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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,
the online magazine about gourmet and specialty food.

Archive for Jam/Peanut Butter

PRODUCTS: Fiordifrutta Sugar-Free Jam

That spoonful of jelly, jam or preserves can be up to 70% sugar and so sweet that the first thing you taste is table sugar, not fruit.

If you’re trying to cut back on sugar, switching jam and preserves is one place to start.

The producers of the Fiordifrutta (“flower of the fruit”) line of no-sugar-added jams (actually fruit spreads*), imported from Italy, say that they “work with nature” to produce their products.

*Per U.S. Food & Drug Administration definitions, a jam or preserve sweetened with something other than sugar is called a fruit spread.

The taste is right from nature. It’s as if you picked and cooked the fruit in your own kitchen, modestly sweetened with apple juice.

The only ingredients in the jar are organic fruit, organic apple juice and apple pectin, resulting in about 30% fewer calories than conventional products.

The 100% organic line works with nature in a second way: Organic agriculture is sustainable agriculture. By choosing an organic product, you help maintain the environment for your family and for future generations.


Spread more for less: There are less sugar
and fewer calories in this line of apple-
sweetened organic fruit spreads. Photo
courtesy Fiordifrutta.

You can enjoy Fiordifrutta in apricot, blackberry, cherry, cranberry, lemon, orange, peach, plum, raspberry, strawberry, wild blueberry and wild berries.

Spread away: on bread, with cheese, as a dessert or pancake topping, in sauces, in smoothies, in plain yogurt.

The suggested retail price is $5.99 per 9.52-ounce jar. All of the flavors are available online at Or, phone the importer at 1.305.470.7583 for a retailer near you.

One note: Since the fruit spreads are organic and made without sugar, there is no preservative—natural or otherwise. Thus, the shelf life is shorter than other jams in the fridge. Enjoy your Fiordifrutta within 6 to 8 weeks of opening. Most people won’t have to worry about this: The jar will be empty within a week or two.

Organic Hazelnut Spread

Apart from the fruit spreads, Nocciolata chocolate and hazelnut spread, an elegant version of Nutella, is a must-try. According to the company, Nocciolata contains 15% more hazelnuts than Nutella.

Learn more at

  • See more of our favorite jams, jellies and preserves in our Gourmet Jam Section.
  • What’s the difference between jam, preserves, marmalade and the rest? Check it out.
  • Comments

    GOURMET GIVEAWAY #1: Jif Peanut Butter Gift Basket & Calphalon Gourmet Roaster

    Cook with it, spread it on bread, eat it from
    the jar with a spoon. Photo courtesy Jif.


    Do you have a great peanut butter recipe idea that you think is good enough to win a contest? You still have time to enter your original recipe in the Jif Holiday Spread Recipe Contest to win one of two $10,000 kitchen makeovers.

    While your recipe just might be the winner, the odds of winning are much better in THE NIBBLE’s Gourmet Giveaway, which just happens to be a Jif Peanut Butter Gift Basket.

    The gift basket includes:

  • 1 Jar Jif Creamy Peanut Butter
  • 1 Jar Jif Extra Crunchy Peanut Butter
  • Jif Apron
  • Jif Recipe Cards
  • Along with the gift basket, the winner will receive a Calphalon gourmet roaster to add to his/her kitchen cookware collection.

    HURRY! THE NIBBLE’s Gourmet Giveaway ends on January 10, and Jif’s contest ends on January 17.

    Retail Value Of Prize: Approximately $90.00.

  • To learn more about Jif and the Holiday Spread Recipe Contest, visit
  • To Enter This Gourmet Giveaway: Go to the box at the bottom of our Jams, Jellies, Preserves & Peanut Butter Page and click to enter your email address for the prize drawing. This contest closes on Monday, January 10th at noon, Eastern Time. Good luck!

  • Comments

    GOURMET GIVEAWAY #2 ~ House Of Balsamic Vinegar Jellies

    One reader will be the envy of gourmet friends if he or she wins this elegant prize from House of Balsamic.

    The balsamic jellies from House Of Balsamic are quite delicate. This week’s winner will receive three jellies:

  • Fragolina, an ideal topping for fresh cheeses, crackers or fresh fruit
  • Prelibato, delicious paired with hard and salty cheeses
  • Saporina, perfect for breads, cheeses, fruits and meats; as a spread on hors d’oeuvres, tea sandwiches, even for morning toast
  • Retail value: $43.50.

    To see all of the delicious gourmet products from House Of Balsamic, visit

  • To Enter This Gourmet Giveaway: Go to the box at the bottom of our Jams, Jellies, Preserves & Peanut Butter Page and click to enter your email address for the prize drawing. This contest closes on Monday, December 13th at noon, Eastern Time. Good luck!

    These sweet spreads are delicious with
    cheese. Photo by Katharine Pollak | THE NIBBLE.


