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


Also visit our main website, TheNibble.com.





Schofferhofer Beer: Hefeweizen & The Types Of Wheat Beer

Following on the heels of eating good food, the second-best part of our job is the thrill of discovery. Experiencing new categories or sub-categories of food and drink makes it a good day.

Take wheat beer, for example. It’s a lighter style on the opposite spectrum of what we personally prefer (IPA, Porter, Stout).

But Schöfferhofer showed us a different take on the German tradition of premium wheat beer, with their Hefeweizen mix.
 
 
SCHÖFFERHOFER HEFEWEIZEN MIX BEERS

Hefeweizen is one of the types of wheat beer (see the rest below).

Schöfferhofer, a German brewer, was the first brewery to blend 50% Hefeweizen beer with 50% grapefruit juice, creating a refreshing taste experience that to us, is so much more alluring than the Belgian lambics we’ve tried.

(Although a Schaarbeekse krieken, a cherry kriek from Belgium, is really nice with a chocolate dessert.)

Schöfferhofer Grapefruit took off, engendering Passionfruit and Pomegranate versions. All are 50% fruit juice and 100% delicious.

These 50% fruit juice beers are what you’d imagine a fruity, soft-drink version of beer to be. There’s lots of fruit flavor and some sparkle, with a depth of hefeweizen flavor.

The three fruit flavors—Grapefruit, Passionfruit, and Pomegranate—are enjoyable year-round. Right now, the colors of the beers resemble the colors of the turning fall leaves.
 
 
WHEN TO DRINK THEM

Try them with just about any food where you’d like to pair a fruity, slightly sweet beverage.

  • Food: We first tried the beers with Mexican food. The fruitiness complemented the chile flavors. Great with a hot dog, too.
  • Dessert: The beers are a natural with baked goods, fruit desserts, and sorbet.
  • Cocktails: There are quite a few beer cocktail recipes on the website. The ones we tried were so enjoyable, we’re thinking about a “beertail” get-together.
  •  
    Ready to quaff?

    Here’s a store locator. You can also buy the beers online.
     
     
    TYPES OF WHEAT BEER

    Wheat beers are a challenge to make. Barley malt is easier to brew with, while wheat beers are exceptionally hard to brew.

    That’s because the proteins and starches in the wheat want to bind, making it trickier to extract the sugars.

    These same proteins make wheat exceptional for baking. Think stretchy pizza dough says Allagash Brewing Company, a craft brewer of fine American wheat beers (photo #5).

    The different styles of wheat beer have one thing in common: wheat comprises a substantial portion of the grain used in brewing. (Most European and American beers are brewed primarily with malted barley.)

    The wheat typically makes the beer lighter in color, so they are called “white beer.” They’re not white, of course, but range from straw to light gold (photos #4 and #5).

    While wheat beers may seem similar, there’s a bit of difference between them.

  • American Wheat Beer: Whether clear or cloudy, American wheat beers have a more noticeable hop character than a witbier or hefeweizen.
  • Bière blanche: The French-language name for wheat beer (blanche means white).
  • Hefeweissbier or Hefeweizen: Hefe is the German word for yeast, indicating that the beer is bottle-conditioned (unfiltered), and might have sediment.
  • Kristallweissbier or Kristallweizen: Kristall is the German word for crystal. It indicates a Weissbier that is filtered, removing the sediment.
  • Dunkles Weissbier or Dunkelweizen: A dark version of a wheat beer. Dunkel is the German word for dark.
  • Hefeweizen. Hefeweizen is a type of German white beer, more than 50% wheat-based. Hefeweizen means “yeast wheat” in German. The aromas and flavors include banana and clove, and sometimes vanilla, which are created by the Bavarian yeast strains used to ferment them. Weiss beers can be clear or cloudy, with colors from gold to amber to mahogany.
  • Weissbier. The term for white beer in Bavaria and Austria.
  • Weizenbier, or Weizen: The term for wheat in the western and northern German regions. Weizen is German for “wheat.”
  • Weizenbock: A wheat beer made in the bock style originating in Germany. (Bock is a dark, bottom-fermented, lightly hopped style).
  • Witbier. The Dutch term for “white beer,” witbiers use a significant portion of wheat in the beer. Witbiers are typically brewed with coriander and citrus or other spices, which complement the bready, bright wheat notes. They are always cloudy.
  •  
     
    > THE DIFFERENT TYPES OF BEER
     
     
    > THE HISTORY OF BEER

     


    [1] Schöfferhofer grapefruit wheat beer (photos #1, #2 and #3 © Schfferhofer).


