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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 Holidays & Occasions

NEW YEAR: Consider Better-For-You Resolutions

Before making New Year’s resolutions, plan ahead. Start by reminding yourself that the stats are bleak. Some surveys indicate that only 8% of people who set New Year’s resolutions stick to them.

In a recent poll conducted by ORC International for the U.S. Highbush Blueberry Council, Americans said that some of the more challenging resolutions to keep include:

  • Losing a significant amount of weight, or approximately 30+ pounds (86% of responders)
  • Going to the gym regularly, or approximately 3+ times per week (68%)
  • Giving up dessert completely (66%)
  •  
    Rather than going all-in with high-demand resolutions, set smaller, more realistic goals for yourself, say the experts. Poll respondents indicated that the following resolutions are easier to stick to:

  • Spending more time with family (79%)
  • Eating more healthy foods (72%)
  • Paying off credit cards (52%)
  •    

    skim-plus-half-gallon-230

    A “super” skim milk tastes like 2%, but still has 0A% fat. Photo courtesy Farmland Dairy.

     

    Case in point: We’d resolved to lose weight every year for decades. Like most inveterate dieters, sometimes we did, sometimes we didn’t; but it always found its way back.

    Twelve years ago, we switched our strategy to healthier eating. Each year, we resolved to make one better-for-you switch. And it’s easy!

    Our switches to date follow, with the disclaimer: We’d never hold ourself up as a paragon of good eating. Our job is to taste lots of food, including the sugar laden and the fat laden. But we do feel good that we’ve made one of these swaps every year, and have never once felt deprived.

     

    whole-wheat-everything-bagel-230

    Whole wheat instead of refined white flour is another easy switch. We love a Whole Wheat Everything bagel. Photo courtesy Brooklyn Bagel & Coffee Company.

     
  • Bloody Marys, Martinis or on the rocks drinks for sweet cocktails. After we realized the sugar levels in most cocktails, we’d rather have ice cream and drink alcohol with no sugar added.
  • Brown rice for white rice. We’re big sushi eaters, and try to patronize restaurants that offer the brown rice option.
  • Cheese for cheese less often. We had a daily craving for fine cheese, and we could eat half a pound at a sitting, eight times the recommended portion, eight times the calories and cholesterol. We had no interest in reduced-fat cheeses. Instead, we opted for a “eat all the cheese you want” day once a month.
  • Club soda for diet soda. After reading scientific studies on the impact of artificial sweeteners on the endocrine system, we bought a SodaStream and drink lots of club soda with wedges of citrus.
  • Fish and tofu for red meat. We made this choice not because of cholesterol, but to do our small part to save the environment from the ravages of raising meat.
  • Fresh fruit every day. It really helps cut down on the yen for cookies and other processed sugar. In the winter months, there are plenty of apples, bananas, grapefruit, oranges and strawberries. In the summer months, we revel in the explosion of choices.
  •  

  • Nonfat Greek yogurt for sour cream. We had a bad sour cream habit—we could eat it from the container with a big spoon. Now, we eat plain Greek yogurt and use it instead of sour cream—with cottage cheese and other foods. It’s so thick that we even use it as a bread spread, instead of cream cheese.
  • Oatmeal and other whole grain cereals. So long, Corn Flakes and Snap, Crackle and Pop. Our breakfast cereals now focus on whole grain oatmeal and Cheerios. (We discovered that, while corn is a whole grain, the manufacturing process used to make Corn Flakes over-processes the corn to the point where little fiber is left.) A trick for enjoying our favorite oatmeal, steel cut oats, daily: Instead of spending 30 minutes stirring every day, cook a large batch on Sunday and reheat a portion each morning.
  • Olive oil instead of butter. From sautéeing to bread dipper, heart-healthy olive oil is our go-to fat. We did compromise on baking, however. We love the buttery taste of olive oil in brownies, cookies and cakes. On the other hand, an Italian-style olive oil cake works.
  • Salad every day, no matter what. We love a big salad, but some days our food journey doesn’t lead us to one. We now have a Plan B: Snacks of crudités (raw vegetables). It’s easy to carry baby carrots around, and we pay extra for ready-to-eat broccoli and cauliflower florets so we have no excuse.
  • “Super skim milk” for regular skim, 1%, 2% or whole milk. We can drink two glasses of milk a day. We got rid of the whole milk and the half and half for “super” skim milk, a premium variety that removes more of the water so that the 0% fat milk actually resembles 2% (and has more protein as a result). Our local Farmland Dairy makes Skim Plus brand, which became so popular that it is now also made in variations with added Omega 3 or added fiber.
  • Whole wheat for white flour. Whether in bread, bagels or pasta, this was a surprisingly easy switch. We only miss the taste of white flour in pizza crusts, and pizza isn’t something we eat often.
  •   

