THE NIBBLE BLOG: Products, Recipes & Trends In Specialty Foods
Also visit our main website, TheNibble.com.

Archive for November 23, 2016

GIFT OF THE DAY: Baron Chocolates

Baron Milk Chocolate Bar

Baron Chocolate Truffles

Baron Chocolate Gummi Bears

Chocolate Covered Gummi Worms Baron

[1] Baron Chocolate Bars are made in two sizes and 10 flavors. [2] Everyone’s favorite: chocolate truffles with plain or flavored chocolate centers. [3] Our favorite treat: chocolate-covered gummi bears and [4] worms (all photos courtesy Baron Chocolatier).

 

Baron Chocolatier was created by Tomasz Kotas, the third of three generations of chocolatiers from Poznan (Posen), Poland.

After selling chocolate in Europe for 30 years, The Millano Group decided to establish a North American subsidiary—the U.S. is the world’s single largest chocolate market.

Selling private label* chocolates in the U.S. beginning in 2009, it more recently launched its own brand, Baron .

The brand is probably the best quality chocolate we’ve had at such low price points. For consumers looking for the most affordable premium chocolates, take a look at Baron.

All chocolates are made with natural ingredients, GMO-free and certified kosher by Triangle K.

The company makes a larger variety of products than these, but for starters, here’s what most people would like to find under the tree (or on the table or anywhere else).
 
PREMIUM CHOCOLATE BARS

Plain or fancy, there are small bars (1.76 ounces, 50g) and large bars (3.5 ounces, 100g). In addition to plain milk and dark chocolate, there are 8 specialty flavors:

  • Milk Chocolate (1.75 or 3.5 ounces)
  • Milk Chocolate With Almonds (1.75 or 3.5 ounces)
  • Milk with Sea Salt Caramel (1.75 or 3.5 ounces)
  • Milk Chocolate With Toffee Crunch (1.75 ounces)
  • 50% Dark With Orange & Almonds (1.75 or 3.5 ounces)
  • 50% Dark Chocolate with Raspberry Pieces (1.75 or 3.5 ounces)
  • 50% Dark With Sea Salt (1.75 or 3.5 ounces)
  • 70% Dark Chocolate (1.75 or 3.5 ounces)
  • 70% Dark Chocolate With Orange and Almonds (1.75 ounces)
  • 70% Dark Chocolate With Sea Salt (1.75 ounces)
  •  
    PREMIUM CHOCOLATE TRUFFLES

    The truffles are round balls filled with ganache, plain and flavored, in 5.25-ounce boxes (148 g).
    The are made in six flavors:

  • Dark Chocolate Truffles
  • Dark Chocolate Lava Cake Truffles
  • Dark Chocolate Raspberry Truffles
  • Milk Caramel Brownie Truffles
  • Milk Chocolate Truffles
  • Milk Chocolate Truffles With Strawberry Cheesecake Fillings
  •  
    There are also seasonal limited-edition flavors.

    CHOCOLATE GUMMIES

    As gummi enthusiasts, our personal greatest delight are the milk chocolate-covered gummi bears and gummi worms.

    They’re so inexpensive, we bought stocking stuffers for everyone!

    Warning: addictive!

     
    WHERE TO BUY BARON CHOCOLATES

    Baron is sold at some 80,000 stores in the U.S. and Canada, and is also available online at Amazon and other e-tailers.

    Examples of pricing from Amazon:

  • 6 boxes of Milk Chocolate Truffles with Milk Chocolate Creme Filling, 5 ounces each, ($3.63/box) $21.79
  • 12 bars plain Milk Chocolate Bars, 1.76-ounces each, $27.19 ($2.27/bar)
  • 12 Dark Chocolate Bars, 3.5-ounces each, $39.12 ($3.26/bar)
  • 12 3-ounce packages Gummi Bears or Worms, $10.71 (89¢ each)
  •  
    For chocolate gifting, these prices can’t be beat!

     
    ________________
    *Private label goods are those made by a manufacturer for a client’s brand name. For example, the foods sold under the Williams-Sonoma brand are manufactured for them by other companies.

     
      

    Comments off

    TIP OF THE DAY: Holiday Champagne Alternatives

    Whether for Thanksgiving, Christmas or New Year’s Eve, Champagne is a tradition in holiday homes; that is, holiday homes with means.

    Champagne, by far the most famous sparkling wine in the world, is in the highest demand. But can only be produced on limited acreage, the region of Champagne, in northeast France.

    The worldwide demand for Champagne has been increasing since the 1990s, as affluent consumers in Asia, Russia and elsewhere joined the demands in Europe and North America. Last year, about 312 million bottles were sold.

    While that may seem a lot, worldwide, 3.2 billion cases of wine were produced (2013 figures). That’s 38.4 billion bottles (54%, red wine, 37% white, 9% rosé). The number one country for volume of wine purchased is the U.S. See more wine statistics below.