    [2] Have a passion for passionfruit Schöfferhofer.


    [3] Pomegranate, a popular fall flavor in foods and drinks, is a best-seller year-round.


    [4] A glass of conventional wheat beer (photo © Kriss Szkurlatowski | Stock Xchange).


    [5] Allagash, an American wheat beer (photo © Allagash Brewing Company).

     

     
     
      

    Comments off

    Apple Salad Recipes For National Apple Day


    [1] Sweet and crunchy apple, celery and peanut salad. The recipe is below (photo and recipe © Gelson’s Markets).


    [2] Sliced apples go right into the salad. The dressing keeps them from browning (photo © Stemilt).


    [3] A spinach, apple and goat cheese salad with pecans. You can add cheese and nuts to just about any apple salad (photo © Evolution Fresh).


    [4] Beet, spinach and apple salad. Here’s the recipe (photo © Butterball).

     

    October 21st is National Apple Day. Our tip is: Make an apple salad. It’s easy to make (or buy) an apple pie, or have a glass of apple cider or mulled cider, or an Appletini. But try something different. Some of our favorite apple recipes are apple sorbet and baked apples; and while they aren’t labor-intensive, they do take some effort.

    Here’s an idea that tasks very little effort: a green salad with apples.

    The salad recipe below, from Gelson’s Market, combines crisp apples, crunchy celery, pungent scallions, roasted peanuts, fresh parsley, and slivers of red jalapeño.

    The result: a blend of sweet, nutty, and spicy flavors with outstanding crunch.

    It’s tossed with lemon juice and olive oil, a simple but yummy dressing that helps the apples hold their color.

  • This is a delicious side salad with grilled fish, meat or poultry, and a nice appetizer salad with some added blue cheese, feta or goat cheese.
  • To turn it into an entrée salad, add a light protein, like a rotisserie chicken.
  • We had some leftover leg of lamb, which, perched on top of the salad, was a delicious pairing.
  •  
    Tip From Gelson’s: This salad travels really well. The lemon dressing keeps the apples fresh. Take it on outings, bring it to work for lunch.

    There are more apple salad recipes below.

    The history of apples.
     
     
    RECIPE: APPLE, CELERY & PEANUT SALAD

    If you’re a fennel fan, you can exchange it for all or some of the celery. If you don’t like peanuts, substitute cashews or pecans.
     
    Ingredients For 4 Servings

  • 4 large celery stalks, sliced ¼-inch thick, diagonally
  • 4 scallions, thinly sliced on a steep diagonal
  • 2 SweeTango apples, halved, cored, cut into ¼-inch-thick wedges (substitute Honeycrisp*)
  • 1 red jalapeño, thinly sliced, seeds removed
  • 3 tablespoons lemon juice, plus more to taste
  • Kosher salt, to taste
  • Freshly-ground black pepper, to taste
  • ¼ cup roasted peanuts, coarsely chopped, divided (we used honey roasted peanuts)
  • ½ cup parsley leaves, divided
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for drizzling
  •  
    Preparation

    1. SOAK the celery and scallions in ice water for 20 minutes. This makes the celery extra crisp and encourages the scallions to curl.

    2. DRAIN the water, dry the veggies on paper towels, and transfer them to a large salad bowl.

    3. ADD the apples, jalapeños, and lemon juice, and season with salt and pepper. Toss to combine. Taste and adjust the seasoning with more salt, black pepper, and lemon juice, as needed.

    4. ADD half of the peanuts, half of the parsley leaves, and the olive oil. Toss to combine.

    5. GARNISH the salad with the remaining peanuts and parsley and a drizzle of olive oil. Chill until cold before serving, about 15 minutes.
     
     
    MORE APPLE SALAD RECIPES

  • Apple & Chopped Fennel Salad
  • Apple, Lardons & Watercress Salad
  • Beet, Spinach & Apple Salad With Pomegranate Vinaigrette
  • Fennel Salad With Apple, Blood Orange & Verjus Vinaigrette
  • Gruyère Soufflé With Endive & Apple Salad
  • More Fall Salad Recipes
  •  
    ________________

    *The SweeTango is a cross between the Honeycrisp apple and the Zestar. Both Honeycrisp and SweeTango were developed by the University of Minnesota.

     

     
     
      

    Comments off

    Mummy Toast Recipe For Halloween Breakfast

    You don’t have to be a kid to enjoy this recipe for Mummy Toast. There’s an over-easy egg hidden underneath the mummy’s wrappings. It sits on a bed of jam, but you can use ketchup if you prefer.

