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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 Snacks

PRODUCT: New York Style Bagel Crisps

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Tiny, crispy bagel chips hit the spot. Photo by
Elvira Kalviste | THE NIBBLE.

 

As someone who is overly fond of bagels and breakfast pastries—not a whole lot of nutrition in exchange for all of those calories—we’re glad we discovered New York Style Bagel Crisps. They come in regular and mini sizes

The light and crispy chips are made from bagel-type dough, but cut into small, thin, crisp slices that can be enjoyed at breakfast or for snacking (they have half the fat and fewer calories than regular potato chips).

The flavors are everything you’d expect in a bagel:

  • Cinnamon Raisin Bagel Crisps
  • Everything
  • Garlic Parmesan
  • Plain
  • Roasted Garlic
  • Sea Salt
  • Sea Salt + Black Pepper
  • Sesame
  •  
    The Mini Bagel Crisps are made in:

  • BBQ
  • Cheddar
  • Garlic
  • Sea Salt
  •  
    Bagel Crisps are great on their own or paired with toppings, dips and spreads—a delectable snack in a New York minute.

    But the company doesn’t rest on its bagel laurels. There are also:

     

    New York Style Pita Chips

    These baked pita chips have real pita pockets, all the better for dipping. They’re available in:

  • Garden Fresh Ranch
  • Parmesan Garlic Herb
  • Red Hot Chili Pepper
  • Sea Salt
  •  
    Enjoy them plain or with dips like hummus and guacamole. We like dipping them in plain Greek yogurt.
     
    Panetini

    We’d have called these crostini; but by any name, they’re crunchy, tasty and great with dips,spreads, soups and salads. Try them in:

  • Garlic
  • Garlic Parmesan
  • Original
  • Three Cheese
  •  

    cinnabon-chocolate-230

    Sweet bagel chip can take the place of breakfast pastry. Photo by Elvira Kalviste | THE NIBBLE.

     
    New York Style Sweet Swirls

    Instead of a cookie, have a Cinnabon Swirl Crisp or a Chocolate Swirl Crisp. It satisfies that sweet craving with a cup of coffee or tea; and we turned them into little crispy ice cream/frozen yogurt sandwiches.

    Discover more at NewYorkStyle.com.

      

    Comments

    RECIPE: Snack On Sriracha Kettle Corn

    Americans consume approximately 17.3 billion quarts of popcorn each year. Sweet-and salty kettle corn is the category’s fastest-growing flavor. Hot and spicy foods in general have been trending for some time.

    So Hannah Kaminsky of Bittersweet Blog combined the two into a recipe for Sriracha Kettle Corn: sweet and salty plus a warm burn with each bite.

    This whole grain snack couldn’t be easier or faster to whip up, whether for better snacking while you’re hanging at home this week, or when guests drop by. Adjust the sriracha to taste, depending on how hot you like it.

    RECIPE: SRIRACHA KETTLE CORN

    Ingredients For 8-10 Cups Popcorn

  • 3 tablespoons coconut oil
  • 1/2 cup popcorn kernels
  • 1/3 cup granulated sugar
  • 3-5 teaspoons sriracha
  • 1/2-1 taspoon flaky sea salt (like Maldon)
  •    

    sriracha-kettle-corn-kaminsky-230

    Sriracha kettle corn adds heat to the traditional sweet and salty seasonings. Photo © Hannah Kaminsky | Bittersweet Blog.

     

    sriracha-solo-230

    Sriracha, a hot sauce that originated in Thailand. Photo courtesy Huy Fong Foods.

     

    Preparation

    1. HEAT the coconut oil in a large stockpot over medium heat, along with two or three kernels. Keep covered, and when the test kernels pop, add the rest, along with the sugar and sriracha. Stir well to coat before quickly covering with the lid once more.

    2. SHAKE the pot constantly and vigorously to prevent the corn from burning. This is critical, both for even cooking and for fewer unpopped kernels. Once the popping has slowed to one every two to three seconds…

    3. REMOVE the pot from the heat and uncover, continuing to shake for a few minutes until the popping has stopped. Pour the popcorn onto a sheet pan and sprinkle evenly with salt, to taste. Let cool and break up the large clumps, picking through to remove any unpopped popcorn kernels that might remain.
     
