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

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TODAY IN FOOD: It’s National Cereal Day

Does National Cereal Day sound like nothing to get worked up over…because you enjoy that bowl of Cheerios 365 days a year?

Are you bummed that it isn’t National Bacon Cheeseburger Day or National Apple Pie À La Mode Day? Show a little love, please!

Cereals are wild grasses that were cultivated thousands of years ago. Their edible grains, or seeds, are staple crops throughout the world.

A staple crop is one that is grown in greater quantities, and provides more energy calories, than other crops. In some developing nations, grain constitutes almost the entire diet. But, here’s a happier fact: Cereal takes its name from Ceres, the Roman goddess of harvest and agriculture. The Greek goddess equivalent is Demeter.

Corn, wheat and rice account for 87% of cereals grown worldwide—wheat in temperate regions, rice in tropical regions, corn in the Americas and Africa.

Many grains are grown to feed livestock and for specific human uses:

  • Barley for beer and other malted foods.
  • In the U.S., more corn is grown to feed cattle than humans.

    Amber waves of grain. Note the grains, or seeds, at the top of the stalk. Edible kernels are inside the husks.

  • Buckwheat and quinoa (an incredibly high-protein, nutritious grain), both food crops, are not true grasses, but “psuedocereals.”
    Read about some of our favorite grain-based foods in the:

  • The Breads Section of
  • The Cereals Section of THE
  • All about whole grains in our article on Whole Grain Cereals.

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    TIP OF THE DAY: Bake Shamrock Cookies For St. Patrick’s Day

    Shamrock Cookies
    Bite me, I’m Irish. Shamrock cookies from


    Make St. Pat’s cookies: You’ve got plenty of time to find a shamrock cookie cutter before the St. Patrick’s Day festivities begin.

    Then, bake up a batch of delicious butter cookies. If you don’t have a shamrock cookie cutter, you can default to regular shapes with green décor.

    Use your own favorite recipe, or try this butter cookie recipe from King Arthur Flour.

  • Unless you need to use margarine for dietary reasons, always use fresh butter—not a bar that’s been sitting in the refrigerator for a month, picking up flavors from other foods.
  • You can also use the shamrock cookie cutter to make shamrock toasts for hors d’oeuvres, shamrock pancakes and even vegetable cut-outs.
    If you don’t want to bake St. Pat’s cookies, your market will be more than happy to sell you some.

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    COUPON: Save $4 On Organic Valley Products

    We’re big fans of Organic Valley dairy products, and buy the milk, butter and cream cheese whenever we can. In additional to any health and environmental concerns, they just taste better than non-organic products (make your next cheesecake with organic cream cheese and see the difference). Now, you can save $1.00 on four different items by printing the coupons online at Try the milk (whole, lowfat, fat free, soy, lactose-free and single-serve, which includes chocolate milk), butter, cottage cheese, table cheeses and cooking cheeses (15 varieties,from mozzarella and Cheddar to slices and shreds). The butter and several of the cheeses (blue, Cheddar, Colby) have racked up some impressive awards, as well. There’s a store locator on the site that tells you where to redeem your coupons.   Organic Valley Milk
    Save money on organic milk, butter and cheese.
    See more of our favorite dairy products—yogurt, eggs and cheese—in the Cheese, Butter & Yogurt Section of THE NIBBLE online magazine.

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    TIDBITS: The Truth About Daurade (Dorade)

    Dorade - Gilthead Bream

    Dorado With Olives

    Whole Raw Dorade
    Dorade, a popular fish with an identity crisis. It is variously called daurade, dorade, porgy, sea bream, tai, zeebrasem and other names. [1] Photo courtesy La Tienda. [2] Cooked with black olives (photo courtesy Payard). [3] The raw fish, with a scrumptious recipe that includes cherry tomatoes, lemon and parsley, from Plate Du Jour.


    Daurade or dorado: When you see it on a menu, doesn’t it sound elegant and exciting?

