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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.

RECIPE: Make & Bring Sweet & Savory Nut Clusters

Homemade Nut Clusters

Sweet and savory nut clusters, with pumpkin
seeds added for the holidays. Photo courtesy


If you’ve been invited to Thanksgiving but not asked to contribute, you may still want to bring a gift that isn’t a bottle of wine.

Something like these Sweet & Savory Nut Clusters from QVC’s chef David Venable can be a gift to the hosts be enjoyed later. Package them in a decorative tin or jar.

Or, they can be served with after-dinner coffee by those who are too stuffed for pie.

For any occasion, they can be served with a slice of Gorgonzola as the cheese course, or as a garnish for a green salad along with crumbled Gorgonzola.

Ingredients For 8-10 Servings

  • 1-1/2 cups raw pecan halves
  • 1 cup whole raw almonds
  • 1-1/2 cups raw walnut halves
  • 1/2 cup raw pumpkin seeds
  • 1 egg white, lightly beaten with 1 tablespoon water
  • 1/4 cup light brown sugar
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons fine sea salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon coarse-ground black pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1-1/2 teaspoon chopped fresh rosemary
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • Optional: Gorgonzola or other blue cheese
  • Optional: green salad with vinaigrette
  • Preparation

    1. PREHEAT the oven to 325°F. Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper.

    2. TOSS the pecans, almonds, walnuts, and pumpkin seeds with the beaten egg white in a large bowl, until coated.

    3. COMBINE the brown sugar, sea salt, black pepper, cayenne pepper and rosemary in another bowl and toss with the nuts until evenly coated. Pour in the honey and fold until coated.

    4. SPREAD the mixture out on the prepared cookie sheet. Bake for about 20 minutes, or until toasted. Serve as desired.



    TIP OF THE DAY: Reuse Citrus Rinds As Mini Bowls

    As you cook your way through the holidays, consider saving the shells (whole rinds) of halved, juiced lemons, limes, oranges and grapefruit. You can repurpose them as mini serving bowls—for sides, desserts, condiments and more.

    First, use a serrated grapefruit spoon or other implement to scrape out the empty juice sacs—but leave the white pith intact.

    Then cut a tiny slice off from what will become the bottom of each “bowl,” so it will sit flat on a plate. Place the empty shells in the freezer; when frozen, store them in freezer bags. Then, for a festive meal, take them out and use them for:

  • Condiments
  • Cranberry sauce
  • Dipping sauce
  • Relish
  • Rice or mashed potatoes, with a topping
  • Salsa
    Our favorite use is dessert, specifically:

  • Fruit salad
  • Sorbet
    For cold foods, you don’t have to wait for the shells to defrost. Scooping sorbet into frozen shells, for example, keeps it from melting more quickly. Check out yesterday’s recipe for Meyer Lemon Sorbet.


    Freeze the entire half, or cut it into quarters.

  • You can defrost a piece when you need juice.
  • You can also freeze the juice alone, ideally, in ice cube trays, so you can defrost only what you need.
  • After the citrus pieces or juice cubes freeze, store them in a heavy-duty freezer bag.
    Freeze individual slices.

  • Cut into slices about 1/4-inch thick and freeze them for garnishing.
  • First freeze them on a cookie sheet so the slices don’t stick together; then store them in freezer bags.
  • For a glass garnish, cut a slit into the slice before freezing. You can then place the frozen slice onto the rim of the glass, without waiting for it to thaw.


    Citrus Cups



    TOP PHOTO: Fruit salad. Cut the fruit as fine as it needs to be to fit nicely into the shell. Photo courtesy Elegant Affairs Caterers. MIDDLE PHOTO: These are panna cotta, but could as easily be sauces or sides. Photo courtesy Swirls And Spice. BOTTOM PHOTO: Stuffed with rice and topped with salmon caviar. Photo courtesy Qoo’s Life.

    Botanically, citrus fruits are berries with leathery rinds. In botany this type of berry is called a hesperidium.