    GOURMET GIVEAWAY #2: Smucker’s Orchard’s Finest Preserves

    Do you love trying new fruit-flavored spreads on toast or PB&J sandwiches? Do you like to fill layer cakes with preserves? Do you like adding preserves to your barbecue sauce, or using it to make a pan reduction sauce for meat and poultry?*

    Regardless of how you enjoy your preserves, you’ll be enjoying more flavors of them if you are one of the five lucky winners to win Smucker’s newest preserves, the Orchard’s Finest line.

    Orchard’s Finest preserves are real fruit sweetened with sugar, free of artificial colors and preservatives. Flavors include Coastal Valley Peach Apricot, Fall Harvest Cinnamon Apple, Michigan Red Tart Cherry, Northwest Triple Berry, Northwoods Blueberry and Pacific Mountain Strawberry.

    Retail Value Of Prize: Approximately $24.00.

    *To make a reduction sauce, add 1 cup preserves, 1 teaspoon balsamic vinegar, 1/4 teaspoon salt and 1/8 teaspoon pepper to the pan juices. Cook 30 seconds or until preserves are melted, scraping pan to loosen browned bits.


    Win the new line of Orchard’s Preserves from
    Smucker’s. Photo by Katharine Pollak | THE NIBBLE.

  • To Enter This Gourmet Giveaway: Go to the box at the bottom of our Jams, Jellies, Preserves & Peanut Butter Section and click to enter your email address for the prize drawing. This contest closes on Monday, November 15th at noon, Eastern Time. Good luck!
  • After you enter the Gourmet Giveaway, head over to to enter the “Spreading Smucker’s Traditions” recipe contest. You could win $20,000 for a dream family reunion! Submit your recipe by December 10th. See details on the Smucker’s website.
  • Comments

    HALLOWEEN: Pumpkin Jam & Cheese

    Lightly-sweetened jams make delicious
    cheese garnishes. Photo courtesy
    Artisanal Cheese.


    What do your foodie friends want for Halloween?

    Portuguese pumpkin jam is a delicate, autumn-spiced cheese condiment. It’s a colorful addition to any cheese platter and pairs especially well with aged sheep’s milk cheeses.

    Artisanal Cheese sells an artisanally-produced pumpkin jam, made in small batches using a generations-old family recipe. The jars are $9.00 each at

  • See more cheese condiments and a pairing guide.
  • Learn all about cheese in our Cheese Section.
  • Comments

    RECIPES: Peanut Recipes

    In the U.S., peanuts are the winner by a long shot when it comes to volume sold: They claim 67% of all nut consumption. The numbers aren’t broken out for whole peanuts vs. peanut butter, but we bet the PB has a large piece of the pie.

    Check out these peanut recipes:

    Savory Peanut Recipes

  • Colonial Peanut Soup
  • Indian Layered Dip
  • Thai Beef Salad
  • Vietnamese Spicy Squid Salad

    U.S. nut consumption in 2009. Chart
    courtesy USDA Educational Research Service.

    Sweet Peanut Recipes

  • Bacon Peanut Brittle
  • Easy Peanut Butter Fudge
  • Flourless Peanut Butter Chunk Cookies
  • Gourmet Peanut Butter Desserts: PB Panna Cotta, PB&J Dessert Ravioli and PB Cake With Malted PB Ice Cream.
  • Snickers Icebox Pie
  • Peanuts, which originated in South America, actually came to the U.S. with African slaves. They were first brought to West Africa by Portuguese and Spanish traders, where they became a staple crop.

    See who invented peanut butter.


    TIP OF THE DAY: Pepper Jelly Uses


    This hot dog needs garlic pepper jelly!
    Photo by Sarah Lewis | SXC.


    If you’ve never discovered the charms of pepper jelly, don’t put it off. Supplying sweet heat from chiles (which can range from mild to hot), it’s a very versatile condiment.

    While one of the most popular recipes is to serve the glistening jelly on top of a block of cream cheese or Brie with crackers, we have dozens of suggestions in our review of Aloha From Oregon pepper jellies, a NIBBLE Top Pick Of The Week.

    Just a few mouthwatering uses: serve pepper jelly with omelets, spread it on roast meats, add it to any salad with mayo (chicken, potato, tuna, etc.), use it as a spicy topping for cheesecake.

    Read the review and you’ll learn not just about the products and uses, but where the quirky name came from.

    Since April is National Garlic Month, we’ve got to call out Aloha’s Garlic Pepper Jelly and one of our favorite uses for it: on a hot dog! The garlicky jelly pairs with the garlic in the hot dog and is quite the gourmet touch—no mustard required.

    Get some pepper jelly for Mom for Mother’s Day, and for any other small gift needs you have (they’re great teacher gifts).

  • Find more of our jellies in our Gourmet Jams & Jellies section.
  • What’s the difference between jam and jelly? Between preserve and conserve? Check out our “spread sheet,” a.k.a. our Jams & Jellies Glossary.
  • Discover our favorite organic hot dogs for that Garlic Pepper Jelly.


