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TIP OF THE DAY: Faloodeh or Faludeh, It’s Delicious Rose Water Sorbet

Faloodeh Sundae
[1] Faludeh with a sour cherry topping (ba albaloo) at The Persian Fusion.

Faloodeh With Sour Cherries
[2] A squeeze of fresh lime juice blances the sweetness of the sobet (photo courtesy Tishineh, a site for Irani tourism).

Persian Ice Cream
[3] A “sundae” of faludeh combined with saffron ice cream (bastani in Arabic; photo courtesy Fun Love And Cooking). The combination of flavors is called makhloot.

Elegant Faloodeh

[4] An elegant update. Here’s the recipe from Tasting Table.

 

We first encountered faludeh, Persian rose water sorbet, years ago. It was an eye-opening frozen dessert among the many jewels at the ice cream emporium of Mashti Malone, in Los Angeles—to us, the most magical ice cream emporium in America.

We couldn’t believe how good it was—as is everything at Mashti Malone. Transliterated from the Arabic, you may also see it spelled faludeh or faloodeh, and also falude or palude.

A sidebar: The Mashti Malone ice cream shop is owned by Mashti and Mehdi Shirvani, two brothers from the northeastern Iranian city of Mashhad. In 1980, Mashti bought an ice cream shop called Mugsy Malone on the corner of La Brea and Sunset in Hollywood. Because he had little money left over for a new sign, he simply replaced “Mugsy” with “Mashti,” and a legend was born.

WHAT IS FALUDEH

Faludeh is one of the earliest known frozen desserts; it has been dated to ca. 400 B.C.E. in Persia. Flavored with rose syrup, which also delivers a flowery scent, it’s a cross between shaved ice or granita, and sorbet.

Raw angel hair or vermicelli noodles, made from rice starch or corn flour and water, are mixed in. The result: a unique frozen dessert and sensory eating experience.

We’ve had Asian and Middle Eastern ice cream flavors before, but the rose water sorbet is a truly refreshing experience. The sorbet melts on the tongue, leaving the al dente rice starch noodles to crunch.

Unusual as it may sound, the noodles provides are so delightful that you may try adding them to other granita and sorbet flavors.

In its region of origin, it is a favorite dessert and party food.

  • Faludeh is served in one of two ways: ba limoo, with a splash of fresh lime juice or lime wedges; or ba albaloo, with a drizzle or sour cherry syrup. Or both!
  • We tried it with lemon juice and yuzu juice, too. Our favorite was yuzu juice and a lime wedge. The acidic citrus balances the floral, sweet flavors of the sweet rose flavors.
  • Pistachios and mint are popular garnishes.
  • Variations in texture, syrups and other ingredients exist across the Middle East, India and Pakistan.
  • In Iran, a scoop of faludeh is often served with a scoop of saffron-pistachio ice cream, a combination known as makhloot. It can be turned into a sundae with a splash of sour cherry syrup, and maybe a few sour cherries.
  •  
    Mashti Malone also makes saffron ice cream, and it is divine. Field trip, anyone?
     
     
    MAKING FALUDEH

    We tried a few different recipes in preparation for this article. The recipe below is a hybrid, taking what has worked for us to attain the best flavor with the simplest technique.

    Serve it in a bowl, on a plate, in a coupe or Martini glass.

    These days, faludeh can easily be made into granita; but we think that churning it into a smooth sorbet makes it even more magnificent.

    The rose water and rose syrup purchased for the occasion also are a delicious enhancement to vanilla ice cream.

  • Add rose water if you make your own vanilla ice cream.
  • You can also soften a pint of store-bought vanilla and vigorously whisk in the rose water, returning it to th4 freezer to harden.
  • In addition to refreshing yourself in the heat of the summer, also make faludeh on Valentine’s Day and Mother’s Day. It is, in essence, edible roses.

     
    RECIPE: FALUDEH

    This recipe is granita-style, for those who don’t have an ice cream maker.

    If for some reason you don’t want to use noodles, you can substitute pistachio nuts or just enjoy the rose granita plain.

    If you’re a kitchen over-achiever, here are recipes to make your own rice starch noodles and cherry syrup.

    Ingredients For 4 Servings

  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 tablespoon rose water
  • 1 ounce dried rice sticks or rice vermicelli noodles
  • Fresh lime juice or lime wedges
  • Traditional garnishes: lime wedge, sour cherries and/or sour cherry syrup (but you can substitute raspberries and/or raspberry syrup), pistachios (whole or chopped), mint leaves
  • Western-style garnishes: fresh berries, mint leaves
  •  
    Preparation

    1. COMBINE the sugar and water in a small saucepan. Simmer over medium heat until sugar is dissolved. Remove from the heat and stir in the rose water. Set aside and let the syrup cool completely.

