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

Also visit our main website,

Ciroc Pomegranate Vodka Cocktail Recipes For National Vodka Day

[1] The “Jewel” cocktail in a coupe glass (all photos © CÎROC),

[2] The “Passion” cocktail in a highball glass.

[3] A great holiday gift!


National Vodka Day, October 4th, is a food holiday that many of us gladly celebrate. We spent the day trying new vodka cocktails, and tried a new vodka as well: CÎROC Pomegranate, the brand’s latest limited-time offering. That means that if you want it, get it while it’s still on the shelves. While pomegranate is a year-round flavor, it’s popular during the holidays. The beautiful burgundy-colored bottle with gold lettering, showcasing a jewel tone of the season, makes it an impressive gift.

It will also look great on your bar or table. And the pomegranate vodka: delicious.

Sip it straight and you’ll find notes of juicy red berries with hints of strawberry, along with sweet and fruity pomegranate flavors.

The vodka also adds a special lift to cocktails. Two recipes follow, but first…

Another bonus: CÎROC is made from grapes, not grain, making it gluten-free.

There are two cocktail recipes below to get you started.

By the way, the circumflex over the second letter means that the name is pronounced “she-ROCK.”


  • The circumflex, a.k.a. the “little hat,” is the only French accent mark that is found on each of the five vowels. Historically, it often indicates a spelling change from Latin.
  • The brand name CÎROC is a combination of two French words: cime, meaning peak, and roche, meaning rock. The name reflects the hills of the Gaillac region of southern France, the highest wine growing region in France, where the vodka is made.
  • It’s an excellent grape-growing region.
    Ready for a sip?


  • 1 ounce CÎROC Pomegranate
  • .5 ounce grenadine
  • Sparkling wine
  • Ice
  • Garnish: lemon twist
  • Glass: coup

    1. COMBINE the vodka and grenadine in a mixing glass. Add ice and gently stir.

    2. STRAIN into a glass (without ice). Top off with sparkling wine and garnish.



  • 1.5 ounces CÎROC Pomegranate
  • 4-5 ounces cranberry juice
  • Garnish: lime
  • Ice
  • Glass: highball

    1. COMBINE all ingredients in a highball filled with ice. Gently stir and garnish.


    Comments off

    50 Pizza Recipes For National Pizza Month

    October is National Pizza Day, and it’s just one of 11 pizza holidays celebrated in the U.S. Here’s the entire list.

    Detroit pizza? Grandma slice? Scottish pizza crunch?? How many types of pizza have you had? Check ‘em out!

    How about the history of pizza?

    Take a look at pizza trends: America’s favorite toppings and creative toppings. Steak tartare pizza, anyone?

    And now…

  • Andouille Sausage Pizza
  • Arugula Pizza
  • Asparagus Pizza With Feta & Red Bell Pepper
  • Barbecue Chicken Pizza & Buffalo Chicken Pizza
  • Beef & Broccoli Pizza
  • Beer Crust Pizza
  • Black & White Pizza
  • Blue Cheese Pizza Recipes
  • Butternut Squash & Pancetta Pizza
  • Caesar Salad Pizza
  • Calypso Pizza With 3 Meats & Pineapple
  • Crustless Pizza
  • Detroit-Style Pizza
  • Different Cheeses For Pizza
  • Eggs In Purgatory Pizza
  • Gluten-Free Pizza Crust Recipe
  • Grandma-Style Pizza
  • Greek Olive Pizza Recipe & Mediterranean Pizza Recipe
  • Grilled Chicken Caesar Pizza
  • Grilled Steak Pizza
  • Green Goddess Pizza
  • Grilled Pizza Recipes
  • Grilled Baja Shrimp Pizza
  • Grilled Zesty Veggie Pizza
  • Hatch Chile Pepper Pizza
  • Homemade Pizza Dough
  • Leftover Lamb Pizza
  • Mario Batali’s Pizza Concepts
  • Mashed Potato Pizza
  • Middle Eastern Pizza With Ground Lamb
  • Pancetta & Potato Pizza
  • Pisagne: A Mashup Of Pizza + Lasagne
  • Pizza Recipes With Walnuts
  • Pizza Topped With Your Favorite Green Veggies
  • Rainbow Veggie Pizza
  • Ratatouille Pizza Recipe
  • Reuben Pizza
  • Shrimp, Corn & Zucchini Flatbread
  • Shrimp & Spinach Grilled Pizza
  • Sweet Potato Pizza
  • Unusual Pizza Toppings
  • Valentine’s Day Pizza Recipes
  • White Cheddar, Bacon & Walnut Pizza
  • Zucchini Pan Pizza

