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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 Top Pick Of The Week

TOP PICK OF THE WEEK: barkTHINS Chocolate Bark

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barkTHINS: thin and rich. Photo courtesy
Ripple Brands.

 

There are several reasons to love barkTHINS:

  • The delicious varieties, crammed with inclusions* (see the list below).
  • The thin pieces that, unlike conventional bark, let you have half as much.
  • The Fair Trade certification (FairTradeUSA.org) that helps poor farmers.
  • The everyday affordability (yet it’s great for party favors and stocking stuffers.
  •  
    October is National Fair Trade Month, the perfect time to feature barkTHINS as a Top Pick Of The Week (here’s more about Fair Trade certification).

    The line debuted in 2012. Unlike traditional chocolate bark that is thick and hard to break, barkTHINS are thin slivers of chocolate that are easily snap-able—easier to eat, fewer calories in your chocolate fix, more flexibility as a dessert garnish (well, that probably wasn’t their intent but it’s a use we employ regularly, by crowning a scoop of ice cream or breaking into pieces for mix-ins).

     

    *The industry term for what many people call “mix-ins.”

     

    barkTHINS FLAVORS

    Each variety is as delicious as the next, depending on your flavor preferences. We were personally thrilled with Dark Chocolate Peppermint Pretzel, a limited edition for holiday season. The packages have a shelf life of 12 months, so if you can’t live without it, you can stock up until the new batches arrive for the next holiday season).

    Feast upon:

    • Dark Chocolate Almond With Sea Salt
    • Dark Chocolate Blueberry & Quinoa (sweetened with agave)
    • Dark Chocolate Mint
    • Dark Chocolate Peppermint Pretzel (Limited Edition)
    • Dark Chocolate Pumpkin Seed
    • Dark Chocolate Toasted Coconut With Almonds
    • Milk Chocolate Peanut
     

    bark-thins-pkgs-230

    A great party favor, stocking stuffer, teacher gift, etc. Photo courtesy Ripple Foods.

     
    The bags stand upright for presentation as party favors. You can stick a place card on the front; you can tie a ribbon through the shelf-hanger opening at the top for added festiveness or to hang on the tree.
     
    Check the store locator for a retailer near you (including Costco, H-E-B, King’s, Stop & Shop, Wegmans, Whole Foods Market and numerous others), or head to Amazon.com.
     
    WHAT IS FAIR TRADE CHOCOLATE?

    A Fair Trade certification guarantees consumers that the farmers who grow the product are getting paid a fair price. In many areas of the world, middlemen buy up crops at a price that often is the same or less than what it cost the farmer to grow it, resulting in a cycle of poverty. Under Fair trade, farmers can increase their incomes and gain afford education and healthcare for their families.

    When you make a conscious decision to seek out Fair Trade products, you are helping hard-working people raise their standard of living. You can feel good about every bite and every sip (look for Fair Trade coffee, tea and hot chocolate, too).

    Fair Trade certification also means that the farmers are following good agricultural practices and are investing in their farms and communities. To learn more, visit FairTradeUSA.org.

      

    Comments

    TOP PICK OF THE WEEK: Polska Foods Pierogi

    Today is National Pierogi Day. How we miss the pierogi of our youth. Now that Nana is gone, we have searched in vain in both stores and restaurants to recapture the glory of her homemade pierogi.

    Finally, we’ve found it with the excellent pierogi from Polska Foods. Yes, they are pierogis that are as good as Nana’s. We rejoice!

    Many pierogis are pretty flavorless lumps of flour and potatoes, requiring lots of seasoning, frying, sour cream or whatever to become pleasing.

    Polska’s dough and fillings are so flavorful, we ate them plain—although for serving to family and friends, we’d spruce them up with some melted butter, fresh herbs, or one of these 50+ ways to serve pierogi.