    WHAT IS KETTLE CORN?

    Kettle corn is sweet-and-salty popcorn. A Colonial invention, the corn was popped in iron kettles and then sweetened with sugar, honey and sometimes molasses before adding the salt. It is less sweet than caramel corn and appeals to those who like a sweet-and-salty flavor profile.

    Check out the history of popcorn.

     

    WHAT IS SRIRACHA?

    Sriracha, pronounced see-RAH-jah, is a Thai hot chili sauce. It is made from red chiles, distilled vinegar, garlic, sugar and salt; and is aged for three months or longer.

    Unlike American hot sauces such as Tabasco, which are vinegar sauces that are infused with hot chiles, sriracha is primarily puréed chiles, making it a much thicker sauce.

    The sauce is named after the coastal city of Si Racha in eastern Thailand, where it was first made and marketed. Different brands can be found in the Asian aisle of many supermarkets and in Asian groceries.

    According to multiple sources, including an article in Bon Appétit, the sauce was made more than 80 years ago in by a local woman, Thanom Chakkapak. She initially made the condiment for her family, and then for friends, to enjoy with the local seafood (think of it as a much hotter counterpart to American cocktail sauce).

    As is a common story in the specialty food business, they encouraged her to sell it commercially—and it became the best-selling chile sauce in Thailand. In 1984, Ms. Chakkapak sold her business to a major food company, Thai Theparos Food Products.

    What’s the correct spelling: sriraja, si-racha, sriracha or siracha?

    According to Andrea Nguyen, who wrote the article for Bon Appétit: Since Thailand does not adhere to one romanization system for Thai words, many variants have emerged, chosen by manufacturers who have created their own version of the original sauce.

    However, the most commonly accepted spelling is sriracha.

      

    Comments

    RECIPE: Chocolate Drizzle Popcorn

    chocolate-drizzle-popcorn-cretors-230

    Enjoy some at home, box some up as a gift. Photo courtesy G.H. Cretors.

     

    If you’re looking for something to bring to a Christmas Eve celebration—or to serve at home—here’s one you can make in 15 minutes. The recipe is from G.H. Cretors Popcorn, whose bags of popped corn were a NIBBLE favorite (here’s our review).

    RECIPE: CHOCOLATE CRANBERRY POPCORN BARK

    Ingredients For 12 Servings

  • 1 pound 70% (bittersweet) dark chocolate
  • 4 cups popped salted popcorn
  • 1/2 cup dried cranberries or cherries
  • 1/4 cup toffee bits
  • Optional garnish: 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  •  

    Preparation

    1. LINE a 9×13-inch baking sheet with parchment paper so that it overhangs the edges.

    2. BREAK up the chocolate and place it in a heatproof bowl set over a saucepan of barely simmering water. Stir occasionally until melted, then remove from the heat.

    3. RESERVE a 1/2 cup of melted chocolate for drizzling. Pour the remaining chocolate onto the prepared baking sheet and spread evenly. Top evenly with the popcorn, dried cranberries and toffee bits. Drizzle the reserved chocolate on top. Sprinkle the optional sea salt over the chocolate drizzle.

     

    4. REFRIGERATE for 1 hour or until the chocolate is set. Remove from the pan and peel off the parchment paper. Break into pieces. You can store the popcorn in an airtight container for up to 1 week.

     
    ABOUT G.H. CRETOR’S POPCORN

    Charles Cretors invented the modern popcorn popper in 1885. Previously, popcorn was popped on stove tops in large copper kettles. Cretors developed a raised steam-powered popper that popped the kernels at the top of a large glass bin and spilled the fresh popcorn into the bin, where it could be scooped into bags (the system is still used in today’s movie theaters and elsewhere).

    More recently, the family launched a line of popped corn in five varieties: Chicago Mix (sweet and salty cheese corn), Just The Caramel Corn, Just the Cheese, Organic Extra Virgin Olive Oil and Organic Simply Salted.

    The line is certified gluten free and certified kosher (dairy) by KOF-K. Discover more at GHCretors.com.