  • Christmas Tree Pizza
  • Easter Egg Fruit Pizza Dessert
  • Halloween Mini Pizzas
  • Halloween Pizzas 2: Design Your Own
  • Heart-Shaped Mini Pizzas
  • July 4th Bacon Flag Pizza
  • Pumpkin Pizza With Apples, Bacon & Sage
  • Thanksgiving Leftovers Pizza

  • Football Calzone
  • Pimento Cheese Pizza Rolls
  • Pizza Grilled Cheese Sandwich

  • Peanut Butter & Jelly Pizza
  • Piña Colada Pizza
    While some of us may think that every day is a pizza holiday, you’ve got the whole month of October to celebrate.

    Not to mention all of these pizza holidays.

    So go forth, try something different (check out the photos), and experience pizza in a new way.

    If your local pizzeria has the same old, same old toppings, consider picking up some pizza dough and alternative toppings and create something new and delicious.


    [1] Cherry tomatoes, arugula and a great homemade crust (photo © Jar Goods).

    [2] Detroit-style pizza: rectangular, topped with tomato sauce and Wisconsin brick cheese atop a thick, chewy crust (photo © DeLallo).

    [3] A taste of the Mediterranean: anchovies and picholine olives (photo © Gordon Ramsay Restaurants).

    [4] Instead of bacon and eggs, how about pancetta and eggs…on pizza! (photo © DeLallo).

    [5] Eat your veggies…on your pizza! Here, Brussels sprouts and broccolini (photo © DeLallo).



    Comments off

    Caramel Custard Recipes For National Caramel Custard Day

    Caramel Custard
    [1] Burnt-caramel custard. Here’s the recipe (photo © Bon Appétit).

    [2] A multi-portion flan made in a fluted flan pan Here’s the recipe (photo © Hummingbird High).

    [3] Top view of a single-portion flan, or crème caramel (photo © Le Coq Rico [now La Rotisserie | NYC]).

    Creme Caramel
    [4] A side view (photo © Añejo Tribeca | NYC).


    October 3rd is National Caramel Custard Day (National Chocolate Custard Day is May 5th). Also called crème caramel in France, and flan in Spain, caramel custard is a custard dessert with a layer of clear caramel sauce (photos #3 and #4). (Note that in France, flan Parisien refers to a classic custard pie or tart. Buttery shortcrust pastry is filled with pastry cream and baked until the top blisters. Here’s a recipe.)

    A layer of caramel is added to the bottom of the mold, creating a dark caramel top and sauce when the custard is unmolded.

    Caramel custard can be made in individual ramekins, in a cake pan, loaf pan, in a fluted flan pan or tall fluted mold, or other shape.

    In the U.S., caramel custard isn’t the same as creme caramel. Instead of the caramel topping, caramelized sugar is mixed into the custard prior to baking. It gets confusing.

    Here are the different types of custard.

    Custard is one of our favorite dishes: a symphony of cream, eggs and flavorings, baked to a velvety texture.

    Most people consider custard to be sweet—a dessert that ranges from crème caramel, crème brûlée, flan and others. But there’s more:

  • Quiche is savory cheese custard tart (also called a cheese flan).
  • Cheesecake is a cheese custard cake. It can be savory or sweet.
  • Bread pudding is a custard with bread cubes. It can be savory or sweet.
  • Lemon curd (or other fruit curd) is a “stirred” custard, with lemon juice replacing the cream.
    Take the same mixture of cream and eggs that forms the base of sweet custard and replace the sugar with savory inclusions:

    You’ve got a delicious savory custard that can be eaten at breakfast, lunch and dinner.

    Here’s the difference between American* pudding and custard.

    In brief, custard has eggs, pudding doesn’t. Similarly, panna cotta isn’t a custard; it doesn’t contain eggs. It is an American-style pudding, thickened with gelatin.

    What about custard-style yogurt? It’s a marketing name for yogurt in which the fruit is already mixed in and distributed evenly throughout. It was a successor style to fruit-on-the-bottom yogurt. Its purpose was more convenience for people who didn’t like to stir up the fruit. It has nothing to do with custard.

