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


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PRODUCT REVIEW: Martine’s Sugar-Free Chocolate

Martine’s sugar-free almond bark
doesn’t skimp on good ingredients;
sweetened with maltitol, the only thing
it’s missing is regular sugar.
  It takes a true master of chocolate to make delicious sugar-free versions of his or her art, and who better to take on the challenge than Manhattan’s own Martine Leventer, creator of Martine’s Chocolates? We’ve already raved about her top-notch gourmet chocolate in a past review, but we are delighted to report that she makes excellent sugar-free chocolates, too, from the fine Belgian chocolate of Callebaut. They are perfect for people who have been searching for a high-quality gourmet chocolate that’s so good, it’s easy to forget that it’s sugar-free. (Please note that this is not a low-calorie product, and should be consumed by people who need to restrict their intake of sucrose. Those on restricted diets should consult with their healthcare advisors before consuming any sugar substitutes.)

Martine Leventer experiments with every one of her chocolates until she is satisfied, so we aren’t surprised that her sugar-free line meets high standards. After careful investigation, she found that maltitol was the only artificial sweetener that did not leave an aftertaste. That may be why her sugar-free chocolates leave plenty of folks fooled (including us!), in a good way. Martine’s sugar-free chocolates have the same charm as their sugared counterparts; both are made with fine Belgian Callebaut chocolate and hand-crafted with elegant molds.

Read the full review on TheNibble.com.

 

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RECIPES: White Bean Dip & Bruschetta

If you keep a can of white beans in the pantry, you can whip up a bean dip in five minutes. It’s handy to do this, because when guests drop by, you look like a kitchen magician, when all you’ve done is toss some ingredients into the food processor.

Variations: After you’ve made the basic recipe, try variations with your favorite flavors: anchovy, basil, chive, green or black olive, jalapeño, parsley, roasted red peppers, sundried tomato, etc. These flavors are easy to add with Amore Pastes. Add two tablespoons to the food processor.

Then do even more, by making bruschetta with your bean purée, or you can use Cool Beans dip, a NIBBLE Top Pick. It makes a delicious, garlicy snack, cocktail pairing or first dinner course.

White Bean Dip Recipe

White Bean Bruschetta Recipe

Find more articles and reviews of bean products in THE NIBBLE’s Rice, Beans & Grains section.

 
Bean purées can scooped, spread or
spooned.
 

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GOURMET GIVEAWAY: Burger Trivia

America’s favorite food began its life not
in America, but in somewhere far, far
away. Find out where by taking THE
NIBBLE’s trivia quiz.
  Like burgers? Enter this week’s Gourmet Giveaway: The lucky winner of our burger prize will get to enjoy a gourmet burger buffet for eight. The winner will receive eight flavorful 5-ounce gourmet burgers from Omaha Steaks with sweet onion-flavored poppyseed buns, herb roasted potato wedges and a delicious blend of sweet yellow and white whole kernel corn. Retail value $67.99. This and other gourmet gifts are available at DelightfulDeliveries.com. Enter the Gourmet Giveaway by answering a few fun trivia questions about burgers; you don’t have to answer correctly to win. Find articles, recipes and reviews of more meats in the Gourmet Meat & Poultry Section of THE NIBBLE online magazine.
 

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TOP PICK OF THE WEEK: Cool Beans

Travelers to Provence and Italy have likely been served an appetizer dip and spread made of white beans. A purée of slow-cooked beans, flavored with lemon, garlic and fresh herbs, is delightful for dipping crudités and breadsticks and for spreading on bread and crackers. In Morocco, a spicier version called bissara, made with fava beans, is seasoned with cumin, paprika and cayenne. Both variations are far more elegant than the popular black bean dip of Tex-Mex cuisine. White bean spread can be the base of canapés, can add complexity to sandwiches and can serve as a side with duck, lamb, pork or veal.

Given the popularity of hummus, a purée of chickpeas and tahini, white bean dip should appeal to many American palates. It looks like hummus, can be substituted for hummus and can be flavored in the same way, providing plenty of tasty variations (chive, garlic, jalapeño, olive, sundried tomato, etc). White bean dip may even have a broader appeal, because, composed of white beans and olive oil, it lacks the more exotic sesame flavor provided by the tahini.

  Serve Cool Beans white bean dip any way
you would enjoy hummus…and in many
more ways.
Yet, aside from making it at home or encountering it at a good restaurant here and there, where does one find white bean dip? For those who want to open a jar and dig in, the two brothers who founded Cool Beans have made it easy for you. Their jars of white bean dip require no refrigeration and are easy to keep on hand for company, as a healthy gourmet snack, or if you just want to add some oomph to a sandwich. Now, the retailers of America will have to do their part and put it on the shelves. Until white bean dip is as prevalent as hummus, you can order it online. The dips are all-natural, low-sodium, lowfat and certified kosher. Read more about Cool Beans dip and spread in the full review.

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PRODUCT REVIEW: The Art Of Chipotle

A dab of Gourmet Chipotle Paste With
Adobo or one of Art Of Chipotle’s sauces
will dial up the flavor on your everyday
and party dishes.
  Chipotle, a smoked jalapeño chile, is one of the biggest international flavors to migrate into the mainstream in the past decade. Originally found only in Mexican restaurants and in a few hot sauces, chipotle is now everywhere. If you want to brush up on this smoky sensation, The Art Of Chipotle has a well-conceived line that makes Chipotle 101 an easy subject to master.

It’s sometimes tricky to find a happy medium when it comes to chile-flavored products. A fiery, capsaicin-packed sauce might suit the adventurous palate, but can scare away the more timid eater—or anyone who values his taste buds. On the flip side, many “mild” products are just plain wimpy.

Luckily, there’s The Art of Chipotle, an award-winning line of all natural, gluten-free, chipotle-based products. While they have zip, it’s never that painful, smoke-coming-out-the-ears, need-to-stick-your-head-in-a-bucket-of-water kind of heat. Instead, the well-balanced flavors enable the eater to actually taste the earthy, smoky flavor of chipotle, receiving its heat on the back end. Read the full review on TheNibble.com.

 

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