    TIP OF THE DAY: Peanut Butter Ice Cream

    Today is National Peanut Butter & Jelly Day. Enjoy a sandwich with a glass of milk, and make some peanut butter & jelly ice cream:

    1. Soften a pint of vanilla or chocolate ice cream (or frozen yogurt) and put the ice cream in a mixing bowl.

    2. Add 4 tablespoons PB (creamy or crunchy) and mix well.

    3. Add an optional swirl of strawberry or raspberry jam or preserves.

    4. Return to the pint and return to freezer to let harden for an hour; or enjoy it immediately as “soft serve.”


  • To serve as a dessert, top with chopped honey-roasted peanuts or a dab of preserves; or use strawberry sauce or preserves to create a parfait.
  • If you don’t want to make an entire pint, mix 1 tablespoon of PB and 1/2 teaspoon jam into a 1/2 cup of ice cream.


    Make PB ice cream in minutes! Photo
    courtesy Wisconsin Milk Marketing Board.

  • You can make this treat lower calorie/healthier by choosing No Sugar Added or Fat-Free ice cream or frozen yogurt.
  • Find our favorite peanut butter and jelly products and more recipes in our Jam, Jelly & Nut Butters section.


    TIP OF THE DAY: Peanut Butter Makes Great Desserts


    Peanut butter cake with malted PB ice cream….and some caramelized peanuts, candied bacon and white beer foam. You can do it! Photo courtesy PB&+Co.


    If you love peanut butter, enjoy it in more than sandwiches, satay and PB cookies. Challenge culinary school students to create gourmet desserts with it.

    That’s what Peanut Butter & Company did. Celebrate National Peanut Month by making one (or all) of these award-winning peanut butter desserts:

  • Like panna cotta? Try Peanut Butter Panna Cotta With Caramel Mousse.
  • If you like to make ravioli, try this Toasted Peanut Butter & Jelly Ravioli With Cinnamon Ice Cream. We’re proud that the creator, Marissa Goldberg was a student at the Institute for Culinary Education and an intern at THE NIBBLE at the time she developed the recipe.
  • Like to create complex masterpieces? Try this Peanut Butter Milk Confit Cake with Molasses, Malted Peanut Ice Cream, Maple Candied Bacon & White Beer Foam.
  • Find more peanut butter dessert recipes in our Desserts Section.


    PRODUCT: Polaner Sugar-Free Preserves With Fiber


    Apricot and Raspberry, two of the six flavors
    of Polaner’s Sugar-Free Preserves with Fiber.
    Photo by Hannah Kaminsky | THE NIBBLE.


    Why add fiber to sugar-free preserves?

    According to the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, most of us don’t get enough fiber in our diet. On average, American women get 12 grams per day; American men get 18.

    Experts say we should get from 25 to 40 grams of fiber daily to help support a healthy digestive system, reduce the risk of heart disease and manage our weight (fiber is more filling). That’s why when you have a choice of eating foods with more fiber or less, you’re better off choosing more (most fruits and vegetables are high on the fiber list).

    If you’re on a sugar-free or reduced-sugar diet, chances are that you’re already eating lots of good fruits and veggies. But now it’s sweeter to get an extra 3 grams of fiber (about 12% of your daily requirement), with every tablespoon of Polaner Sugar-Free Preserves with Fiber. They’re sweetened with Splenda.

    We’ve been enjoying these jams—yes, they’re actually jam, not preserves (more about that in a minute)—since their debut, around the beginning of November 2009 (sorry we’re late in sharing the news).

    We use the Raspberry and Strawberry to glam up our nonfat plain Greek yogurt (Chobani, FAGE Total and Oikos—we love ‘em all)—to delightful results. Similarly, we use it to top our Breyer’s Extra Creamy No Sugar Added Vanilla Ice Cream.

    Polaner recommends it on toast and muffins, of course; as an addition to smoothies or cookie dough, or whisked into oil and a bit of vinegar for a marinade.

    The line is certified kosher. It’s just 10 calories per tablespoon, and for you carb counters:

    – Sugar Free Apricot Preserves with Fiber: 4g carbs – 3g fiber = 1g net carb
    – Sugar Free Blackberry with fiber: 5g carbs – 3g fiber = 2g net carbs
    – Sugar Free Grape with Fiber: 4g carbs – 3g fiber = 1g net carb
    – Sugar Free Orange Marmalade: 5 carbs – 3g fiber = 2g net carbs
    – Sugar Free Raspberry with Fiber: 5g carbs – 3g fiber = 2g net carbs
    – Sugar Free Strawberry with Fiber: 5g carbs – 3g fiber = 2g net carbs

    COUPON: You can get a $1.00 coupon here. If you don’t have the Java aplet for printing coupons, start at the Polaner home page.

  • Now about the difference between jam and preserves: Jam can be a purée of fruit or have a soft pulp, but it does not contain chunks of fruit. The two Polaner flavors we had were purées, without chunks of fruit. Preserves differs from jam in that large or whole pieces of fruit are suspended in a syrup base. The texture of preserves is not smooth like jelly or jam.
  • See the differences among all the spreads—jelly, curd, marmalade, etc.—in our Jam & Jelly Glossary.
  • Find more of our favorite sugar-free foods in our Diet Nibbles Section.
  • Comments (2)

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