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Archive for June 2, 2013

FATHER’S DAY: Spielgau IPA Glasses

As any beer connoisseur knows, quality glassware enhances the enjoyment of quality craft beer. And you don’t have to be a connoisseur to know that there are different shapes of glasses for pilsners, wheat bees and other beer styles.

That‘s because nuances of engineering reflect the different attributes of a particular style of beer (or wine). For example:

Like a champagne flute, a tall, narrow glass enables the beer to release its flavor more slowly. But for someone who likes a pronounced head, a glass with a deep bowl allows it to form.

The classic stein and pint glasses are generic glassware that don’t nudge the beer in any specific direction. Before modern engineering, practicality and fashion ruled:

  • The 10-sided handled pint mug, introduced in the 1920s, kept the beer cooler longer by keeping warm hands off the glass.
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    IPA, Globe Pilsner, Wheat Beer and Tall Pilsner glasses. Photo courtesy Spielgau.

     

  • The dimpled glass, introduced in the 1940s, enhanced the visual appeal of the fashionable darker beers by allowing light hit the dimples in the glass.
     

    Manufacturers of fine glassware learned that they could, among other adjustments, engineer glasses to bring out the particular qualities of a variety of beer:

  • A larger body keeps the beer cooler for longer.
  • Etching the bottom of the glass helps to maintain the head and the release of carbonation (so the beer doesn’t get flat as quickly).
  • A slightly narrow neck traps the aroma.
  • A double thick bottom better insulates from any warmth from the table top.
  • A stem or a narrower bottom where it’s comfortable to hold the glass keeps away heat from hands that could warm the brew.
  • An outward-turned lip can enhance the sweet notes of the beer.
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    Fron left to right: IPA glass, globe pilsner,
    wheat beer glass and tall pilsner. Photo
    courtesy Spielgau.

     

    NEW IPA GLASSES

    If you’re a fan of IPAs (India Pale Ales—which happen to be our favorite tyle of beer), check out Spiegelau’s new IPA glass. The manufacturer collaborated with Dogfish Head and Sierra Nevada breweries to create a glass that best displays the nuances of IPA-style beers.

    Twelve different prototypes were developed by Spielgau and tested by the bewers, designed to showcase varying aromatic profiles for “hop forward” IPA beers, preserve a frothy head and volatiles and maintain a comfortably wide opening for the drinker to “nose” the beer.

    Why is the engineering so important? In the case of the IPA glasses:

  • Thin walls maintain proper beer temperature longer.
  • The slender, bowed shape amplifies the hops aroma.
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  • Wave-like ridges aerate the beer to balance flavors.
  • A wide mouth allows the drinker to “nose” the beer comfortably for heightened aroma.
  • Raw quartz silica combined with state of the art production methods help sustain the head and the carbonation. It also delivers the beer evenly across the palate for a pleasant creaminess and harmony of sweetness and acidity.
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    The 19-ounce/540 ml glasses are $24.90 for a set of two. You can buy them on Amazon.

      

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    RECIPE: Baked Fish With Watermelon Salsa

    The recipe was originally made with catfish, but you can use flounder, tilapia or any favorite white fish. Prep time 10 minutes, cook time 15 minutes.

    BAKED FISH WITH WATERMELON SALSA

    Ingredients For 4 Portions

  • 1 lime
  • 1 teaspoon olive oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 4 (6 ounce) catfish filets
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 2-1/2 pounds seedless watermelon, chopped
  • 1/4 red onion, thinly sliced
  • 1 jalapeño, chopped
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    Baked tilapia with watermelon salsa. Photo courtesy Dole.com.

     
    Preparation

    1. PREHEAT the oven to 350°F.

    2. ZEST the lime into a large bowl. Cut the lime in half and squeeze the juice from one half into the bowl. Set aside.

    3. COMBINE the juice from half the lime, olive oil, cumin, salt and pepper in an 8″x8″ baking dish and mix well. Arrange the catfish filets in the baking dish, turning to coat with the lime mixture.

    4. BAKE 15 minutes until the fish is not longer opaque and flakes easily with a fork. Meanwhile, make the salsa:

    5. WHISK the honey into the remaining lime juice. Add the watermelon, onion, cilantro and jalapeño. Toss to blend. Serve atop the fish filets, or pass separately in a bowl.
     
    FIND MORE OF OUR FAVORITE FISH RECIPES.

      

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    PRODUCT: Hot Chili Pepper Seasoning

    Shake it, shake it baby! Photo by Elvira
    Kalviste | THE NIBBLE.

     

    Jilli Pepper is an Albuquerque-based company known locally for its Red Chile Pineapple Salsa, Green Chile Salsa, Red Chile Salsa Mix and Hot Fiesta Pepper.