    This recipe is from Hello Fresh, which has three more fun and easy egg recipes for Halloween.

    We used Gruyere, but you can use Cheddar, Swiss, or any cheese that can be cut into thin slices.
     
     
    RECIPE: MUMMY TOAST
     
    Ingredients For 2 Pieces

  • 2 slices toast
  • Raspberry or strawberry jam
  • 2 eggs
  • 4 round olive slices for eyes
  • Cheese, cut into thin strips
     
    Preparation

    1. CAREFULLY crack the eggs into a nonstick or cast-iron skillet. Cook until the egg whites are set but the yolk is not yet hard. Use a spatula to flip and cook to your desired doneness. While eggs are cooking…

    2. SPREAD the jam onto toast. Top with the eggs, then layer strips of cheese across the top to make it look like mummy wrappings.

    3. PLACE the olive “eyes” toward the top to serve as the eyes. One eye should be partially tucked underneath the cheese—it looks extra creepy!.
     
     
    WHAT BEVERAGE TO SERVE?

    We had a Virgin Mary: “bloody” tomato juice seasoned with lemon juice, horseradish and Worcestershire sauce.

  •  


    [1] Mummy toast. I want my mummy! (photo © Hello Fresh).


    [2] We love a spicy Virgin Mary with breakfast and brunch. This blend, with horseradish, looks creepy enough for Halloween (photo © Sid Wainer | Facebook).

     

     
     
      

    Comments off

    Gourmet Halloween Chocolate From L. A. Burdick


    [1] Burdick Chocolate’s Coffin Assortment for Halloween (photos © Burdick Chocolate).


    [2] Enjoy them while you listen to the Monster Mash.


    [3] Ghostly mice.

     

    Creak open the lid of L. A. Burdick’s Chocolate Coffin Assortment to discover a frightfully delicious array of chocolate bonbons from one of our favorite artisan chocolatiers. The 20 pieces include:

  • Ghost: hazelnut dark chocolate with a hint of orange zest, enrobed in white chocolate.
  • Halloween Mouse: dark chocolate ganache with cinnamon and port wine, toasted almond ears, white chocolate enrobing.
  • Plum: dark chocolate ganache with dried plums and Hungarian aged plum brandy, garnished with slivered almonds.
  • Pecan Bourbon: pecan-bourbon dark chocolate ganache, enrobed in milk chocolate.
  • Licorice Caramel: fresh licorice root caramel, garnished with Cyprus black sea salt.
  • Raspberry Caramel: French raspberry caramel.
  • Calvados: dark chocolate ganache blended with French apple brandy.
  • Mulled Wine Gingerbread: mulled wine and gingerbread dark chocolate ganache.
  • Honey Walnut: ground walnuts with honey in chocolate ganache.
  • Cranberry Pâte de Fruit: a cranberry gel enrobed in dark chocolate, garnished with cocoa nibs.
  • Richelieu: dark chocolate ganache blended with gianduja and cherries marinated in housemade cherry brandy.
  • Earl Grey: dark chocolate ganache infused with Earl Grey tea.
  • Mango: dark chocolate ganache blended with mangoes.
  • Mint: dark chocolate ganache infused with fresh mint leaves.
  • Macallan: dark chocolate ganache and pistachio marzipan blended with 12-year-old Macallan.
  • Talisker Hazelnut: dark chocolate ganache with Talisker Scotch whisky, currants and gianduja.
  • Brazilia: dark chocolate ganache with espresso and anise seeds.
  • Kenyan: dark chocolate ganache infused with Kenyan coffee.
  •  
     
    GET YOUR COFFIN OF CHOCOLATES!

    The Coffin Assortment is available now through November 5th.

    Get yours here.

    You can also head to Burdick Chocolate stores in Boston, Cambridge MA, Chicago IL, New York City and Washington, D.C.

     

     
     
      

    Comments off

    Brandied Fruit Recipes For National Brandied Fruit Day

    October 20th is National Brandied Fruit Day. Make it now and enjoy it over the holidays…or tomorrow! Brandied fruit is something you can overnight, or “cure” for one or two months to enjoy a more profound marinated flavor. We’ll start by enticing you with the many ways you can use brandied fruits; then go on to a recipe and the history of brandied fruits and brandy.
     