    The great botanist Carl Linnaeus (1707 – 1778) bestowed the name Hesperideæ to the order the contains the Citrus genus. It’s an allusion to the the Hesperides, nymphs who in Greek and Roman myth guarded a blissful garden of golden apples.

    From Sweden, Linnaeus was a botanist, zoologist and physician. He laid the foundations for taxonomy, the modern biological naming system for describing species (taxa in Latin). Many of his writings were in Latin, as was custom among scientists of the time. Latin was a common language among educated Europeans, so no matter what one’s native language, one could read the works of others in Latin.



    RECIPE: Vanishing Oatmeal Raisin Cookies From Quaker Oats

    Original Quaker Canister

    Quaker Old Fashioned Oats Canister

    TOP PHOTO: What Great-Great Grandmother
    would have purchased. BOTTOM PHOTO:
    Today’s canister reminds us that oatmeal is a
    heart-healthy food. Photos courtesy Quaker


    One hundred years ago, Quaker introduced the now-iconic cylinder package for Old Fasioned Quaker Oats. The cylindrical package was a first in the industry. While the packaging design has been updated, the round canister can still be found on store shelves today.

    The Quaker Mill Company of Ravenna, Ohio, was founded in 1877 by Henry Parsons Crowell, who purchased the bankrupt Quaker Oat Mill Company there.

    Canned foods were a hot new trend in 1915, and Crowell noticed the public’s growing appetite for colorful, conveniently sized packaging. He began to sell his oats in distinctive round cardboard cartons. At the time, many groceries, including cereal grains, were sold in bulk from barrels.

    Today the The Quaker Oats Company sells more than 350 million pounds of oatmeal annually, and some 120 million canisters are produced at its Cedar Rapids plant.

    Quaker also lays claim as the first to feature a recipe on packaging: Oatmeal Bread, in 1891. In 1908, the brand introduced the first cookie recipe on a package: Oat Cakes.

    In 1922, the company introduced Quaker Quick Oats, one of America’s first convenience products. It can be swapped for Quaker Old Fashioned Oats in baking recipes.

    In 1966, Quaker Instant Oatmeal pouches debuted to help people keep pace with a busy, on-the-go lifestyle. Cup packaging debuted in 2000, to portable eating even easier. Earlier this year, Quaker launched Quick 3-Minute Steel Cut Oats.

    Vanishing Oatmeal Raisin Cookies recipe remains a consumer favorite. As of 2015, it’s been on the Old Fashioned Oats canister for 20 years. The recipe is below.

    A food conglomerate headquartered in Chicago, it has been owned by PepsiCo since 2001.


    Prep time is 20 minutes, cook time is 8 minutes.

    Ingredients For 4 Dozen Cookies

  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) plus 6 tablespoons butter, softened
  • 3/4 cup firmly packed brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • Optional: 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 3 cups Quaker Oats (Old Fashioned or Quick Oats, uncooked)
  • 1 cup raisins
  • Optional: 1 cup chopped nuts
  • Raisins substitute: 1 cup dried cherries, cranberries or diced mixed fruit
  • Raisins substitute: 1 cup semisweet chocolate chips; omit the cinnamon


    1. PREHEAT the oven to 350°F. In large bowl, beat the butter and sugars with an electric mixer on medium speed until creamy. Add the eggs and vanilla; beat well. Add the combined flour, baking soda, cinnamon and salt; mix well. Add the oats and raisins; mix well.

    2. DROP the dough by rounded tablespoonfuls onto ungreased cookie sheets. Bake 8 to 10 minutes or until light golden brown. Cool 1 minute on cookie sheets; remove to a wire rack. Cool completely. Store tightly covered.

    3. HIGH ALTITUDE ADJUSTMENT: Increase the flour to 1-3/4 cups and bake as directed.
    For Bar Cookies

    1. PRESS the dough onto bottom of an ungreased 13 x 9-inch baking pan. Bake 30 to 35 minutes or until light golden brown. Cool completely in the pan on a wire rack.


