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Archive for Bread-Crackers-Sandwiches

TOP PICK OF THE WEEK: Iveta Cream Scones

Iveta Scones

Moist, creamy Iveta Scones are a departure from the dry, traditional variety. These raspberry scones are among our favorites.

 

Today’s scones are quick breads, similar to American biscuits. They are traditionally made with wheat flour, sugar, baking powder or baking soda, butter, milk and eggs, and baked in the oven—both in the traditional wedge form and in round, square and diamond shapes.

We don’t enjoy traditional, hard, dry scones. They come from an earlier time, when cooking wasn’t as easy as it is today. The Scots, and others who enjoyed them back then, covered them with butter, jam (and more later, clotted cream), to take the edge off the dryness.

But the cream scones from Iveta Scones—called cream scones because they substitute cream for the butter and eggs—are a moist delight that require no further embellishment (but go ahead—slather them with lemon curd and Devon cream).

They’re available in 16 flavors plus sugar-free Vanilla. Read about our favorites—for even among a line that is uniformly delicious, there are standouts.

Gift boxed and around $6.00, they make nice house gifts and—thinking ahead—stocking stuffers. Better yet, you can have delicious scones in 20 minutes, just by adding cream to the mix, shaping and baking. The scones also substitute for shortbread biscuits.

 

While scones can be found in many flavors today—both sweet and savory—traditional English scones may include raisins or currants, but are often plain, relying on jam, preserves, lemon curd or honey for added flavor—perhaps with a touch of clotted cream.

You may have heard two different pronunciations for “scone.” Which is the authentic one? They both are! The word is pronounced “skahn” in Scotland and Northern England (rhymes with gone) and “skoan” in the south of England (rhymes with own), the pronunciation adopted by the U.S. and Canada.

Read more in the The History of Scones. You’ll also find the difference between clotted cream, Devon cream, and other scone mysteries. See more of our favorite scones and other bread products in the Bread Section of THE NIBBLE online magazine.

Iveta Scones are a Nibble Top Pick Of The Week. Head to that review, or head to Iveta.com to buy some now.

  

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TOP PICK OF THE WEEK: Callie’s Southern Biscuits

Country ham biscuits
Can’t you taste the goodness of Callie’s Country Ham Biscuits? The Cheese and Cinnamon are also stunning.
  She catered Reese Witherspoon’s and Ryan Philippe’s wedding, and other catering clients have been clamoring for her country ham-stuffed biscuits for years. She couldn’t hand over the secret recipe, of course, so Charleston, South Carolina caterer Callie White did the next best thing: She charged her daughter with opening up a division to sell the bodacious biscuits online. Now, there’s no need for you to imagine what super Southern biscuits taste like. Buttermilk, cheese, cinnamon and the country ham biscuits that started it all will come to you. Get yourself a variety pack for Easter dinner or breakfast. Send some to Mom for Mother’s Day. Each biscuit is handmade with just a bowl and no other equipment (save for the oven, of course). Callie says that the secret to making a great biscuit is to not over-mix the dough. Each batch is mixed by hand, and the expert biscuit makers know by the feel when the dough is ready. It’s art, it’s science, it’s delicious! Read the full review. Visit more of our favorite breads and biscuits in the Gourmet Bread Section of THE NIBBLE online magazine.
And here’s our Question Of The Week (you’ll find a new one each week on TheNibble.com home page—we usually don’t post them here): Why do the British refer to cookies and crackers as biscuits? It’s because the word biscuit comes from the Latin bis coctum, which means “twice cooked.” This is manifested in biscotti, the hard Italian cookies which are baked twice. Americans get “cookie” from the Dutch word, “koekje,” which means “little cake.” Both terms arrived in America in the 1600s, with their respective groups of Colonists. According to The Encyclopedia of American American Food and Drink, the first American usage of “biscuit” as a soft bread was in 1818, in the Journal of Travels in the United States of North America, and in Lower Canada, by John Palmer.By 1828 Webster’s Dictionary defined a biscuit as “a composition of flour and butter, made and baked in private families.” These small, puffy leavened breads were called soda biscuits or baking-soda biscuits, to differentiate them from the unleavened cracker type of biscuit. These bread-biscuit recipes are ubiquitous in 19th-century cookbooks. In addition to serving up plenty of soda biscuits, Southerners also developed the beaten biscuit, first mentioned in print in 1853. In 1930, General Mills introduced Bisquick, the first packaged biscuit mix. And the rest, as they say, is history. Pass the butter, please.