     
    USES FOR BRANDIED FRUIT

  • On ice cream or sorbet.
  • On angel food cake, pound cake or iced cakes.
  • In meringue shells (pavlova). See photo #3.
  • Atop custard, pudding or bread pudding.
  • As a side with grilled fish, chicken, lamb and pork.
  • On French toast or waffles, especially dessert waffles with fudge sauce.
  • Spooned over crêpes and sweet omelets.
  • Mixed into vanilla yogurt for a fruit-and-brandy yogurt or a dessert topping/sauce.
  • For Cherries Jubilee, a recipe made with either brandy or Kirschwasser (cherry brandy).
  • Drain it for a topping or condiment, use the fruit and all its liquid for a dessert sauce.
  •  
    It’s an easy and festive way to give food pizzazz.

    The history of brandied fruit is below, but first, an easy recipe.

    And if you don’t find what you need in this article, check out our earlier article on brandied fruits.
     
     
    RECIPE: BRANDIED FRUITS

    A note about the fruits: The time to make brandied fruit is when you have ripe fruits in season. There’s less choice in the colder weather, but apples, citrus, grapes, and strawberries are readily available (see photo # 6).

    Don’t use “mushy” fruits like bananas or kiwis. But you can add some dried fruits into the mix: dried apricots, cherries, raisins, etc.

    You can also brandy peach halves, which make a luscious summer dessert with crème fraîche or ice cream. You can even flambée brandied fruit. But start smaller, with berries and sliced fruits.

    In theory, you could use frozen fruits. We haven’t tried it, but we haven’t found anything that warns against it. It’s a nice experiment—we’ll have to try it.

    About the brandy:
    Don’t use an expensive bottle, unless you’re so well-to-do that you won’t notice, or you’re trying to impress some connoisseur guests. VSOP Cognac* is fine. Don’t use cheap brandy because the cheapness will flavor your fruit.

    Quick Marinade Overnight: We mostly marinated the fruits overnight. They can be used right away, or allowed to marinate some more. The recipe below marinates the fruit for 30 days or more.
     
    Ingredients For 8 Pint Jars

    This recipe uses a lot of sugar! We use 1/6 cup of sugar per cup of fruit. That would be 1-1/2 cups of sugar for the 9 cups of fruit.

    Try a batch with half the amount. You can always taste during the curing process and add more. Also add more brandy if it no longer covers all of the fruit.

  • 9 cups fresh fruits: whole berries and/or diced fruits of choice, washed (peeling is not necessary)
  • 5 cups of sugar
  • 5 cups light brown sugar, firmly packed
  • 4 cups brandy
     
    Preparation

    1. COMBINE in a very large bowl the fruits and sugars, tossing well. Cover and let macerate for 1 hour, tossing every 15 minutes.

    2. DIVIDE the fruit among 8 sterilized pint jars. Pour in the brandy, making sure the fruit is totally covered. Cap the jars and store in a cool place for at least one month; 2 months is fine.

    Since the brandied fruit will only improve with age, let the flavors develop for at least a month. Check out this step by step video from New Deal Distillery. (We used their brandy to make our last batch.)
     
     
    THE HISTORY OF BRANDIED FRUIT & THE HISTORY OF BRANDY

    Man has macerated fruit with wine for thousands of years. It was a way to turn overripe fruit or fruit that lacked sweetness into something more pleasant.

    But wine itself is not a preservative; it oxidizes. So the fruit was tasty for the day, but in order to put up fruit for the off-season, alcoholic spirits were needed.

    The distillation of alcoholic spirits was discovered in the eighth century (the history of distillation). But it took longer to “invent” brandy.

    Brandy is a spirit produced by distilling wine or a fermented fruit mash. The name comes from the Dutch brandewijn, burnt wine, which refers to the application of heat in the distillation process.

    Commercial distillation of brandy from wine originated in the 16th century. According to one story, a Dutch wine merchant realized he could import more wine per ship by concentrating the wine for shipment. He heated the wine to evaporate the water, which he could add back in when the barrels reached Holland.

    But surprise: The concentrated wine was deemed to be delicious! No dilution was desired. And that’s how the distillation of wine into brandy was [allegedly] born.

    Most brandy is 80 proof (40% alcohol/volume) and has been enjoyed ever since then as a quaff and in cocktails.

    Standard brandy is made from wine grapes. But it can be made with other fruits, including apples, apricots, and cherries. These are classified as “flavored brandies” or eau-de-vie.

    Popular eaux-de-vie include apple (pomme), apricot (blume marillen), cherry (kirsch), peach (pêche), pear (Poire Williams), raspberry (framboise) and yellow plum (mirabelle).