    The line of authentic pierogi, made in San Francisco, is organic and all-natural. They are shipped frozen, anywhere in the continental U.S., from PolskaFoods.com.
     
    RECAPTURING GRANDMA’S RECIPES

    Tomek Piszczek, founder of Polska Foods, was born and raised in Poland and knows the real deal. “This is how we enjoyed pierogi,” he states. “All ingredients were from our garden or our neighbor’s farm. We even grew our own grain.”

       

    beef-pork-230

    A real treat, for every day or special occasions. Photo by Elvira Kalviste | THE NIBBLE.

     
    Polska Foods follows tradition with the fresh ingredients, slow food cooking processes and nothing artificial.

    After a full year of research and development, the company settled on kosher, award winning, handcrafted farmer’s cheese made without rennet and enzymes and rBST-free; organic heirloom grain and flour; fresh organic vegetables; real sauerkraut made with just cabbage and salt, and even organic herbs and seasonings.

    The pierogi contain no preservatives, no MSG, no GMO ingredients, no soy, and absolutely nothing artificial. The recipes use only organic or expeller-pressed oils, and never any trans fats.

    The result duplicates Tomek’s grandma’s recipes from Lubiechowa, Polanda: tasty comfort food with superb flavor.

    The line is certified organic by Oregon Tilth.

     

    mushroom-cabbage-230

    A delicious all-vegetable (and vegan)
    version. Photo by Elvira Kalviste | THE
    NIBBLE.

     

    THE BEST PIEROGI IN MINUTES

    To make the pierogis, you simply boil or steam the frozen pierogi for 8 to 10 minutes or fry or sauté them in a nonstick pan. Then, simply toss with butter, sautéed onions, bacon and fresh sage, or top with sour cream, nonfat Greek yogurt or yogurt-garlic sauce. The results are spectacular.

    You can also make a sweet breakfast or brunch recipe with a topping of sour cream and brown sugar on the potato and cheese variety. The line includes:

  • Potato Cheese Pierogi, made with herbed mashed potatoes and farmer’s cheese, is peppery, with complex flavor from the onions and garlic.
  • Mushroom Cabbage Pierogi, a delicious vegan recipe
  • Spinach Feta Pierogi, a Greek fusion favorite
  • Savory Beef & Pork Pierogi, too delicious for words
  • Whole Wheat Potato Cheese Pierogi, made with better-for-you whole wheat dough
  •  
    Each is wonderful, and we can’t get enough!

    For a retail locator, to buy online or for more information, visit PolskaFoods.com.

     

      

    Comments

    TOP PICK OF THE WEEK: Covered Bridge Cookies

    It began in the summer of 1992, when Carl Goulet began making cookies to sell at a local farmers market in Windsor, Vermont. Then employed as executive chef at a local hospital, Carl had been a pastry chef and baker for most of his working life. He had a part-time venture on the side, Christopher’s Cakes & Pastries. His employer allowed him to rent time in the kitchen after hours.

    The cookies expanded in distribution, from the farmers market to local stores, and developed an enthusiastic following. In five years he had outgrown the time and space available at the hospital, and Carl decided to take the plunge to baking full time, investing in a facility and equipment.

    His Covered Bridge Cookies taste of homemade goodness, using the finest ingredients from Vermont producers: butter from Vermont-based Cabot Creamery, chocolate from Barry Callebaut, a French company with U.S. headquarters in St. Albans, Vermont, and unbleached and unbromated flour from King Arthur Flour in Norwich.

    Superior ingredients and small batch production techniques that produce delicious, old fashioned goodness—as if you (or your grandmother) had just baked them.
     
    The line is small, comprising New England favorites:

  • Chocolate Chip Cookies
  • Ginger Snaps
  • Hermits
  • Maple Shortbread
  • Shortbread
  •    

    hermits-230

    Hermits: a New England cookie favorite that deserves to be baked more often. Photo by Elvira Kalviste | THE NIBBLE.