    2. PLACE the noodles in a heatproof bowl. Cover with boiling water and let stand until soft, about five minutes. Drain and rinse under cold water. Cut or tear noodles into two-inch pieces. Next time, if wish, you can try longer longer noodles. When softened, drain.

    3. PLACE the noodles and syrup in a shallow pan or metal ice cube tray (anything that works for granita) and place it in the freezer for an hour. Then remove it, stir it with a fork and return to the freezer for another hour.

    4. RAKE the granita with a fork, and return to the freezer until the desired consistency is reached, about one to three hours. To serve…

    5. RAKE with a fork (like granita), and scoop the faludeh into bowls. Garnish as desired and serve with fresh lime juice or lime wedges.

     

    HISTORY OF FALUDEH

    Faludeh is originally from Shiraz in southwestern Persia/Iran, known as the city of poets, literature, wine and flower. The dessert is is also known as Shirazi Paludeh.

    Faludeh is one of the earliest forms of frozen desserts, with references found as early as 400 B.C.E.. At that time, ice was brought down from the mountains and stored in tall refrigerated buildings called yakhchals, which were kept cool by windcatchers.

    The recipe for faludeh was brought to the Indian subcontinent during the Mughal period, the 16th to 18th centuries. Their cooks adapted it into a cold dessert beverage called falooda.

    A Brief History Of Frozen Desserts

    A brief history of ice cream and its predecessor, frozen fruit juice (sorbet), begins around 2000 B.C.E. Around 4,000 years ago, the Chinese elite enjoyed a frozen dessert. The earliest may have been a frozen syrup, mixed with overcooked rice and spices, and packed in snow to harden.

    Later, a mixture of snow and saltpeter was poured over the exteriors of containers filled with syrup. In the same way that salt raises the boiling-point of water, it lowers the freezing-point to below zero.

    Fruit ices were also developed, prepared with fruit juices, honey and aromatic spices. Through trade routes, frozen desserts were introduced to the Persians about 2,500 years ago.

    (The Persian Empire includes the countries now known as Iran, Afghanistan, Azerbaijan, Turkey and portions of western China and northern Iraq.)

    The Persians drank syrups cooled with snow called sharbat (“fruit ice” in Arabic, and the derivation of sherbet, sorbet and sorbetto). Alternatively, you can envision fruit syrups poured over a dish of snow

    The Macedonian king Alexander III (Alexander the Great) battled the Persians for 10 years before finally toppling the Persian Empire in 330 B.C.E.

    In Persia, he discovered fruit “ices” sweetened with honey and chilled with snow, and brought the concept back to Greece—although the early form of faludeh he knew probably had no noodles.

    Three centuries later, Roman Emperor Nero’s famous banquets always included fruit juices mixed with honey and snow. At that point, it was granita, roughly-shaved ice. As technology improved, smooth sorbet emerged in Renaissance Italy.

    And the rest is sweet, sweet history.

     

    Faluda

    [5] In India, faludeh was turned into a drink for Mughlai royalty, called falooda (photo courtesy Merwyn’s Fotomac).

    Rice Sticks

    [6] Rice sticks (rice vermicelli) can be found in the Asian products aisle or online. You can similarly find rose water and sour cherry syrup.

     
    Around the same time, during the Mughal Empire in 1526-1540, faludeh traveled to India with Muslim merchants who settled there. There, it was transformed by locals into a drink, falooda (photo #5), a “float” rose syrup, vermicelli, sweet basil seeds and pieces of jelly with milk.

    Modern falooda is often topped off with a scoop of ice cream.

    By the way, both sorbetto/sharbat and pasta arrived in Italy with the Arab invasions of Sicily, in the 8th century (the Marco Polo story is a myth—see the history of pasta).

    Italian granita was born, flavored with fresh citrus, a wide range of fruits and coffee. The Italian cooks left out the noodles.

    Here’s more on the history of ice cream and other frozen desserts.

      

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    FOOD FUN: Slab Pie Art

    Since the old-fashioned slab pie started trending a few years back, almost every fruit pie we’ve made has been a slab pie. Why? They’re sooooo easy!

    A slab pie is a shallow pie that’s baked in a jelly roll pan or a rimmed baking sheet. It has a much higher crust-to-filling ratio than a standard pie, so it’s definitely for the crust-loving crowd, or the hand pie-loving crowd.

    When we want a lot of fruit, we make a cobbler or crisp (the difference).