    The finest brandy is Cognac (CONE-yak), produced in the Cognac region of France.

    Second place foes to Armagnac (ar-mon-YAK), produced in the Armagnac region in Gascony, southwest France. It is distilled from a different blend of grapes than Cognac. And it is distilled using column stills, rather than the pot stills used in Cognac.

    Beyond drinking it, brandy has been used in cooking since the beginning: not just for short-term marinating as with the brandied fruit, but for long-term food preservation.

    In addition, is used by the finest chefs as well as home cooks. Just some of the main uses:

  • To flambé desserts and mains. Baked Alaska, Bananas Foster, Cherries Jubilee, Christmas Pudding, Crêpes Suzette, Steak Diane, and more.
  • In cakes and cheesecakes. We love Grand Marnier, orange-flavored brandy, for baking and sweet sauces).
  • In other desserts. Mousse, pot de crème, puddings, sticky toffee pudding, and dessert sauces all deserve a bit of brandy.
  • In savory sauces for meats and seafood. Brandy is a must in Lobster Newburg and in Steak au Poivre). It’s often used in braising and to deglaze the pan for a pan sauce.
  • In other foods: Add a spoonful along with the butter in mashed potatoes, and try it as a soup garnish (dribble some on the top).
  •  
     
    WHERE IS BRANDY PRODUCED?

    Most wine-producing countries also make brandy:

  • France: Armagnac, Calvados, Cognac (from the Charente and Charente-Maritime départements of France, usually considered the finest of all brandies). The leftover grape pomace of most winemakers is distilled into an eau-de-vie called marc (pronounced MAR).
  • The sherry-producing centers of Spain and the port-producing centers of Portugal are also known for brandy.

  • Greece: Metaxa, sweetened and usually darkened with caramel, and ouzo, colorless and flavored with anise or licorice. American brandy, produced mainly in California, tends to be neutral and uniform in character.
  • Italy: Grappa, an unaged, sharp-tasting brandy.
  • Peru: Pisco, distilled from muscat wines. Brandies distilled from grape pomace, or marc, the material remaining in the winepress after grape pressing, include the French eau-de-vie de
  • Portugal: Macieira, distilled from Port, a technique created by a Portuguese winemaker who studied in the French region of Cognac.
  • Spain: Brandy de Jerez (sherry-distilled brandy).
  • U.S.A.: Apple brandy, applejack [source].
  •  


    [1] Brandy cherries in season, and enjoy them for months. Check out this article (photo © Chowhound).


    [2] Gather seasonal fruits and a bottle of good brandy (photo © New Deal Distillery).

    Brandied Fruit Pavlova
    [3] A Pavlova comprises a baked meringue and fruit. Often the meringue is an individual or full-size bowl shape. But here, a domed meringue sits next to the fruit (photo © Vaucluse | NYC [permanently closed]).


    [4] Make brandied cherries for the holidays. Here, you can use lots of sugar (photo © Ocean Spray).


    [5] We love to marinate berries overnight in Grand Marnier. They’re heavenly (photo © DeLallo).


    [6] In the winter, strawberries and citrus do just fine (photo © Good Eggs).

    Brandied Mango Bread Pudding
    Use brandied fruit in baked goods, from cakes and pies to this brandied mango bread pudding recipe (photo © from Relish).


    [8] Cherries Jubilee, created by Escoffier for Queen Victoria’s Golden Jubilee—50 years as Queen. Here’s the recipe (photo © Tiny New York Kitchen).


    [9] Brandied fruit is delicious on ice cream or custard: a simple but elegant dessert (photo © Williams Sonoma).

     
    ________________

    *Brandy & Cognac Difference: Both brandy and cognac wall into the category of grape brandy, distilled from white wine grapes. But cognac is a superior product. Here’s more about it.

    Some fruit brandies include framboise, distilled from raspberries in the Alsace region of France, and fraise, distilled from strawberries. Other fruit brandies include slivovitz, a plum brandy produced in various Balkan countries; barack palinka, an apricot brandy from Hungary; Kirschwasser, or kirsch, distilled from cherries, mainly in Alsace, Germany, and Switzerland; and the French plum wines, from Alsace and Lorraine, including mirabelle, made from a yellow plum, and quetsch, made from a blue plum.
     
     
      

    Comments off

    The Nibble Webzine Of Food Adventures
    RSS
    Follow by Email


    © Copyright 2005-2021 Lifestyle Direct, Inc. All rights reserved. All images are copyrighted to their respective owners.