     
    While we love them all, we have to give a shout-out to the hermit, starting with…

     

    ginger-snaps-box-230

    Old-fashioned goodness in a box. Photo by
    Elvira Kalviste | THE NIBBLE.

     

    WHAT ARE HERMITS, AND A BRIEF COOKIE HISTORY

    English and Dutch immigrants brought cookies to America in the 1600s. The Dutch used the word koekje, while the English primarily referred to cookies as small cakes, seed biscuits, tea cakes, or by specific names, such as jumble (a spiced butter cookie) or macaroon.

    By the early 1700s, koekje had evolved to cookie or cookey, and was well-entrenched in New York City, then the nation’s capital—a factor that resulted in widespread use of the term.

    During the 17th, 18th and 19th centuries, most cookies were baked at home as special treats, both because of the amount of labor and the high cost of sugar. Recipes for jumbles, macaroons and gingerbread are found in early cookbooks. Our simple butter cookie recipes are similar to English tea cakes and Scottish shortbread (the term “tea cake” is used to describe that type of cookie in the Southern U.S. as well).

    During the 19th century, affordable sugar and flour, plus the introduction of chemical raising agents such as bicarbonate of soda (baking soda), led to the development of other types of cookie recipes.

    Another explosion of cookie recipes took place in the early 1900s, not surprisingly paralleling the introduction of modern ovens with thermostats. Cookbooks yield recipes for cinnamon-accented Snickerdoodles, raisin-filled Hermits, Sand Tarts and many varieties of butter cookies including Southern-style Tea Cakes.

     
    Hermits Appear

    Cookies called hermits appear in New England cookbooks by 1880. Those first Hermits were made with raisins, spices—cinnamon, cloves, and nutmeg—and white sugar.

    Most recipes that continue in use will evolve. It is a rare for a recipe not to change, whether from creativity of cooks, the availability of new ingredients or changing tastes.

    According to NewEnglandRecipes.org. Hermits is a classic example: New York bakers replaced white sugar with more flavorful brown sugar. By the 1950s, the Fannie Farmer Cookbook uses white sugar and molasses in place of brown sugar, providing a stronger molasses flavor than with brown sugar alone.

    A mix of currants and raisins, optional citrons and nuts become Hermit variations. Later versions of Hermits offer the option of dates, figs and dried apricots. Today, the cookies are typically large, chewy molasses cookies with raisins. We wish they were more available in our neck of the woods (or maybe, we should be thankful that they’re not!).

    Covered Bridge Cookies are $6.99 for a 9-ounce box, about 10 cookies. You can buy them online at VTStuff.com.
     
    CHECK OUT THE DIFFERENT TYPES OF COOKIES IN OUR DELICIOUS COOKIE GLOSSARY.

      

    Comments

    TOP PICK OF THE WEEK: Veggie Fries

    If the only way to get the family to eat more veggies is to feed them fries…well, Veggie Fries should become a very big brand.

    You can make veggie fries, which substitute all or some of the potato for a more nutritious vegetable, from scratch at home.

    Or, you can buy Veggie Fries, a new line that has debuted offering:

  • Broccoli fries (27% broccoli and beans)
  • Carrot fries (32% carrots and beans)
  • Chickpea & Red Pepper fries (25% chickpeas and bell peppers)
  • Tuscan Bean & Herb fries (29% beans and herbs)
  •  
    The all natural line mixes better-for-you vegetables and legumes in with potato, to deliver more fiber and vitamins. The fries are low in sodium and gluten-free.

    The company tried more than 300 recipes to create the perfect veggie fries: extra crispy on the outside, fluffy and tender on the inside. We hope you love them as much as we do.

    Learn more at EatVeggieFries.com.

       

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    One of the new fries in town: Broccoli Veggie Fries. Photo courtesy Healthy Life Brands.

     

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    Chickpea & Red Bell Pepper Fries. Photo
    courtesy Healthy Life Brands.

