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

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TOP PICK OF THE WEEK: Lucini Italia Olive Oil & Vinegar

Several months ago, we wrote about the tomato sauces and soups of Lucini Italia, a company that imports top-quality, handcrafted Italian specialty foods. The products include an extra virgin olive oil and a limited-edition organic extra virgin olive oil, plus a 10-year-old balsamic vinegar and a Pinot Grigio white wine vinegar. Since January is “Healthy Food Month” at THE NIBBLE, we couldn’t wait to recommend the heart-healthy olive oils and the vibrant, yet smooth and mellow, vinegars. The rich, flavorful regular oil has been a favorite at THE NIBBLE offices for many months now. It’s a classic Tuscan blend that is delightfully fruity, bursting with a green apple freshness and sporting only the faintest hint of the pepper for which so many Tuscan oils are known (and which create that infamous back-of-the-throat cough when you try to taste them). The oils are also certified kosher. Take the money from whatever holiday gifts you returned and buy yourself the Lucini gift set—bottles of both vinegars plus the regular EVOO. When they arrive, enjoy a spoonful of each—straight—and rollick in the delectable aromas and flavors. Read the full review in THE NIBBLE online magazine, and see more of our favorites in our Oil & Vinegar Section.   Organic Olive OilLucini Italia organic olive oil (foreground) and regular olive oil are kosher-certified.

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ARTICLE: Types Of Eggs

Brown Eggs
Learn all about eggs—varieties, nutrition, tips—in this informative article.
  If you thought there were only two types of eggs—white and brown—start the new year with this egg-cellent review of eggs: an egg glossary, egg nutrition and health facts, tips. Some highlights:
There are 10 different type of eggs, apart from brown versus white. Cage-free, Free-Range, Vegetarian, Organic and Vitamin-Enriched are some of the choices.
There’s no nutritional difference between brown and white eggs. Brown hens produce brown eggs, white hens produce white eggs.
Eggs should be left in their and kept on an inside refrigerator shelf where temperature does not vary—not removed to a plastic “egg holder” on the refrigerator door. The carton insulates the eggs from loss of moisture.
Never use a cracked raw egg. It can easily be contaminated with bacteria that cooking will not kill. Read the full article, and you’ll gain a lot of eggspertise. There’s more to learn about eggs in the Eggs Section of THE NIBBLE online magazine.

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FOOD TIP OF THE DAY: Better Virgin Marys

January 1st is Bloody Mary Day. But after last night’s celebration, you may be better off with a Virgin Mary. Most Bloody Mary mixes are made to complement vodka and can be very salty. We find it easier to make a mix that can be drunk Virgin Mary-style—spare the vodka and pack in lots of vitamin C. Start with a 32-ounce bottle of tomato juice. Because we love horseradish, we add 2 tablespoons of the prepared variety, as well as 2 tablespoons of Worcestershire sauce, a teaspoon of celery salt and the juice of a fresh lemon or lime. The horseradish makes it plenty spicy, but an alternative is to add 6 drops of hot sauce like Tabasco. Just shake the bottle and serve. (If you don’t like spice, use more Worcestershire, celery salt and lemon juice, then experiment with a drop or two of hot sauce for flavor.) Keep the bottle chilled in the refrigerator—no ice needed to dilute your drink. With 41 calories per 8-ounce glass, add a celery stick for fiber and you’ve got a low-cal snack that has 74% of your daily requirement of vitamin C and 22% of vitamin A. See which tomato juices scored best in our tasting and find more of our favorite juices in the Juices Section of THE NIBBLE online magazine. If you insist upon celebrating Bloody Mary Day, find lots of Bloody Mary recipes in our Cocktails Section. . Bloody Mary

A homemade Virgin Mary tastes even better than a Bloody Mary made with most mixes.

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PRODUCT REVIEW: Great Zero Calorie Soft Drinks

Hi-Ball Energy Drink
Add some grapefruit juice for an energy spritzer.
  Do your New Year’s resolutions include losing weight? One standby is diet soda. Some people like it, some people endure it. Try these two boutique carbonated drinks: zero-calorie carbonated beverages with great flavor that we previously reviewed. If you haven’t gotten to know them yet, now’s the time. We think they represent the best of their classes. The first class is classic sodas from Boylan’s Bottleworks—Diet Black Cherry, Diet Cane Cola, Diet Creme Soda and Diet Root Beer. The sodas are made with an expensive mixture of sucralose (Splenda) and acesulfame potassium (Ace-K) and all-natural flavors, tastes better than the regular sodas of most manufacturers. Hi-Ball makes energy drinks in the form of flavored club soda with the taurine, guarana, caffeine and the rest of the energizing mix of regular energy drink—a good boost for weary dieters. A huge difference between Hi-Ball and other diet energy drinks is the sparkling, refreshing flavor—Grapefruit, Lemon Lime, Orange and Wild Berry. Read the full review, and find hundreds of other products in the Diet Nibbles section of THE NIBBLE online magazine.

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Today is National Champagne Day. Most people bring a bottle of Champagne as a gift to New Year’s Eve parties. Add a book about Champagne, and your gift will be remembered long after the bubbles are gone. This is one of our favorites. (Find more of our favorite books in the Books Section of THE NIBBLE online magazine.) Happy New Year from all of us at THE NIBBLE!   4000 Champagnes
No one expects to get through all 4,000, but there’s lots of educational information about Champagne itself.

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