    Quaker Vanishing Oatmeal Raisin Cookies

    For 20 years, the recipe for these Vanishing Oatmeal Raisin Cookies has been on the box of Quaker Old Fashioned Oats. Photo courtesy Quaker.

    2. CUT into bars. Store tightly covered. Yield: 24 bars.

  • Use an empty Quaker Oats canister as the “gift box” for cookie gifting.
  • For the holidays, consider Oatmeal Gingerbread Cookies.


    TIP OF THE DAY: Meyer Lemons

    Meyer Lemons

    A profusion of Meyer lemons at Good Eggs |
    San Francisco.


    You should start seeing Meyer lemons in stores now. The no-pucker lemon’s season is November through March.

    A cross between a true lemon and either a sweet orange or a mandarin, Citrus × meyeri was named for Frank Nicholas Meyer, who brought it back from China in 1908. Meyer worked for the U.S. Department of Agriculture as an “agricultural explorer,” traveling the world to find new foods that might be desirable in America.

    The Chinese had long been growing the lemon variety in pots, as ornamental trees. Meyer lemon trees thus were planted in California yards, and the fruit was enjoyed by the home owners.

    Meyer lemons became a hot food item when they were “rediscovered” by Alice Waters at Chez Panisse in the 1990s. Other chefs and personalities like Martha Stewart began featuring them in recipes; groves were planted and the fruits began to arrive in markets.

    The benefit is yours.


    Meyer lemons are much sweeter and more flavorful than the Bearss and Lisbon varieties commonly found in American grocery stores (here are the different types of lemons). They have much less acid, which is why the juice is sweeter and brighter.

    While they are smaller than the Bearss and Lisbon lemons, they are much juicier with a very thin (and edible) peel, and can even deliver more juice per lemon.

    And their fragrance is beguiling.



    You can buy ornamental dwarf Meyer lemon trees to keep in pots indoors or on the patio. Planted in the ground, they can grow to heights of eight feet. Check out the options at:

    The trees produce lovely white blossoms before they fruit, and have glossy leaves year-round. Consider one for your own home or for gifting.

  • Lemonade without the pucker (and just a bit of sugar required)
  • Cocktails, spritzers and lemon water
  • Cakes, pies and other baked goods
  • Ice cream, sorbet, pudding
  • Marmalade, lemon curd

    Meyer Lemon Tree

    This fragrant tree can grace any home. We’d love to receive one as a gift. Photo courtesy

  • In any recipe that calls for lemon juice and/or peel: chicken, ham, fish and seafood, vegetables, salads, etc.
    Here are 30+ ways we use Meyer lemons, plus a recipe for Meyer Lemon Beurre Blanc. You can also peruse these recipes from

    Perhaps our favorite Meyer lemon recipe:



  • 1-1/2 cups sugar
  • 1-1/2 cups water
  • 1 tablespoon Meyer lemon zest
  • 1 cup Meyer lemon juice

    1. ZEST all the lemons and save the extra (it freezes well). You can add it to salad dressings, baked goods, anything.

    2. BRING the sugar and the water to a boil in a small saucepan, stirring until the sugar dissolves. Add the lemon juice and zest; stir to combine.

    3. POUR the mixture into the canister of a 1-quart ice cream maker. Freeze according to the manufacturer’s instructions (approximately 25-30 minutes). Transfer to a freezer container and freeze for 4 hours or longer.

    4. SET the container on the counter to stand for 5 minutes before serving.



    THANKSGIVING: Food Safety Tips

    Thanksgiving Food Safety Tips

    Make your Thanksgiving dinner a safe one. Photo courtesy


    Even if you’ve never had a problem before, check out these food safety tips prior to Turkey Day. They’re courtesy of The Learning Center at State Farm.

