THE NIBBLE BLOG: Products, Recipes & Trends In Specialty Foods
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Archive for November 18, 2016

TOP PICK OF THE WEEK: Finally Ginger, Artisanal Ginger Cookies

Finally Ginger Cookies

Finally Ginger Gift Tin

Finally Ginger Snack Pack

[1] Finally Ginger artisan cookies are available in [2] gift tins and [3] snack packs (all photos courtesy Love From Cleveland).

 

What a joy: delicious ginger cookies we didn’t have to bake at home.

Cookies freshly-baked just for us, because they’re baked to order.

Cookies with sugar and spice and everything nice. With three kinds of ginger: crystallized ginger, ginger root and ground ginger.
 
Ginger cookies baked in five delicious flavors that will sizzle on your palate:

  • Ginger & Chocolate Chunk
  • Ginger & Lemon
  • Ginger & Oatmeal Cranberry
  • Ginger & Orange
  • Original Ginger
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    All are delicious and very special. Who’d have thought that a classic ginger cookie, popular since the Middle Ages, could be improved?
    Options include:

  • 12-Piece Cookie Gift Tins, choice of 2 flavors: $24.00
  • 24-Piece Cookie Gift Tins, choice of 4 flavors: $48.00
  • Subscriptions: 3-month subscription, $75; 6-month subscription, $150.00
  • 12 Two-Cookie Snack Packs (24 cookies, no gift tin) $36.00
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    The tins are great for storing tea when the cookies are gone.

    Head to FinallyGinger.com to place your order.
     
    DIFFERENT TYPES OF GINGER COOKIES & HISTORY

    While Finally Ginger calls itself a ginger cookie, it is a hybrid—a hard cookie with a snap, with a textured surface dotted with sparkling sugar.

  • A ginger cookie is a soft, molasses-type cookie that is flavored with ginger and other spices. It is larger than, and otherwise differs from, a gingersnap Crusaders returning from the Middle East brought ginger and other spices.
  • A gingersnap is a thin, plain round cookie with a hard, smooth texture like a gingerbread cookie. It is a smaller version of the traditional German Christmas cookie known as Lebkuchen. Like a gingerbread cookie, ginger snaps break with a “snap.” Gingersnaps contain a larger amount of ginger, and thus are spicier, than the chewier ginger cookies.
  • Gingerbread is a fancier affair, often cut into special shapes (cottages, flowers, hearts, horses, people, trees, etc., along with 3-D houses and carousels) and hand-decorated with icing and candies. Monks made the first gingerbread for holidays and festivals. The tale of Hansel and Gretel, published in 1812 (as part of Grimm’s Fairy Tales), vastly increased the popularity of gingerbread cookies and other treats, such as gingerbread Christmas cards. Gingerbread men and animals became popular Christmas tree ornaments.
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    GIFT OF THE DAY: Horseshoe Brand Hot Sauce

    We receive lots of hot sauce samples. Most of them are fine, but not special.

    Enter the special: Horseshoe Brand hot sauce, developed by two entrepreneurs in New York State’s food mecca, the Hudson Valley.

    All natural, made in small batches, you can’t help but say, “This is good stuff!”

    Why? The hot sauces are made from scratch using fresh chiles. Many hot sauces use extracts that provide heat, but not flavor. Macerating fresh chiles provides a lively, fresh-tasting hot sauce that is a delight.

    The current line-up includes:

  • Cajun Hot Sauce
  • Chipotle Hot Sauce
  • Habanero Hot Sauce
  • Kiwi Jalapeño Hot Sauce
  • Mango Fatali Hot Sauce
  • Peach Hot Sauce
  • Roasted Garlic Hot Sauce
  • XXXTra Hot Hot Sauce
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    Horseshoe Garlic Hot Sauce

    One of six delicious flavors; horseshoe not included (photo courtesy Horsehoe Brands).

     
    At $5.99 a bottle, they’re affordable stocking stuffers, party favors.

    Head to HorsehoeBrand.com and load up!

      

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    TIP OF THE DAY: Turn Crudités Into Turkey

    Thanksgiving Crudites Platter

    Thanksgiving Cold Cuts Platter

    [1] Everyone will gobble up these crudités (photo Pinterest). [2] More elaborate: cold cuts—here summer sausage with different cheeses—do the Turkey Trot*.

     

    With Thanksgiving a week away, you have license to lay out any Thanksgiving-styled food right now. Don’t wait for the Big Day, because the day after that it’s…the Christmas rush.

    We found these photos on Pinterest, and regret that we couldn’t find the original sources (if it’s you, let us know).

    Just head to Pinterest.com and search for “turkey vegetable platter” and you’ll be dazzled by dozens of options.

    Thanks to the creative cooks who designed them, the crudités plates are very, very easy. Just buy the ingredients and lay them out the same way.

    WHAT ARE CRUDITÉS?

    Crudités (croo-dih-TAY) is the French term for a traditional appetizer, a platter of raw vegetables usually served with a vinaigrette or other dipping sauce.

    It can include asparagus, bell peppers, broccoli, carrots, cauliflower, celery, cucumber, fennel, radishes, and anything else that appeals.

    In the U.S., hummus has become a popular accompaniment.

    The crudité plate is a relative of the American relish tray, a “delicacy” served from the 1700s and still popular up to the 1970s.

