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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: Have A Chocolate Cigar

With Father’s Day less than a month away (June 19th), we’re beginning a countdown of Father’s Day gifts.

If Dad likes milk chocolate, pass out the Seegars—creamy milk chocolate cigars from See’s Chocolate.

Wrapped in brown foil and nestled inside a clear gift box, the “Seegars” have a traditional cigar band printed with an “S,” for See’s. You can find them at See’s candy shops and online at Sees.com. The three cigars weigh in at 3.19 ounces, and the box is $7.00.

See’s chocolates are certified kosher by KSA.

If Dad is a chocolate connoisseur, he’d prefer the chocolate cigars from Burdick Chocolate (shown in photo).

 

On Father’s Day, hand out chocolate cigars.
These are from Burdick Chocolate.

 

A gourmet interpretation, these cigars, made of rum-flavored ganache cigars enrobed in milk and dark chocolate, look like the real McCoy. Burdick Chocolate has partnered with Grenada cacao farmers to build a chocolate factory on the island of Grenada. It turns the island’s finest cacao beans into the couverture chocolate used by Burdick.

The cigars, delightful party favors, are $3.50 each; or six in a wooden “cigar box” for $28.00, at BurdickChocolate.com.

  • Read our review of Burdick Chocolate, a NIBBLE Top Pick Of The Week.
  • Brush up on your chocolate terms in our Chocolate Glossary.

      

  • Comments

    FATHER’S DAY GIFTS: The Best Gourmet Gifts, 10% Off

    Our father always liked a bargain, so in his honor, we’re offering a 10% discount on everything in our gourmet e-store: Father’s Day Gifts as well as everyday treats.

    For Dad, there are:

  • Heart-healthy gifts, like fresh-picked avocados and the finest gourmet nuts.
  • Indulgent gifts, like the best toffee (also available sugar-free), chocolate and whoopie pies.
  • Calorie-free gifts, such as our favorite coffee (your purchase helps the rainforest).
  • Much more, including the best barbecue sauce—so thick, it’s called barbecue jam.
  •  
    Just enter promotion code DAD2011 at checkout to receive your discount. The promotion is valid through June 30, 2011.

    While you’re buying for Dad, you can pick up a treat for yourself.

    And share the code with food-loving friends.

    TheNibbleGourmetMarket.com

     

    Stupendous handmade salami in Black,
    TruffleBarolo and Wild Boar. Photo
    courtesy Creminelli Brothers.

     

      

    Comments

    TIP OF THE DAY: Gin Martini

    Vodka martinis overtook the original gin martini back in the 1990s. The trend was started by Bond, James Bond, who liked vodka martinis shaken, not stirred (and he picked that tip up from the writer Somerset Maugham).

    But new artisan gins are providing a reason to return to the original. Vodka is a simple, unflavored distillation. Gin is the opposite—so many different aromatics go into creating a fine gin, that each brand is very different from the next (see the components of gin). With very complex flavors—as much as any fine wine—fine gin, like fine Scotch, is delicious straight up.

    It also makes a better Martini. For Father’s Day, we’re trying a new small-batch gin, G’Vine. The word is a contraction of gin and the French word vigne, grapevine—for this gin is made in France from grapes instead of juniper berries.

    Make artisan gin part of your weekend celebration. Even if you’re not celebrating with your father, you can toast in his honor.

    Learn more about gin and find martini recipes:

  • Bluecoat American Dry Gin, a delight that’s distilled in Philadelphia
  • Martin Miller’s Gin, a special distillation from the U.K.
  • The Organic Spirits Company makes organic gin
  •  

    A Gibson is a martini garnished with cocktail
    onions instead of olives or lemon peel.
    Photo by Philip Pellat | IST

  • Classic gin recipes: Gimlet, Gin Fizz, Gin & Tonic, plus adaptations like a Gin Mojito and a Bloody Snapper (the Bloody Mary made with gin instead of vodka)

  • Comments

    FATHER’S DAY: Golf Ball Cupcakes

    The best golf ball cupcake we’ve seen,
    from FamousCupcakes.com.