    Comments

    RECIPE: Tiramisu Cocktail

    The popular Italian dessert tiramisu is typically composed of layers of sponge or ladyfingers, soaked in espresso liqueur; then layered with a mascarpone cheese and custard mixture; then dusted with cocoa or shaved chocolate.

    Those jonesing for a rich and creamy tiramisu dessert can now quickly mix up an easy Tiramisu Cocktail, with this recipe from Frangelico hazelnut liqueur. It seems especially festive for New Year’s Eve.

    RECIPE: TIRAMISU COCKTAIL

    Ingredients

  • Frangelico
  • Vodka
  • Irish cream liqueur
  • Cold espresso or espresso liqueur
  • Ice
  • Garnish: grated chocolate*
  •  


    Drink your tiramisu. Photo courtesy Frangelico.

     

    Preparation

    1. Mix equal parts Frangelico, vodka and Irish cream liqueur in a shaker with ice. Strain into a chilled Martini glass.

    2. TOP with espresso and garnish with chocolate. Alternatively, before pouring the drink, set the chocolate shavings in a saucer to make a glass rimmer. Wet the rim 1/4 deep by dipping in a shallow bowl of water; then twist the glass in the shavings.

    3. SERVE. Be prepared for refill requests.

     
    Find more of our favorite cocktail recipes.
     
    *We grate a chocolate bar with a Microplane grater. You can use whatever grater you have.

      

    Comments

    TIP OF THE DAY: Appetizers With Champagne

    As you’re getting ready to pop the cork on New Year’s Eve, what nibbles should you serve with the Champagne or other sparkling wine?

    Here are seven favorite pairings with Champagne.

    CAVIAR

    You don’t need the deep pockets for sturgeon caviar. Salmon caviar, trout caviar or whitefish caviar are just dandy.

    We enjoy serving them in dabs on slices of boiled fingerling potatoes, with a bit of crème fraîche or sour cream between the potato and the caviar. Check out the different types of caviar.
     
    CHEESE

    Double- and triple-creme cheeses are sumptuous with Champagne. Brie and Camembert are typically* double-crèmes (here’s the difference between Brie and Camembert); triple-crèmes like Brillat-Savarin, Explorateur and St. André are even richer and creamier.

    But if you’re not into the creaminess, mild Cheddars and nutty Goudas pair wonderfully with toasty Champagnes and older, nuttier Champagnes. (Note that among sparkling wines, Champagne is unique in its toasty, nutty qualities.)

    Serve slices of fresh baguette or specialty crackers with the cheese. Much as we love Triscuits, for example, New Year’s Eve merits something more glamorous.

       

    champagne_and_cheese-230

    Brillat-Savarin cheese with Champagne. Photo courtesy Whole Foods Market.

     
    PÂTÉ

    Pâte or mousse† de foie gras, made from duck or goose liver, is a classic pairing with Champagne. But chicken mousse pâte is less expensive and equally delicious. You can make it or buy it.

    We actually prefer mousse to pâte with Champagne because it’s so soft and spreadable. The velvety smooth texture is luxurious against the gentle bubbles. Serve it with toast points or baguette slices.

     

    oysters-champagne-230

    Oysters and other raw shellfish are delicious with Champagne. Photo courtesy Champagne
    Bureau.

     

    SEAFOOD PLATTER

    Some of the classic items of the classic plat de fruits de mer—clams, mussels, oysters and shrimp—are delicious with Champagne. You can serve oysters or shrimp only, or a seafood assortment.

    Seafood tends to be pricey; an alternative is to make a crab or shrimp dip or spread.