     

    The fries bake in the oven, and in just 18 to 23 minutes you’ll have crispy fries to enjoy with your favorite foods—or all by themselves as a lower-guilt fry snack.

    Serve them with your favorite condiments, or try a new one, like ponzu sauce—an Asian alternative to the malt vinegar preferred by the Brits instead of ketchup. Or take a look at these more unusual, sophisticated condiments from Chef Johnny Gnall.

    If ketchup is your condiment, take a look at the best ketchup brands. For example, blend your own chili paste and honey or hot sauce, a dip of balsamic vinegar and soy sauce, or flavored mayonnaise.

    And consider creating a signature fries recipe with different toppings.

     

      

    Comments

    TOP PICK OF THE WEEK: Nonni’s Biscotti Bites

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    We want many bites! Photo by Elvira Kalviste
    | THE NIBBLE.

     

    The history of Nonni’s Biscotti begins in the little town of Lucca, Italy, in the heart of Tuscany. There, among meandering cobblestone lanes and venerable piazzas, one particular Nonni (an endearing term for Grandma) made biscotti for her family and friends.

    When Nonni moved to America almost a century ago, she continued baking the family biscotti to acclaim. One day, her children decided to take the recipe to the bank, creating the Nonni’s brand—now the number one brand of biscotti in the U.S.

    In the modern manifestation of the American Dream, the company was sold to a private equity investment firm several years ago.

    Since then, the original classic biscotti have been joined by two line extensions:

  • Nonni’s ThinAddictives, a melba toast-thin alternative to dense biscotti, introduced last year.
  • Biscotti Bites, smaller size biscotti.
  •  
    In Tuscany these biscotti are called cantucci di Prato—cantucci (con-TOO-chee) for short. They were originally baked with almonds from the plentiful almond groves of Prato, a town in Tuscany.

     
    A cantuccio (plural: cantucci) is a hard almond biscuit. The name cantucci means “little stones,” the stones referring to the almonds.

    We are very keen on the Biscotti Bites, and appreciate that the smaller size gives us a great biscotti experience with fewer carbs. Each is a two-bite treat; the suggested serving size, five pieces, is 120 calories. But two or three pieces is more than enough, and one can suffice.

    The varieties include:

  • Almond Dark Chocolate Biscotti Bites, an almond biscotti with the bottom edge dipped in dark chocolate. Classic deliciousness!
  • Double Chocolate Salted Caramel Biscotti Bites, our favorite, a chocolate biscotto with a chocolate dip; bits of salted caramel are mixed into the dough.
  • Very Berry Almond Biscotti Bites combines dried cranberries and almonds; it is dipped in a vanilla yogurt coating.
  •  

    Rich in flavor, crunchy in texture, Biscotti Bites are the perfect coffee break snack. We relish them:

  • With coffee or tea.
  • With ice cream.
  • As a chocolate fondue dipper: Dip into a shallow pot or bowl of chocolate fondue (you can’t easily spear the biscotti on a long fondue fork).
  • As dessert bruschetta, spreading the tops of the biscotti with mascarpone.
  •  
    The Italian dessert tradition of dipping biscotti and a glass of vin santo—a sweet late-harvest wine—doesn’t really work here. Plain biscotti are typically dipped into the wine, which softens the biscotto and adds the sweetness of the wine.

    Biscotti Bites are too short to dip, and the chocolate or yogurt coating kind of interferes with the honey notes of the wine. But the work-around is: Don’t try to dip; sip and bite, alternatively.

    The shiny, perky bags are just waiting for you to make someone happy. Bring to a friend’s house, to teachers, to hairdressers and anyone who deserves some tasty crunch.

     

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    Our new favorite snack with tea or coffee. Photo by Elvira Kalviste | THE NIBBLE.

     

    The line is certified kosher (dairy) by United States K.