    The demand for Champagne and the limited ability to produce more of it has upped the prices. The most affordable bottles are non-vintage Champagnes (blends of juice from multiple grape harvests), which make up the bulk of the market. It isn’t less good than a vintage Champagne; in fact, it best shows off the house style, since vintage Champagne by law can only include grapes from that vintage.

    Not all years produce great grapes (not sweet enough, too sweet, etc.), so instead of creating a vintage Champagne, vintners reserve those wines and blend them them to create the precise flavor they seek.

    You can buy good nonvintage Champagnes for $35 to $45.00. Our favorites are Louis Roederer’s NV Brut Premier and Champagne Pol Roger Brut Reserve.

    Only Champagne connoisseurs—those who drink a lot of it and have the expertise to analyze what they’re drinking—can tell you if a glass of Champagne served blind holds a vintage or a nonvintage.
     
    HOW ABOUT BUBBLY THAT ISN’T CHAMPAGNE?

    By law, only sparkling wines made in the Champagne region can be called Champagne. This AOC designation ensures consumers that the food has been made in its original region, with specified ingredients and traditional techniques. It delivers a taste consistently and true to its nature.

    Every other wine that bubbles is called “sparkling wine.”

    These other wines offer bubbles at lower prices; and every non-expert wine drinker will be thrilled that its bubbly, from wherever. (Experts also enjoy these other sparklers.)

    Head to your nearest wine store and check the prices. Don’t hesitate to ask the clerks for their favorites. Consider:

  • Australian Sparkling Wines, such as Yellowtail Bubbles (our favorite is the Yellowtail Bubbles Sparkling Rosé), and other brands (around $10).
  • California “Champagne”: Champagne-style wines made from California grapes by French Champagne houses (Chandon from Moet et Chandoon, e.g.) are pricier, but look for All-American bottlings like Robert Mondavi’s Woodbridge Brut and Domaine Ste Michelle Brut from Oregon (about $10.00).
  • Cava from Spain (for $8.00, look for Cristalino Brut and Cristalino Brut Rosé; Freixenet is $12.00).
  • Crémant From France’s Loire Valley: This wine is made in France with the same method, just not in the Champagne region. Crémant de Bourgogne, for instance, is made in the Burgundy region ($12.00-$15.00 for many bottles).
  • Prosecco from Italy (many around $9.00-$10.00).
  • Sekt from Germany.
  •  
    Sweet Sparkling Wines

    For dessert, go for a sweeter sparkling wine, such as:

  • Amabile and Dolce sparkling wines from Italy.
  • Asti Spumante from Italy (it’s sparkling Moscato).
  •  

    Sparkling Cocktail

    /home/content/p3pnexwpnas01 data02/07/2891007/html/wp content/uploads/cranberry kir royale oceanspray 230sq

    Freixenet

    Glass Of Cava

    [1] Sparkling wines are made all over the world (photo courtesy Grey Goose). [2] Check out the rosé and red wine bubblies (photo courtesy Ocean Spray). [3] freixenet-cordon-negro (photo courtesy Freixenet). [4] Cava, from Spain, is a popular, affordable sparkler (photo courtesy Food & Wines From Spain).

  • American sparklers, such as Schramsberg Crémant Demi-Sec from California. There are sparkling wines produced from coast to coast. There’s also Sparkling Gewürztraminer from Treveri Cellars in Washington State.If you want to celebrate with American wines on Thanksgiving (we always do), see what your store has to offer.
  • Brachetto d’Acqui (a rosé wine) from Italy.
  • Demi-Sec and Doux sparkling wines from France (including Champagne but also from other regions).
  • Dry Prosecco (a.k.a Valdobbiadene) from Italy (in wine terminology, “Dry” is a tad sweeter than “Extra Dry,” which is sweeter than “Brut)”.
  • Freixenet Cordon Negro Sweet Cuvée and Freixenet Mía Moscato Rosé from Spain.
  •  
    WHO DRINKS ALL THE WINE?

    According to International Wine & Spirit Research, Europe and the U.S. consume the most volume, with 2013 statistics showing the big drinkers by volume to be:

  • U.S., 339 million cases
  • France, 296 million cases
  • Italy, 288 million cases
  • Germany, 274 million cases
  • China, 144 million
  • U.K., 133 million cases
  •  
    Per capita wine consumption shows the really big drinkers. In order, they are Italy, France, Switzerrland, Portugal and Austria.

    The biggest sparkling wine drinkers are the Germans, who drank 46 million cases of fizz in 2014. France came in second, at 30 million cases; and Russia, traditionally a large market for Champagne since the wine was created†, consumed 26 million cases. The U.S. was fourth, with 18 million cases, and the U.K. fifth, consuming 11 million cases—incredible given the difference in population of the two countries.
     