     
    SMOKED SALMON

    Smoked salmon is another time-honored marriage with Champagne. Serve it any way you like: canapés, spread (check out these smoked salmon rillettes), even Philadelphia rolls, sushi-style with cream cheese.

     
    STUFFED MUSHROOMS

    Champagne can have mushroomy flavors, especially as it ages Stuffed mushrooms go nicely—even if the flavor is citrussy or toasty instead of mushroomy.

     
    SUSHI

    For something a bit different, consider a platter of sushi—nigiri and/or cut rolls. Like the raw bar, raw fish with rice is delicious with Champagne.

    For color and flavor, you need only tuna and salmon; but you can get as elaborate as you like.

    What’s your favorite appetizer to serve with Champagne? Let us know!

     
    *Some Bries and Camemberts are triple-crèmes.

    Pâte is more solid than mousse. Here is Emeril Lagasse’s recipe. For a mousse, the liver is whipped with butter and cream and is soft and spreadable. Here’s a recipe from Alton Brown.

      

    Comments

    RECIPE: Eggnog Crumble Bars

    If it’s a lazy day and you’ve got eggnog, bake these creamy Eggnog Crumble Bars for New Year’s Eve. “Crumble” refers to the streusel topping on the bars.

    The recipe is from Annie’s Eats for Go Bold With Butter. Check out both websites for more delicious recipes.

    Prep time: is 15 minutes, cook time is 35 minutes. While the bars are baking, check out the history of eggnog.

    “Grate whole nutmeg for these rather than using the pre-grated stuff,” Annie advises. “It definitely enhances the flavor.”

    RECIPE: EGGNOG CRUMBLE BARS

    Ingredients For 16 Bars
     
    For The Dough

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2/3 cup sugar
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon grated nutmeg
  • 1/8 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 12 tablespoons cold unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
  • 6 tablespoons eggnog
  •    

    eggnog-crumble-bars-goboldwithbutter-230

    Another way to use eggnog in baking! Photo courtesy Go Bold With Butter.

     

    For The Filling

  • 8 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/2 cup eggnog
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  •  

    organic-valley-eggnog-carton-230

    For breakfast, make Eggnog French Toast. Substitute eggnog for the milk, but do add the egg! Photo courtesy Organic Valley.

     

    Preparation

    1. PREHEAT the oven to 350°F. Line 8 x 8-inch baking pan with foil or parchment paper.

    2. MAKE the dough: Combine the flour, sugar, baking powder, salt, nutmeg and cinnamon in medium bowl; stir to blend. Add the butter, cutting it into the dry ingredients with a pastry cutter or two knives, until mixture resembles coarse meal. Add the eggnog and stir with a fork or knead very briefly, just until crumbly dough comes together.

    3. TRANSFER two-thirds of the dough mixture to the prepared baking pan and press down into the bottom of the pan to form an even layer.

    4. MAKE the filling: Combine the cream cheese and sugar in bowl of electric mixer. Beat on medium-high speed until smooth, light and fluffy. Blend in the egg, then the eggnog and vanilla, until smooth. Pour the mixture over the layer of dough in the baking pan. Crumble the reserved dough over top of eggnog mixture.

    5. BAKE—rotating the pan halfway through baking—until just set, about 25 minutes. Let cool to room temperature on wire rack. Chill well before slicing and serving.

     
     
    MORE RECIPES WITH EGGNOG

  • Eggnog Mini Bundts Recipe
  • Eggnog Mini Cheesecakes Recipe
  • Eggnog Panna Cotta Recipe Recipe
  • Eggnog Truffles Recipe
  • Eggnog Wreath Cookies Recipe
  • White Chocolate Eggnog Fudge Recipe
  •   

    Comments

    TIP OF THE DAY: Bagna Càuda, A “Hot Bath” Dip With Garlic

    Bagna càuda, pronounced BON-ya COW-da, is a riff on crudités with dip. The name means “hot bath”; the dip is olive oil and butter, seasoned with garlic and anchovies and served hot. Bagna caôda is an alternative spelling.

    A dish from Italy’s Piedmont season, bagna càuda is served during the autumn and winter months, often as part of a Christmas Eve buffet. Why not try it on New Year’s Eve?

