate creme, covered in a milk chocolatey coating (110 calories, 3g fiber, 3g fat, 3 Weight Watchers points).
    The candies are sold in single serves and 6-packs.

    Learn more at

    Warning: These products can be addictive.



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    TIP OF THE DAY: Mix Up A Half & Half Arnold Palmer Or Shandy

    When you think of a refreshing warm-weather drink, do you think of beer, iced tea, lemonade, ginger ale?

    If you mix two of them together in a half-and-half drink, you’ll create a summer refresher: an Arnold Palmer or a Shandy, depending on the recipe. You can purchase them ready-bottled; but like most things, homemade tastes better.

    The Arnold Palmer
    Combine equal amounts of homemade iced tea and lemonade in a tall glass. You can vary the proportions if you prefer one flavor over the other.

    The drink, also known as a half and half, is named for golf legend Arnold Palmer. It was his soft drink of choice—he mixed it up at home—and is popular enough that Country Time and Sweet Leaf, among other companies, bottle it.

    Mix your alcohol of choice into an Arnold Palmer and you get a John Daly. According to Golf Digest, Mr. Daly is not at all happy about this, claiming copyright infringement.

    To give you some ideas about how the recipe has expanded, AriZona Beverage Company sells six variations: Lite Iced Tea & Lemonade, Zero Iced Tea & Lemonade, Lite Green Tea & Lemonade, Pomegranate Green Tea & Lemonade, “Southern Style” Sweet Tea & Pink Lemonade, and Peach Sweet Tea and Lemonade.


    A Shandy is half beer, half carbonated lemonade or ginger beer. Photo by Milos Luz | IST.


    Shandy, short for shandygaff, is a beer diluted with a non-alcoholic drink: ginger beer, ginger ale, carbonated lemonade, citrus-flavored soda, or cider, for example. We prefer ginger beer or Mike’s Hard Lemonade (which, at 5.2% ABV, does no diluting!).

    The proportions are half-and-half; but as with an Arnold Palmer, they can be adjusted to taste.

    Fentimans, a U.K. brand sold in the U.S. (and a NIBBLE Top Pick Of The Week), bottles a lemonade-based Shandy made of a 70%-30% mixture of beer and carbonated lemonade with a 0.5 ABV (1 proof). The lower proportion of beer enables it to be sold as a soft drink.

    The origin of the term “shandygaff” is unknown; it first appeared in print in 1853. Shandy is a surname in the U.K.; and in Ireland, the name is a variant of Shaun (John). Gaff is an old term for a fishing hook. Perhaps the drink was first mixed up by a steward named Shandy?

    You don’t need a gaff: Mix up your own Arnold Palmer or Shandy. Have an “AP & S” party and let guests create their own variations.


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