    1. Keep everything clean.

  • Scrub your hands with soap under warm water for 20 seconds before touching food. Do the same after handling food, especially raw meat or poultry, to avoid cross-contamination.
  • Clean the counters, cutting boards, dishes and silverware with hot water and soap before and after preparing each food item.
  • Wash fruits and vegetables to remove the surface dirt, but do not rinse raw meat or poultry. Rinsing them enables bacteria to spread.
    2. Heat foods to the proper temperature.

  • Color is never a reliable indicator of safely cooked food. Use a food thermometer to make sure meat, poultry, and fish are cooked to a safe internal temperature,typically 165°F.
  • Frying your turkey? Follow these turkey fryer safety tips.
    3. Keep foods at appropriate temperatures.

  • Keep hot foods at 140°F or warmer with chafing dishes, slow cookers and warming trays.
  • Keep cold foods at 40°F or colder. Nest serving dishes in bowls of ice and store moist desserts, such as pumpkin pie and cakes with whipped frosting, in the refrigerator until serving.
  • Never let food sit out at room temperature for more than two hours.
    4. Store leftovers safely.

  • Divide leftovers into shallow containers, which allow rapid cooling, before storing in the refrigerator or freezer.
  • Never defrost food at room temperature. It enables bacteria to multiply.
  • Use a microwave or oven to reheat foods to an internal temperature of 165°F.
  • Eat refrigerated leftover food within three to four days.


    TIP OF THE DAY: Uses For Duck Fat

    Duck fat has long been a staple in the kitchens of top chefs. Like bacon fat, duck fat enhances the flavor of anything it touches.

    One of the finest animal fats for cooking, it actually is low in saturated fat. As an ingredient, it has a silky mouth feel, subtle flavor and a high smoke point, which makes it valuable for high-heat cooking like French fries or pan searing.

    Other benefits include deep browning and the ability to re-use the fat after cooking with it (strain it into a container).


    Recent studies on duck fat show that it is low in saturated fat and high in unsaturated fat, making it one of healthiest animal fats you can eat.

  • Duck fat contains only 33% saturated fat; 62% is unsaturated fat (13.7% of which is polyunsaturated fat, containing Omega-6 and Omega-3 essential oils).
  • Duck fat is closer nutritionally to olive oil, with 75% monounsaturated fat, 13% saturated fat, 10% omega-6 linoleic acid and 2% omega-3 linoleic acid, than it is to other animal fats.
  • It’s high in oleic acid, a monounsaturated fat that actually helps keep cholesterol numbers in check (it’s the same fat that makes olive oil heart-healthy).
  • Most of the saturated fat is stearic acid, which is generally considered to be heart friendly.

    Duck Fat Uses

    TOP PHOTO: Duck Fat-Potato Galette with Caraway and Sweet Onions from Bon Appetit. Here’s the recipe. BOTTOM PHOTO: A French classic: confit leg of duck in cassoulet, with duck bacon. Photo courtesy Payard | NYC.

  • Duck fat has less saturated fat than butter, (which has 51%).
  • High use of duck fat equals lower heart disease. In the southwest of France, where duck is the go-to cooking fat, the incidence of cardiovascular disease is about half that of the rest of France—which, per the French paradox, is already less than half that of the U.S.
    While the USDA may never declare duck fat to be heart-healthy like olive oil, you can use it without guilt. You have plenty of time to try it: It keeps frozen for six months or longer.

    Use duck fat as you would any other animal fat, in the same quantity and manner (melted vs. solid, cold vs. room temperature, for example) as the fat you’re replacing.