  • Atlantic Beach Pie
  • Chess Pie
  • Chocolate Croissant Bread Pudding
  • Corn Custard With Popcorn Garnish
  • Custard & Berry Dessert “Cocktail”
  • Custard Sauce
  • Food Fun: Fork, Knife & Spoon Cookies With Crème Caramel
  • Grand Marnier Crème Brûlée
  • Green Tea Custard
  • Hong Kong Egg Tarts
  • Pumpkin Custard Baked In A Pumpkin
  • Pumpkin Custard With Maple Pecan Crunch
  • Pumpkin Flan
  • Quiche, A Cheese Custard Tart Or Flan
  • Savory Bread Pudding
  • Savory Custard Recipes
  • Trifle

    *In Britain, puddings began as boiled or steamed, savory foods of minced meat. The earliest puddings were sausages, such as black pudding, a type of sausage made with pig’s blood. Sweet versions evolved, which were steamed cake-like desserts. Now, pudding refers to any sweet, final course of a meal, which Americans call dessert.



    Comments off

    Venison For Thanksgiving, A Historic & Lower Fat Red Meat

    It’s not too early in the season to think about venison, one of our favorite fall and winter meats. And for families who don’t like turkey, it’s an excellent alternative for Thanksgiving.

    Our friend Rowann grew up in a house with no poultry. Her father hated it. On Thanksgiving, beef replaced the traditional turkey.

    But Rowann’s mom could have considered a historically accurate protein for the Thanksgiving menu: venison. Yes, deer abounded in the Pilgrims’ new land. Here’s how Edward Winslow, a senior leader on the Mayflower and one of the original Plymouth Colonists, described the first Thanksgiving feast in a letter to a friend:

    “Our harvest being gotten in, our governor sent four men on fowling, that so we might after a special manner rejoice together after we had gathered the fruits of our labor. They four in one day killed as much fowl as, with a little help beside, served the company almost a week. At which time, amongst other recreations, we exercised our arms, many of the Indians coming amongst us, and among the rest their greatest king Massasoit, with some ninety men, whom for three days we entertained and feasted, and they went out and killed five deer, which we brought to the plantation and bestowed on our governor, and upon the captain and others. And although it be not always so plentiful as it was at this time with us, yet by the goodness of God, we are so far from want that we often wish you partakers of our plenty.”

    Five deer, in addition to the fowl! Yes, venison belongs in a Thanksgiving repast. Not to mention, it’s delicious meat year-round—and better for you than beef.

  • Low in fat. Farmed* venison is naturally low in fat, and is lower in fat than skinless chicken. It is low in saturated fatty acids, and the total saturated fat in venison is the lowest of commonly eaten red meats.
  • High in protein. Venison is high and protein, and provides a higher proportion of energy from protein, less from fat.
  • High in iron. Venison has more iron than beef and lamb.
  • High in vitamins and minerals. In addition to iron, there’s lots of vitamin B12 and niacin (vitamin B3, used by the body to turn food into energy).
  • High in flavor. It’s delicious, cooked to medium-rare.
    You don’t have to wait until Thanksgiving to enjoy venison. We have a terrific recipe below. But first:

    Why is deer meat called venison instead of deer? Chicken is chicken and fish is fish, after all†.

    The reason we call deer meat venison has to do with the Norman Invasion of England in 1066. “Deer” in French is cerf…which doesn’t sound like venison.

    Rather, “venison” derives from the Latin word venor, meaning to hunt or pursue.

    Following the Norman Invasion and the establishment of the royal forests by the Norman kings, the meat of any hunted animal (game) was called venison. Because more deer were hunted than any other animal, the venison became the word for deer meat.

    Thanks to New Zealand Venison for this recipe. In addition to rack of venison, the meat is available in boneless loin, chops, shoulder and other cuts, from stew meat to ground meat.

    Prep time is 10 minutes. Cook time, for a rack of 2.5 pounds, is about 45 minutes.

    Ingredients For 6 Servings

  • 8 rib rack of venison
  • 1 teaspoon allspice
  • ¼ teaspoon of cayenne pepper
  • Safflower oil

    1. RUB the venison rack with the spices and a bit of sunflower oil, and sear over medium-high heat in a skillet large enough that the meat doesn’t touch the sides. Lightly sear all surfaces, using tongs to turn the rack and to hold it in place while searing.

    2. PLACE the skillet in a 350°F oven. To achieve a medium-rare roast, cook at 350°F for 15 minutes per pound (45 minutes for a 2.5-pound rack).
    A meat thermometer placed in the thickest part of the roast should read 125°F.