    There’s a store locator on the website, or you can buy them online:

  • Almond Dark Chocolate Biscotti Bites
  • Double Chocolate Salted Caramel Biscotti Bites
  • Very Berry Almond Biscotti Bites
  •   

    Comments

    TOP PICK OF THE WEEK: Chillsner Beer Cooler

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    Chill that beer in a minute. Photo
    courtesy Hewy Wine Chillers.

     

    We’re quite enamored of the Corkcicle, a reusable, gel-filled plastic icicle. Kept in the freezer until you need it, it becomes a wine cooler and bottle stopper that chills down a bottle of wine or maintains the temperature of an already chilled bottle.

    Forget a bulky ice bucket: This the perfect way to keep opened bottles of wine at just the right drinking temperature. It’s available in a standard edition, Corkcicle Classic, and a deluxe edition, Corkcicle One, which has a built-in aerator and pouring spout. Either is a great gift for wine lovers.

    Now Corkcicle has a beer brother: the Chillsner, for standard long neck beer bottles. The stainless steel frame contains the same proprietary thermal gel used in the Corkcicle. As with the Corkcicle, you keep the Chillsner in the freezer until you need it; then, simply insert it into the bottle.

    You can place the Chillsner in a warm bottle of beer and immediately sip cold beer through the spout (or pour it into a glass). Or, use the Chillsner to keep a pre-chilled bottle cold.

    If you’re drinking alfresco, the Chillsner also keeps the bugs out.

    Give as a summer gift, or plan for the holidays. Any beer drinker will be delighted.

     

    The list price is $29.95 for a two-unit gift box; but you’ll find the Chillsner for $20.95 on Amazon.com.

     
      

    Comments

    TOP PICK OF THE WEEK: Lärabar’s Renula “Granola”

    The Lärabar brand of healthy, gluten free energy bars (now owned by General Mills) has reinvented granola. They call their new product Renola.

    The reinvention substitutes nuts for the traditional oats in granola. As a result, Renola is grain free, gluten free, soy-free and dairy-free. It is certified kosher by OU.

    It’s also crunchy and complex, with 6g protein per serving.

    A blend of non-GMO fruits, nuts, seeds and spices, Renola debuts in three flavors:

  • Berry Renola: almonds, cashews, pecans, sunflower seeds, molasses, blueberries, dried apple, raspberry powder, lemon juice, cinnamon, sea salt, vanilla.
  • Cinnamon Nut: almonds, sunflower seeds, molasses, pumpkin seeds, pecans, raisins, cashews, tapioca syrup, cinnamon, vanilla.
  • Cocoa Coconut: almonds, pecans, cashews, cocoa nibs, sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, toasted coconut, coconut oil, cocoa powder.
  •  
    They are purchased in 1.25-ounce single serve packets. We received samples from the manufacturer and are pleased to report: the Berry and Cinnamon Nut flavors are superb.

    And Cocoa Coconut? The sample we received was a disappointment, with marginal cocoa flavor and a bit of coconut too dessicated to be enjoyable.

    But that doesn’t diminish the excitement of the other two flavors. They are wonderful, and thus, our Top Pick Of The Week.
     
    WAYS TO ENJOY RENOLA

  • On yogurt or cottage cheese
  • On oatmeal or other hot cereal
  • As a snack from the pack
  • In baking (add to cookie dough, for example)
  • As a dessert or salad garnish
  •  

    berry-renola-230

    Berry Renola, a nut-based replacement for conventional granola. Photo courtesy General Mills.

     

    Renola is currently available at select Target stores nationwide, as well as a variety of grocery chains including Kroger, Meijer, Ahold, Safeway and Shaws, with others to come. The suggested retail price is $1.79 per package.

    For more information about Lärabar and Renola, visit Larabar.com.

      

    Comments

    TOP PICK OF THE WEEK: Yummy Breads From Ozery Bakery

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    Morning Rounds: the deliciously better
    alternative to breakfast pastries. We’re
    addicted to them. Photo courtesy Ozery
    Bakery.

