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    THE NIBBLE’s Gourmet News & Views

    Trends, Products & Items Of Note In The World Of Specialty Foods

    This is the blog section of THE NIBBLE. Read all of our content on TheNibble.com,
    the online magazine about gourmet and specialty food.

Archive for Father’s Day

FATHER’S DAY GIFT IDEA: Premium Gin

We are big fans of Cold River Vodka and Cold River Blueberry Vodka, made by Maine Distilleries of Freeport, Maine. They’re artisan-made from Maine potatoes and are gluten-free, as well as very flavorful (we drink them straight up*).

*The difference between straight up and neat: “Neat” means an undiluted shot served at room temperature; straight up is shaken or stirred with ice and strained into a glass.

Now, from the same copper pot still, comes Cold River Gin.

A traditional-style gin made from a 400-year-old recipe, Cold River Gin is ultra-smooth and “superpremium.” The gin is distilled with seven traditional botanicals: juniper berries (the dominant flavor of gin), angelica root, cardamom, coriander, lemon peel, orange peel and orris root.

As with Cold River Vodka, the base spirit of the gin is made from potatoes grown at a nearby family farm, Green Thumb Farms, and is made with pristine spring water from the Cold River aquifer. Like the vodka, it is also gluten free.

 

Cold River Gin, artisan-made in Maine.
Photo courtesy Maine Distilleries.

 

We generally like a heavy juniper flavor, but for those who don’t, the berries here are not overpowering. We can also taste the lemon and orange peel, and if we focus hard, the cardamom. We tossed some cardamom seeds into the glass for decor (and when the gin was gone, we chewed the seeds).

Consider giving Dad a hand-numbered bottle for Father’s Day. The suggested retail price is $25.99. Learn more at the company website. To find a retailer near you, email info@mainedistilleries.com.

Tomorrow: gin cocktail recipes.

  • How gin is distilled
  •   

    Comments

    FATHER’S DAY GIFT IDEA: Brownies

    A stack of round brownies from
    Sugardaddy’s. Photo by Melody Lan |
    THE NIBBLE.

     

    Some people bake brownies as Father’s Day gifts. Others look for the best artisan brownies, and send them.

    Here are two of our favorite brownies that are sure to be a hit on Father’s Day:

  • Geoff & Drew’s Brownies, in Chocolate Candy (think M&Ms), Chocolate Chip, Mint (with a large chocolate peppermint pattie) and Toffee. These fudgy brownies are deep in chocolate flavor and extremely moist. Each brownie is individually boxed, so you can also use them for party favors.
  • Geoff & Drew’s Brownie & Cookie Assortment. The brownie flavors above, plus large cookie flavors in Chocolate Chunk, Double Fudge and White Chocolate Cranberry.
  • Sugardaddy’s Sumptuous Sweeties. Six delicious brownies, in your choice of 15 flavors of brownies, blondies, and spicy brownies. In addition to being delicious, these round brownies are charmers.
  • Sugardaddy’s Sumptuous Sweeties. Ten of the same wonderful brownies.
  •  

    Today is the last day to order for Father’s Day delivery with ground shipping! Order by 1 p.m. Eastern Time.

      

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    TIP OF THE DAY: Decorate With Fondant

    Use fondant to make cupcakes that look
    like Dad. Photo courtesy WhiptCream.com.

     

    If you’ve been to enough weddings, you’ve probably had fondant. It’s used to cover cake, as an alternative to icing.

    What is fondant? Sometimes referred to as edible Play-Doh, fondant is a sugar and water mixture cooked to the soft-ball stage, then stirred or beaten until it is a creamy, opaque white mass that can be rolled out like dough.

    Sheets of fondant are used to cover ornate cakes. Fondant both keeps out air so the cake stays moist, and provides a solid “canvas” for decorations.

    Fondant, which can be tinted with food coloring, can be cut with cookie cutters or other methods to create shapes (leaves, flowers, geometrics). It is also used to decorate cookies, often cut to match the shape of the cookies, and applied as an icing.