    3. REMOVE from the oven and rest under aluminum foil in a warm place for at least 8 minutes.

    Prep time 15 minutes, cook time 15 minutes


  • 4 strips bacon
  • 2 ounces shiitake mushrooms (or substitute), finely chopped
  • 1 small onion
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1/4 teaspoon fresh chervil
  • 1/4 teaspoon thyme
  • 1/4 teaspoon tarragon
  • 1 Granny Smith apple, diced
  • 2 tablespoons/1 ounce butter
  • Salt and pepper to taste

    1. SAUTÉ the onions, bacon, and apples in 1 ounce of butter. Add the herbs and garlic. Add chopped mushrooms. Cook for approximately 5 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Allow to cool completely.

    Making strudel dough can be tricky, so unless you’re skilled with it or want the experience, it may be best to purchase an alternative like puff pastry. They’re not the same‡‡, but the substitution works.

    Pastry prep time is 15 minutes, cook time is 25-30 minutes.


  • 10 ounces (1.25 cups) flour
  • 1 egg
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon oil
  • 110 ml water
  • For the egg wash: 1 egg plus water and salt

    1. MIX the egg, salt, water and oil with a whisk. Place the flour in a mixing bowl with a dough hook. On low-speed, pour in the egg mixture and beat or knead for 5 minutes. The mixture should be soft and not too wet.

    2. REST for 1/2 hour, and preheat the oven to 425°F.

    3. MAKE the egg wash. Crack an egg into a bowl and beat it thoroughly with a fork or whisk. Add 2 tablespoons of water and a pinch of salt. Stir to combine.

    4. ROLL the dough out thin. Place the dough on a linen cloth and stretch until almost transparent. It should meeasure 40 cm by 30 cm.

    5. SPREAD the filling onto the pastry and roll up. Glaze with egg wash. Sprinkle with dried oregano.

    6. BAKE in a 425°F oven until it has a golden crust, 25-30 minutes.


    [1] Roast rack of venison with a mushroom-apple strudel. The recipe is below (photo © New Zealand Venison).

    [2] A raw rack of venison (photo © D’Artagnan).

    [3] Don’t like to deal with bones? Consider a beautiful loin of venison (photo © H G Walter).

    [4] Raw bacon goes into the strudel filling, along with the following ingredients (photo © Butcher Box).

    [5] Shiitake mushrooms can be eaten raw, but they taste meaty, buttery and rich when cooked (photo © Mushroom King Farm).

    [6] Garlic, an excellent addition to almost any savory food (photo © Tijana Drndaski | Unsplash).

    [7] Chervil looks like cilantro and parsley, but tastes like a delicate cross between parsley and tarragon (photo © Johnny’S Selected Seeds).

    [8] Thyme (photo © Karolina Grabowska | Pexels).


    *Wild deer taste more gamey and their flesh is less tender.

    †As to why pig is called pork and cow is called beef, here’s an explanation.

    ‡The Norman Conquest was the 11th-century invasion and occupation of England by an army made up of thousands of troops from French provinces: Normans, Bretons, Flemish, and others. They were led by the Duke of Normandy, later called William the Conqueror. Here’s more about it.

    ‡‡In puff pastry the butter is folded in. In strudel, the butter is added from the beginning.


    Comments off

    Fat Miilk Vietnamese Coffee, A Robusta Experience

    [1] Vietnamese iced coffee. A swirl of sweetened condensed milk makes it as sweet as you like (photo © Demi Deherrera | Unsplash).

    [2] You can drink Vietnmese coffee hot, of course (remaining photos © Fat Miilk).

    [3] Three of the four blends of Fat Miilk beans.

    [4] A phin is the Vietnamese equivalent of the pour-over cone for American drip coffee.

    [5] These charming phins are available in four colors, to match the colors of the bean packages.

    [6] You can use any brand of sweetened condensed milk, but we like the Longevity brand from Vietnam. It’s made with whole milk for extra creaminess, and as a result, lightens coffee much better than most other brands. It also has a fuller flavor, more distinctly “condensed milk” than American brands (photo © Sun Hing Foods).


    October 1st is International Coffee Day, and we’ve got an international brand for you: Fat Miilk, from Vietnam. Unlike the arabica coffee beans used in most of the coffee consumed in the U.S., Fat Milk is made from the robusta varietal, a bean with twice the caffeine and twice the antioxidants. The result is “coffee more robust than your everyday joe,*” says the brand. The beans are sourced ethically and directly from Vietnamese farmers.

