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THE NIBBLE BLOG: Products, Recipes & Trends In Specialty Foods
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CONTEST: Compose A New Chant For Beans


Cannellini beans, also known as white
kidney beans, are one of the many
nutritious, delicious beans that are also
beautiful.
Do you remember the classic schoolyard chant, “Beans, beans the musical fruit?”* For years, children have recited variations of this memorable chant, even though beans are a vegetable, not a fruit. (But then, what rhymes with vegetable?) Now, you can right this wrong, win $5,000, a trip to New York City and a meeting with Drew Lachey (recording artist and “Dancing With The Stars” winner). Sponsored by Bush’s Beans, you’ll need to compose a chant and upload a video of yourself performing it. Visit BeanChant.com for details, and you and three pals may be in Times Square with Drew, as you perform your winning number. Here’s the chant Drew wrote to kick off the challenge:

Beans, beans have protein to spare
Call them a fruit? I won’t even dare
They’re a veggie that makes you grow up big and strong
And with beans on the table, your meal can’t go wrong

Beans have more protein and fiber than any other vegetable, You don’t have to struggle with kids to eat their veggies: 4 out 5 like beans (according to a 2007 survey conducted by Impulse Research on behalf of the makers of Bush’s Beans). With 30 varieties of beans, from kidney and garbanzo to black and pinto, a family can try a different kind each week. Read more about them in THE NIBBLE’s Glossary of Beans & Grains. Visit VegetableWithMore.com for 1,000 delicious bean recipes.

The contest closes closes December 12, 2008.

*Beans, beans the musical fruit
The more you eat, the more you toot
The more you toot, the better you feel
So eat your beans with every meal!

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New Product: Annie’s Homegrown Organic Snacks

Parents who want more organic snacks for their kids—or grownups who indulge in guilty gummi pleasures—will be glad to know that Bernie the Rabbit, mascot of Annie’s Homegrown organic foods, has morphed into gummi-type “fruit snacks” and crispy crackers. The Bunny Fruit Snacks, rabbit-shaped in Berry Patch and Tropical Treat, are vegan, made with real fruit juice, and contain 100% daily value of vitamin C. Bunny Classics basked organic crackers are made in Buttery Rich, Cheddar and Saltines, in a variety of leaping rabbit, rabbit face and heart shapes. Both products are USDA-certified organic and contain “no icky additives or pesky preservatives.”  

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PRODUCT REVIEW: Scharffen Berger Chocolate


The Scharffen Berger logo features an
ibex mountain goat and three stars.
In 1996, winemaker John Scharffenberger and physician Robert Steinberg made a mark in the history of chocolate, shaping the current trend of “micro” (small-batch) chocolate bar production in the U.S. and, as a result, decentralizing the production of fine chocolate bars in Europe. Their fine artisan chocolate grew so popular with consumers and pastry chefs that, in less than 10 years, they helped build a great demand for artisan chocolate in America and were purchased by the country’s largest chocolate maker, Hershey. The line is certified kosher by OU.

Buying a gourmet chocolate bar used to be as simple as choosing from a slender selection of milk, dark or the occasional white chocolate bars (See Peter Rot’s review of the world’s best white chocolate bars), some embellished with nuts or dried fruits. Dark chocolate might be labeled “semisweet” or “bittersweet,” without any other indication.

A lot has changed in the last ten years, as more people have become focused on learning about chocolate (and all categories of fine food). Today, there is an amazing diversity of chocolate for the asking, thanks to consumer interest and to passionate chocolate makers who produce couverture and bars from raw cacao beans. (See Peter Rot’s choices of the best microbatch chocolate makers in America—individuals or tiny companies that produce great bars.)

Read the full review on TheNibble.com.

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PRODUCT REVIEW: BELA-Olhão Gourmet Canned Sardines

While we’re getting the recommended eight hours of sleep each night, the folks at BELA-Olhão are putting us to shame. They manage to catch, smoke and can their sardines in Olhão, Portugal, all within the span of those 480 minutes. BELA-Olhão sardines are lightly smoked and packed in olive oil. They are available plain (regular or boneless) or flavored with cayenne, lemon or tomato. Packaged in convenient pop-top tins, these meaty sardines are perfect for eating any time of day, anywhere. They don’t have a fishy aroma; co-workers won’t know you’re eating fish. Full of protein, vitamins and minerals, they’re certified kosher by OU.

Fish are a healthy food—this much we know. But we also know that they’re not always the most convenient food to cook or eat. Many canned fish are “fishy” and either too dry or too oily; some are also pretty flavorless. But BELA-Olhão has perfected the art of canning sardines. Plump, meaty and pretty, too—their silvery skins shimmer on the plate—these are gourmet sardines.

Read the full review on TheNibble.com.


Silvery sardines make a beautiful first
course or a light lunch.

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TOP PICK OF THE WEEK: Food Should Taste Good Tortilla Chips

 
Food Should Taste Good makes a
rainbow of flavors. Above, Jalapeño and
the barely sweet Chocolate tortilla chips,
which can be enjoyed with sweet dips,
hot chocolate, even ice cream.
Sometimes, you take certain foods for granted, without appreciating how good they are. We’ve been nibbling away on Food Should Taste Good tortilla chips for almost two years, but only recently were struck by a blinding revelation of the obvious: This is a great line!

The brand name is itself a mouthful, and might better be called Great Healthy Food. The wholesome, all-natural, gluten-free chips have no cholesterol or trans fats, no GMOs, are lower in sodium than many chips and a good source of dietary fiber. Yummy flavors include Buffalo (as in wings), a barely sweet Chocolate, Jalapeño, Multigrain, Olive, Sweet Potato and The Works! (exclamation point included). The flavors are evenly baked in, not powder sprinkled on top. Each is a winner and will enchant your family and guests, not only with the taste but with the different shapes and colors, too—brown, orange, yellow, coral, circle, diamond, fan, hexagon, oval, rectangle, triangle. The line is gluten-free and certified kosher by OU.

Start planning for party season! Just don’t expect anything like your typical tortilla chips. While made from a base of stone ground white corn, these chips don’t deliver pure corn taste. Instead, enjoy the great complexity of flavors that makes these, truly, chips of a different color. Except for Jalapeño and Multigrain, we’d serve dips other than traditional red or green salsa (see the full review). They can also substitute as tasty crackers with soup and salad—even as a base for canapés. Read more about Food Should Taste Good tortilla chips, and how to have fun pairing them with different dips, in the full review. And take a look at more chips and crunchy snacks in our Gourmet Snacks Section.

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