     

    Working with fondant can be a laborious process, undertaken by skilled cake decorators; but consumer products from Wilton and other companies make decorating with colored fondant a fun experience.

    Start your fondant decorating on Father’s Day cupcakes. With two colors, you can approximate Dad (or buy only white fondant plus some colored food pastes).

    Fondant is dense and heavy, so a two-pound tub isn’t a lot. In addition to cupcakes, cakes and cookies, you can use it as a fun dessert activity for kids and adults: Let them decorate their own cupcakes.

    The Food Network’s Ace of Cakes, Duff Goldman, recently came out with his own fondant line in five colors (chocolate, green, orange, purple and white). The Fondarific brand has even more colors.

      

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    FATHER’S DAY GIFT IDEA: Fresh Oysters

    You deserve fresh-picked oysters. Photo
    by James Antrim | IST.

     

    Willapa Oysters are grown in beds in the cleanest estuary in America: Willapa Bay, in Oysterville (yes, Oysterville!), Washington. They’re picked and shipped to you the same day, avoiding the distribution chain, where they can sit and fade for 10 days or more.

    With Willapa, you eat an oyster that’s not only pristine from its surroundings, but as fresh as can be without a visit to the ocean. Two-day express shipping is required. Even with shipping, though, the cost is the same or less than you’d pay at a restaurant–and the oysters are so much better. It’s an experience you won’t believe…and an indulgence you won’t want to give up.

    Willapa Bay oysters are perfect for the half shell lover wanting a bit more meat from every fresh oyster. They’re also ideal for grilled oysters, oyster stews, bisques and Oysters Rockefeller.

    For many decades, the pleasure of sitting down to dozens of freshly opened oysters was a local one. Today, with online ordering and overnight shipping, the pleasure can be enjoyed by anyone fortunate enough to learn about Willapa Oysters.

  • Three dozen small (2-3/4 to 3-3/4 inches) fresh Pacific oysters, $48.00.
  • Three dozen extra-small fresh Pacific oysters, $48.00
  • Four dozen fresh-picked Kumamoto oysters, $76.00.
  • Two quarts fresh-shucked Pacific oysters, $58.00.
  •  

    NOTE: Order early for Father’s Day. Oysters are shucked each Tuesday and packed and shipped on Wednesday for Friday arrival. You need to order by Monday, June 13th if you want your oysters in time for Father’s Day.

    Willapa Oysters are a NIBBLE Top Pick Of The Week. Read the review.

    Check out the different types of oysters in our Oyster Glossary.

      

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    FATHER’S DAY GIFT IDEA: Gary West, The Best Jerky

    One of several gift packages of Gary West’s fine jerky. Photo courtesy Gary West.

     

    If your favorite Dad likes jerky, the crème de la crème of jerky is made by Gary West, a NIBBLE Top Pick Of The Week.

    This premium jerky is so tender, it belongs in a specialized class we’ll call “The Best Gourmet Jerky.” We’ve even tossed it with pasta!

    Memorable Gary West jerky gifts can be had from $19.99 to $79.99.

    The yummy beef jerky is available in Traditional and three flavors: Cajun, Cracked Black Pepper and Teriyaki.

    Hubby may especially enjoy the Beef Jerky Bouquet: one dozen “long stemmed” jerky strips, packaged like long-stemmed roses.

    Take a look at these tasty options:

     

  • Gift Pouch: Your choice of Cajun, Cracked Black Pepper, Teriyaki or Traditional Beef.
  • Beef Jerky Bouquet: Like a dozen long-stemmed roses, but with individual long jerky strips instead of the roses.
  • The Motherlode Sampler: beef (traditional and three flavors), Certified Angus, buffalo/bison and elk.
  • Pepper Trio: Cracked Pepper Beef Jerky, Hot and Spicy Cajun Beef Jerky and Pepperoni Sticks.
  • Single Servings Sampler: 16 sticks of jerky in your choice of four different flavors or all one flavor.
  • Wild Game Sampler: 4 ounces of buffalo/bison, 4 ounces of elk rounds and 4 ounces of traditional beef smoked strips
  • Bull In A Box: Gift sampler in 16-ounce and 32-ounce sizes—two pounds of delicious jerky.
  •  
    Read our review of Gary West Jerky.