    Would it sound as exciting if it were called porgy or sea bream? We think not.

    We bring it up because a reader wrote to ask if daurade referred to the fish or the preparation.

    It’s a fish. In France, daurade refers to Sparus aurata, the gilthead seabream, a member of the porgy family. The fish is ubiquitous in France, where there are four varieties: gray, pink and marble dorade—known by their coloring—and royal dorade.

    The “royal” is so named because it has a gold-yellowish bump between the eyes that, with imagination, can be considered a crown.

    While royal also has the firmest flesh, the flesh of all varieties is delicate and can fall apart if filleted. Thus, monsieur le daurade is often cooked and served whole.

    Porgy: More Conffusion

    Porgy is the common name in the U.S. for any fish in the family Sparidae. Adding to the confusion, they are also called bream.

    And on top of that, not all fish called bream are members of the Sparidae family. But we digress…

    While some daurade/dorade is porgy, the Japanese black porgy is a different genus (Acanthopagrus schlegelii), as is the American porgy (Lagodon rhomboides).

    The flesh of these porgies is firmer. You’ll find daurade fillets in America (sometimes it’s flown over from France, and sometimes it’s local porgy—but daurade sounds a lot better).

    You’ll find tai sushi and sashimi at Japanese restaurants in the U.S., tai being the Japanese word for porgy.

    While the flesh can be delicate in texture, the flavor of the fish is not shy. Cook it with lemon, wine, garlic, tomatoes, rosemary—any of your favorite hearty herbs and spices work nicely.
    My, What Big Teeth You Have!

    No matter what part of the Sparidae family it comes from, you can tell from its teeth that the daurade/porgy is a carnivore. If you don’t like the eyes staring up at you from your plate, wait until you see those choppers!

    Those teeth help it feast on other fish, oysters and mussels (hey, save some for us).

    Learn more about fish, fisch, pesce, pescado, poission, etc. in the Fish, Seafood & Caviar Section of THE NIBBLE online magazine.

    Also check out our Glossary Of Fish Types. It may inspire you to try something new.

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    NEW PRODUCTS: Purim & Hamentashen

    The story of the Jewish holiday of Purim, as told in the Bible’s Book of Esther, tells of the deliverance of the Jewish people from an annihilation plot of the Persian king Haman. Like most Jewish holidays, this one has its traditional food, hamentashen (also spelled hamantashen), which means “Haman’s pockets” in Yiddish. Hamentashen is a triangular-shaped pastry with a cookie-like dough, not particularly sweet, originally filled with a sweetened poppy seed or prune paste. Today hamentashen is made with a variety of fillings to please modern palates. You can order a gift bucket of Exceptional Hamentashen from Claire Saueroff, award-winning baker of the Exceptional Brownie (read our review), in an assortment that includes Awesome Apricot, Puckered Prune, Rockin’ Raspberry and Poppy’s Poppy (Claire recognizes that some diets preclude poppy—it’s our favorite). There are also chocolate-dipped varieties. You’ll get approximately two dozen hamentashen to enjoy with a nice cup of tea (black tea, please—find some of our favorites in the Tea Section of THE NIBBLE online magazine).   Hamantashen
    You can’t steal Ben Stein’s money, but you can take a bite out of Haman’s pockets (that’s what hamentashen means).
    The hamentashen are kosher, of course (OU Parve). But if you’re not kosher, not Jewish, and/or have never had a good piece of hamentashen (there are plenty of questionable pieces out there), here’s a good place to start. This year, Purim is celebrated on Friday, March 21; but you don’t have to wait until then to start nibbling on the hamentashen.
    – Purchase Exceptional Hamentaschen at
    – A half gallon in a reusable white bucket, shown, is $45.00. Gift boxes are available from $25.00.
    – Read what what happened to King Haman and see him immortalized on the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel by Michelangelo.
    – Find more delicious kosher products in the Kosher Nibbles section of THE NIBBLE online magazine.

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