THE NIBBLE BLOG: Products, Recipes & Trends In Specialty Foods
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Archive for August 17, 2013

FOOD FUN: “Who” Made This Owl?

We found this owl on the Facebook page of Euforia Cake, but there was no attribution. If you know who should be credited, let us know!

If only we had the talent to sculpt fruit and vegetables into fantastic creatures! Instead, we’ll take pleasure in sharing the ones we find.

We’ve counted up the ingredients:

  • Head: cantaloupe
  • Eyes: grapes
  • Neck: chicory
  • Body: watermalon
  • Wings: spinach and zucchini
  • Legs: broccoli stalks
  • Tail: green onions and chilis

    We love it, but we don’t know who made it…or shot it.



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    RECIPE: Greek Potato Salad

    Greek potato salad. Photo and recipe
    courtesy Bella Sun Luci |


    If you haven’t yet selected a potato salad recipe for Labor Day weekend, we’d like to suggest this Greek Potato Salad. One way to make a potato salad recipe even better is to cross it with another favorite recipe—in this case, the Greek salad.

    This recipe is courtesy Mooney Farms, which makes the Bella Sun Luci brand of sundried tomato products.


    Ingredients For 4 Servings

  • 1 pound small yellow potatoes like Yukon Gold, cooked and cut into 1/4 inch slices
  • 1 cup sundried tomato halves in olive oil, drained (reserve the oil for the dressing)
  • 1 cup sliced seedless cucumber
  • 1/2 cup sliced red onion
  • 1 cup cubed feta cheese
  • 1/2 cup black and green Greek olives
  • Fresh basil leaves to garnish
  • For The Dressing

  • Fresh lemon juice (1 part to 3 parts olive oil)
  • 2 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 2 sprigs fresh oregano leaves, diced
  • Salt and pepper to taste


    1. PLACE potatoes in 2 quart saucepan. Add water to approximately 2 inches above the potatoes, plus 2 teaspoons salt. Cook, covered until tender, for approximately 12 minutes. Do not overcook or potatoes will fall apart in the salad.

    2. COMBINE potatoes, sundried tomatoes and cucumber in bowl. Toss gently with hands. Arrange onion, cheese, olives and basil leaves atop potato mixture.

    3. WHISK together olive oil, lemon juice, garlic, oregano, salt and pepper to taste. The olive oil and lemon juice are in a 3:1 ratio. For one cup of dressing, use 3/4 cup olive oil and 1/4 cup lemon juice. You can use the olive oil drained from the tomatoes as part of the olive oil measure.

    4. DRIZZLE dressing over potato salad.


    An assortment of sundried tomato products from Bella Sun Luci.



    Sun-dried tomatoes are ripe tomatoes that have been sun-dried or oven-dried, causing most of the moisture to evaporate. The larger the tomato, the more moisture evaporates—up to 93%. As a result, it takes from 8 to 14 kilos of fresh tomatoes to make a single kilo of sundried tomatoes.

    Originally made from red plum tomatoes, today sundried tomatoes are available in a assorted tomato varieties, colors and shapes (halves and julienne-cut, for example).

    Naturally sundried tomatoes spend 4-10 days in the sun, and are usually pre-treated with sulfur dioxide, which prevents spoilage by bacteria and oxidation. No nutrition is lost in the drying process.

    Sundried tomatoes may also be preserved in olive oil, along with other ingredients such as rosemary, basil, dried paprika, and garlic.

    Sundried tomatoes are a boon when vine-ripened tomatoes are out of season. But they also work year-round in recipes where ripe, raw tomatoes don’t fit as well.

    Bella Sun Lucie has a robust line of sundried products, made from California-grown tomatoes:

  • Plain dried tomatoes, loose or packaged, halves or julienne-cut
  • Dried tomatoes with seasonings (Bella Sun Luci has julienne-cut varieties with oregano, basil and garlic and another with jalapeño chiles)
  • Tomatoes in olive oil: halves or julienne-cut, plain or with seasonings (Bella Sun Luci makes both cuts with Italian herbs)
  • Sun Dried Tomato Pesto with whole pine nuts
  • Sun Dried Tomato Bruschetta with Italian Basil
  • Sun Dried Tomato Risotto Mix
    Purées and sundried tomato sauces are available from other manufacturers.


    The original, hyphenated, form of the word has evolved into a compound word (similar to web-site and website). Take your choice.

    THE NIBBLE uses “sundried,” except when referring to products that are spelled “sun-dried” by their manufacturers.


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    TIP OF THE DAY: Berry-Custard Dessert Cocktail

    More berries and less custard lower the
    calories in this delicious dessert. Photo
    courtesy Ruth’s Chris Steak House.


    Since it’s National Vanilla Custard Day, today’s tip is a way to enjoy custard with fewer calories. Just “pad out” the custard with low-calorie berries.