    Find more special Father’s Day gift ideas at The Nibble Gourmet Market.

      

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    FATHER’S DAY GIFT IDEA: The Best Whoopie Pies

    You’ll want many bites of these whoopie pies. Photo by River Soma | THE NIBBLE.

     

    We’ve had many a whoopie pie, and can attest that the absolute best are from artisan baker WannaHavaCookie.

    We wannahav lots of these cakelike cookies:* perfect recipes of moist cake and buttercream. Each one is a pillow of comfort food.

    *A whoopie pie is not a pie, but a sandwich cookie. It’s made not from cookies, but from cake. Confusing? Well, that’s how the industry classifies it. A cookie is a handheld food; a piece of cake requires a fork.

    Send any dad an assortment of scrumptious Wannahavacookie Whoopie Pie Classics.

    The mixed dozen includes chocolate, red velvet and vanilla cake whoopie pies (the best red velvet cake we’ve ever had). They’re filled with chocolate, vanilla, raspberry, mint and peanut butter buttercream fillings, and are packaged in a reusable bucket tin.

    Order them at TheNibbleGourmetMarket.com.

    We bet Dad will say “Whoopie!”

     

    WHOOPIE PIE TRIVIA: Legend credits an unnamed Amish woman with the invention of the whoopie pie. She allegedly took some leftover cake and frosting and made a handheld treat for her husband’s lunch box. He opened his lunch box and exclaimed, “Whoopie.” However, according to food historians, the real credit likely goes to a Boston bakery that created the whoopie pie sometime during the Depression. Details.

      

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    FATHER’S DAY GIFT IDEA: Handmade Italian Salame

    Some foods, once tasted, can never be forgotten. Nothing will ever be as good.

    That’s how we feel about the handmade Italian salami (or salame, as it is properly called in Italy) from Creminelli Fine Meat of Seattle.

    The Creminelli family has been producing artisan meat products in Italy since the 1600. More recently, in 2007, master artisan Cristiano Creminelli brought the family’s recipes and techniques to America.

    The pork-based salami will be a revelation to Americans for whom Old World artisan traditions have long since disappeared. From the first bite, you know you are eating recipes made with skills passed down from generation to generation.

    If Dad/Hubby/Grandpa enjoys a good piece of salami, treat him to some from Creminelli salami for Father’s Day. There are two scrumptious selections in handsome wooden gift crates:

     

    Truffle Salami, our favorite, shown here with white Oregon truffles. Photo courtesy Creminelli.

     

  • Classic Artisan Salami Selection: Casalingo, Piccante and Sopressata
  • Gourmet Artisan Salami Selection: Barolo Salami With Barolo Red Wine, Tartufo Salami With Black Truffles and Wild Boar Salami
  •  
    Read our full review of Creminelli salami, a NIBBLE Top Pick Of The Week.

    Favoloso!

    You can also brush up on the different types of salami.

      

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    FATHER’S DAY GIFT IDEA: Baseball Shortbread

    A Fenway Park tin filled with yummy
    baseball shortbread. Photo courtesy
    Cooperstown Cookie Co.

     

    If Dad/Grandpa/Hubby likes baseball and a good shortbread cookie, there’s no better gift than the “baseball shortbread” from Cooperstown Cookie Company, located in baseball capital of Cooperstown, New York.

    The rich, traditional shortbread cookies are handmade in the regulation size and shape of baseballs (3″ diameter). Fresh, light and fragrant with butter, they melt in your mouth.