    Traditional dippers in Piedmont include artichokes, bell peppers, cardoons*, carrots, cauliflower, celery, fennel and green onions.

    In some parts of Piedmont, cream is used instead of butter; and hazelnut or walnut oil is substituted for the olive oil. If you’re in Alba, lucky you: There may be some truffles added to to the oil.

    Here’s the drill:

  • Heat the seasoned oil.
  • Provide slices of baguette to hold underneath the vegetable to catch the drippings and turn into its own snack.
  • To keep the oil warm, you can use a fondue pot with fondue forks for dipping. A flat cheese fondue pot works best, or a chafing dish on a hot plate or a brazier.
  •  

    bagna-cauda-finedininglovers-230r

    This bagna càuda is served in a regular dish, not a fondue pot. Photo courtesy FineDiningLovers.com; here’s their recipe.

     
    RECIPE: BAGNA CÀUDA DIP

    Ingredients

  • 6 large garlic cloves, chopped
  • 3/4 cup olive oil plus oil for browning
  • 6 tablespoons (3/4 stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 6-12 best quality anchovy fillets, well drained
  • 1 tablespoon minced parsley leaves
  • Optional: pinch of chile flakes
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Assorted fresh vegetables, cut into bite-size pieces
  • 1 baguette or similar loaf, sliced into 2-inch pieces
  •  
    Preparation

    1. BROWN the garlic cloves in some olive oil, about 5 minutes. Add the optional chile flakes before removing from the flame.

    2. BLEND the oil, butter, anchovies and garlic in a food processor until smooth. Transfer the dip to a medium saucepan, taste and season as desired.

    3. HEAT over a low flame for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add to fondue pot or dish. Stir in the parsley right before serving.

    4. SERVE with crudités and bread.

     
    *Cardoons are relative of artichokes, and aren’t readily available in the U.S. they resemble celery.

      

    Comments

    RECIPE: Eggnog Mini Bundts

    eggnnog-bundt-cakes-eatwisconsincheese-230

    For New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day:
    eggnog mini-bundt cakes. Photo courtesy Eat
    Wisconsin Cheese.

     

    This recipe was contributed by Tieghan of HalfBakedHarvest.com to EatWisconsinCheese.com. Check out the great recipes on both websites.

    RECIPE: MINI EGGNOG STREUSEL BUNDT CAKES WITH EGGNOG MASCARPONE GLAZE

    Ingredients For 12 Mini Cakes Or 24 Super Mini Cakes

  • 3 cups flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon plus 1/2 teaspoon, divided
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 2 sticks unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 cup eggnog
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • Optional: 1 tablespoon plain or coconut rum
  •  

    For The Streusel

  • 1/3 cup brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 3 tablespoons cold butter
  •  
    For The Mascarpone Eggnog Glaze

  • 4 ounces mascarpone cheese, softened to room temperature
  • 3/4 cups powdered sugar
  • 2 tablespoons eggnog
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  •  

    Preparation

    1. PREHEAT the oven to 350°F. Butter two mini 6-cake bundt pans or 2 mini 12-cake bundt pans.

    2. MIX mix together the flour, baking powder, salt and 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon in small bowl. Set aside.

    3. WHISK together 1/2 cup brown sugar and 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon in another small bowl. Set aside.

    4. BEAT the butter and sugar in stand mixer or with hand mixer beat until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Add the eggs one at a time, beating after each addition until completely incorporated. Beat another 2-3 minutes until light, fluffy and pale in color. With the mixer on low, slowly add the dry ingredients until fully incorporated. Add the eggnog, vanilla and rum. Beat until smooth.

    5. FILL each mini bundt mold 1/3 of the way full. Sprinkle the brown sugar and cinnamon mixture over the cakes and add the remaining batter, filling each cup to just under 3/4 full. Try not to over-fill the cups.

     

    eggnog-cartons-kemps-230

    Drink it and bake with it, too. Photo courtesy Kemps Dairy.

     
    6. BAKE 20-25 minutes, or until the cakes no longer jiggle. Remove from the oven and to cool in the pan for 10 minutes. Overturn the cake pan onto wire rack. Let the cakes cool completely.