    Vietnam is the world’s number-one producer of robusta beans, and it’s the coffee drunk throughout Vietnam.

    If you’ve never had robusta, you’re in for a special taste experience: nutty, chocolatey, bold, and full of character.

    The strong and robust flavor is best achieved by dripping the coffee, through a device called the phin drip (photo #4).

    The company’s goal is to introduce Vietnamese coffee culture, tradition, and flavor to the U.S., and to show that robusta beans, which are often portrayed as inferior to robusta beans, deserve a place in our own coffee culture.

    One of the founders knows Vietnamese coffee as well as anybody: Her family has a coffee farm in the Central Highlands of Vietnam.

    There are currently four roasts:

  • The Blue Roast: full-bodied with flavors of bittersweet chocolate, molasses and toasted almond.
  • The Red Roast: a single origin dark roast, with flavors of dark milk chocolate and roasted cashews.
  • The Yellow Roast: a medium roast with light acidity and notes of almonds and smoked caramel.
  • The Humility Blend: a smooth, well-balanced blend of arabica and robusta beans, with medium acidity and notes of roasted cashews, black tea and citrus (this is the only roast with arabica beans).
    Buy them online at

    The line is also available at stores in Chicago, Missouri and New York.

    Here’s a store locator.

    You can purchase whole or ground beans and brew them as you currently brew coffee. But the best Vietnamese coffee brewing employs a combination of drip (pour-over) and French press methods.

    And before we get into the details, let us say that these are a terrific gift for coffee lovers.

    Traditional Vietnamese brewing uses a device called a phin, which sits on top of the cup.

  • As with a pour-over, the coffee grounds in the phin are dampened with a splash of hot water.
  • Then, the phin is filled to the top with water.
  • Next comes the top of the phin, which presses down on the grounds like a French press.
  • Within 5 minutes, your cup is ready to drink—with or without the addition of sweetened condensed milk.
    Use the sweetened condensed milk, and your drink will be rich, creamy and sweet—almost a dessert drink.

    Use your regular milk of choice, or no milk at all, and you’ll still have a great cup of coffee.

    There’s a procedure guide to brewing on the Fat Miilk website. It’s easy to brew; and after the first try, you’ll be a pro.

    In the mid-19th century, during the rule of French Indochina, the French introduced coffee to Vietnam.

    The soil, climate and elevation were ideal for coffee farming. The Vietnamese became prolific producers and exporters of the beans.

    Vietnam is now the world’s second-largest producer of coffee, behind Brazil.

    The drink of choice in Vietnam is iced coffee with sweetened condensed milk, or cà phê sũ’a đá. The addition of the canned milk was inspired by the French, when fresh milk was hard to procure.

    The water buffalo is an integral part of agriculture in Vietnam. They are a symbol of strength, loyalty, and prosperity. They’re treated as family, and are often a farmer’s most valued possession.

    The water buffalo in Fat Miilk’s logo embodies the animal’s faithful spirit to humanity and tenacious work ethic. It gets quite poetic:

  • The head represents the traditional slow-drip phin.
  • The coffee leaves make up the ears.
  • The beans are depicted as the eyes and nose.
    Every element is carefully crafted to honor a treasured member of the family.

    Ah, if only we Americans waxed poetic about our own beloved family members.

    > The History Of Coffee
    > The Different Types Of Coffee
    > The Different Types Of Espresso



    *Cup of Joe, or Joe for short, was named after Admiral Josephus “Joe” Daniels (May 18, 1862 – January 15, 1948), Chief of Naval Operations, who outlawed alcohol on board ships and ordered coffee as the beverage of service. The term, “Cup of Joe” followed; and because sailors wanted their cup of joe hot, Hot Joe was shortened to Hojo. But according to Snopes, this is a myth. Read the Snopes article for three other theories.

    Josephus Daniels was a newspaper editor and publisher from North Carolina who was appointed by President Woodrow Wilson to serve as Secretary of the Navy during World War I. He was also a close friend and supporter of President Franklin Roosevelt and served as his Ambassador to Mexico from 1933 to 1941. Daniels banned alcohol from United States Navy ships in June 1914. This led to the folk etymology that a “cup of joe,” referring to a cup of coffee derives from Daniels’ name. However, this appeared to be a myth, rather than the truth.


    Comments off

    The Nibble Webzine Of Food Adventures
    Follow by Email

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