    The cookies are all natural with no preservatives or additives—just flour, butter, sugar, pure vanilla extract and a pinch of salt.

    Unlike some shortbread recipes that can be a bit al dente, you can give a tin of these to Grandpa (or a kid with braces) without worrying about damage to the dental work.

    Each tin—available with the logo of any Major League Baseball team—includes a tricky baseball trivia question. This gift will make the day of a baseball nut; and anyone who loves good shortbread will be thankful that proprietor Pati Drumm Grady put her family shortbread recipe to such good use.

     

    Purchase online at CooperstownCookieCompany.com or telephone 1.888.269.7315.

  • Read our full review of Cooperstown Cookies.
  • What is shortbread? Check out the history of shortbread.
  • See our special selection of Father’s Day gifts at The Nibble Gourmet Market.
  •   

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    FATHER’S DAY GIFT: The Best Flavored Cigars

    A good smoke flavored with a good
    drink. Photo courtesy TedsCigars.com.

     

    Some people enjoy their cigars with a beer, Bourbon or other spirit.

    Ted’s Cigars combine both flavors in one.

    Fifteen years ago, Ted Jackson was asked by Kentucky neighbor Maker’s Mark to make a cigar for a Derby party. The result was a premium cigar flavored with the famous Bourbon.

    Jackson created a process to add a subtle bourbon flavor without affecting the integrity of the fine tobacco. A big hit, millions of Maker’s Mark cigars are now sold worldwide.

    The flavored line expanded to include a HOPZ Craft Beer cigar, Grand Marnier, Dumante Verdenoce Pistachio Liqueur and Forty Creek Barrel Select Canadian Whisky.

    The cigars are also available in traditional, unflavored versions including The Kentucky Derby, the official cigar of the famous horse race.

    All of the cigars are packaged in glass tubes and do not require a humidifier. They are available in two distinct blends and three sizes, with either a Connecticut shade or a Maduro wrapper. Dads who enjoy a good cigar will welcome this unusual gift.

     

    For special events, you can create cigars in a glass tube labeled with a company name, as well as custom neck bands.

    The cigars are made by a partner company in the Dominican Republic, from a proprietary blend of Brazilian, Dominican and Nicaraguan tobacco. The flavoring and packaging done at Jackson’s Louisville, Kentucky-based headquarters.

    The products are carried at fine tobacconists nationwide and can be purchased online at TedsCigars.com.

      

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    FATHER’S DAY GIFT: Home Brew Beer Kit

    Even people who live in apartments with small kitchens can brew craft beer.

    Beer-making kits, developed by the Brooklyn Brew Shop, make it easy for anyone to brew delicious beer at home.

    It’s a gift any beer lover would like: the ability to experience first-hand what it takes to make a delicious brew.

    The kit includes the finest barley, hops, yeast and spices, plus step-by-step instructions. You’ll see how easy it is to craft an all-natural home brew that’s as good as artisanal beers served at the best brew pubs.

    Choose either fresh, light summer wheat beer or India Pale Ale (IPA), known for its bold, hops-intensive flavor. (Or why choose? Brew both!)

     

    Now, BYO means brew your own! Make
    premium craft beer in your kitchen. Photo
    courtesy Williams-Sonoma.

     

  • The kit includes specialty equipment and ingredients needed for home-brewing, including grain, hops and yeast.
  • You supply the additional equipment and ingredients: a six-quart pot, fine-mesh strainer, funnel, honey and ice.
  • The kit produces one gallon of beer.
  • The equipment can be reused over and over to make more beer. It’s easy to purchase additional grain, hops and yeast to make your next batch.
  •  
    The craft brewing kit is available from Williams-Sonoma. One kit is $39.95.

    The entire brewing process takes about 17 days. If you start now, you can brew Dad or Hubby his own batch as a Father’s Day gift.

    Both of you might just turn into avid homebrewers. Check out the Home Brewing Association.

    Brush up on your beer types in our Beer Glossary.

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