THE NIBBLE BLOG: Products, Recipes & Trends In Specialty Foods

Also visit our main website,

FOOD FUN: Pepperoni Pizza Popcorn Recipe

[1] Pepperoni popcorn. This original recipe from The Popcorn Board didn’t contain tomato powder, which we added (photo © The Popcorn Board).

[2] Tomato flakes are available from The Spice Lab. Tomato powder is another option.

[3] Turkey pepperoni (photo © Applegate Naturals).


The Popcorn Board is a non-profit organization funded by U.S. popcorn processors to raise awareness of popcorn as a versatile, whole-grain snack. They excel in finding new and creative ways to use popcorn—from skillet bread and meatloaf to ice cream sandwiches and many, many flavored popcorn recipes and holiday treats. Their latest recipe is popcorn with the seasoning of pepperoni pizza.

The recipe is below. We added tomato flakes to the seasoning for an all-out pizza flavor. The tomato flakes (or the finer-grained tomato powder) may give a Cheetos-type dusting to your fingertips, but just like the orange cheese dust, it’s worth it.

> Check out many more popcorn recipes, both savory and sweet, from The Popcorn Board.

> Take a look at the history of popcorn.

> Have you ever had popcorn salad? Use some of the pepperoni pizza popcorn to top salad greens.

Tomato flakes and tomato powder are seasonings that add tomato flavor to any savory recipe: breads, chili, eggs, meats, pasta and pizza, salads, sauces, smoothies, soups, stews, and even tomato juice.

Add them to potatoes and rice, enhance salad dressing, and mix them into sour cream or yogurt for a dip.

Both products are made from dehydrated tomatoes and contain all the lycopene, vitamins A and C, and other nutrients of fresh tomatoes.

If you don’t have time to get tomato flakes or powder, make the recipe without it.


  • 12 cups air-popped popcorn
  • 3/4 cup turkey pepperoni, cut into bite-size bits
  • Olive-oil cooking spray
  • 1/4 cup nonfat Parmesan cheese
  • 2 teaspoons garlic powder
  • 2 teaspoons tomato powder or flakes
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried marjoram leaves
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried basil leaves
  • 1/8 teaspoon dried sage
  • Black pepper, to taste

    1. COMBINE the Parmesan cheese, spices, and seasonings in a small bowl; mix well.

    2. PLACE the popcorn and turkey pepperoni in a large bowl; spray lightly with cooking spray. Sprinkle the popcorn and pepperoni with cheese and spice mixture and toss to coat evenly.





    FOOD FUN: Campbell’s Soup Candles, Tomato Soup & Chicken Noodle

    If you’re feeling a winter chill, a can of Campbell’s soup might be just what you need to warm up. What if you could add to that some comforting ambiance, in this case candles scented like your favorite soups?

    Campbell’s has partnered with CAMP, A Family Experience Company, to release two limited-edition scented candles: Tomato Soup & Grilled Cheese, and Chicken Noodle Soup.

  • Tomato Soup & Grilled Cheese features notes of roasted tomato, peppercorn, and grilled cheese.
  • Chicken Noodle Soup has notes of savory chicken, clove, and buttery crackers.
    They’re about 50% larger than a can of Campbell’s soup, and have the same pull-tab top.

    The candles-in-a-can tap into the familiar design of Campbell’s limited-time-only, stackable snowman soup cans, which made their debut in 2020 and were inspired by the brand’s snowman commercial, “Snowbuddy.”

    A miniature golden “Snowbuddy” keepsake is revealed as the candle burns (photo #2).

    Start by making your home smell M’m! M’m! Good!® Treat yourself to a candle, or the pair.

    The candles are available online at or in-person at CAMP stores in New York, New Jersey, Dallas, and Connecticut.

    The candles are $24.99 each while supplies last, with 10% of net proceeds from total candle sales going to Feeding America

    Even if you don’t buy a candle, you can download a free copy of The Winter Warmup Guide, 12 pages of crafts, games, and coloring to delight the Campbell Kids, and yours.


    [1] Limited-editional Campbell’s soup-scented candles, in Tomato Soup & Grilled Cheese, and Chicken Noodle © Campbell’s).

    [2] Each candle, beautifully boxed, has a hidden “Snowbuddy” that is revealed as the candle burns.







    Shaker Vinaigrette Recipe: Easy To Make Salad Dressing

    [1] Whether the salad is plain or fancy, we prefer a vinaigrette dressing (photo © Nadine Primeau | Unsplash).

    [2] Just add the ingredients to a jar and shake your vinaigrette (photo © Colavita).


    It struck us that quite a few people we know don’t know how easy it is to make a shaker vinaigrette. There’s no whisking in a bowl, no blender or food processor to clean. All you need is the vinaigrette ingredients and a jar. And if your goal this January is to eat more healthy salads without the calorie-laden bottled dressing, this is a great tip.

    Thanks to Colavita Extra Virgin Olive Oil for reminding us!

    > Check out more recipes with Colavita Extra Virgin Olive Oil.

    > The history of salad.