      

    Comments

    PRODUCT: Freakin’ Awesome Snack Mix

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    The fun name made this product a hit. Photo courtesy The Festive kitchen.

     

    Recently, we were asked if we’d like to try a snack mix called It’s Freakin’ Awesome. How could we resist?

    It was developed by a Dallas-area caterer, and became a big hit locally.

    A bag arrived: a mix of sweet and salty flavors with a bit of heat. A blend of caramelized tortilla chips (a fun idea!), Chex cereal pieces, dried cranberries, almonds and peanuts, it’s a variation on a Chex Mix.

    It’s tasty, to be sure, but no more awesome than some other Chex Mixes we’ve made. We will acknowledge, though, that compared to the boxed Chex Mixes on the market, the ingredients are more pure (you can taste the higher quality).

    So why are we writing about it?

    First, you might need something freakin’ awesome as a stocking stuffer or party favor. The name is sure to delight. “It’s Freakin’ Awesome” may be hyperbolic, but it is fun.

    Second, a portion of every purchase goes to Carry The Load, a charity started by a former Navy Seal to support the families of fallen heroes from the military, law enforcement, firefighters and rescue personnel.

    We love food with a mission!

     

    You can purchase It’s Freakin’ Awesome online at FestiveKitchen.com, and at Festive Kitchen stores in the Dallas area. A 9-ounce bag is $8.65.

     
      

    Comments

    PRODUCT & GIFT: Perky Jerky, Now In Flavors

    There’s only a week left until Christmas, but you can click on over to get a boat load of one of our favorite snacks for gifting: Perky Jerky.

    This is tender, flavorful gourmet jerky with a twist: the meat is caffeinated. The manufacturer calls it “the world’s first all-natural performance enhancing meat snack.”

    Anyone who needs a snack along with a bit of energy can simply tear open a portion-controlled package and enjoy a flavorful, nourishment and yes, liveliness.

    The protein-laden beef or turkey jerky has been caffeinated with guarana, a natural energy booster with about twice the caffeine content of a coffee bean. A single-portion bag has less than 100 calories per ounce and is low in carbs, with 5g or less of sugar per serving.

    The products are all natural: no added MSF, no nitrates, no preservatives.
     
    BEEF & TURKEY, ORIGINAL & FLAVORS

    Since it debuted several years ago, Perky Jerky has grown in flavors. Marinating the meat overnight allows the flavors to infuse, and makes the jerky even more tender.

    Beef Perky Jerky and Turkey Perky Jerky are available in Original, Hot & Bothered, Sweet & Spicy and Teriyaki. Additionally, Turkey Perky Jerky is Jamaican Style.

       

    jerky-black-plate-230

    Delicious and tender jerky with a jolt of caffeine. Photo by Elvira Kalviste | THE NIBBLE.

     

    package-trio-230

    Give individual packages or multipack boxes.
    Photo by Elvira Kalviste | THE NIBBLE.

     

    PACKAGES FOR EVERYONE

    From individual snacks to multi-portion sizes, there are:

  • Individual snack bags (1 ounce), $2.99
  • Multi-portion bags (2.2 ounces), $4.99
  • Family-size bags (5 ounces), $9.99
  • Multipack boxes of 6-packs (2.2 ounces) and 12-packs (2.2 ounces), $59.88
  •  
    If you want to try the flavors, pay for four and get the fifth free (2.2-ounce bags).

    You can sign up for monthly deliveries, too, and save 20%-30% with free shipping.

    HOLIDAY SPECIAL

    There’s 40% off plus free shipping on orders over $50. Use code HOLIDAY 40 through midnight on December 21st.

    Place your order for great jerky at PerkyJerky.com.

    Perky Jerky is also available in more than 30,000 retail outlets across the U.S., including GNC, Target and Walgreens.