     

    This is the best golf cupcake we’ve seen, created by Famous Cupcakes in Los Angeles.

    If you’re not in the neighborhood, you can make similar cupcakes at home. The key is finding chocolate golf balls. You can look for them online; we buy them from Woodhouse Chocolate). (If you think this recipe will become part of your repertoire, you can make your own with a golf ball mold.)

    You’ll also need some brand-new golf tees. Follow Famous Cupcake’s design and aim for red tees, which add bright color to the cupcake composition. Any flavor of cupcake will do, but think of what goes well with coconut.

    Then:

    1. Make the “grass.” Put shredded coconut in a small bowl with green food color and mix with a fork. Spread the coconut on a plate, baking sheet or in a pan to dry.

    2. Frost cupcakes lightly with green-tinted buttercream—just enough frosting to enable the coconut to adhere. Prior to tinting the buttercream, reserve some to adhere the golf balls.

    3. Lightly tap the coconut onto the icing. Insert the (washed) tee and use icing to adhere the chocolate golf ball. Royal icing will make it adhere more firmly than buttercream.

    4. Serve to delighted golfers.

    Find more recipes in our Gourmet Cakes Section.

    Comments

    FATHER’s DAY: The Joy Of Espresso (& Cappuccino & Latte)

    Still haven’t found that something special for Father’s Day? There are only 6 shopping days left!

    If money is no object, and if Dad loves specialty coffee drinks, then Saeco’s new Xelsis superautomatic coffee machine is pretty darn exciting.

    Superautomatics are complete “coffee centers” that perform the entire espresso- (or other coffee-) making process at the touch of a button. While you do have to load the machine with the ingredients (coffee beans, water, milk), that one touch then takes over.

    The Xelsis is a “dream machine”; it’s as if Saeco listened to all of the shortcomings consumers found with other superautomatics and designed the Xelsis to triumph on every detail.

    On the simplest level, the machine grinds the beans, makes the coffee and froths the milk. The espresso, lungo, latte, cappuccino, coffee or special beverage of your choice falls gracefully into your cup.

     

    Saeco’s new Xelsis Coffee Center: the “deam
    machine” for specialty coffee drinks.

    On the macro level, it takes time to study the details, which are available in print and online. Just a few: Milk never enters into the machine, so there are no milk pipes to clean. Removing the grounds is simple: There’s no drip tray or milk carafe to remove in order to open the door to the grinds. The machine even goes into Energy Safe mode after a few minutes, minimizing power consumption.

    • You can pre-program a “profile” with your specific desires (the strength and temperature of the coffee and the consistency of the milk foam, for example). Today, the Xelsis can accommodate six different profiles. In the fall, machines will have a fingerprint technology so everyone in an office can have a profile.

    • The water tank has a filter that purifies your tap water.

    • A separate steam nozzle can reheat your coffee (or tea, soup and other liquids not related to the Xelsis).

    This handsome stainless steel machine will turn the home or workplace into a high-end coffee bar. The removable milk pitcher can be kept in the refrigerator between uses. And it automatically cleans itself after each use!

    Around $3,000, it can be purchased at Bloomingdale’s and online at www.SeattleCoffeeGear.com.

    Find reviews of our favorite coffees, enlightening articles and recipes in our Gourmet Coffee Section.

    Also check out our Espresso Glossary, an education in the differences between affogato, cappuccino, espresso, lungo, macchiato, ristretto and just about every other coffee drink.

    Comments

    FATHER’S DAY: A Gift Of Whiskey Stones

    Switch ice cubes for stone cubes and you
    won’t dilute your drink. Photo courtesy
    Sur La Table.

     

    Whiskey stones, you ask?