  • In place of a stick of butter, use a half cup of duck fat.
  • For a drizzle of oil, use a drizzle of slightly warmed duck fat.
  • When using duck fat for deep frying, gently melt the solid fat over medium-high heat until it completely liquefies; then raise the temperature to high to bring the fat up to the proper frying temperature.
    Use Duck Fat At Breakfast

  • Eggs: fried or scrambled eggs, omelets, frittatas, etc. cooked in duck fat.
  • Potatoes: hash browns cooked in duck fat.
    Use Duck Fat At Lunch & Dinner

  • Biscuits and popovers.
  • Classic French dishes such as cassoulet, confit de canard and rillettes.
  • Potatoes: French fries, galettes and roasted potatoes will be even crisper. Use it instead of butter in mashed potatoes.
  • Poultry: Instead of rubbing the bird with butter or oil before roasting, use duck fat for crisper skin. Rub some softened duck fat under the skin of the breasts and inside the cavity; massage it into the skin; then seasoning and roast in a hot oven.
  • Salad dressing: Substitute heated (liquid) duck fat for the oil, and pair with a fruity vinegar. Serve immediately after tossing with greens.
  • Searing: Give fish and seafood, meats and poultry, fish and shellfish an evenly browned, flavorful crust.
  • Vegetables: Sautéed or roasted, a little duck fat goes a long way in adding richness and facilitating caramelization.
  • Savory pie crusts: pot pie and quiche.

    D'artgnan Duck Fat

    /home/content/p3pnexwpnas01 data02/07/2891007/html/wp content/uploads/open tub dartagnan 230

    You can buy duck fat from companies that specialize in pates and charcuterie, like D’Artagnan and Aux Delices. Photos courtesy


    Use Duck Fat To Make Desserts & Snacks

  • Donuts: Fry them in duck fat—really! It adds a depth of flavor.
  • Popcorn: Pop the corn in it duck fat.
  • Pastry: It makes crisp, golden puffed pastry, tender, flaky pâté brisée and short crust pastry. Use a 50:50 duck fat:butter blend for most baking recipes. If using it as a replacement for lard, use an equal measure.


  • Gourmet/specialty food stores.
  • Your local butcher or anywhere raw or cooked duck* is sold.
  • Your local poultry farmer.
  • Online: from D’artagnan.
    *Gourmet take-out shops that sell rotisserie duck should have lots of it.




    HOLIDAY: National Carbonated Beverage With Caffeine Day

    November 19th is National Carbonated Beverage With Caffeine Day.

    There are seven foods that contain natural caffeine. Can you name them?

    The first one is a giveaway: coffee. The other six are below, but before you look, here’s the caffeine comparison between drip coffee and espresso:

  • A cup of drip coffee has at least twice the caffeine as a cup of espresso, due to its much larger serving size. However, from a volume perspective, espresso has much more caffeine than drip coffee.
  • Eight ounces of drip coffee contains approximately 65-120 mg of caffeine. One ounce of espresso has 30-50 mg of caffeine.
  • On a per-ounce basis, the drip coffee has approximately 8.1 to 15 mg of caffeine per ounce; the one ounce of espresso has 30 to 50 mg of caffeine.
  • On a per-ounce basis, espresso wins; although you’d have to drink at least two of them to get the caffeine content of one eight-ounce cup of drip coffee. No problem: We always order a double espresso! [Source]


    Espresso & Amaretti Cookies

    Many people turn to espresso for a hit of caffeine. But you’d get more caffeine with a cup of drip coffee. Photo courtesy Hiline Coffee Co.

    Now for the rest of the foods and beverages that contain natural caffeine:

    2. Conventional tea, the second most consumed beverage in the world after water. The same leaf, Camellia sinensis, makes black, green, oolong and white tea, depending on how long the leaves are pan-toasted. More about the types of tea.

    3. Cacao, in cocoa and chocolate products. It’s made from the seeds of a large pod (cabosse) that grows on the cacao trees. How chocolate and cocoa are made.

    4. Guarana, a component of energy drinks. The seeds in the berries contain about twice the concentration of caffeine found in coffee seeds (which are roasted into coffee beans); about 2%–4.5% caffeine in guarana seeds compared to 1%–2% for coffee seeds.

    5. Guayusa, a leaf from the guayusa tree. Native to the Ecuadorian Amazon rainforest, it is a member of the holly family. The leaves of the guayusa tree are dried and brewed like a tea for their stimulative effects. You can buy the Runa brand in the U.S.