     

    Ozery Bakery is a family owned business that bakes better-for-you breads and crackers, holesome and delicious.

  • The grains are organic whole grains: Kamut/Khorasan wheat, oats, rye, spelt, and whole wheat.
  • The breads use only natural ingredients—no preservatives or additives.
  • Each variety is heart healthy, low in fat and sodium and protein rich.
  • The line is allergy-friendly: soy free, dairy free, peanut and nut free (made in a nut-free facility) and vegan.
  • Everything is baked in small batches. The line is certified kosher (pareve) by KSA, certified organic and certified non-GMO.
  •  
    And you can buy them online by the case—which is no problem, since the preservative-free, perishable breads should all go into the freezer anyway.

    It’s as close as you’ll get to guilt-free bread.

     
    Fifteen years ago, the Toronto-based sandwich shop owners grew weary of commercial bread. They decided to bake a loaf from a family recipe.

    From that first bite of fragrant, chewy bread, they began baking their own flavorful bread for their sandwiches, and began selling the bread in the sandwich shop. Then, the bread started outselling the sandwiches, with many customers ordering bread in bulk and spreading the word.

    Gourmet and health food companies began knocking on the door. A breakfast bread was created: Morning Rounds, a fusion of the family’s homemade pita baking techniques and Canadian tastes for muesli and fruit.

    And now, the four-product line is available in the U.S., at natural food stores like Sprouts and Whole Foods Markets.

     

    OZERY BAKERY BREADS

    Morning Rounds are a fruit and grain bun, evocative of fruited English muffins. The sweetness of the fruit makes them an easy replacement for doughnuts, muffins and breakfast pastries.

    You can enjoy them from the bag or toasted, plain or spread with butter or jam. The flavors include Apple Cinnamon, Cranberry Orange and Muesli; we find the Cranberry Orange to be addictively delicious.

    Each contains 5g of protein, 170 calories, and is a source of fiber, iron, calcium, Vitamin B, antioxidants and folic acid. The company also bakes mini Snacking Rounds in the same flavors.

    OneBun thin, whole grain buns were invented as a healthy alternative to classic burger buns.

    They’re soft, flavorful and pre-sliced rounds, named OneBun because this one bun can be use for sandwiches, burgers, homemade pizzas, dips, even taco fillings.

    Choose from OneBun Multigrain*, OneBun Organic (plain), OneBun Sprouted and OneBun Whole Wheat. Another benefit: The halves are much thinner than traditional hamburger buns or sandwich breads, saving calories—just 100 calories for both halves.

     

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    OneBun is one bun that works for everything. Photo courtesy Ozery Bakery.

     
    The halves are much thinner than traditional hamburger buns or sandwich breads, saving calories: just 100 calories for both halves.

    Freeze, Don’t Refrigerate

    Since the breads contain no preservatives, the best way to keep them fresh is to freeze them right away. Freezing quickly locks in the moisture.

    It’s easy to restore fresh-baked flavor and texture: Thaw at room temperature for 30 minutes, microwave for 10 seconds or pop into the toaster oven to toast or warm at 400°F for a minute.

    Never refrigerate bread. Refrigerators work on the principle of drawing out heat, which removes the moisture along with it.
     
    OZERY BAKERY CRACKERS

    Crispy Pita Snacks are very flavorful and crunchy in Cranberry Pumpkin Seed, Organic Spelt With Flax, Organic Wheat and Rosemary Garlic. Use them as dippers, with soup, or snack from the bag.

    Skinny Dippers are lavash strips in Flax and Honey, Multi Grain and Honey, Organic Spelt and Organic Whole Wheat. Pair them with cheeses, soups or spreads.
     
    *More than a simple combination of grains, the blend includes with flax seeds, sunflower seeds, barley, millet, triticale, cracked wheat, and rye.