    Talk about “on the rocks!” For those who want to chill their whiskey, but not dilute it, whiskey stones are the elegant answer. (You don’t want to plop plastic ice cubes into a single malt, do you?)

    The concept was popularized in Scandinavia, where people have chilled whiskey with granite rocks for hundreds of years.

    These all-natural, handcrafted Vermont soapstone whiskey stones have superior thermal properties to granite, and won’t scratch the glass. They reside in the freezer until they’re called upon to do their job.

    Stones are nonporous, so they won’t impart any flavors or odors to the drink. The perfect cube shape of the stones also allows for a better and more even chilling.

    Give a set for Father’s Day to your favorite lover of Bourbon, Irish Whiskey, Scotch or other fine whiskey. Nine stones in a muslin storage bag—enough to chill three drinks—are $19.95 at Sur La Table.

    Need to learn the differences among these and other types of whiskey? See our Whiskey Glossary.)

    Comments

    FATHER’S DAY: Special Chocolates For Dad

    Men don’t tend to swoon over boxes of pretty artisan chocolates. They’re more likely to dig into a chocolate bar.

    But how about a chocolate cigar?

    Woodhouse Chocolate (a NIBBLE Top Pick Of The Week) fills milk chocolate cigars with chocolate ganache—flavored with single malt Scotch! And yes, you can “smoke” it along with a glass of Scotch.

    Find more of our Father’s Day chocolate gifts, including real chocolate sprinkles (jimmies) made by one of the world’s greatest chocolate producers, Guittard.

     

    Chocolate cigars filled with Scotch-infused
    ganache. Photo courtesy Woodhouse Chocolate.

    Comments

    FATHER’S DAY: Gourmet Food Gifts

    Dee Dee’s Gourmet Cheese Straws are
    great with a beer. Photo by Hannah
    Kaminsky | THE NIBBLE.

     

    While TheNibble.com and this blog are filled with gourmet food ideas, we’ve picked a few interesting and affordable gift ideas for Father’s Day:

    • Spicy cheese straws from Dee Dee’s Gourmet, in a reusable gift tin

    • Lucero artisan olive oil, made by a grandfather, father and son team in California

    • Beautiful heirloom beans from California’s Rancho Gordo, for dads who like to cook

    • Porto Mangiare Meatball Mix, for dads who cook a little bit—it makes delicious beef or turkey meatballs (there’s a gluten-free version, too)

    And more!

    See the tasty choices.

    Comments

    FATHER’S DAY: Gift Of The Month Club

    Gift-of-the-month clubs are the gifts that keep on giving. Every month, for 3, 6, 9 or 12 months, the recipient gets another treat.

    Food gift-of-the-month clubs abound, from cheese, chocolate, coffee and cookies to bacon and hot sauce.

    For Father’s Day, we sampled three “club” gifts that we’d be happy to receive:

    • Jerky Of The Month

    • Microwbrewed Beer Of The Month

    • Olive Oil Of The Month

    The selections are top-quality and left us wanting more. Learn more about them.

     

    Give a monthly gift of top-quality olive oils from
    around the world. Photo by Melody Lan | THE NIBBLE.

    Comments

    FATHER’S DAY: Favorite Bacon Gifts

    If Dad is bacon-centric, check out our list of bacon gifts.

    Sure, there’s a pricey bacon-of-the-month club, but you can put together a basket of affordable favorites like Baconnaise bacon-flavored mayonnaise and bacon chocolate.

    If Dad isn’t into bacon, check out our other Father’s Day gift ideas.

    And check out our original recipe for bacon jam.

    Tangy and smoky with a touch of sweet balsamic vinegar, it’s a cause for celebration on any day, but a memorable treat for Father’s Day.

    How Well Do You Know Your Pork Products?

    Check out our delicious Pork Glossary.

     

    The new bacon and eggs: chocolate eggs
    filled with bacon caramel. Photo courtesy
    Vosges Haut Chocolat.

     

      

    Comments

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