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THE NIBBLE BLOG: Products, Recipes & Trends In Specialty Foods
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TOP PICK OF THE WEEK: Carpe Diem Botanic Water

This gentle line of “botanic waters,” a.k.a. lightly-carbonated soft drinks flavored with botanicals (fruits and herbs), is the antithesis of the energy drink made famous by Carpe Diem’s parent company, Red Bull International. Made from Alpine spring water with homeopathic plant extracts, the soft, natural sweetness comes from pear juice—there’s no added sugar. The net effect is a “spa tonic,” with only 70 calories per 16.9-ounce bottle. For those who want a real tonic, there are two teas, kombucha and ginkgo, which have functional properties (people have been drinking them for centuries to reap health benefits). But they also have double the sugar and calories. We’re more keen on the botanic waters.

Even if you don’t care for soft drinks or fizzy water, if you do like the sophisticated and different, Carpe Diem may become a new favorite refreshment. The line is popular in Europe, where it originated. Be the first on your block to give these charmers a try and introduce them to your friends and neighbors. (If you live on the same block as Courtney Cox, Mary Kate and Ashley Olsen, Gwyneth Paltrow, Brooke Shields or Renée Zellweger, it’s too late—they’re already fans.)

  Carpe Diem Botanic Water transports you
to a spa…but also pairs with your most
sophisticated dinner courses.
Read about them in the full review, as well as the origin of the phrase that begins with “carpe diem,” a Latin expression meaning “seize the day.”

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CONTEST: Yogurt Trivia Gourmet Giveaway


Today, yogurt has moved beyond a
simple dairy staple to a glamorous
topping and ingredient, as shown in this
breakfast parfait. Learn about the
different types of yogurt in our
Yogurt Glossary.
Like yogurt? Enter this week’s Gourmet Giveaway: The lucky winner of our yogurt prize will get to enjoy a selection of water buffalo milk yogurt. The winner will receive A case of 12 6-ounce containers of water buffalo yogurt from Bufala di Vermont, in three flavors: maple-raspberry, blueberry and plain. Retail value $24.99. It’s our new favorite yogurt: Read the review. Enter the Gourmet Giveaway by answering a few fun trivia questions about yogurt; you don’t have to answer correctly to win. Find articles, recipes and reviews of more yogurt in the Gourmet Yogurt Section of THE NIBBLE online magazine.

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FOOD HOLIDAY: August Is National Peach Month

Peaches originated in China. They were the first fruits to be domesticated, 4,000 years ago. Asians prefer the low-acid, sweeter, white-fleshed peaches while Europeans and North Americans have historically grown the yellow-fleshed varieties. Whichever you prefer, celebrate National Peach Month with some of these past NIBBLE selections:

No-Calorie & Low-Calorie Treats:

AirForce NutriSoda Focus (Peach & Mango)

Inko’s White Peach Iced Tea

Republic of Tea Ginger Peach Black Tea

Wild Thymes Peach Chutney

Frontera Foods Salpica Mango Peach Salsa

Two Non-Caloric, Non-Edibles

Bluewick Peacharine Candle

Hella Good Peach Bath Scrub

 
In China, the peach tree is considered to
be the tree of life, and peaches are
symbols of immortality.

And Two Spreads With A Few (Well-Worth-It) Calories

Frog Hollow Farm Peach Preserves & Pies

San Saba Peach Pecan & Amaretto Preserves

Cherith Valley Spicy Peach Amaretto Jelly

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NEW PRODUCT: Khaya Cookies

  The people at Khaya Cookie Company aren’t just about cute cookies; they have a social mission, too. The word “khaya” means “home” in Xhosa, the language spoken in a region of South Africa where the Khaya Cookie Company’s cookies are baked. True to “home,” they are made with ingredients from the region, like rooibos extract, grapeseed powder, and local dates and apricots. The cookie production creates jobs and trains local residents with job skills, so that they’re not just baking—they can also learn to work in the customer service or packaging departments.

Khaya’s employees come mainly from a township called Khayelitsha, where one of every four children suffers from chronic malnutrition and almost one million people live below the poverty level. Alicia Danielle Polak, the company’s founder and CEO, an investment banker in her former life, now uses her skills to help the impoverished. Every 150,000 boxes of cookies sold creates 100 jobs in South Africa.

Whether you’re entertaining guests or simply like to eat in style at home, Khaya’s tiny shortbread cookies are shaped at approximately the size of a thumbnail and are available in Orange Rooibos and Cranberry Rooibos flavors. Khaya also produces a chewy Granola Fruit Krunchi made with dates and apricots. The products are all-natural and preservative-free. At $5.75 per flavor, the attractive boxes make nice holiday stocking stuffers and teacher gifts, for a good cause. Order the cookies online at www.khayacookies.com.

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RECIPES: Cooking With Beer

You can make almost anything with beer—from bread to ice cream to some of these more obvious beer recipes, compliments of Gordon Biersch. These recipes are made Gordon Biersch Marzenwith Märzen or Märzenbier, an amber-red (auburn), smooth, mildly sweet, Vienna-style lager with a malty aroma. It originated in Bavaria where it was originally brewed in March (Mär zen) and laid down in caves before the summer heat made brewing impossible. At the end of September, any remaining kegs were consumed during the two-week Oktoberfest. While some brewers make a Märzen that is seasonal to the Oktoberfest, others, like Gordon Biersch, brew it year-round.  

Märzen is Gordon Biersch’s sweetest brew. Company co-founder Dan Gordon describes it as the “universal donor,” meaning that it goes well with just about anything. Some strongly-flavored beers can turn bitter if you cook with them, particularly if you use them to boil or braise. Weizens (wheat beers) are too light to cook with, and hoppy beers like pilsners don’t reduce too successfully.

If you can’t find Märzen, you can substitute any slightly sweet and malty lager, a darker lager or, in season, festbiers and Oktoberfest brews.

Barbecued Märzen Ribs Recipe

Beer Batter Onion Rings Recipe

Märzen Barbecue Sauce Recipe

Märzen Mustard Recipe

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