THE NIBBLE BLOG: Products, Recipes & Trends In Specialty Foods
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Archive for July 8, 2013

PRODUCT: Mingo’s Sweet Hot Mustard & Pepper Butter

Mingo’s: mysterious but delicious. Photo by
Elvira Kalvise | THE NIBBLE.


Several products arrive at THE NIBBLE offices each week, over the transom*.

Of these surprise deliveries, some contain a business card, some have a letter and some have nothing. Most of the products are just O.K.; some are quite good and we want to write about them.

And some of the latter become mysteries, because there’s no card, no website on the bottle, and our ability to track down more information is limited.

That’s the case with Mingo’s, a brand about which there is precious little online information. We were able to discern that:

  • It is made by S & S Foods of Mustang, Oklahoma (we did find an address and a phone number).
  • It is available from three or so e-tailers.
    That‘s it.

    While there are several companies named S & S Foods in the country, we could find nothing further about the one in Mustang, Oklahoma. No website, no product reviews. Who Mingo is, we have no idea.

    What we can tell you is that, we really like the products.

  • Mingo’s Sweet Hot Mustard Sauce combines the tang of mustard and vinegar, the heat of jalapeño and a blend of sugar and spices. It has become a favorite condiment on sandwiches and hot dogs. The mustard is listed on Amazon but is out of stock. This Oklahoma e-tailer sells it.
  • Mingo‘s Pepper Butter, is a delightfully different spread in Mild, with the jalapeño seeds removed; Medium, with the heat-containing seeds left in the jalapeños; and Hot, with jalapeño and serrano chiles, including the seeds.

    Like the mustard, the Pepper Butter has a touch of sweetness. As with apple butter, there is no butter in the product; “butter” refers to the smooth spreadability. Use it:

  • As a general condiment and a hot alternative to pickle relish.
  • As a spread on sandwiches, burgers, hot dogs, wraps, etc.
  • As a dip, straight or combined with cream cheese, mayonnaise or yogurt, with chips, pretzels and raw vegetables.
  • Mixed in with the mayo or other dressing for chicken, tuna and other salads.
  • As a meat and poultry rub, or added to meat loaf and other recipes where you’d like a more refined kick than mere hot sauce.

    Pepper butter on a wrap sandwich. Photo courtesy DairyMax.

    Mingo’s is worth tracking down. Give it with impunity to food-loving friends. Buy it for stocking stuffers. And tell us how else you’d use it.
    *This charming publishing industry term means, “arrives unsolicited or without prior knowledge.” It dates to the days before centralized building ventilation systems, when the transom—a small, horizontal window above a door—was opened to circulate air. Some would-be authors, who could not get their manuscripts past the assistant or the mail room, would toss unsolicited manuscripts over the transom, directly into an editor’s office.


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    FOOD FUN: A Hot Dog Sculpture

    Eat your craft project: a dog made from hot
    dogs. Photo courtesy Dietz and Watson.


    Family and friends will howl with delight at this edible dog sculpture made of hot dogs or brats. We love edible craft projects!

    The recipe is courtesy Dietz & Watson, purveyors of premium deli meats.


    Ingredients Per Dog

  • 1-2 plump hot dogs
  • Toothpicks
  • Optional: thick cucumber slice, mustard and/or

    1. SLICE off one end of the hot dog; cut the end piece in half to make the ears.

    2. CUT off the other end in a chunk large enough for the head.

    3. MAKE the feet and tail by cutting one-inch pieces in half. Depending on the length of the original piece, you may have enough length in the body of the dog to cut the four feet and the tail. Or, you may need part of a second hot dog.

    3. AFFIX all the appendages with toothpicks

    4. OPTIONAL: Use a melon baller to hollow out a thick cucumber slice as a “dog bowl”; fill with mustard or ketchup and place in front of the dog as a dipping sauce.

    Try a book like Funny Food: 365 Fun, Healthy, Silly, Creative Breakfasts, and Fun Stuff series:

  • Fun Stuff Silly Snacks
  • Fun Stuff Cookies
  • Fun Stuff Holiday Recipes
    We love the original “Play With Your Food” books by Joost Elffers and Saxton Freymann. Most are out of print, but you can find some of them on Amazon:

  • Play With Your Food
  • Food Play
  • Fast Food
  • Food For Thought
    Have fun!


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    RECIPE: Make Grape Granita

    Before there were sorbet makers, there was granita, hand-scraped in ice cube trays as the mixture freezes (it‘s also known as shaved ice).

