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Archive for May 28, 2014

TOP PICK OF THE WEEK: Magnum Ice Cream Bars New Flavors

The premium ice cream brand, Magnum, was launched in Sweden in January 1989. (January? Sweden? Ice cream? Brr!)

Now part of Unilever, the original Magnum, targeted to adults, offered a thick bar of vanilla ice cream on a stick, with real chocolate coating.

At the time, there was no real chocolate that could withstand the commercial ice cream freezer temperature of -40° Celsius (even today, premium brands like Häagen-Dazs use confectionary coating, not real chocolate, and good palates can taste the difference).

So a special (and especially excellent) chocolate was developed by the great Belgian chocolate producer, Callebaut.

In 2011, Magnum ice cream was launched in the U.S. and Canada with six varieties: Double Caramel, Double Chocolate, Classic, Almond, White and Dark. For us, it was love at first bite.

Today, Magnum is one of the world’s leading ice cream brands, selling one billion bars annually, worldwide. It is the biggest brand of Unilever ice creams (which include Ben & Jerry’s, Breyers, Fudgsicle, Klondike and Popsicle, among others).

Since our first Magnum review, the quality has continued to deliver all that one could desire. We’ve been remiss, and it’s time to promote this brand to a Top Pick Of The Week.

   

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The best chocolate fix in the supermarket: a Magnum Chocolate Infinity Bar. Photo courtesy Unilever.

 

 

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Minis have all of the satisfaction, with far
fewer calories. Photo courtesy Unilever.

 

2014 NEW FLAVORS

  • Magnum Chocolate Infinity Bar, dark chocolate ice cream with a rich chocolate swirl, dipped in dark chocolate and cacao (cocoa bean) nibs. The extra texture provided by the cacao nibs is inspired.
  • Magnum Chocolate Infinity & Raspberry Bar, dark chocolate ice cream with a raspberry swirl, dipped in dark chocolate and those inspired cacao nibs. If you haven’t tried it, chocolate and raspberry are one of life’s great combinations, whether in ice cream, chocolates or cake.
  • Also new:

  • Mini Variety Pack, all the pleasure in a smaller serving size, which is still more than satisfying. Flavors include three top-sellers: Classic (vanilla ice cream dipped in milk chocolate), Almond (milk chocolate and almonds) and White Chocolate (vanilla ice cream dipped in white chocolate).
     
    The minis are 11.1 fluid ounces and 150/160* calories compared to 3.38 fluid ounces and 260/270& calories for the standard bars. Whether as lower-calorie treats or for smaller appetites, they hit the spot. (If you want to develop the palates of young children, give them Magnum Minis, not Good Humor).

  •  
    See all the variations available in the U.S. at MagnumIceCream.com (there are even more varieties in Europe).

    The line is certified kosher by KOF-K.
     
    Magnum Chocolate Infinity and Chocolate Infinity & Raspberry bars are available in 3-count multipacks at grocery stores nationwide, for a suggested retail price of $3.99. The Magnum Mini Variety Pack is available for a suggested retail price of $4.99 for a 6-count box. The bars are also available singly at some retailers.
     
    THE HISTORY OF ICE CREAM

    When did ice cream bars appear on the ice cream time line? Check out the history of ice cream.
     
    *Almond-coated bars have 10 additional calories.

      

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    TIP OF THE DAY: Tortellini En Brodo

    Tortellini en brodo (often misspelled in the U.S. as tortellini in brodo) is a classic Italian dish. Some Americans call it tortellini soup.

    It is served as a first course—chicken broth with a few tortellini—or as a main dish packed with tortellini. It’s a cousin of dumpling and chicken soups from Jewish chicken soup with kreplach to Chinese wonton soup, not to mention American chicken-noodle soup.

    While most Americans eat tortellini with a red or white sauce and grated Parmesan, en brodo is a lighter way to enjoy the little loops of pasta.

    The dish, which originated in the northern Italian region of Emilia-Romagna (more about that below), is warming in cold weather, but light enough to be summer fare. You can make it from scratch or purchase the components. Both the tortellini and the broth can be made ahead and reheated.

    While a flavorful bowl of chicken broth and tasty tortellini are comfort food in any season, if you don’t add veggies and herb garnishes, you’re leaving a lot off the table.

  • Add lots of fresh herbs. Parsley will do; but you can pick your favorites, from cilantro to dill. They may not be authentic Italian herbs, but this is your show (and they taste great with the dish).
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    http://www.dreamstime.com/stock-photography-tortellini-soup-delicious-vegetable-image30876662

    Tortellini en brodo in its simplest form, with fresh herbs. Photo by Aas2009 | Dreamstime.

  • Root vegetables add fragrance and flavor the broth. Also consider spinach or kale.
  •  
    Customize your recipe:

  • Combine both white and green tortellini. Mixing up different fillings offer a pleasant surprise with each bite.
  • In spring, add fresh peas or other seasonal vegetables such as asparagus.
  • Make it a heartier dish with strips of poultry or pork, or tiny meatballs.
  • Spice it up with a garnish of sliced fresh jalapeño.
  • Go fusion with a garnish of tortilla or wonton strips.
  •  

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    The next time you make tortellini, try it en
    brodo
    instead of with traditional sauces.
    Photo of Randazzo’s tortellini and sauces by
    Elvira Kalviste | THE NIBBLE.

     

    THE HISTORY OF TORTELLINI

    Tortellini are made by filling long strips of pasta, rolling them into tubes and cutting individual pieces, which are pinched together with the thumb and forefinger. The famous “loop” shape is said to be based on the belly button of the Venus, the Roman goddess of love.

    One of the most famous versions of the legend, written in the 14th century, tells us that that Bacchus, Mars and Venus came down to earth to intervene in a 12th century war between Bologna and Modena (in Emilia-Romagna). They spent the night at an inn in Castelfranco, a small town located between the two cities.

    In the morning, Bacchus and Mars arose early to visit the battle site. When Venus awoke and could not find her companions, she called for the innkeeper, who arrived to find the goddess of love naked. Inspired by her navel, he created a new shape of pasta. (Seriously, Mr. Innkeeper—her navel inspired you?)

    Tortellini are made in a size that fits easily onto a soup spoon. There is a recipe for tortelli, larger tortellini, that dates back to the 12th century. The first recipe for tortellini alla Bolognese, tomato and meat sauce, appeared in Bologna in 1550 and became a signature dish in that city. (Note that Tuscans also claim tortellini as their regional pasta.)

     
    Tortellini en brodo was the traditional Christmas soup, made with capon broth, which was favored by the ruling classes. The broth was made rich by cooking all the meat in it. The meat was then turned into a stuffing with Parmigiano-Reggiano, prosciutto crudo and/or mortadella.

    Today you can find tortellini filled with everything from cheese blends to meat and cheese to pumpkin.
     
    THE CULINARY LEGACY OF EMILIA-ROMAGNA

    If you love great Italian food, consider a trip to Emilia-Romagna. It’s the birthplace of, among other culinary pearls:

  • Balsamic vinegar
  • Parmigiano-Reggiano and Grana Padano cheeses
  • Prosciutto di Parma
  • Pasta cuts including cappelletti, garganelli, gramigna, lasagne, strozzapreti, tagliatelle, tortellini and tortelli alla lastra (ravioli)
  • Wines such as Lambrusco, Sangiovese and Trebbiano
  • Zuppa inglese, a trifle-like custard dessert
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