    6. Kola nut, used to make cola soft drinks. The nut is the fruit of the kola tree, an evergreen native to the tropical rainforests of Africa.

    7. Yerba maté, another South American holly leaf, that originated in Paraguay and was first chewed and brewed by the indigenous Guaraní people. The dried leaves are steeped into the most popular beverage in Argentina (more).

    Now, about National Carbonated Beverage With Caffeine Day: You can find carbonated chocolate drinks, carbonated cola drinks, carbonated energy drinks, even carbonated guayausa and yerba maté. Drink up!



    RECIPE: Pumpkin Coconut Mousse

    /home/content/p3pnexwpnas01_data02/07/2891007/html/wp content/uploads/pumpkin coconut mousse ingridhoffmannFB 230

    You don’t need special dessert bowls. Use juice glasses, rocks glasses or stemware. Photo courtesy Chef Ingrid Hoffmann.


    We made this mousse for the adults on Halloween, but the pumpkin theme works throughout the holidays. This is an easy recipe. Here’s a more elaborate pumpin mousse recipe.

    This recipe is from Chef Ingrid Hoffmann, who has many more on her website.

    You can serve it in meringues or puff pastry shells, in glass dessert dishes, in wine glasses or rocks glasses, or in scooped out mini pumpkins.


    Ingredients For 6-8 Servings

  • 1 can (15 ounces) pumpkin purée
  • 1 cup coconut milk
  • ¾ cup fine sugar*
  • ½ teaspoon pumpkin pie spice†
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 2 cups heavy whipping cream
  • Optional: 2 tablespoons dark rum
  • Toasted coconut (instructions below)
  • Optional garnish: mint sprigs for garnish
    *You can use superfine sugar, or can pulse table sugar in a food processor or spice mill to make it more fine.

    † You can buy it or make it, combining 3tablespoons ground cinnamon, 2 teaspoons ground ginger, 2 teaspoons ground nutmeg, 1½ teaspoons ground allspice and 1½ teaspoons ground cloves.

    1. HEAT the pumpkin purée, coconut milk, sugar, pumpkin pie spice and vanilla in a small sauce pan and and simmer for 5 minutes. Transfer to a bowl and cool completely.

    2. BEAT the whipping cream and rum with an electric hand mixer, until peaks form. Gently fold the pumpkin mixture into the whipped cream, until well mixed.

    3. CHILL for at least 2 hours. Garnish with toasted coconut and a mint sprig.

    You can buy toasted coconut, but it’s very easy to toast your own in the oven or microwave.

    1. HEAT the oven to 350°F. Spread shredded coconut evenly on a cookie sheet. Bake for 7 to 8 minutes or until light golden brown, stirring occasionally.

    2. WATCH closely to avoid over-browning.



    TIP OF THE DAY: Cranberry Sangria

    For the holidays, we like Cranberry Sangria. In addition to making pitchers of it to serve at Thanksgiving and Christmas, we keep a pitcher of Sangria in the fridge for daily apéritifs and impromptu visitors.

    In the first recipe, tart cranberry juice is pared with a sweet wine and orange liqueur. It takes only 10 minutes to make this recipe, from McCormick. The result: a flavorful, well-balanced holiday refreshment.

    Plan ahead: November 20th is National Sangria Day. Here’s the history of sangria.


    Ingredients For 6 One-Cup Servings

  • 1 orange
  • 16 whole cloves
  • 1 bottle (750 ml) sweet white wine, such as Moscato or Riesling
  • 3 cups cranberry juice
  • 1 cup fresh cranberries
  • 1/4 cup orange-flavored liqueur*, such as Grand Marnier
  • 2 whole cinnamon sticks
  • 1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract

    Cranberry Sangria

    Steep orange slices studded with cloves, plus cranberries and cinnamon sticks, in sweet white wine and tart cranberry juice. Photo courtesy McCormick.