    7. MAKE the streusel crumble: In a small bowl, stir together the brown sugar, flour and cinnamon. With pastry blender or two forks, cut in 3 tablespoons of butter until mixture looks like coarse crumbs. Press the streusel into the bottom and up the sides of an ungreased 9-inch glass pie plate. Bake about 10 minutes or until edges are golden brown. Cool slightly. With a fork, break the streusel into small pieces. Set aside to cool completely, about 30 minutes.

    8. MAKE the Mascarpone Eggnog Glaze: Add the mascarpone to a microwave-safe bowl and microwave 15 to 30 seconds or until the cheese is melted. Stir in the powdered sugar, eggnog and vanilla. Whisk until smooth.

    9. ASSEMBLE: Spoon the glaze over the cakes and top with the streusel. Drizzle with more glaze.

     
    MORE RECIPES WITH EGGNOG

  • Eggnog Mini Cheesecakes Recipe
  • Eggnog Panna Cotta Recipe Recipe
  • Eggnog Streusel Bars Recipe
  • Eggnog Truffles Recipe
  • Eggnog Wreath Cookies Recipe
  • White Chocolate Eggnog Fudge Recipe
  •  
    PLUS

  • Bundt History
  • Eggnog History
  •   

    Comments

    RECIPE: Eggnog Panna Cotta

    eggnog-panna-cotta-driscolls-230

    Eggnog panna cotta. Photo courtesy
    Driscoll’s.

     

    Panna cotta is an Italian dessert whose name means “cooked cream.” The heavy cream and eggs form one of the different types of custard.

    This recipe, from Driscoll’s Berries, adds rum and brandy, ingredients of eggnog; and creates individual portions in ramekins. The puddings get a festive finish with a topping of colorful, sweet-tart balsamic raspberries.

    Prep time is 1 hour, chill time is 2 hours. Find more delicious recipes at Driscolls.com.

    RECIPE: EGGNOG PANNA COTTA WITH
    BALSAMIC RASPBERRY TOPPING

    Ingredients For 8 to 10 Servings

  • 1 cup whole milk, divided
  • Canola oil for ramekins
  • 1 envelope (1/4 ounce) plain gelatin
  • 6 large egg yolks
  • 1/3 cups sugar
  • 2 cups heavy cream
  • 2 teaspoons rum flavoring (or 1 teaspoon each rum flavoring and brandy flavoring)
  •  

    For The Balsamic Raspberries

  • 3 tablespoons light brown sugar
  • 3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • 1 package (6 ounces or 1-1/3 cups) raspberries
  •  

    Preparation

    1. LIGHTLY OIL six 3/4-cup ramekins or custard cups.

    2. SPRINKLE gelatin over 1/4 cup milk in a small bowl. Let it stand until the gelatin softens, about 5 minutes.

    3. PLACE a fine mesh sieve over a heatproof bowl near the stove. Whisk the egg yolks and sugar in a second heatproof bowl until combined. Heat the cream and the remaining 3/4 cup milk in a medium saucepan over medium heat, stirring often, until simmering.

    4. GRADUALLY WHISK the hot cream mixture into the egg mixture. Return the mixture to the saucepan. Cook over low heat, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon, until the mixture coats the spoon (a finger run through the custard on the spoon will cut a swath) and an instant-read thermometer reads 185°F, about 3 minutes.

    5. POUR through the sieve into bowl. Discard any bits of cooked egg white in the sieve. Add the gelatin-milk mixture and rum extract to the cream mixture and whisk until gelatin is completely dissolved, about 1 minute. Let stand 5 minutes to cool slightly.

     

    driscolls-boxes-imblogger.net-230

    Driscoll’s raspberries are available nationwide. Photo courtesy IMBlogger.net.

     

    6. DIVIDE the cream mixture evenly among ramekins. Cover each with plastic wrap. Refrigerate until chilled and set, at least 2 hours.

    7. MAKE the balsamic raspberries: Whisk the brown sugar and balsamic vinegar together in a medium bowl to dissolve the sugar. Stir in the raspberries. Let stand at room temperature for at least 15 minutes and up to 2 hours.

    8. ASSEMBLE: To unmold each panna cotta, run a dinner knife around the inside of the ramekin to release the panna cotta. Hold a dessert plate firmly over the ramekin and invert the plate and ramekin together. Shake firmly to unmold the panna cotta onto the plate.