    We really enjoyed this simple snack idea, a mock bruschetta (the bread for bruschetta is grilled, not toasted), which tops a OneBun with goat cheese, ribbons of fresh zucchini, lemon juice and olive oil.

    RECIPE: ZUCCHINI & GOAT CHEESE BRUSCHETTA

    Ingredients

  • Fresh zucchini
  • Lemon juice
  • Olive oil
  • Salt and pepper
  • Fresh goat cheese
  • Multigrain OneBun
  •  
    Preparation

    1. THINLY SLICE the zucchini with a potato peeler. Place in a bowl and add lemon juice, olive oil and seasonings. Mix well.

    2. PLACE the goat cheese in a bowl and mash it with a fork.

    3. TOAST the OneBun, spread with goat cheese and then top with zucchini ribbons.

      

    Comments

    TOP PICK OF THE WEEK: Sorbabes Gourmet Sorbet

    peanut-butter-chocolate-bananas-dish-230

    It looks like ice cream, but it’s sorbet:
    amazing peanut butter banana sorbet with a
    fudge swirl. Photo courtesy Sorbabes.

     

    You’ve never tasted sorbet like this before,” says Sorbabes. And they’re spot on.

    The Sorbabes (as in sorbet babes) are two friends who met in New York City and followed their calling as specialty food entrepreneurs. They founded the Gourmet Sorbet Corp. in 2012.

    They may not even know it, but they have taken sorbet to new heights.

    By using creamy, nondairy ingredients such as coconut milk, peanut butter and fudge swirls, they’ve created a sorbet texture and complexity that’s entirely new to us.

    These flavors have the creaminess of ice cream, while remaining dairy free, cholesterol free and very low in fat (flavors with coconut milk and fudge ripple contain a small amount of fat; some flavors are fat free). Some are vegan.

    Flavors very seasonally, but here’s what we’ve been enjoying this summer:

     

  • Juicy Orange Passionfruit With Lychees. This flavor is classic sorbet style—no added creamy ingredients. But it’s brilliant. Orange juice and zest take a bit of the edge off of the naturally tart passionfruit, without detracting from intense passionfruit flavor. The chopped lychees add joy of flavor plus great texture: a perfect pairing of fruits. If they only made this one great flavor, Sorbabes would be our Top Pick Of The Week.
  •  
    But there’s more greatness to come.

  • Creamy Coconut Chai Sorbet. With a base of coconut cream and hints hints of cinnamon and nutmeg, this flavor could evoke Indian chai. But to us, the crunchy slivers of coconut and the crumbs from the fresh-baked coconut macaroons evoke Biscuit Tortoni, our childhood passion. The coconut milk replaces the Tortoni’s whole eggs and heavy cream, although vegan should note the macaroons contain egg whites.
  •  

  • Organic Peanut Banana Sorbet with Chocolate Fudge. An astounding flavor: lusciously creamy peanut sorbet with chunks of banana, a ripple of dark chocolate fudge and large chunks of peanuts. It’s so ice cream like, people won’t immediately think that it’s sorbet. Use it to fill a chocolate cookie pie crust: You’ve got instant frozen peanut butter banana pie.
  • Organic Pistachio With Sea Salted Caramel. The Sorbabes say that this flavor put them on the map. Whole organic pistachios in a water base are laced with a French sea salted caramel sauce. It’s a beauty, and so creamy it’s hard to believe it’s dairy free.
  • Raspberry Fudge. Red raspberries combine with fudge sauce to emulate a frozen raspberry truffle—actually a classic raspberry sorbet generously spiked with chocolate fudge. A slight problem here: All the fudge sauce was on the bottom of the pint. We needed to soften the sorbet and then churn up the fudge with a spatula.
  •  

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    We’re still on the hunt for a pint of Organic Pistachio With Sea Salted Caramel. Photo courtesy Sorbabes.