    > The history of olive oil.

    > The history of vinegar.

    This is a fancy vinaigrette, with layers of flavor. For a quick version, just add oil and vinegar—we recommend balsamic or red wine vinegar—salt and pepper, and a shake or two of your favorite dried herbs.

  • 2 small shallots, minced
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
  • 2 teaspoons honey
  • 5 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon water
  • Zest and juice of 1 small lemon
  • Pinch of dried oregano
  • Pinch of dried basil
  • Optional: dash of hot sauce
  • ¾ cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher or sea salt
  • ⅛ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

    1. COMBINE the shallots, garlic, mustard, honey, vinegar, water, zest, oregano, basil, EVOO, and salt and pepper in a medium-size jar. Screw the lid on tightly and shake until the dressing is emulsified. That’s it!

    2. STORE unused vinaigrette in the jar in the fridge, for up to 3 weeks. Once stored, the EVOO may solidify. To use, let it warm at room temperature or under warm water.






    It’s Sumo Citrus Season: Gather A Supply Of Sumo Mandarins

    Sumo Citrus has hit the shelves at grocers near you. Available nationwide* annually from January to April. you can easily recognize them by their topknot—reminiscent of the hair of sumo wrestlers. Sumo Citrus is one of the world’s largest and sweetest mandarins, celebrated for its sweet taste and distinct looks. Originally from Japan, Sumo Citrus is now grown in the U.S.

    Compared to the navel and other oranges, Sumo Citrus is easy to peel. It’s seedless, super-sweet, and juicy: a no-mess snack.

    It’s a bit more expensive than other mandarins. According to, Sumo Citrus is the most difficult citrus to grow. It takes four years of constant care before a Sumo Citrus tree produces any fruit.

    Despite its rugged appearance, it’s a delicate fruit that requires far more expertise and gentle handling than any other piece of citrus. Each Sumo Citrus tree is carefully groomed by hand every year and then hand-picked and hand-packed. Even the trailers used to transport Sumo Citrus are designed to give it a smooth (vs. bumpy) ride!

    Here’s more about Sumo Citrus.

    The term “mandarin orange” is incorrect. Mandarins and oranges are separate species, as you can see from the taxonomy below.

    From a visual perspective:

  • Oranges are medium to large round or ovoid shapes covered with a thick peel that can take time to remove. They are in the genus Citrus, with separate species (e.g. Citrus sinensis, the sweet orange group, includes the common sweet orange, blood orange, and navel orange).
  • Sometimes they’re sweet, and sometimes they aren’t; you don’t know until you buy and try.
  • Mandarins are small and roundish with flatness on the top and bottom, and a loose, easy-to-peel skin. They are in the genus/species Citrus reticulata.
  • The mandarin from California are reliably sweet and usually seedless. That’s why we prefer mandarins like clementines and Sumo Citrus to navel oranges, which are a spin on the sweetness roulette wheel.
    Are they close relatives?

    From a hybridization perspective, the mandarin is a progenitor of the orange. The orange is a cross between a mandarin and a pomelo, created long ago in China.

    Both are in the genus Citrus; the binomial classification of both mandarins and oranges branches at the species level (we’d call this “cousins”). For food geeks, here’s the entire taxonomy:

  • Kingdom Plantae
  • Clade† Tracheophytes
  • Clade Angiosperms
  • Clade Eudicots
  • Clade Rosids
  • Order Sapindales
  • Family Rutaceae
  • Subfamily Auranntioideae
  • Tribe Citreae
  • Subtribe Citrinae
  • Genus Citrus
  • Species: reticulata (mandarin), citrus X sinensis (orange)
  • Subspecies: there are individual subspecies for both mandarins (e.g. clementine, tangerine) and oranges (e.g. navel, Seville)
    Hats off to the botanists who painstakingly mapped this out!


    [1] Sumo Citrus has a topknot, like the sumo wrestlers after which they were named (all photos © Sumo Citrus).

    [2] Sumo Citrus are mandarins, easy to peel.

    [3] Look for them in the produce section from January through April.

    [4] Add segments to green salads (here mesclun and fennel), chicken salads, and to a pan sauce (photo © Shaya Restaurant | New Orleans).


    Retailers include Albertsons, H‑E‑B, Hy-Vee, Kroger, Osco, Pavilions, Publix, Ralphs, Safeway, Sams Club, Shaws, Sprouts, Target, Vons, Wegmans, and Whole Foods.

    †A clade is a branch that includes a single common ancestor; the group of its descendants is called a clade. A cladogram is an evolutionary tree that diagrams the ancestral relationships among organisms.






    A Hot Tea Toddy Recipe For National Hot Toddy & Hot Tea Days

    [1] All of the toddies here are shown in clear glasses or mugs. Why? It makes the drink look better (photo © L’Adresse | NYC).

    Hot Toddy
    [2] In Colonial times a pat of butter was added to the toddy, creating Hot Buttered Rum. It clouded the drink, but in those days, everything was drunk from a ceramic or metal tankard (photo © Hella Cocktail Co.).

