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

PRODUCT: Gourmet Granola Snack

Quite a few people enjoy snacking on granola. One artisan food company has taken the concept to the next level, with an innovative snack product.

Granola Snacks offers seven different flavors of granola snacks, blended by hand. The ingredients are made from scratch: the caramel for Caramel Nut Granola and Carrot Cake Granola is homemade, for example. The cinnamon and nutmeg are hand-ground, and the peanuts are roasted in-house.

The result is bite-size chunks of granola—think of a free-form cookie made only of granola and the ingredients that flavor it:

  • Caramel Nut Granola Snack. The company’s signature flavor shows off the homemade caramel amid almonds, bananas, dates, golden raisins and honey.
  • Carrot Cake Granola Snack. Carrots, Flame raisins (a large, seedless variety), roasted walnuts and pineapple are spiced with freshly ground cinnamon. The enticing aroma is like a fresh carrot cake.
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    The first and most popular granola snack
    flavor: Caramel Nut. Photo by Elvira Kalviste | THE NIBBLE.

     

  • Golden Memphis Granola Snack. Calling Elvis Presley fans: This one’s for you. The King’s favorites, banana and peanut butter, are mixed with roasted pecans and peanuts, caramel and a touch of nutmeg.
  • Hound Dog Mint Granola Snack. This flavor is named for blues legend Hound Dog Taylor. Chocolate mint lovers will appreciate the deep chocolate and real crème de menthe.
  • Kalua Luau Granola Snack. There’s no Kahlúa coffee liqueur in this coffee-inspired granola, but there is a touch of rum accenting the fresh-ground coffee, semisweet chocolate, almonds, bananas and dates, all mixed with fresh-ground ground nutmeg and drizzled with caramel.
  • PB&J Granola Snack. The peanut butter and jelly flavors are enhanced with dried cranberries and golden raisins, plus whole Virginia peanuts.
  • Rocky Road Granola Snack. The depth of chocolate flavor is due to 60% cacao chocolate. Each chunk is sprinkled with marshmallows and chocolate-coated almonds. It’s as satisfying as any candy bar, and can hold its own against a good brownie or chocolate cookie.
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    For those worried about their teeth, the tasty granola nuggets are a bit on the hard side. But the benefit is that it takes you longer to enjoy each one, so you may enjoy a few less each time you open the bag.

    While the ingredients are healthy ones—oats with nuts and fruits—there are 10g of sugar per serving and 1g of fiber. This is a wholesome snack (give or take the butter and brown sugar), but it is not health food. It is, however, a new, tasty world of granola.

    For more information and to purchase Granola Snacks online, visit GranolaSnacks.com.

    Find more of our favorite snacks and snack recipes.

      

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    TIP OF THE DAY: Know Your Chicken Parts & Make A New Recipe For National Chicken Month

    You can buy cubed chicken for kebabs and
    stir-frys, or you can cut them yourself from boneless breasts. Photo by G. Vision | SXC.

     

    Do you know the difference between a boneless chicken breast and a cutlet? A broiler and a roaster? Chicken nuggets versus chicken popcorn?

    A reader recently asked us to create a glossary of chicken parts. We were happy to oblige and have just launched it to celebrate National Chicken Month (September).

    Wild chickens were domesticated in Asia, possibly as far back as 7000 B.C.E. Easy to transport and care for, the tasty birds were next transported to Africa, and from there to Europe.

    Celebrate National Chicken Month by trying a new chicken recipe. You can find one from just about every cuisine in the world.

    Email friends for their favorite chicken recipes, cut and paste them together in a Word document and send the compiled recipes back to everyone who contributed.

     

    Find our favorite chicken recipes and product reviews.

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    TIP OF THE DAY: Pick Up A Food History Book

    Ever wonder where our foods came from? Fascinated by facts?