    *Here are the different types of  orange liqueur.


    1. CUT the orange into 8 wedges. Press 2 cloves into each wedge. Set aside.

    2. MIX the wine, cranberry juice, cranberries, liqueur, cinnamon sticks and vanilla in large pitcher until well blended. Add the orange wedges.

    3. REFRIGERATE for at least 3 hours before serving. Serve straight up or on the rocks.

    This recipe also celebrates the flavors and colors of the season—with cinnamon, clementines and cranberries. They compliment the rich red-fruit flavors of Ruby Port (there’s more about Port below). The recipe was developed by Sandeman, using their Founders Reserve Ruby Port.
    Don’t worry about buying a bottle just for this recipe. Port is delicious served alone at the end of any dinner, with the cheese course (especially blue cheeses and washed-rind cheeses). or accompanying a rich chocolate or caramel dessert or candy.

    Serve Ruby Port with a side of salted or smoked nuts, and with smoked meats. The next time you make barbecue, serve Ruby Port on the rocks with a twist of lime!


    Sangria With Ruby Port

    Keep a pitcher in the fridge. Photo courtesy Sandeman.



  • 1 bottle of Sandeman Founders Reserve Porto or other Ruby Port
  • 4 ounces cinnamon schnapps† (Goldschläger is relatively easy to find)
  • 3 clementines, quartered or sliced
  • 6 ounces fresh or frozen cranberries
  • 18 ounces sparkling clementine juice or clementine soda‡
  • 6 ounces cranberry juice
  • 4 cinnamon sticks
  • Ground allspice to taste
    †Cinnamon schnapps is also delicious in coffee, after dinner drinks, atop vanilla ice cream, and so on. You can also make cinnamon simple syrup.

    ‡San Pellegrino and Izze make clementine sparkling drinks. Otherwise, substitute orange soda.


    1. COMBINE the Port, cinnamon schnapps, clementine pieces, cranberries, cranberry juice and cinnamon sticks in a large pitcher. Cover tightly and place in refrigerator for at least 8 hours.

    2. TO SERVE: Add the sparkling clementine juice/soda and sprinkle allspice on top, to taste.

    Porto (sometimes written as Oporto, “the Porto”) is the second largest city in Portugal. Located along the Douro River estuary in northern Portugal, Porto was an outpost of the Roman Empire. Port wine is produced in the region.

    Port is made in several expressions: Crusted, Colheita, Late Bottled Vintage (LBV), Ruby, Single Quinta, Tawny, Vintage, Vintage Character and White. Here’s an explanation of each type of Port.



    FOOD FUN: The “Holiday Bird” Turkey Burger

    Last year’s seasonal special at Umami Burger was the Pumpkin Spice Latte Burger.

    The burger patty was first topped with aïoli (garlic mayonnaise), followed by:

  • Kabocha tempura, the kabocha standing in for pumpkin
  • Spiced mascarpone cheese
  • Coffee glaze
    This year, a fan favorite, the Holiday Bird turkey burger, returns. It’s both “an entire holiday meal with each savory bite,” and “everything but the apple pie.”

    Here’s what’s in-between the bun:

  • Turkey burger patty
  • Cornbread stuffing patty
  • Turkey gravy
  • Ginger-cranberry chutney
  • Spiced Japanese yams
  • Fried sage leaf
    The Holiday Bird is available at all Umami Burger locations throughout the holiday season.

    For each burger sold, one dollar will be donated to Meals On Wheels America, which supports more than 5,000 community-based senior nutrition programs nationwide.

    If there’s no Umami Burger near you, nothing’s stopping you from re-creating it at home, perhaps with a side of sweet potato fries in addition to those spiced yams.



    Holiday Bird Burger at Umami Burger

    TOP PHOTO: The 2014 Pumpkin Spice Latte Burger. BOTTOM PHOTO: The 2015 Holiday Bird Burger. Photos courtesy Umami Burger.




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