    [3] Black tea with cloves is a classic base for a toddy. The lemon can be squeezed into the drink or added as a floating garnish (photo © Ruth’s Chris Steak House).

    Cup Of Green Tea
    [4] If you prefer green tea, make your toddy with it (photo © Republic Of Tea).

    [5] Use a base of spiced tea or chai for a spicy toddy. Constant Comment makes spiced tea in both black and green—and decaf, too (photo © Bigelow Tea).

    [6] Go ahead: Add your favorite spirit to the toddy (photo © Mount Gay Rum).


    The word “toddy” typically evokes thoughts of a hot drink with rum or another spirit. For most people, a toddy isn’t a toddy without spirits, but if you’re observing Dry January, the tea toddy recipes below are ideal. Hankering for a spirited toddy? Check out our toddy recipes. (LINK) National Hot Toddy Day is January 11th, National Hot Tea Day is January 12th and National Hot Buttered Rum Day (a rum toddy with a pat of butter) is January 17th.

    These recipes, courtesy of Adagio Teas, are perfect for today, National Hot Tea Day (and it just happens to be freezing where we live.)

    Take your pick of a black tea or a green tea toddy, and you can also add alcohol for a classic toddy.

    Herbal teas work well too, if they do not conflict with the spices. Consider chamomile or hibiscus, and use them in the same quantities as noted below.

    > Hot Toddy History

    > Hot Toddy Relatives (Glögg, Mulled Wine, etc.)

    You can substitute a cinnamon stick instead of the ground cinnamon. The stick can also serve as a stirrer.

    Or, take a short cut and use a spiced tea or chai blend like Constant Comment (photo #5).
    Ingredients For 1 Drink

  • 1½ cups hot black tea (Keemun, Assam or your favorite breakfast blend)
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice
  • ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ¼ teaspoon EACH, ground cloves and ground nutmeg
  • 1 lemon wedge for garnish of extra juice
  • Optional alcohol: ¼ cup of whisky, rum, vodka, rye, or bourbon

    1. BREW the tea. First, pour the honey, lemon juice, cinnamon, cloves, and nutmeg into a large mug. Then pour in the hot tea. Stir until both the honey and spices are completely dissolved.

    2. MAKE a horizontal slit through the bottom flesh of the lemon wedge so it sits on the rim of the mug. Drink up!

    For a strong alcoholic toddy, use only 1/4 cup brewed tea. Otherwise, use the 1-1/4 cups
    Ingredients For 1 Drink

  • 1½ cup hot brewed green tea (Gunpowder or Sencha)
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • ¼ cup whisky (Irish, Scotch or Japanese Scotch are particularly good here)
  • 1 lemon slice

    1. BREW the tea. Add 1/4 cup tea into a mug. Stir in the honey until it completely dissolves. Then add the rest of the tea. For the alcoholic version, use 1/4 cup tea and 1/4 cup whiskey. First blend the tea and honey, then add the whiskey.

    2. GARNISH with a lemon slice or wedge.

  • Apple Ginger Hot Toddy
  • Beer Hot Toddy
  • Caramel Hot Buttered Rum
  • Chocolate Hot Buttered Rum
  • Classic Hot Buttered Rum
  • Glögg
  • Hot Apple Toddy With Sherry & Calvados
  • Hot Gin Cider
  • Sake Hot Toddy
  • Scotch Toddy
  • Spiced Cider

    Thanks to Adagio Teas for this bit of beverage history. There are three tales, all of which are a bit “blurry,” according to food historians.

    Story #1: The drink first appeared in the early 16th century in India. It was named tārī (a Hindi word pronounced taddy), which was made from the fermented tree sap, and was a popular folk remedy for congestion. The mixture, originally served cold, included alcohol, sugar, water, and spices. Adding hot water, and later hot tea, turned it into a remedy for colds and respiratory congestion.

    Story #2: The toddy was created by Irish doctor Robert Bently Todd, who prescribed it to his patients as a cold renedy. The recipe blended hot brandy, canella (cinnamon), sugar syrup, and hot water.

    Story #3: The Scots developed the hot toddy to make raw Scotch whisky more palatable. They added sugar, dates, saffron, mace, nuts, and cinnamon. As whisky makers became more adept, there was less call for spices or sweeteners, yet the idea of a hot drink with spices and alcohol endured because it tastes good and, yes, it makes one feel better.

    Medical professionals agree that a hot toddy can be good for colds and mild respiratory congestion. Both the Common Cold Centre at Cardiff University in the U.K. and the Mayo Clinic in the U.S. have cited the spices, which stimulate saliva to help ease a sore throat, and the combination of lemon and honey stimulate mucus drainage. And, of course, warm liquids ease congestion and prevent dehydration. Neither institution suggests large doses of whiskey, but agree that a small amount can ease the stress that comes with being ill from a cold.






    The Nibble Webzine Of Food Adventures
    Follow by Email

    © Copyright 2005-2022 Lifestyle Direct, Inc. All rights reserved. All images are copyrighted to their respective owners.