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

PRODUCT: Hot-Hot-Hot Ghost Pepper Salsa

Here’s a salsa to enjoy while listening to Donna Summer belt “Hot Stuff.”

It’s the first salsa we’ve tried from an artisan producer that uses the world’s hottest chile pepper—the ghost chile, or bhut jolokia.

Salsa is a billion dollar industry in America, with consumer preferences trending to hot. Lots of people think that, for food, heat can’t be beat. If you’re one of the many who like it hot-hot-hot, get some of Mrs. Renfro’s Ghost Pepper Salsa. It recently won at the 2011 Scovie Awards, the world’s leading competition for hot and spicy products.

Ghost Pepper Salsa is the fastest growing product in the company’s 71-year history. It’s also one of Mrs. Renfro’s three best sellers, along with two other hotties: Habanero and Green (jalapeño) Salsa.

How hot is ghost pepper?


Hot! Hot! Hot! Hot stuff, baby! Photo by River


  • The ghost pepper chile, or bhut jolokia, from northeast India, has been certified by the Guinness Book of World Records as the world’s hottest chile.
  • The chile is so hot, it’s used by the Indian military in tear gas—and it’s an ingredient in pepper spray, hand grenades and smoke bombs.
    The “explosive” Mrs. Renfro’s Ghost Pepper Salsa is available at retailers nationwide, or online at The cost per 16-ounce jar is $3.25 (prices will vary by market); online sales from Mrs. Renfro’s are in four-packs.

    Try it at your own risk. Says Mrs. Renfro’s: “This Ghost Pepper Salsa is scary hot!”

  • Check out the different types of chiles in our Chile Glossary.
  • How many different types of salsa can you name?

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    GIFT OF THE WEEK: The Best Barbecue Sauce

    Grandville’s is the best for barbecue. Photo
    by River Soma | THE NIBBLE.


    If you’re invited to a July 4th barbecue, don’t bring a bottle of wine. Bring something memorable!

    We recommend Grandville’s Barbecue Sauce, the best barbecue sauce we’ve ever had. It’s so thick, flavorful and chock-full of the best ingredients—not loaded with sugar or HFCS—that creator Steve Gerst calls it Barbecue Jam.

    It’s what we’re bringing to our July 4th hosts.

    Each flavor is packed with minced onions, bell peppers, chiles, garlic cloves and, depending on the flavor, pineapple and other real fruits, vegetables and herbs. This fresh bounty of nature provides the deep texture and memorable taste of Grandville’s sauces.

    Flavors include Cajun Kick, Ginger Glaze, Pineapple, Original Spicy, Extra Spicy and Mild.

    Treat your hosts, treat yourself. Select your favorite flavors:

  • Two-pack
  • Six-pack

    COUPON CODES FOR 10% DISCOUNT: Dad2011 through June 30th, 1776 for July.

    Read our full review of Grandville’s, a NIBBLE Top Pick Of The Week.


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    JULY 4th FOOD: Red, White & Blue Angel Food Cake Recipe

    You can grill more than fruit for dessert. Have you ever grilled cake?

    While the grill is hot, toss on slices of pound cake or angel food cake. Serve them with grilled fruit and whipped cream or ice cream.

    Here’s an easy red, white & blue dessert for July 4th, courtesy of Grilled Angel Food Cake with Peppered Berries & Vanilla Cream. With a luscious mascarpone topping instead of whipped cream and a touch of heat from black pepper, it’s memorable, festive and just right to celebrate the 235th anniversary of the signing of the Declaration of Independence.

    Makes 6 servings. Prep time: 15 minutes. Cook time: 5 minutes.


  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 1/3 cup plus 2 tablespoons sugar, divided
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup mascarpone cheese
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
  • 1 cup blueberries
  • 1 cup raspberries
  • 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon black pepper, coarse ground
  • 6 slices angel food cake (1-1/2-inches thick)

    Red, white, blue & delicious. Photo courtesy


    1. Beat cream, 2 tablespoons of the sugar and vanilla in large bowl with electric mixer on medium speed until soft peaks form. Gently stir in mascarpone cheese. Cover. Refrigerate until ready to serve.

    2. Mix remaining 1/3 cup sugar and cornstarch in medium saucepan. Stir in water and vinegar until well blended. Stir in blueberries. Stirring constantly, bring to boil on medium heat and boil 1 minute. Pour into medium bowl to cool slightly. Add raspberries and pepper; toss gently to coat.

    3. Grill angel food cake slices over medium heat 45 to 60 seconds per side or until golden brown grill marks appear. To serve, spoon berry mixture over each slice of cake. Top with a dollop of whipped cream mixture.

    Grill on!


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    TIP OF THE DAY: Throw A Fruit Preservation Party

    Put up fruit for home and gifts. Photo
    courtesy Washington State Fruit Commission.


    Last week we suggested a pie-baking contest as a summer soirée.

    This week’s idea: Throw a fruit preservation party, to preserve the delicious fruits of summer—or make your own jam.

    Preserve lush summer fruits now to give later, as holiday gifts or wedding favors. Or, stock your own pantry and treat yourself to summer goodness when apricots, cherries, peaches and plums are no longer in season. is a website dedicated to the art of preserving fruit. There you’ll find:

  • Preservation 101: how to preserve fruit, everything you need to know to get started
  • How to host a preservation party
  • How to buy the best fruit
  • Recipes
  • Downloadable label templates to customize your jars

    The site is sponsored by the Washington State Fruit Commission, folks who know their fruit.

    Set a date and get ready to become the prince or princess of fruit preservation. It could become an annual event that your friends really look forward to!

  • Check out our favorite fruits: reviews, recipes and more.
  • Take a fruit trivia quiz.

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    TOP PICK OF THE WEEK: Hibiscus Iced Tea

    What’s delicious hot or cold, has zero calories and no caffeine, is a bright ruby red color and is full of therapeutic powers?

    It’s hibiscus tea, an herbal tea that’s our nominee for the tea to try this month (June is National Iced Tea Month).

    Hibiscus has complex and vibrant flavors: fruity and floral notes with a tart, red fruit backbone—like a tart lemonade that you can sweeten to taste.

    Well-chilled from the fridge and poured over ice, it’s a wonderful refresher.

    And hibiscus is a superflower, full of potent antioxidants that do the body a lot of good.

  • Check out this summer refresher in the full review.
  • Get the 411 on tea—types, how to brew, recipes and more—in our Gourmet Tea Section.

    Colorful, tasty and very healthful: hibiscus
    iced tea. Photo courtesy Republic Of Tea.



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