    JERKY TRIVIA

  • The word jerky comes from the Quechua language of the Incas, who called their dried meat “charqui.”
  • While the prehistoric method of meat preservation was used by other ancient peoples, it was not known in Europe. The first European visitors to the New World found Native Americans making jerky from the meat of any animal they hunted, from buffalo to whale.
  • Today jerky can be found in meats as common as turkey, tuna and salmon, to exotic alligator and ostrich.
  • Perky Jerky was a accidental invention, like potato chips, yogurt and many of our foods. An energy drink spilled over some jerky, drenching the meat. Not about to throw good jerky away, the “inventors” ate it and discovered that it was not only more tender, but a great energy boost. (Today, the process for making Perky Jerky is a bit more sophisticated.)
  •   

    Comments

    FOOD FUN: Popcorn Trees

    Fun for decoration, party favors or festive snacks, these Popcorn Trees are easy to make. The recipe is from the National Popcorn Board, which advises that it’s important to use unflavored white popcorn for the best color and flavor.

    RECIPE: POPCORN TREES

    Ingredients For 10 Trees

  • 10 cups air-popped white popcorn
  • 1 10-ounce bag miniature marshmallows
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • Decorating sugar (green, blue)*
  • 1 tube of white frosting (with decorating tip)
  • Assorted small colorful candies, such as sprinkles and miniature silver dragées
  •  
    *Make your own colored sugar by adding food coloring to sugar, stirring in a bowl or shaking vigorously in a sealed container. Add more food coloring for more intense tones.

     

    popcorn_trees_popcorn.org-230

    A fun project for eating or decor. Photo courtesy Popcorn.org.

     

    Preparation

    1. PLACE the popcorn in large bowl.

    2. PLACE marshmallows and butter in medium saucepan over medium-low heat. Stir until the marshmallows are melted and the mixture is smooth. Remove from the heat. Stir in the vanilla extract. Pour the mixture over the popcorn. Toss well to coat the popcorn evenly.

    3. LINE a baking sheet with foil. Spray your hands with nonstick cooking spray, then scoop up about 1 cup of the popcorn mixture. Shape the mixture into a cone shape, keeping the base flat. This forms the tree.

    4. SPRINKLE the tree with decorating sugar. Pplace the tree on the baking sheet. Continue to make the rest of the trees.

    5. PIPE frosting on the trees to make a garland, then decorate them with colorful candies.
     
    SERVING SUGGESTION

    Place each tree atop a sugar cookie and decorate the serving tray with shredded coconut to resemble snow—as shown in the photo above.

    Find more fun popcorn recipes at Popcorn.org.

      

    Comments

    STOCKING STUFFER: Chocolate Covered Pretzel Crisps

    We love Pretzel Crisps year-round. The flat, bite-size pretzels are terrific for snacking from the bag, dipping into hummus or other dip favorite, topping with peanut butter and a slice of apple, or turning them into canapés, topped with cheese, ham, smoked salmon and so forth.

    Throughout the year, Pretzel Crisps are available in Original plus Chipotle Cheddar, Everything, Jalapeño Jack and Sesame.

    But for the holidays, the special goods come out: chocolate-coated pretzels with a garnish of crushed candy canes.

    They’re available in two versions:

  • Dark Chocolate & Peppermint
  • White Chocolate & Peppermint
  •  

    These delicious combinations of sweet indulgence and salty crunch are affordable stocking stuffers or party favors.

    We enjoy them plain, with a sweet dip, as a garnish for ice cream, or with a cup of something hot (cocoa, coffee, milk, tea).

     

    pretzel-crisps-bags-kaminsky-230

    Delicious in both dark and white chocolate. Photo by Hannah Kaminsky | THE NIBBLE.

     

    Pretzel Crisps are available at retailers nationwide. Here’s a store locator. You can also find them online.

    Discover more at PretzelCrisps.com.

      

    Comments

    RECIPE: Cinnamon Chocolate Popcorn

    We just published a gift idea for Brownie Points’ Candy Cane Crunch Popcorn. If you’re in the mood to make your own candy cane popcorn, pop it, butter it and toss with crushed candy canes or other peppermint candy.

    Not a peppermint lover? Here’s a recipe for equally festive Cinnamon Chocolate Popcorn from the National Popcorn Board, Popcorn.org.

    You can buy the popcorn or make it from scratch.
     