    HISTORICAL NOTES ABOUT CHAMPAGNE

    The region now called Champagne was settled by the Gauls around 500 B.C.E. When the Roman legions conquered the area in 56 B.C.E., they bestowed upon the land the name Campania (Champagne) because of the similarity between the rolling hills of that area with the Roman (now Italian) province of Campania (the word campania itself means “open country”).

    In the Middle Ages Champagne was a duchy, then a country. In 1284, Champagne was brought under French rule when Jeanne, Queen of Navarre and Countess of Champagne, Brie and Bigorre married the future King Philippe IV (she was 11 years old). When Philippe’s father died the following year, Jeanne became Queen of France at age 12.

    The wine grapes grown since Roman times were made into still wine†. In the 17th century, the process for making champagne was discovered and the vintners have been making bubbly since then.

    The best grapes are grown where a Tertiary period chalk plain overlaps a vast Cretaceous chalk plain that lies underneath the soil layer (it’s the same huge basin that creates the White Cliffs of Dover in England). The chalk provides good drainage and reflects the heat from the sun. The unique terroir creates the unique creamy, toasty flavor of Champagne wines.
     
    ________________
    †The original wines of Champagne, made since Roman times, were still wines. The first sparkling Champagne was created accidentally, when pressure in the bottles caused the corks to pop and sometimes, the bottles to explode. It was first called “the devil’s wine,” le vin du diable). The technique to master modern Champagne began in the 17th century, with Le Veuve Cliquot, the woman who did it. It was pricey, and became popular with royalty and nobility. The emerging middle class wanted their share, too.

      

    Comments off

    RECIPE: Sour Cream Walnut Apple Pie Inspired By The Little Pie Company

    Sour Cream Apple Pie Recipe

    Sour Cream Apple Pie Recipe

    Sour Cream Apple Pie Recipe

    Kosher Gourmet Cuisine

    [1] Who doesn’t love an extra-thick layer of streusel (photo The Little Pie Company)? [2] A version with less streusel: hmmm (photo courtesy MyRecipes.com). [3] Fortunately, the recipe makes two of these (photo courtesy Kosher Gourmet Cuisine). [4] The latest cookbook from Esther Deutsch is a gourmet kosher cookbook (photo courtesy Philipp Feldheim).

     

    Denizens of Manhattan can agree on one thing: The Little Pie Company makes the best apple pie in the city. Called Sour Cream Walnut Apple Pie, it is a memorable AP experience.

    Not your basic apple pie, the bakery’s signature pie is made with Granny Smith apples, fresh sour cream and topped with brown sugar, cinnamon and walnut streusel. The sour cream creates a slightly piquant counterpoint to the sweetness of the pie.

    The Little Pie Company recipe is a closely held secret, but some intrepid bakers have done their best to emulate it.

    This version was adapted from a recipe created by Esther Deutsch, a New York–based food stylist, columnist, recipe developer and cookbook author.

    Don’t halve the recipe and make only one pie. Trust us, the first one will disappear and you’ll pine for another.

    You can order them from the Little Pie Company, or visit the stores in the theater district. You can buy small, medium and large pies to go; or sit down with a slice and a beverage of choice.

    RECIPE: SOUR CREAM APPLE WALNUT PIE

    In her recipe, Esther:

  • Uses store-bought frozen pie crusts. If you want to make your own crusts, freeze them because the apples are cooked in frozen crusts…or cook for a shorter period.
  • Uses three different apples in the filling, to provide for different flavors and textures.
  •  
    Ingredients For 2 Pies
     
    For The Crust:

  • 2 9-inch frozen deep-dish pastry shells
  •  
    For The Filling

  • 1¼ cups sour cream
  • ¾ cup sugar
  • ¼ cup all-purpose flour
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 1 egg
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 3 Granny Smith apples, thinly sliced
  • 3 Cortland apples, thinly sliced
  • 1 Gala or McIntosh apple, thinly sliced
  •  
    For The Streusel

  • ¾ cup chopped walnuts
  • ¾ cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 1/3 cup brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, softened
  •  
    Preparation

    1. PREHEAT the oven to 350°F.

    2. MAKE the filling: In a large bowl, whisk the sour cream, sugar, flour, salt, egg and vanilla. Stir in the sliced apples. Pour the filling into the two frozen pastry shells and bake for 55 minutes.

     
    3. PREPARE the walnut streusel topping: In a bowl, combine the walnuts, flour, sugar, brown sugar, cinnamon, and salt. Add the softened butter and mix until the mixture is crumbly. Sprinkle the topping over the two pies and bake until golden, 30 minutes longer. If the crust gets golden brown before the time is up, tent it with foil.

    4. COOL at room temperature for several hours before serving. If the pie has been refrigerated, bring to room temperature before serving.
     
      

    Comments off



    © Copyright 2005-2017 Lifestyle Direct, Inc. All rights reserved. All images are copyrighted to their respective owners.