     

  • Summer Cucumber White Wine Mint. Called “summer in a jar” by the Sorbabes, this flavor has a cult following. The combination is fresh cucumber, fresh mint and Wolffer Estate white wine. Alas, we have not yet tracked down a pint. We’ve got a few more stores to visit until we can joint the cult.
  •  
    And there’s the rub.

    As a new company, Sorbabes has limited distribution in the Metro New York area. We hope that their participation last week in the country’s largest specialty food trade show has gotten them clients nationwide.

    Until then, you’ll have to petition the best food store in town to bring the Sorbabes to you.

    For more information visit GourmetSorbet.com, and check out the Facebook page for a recipe for Strawberry Rhubarb Sorbet with Lemonade.

      

    Comments

    TOP PICK OF THE WEEK: Bare Coconut Chips

    two-bags-230

    Coconut chips are a delicious snack, but so
    much more. Photo by Elvira Kalviste | THE
    NIBBLE.

     

    The limited days of Almond Joy, Mounds, toasted coconut marshmallows are over. Coconut lovers have numerous ways to enjoy the tropical fruit. For starters, there are coconut butter, coconut flour, coconut M&Ms, coconut milk, coconut nutrition bars, coconut oil, coconut rum and the ubiquitous coconut water. (Hey: Why is it so hard to find coconut ice cream?)

    And now, there’s a snack that goes back to the basics: BARE Coconut Chips. BARE scoops the fruit from fresh coconuts, slices and bakes it into better-for-you snack chips. And they’re delicious, in:

  • Simply Toasted (vegan)
  • Show Me the Honey
  • Sweet N’ Heat (vegan)
  •  
    Coming soon are:

  • Chocolate Bliss (available August)
  • Sea Salt Caramel (available Fall)
  •  

    COCONUT: NOT A NUT!

    Let us digress for a moment in the name of food education. The coconut is not a nut!

    It’s a fruit—a drupe, like stone fruits and almonds—and not a true nut like pecans, pistachios, walnuts and others. As the immature coconut develops, the drinkable coconut water in the shell converts to edible flesh; when dried, the coconut flesh is called copra.

    The coconut tree got its name from 16th-century Portuguese and Spanish seafarers; the term “isoco,” meaning head or skull, the three indentations on the coconut shell that resemble facial features.

    Coconut products are part of the daily diets of many people. Coconut oil and milk derived are commonly used in cooking and frying; coconut oil is also widely used in soaps and cosmetics. The husks and leaves can be used as material to make a variety of items for furnishing and decorating.

     

    BACK TO COCONUT CHIPS

    BARE Crunchy Coconut Chips are a sister line to BARE’s outstanding line of Crunchy Apple Chips, a NIBBLE Top Pick Of The Week and one of our favorite better-for-you snacks at home and work.

    Both product lines are minimally-processed, good-for-you snacks made from only real, whole-food ingredients. They are gluten free, Non-GMO Project Verified, vegan (except for the Show me the Honey Coconut Chips), a good source of dietary fiber, and are free of refined sugar, preservatives, cholesterol and trans fats.

    Discover more at BareSnacks.com.
     
    USES FOR COCONUT CHIPS

  • Breakfast: as a garnish for cottage cheese and yogurt, cereal, pancakes and porridge
  • Lunch: as a salad or soup garnish
  • Snacks: from the bag, in trail mix, atop cupcakes
  • Dinner: plate garnish, with rice and other grains
  •  

    bag-bowl-2-230

    Simply delicious, plain or flavored. Photo by Elvira Kalviste | THE NIBBLE.

  • Dessert: atop cake frosting, ice cream, puddings, and as a general garnish
  •  
    They don’t melt, provide an energy boost, and are a great tote-along and leave-in-the-car snack. Get them from the company website or at retailers nationwide (store locator).

    Get some of the terrific apple chips while you’re at it.

      

    Comments

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