    The company sent us some of its Scovie Award-winning* Hot Fiesta Pepper, which we find to be a delightful alternative to cracked red pepper or other heat.

    The recipe is a mix of red chili powder, crushed pequin chiles, dried onions, cilantro, garlic and salt—a complex layering of flavors. An all-purpose dry spice, you can use it instead of salt on any number of foods.

    Shake it onto pizza, pasta or rice. Season your eggs. Sprinkle it onto fish, meat or poultry in it prior to cooking. Mix it into dips. Make an olive oil bread dipper or spicy butter or cream cheese spread. Use it to make salsa hotter.

    We enjoyed it on everything from cucumber slices to cottage cheese and yogurt.

     

    Hot Fiesta Pepper is available online by the case of 12 four-ounce shakers. We like them for small gifting, party favors and stocking stuffers. Get yours at JilliPepper.com.

    This $4.00 gift packs a lot of heat!

     

    *Hot Fiesta Pepper is a 2010 Scovie Winner in the hot and spice condiments category. The Scovie Awards are given annually to hot and spicy in a wide variety of categories, from barbecue sauce an salsa to beverages and snacke. the name is derived from the Scoville Scale, long used to measure the heat levels of chiles.

      

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    TIP OF THE DAY: Storing Fresh Fruit, Part 1

    Don’t toss fresh fruit in the fridge: Most fruits are best kept in a cool, dry place, such as on a countertop, away from sunlight and heat. As with tomatoes, refrigeration can actually alter the flavor. That’s why you should only buy what you can reasonably expect to consume before it becomes overripe.

    Today’s tip comprises fruit ripening tips from The FruitGuys founder Chris Middlesteadt. The FruitGuys delivers farm-fresh fruit and vegetables to businesses, homes and schools nationwide. The company pioneered the “fruit at work” concept in San Francisco in 1998 to help companies provide healthy snacking options to employees.

    APPLES

    Apples should be kept in a cool space (below 60°F-70°F), away from sunlight and heat, where they will keep well for two weeks or so. Refrigerated apples can last as long as six weeks and still maintain their qualities.

     

    Apricots ripening on the counter. Stone fruits in general, taste better if they aren’t refrigerated. Photo courtesy FrogHollow.com.

     

    APRICOTS & ANGELCOTS

    Angelcots are a white-fleshed variety of apricot. Apricots and all stone fruits continue to ripen after picking and should be stored at room temperature, away from sunlight and heat, until they give softly to the touch and have a sweet aroma. Once ripe, you can refrigerate the fruit as necessary to prevent spoiling; but cold temperatures may change their texture and taste.

    AVOCADOS

    Store avocados at room temperature until they are ripe. They’ll give slightly to pressure when they’re ready to eat. Speed up the ripening process by putting them in a paper bag for a couple of days. After ripening, they can be refrigerated for several days. Avocado halves should be stored in an airtight container in the fridge with the pit still in place.

     

    Queen Anne and Bing cherries. Photo
    courtesy Washington State Fruit Commission.

     

    BANANAS

    Store bananas at room temperature away from direct sunlight and heat. Bananas become yellow, soft and sweet as they ripen. To speed the ripening process, put bananas in a paper bag overnight along with an apple. The natural ethylene gas released by the apple will help ripen the bananas. Bananas are very delicate and can be easily damaged by extreme temperatures, hot or cold. If bananas turn black then most likely the fruit was exposed to extreme cold temperatures. Refrigerating bananas turns the skin black, but not the flesh. If you have too many ripe bananas, stick them in the fridge, slice and freeze, or make some banana bread or Banana Daiquiris!

    BERRIES

    Berries are picked ripe; these fragile fruits should be enjoyed as soon as possible. For overnight storage, they should be refrigerated. But don’t wash them until you’re ready to eat (or freeze) them.

    CHERRIES

    If your cherries last uneaten for more than a day, store them unwashed in a plastic bag in the fridge for up to a week or so. When ready to use, rinse and let warm to room temperature for best flavor. They’re also great pitted and frozen for a refreshing cold treat, or tossed into smoothies.

    CITRUS FRUITS

    Grapefruit, lemons, limes, oranges, pomelos and tangerines can be stored at room temperature for a week or so, out of direct sunlight; or refrigerated for several weeks.

    FIGS

    Figs are picked ripe and should be stored in the refrigerator until ready to eat. You can enjoy them cold or at room temperature. Figs and fresh goat cheese are one of our favorite treats.

    Tune in tomorrow for Ripening Tips Part 2, from grapes and melons to peaches and plums.

      

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