    MORE SLAB PIE BONUSES

  • Since less filling is needed, a slab pie stretches pricey fresh fruit.
  • It feeds quite a few more people than a standard 9-inch pie: almost as much as two pies, in fact.
  • Only 1 crust is needed. Although some people make a lattice or two-crust slab—which affords picking up the square and eating it like a slab pie—we roll out just one crust and make a streusel.
  • It’s easy to cut and serve.
  • It gladly accepts all the standard pie garnishes: caramel sauce, chocolate shavings, crème anglaise/custard sauce, ice cream, whipped cream, a wedge of sharp cheddar, etc.
  •  
    READY, SET, BAKE!

    You can use any fruit filling in a slab pie with this slab pie recipe template. Head for the summer fruits:

  • Berries: single-berry or mixed berry. Here’s a recipe for a raspberry slab pie; just add your berry mix of choice.
  • Stone fruits (cherry, nectarine, peach, pear, etc.).
  • Black mission and other figs are also in season, and delicious in a pie topped with vanilla ice cream. Might we suggest a tablespoon of orange liqueur (e.g. Grand Marnier) in the filling?
  •  
    You’ve got the weekend ahead of you: Pick your slab pie.

     

    Mixed Berry Slab Pie

    [1] Take a tip from Pamela’s Products: Make a super-easy slab pie and unleash your inner artist with cookie cutters and a sharp paring knife.

    [2] The typical slab pie has a plain or lattice top crust (photo courtesy Taste Of Home).

     
    Then get out your cookie cutters and a sharp paring knife, and create a flower garden top crust (photo #1) or other design.

      

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    TIP OF THE DAY: Easy Tomato Chutney

    Heirloom Tomatoes
    [1] Turn summer tomatoes, ripe off the vine, into…

    Tomato Chutney
    [2] Tomato chutney! (Photo 1 courtesy Okonomi | Brooklyn, photo #2 courtesy Jamie Oliver).

    Tomato Chutney

    [3] This authentic Indian version has chili powder, garlic, garam masala and ginger. Here’s the recipe from Smart Cooky.

     

    August is the best “tomato month” of the year. Aside from eating them raw with just about anything, what else to do with the crop of summer tomatoes?

    Among your many options, make some tomato chutney. It’s a delicious summery treat to:

  • Spread on breakfast toast, or as a condiment with eggs.
  • As a condiment on burgers, grilled cheese and other sandwiches.
  • Instead of ketchup, anywhere.
  • On grains, potatoes and vegetables.
  • With a cheese plate.
  •  
    It’s also a welcome house gift, and keeps for up to 4 weeks in the fridge.

    In the following recipe, one pound of tomatoes doesn’t make a whole lot of chutney. Do a test batch—it’s an easy recipe—to decide how much you want to make.

    Since the chutney cooks up into a jam-like consistency, you can also use very ripe tomatoes that are often better priced. You can use one variety, or a combination of assorted tomatoes (including different colors).
     
     
    RECIPE: EASY TOMATO CHUTNEY

    Ingredients Per Pound Of Tomatoes

  • 8 ounces red onions
  • 1 pound local tomatoes
  • 1 fresh red jalapeño (1-2 tablespoons) or equivalent milder* chile
  • 5 tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Optional: 2 tablespoons chopped cilantro‡
  •  
    Preparation

    1. PEEL and finely slice the onions; roughly chop the tomatoes; and de-seed and finely slice the chile.

    2. PLACE all ingredients in a pot, season to taste and stir well to combine. Simmer for 30 to 40 minutes or until jammy.

    3. POUR into a clean† jar and let cool.

    ________________

    *If you want no heat at all, use red bell pepper.

    †Since this is not a recipe for canning, the jar doesn’t have to be sterilized. However, to ensure cleanliness, use one that has been run through the dishwasher.

    ‡You can play with accents such as basil, garlic, lemon or lime zest and other favorite flavors.
    ________________

    WHAT IS CHUTNEY?

    Chutney is a spiced condiment, served as a side dish, that originated in India. Chatni is the Hindi word for strongly spiced. It is made of fruits or vegetables; and is typically served as an accompaniment to food (i.e., not as a spread).

     
    Fruit chutney consists of chopped fruit (tomato is a fruit), vinegar, spices and sugar cooked into a chunky sweet-tart-spicy mix. According to one explanation, it “blurs the Western distinction between preserves and pickles” [source].

    Some of the most common Indian chutneys are made with coconut, mango, peanut, sesame or the ground herbs, such as coriander or mint. The spice level of chutney can range from mild to hot, and the consistency from a fine relish to a preserve or conserve.
     
