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


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BOOK: The Sharper Your Knife, The Less You Cry

Sharper Knife

Many women will be at least a little jealous of Kathleen Flinn. At age 36, she leaves her high-powered corporate job to pursue her lifelong dream of attending Le Cordon Bleu Culinary School in Paris. She falls in love not only with the City of Light, but with a man she eventually marries. And, she gets a book deal to write about it all. It has all the makings of a Lifetime movie.

The Sharper Your Knife, The Less You Cry is not just a story about all the feel-good moments in Flinn’s life. She also records the many trials and tribulations of attending culinary school—the backstabbing, the stress, the intimidating chefs and the grueling classes. But, her feelings of self-doubt are quelled by her motivation to receive her Superior Cuisine diploma—despite the fact that she never intends to be a professional chef but just an excellent home cook. Flinn shares many recipes as well as hilarious stories of her many house-guests, including one particularly repugnant self-dubbed “wine snob.”

We finished this book in just a matter of days and really wished there were a second volume. Is Flinn still cooking regularly? Where does she work now? Is her husband still a knight in shining armor? The Sharper Your Knife, The Less You Cry reads like good, romantic fiction, except that it all actually happened.

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BOOK: The Food Snob’s Dictionary

Food Snob Dictionary
Take this book to your next dinner party.
  After devouring The United States of Arugula last year, we couldn’t wait to read The Food Snob’s Dictionary, David Kamp’s newest book that both pokes fun at and educates Food Snobs and non-Food Snobs alike. Kamp defines the Food Snob as a “reference term for the sort of food obsessive for whom the actual joy of eating and cooking is but a side dish to the accumulation of arcane knowledge about these subjects.” Throughout the book, Kamp’s snarky tone allows those already in-the-know to test their food knowledge (and perhaps make fun of themselves a bit), while also educating “everyone else” (or, perhaps, Food Snob wannabes) about unfamiliar culinary terms. No longer will you have to struggle with the difference between Romanesco and romesco, for example. Also fun are the “extras” Kamp includes, such as his list of “Six Things that Food Snobs Like, Even Though They’re Not Supposed To.”
We beg to differ with some of Kamp’s choices, though. You will never catch us eating Cheez Whiz; but then again, we don’t consider ourselves Food Snobs. Rather, we are Food Enthusiasts. P.S. Romanesco is not a sauce, but an Italian dialect spoken in Rome. (Originally it was spoken only inside the walls of the city, while the little towns outside the walls had their own dialects. Talk about territorial!) Romesco is a famous sauce originating in the Catalonia region of Spain, most often served with seafood. It is typically made from almonds and/or hazelnuts, plus roasted garlic, olive oil and small, dried red peppers called nyores. Other ingredients can include roasted tomatoes, red wine vinegar, onion, fennel and mint. The sauce, also called romescu, can be served with a poultry, vegetables and other foods as well. Feeling like a Food Snob yet?

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PRODUCT WATCH: Chocolate-Dipped Altoids

Since they debuted last year, we’ve been gaga for Altoids Dark Chocolate Dipped Mints. When we heard through the food grapevine a few months ago that there was a recommendation in to discontinue them (because they were not on in sync with the “curiously strong” branding), we stockpiled them. From the TV spots that are now running, it seems that we’re not the only ones who want our Altoids curiously coated in chocolate. For only 15 calories for two pieces, you can have a chocolate mint fix as often as you like.   Altoids
Our favorite chocolate mint fix.
The Chocolate Dipped Altoids are available in three flavors: Dark Chocolate Dipped Peppermint (easily identified by a white ribbon on the package), Ginger (gold ribbon) and Cinnamon (red ribbon). The chocolate coating mitigates the fieriness of the cinnamon and ginger flavors. But if it’s fire you want, the plain Ginger Altoids are so curiously strong (but exciting so), that the Original Peppermint Altoids had better not challenge them to a fight. If you can’t find the chocolate-dipped Altoids locally, you can find them online for about $48/dozen. They make great stocking stuffers.

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PRODUCT WATCH: Ciao Bella Fall Flavors

Ciao Bella Sorbetto
Ciao Bella Gelato: A low-calorie sweet treat.
  Ciao Bella, one of our favorite purveyors of authentic gelato and sorbetto, has introduced two seasonal fall flavors, ideal for entertaining or making family dinners a bit more special. When your guests can’t find room for a piece of pumpkin pie, or want something on the lighter side, there’s always room for gelato or for lower-calorie, dairy-free, fat-free sorbetto. Pumpkin & Spice Gelato, pumpkin accented with clove and cinnamon spices, is a perfect addition to holiday meals. It also complements a piece of chocolate cake for everyday festivities. Cranberry Orange Sorbetto, a favorite from last year, returns this month, in time for Halloween. Both will be available through the end of the year.
One of our favorite flavors, Blood Orange Sorbetto, is available year-round and also has the color and flavor of fall. Both of the seasonal flavors as well as 19 others (including the Blood Orange Sorbetto) can be purchased online at CiaoBellaGelato.com (4-pint minimum). For your nearest retailer, call 1.800.GELATO.3.

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CONTEST: THE NIBBLE’s Weekly Gourmet Giveaway Launches

If you love good food, what could be better than the chance to win a box of it each week? That’s the idea behind the Goumet Giveaway, launching today on TheNibble.com. Each week, a different prize, from chocolate to cheesecake to seafood to steak, will be given away. All you have to do to enter is answer a few fun trivia questions relating to the product—and you don’t even have to answer correctly to be entered to win. You’ll get the correct answers after you submit yours, so the “bonus” is that you’ll build your knowledge of fun food trivia.

Read the full press release about Gourmet Giveaway, and head on over to enter.

  Linguine
This week, win a pasta gift box. Photo by Adam Kulesza | IST.
 

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