THE NIBBLE BLOG: Products, Recipes & Trends In Specialty Foods
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Archive for Bread-Crackers-Sandwiches

CONTEST: Win A Kitchen Makeover (Deadline December 31)

Pillsbury It may be a bleak holiday season with a lot of space in the stocking and under the tree, but if thoughts of a kitchen makeover would warm your hearth, you have until December 31, 2008 to enter the Pillsbury Make America Sweeter contest. Pillsbury invites you to share how you can make things a little sweeter with Pillsbury cake, brownies, quickbread, frostings or flours. You don’t have to submit a recipe—just share a story of 100 words or less and a photo or video that illustrates your story. The winner will receive a $5,000 kitchen makeover; runners-up will receive products from KitchenAid and Pillsbury. Perhaps best of all, a $5,000 donation will be made to Feeding America, to help feed Americans whose lives are truly bleak.

Submit your entry online at pillsburybaking.com/campaign.

Find brownie, cake cookie and pie recipes on TheNibble.com.

Dig into our Cake Glossary.

Take our Brownie Trivia Quiz.

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NEW PRODUCT: Focaccia Sticks

New York Style, baker of such carb treats as Bagel Crisps, Crispini Flatbreads, Pita Chips and Pretzel Flatz, has turned trendy focaccia into a crunchy stack. New Focaccia Sticks are available in 5-ounce snack bags and are certified OU(D) kosher. Baked without trans fats, this is not diet food (any more than regular focaccia): three small pieces, 15g (about half an ounce), are 70 calories.

Our favorite of the three flavors is Roasted Garlic & Herb, tasting like enormous, crunchy garlic croutons. Rosemary & Sea Salt takes second place, although the sea salt does make this flavor, well, best for those who like things on the salty side. The Quattro Formaggio, which everyone wanted to open first, delivered the least flavor.

 
These are greasy snacks, drenched in oil. Rather than wipe our fingers constantly, we prefer Focaccia Sticks as salad and soup garnishes. While most of the pieces in our bag were broken, in peak form the Focaccia Sticks look like miniature biscotti, 3 inches long by 1/2 inch wide.

There’s a store locator on the website; you can find them at Costco, Sam’s Club and major chains. For more information visit NewYorkStyle.com.

See THE NIBBLE’s Bread Section for our favorite bread, crackers and other carbalicious treats.
Zip through our Bread Glossary: it’s a paean to the world’s great breads.
Check out our favorite snacks in THE NIBBLE’s Snacks Section.
For a great crunchy snack with reduced fat and calories, get Popchips potato chips. Can’t beat ‘em.

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TOP PICK OF THE WEEK: Mary’s Gone Crackers

A quick glance at the Mary’s Gone Crackers package can make a serious foodie apprehensive: wheat-free, gluten-free, dairy-free, vegan, no hydrogenated oils, no trans-fats, non-GMO. The litany of what’s not in these crackers is so extensive, you start to wonder what is in them that makes them taste so vibrant and delicious. (See the answer in the main review.) They’re also organic, whole grain and kosher.

Mary’s crackers taste so good, and deliver such flavorful, addictive crunch, that it’s a pleasure to get your three daily servings of whole grains (and 455mg of omega-3 fatty acids per serving) by substituting whatever cracker or chip you’re enjoying now. The flat, round wafers have a great nutty, whole wheat taste despite an absence of wheat. Each of the five flavors (Original, Black Pepper, Caraway, Herb and Onion) is distinct and straightforward. Black Pepper, for example has a nice pepper bite; Herb features basil, oregano and other dried-herb-rack staples; Onion is reminiscent of Lipton Onion Soup mix, in a good way. Even the Original is splendid: a hearty grain flavor accented with the sesame and flax seeds that characterize the entire line.


You’ll go crackers when you taste the
lively, complex flavors of Mary’s whole
grain, gluten-free crackers and twig
snacks.
In finding a solution to her own gluten-free needs, Mary Waldner has created a line that any lover of fine flavors will find exciting. There’s a new product line, Sticks & Twigs, that offers similar excitement in a pretzel-stick shape. Read the full review for the whole, healthy scoop.

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New Product: Annie’s Homegrown Organic Snacks

Parents who want more organic snacks for their kids—or grownups who indulge in guilty gummi pleasures—will be glad to know that Bernie the Rabbit, mascot of Annie’s Homegrown organic foods, has morphed into gummi-type “fruit snacks” and crispy crackers. The Bunny Fruit Snacks, rabbit-shaped in Berry Patch and Tropical Treat, are vegan, made with real fruit juice, and contain 100% daily value of vitamin C. Bunny Classics basked organic crackers are made in Buttery Rich, Cheddar and Saltines, in a variety of leaping rabbit, rabbit face and heart shapes. Both products are USDA-certified organic and contain “no icky additives or pesky preservatives.”  

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TOP PICK OF THE WEEK: Rustic Bakery

More than 18 months ago, we were invited to a party in San Francisco to celebrate the anniversary of one of our favorite cheese makers, Cowgirl Creamery. Many great American cheese makers brought their best cheeses to the celebration. But what we remembered most following that assembly of fine fromage were the enchanting, irresistible flatbreads from Rustic Bakery, a small artisan enterprise which had started up only nine months earlier. It was by no means ready to set up an e-commerce operation, but we kept calling regularly with high hopes. We simply had to have a steady supply of such great flatbreads to accentuate cheese, soup, salad or as a great munchie with a glass of wine or beer.

Each time we called to find out when we could order online, the product line had expanded. One time it was panforte crostini, the next time, cookies. Finally, the e-commerce engine turned over, and now those of us not within driving distance of Larkspur, California (across the Golden Gate Bridge from San Francisco) can experience these unleavened luxuries and their classy cookie cousins. While the company name, Rustic Bakery, honors a 50-year-old heritage, there’s nothing rustic about these sophisticated stunners.


The Hazelnut & Sultana Panforte Crostini
is just one of the remarkable artisan
products from greater San Francisco flatbread and cookie baker, Rustic
Bakery.
Oh, how lucky the Larkspur locals are, to be able to have their morning java with these glories, or to take afternoon tea with a plate of such special cookies. The rest of us can order up a bunch, put some flowers on the table and imagine we’re on vacation at a spectacular inn. Each bite makes you proud to be part of the American artisan food movement. For surely, our role, to purchase and savor such fine products, is as important as the role of the artisan who crafts them. The products are made with organic ingredients. Read the full review on TheNibble.com, as we describe each delicious bite.

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