    RECIPE: CINNAMON CHOCOLATE POPCORN

    Ingredients For 3 quarts

  • 3 quarts popped popcorn
  • Butter-flavored cooking spray
  • 9 tablespoons powdered cocoa mix (cocoa sweetened with sugar or sugar substitute)
  • 3 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  •  

    chocolate-cinnamon-popcorn-230

    Chocolate Cinnamon Popcorn, delicious with hot chocolate. Photo courtesy Popcorn.org.

     
    Preparation

    1. PLACE the popcorn in a large bowl and lightly spray with cooking spray. Sprinkle cocoa mix and cinnamon on popcorn.

    2. TOSS to coat evenly. Spray and toss again until mixture is well coated. Serve immediately.

      

    Comments

    GIFT: Brownie Points’ Posh Popcorn

    candy-cane-crunch-230

    Christmas popcorn. Photo courtesy Brownie
    Points.

     

    Brownie Points makes popcorn and brownies in numerous flavors, but at this time of year, the Candy Cane Crunch Popcorn calls out to us.

    Delicious as a stand-alone snack, accompaniment to a hot beverage or a dessert garnish.

    The popcorn is packaged in a clear 20-ounce canister tied with a polka dot ribbon, $20.00.

    There’s also a holiday Brownie and Popcorn Sampler.

    Year-round flavors include:

  • Black Raspberry Caramel Dark Chocolate
  • Chocolate Caramel Sea Salt
  • Nutty Caramel
  • Peanut Butter Caramel Crunch
  • Trendy Trash (vanilla butter gourmet popcorn blended with chunks of caramelized Bavarian pretzels, pretzel sticks, graham crackers and kettle potato chips drizzled with white chocolate, dark chocolate and caramel)
  •  

    Happy munching!
     
      

    Comments

    GIFT: Treat House Gluten Free Crispy Rice Treats

    Gluten free*, artisanal and an appropriate portion size—two square inches as opposed to those supersized Rice Krispies Treats—the gourmet Crispy Rice Treats from Treat House have been a NIBBLE favorite since they debuted. (Here’s our original review, a Top Pick Of The Week.)

    These gourmet crispy rice treats (that’s Rice Krispie treats without the trademark infringement) continue to dazzle with an ongoing stream of seasonal flavors and designs.

    For Holiday 2014, there’s a gift box of crispy rice treats topped with holiday and winter theme garnishes, including a dreidel and chocolate foil coins for Hanukkah.

    All treats are gluten-free, dairy-free and nut-free. The marshmallows are made using raw cane sugar, not corn syrup.

    And, the line is kosher (dairy), supervised by United Kosher Supervision.

    There’s a feel-good component, too: Ten cents of every treat (more for larger items) is donated to The Food Bank For New York City, a relief organization working to end hunger.

       

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    Nostalgic and gluten free! Photo by Hannah Kaminsky | THE NIBBLE.

     

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    Perennial favorite S’mores joins holiday candy cane and peppermint treats. Photo by Hannah Kaminsky | THE NIBBLE.

     

    The flavors at Treat House range from kid stuff (Birthday Cake, Bubble Gum, Chocolate Peanut Butter, Chocolate Pretzel, M&M, etc.) to sophisticated (Chocolate Raspberry, Salted Caramel, etc.).

    But for the holidays, head for the seasonal specialty gift box.

    The 12 pack of holiday crispy rice treats in a the silver and snowflake gift box is $31.

    Get yours at TreatHouse.com.
     
    THE HISTORY OF RICE KRISPIES TREATS

    This childhood favorite, no-bake cookie was invented in 1928 by Mildred Day and colleagues in the home economics department at The Kellogg Company. It was created as a fund raiser-for the Camp Fire Girls, a nationwide American youth organization.

    The recipe consists of butter, marshmallows and Rice Rice Krispies cereal. The butter and marshmallows are melted together, blended with the Rice Krispies and pressed into a pan. When cool, they are cut into bars. Many subsequent variations mix in other ingredients, from chocolate chips to licorice and gummi bears.

     

    Check out the different types of cookies in our tasty Cookie Glossary.

     
    *Some flavors have garnishes that are not gluten free.

      

    Comments

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