    A QUICK HISTORY OF CHUTNEY

    Historically, chutneys were only served by everyday folk on special occasions such as weddings. It was more of a staple for the wealthy. That’s because in the era before stoves, it was a time-consuming undertaking: The chutney was slowly cooked under the hot Indian sun over a period of several days, until it was deemed to have attained the right flavor and consistency.

    This method is still employed in modern India, in homes which do not have stoves. “Solar cooking” is even specified in recipes for those who do have them.

    Each region has its own recipes, using local ingredients.

    Simple spiced chutneys, similar in preparation to pickles, have been dated to 500 B.C.E. This method of preserving food was subsequently adopted by the Romans.

    Beginning in the late 17th century, fruit chutneys from India were shipped to European countries like England and France as luxury goods. These were largely mango chutneys in sticky syrups, packed into ceramic pots.

    European cooks made their own [affordable] versions, substituting peaches or melons for pricey imported mangoes.

    By the 18th century, chutneys made in England were exported to to colonies in colonies Australia and North America.

    By the 19th century, many chutneys were manufactured in India specifically for export to Europe—including Major Grey’s, perhaps the best-known brand in the U.S.

    The recipes of these exports conformed to British tastes rather than to Indian authenticity; that is to say, they were generally sweet and lacked the intense flavors, saltiness, or peppery heat preferred in India).

    Today, thanks to the growth of Americans of Indian ancestry, a wide variety of chutney is available in the U.S. Do try the savory varieties, such as cilantro and mint. They’re delicious—and sugar-free.

    Here’s more of the history of chutney.

     
      

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    TIP OF THE DAY: Make Something For National S’mores Day

    This yummy holiday is celebrated annually on August 10th, a combination of graham crackers, toasted marshmallows and chocolate bars, a favorite campfire treat of Girl Scouts since the early 20th century.

    The popular of s’mores has had contemporary home cooks cooking up everything from s’mores ice cream, ice cream cakes, ice cream sandwiches and pies; to bark, brownies, chocolate bars, cookies and fudge; to s’mores cocktails.

    The high point must be the s’mores kits sold by artisan chocolatiers and marshmallow makers, including homemade graham crackers (so good, that the big brands are like cardboard in comparison—here’s a recipe to bake your own).

    The low point may be Kellogg’s Smorz and Post’s Honey Maid S’mores Cereal, which cons parents into allowing their kids to breakfast on chocolate, marshmallow and graham cracker bits.
     
     
    THE HISTORY OF S’MORES

    We don’t know who invented S’mores, but the Girl Scouts certainly popularized them. The first published recipe is in their 1927 handbook.

    S’mores around the campfire has been a happy tradition: a stick, a fire, two toasted marshmallows, a square of chocolate and two graham crackers get you a delicious chocolate marshmallow sandwich.

    The combined flavors of toasted marshmallow, melty chocolate and crunchy grahams is oh-so-much tastier than the individual ingredients (or, to quote Aristotle, the whole is greater than the sum of its parts).

    It is very possible that a Girl Scout or troop leader, sitting around the campfire toasting marshmallows, pulled out graham crackers and chocolate, brought along for snacking, and made the first sandwich.

    The name of the sandwich cookie comes from its addictive quality: You have no choice but to ask for “some more.”

    But you don’t need a campfire, or even all of the classic ingredients, to celebrate with S’mores, as you’ll see below (skillet s’mores are so easy, you won’t miss the fire).

    Don’t have a heat source to melt marshmallows? Use Fluff or other marshmallow cream.

    It may be too late to throw a s’mores party on National S’mores Day, but it will be equally welcome on Labor Day or any other day of the year.

  • Here’s the s’mores party we threw last year. It’s a feast of substitutions, the opportunity for everyone to create signature s’mores recipe (add some banana slices, use chocolate-covered grahams, peanut butter cup instead of chocolate bar, etc.).
  • Here’s a template for a s’mores party, from our 2013 party.
  •  
     
    MORE S’MORES RECIPES

    Here are some s’mores recipes with twists that we’ve published, just a smattering of the thousands of s’mores recipes out there.

    Of course, the classic graham cracker sandwich with toasted marshmallows and a piece of chocolate is perfect as is.

  • S’mores Baked Alaska
  • Cinnamon S’mores and a cappuccino cocktail
  • Creative S’mores Recipes
  • Fancy S’mores (banana split, peach, peanut brittle etc.)
  • Grilled Banana S’mores
  • Gourmet Marshmallow S’mores
  • Ice Cream S’mores
  • Skillet S’mores (S’mores Fondue)
  • S’mores With Other Types Of Cookies
  • S’mores Ice Cream Cake, Ice Cream Pie and Cupcakes
  • S’mores In A Cup Or Mason Jar
  • S’mores Cookie Bars
  • S’mores Ice Cream Cake
  • S’mores On A Stick
  • S’mores On The Grill
  • Triscuit S’mores
  •  
    For tomorrow, the actual National S’mores Day, expect more recipes!