  • The tomato originated in Peru as a yellow cherry tomato, and was brought back to Europe by the Conquistadors. But Europeans refused to eat it, thinking it was poisonous, so it was used as an ornamental houseplant for centuries until a famine drove desperate peasants to eat it—and live to tell about it.
  • The lemon originated in the Assam region of northern India and northern Burma, then traveled through China and Persia to become an ornamental plant in the Arab world. It arrived in Rome in the first century C.E.
  • The original macaroni and cheese comprised sheets of pasta dough cut into two-inch squares, boiled and tossed with grated cheese (probably Parmesan).
  • The dog was the first domesticated animal, used for work and companionship, but the first food animal to be domesticated was the sheep (as far back as 11,000 B.C.E.), followed by the pig (9000 B.C.E.), goat and cow (both about 8000 B.C.E.).
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    Lemons originated in Assam, but arrived in the Middle East around 600 C.E. as ornamental plants. Eggplant is also native to India, cultivated from prehistoric times, but it didn’t reach Europe until about 1500 C.E. This book tells all.

     

    Any food lover who wants to know where our foods originated—including the how and the why—should pick up a book or two on the history of food. While Michael Pollan’s books, such as The Omnivore’s Dilemma, are very popular (and very worthwhile reads), they just touch on the fascinating history of our food.

    Numerous books on food history can be more academic—which is to say, dry—than others. But two we like very much—and often give as gifts—are from authors who are not just expert in their topics, but gifted storytellers as well. They’re page-turners that provide many a happy hour of exploring our food history:

  • A History Of Food by Maguelonne Toussaint-Samat. First published in France in 1987 and now in its second edition, this is the go-to tome for people who want the facts. The information is staggering: not just how bread came to be, but the social history of who was able or allowed to eat what.
  • Moveable Feasts: From Ancient Rome to the 21st Century, the Incredible Journeys of the Food We Eat, by Sarah Murray. Journey through the fascinating history of food. Even with rickety boats, peppercorns from India were delivered to demanding ancient Romans. The invention of the barrel in third-century Rome revolutionized transcontinental trading and vastly improved the art of winemaking, which previously relied on clay amphorae. And yes, there’s a lot that takes place in Rome—there’s nowhere else like it.
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    If you’d like to browse, head to your nearest bookseller or to Amazon.com.

      

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    TIP OF THE DAY: Plan An Apple Picking Party

    Spend a lovely afternoon in an apple
    orchard. Photo courtesy
    KuipersFamilyFarm.com.

     

    How can you entertain without having to tidy up the house?

    Head off premises: go to the nearest apple orchard.

    It’s a winning way to spend an afternoon with friends and family; you’ll enjoy the fresh air, exercise and new opportunities to bond in a beautiful orchard. Then there’s the bonus of taking home the fruit of your labors (pun intended).

    In case the weather isn’t great on the day of your event, pick a rain date. And if it’s still raining, have a Plan B: Find an activity that can be done at home, like Pictionary. Order in pizza and have a bowl full of apples as a consolation prize.

    But let’s plan for good weather:

     

  • Look online to find an apple orchard that lets you pick your own. Check to see if they have picnic facilities (most do).
  • Tell everyone to dress in layers and wear shoes that are suitable for uneven and damp terrain. Bring a cap, scarf and gloves to be on the safe side.
  • Plan a picnic spread. In addition to cold drinks, include a thermos of herbal tea or soup in case the group gets chilly.
  • Establish a carpool plan.
  • Send a confirmation to all participants, including departure time and driving instructions.
  • Invite people to bring their favorite apple recipe, with enough copies for all the adults.
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    And have a terrific time!

      

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    TIP OF THE DAY: Farmed Vs. Wild Salmon

    Like salmon?

    Millions of Americans are fans of the firm, orange-fleshed fish—so much so that most of the salmon at food stores and restaurants is farmed to meet demand.

    While fish farming provides a plentiful supply, it comes with issues: toxins in the fish and damage to the environment, among other concerns.

    Take a look at the issues: They may impact your purchase decisions.

    After you read about the difference, find a new salmon recipe.

    And for fun, take our Wild Salmon Trivia Quiz.

    FOOD TRIVIA

    It’s true that salmon return to the exact spot where they were born to spawn the next generation. Tracking studies have proven this homing behavior, which scientists have determined depends on olfactory memory.

     

    It looks so tasty! Does it matter if the salmon is farmed vs. wild? Photo by Kelly Cline | IST.

     

    MORE FOOD TRIVIA

    Fish farming was invented in China, as far back as 2500 B.C.E. Carp were bred in artificial lakes and ponds. This ancient practice was perhaps the earliest example of sustainable farming, designed to increase food supplies while diminishing the environmental impact.

    According to NorthernAquaFarms.com, some 80% of the world’s fish farming takes place in Asia.

      

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