    According to Salon.com, it was once considered the most special part of the meal, and a must-have at Thanksgiving dinner.

    Our Nana’s relish tray offered carrot and celery sticks, radishes carved into flowers, black and green olives (the latter pimento-stuffed) and sweet gherkins. She served it in an oblong cut-crystal dish. We loved it!

     
    *WHAT’S A TURKEY TROT?

    The original Turkey Trot was an dance created in the early 1900s, danced to fast ragtime music—usually by those young enough to keep up.

    Among other steps, dancers hopped first on one leg, then the other: “fast trotting actions with abrupt stops.”

    Watch this video, with a contemporary dance teacher breaking down the steps so you can follow (fast forward past the inaudible opening comments).

    The Turkey Trot was denounced by the Vatican for “offensively suggestive” positions. Conservative adults tried to get it banned at public functions for promoting “immorality.” Dancers were fined for disorderly conduct.

    All of this only served to increase the dance’s popularity.

    But by 1914, the fad was over. The foxtrot, a conservative dance based on the waltz, ascended. Here’s more on the Turkey Trot.

    WANT TO TURKEY TROT ON THANKSGIVING?

    Watch the video and put on some ragtime music.

    You’ll wonder what the Vatican was so concerned about (well, there is one brief moment of booty-flaunting).

    And, a round of Turkey Trot can distract from the anticipation of waiting for the food to be ready.
     
      

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    RECIPE: Pumpkin Tacos

    What kind of tacos are right for the season? Pumpkin tacos! Or at least, butternut squash tacos.

    PUMPKIN: AN ALL-AMERICAN

    Pumpkins and all other squash species originated in Central America more than 7,500 years ago. The oldest domesticated pumpkin seeds found to date are from the Oaxaca Highlands in southwest Mexico.

    The original pumpkins bore little resemblance to today’s large, bright orange, sweet variety. They were small and bitter.

    Domestication and breeding produced the pumpkins we know today. Brought to North America, pumpkins were a welcome food for the winter. Their thick skin and solid flesh were ideal for storing and consumption during months of scarcity.

    The Pilgrims (1620) and other Europeans immigrating to America were introduced to pumpkin by Native Americans. The first known pumpkin recipe they made was found in a book from the early 1670s: a side dish made from diced pumpkin, cooked down and blended with butter and spices (as acorn squash, butternut squash and sweet potatoes are prepared today).

    During the 17th century, housewives developed an inventory of pumpkin recipes, the most popular of which remains [drum roll…] pumpkin pie.

    In the 1800s it became stylish to serve sweetened pumpkin dishes during holiday dinners. The first proclamation for “national days of prayer, humiliation, and thanksgiving” led to an observance on November 28, 1782. Since 1863, Thanksgiving has been an official annual holiday, by proclamation of President Abraham Lincoln.

    BACK TO THE TACOS…

    RECIPE #1: CHICKEN-PUMPKIN TACOS

    This recipe was sent to us from Gilt City, which teamed up with Santa Monica-based Taco Teca to create something new for National Taco Day (October 4th). We’ve slightly adapted the recipe.
     
    Ingredients Per Taco

  • 3 ounces boneless chicken
  • 3 ounces sugar pumpkin or butternut squash
  • 2 ounces salsa mullato (recipe below)
  • 1/2 ounce queso fresco
  • Garnish: 3-4 sprigs cilantro
  • Optional condiment: cranberry sauce
  • Optional drink: pumpkin ale
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    Preparation

    1. HEAT grill on medium/high heat for 10 minutes prior to grilling. Preheat the oven to 425°F.

     

    Pumpkin Tacos

    Pumpkin Sizes

    Arbol Chiles

    [1] Seasonal tacos: chicken with pumpkin or butternut squash. [2] A sugar pumpkin and a jack-o-lantern (photo courtesy Baking Bites). [3] Arbol chiles (photo courtesy Rancho Gordo).

     
    2. SEASON the chicken with salt and pepper and place it on the grill until thoroughly crocked, 8-10 minutes per side, to an internal temperature 165°F. While the chicken is cooking…

    3. CHOP the butternut squash into cubes and place them on a roasting tray. Place in the oven and roast until golden brown, about 20 minutes.

    4. CHOP the cooked chicken into bite-size pieces and place them in a saute pan with the salsa. Simmer for 10 minutes.

    5. REMOVE the chicken from the saute pan directly onto the center of the tortilla. Top with the butternut squash and queso fresco and garnish with cilantro. Serve with a side of cranberry sauce and a pumpkin ale.

    RECIPE #2: SALSA MULATTO

    This recipe is from Mexican-Authentic-Recipes.com.

    Mulatto salsa takes just 5 minutes to make. It is quite hot because it is prepared with arbol chiles. If you’d like less heat, use an equivalent weight of aji amarillo or serrano chiles. Check out the heat levels of different chiles on the Scoville Scale.

    The texture of the mulatto salsa is soft and oily, unlike the condiment salsas most Americans know.

    Ingredients For 1 Cup

  • 10 arbol chiles
  • 3 garlic cloves
  • 1 cup of canola oil or other flavorless oil
  • 1/2 tablespoon salt
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    Preparation

    1. PLACE the chiles on a griddle over medium heat and roast for about 40 seconds, turning regularly, until all sides are lightly roasted. Transfer to a blender.

    2. ADD the garlic, oil and salt. Blend well.

      

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