    Granita is a semi-frozen dessert made from sugar, water and flavoring—typically fruit or coffee. A precursor of sorbet and Italian ice, it originated in Sicily, where the texture remains coarser and more crystalline (crunchier) than in other parts of Italy.

    The preferred texture varies from region to region: chunkier in the western regions and smoother in the eastern regions. The texture is the result of how little or much the mixture is agitated while freezing. But no matter how smooth the granita, it is never as smooth as sorbet. A little “crunch” on ice makes it a unique recipe.


    Grape granita: crunchy, grapey ice crystals. Photo courtesy


    Granita is fun to make. The scraping of the ice crystals can be delegated to kids, who will enjoy making their dessert or snack.

    This recipe for grape granita was created by chef Chris Faulkner for


    Red Muscato grapes. Photo courtesy




  • 1/4 cup dry red wine
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 2 cups water, divided use
  • 3/4 pound Muscato grapes*
  • Lemon juice to taste
    For a more adult flavor profile, add a tablespoon of grappa or vodka.
    *Muscato grapes are available in red or green. Red grapes add a pinkish color to the granita; green grapes produce a paler product. Muscato, Muscat and Moscato are the same grape.


    1. COMBINE the wine, sugar and 1 cup water in a saucepan; bring the mixture to a boil, stirring until the sugar is dissolved. Simmer the syrup for 5 minutes and let it cool.

    2. PURÉE the grapes with the syrup in a blender or food processor and strain the purée through a fine sieve into a bowl, pressing hard on the solids.

    3. STIR in 1 cup cold water and the lemon juice; chill the mixture, covered, until cold. Stir the mixture and transfer it to 2 metal ice cube trays without dividers, or a shallow metal bowl.

    4. FREEZE, stirring with a fork every 20 to 30 minutes and crushing the large frozen clumps. Do this for 2 to 3 hours, or until the granita is firm but not frozen solid.

    5. SCRAPE the granita with a fork to lighten the texture and serve it in chilled bowls.


  • Grapefruit Granita
  • Grapefruit Tarragon Granita
  • Watermelon Mint Granita


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    TIP OF THE DAY: Bellini Cocktail For Summer

    Is the Bellini the perfect summer drink? It’s made with sparkling Prosecco, a lighter alternative (and more lightly priced) than Champagne, and a purée of ripe summer peaches.

    While you can purchase peach purée (The Perfect Purée makes a great one), with peaches plentiful and affordable, it’s cost effective to make your own.

    We picked up a flat of a dozen peaches from Trader Joe’s for $5.99. We had planned to snack on them, but the more they ripened, the more we had other eating priorities.

    The next thing we knew, we had a dozen very ripe peaches. When life gives you peaches, make peach purée. We peeled them and tossed them in the food processor.

    We snacked on the tasty peelings, full of the antioxidants vitamins A, C, E and K and chlorogenic acid. (Peaches are also a rich source of calcium, fiber, folate acid and potassium.)



    Celebrate summer with Bellini cocktails. Photo courtesy Chocolate Lab | San Francisco.



    While many people use Champagne to make a Bellini, the original recipe, created in 1948 by Giuseppe Cipriani, head bartender at Harry’s Bar in Venice, is made with Prosecco. The dry, sparkling Italian wine is lighter than Champagne and doesn’t contribute Champagne’s chalk and mineral flavors to the drink. (Some people confuse the Bellini with the Mimosa, a cocktail made of Champagne and orange juice.)

    The peachy color of the cocktail reminded Cipriani of the color of the robe of St. Francis in the 15th-century painting by Venetian artist Giovanni Bellini. Cipriani named the drink in Bellini’s honor.

    It is said that the original Bellini was made with white peach purée. White peaches were plentiful in the area and were often marinated in wine as a dessert.

    If you can’t find white peaches, don’t worry. When mixed with the Prosecco, the flavor difference between white and yellow peaches is indistinguishable. And yellow peaches provide more of the color for which the drink was named. Feel free to use whichever are more affordable.


    A detail from “St. Francis In Ecstasy” by
    Giovanni Bellini. The painting is owned
    by the Frick Museum in New York City.



    Ingredients Per Cocktail

  • 2 ounces white peach purée
  • Chilled Prosecco
  • Fresh lemon


    1. POUR purée into a Champagne flute.

    2. ADD a squeeze of fresh lemon.

    3. TOP with chilled Prosecco. You don’t need to stir, but if you do, do it just once and very gently so that you don’t break the bubbles.




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