THE NIBBLE BLOG: Products, Recipes & Trends In Specialty Foods
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Archive for June 10, 2011

PRODUCT: Lipton Bottled Tea

The new Lipton tea flavors, in 100% Natural
and Diet. Tray and place mat from PacificMerchants.com.

 

While we’re environmentalists and like to brew our own, America loves its bottled tea. (We like it, too: We’re just focused on reducing our environmental footprint.)

Today is National Iced Tea Day, an appropriate day to note the move to “100% natural” in bottled teas.

“Natural” in tea means no artificial colors, flavors, chemical preservatives* or fabricated products such as high fructose corn syrup (see details). Natural-ingredients foods have become increasingly popular with health-focused consumers.

There are natural food preservatives: alcohol, ascorbic acid, citric acid, salt, sugar and vinegar. Ascorbic acid is vitamin C, sourced primarily from lemons. It is found in varying amounts in citrus fruits and some vegetables. Citric acid is also found in citrus fruits and some vegetables, but it has less nutritional value than ascorbic acid. Citric acid, which does not contain vitamin C, is most famously used in sodas, in large enough quantities that it can erode the tooth structure of heavy soda drinkers (details). Ascorbic acid can do the same, but it is added to foods only in small amounts.

 

  • Lipton’s 100% Natural bottled teas are available in four flavors: Green Tea with Citrus, Iced Tea with Lemon, Pomegranate Blueberry and Green Tea with Passionfruit Mango. The latter two are new flavors. The products, in 20-ounce bottles, are made of tea, water, real sugar, stevia and natural flavors. Stevia is a very low-calorie natural sweetener, made from the leaves of a South American plant. The result is a reduction in calories—50 per eight-ounce serving—and a taste that’s even better, in our opinion, than a pure sugar recipe. They also make good cocktail mixers (just add your favorite white spirit).
  • For diet tea drinkers, new Diet Green Tea with Watermelon joins Diet Green Tea with Citrus flavor. Sweetened with sucralose and acesulfame potassium (Ace-K), they are not all-natural. We hope that Lipton is looking at a switch to stevia.
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    The teas retail for $.99 to $1.59 per bottle. The line is certified kosher by OU.

      

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    TIP OF THE DAY: Tasting Beer

    Do you enjoy drinking beer from the bottle?

    If so, you’re not enjoying the aroma, which needs to waft up to your nose from a glass.

    Those who love their beer should emulate wine aficionados, and take the same steps to enhance the experience.

    1. Look: Enjoy the color of the beer, and learn to recognize different styles of beer based on their color. Carbonation is also important. Beer is brewed for immediate consumption. Lack of sufficient bubbles can indicate flatness that comes with age.

    2. Smell. Inhale the aromas from the glass. For example, are they floral, hoppy, malty, nutty, spicy, sweet?

    3. Sip. Let the beer flow over your palate and focus on identifying the flavors: bitter (hoppy), fruity, malty, nutty, spicy, sweet, woody, yeasty (and a host of over terms)? What about the body (also called mouthfeel)? Is it full, medium or light?

    Each beer drinker has his or her own preferences. Even if you think you know what you like, when you learn to properly taste beer, you’ll come to like even more styles and flavors. You can seek out beers that match them by reading reviews.

     

    A glass of stout. Photo by Dan Hauser | IST.

     

    To get deeper into beer tasting, see this comprehensive page of beer tasting information from the Birmingham Beverage Company. Scroll towards the bottom to see the Beer Tasting Wheel: all of the flavors and aromas of beer, and where they come from. It’s a huge help in understanding the flavors and aromas of beer—both good and bad.

    Don’t twist your neck trying to read the chart: The details are printed underneath it.

    As you enjoy your beer, check out the different types of beer in our Beer Glossary.

      

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    RECIPE: Biramisu, A Beer Dessert

    Biramisu: tiramisu with a porter reduction.
    Photo courtesy Portobello Restaurant |
    Orlando.

     

    Love tiramisu? Love beer? Combine them in this novel recipe, called Biramisu.

    It could be a big hit on your Father’s Day menu.

    The beer-accented dessert was created by Chef Tony Mantuano (Chef/Partner at Spiaggia Chicago and a Top Chef Masters contestant) as a collaboration with Executive Chef Steven Richard of Portobello Restaurant in Orlando, where it is on the menu.

    The recipe uses an organic porter from Orlando Brewing, but you can substitute another porter or a dark ale with coffee and chocolate notes.

    Get the recipe.

    For another beer dessert, check out our Chocolate Stout Float.

     

      

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