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TODAY IN FOOD: It’s National Cereal Day

Does National Cereal Day sound like nothing to get worked up over…because you enjoy that bowl of Cheerios 365 days a year?

Are you bummed that it isn’t National Bacon Cheeseburger Day or National Apple Pie À La Mode Day? Show a little love, please!

Cereals are wild grasses that were cultivated thousands of years ago. Their edible grains, or seeds, are staple crops throughout the world.

A staple crop is one that is grown in greater quantities, and provides more energy calories, than other crops. In some developing nations, grain constitutes almost the entire diet. But, here’s a happier fact: Cereal takes its name from Ceres, the Roman goddess of harvest and agriculture. The Greek goddess equivalent is Demeter.

Corn, wheat and rice account for 87% of cereals grown worldwide—wheat in temperate regions, rice in tropical regions, corn in the Americas and Africa.

Many grains are grown to feed livestock and for specific human uses:

  • Barley for beer and other malted foods.
  • In the U.S., more corn is grown to feed cattle than humans.
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    Wheat

    Amber waves of grain. Note the grains, or seeds, at the top of the stalk. Edible kernels are inside the husks.

  • Buckwheat and quinoa (an incredibly high-protein, nutritious grain), both food crops, are not true grasses, but “psuedocereals.”
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    Read about some of our favorite grain-based foods in the:

  • The Breads Section of TheNibble.com.
  • The Cereals Section of THE NIBBLE.com.
  • All about whole grains in our article on Whole Grain Cereals.
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    TIP OF THE DAY: Types Of Smoked Salmon

    February 9th is National Bagels and Lox Day. “Lox” is an old generic term that is fading away, replaced by much more complicated choices. So how does one decide among the Irish, Danish, Nova Scotia, Norwegian, Scottish and other smoked salmon contenders? They differ in saltiness, smokiness and fishiness; the only way you’ll know is to taste. If it’s sliced-to-order, you can try a piece at the counter; but packaged salmon (which can be equally fine or better quality depending on manufacturer) is often less expensive because factory slicing is cheaper than store labor). Buy small amounts of each and compare. You don’t need bagels: Slices of salmon with a sprinkling of dill and capers, a lemon wedge and an optional garnish of crème fraîche make a lovely first course for brunch, lunch or dinner. TIP: Once you decide what you like, write it down—they sound so similar, it’s easy to forget.


    – Learn about the different types of smoked salmon.

    – Discover sustainable, line-caught smoked salmon from Nantucket Wild Gourmet & Smokehouse.

    – See David Burke’s smoked salmon pops.

    – Try a savory, smoked salmon cheesecake (for hors d’oeuvres or a first course).
      Smoked SalmonHow many types of smoked salmon can you name?
     

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    TODAY IN FOOD: It’s National Croissant Day

    Is there a person reading this who does not enjoy a buttery croissant? (Alas, not all are made with butter…but avoid buying croissants at inexpensive delis, and eagerly seek out new bakeries to see what they have to offer.) Our only complaint is that the flaky puff pastry that is so delightful in the mouth invariably ends up all over our place setting and our clothing. We admire people who can eat one neatly. A good croissant already contains so much butter that it needs no more embellishment. If you get one from a top baker who uses the best butter, enjoying each bite without the interference of additional butter or jam is, in our opinion, the way to go.
    Making croissants by hand is very labor-intensive. Much of what is available today is factory-made, pre-formed and frozen, delivered to the bakery, food store or restaurant and “baked on our premises.” In the 1970s, the croissant evolved into a fast food, filled with everything from broccoli to ham and cheese (and in many cases, lowering the quality of the puff pastry itself).
      Croissants
    Hold the butter: A truly fine, fresh croissant is buttery enough.
    There are several stories about the invention of the croissant, but all appear to be legends. According to the Oxford Companion To Food, no recipe for what we know as the croissant appears before the early 20th century. It thus seems highly unlikely, for example, that the croissant was invented in Vienna in 1583 to celebrate the defeat of the Turkish siege of the city. Bakers, who were up in the wee hours making the city’s bread, are said to have heard the enemy tunneling under the city and were able to warn the army, thus saving Vienna from siege. In honor of the victory, the bakers created the croissant, the shape taken from the crescent emblem on the Turkish flag. (Eat this!) Such a heroic story; you will find it just about everywhere you look for “history of the croissant.” But one of the ways that food historians try to determine the truth is by looking at old recipe books. There are enough cookbooks from the 17th, 18th and 19th centuries to deprive bakers of their most famous moment in history, alas.

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