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


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GOURMET GIVEAWAY: Ice Cream Trivia


Win a delicious streusel-topped fruit pie
to top off with your own favorite ice
cream!
 

Like ice cream? Enter this week’s Gourmet Giveaway: The lucky winner of our ice cream prize will get his or her choice of an apple, blueberry, cherry or peach crumb pie in a flaky homemade cookie pie crust, filled with fruit and topped with butter streusel crumbs. Enjoy it à la mode with your favorite ice cream. Serves 8-10. Certified kosher (dairy). Retail value $36.99. Enter the Gourmet Giveaway by answering a few fun trivia questions about ice cream; you don’t have to answer correctly to win. Find more of our favorite ice creams in the Ice Cream Section of THE NIBBLE online magazine. You’ll also enjoy the History Of Ice Cream.

 

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PRODUCT REVIEW: Charleston Favorites Tidewater Shrimp Sauce & Marinade With Stone Ground Grits

A portfolio of Charleston and lowcountry specialties aims to ensure that people everywhere can enjoy “Food For The Southern Soul.” The first two products we tried, Stone Ground Grits and Tidewater Shrimp Sauce And Marinade, made an excellent (and easy!) dinner that we can’t wait to have again…and again.

Charleston Favorites is another happy example of a businessperson from a “traditional” sector of industry who followed his love into the food business. Proprietor Jimmy Hagood began in insurance sales, and now owns a thriving catering business in Charleston, as well as a manufacturing company that sells Southern specialties throughout the United States. Delicacies such as benne wafers, peach butter, pepper jelly and, of course, barbecue sauces and rubs are just part of a line that sends a taste of the South anywhere.

 
A dinner of lowcountry shrimp and grits couldn’t be easier with Food For The Soul.
Years ago, Hagood, a barbecue hobbyist, traded in his briefcase for an apron and began a pit barbecue catering company. In his new food career, he noticed small local specialty food companies that produced terrific products, but faced challenges of survival. He began to buy them up to provide economies of scale in production and distribution. Today, his company, Specialty Food South LLC, includes brands such as Charleston Favorites that specialize in the foods of Charleston and the South Carolina lowcountry. If our first taste is an example of the entire portfolio, we can’t wait to order the rest of the line.

A charming gift box arrived containing a two-pound bag of Charleston Favorites Stone Ground Grits and an 18-ounce bottle of Tidewater Shrimp Sauce and Marinade. The grits take about 35 minutes to cook; we sautéed the shrimp in about three minutes. The results were one of the best meals we’ve had in a long time—perhaps because, as New Yorkers, we don’t get too much lowcountry cuisine. We added a large green salad, but the oohs and aahs were earned by the grits and shrimp.

Not only would we gladly cook this dinner on a regular basis; we’d send it as a gift to almost everyone, because it requires minimal cooking skills. If you can make hot cereal, you can make grits. If you can pour the contents of a bottle into a sauté pan, add peeled shrimp and stir, you can have delectable Tidewater shrimp. Read the full review on TheNibble.com.

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TIP OF THE DAY: Gourmet S’Mores

We made this incredibly delicious
S’mores with Tiny Trapeze graham

crackers and chocolate marshmallows,
and a Chocolove 77% cacao Extra
Strong Dark chocolate bar.

  Walk on the wild side and make your s’mores with exotic chocolate bars—those flavored with chile, ginger, curry, coconut, even wasabi. Check out the flavored chocolate bars from Vosges Chocolate and Chocolove (use the search box at the top of the page). Use great marshmallows too: We love the handmade marshmallows from Recchiuti and the Tiny Trapeze brand from Whole Foods (the chocolate marshmallows are even better than the vanilla variety). Click here for ideas on having a memorable s’mores party. You can read more about gourmet marshmallows in the Gourmet Candy Section of TheNibble.com.
 

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PRODUCT REVIEW: Bake ‘mmm Bagels

All natural, organic- and kosher-certified bagels with no sugar added are a real find. We protest the unnecessary sugar thrown into most bagel recipes. From your freezer to table in 12 minutes, these 200-calorie bagels are the right size and the right stuff.

If your idea of happiness is a breakfast or brunch of piping-hot bagels, your dream can come true every day. Excellent Bake ’mmm frozen boiled bagels, in standard and gourmet flavors, are shipped directly to your door. Keep them in the freezer or refrigerator, ready to pop into the oven, where they emerge hot and fragrant in just 8 to 12 minutes. Some flavors go beyond ordinary bagels: They’re gourmet breads.

 
A stack of Bake ’mmm bagels, hot from the oven.
Bake ’mmm Bagels are even patented. According to the manufacturer, their exclusive process creates a bagel with complex carbohydrates that have a lower Glycemic Index than standard bagels. While we haven’t studied the science (you can read it on their website), we have studied the nutrition panel, and kudos are due for making a good-size bagel (100g, 3-1/4-inches in diameter and one inch high) that has as few as 195 calories. We did a lab test calorie count on our local bagels a couple of years ago. With all that sugar and added bulk, the plain bagels were 600 calories—without the cream cheese.

Bake ’mmm Bagels are boiled, then frozen, so the last step in bagel-making—baking to a crisp, golden brown—takes place in your own oven or toaster. Being a bagel baker is not only tasty, it’s fun! Read the full review on TheNibble.com.

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PRODUCT REVIEW: Jennie & Vera’s Cookies


Something classic (jam sandwich cookie
with heart cutout), something
new
(peach-
shaped and flavored cookie
sandwich), all delicious.
  Thank goodness for America’s artisan bakers. They provide us with such wonderful things for our own pleasure and to give as gifts. The mother-daughter team of Vera and Jennie produce lovely cookies, including some eye-openers we’ve never seen before. As an impressive gift, a memorable end to a dinner party or a treat for yourself, these ladies show you welcome old classics and exciting new concepts.

Vera Mirkovic and Jennie Näss are a mother-daughter team who, after pursuing their own business careers, joined forces in 2005 to create elegant cookies for people who appreciate European traditions and hand detailing that go into them. Handcrafted in suburban Chicago, the butter cookies, made with imagination and the finest ingredients, can be delivered anywhere.

These are not just any handmade butter cookies. Drawing on Vera’s Croatian background, some use only confectioner’s sugar and some a blend of confectioner’s and table sugars, creating a less sweet and softer profile that still delivers buttery goodness.

Nicely gift-boxed, the cookies make a special gift for people who recognize and appreciate something distinctively different. And of course, don’t hesitate to buy a few boxes as a treat for yourself. Read the full review on TheNibble.com.

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