  • Mixed berries
  • Vanilla custard (substitute vanilla pudding)
  • Optional: orange liqueur
  • Optional garnish: mint sprig


    1. PLACE 3 tablespoons of custard in the bottom of a Martini glass.


    2. TOP with berries. Drizzle an optional tablespoon of orange liqueur—Grand Gala, Grand Marnier, triple sec, etc.—over the berries.

    3. GARNISH with optional mint sprig and serve.

    Custard is semisoft preparation of milk or cream and eggs, thickened with heat. It can be cooked on top of the stove or baked in the oven.

    Custards can be sweet or savory, spanning desserts and dessert sauces to quiche and savory custard tarts.

    Check out the different types of custard in our Custard Glossary.


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    RECIPE: Fruit Salad Cocktail or Mocktail

    We love this idea of a “seltzer-fruit cocktail” from Polar Seltzer: refreshing and low in calories. The Worcester, Massachusetts-based bottler makes seltzer in numerous yummy, calorie-free flavors:

  • Year-Round Flavors: Black Cherry, Blueberry, Cherry Pomegranate, Cranberry Lime, Georgia Peach, Granny Smith Apple, Lemon, Lime, Mandarin, Pomegranate, Raspberry Lime, Ruby Red Grapefruit, Strawberry, Triple Berry, Orange Vanilla, Vanilla.
  • Limited Edition Summer Flavors: Limited editions change yearly, but summer flavors have included Ginger Lemonade, Mint Mojito, Orange Mango, Piña Colada and Pineapple Passionfruit.
  • Limited Edition Holiday Flavors: What a great idea for calorie-free drinks! No wonder past flavors such as Boston Cream Pie, Butter Rum, Candy Cane, Cinnamon, Eggnog, Mint Chocolate, Pumpkin Spice and Vanilla Pear have sold out.

    The mixologists at Polar Beverages always provide cocktail and mocktail ideas for the different flavors. You can find them on the company’s website and Facebook page.


    Cocktail or mocktail with “fruit salad.” Photo courtesy Polar Seletzer.




  • 3 or 4 different fruits
  • Flavored seltzer to match
  • Optional: a shot of your favorite spirit or liqueur
  • Ice cubes

    1. PREPARE fruits: wash, pat dry, slice as needed.

    2. FILL glass with ice cubes, seltzer and optional spirit.

    3. ARRANGE fruits at the top of the glass. The ice cubes serve as a base to anchor the fruit.

    4. SERVE with a straw and a cocktail pick or cocktail fork for the fruit.


    “Creamsicle” seltzer: Orange Vanilla seltzer
    with an orange wedge. Photo courtesy Polar



    A Glossary Of Sparkling Waters

    Any effervescent water belongs to the category of carbonated water, also called soda water: water into which carbon dioxide gas under pressure has been dissolved, causing the water to become effervescent. The carbon dioxide can be natural, as in some spring waters and mineral waters, or can be added in the bottling process. (In fact, even some naturally carbonated waters are enhanced with more carbonation at the bottling plant.)

    Carbonated Water: In the U.S., carbonated water was known as soda water until after World War II, due to the sodium salts it contained. While today we think of “soda” as a carbonated beverage, the word originally refers to a chemical salts, also called carbonate of soda (sodium carbonate, sodium hydroxide, sodium monoxide). The salts were added as flavoring and acidity regulator, to mimic the taste of a natural mineral water.

    After the war, terms such as sparkling water and seltzer water gained favor. Except for sparkling mineral water, all carbonated water/soda water is made from municipal water supplies (tap water). Carbonated water was invented in Leeds, England in 1767 by British chemist Joseph Priestley, who discovered how to infuse water with carbon dioxide by suspending a bowl of water above a beer vat at a local brewery. Carbonated water changed the way people drank liquor, which had been neat, providing a “mixer” to dilute the alcohol.

    Club Soda: Like the original carbonated water, club soda is enhanced with some sodium salts.

    Fizzy Water: Another term for carbonated water.

    Seltzer or Seltzer Water: Seltzer is carbonated water with no sodium salts added. The term derives from the town of Selters in central Germany, which is renowned for its mineral springs. The naturally carbonated spring water—which contains naturally dissolved salts—has been commercially bottled and shipped around the world since at least the 18th century. When seltzer is made by carbonating tap water, some salts are added for the slightest hint of flavor. And that’s the difference between seltzer and club soda: Club soda is salt-free.

    Sparkling Water: Another term for carbonated water/soda water. It can also refer to sparkling mineral water, which is pumped from underground aquifers. Note that not all sparkling mineral waters are naturally effervescent. Many are actually carbonated from still mineral water. Some are lightly carbonated by nature, but have extra carbonation added at bottling to meet consumer preferences.

    Two Cents Plain: Another word for soda water, coined during the Great Depression, when plain soda water was the cheapest drink at the soda fountain.


    Check out our Water Glossary for the different types of water, including the difference between mineral water and spring water.


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