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


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NEW PRODUCT: Tumai Water

Tumai WaterYour purchase of Tumai Water helps people worldwide who have no safe drinking water.   Tumai Water is bottled at a spring in Alton, West Virginia. But proceeds from its sales help the neediest people all over the world. Tumai means “to hope for” in Swahili. Millions of Swahili speakers in Africa are among the estimated 1.1 to 1.3 billion people on the planet who lack basic clean, safe water. They are forced to drink parasite- and bacteria-polluted water that causes widespread disease and the death of an estimated 4,500 children per day. It’s easy to ignore these statistics in a country that spends $15 billion a year on bottled water, where virtually every citizen has access to a safe municipal water supply. Tumai Water is a new brand that wants to leverage America’s appetite for bottled water to return a portion of sales to projects that bring safe water to those people who so desperately need it. The mission is similar to that of Ethos Water, a spring water brand that is sold at Starbucks cafés throughout the country (it tastes similar to Ethos Water, too). Tumai Water currently lacks such a powerful distribution partner—but they will ship the water to your home or office by the case. If you are planning to buy water to give away at an event, or want to stock the shelves of your store with something that will inspire people who buy bottled water, the message on the bottle is powerful, and will earn you goodwill among those who receive one.
On the one hand, we want people to reduce their carbon footprint by learning to accept their local tap water (which can taste much better with the simple installation of a water filter). On the other hand, we know millions of Americans enjoy bottled water or insist upon the convenience. Let those bottled water purchases do good on this planet. Visit TumaiWater.com.

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TOP PICK OF THE WEEK: Vermont Butter & Cheese Company

Today, you can buy a piece of decent chèvre in any major city. But in the early 1980s, few people knew what chèvre—goat cheese—was. It was then that Allison Hooper learned how to make chèvre, as an apprentice cheesemaker in Brittany, and returned to Vermont with a passion to make it in the U.S. Fortunately, she found a business partner and an audience of chefs—then consumers—eager to serve her products. Vermont Butter & Cheese Company became a leader in the American artisan cheese movement, and Americans learned how to love chèvre. At VBC, as the company is fondly known, the goat cheeses were joined by European-style cow’s milk dairy products also relatively unknown to Americans: crème fraîche, mascarpone and even quark. And then came the great artisan cultured butters, higher in butterfat than American contenders and the zenith of butters, as you’ll read in detail in the full review. All of the cow’s milk products are certified kosher by KOF-K, are carried by fine retailers nationwide and are available online. Join us in exploring these award-winning, artisan dairy queens. Find more of our favorite butters and cheeses in the Butter & Cheese Section of THE NIBBLE online magazine.   CrottinCrottin, the classic goat cheese shape from the Loire Valley of France, as made in the U.S.A. by Vermont Butter & Cheese Company.
 

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GOURMET GIVEAWAY: Gourmet Popcorn

Dale & Thomas Popcorn
Win a keepsake tin filled with 3.5 pounds of Dale & Thomas gourmet popcorn in a choice of flavors.
  Like popcorn? Enter this week’s Gourmet Giveaway: The lucky winner of our popcorn prize will get three gifts in one! First, there’s 3.5 pounds of gourmet popcorn from Dale & Thomas (one of our favorite producers) in a choice of flavors/combos. Second, there are lots of uses for the keepsake gift tin. Third, the tin is wrapped in a colorful sack tote made from heavy, all-cotton canvas duck. While the popcorn will disappear quickly, you’ll get years of use from the sack and the tin. Certified kosher OU-Dairy. Retail value: $44.99. Enter the Gourmet Giveaway by answering a few fun trivia questions about popcorn; you don’t have to answer correctly to win. Find more of our favorite popcorns in the Snacks Section of THE NIBBLE online magazine. You’ll also enjoy the History Of Popcorn.
 

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NEW PRODUCT: YoCrunch “Snack Yogurt”

Six special-edition, Spring-themed flavors of Breyers YoCrunch yogurt have replaced the core yogurt line for the season: YoCrunch with mini M&Ms candies, Oreo Cookies n’ Cream, Nestle Buncha Crunch, Butterfinger and Reese’s Pieces. The containers have a new look for springtime: themed packaging that features flowers, children at play and (aw, shucks) a baby chick with eggs. We tried the new flavors of YoCrunch recently and like them all, with the exception of the Nestle Buncha Crunch. While we enjoyed many a Crunch bar in an earlier life, the crunch nuggets that comprise Buncha Crunch taste like waxy fake food, most likely due to the confectioner’s glaze (lac resin) used to keep the nuggets crisp. Otherwise, we enjoyed mixing Butterfinger, Reese’s Pieces, M&Ms and Oreo in with our yogurt; and while this 1% milkfat line is largely vanilla-based (Buncha Crunch is made in a strawberry yogurt version as well), we’ll try it with strawberry, coffee and other flavors on our own. We like this product as a snack and dessert for kids, who want to eat candy and cookies anyway. So why not couple the junk food with a nutritious yogurt that delivers 6g of protein for the same 200 calories as a candy bar (with some live and active cultures, to boot)? The line is certified kosher OU-D. Read our full review of YoCrunch Naturals, and check out our other favorites in the Yogurt Section of THE NIBBLE online magazine.   YoCrunch YogurtHealthy yogurt marries candy or cookie pieces to create a better snack food.
 

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TIP OF THE DAY: Flavored Cream Cheese


If you don’t have time to make scallion
cream cheese, do the next best thing: Snip
chives into a small dish so that guests can
sprinkle them on top of the cream cheese. It takes two minutes to wash and snip the
chives.

 

When we serve flavored cream cheeses at brunch, the scallion cream cheese is the first to disappear. But commercial brands are gummy and specialty store fresh-made is pricey.

Here’s our trick:

  • Buy plain cream cheese, preferably organic.
  • Using electric beaters on slow, blend 8 ounces of cream cheese with 2 tablespoons of sour cream (you can add more for a more fluid spread).
  • Add 2 tablespoons of chopped scallions, or more to taste. That’s it!
  •  
    We also love olive cream cheese:

  • Purée roasted peppers and, instead of the sour cream, blend 2 tablespoons or more of purée to taste.
  • Add chopped green olives stuffed with pimento.
  •  
    Strawberries, bananas, guava, papaya, mango and pineapple (canned) are great blend-ins for sweet spreads.

    Find more of our favorite dips and spreads in the Salsas, Dips & Spreads Section of THE NIBBLE online magazine.

     

      

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