    9. TOP each panna cotta with an equal amount of raspberries and their juices. Serve immediately.

      

    Comments

    TIP OF THE DAY: Alternatives To Champagne

    You’ve just spent a pile of money on Christmas. Do you have to spend a mini-pile on Champagne for a crowd on New Year’s Eve?

    Nope. For starters you can head to Costco and pick up Kirkland Signature Brut Champagne for $19.99 a bottle, compared to a minimum of $27.99 or more for our favorite nonvintage Champagnes, Pol Roger and $32.99 (prices from Wine.com).

    Made in Champagne for Costco, Kirkland Champagne lacks the toasty complexity of a name Champagne, but unless they travel in connoisseur circles, most guests won’t notice the difference.

    There are other more affordable sparklers that also deserve attention—if not a place in a lineup for a New Year’s Eve bubbling tasting. Head to your wine store and check out the options in:

  • Asti Spumante and Prosecco from Italy
  • Cava from Spain
  • Cremant d’Alsace from the Alsace region of France
  • Sekt from Germany
  • Various sparklers from Austria, New Zealand, South Africa, the U.S. and other countries.
  •  

    cava-bucket-bottles-WSwineclub-230

    Cava, Spain’s alternative to Champagne. Photo courtesy WS Wine Club.

     
    Ask for recommendations from a staff member and look forward to the voyage of discovery. Here’s our recommendation:

    One of our favorite sparklers, Yellow Tail Sparkling Bubbles Rosé from Australia, can often be found for $10.

    You can also serve red bubblies such as Italian Brachetto and Lambrusco or sparkling Shiraz. For us, a fun New Year’s Eve involves tasting the different options.

     
    THE LARGEST CHAMPAGNE BRANDS

    According to a ranking compiled by industry publication The Drinks Business, the world’s largest Champagne brands in 2013 were:

    1. Moet & Chandon
    2. Veuve Clicquot
    3. Nicolas Feuillatte
    4. G.H. Mumm
    5. Laurent-Perrier
    6. Taittinger
    7. Piper-Heidsieck
    8. Pommery
    9. Lanson
    10.Canard-Duchene

    There are many smaller vintners who make beautiful Champagnes; you just don’t hear of them in the media. Instead, rely on recommendations from store personnel and friends.

    Head there now. The closer you get to New Year’s Eve, the longer the lines!

      

    Comments

    MERRY CHRISTMAS

    olive-mozzarella-wreath-zoeskitchenFB-230sq

    Olive and mozzarella wreath. Photo courtesy
    Zoe’s Kitchen.

     

     
     
     
     
    ALL OF US AT THE NIBBLE

    WISH YOU A JOYOUS DAY

     

     
      

    Comments

    CHRISTMAS: Gift Vs. Present

    Did you get gifts or presents for Christmas? Is there a difference?

    Here’s the scoop, from Dictionary.com.

    Language is not a linear: Words come into every language from a variety of sources, over many centuries. And their meanings change nor expand over time. Think of “decadent,” now used for “self-indulgent,” instead of its traditional meaning of being in a state of decline or decay.

    GIFT

    The word “gift” had multiple meanings before arriving at its current common meaning: something given voluntarily without being earned, to show favor, honor an occasion, or provide assistance.

  • In Old English, its most dominant meaning was “payment for a wife,” or a dowry. The word derived from the Sanskrit gabhasti meaning “hand or forearm.”
  • What was a payment bestowed along with a woman’s hand in marriage evolved into the specific act of putting something of value in someone else’s hands. Around the 1300s, the word “gift” began to assume a more general meaning of an object freely given to another person.
  •  

    MarjorieManicke-sxc

    Is it a gift or a present? Photo by Marjorie Manicke | SXC.

     

    PRESENT

    The noun “present” as a synonym for gift came onto the English language from Old Norman (Old French). Like the adjective “present,” it originally meant “being present” and was used in the phrase mettre en present, “to offer in the presence of.”

    By the early 1300s, the word became synonymous with the thing being offered. Another meaning of “present,” in sense of “the present time,” did not enter common use until the 1500s.

      

    Comments

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