     

    Smores Ingredients
    [1] Ingredients for classic s’mores from Dandies, delicious vegan marshmallows.

    Smores In A Jar
    [2] Smores without the mess from Chef Eric Levine.

    Brownie Smores

    [3] A pastry chef’s s’mores: homemade brownie with graham chunks and homemade marshmallows, browned with a torch (photo courtesy Distilled NY.

     

      

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    TIP OF THE DAY: Create An International Version Of Your Favorite American Sandwich

    August is National Sandwich Month.

    We love sandwiches so much, we created a glossary with the different types of sandwiches.

    It is true that the Earl of Sandwich was inadvertently responsible for creating the modern English sandwich. But what we recognize as a sandwich—bread and filling—likely dates to around 9000 B.C.E., when permanent settlements were established in the Middle East.

    The hunter-gatherers began to plant and harvest grain, which was turned into the first breads: unleavened flatbreads that were baked over an open fire. They were also “edible plates,” holding roasted meat or fish on the journey from pot to mouth.

    People would eat “bread and cheese” or “bread and meat”; they just didn’t call it by a formal name. Check out the (sandwich history).

    Since the original sandwich was Middle Eastern, put a spin on your favorite sandwich today.

  • Plan A: Adapt an American sandwich. Pick any international cuisine you like, and add elements of it to an American sandwich.
     
    Examples: turkey with curried mayonnaise, curried egg salad or tuna salad, jambon de Paris and brie instead of American ham and cheese, tuna salad with feta and kalamata olives (photo #1, recipe below), etc.
  • Plan B: Have a sandwich that originated in another country. Examples: French croque monsieur or croque madame (photo #2), Greek gyros, Italian panini, Venezuelan arepa (photo #3), Vietnamese bánh mì (photo #4).
  •  
     
    GREEK-INSPIRED TUNA SALAD

    This recipe (photo #1) takes the chief ingredients of the popular Greek salad (horiatiki) and adds tuna, creating “Greek tuna salad.”

    We adapted the recipe from one featured by Put On Your Cake Pants.

    Since local tomatoes are at peak now*, enjoy hefty slices on each sandwich.

    Ingredients For 2 Single-Decker Sandwiches

  • 1 can tuna (5 ounces), drained
  • 1/4 cup chopped cucumber (about 1 Persian cucumber)
  • 1/4 cup red bell pepper, chopped (substitute other color)
  • 1/4 cup diced red onion (or to taste)
  • 2 tablespoons crumbled feta†
  • 1 tablespoon kalamata olives, pitted and diced
  • 2 teaspoons chopped fresh dill or 1/2 teaspoon dried dill
  • Salt and pepper
  • 2 teaspoons oil-based salad dressing (red wine vinaigrette or bottled Italian dressing)
  • 2 leaves romaine lettuce
  • 1 medium tomato
  • Dried oregano to taste
  • Optional seasoning: lemon zest to taste
  • Optional toppings, mix-ins or garnishes: anchovies, capers, pepperoncini, sardines
  • Bread of choice: large pita pockets, crusty loaf, multigrain
  •  
    For The Dressing

  • 1/3 cup plain Greek yogurt†
  • 1 tablespoon milk†
  • Salt or garlic salt, pepper and dill to taste†
  •  
    _________________
    *When tomatoes are not in season, substitute 1-1/2 tablespoons chopped sun-dried tomatoes, mixed into the salad.

    †For a dairy-free sandwich, eliminate the feta and use a red wine vinaigrette dressing.
     
     
    Preparation

    1. COMBINE the tuna, cucumber, feta, and dried dill in a bowl.

    2. MIX the dressing in a separate bowl: Greek yogurt, milk and salad dressing. Add to the tuna mixture and still until combined.

     

    Greek Tuna Salad Recipe
    [1] Greek tuna salad, a fusion of American tuna salad and Greek horiatiki (photo courtesy Put On Your Cake Pants).

    Croque Madame Sandwich
    [2] Croque madame from France: grilled jambon de Paris and gruyère cheese, dipped into beaten egg and sautéed in butter, with a fried egg on top (photo courtesy Eggs Fresh Simple).

    Pulled Pork Arepa
    [3] Pulled pork arepa (here’s the recipe from Serious Eats).

    Banh Mi Sandwich

    [4] Banh mi, a Vietnamese sandwich inspired by French baguettes (photo courtesy Good Eggs).

     

      

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