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Archive for October 17, 2012

HALLOWEEN: Peanut Butter Cups

They’re almost too lovely to eat—but we’ll
manage. Photo courtesy Woodhouse
Chocolate.

 

There are only two weeks until Halloween, but that’s plenty of time to send for these gourmet peanut butter cups.

Not only are the chocolate shell and peanut butter filling artisan quality, but the “dressed for Halloween” artwork deserves a shout out.

The PB cups are made by Napa Valley’s Woodhouse Chocolate, a NIBBLE Top Pick Of The Week (read our review).

In bat, haunted house, raven and witch motifs, the two-inch-diameter cups are $4.00 each at WoodhouseChocolate.com.

Find more of our favorite chocolate in THE NIBBLE’s Chocolate Section.

 

  

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PRODUCT: Jingos! Crackers

Many of us grew up on Pepperidge Farm Goldfish Crackers. Invented in Germany, the crackers were introduced to the U.S. in 1962 by Pepperidge Farm founder Margaret Rudkin (the company is now owned by Campbell Soup Company).

In the 50 years since, Goldfish Crackers have been made in more than 15 flavors and even into different shapes: starfish, Christmas trees and beachballs, for example.

Now, the company has introduced a new snack cracker to its lineup. It’s a more sophisticated concept for an adult audience, but kids will still enjoy the groovy shape and lively flavors.

Jingos! (the exclamation point is part of the brand’s name) are baked and “seasoned twice for an explosive taste every time.” While we’re not sure about the name (more about that below), we do like the snappy, crunchy crackers, made in three flavors:

  • Fiesta Cheddar
  • Lime & Sweet Chili
  • Parmesan Garlic
  •  

    Jingos are fun crackers for snacks and garnishes. Photo by Elvira Kalviste | THE NIBBLE.

     

    Snack from the box, dip them into plain yogurt, use them as salad croutons, serve them with soup.

    Like Goldfish, you get a lot of crackers per one-ounce serving: 23 small crackers per serving, 140 calories.

    Larger than Goldfish, Jingos! are the size of a Frito chip. That’s a lot of crunching: You may be more than satisfied with half a serving.

    Learn more at Jingos.com.

    JINGO & JINGOISM

    Vaguely knowing of the expression, “By jingo!” we headed to the dictionary.

    According to Dictionary.com, a jingo is a bellicose chauvinist: a person who professes his or her patriotism loudly and excessively, favoring vigilant preparedness for war and an aggressive foreign policy.

    The term “jingoism,” an attitude of belligerent nationalism (chauvinism), apparently originated in England during the Russo-Turkish War of 1877-78. The British Mediterranean squadron was sent to Gallipoli to restrain Russia and war fever was aroused.

    The phrase, “by jingo,” appeared in the refrain of a popular song: “We don’t want to fight, yet by jingo, if we do, We’ve got the ships, we’ve got the men, And got the money, too!”

    As a result, supporters of the British government’s policy toward Russia came to be called jingos.

    What this has to do with crackers, we must leave to Pepperidge Farm to explain.

      

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    TIP OF THE DAY: Food Safety Tips, Part 2

    How much do you really know about keeping food safe? Yesterday, we published the first half of this list of food safety tips. This is Part 2.

    SAFETY WITH EGGS

    Myth #9: “Eggs are safe as long as the shell is not cracked. Germs can only get in through cracks.”
    Reality: Salmonella, one of the bacteria that cause food poisoning, can grow inside fresh, unbroken eggs. Cook eggs until the yolk and white are firm, not runny. Scramble eggs to a firm texture. You can safely enjoy your eggs over easy, but not sunny-side up.

    To ensure safety, cook the eggs by flipping once so that the egg white is completely cooked and the egg yolk is starting to gel. Don’t use recipes in which eggs remain raw or only partially cooked.

    Myth #10: “Hard boiled eggs are safe and don’t need to be refrigerated.”
    Reality: Keep boiled eggs on ice, in a cooler, or in a cold pack if the eggs will not be eaten within two hours. Just because they are cooked, doesn’t mean they can’t grow bacteria.

     

    Even if there’s no crack, an egg can be
    contaminated with bacteria. Photo by Kasey
    Albano | SXC.

     

    WHAT ABOUT MOLD?

    “Myth #11: “If there is just a little bit of mold on top of the food, I can scrape it off. What’s underneath is still good.”
    Reality: The mold you see is only the tip of the iceberg. Typically, the bacteria or toxins are found under the surface of the food. Although you can salvage hard cheeses, salamis and firm fruits and vegetables by cutting the mold out, most foods should be discarded.

    SAFETY WITH POULTRY & MAYONNAISE

    Myth #12: “Mayonnaise is often the cause of food-borne illness.”
    Reality: Commercially purchased mayonnaise is pasteurized and has a high acid content that actually slows bacteria growth. Mayonnaise does not cause food poisoning, bacteria do. And bacteria grow best on foods that contain protein and are at temperatures between 40°-140°F. At greater risk for developing bacteria are the foods mayonnaise is commonly mixed with for picnics and potlucks, such as eggs, chicken, pasta, potatoes and tuna.

    Their small, cut-up surfaces allow the bacteria to grow in the right environment. But even these foods will be safe if you keep your cooler below 40°F. Don’t guess: Use a thermometer.

     

    Don’t thaw turkey or other poultry on the
    counter. You’ve just got to make room in the
    fridge. Photo by Evegny B | Fotolia.

     

    Myth #13: “It is okay to let turkey thaw out on the kitchen counter. Everyone does it that way.”
    Reality: You should NEVER thaw poultry at room temperature. Because it is impossible to ensure that raw poultry is free of harmful bacteria, you must rely on temperature to control or eliminate the harmful bacteria.

    Bacteria tend to multiply and increase their population between 45°F and 140°F. By leaving raw turkey or any other raw poultry at room temperature, you are giving bacteria the the opportunity to grow.

    It is best to thaw the poultry in the refrigerator. You can use other thawing methods, such as microwaving or running cool water over the bird, but these alternative methods need to be followed by immediate cooking.

    BBQs, PICNICS, POTLUCKS & TAILGATES

    Myth #14: “If food is kept in a cooler, it will be maintained at the proper temperature.”
    Reality: The only way to know for sure if your cooler or refrigerator is at the proper temperature is with a thermometer. You want to make sure your cold foods stay below 40°F. Another precaution is to pack raw meat and cooked or ready to eat foods in separate coolers. This can help to avoid any potential cross-contamination from spilled juices.

    Pack coolers tight with ice, store in a cool spot and keep them closed as much as possible. Only open when necessary and when it is time to cook or serve the food. Keep drinks in their own cooler so you can open and shut it frequently without having to worry about lowering the temperature of the food.

    Myth #15: “Food can be left at room or outdoor temperature for more than two hours.”
    Reality: Because bacteria grow rapidly in the “danger zone” between 40°F and 140°F, food left at room temperature for more than two hours should be discarded. When the temperature outside is 90°F or hotter, picnic or barbecue food should be discarded after just one hour.

    Now you know 15 ways to keep your food safe. If you have more food safety questions, let us know.

      

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