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


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FOOD TIP OF THE DAY: Serving Spicy & Exotic Foods

Baji’s Papadums

Baji’s Mango Chutney Papadums make a special (and easy!) hors d’oeuvre with spicy chutneys or a quieter yogurt dip. Read our review.

  If you want to serve ethnic foods or spicy foods but are concerned that not all your guests will enjoy them, hedge your bets and serve them as hors d’oeuvres, along with other choices. The foodies can feast, and you don’t have to worry about other guests going hungry. See some of our favorites in the International Foods Section of THE NIBBLE online magazine.
 

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FOOD TIP OF THE DAY: Count Plates, Not Calories

Restricting your food intake to meet those weight loss goals? Treat yourself to beautiful dishes, cups, and glasses. What you eat will look more exciting and taste that much better. Even a cup of plain yogurt looks tempting in a beautiful red bowl (don’t forget a sprig of dill). It’s how they make the most meager victuals look wonderful at the poshest spas. Take a look at some of our favorite dishes. They also make entertaining more fun.   Glass PlatesGlass plates from European Sources Direct.
 

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Chocolate & Beer Pairing (February 1, NYC & Perhaps In Your ‘Hood)


[1] Pair a regular or chocolate stout with dark chocolate (photo © Taza Chocolate) .


[2] If you’re enjoying bonbons with different-flavored centers, pairing beers to the centers is the way to go (photo © Lake Champlain Chocolates). .

 

For years, beer and chocolate lovers have traveled beyond the enjoyment of a good chocolate stout, combining malty and chocolaty craft beers with fine chocolates and chocolate desserts (see the recipe for a Chocolate Stout Float—chocolate stout and chocolate ice cream).

In his book, The Brewmasters’Table, Garrett Oliver, brewmaster of the Brooklyn Brewery, describes a luncheon of sommeliers held at the Gramercy Tavern in New York City.

The dessert trio included a chocolate-caramel tart, a molten chocolate cake, and a malted milkshake. Oliver paired the dessert with two beers: Brooklyn Brewery’s Black Chocolate Stout and a Belgian raspberry lambic.

No sommeliers could come up with any wine that would pair as well as either of the beers.

If you live in New York City, you’ll be able to attend a chocolate and beer pairing on February 1st as Garrett Oliver and chocolatier Fritz Knipschildt chocolatier (read our review of Knipschildt chocolates), pair chocolate and beer

If you’re not in the neighborhood, check your local area food calendars: Beer and chocolate are hot stuff, and pairing events are happening all over the country. We’ll be attending the event and reporting back in time for you to plan your own beer and chocolate party for Valentine’s Day.

If you can’t wait, where should you begin?

  • Porters and Stouts. These dark beers are made from darkly-roasted barley or highly-toasted malts. With roasted, toasted, and some coffee-like flavors, these beers match well with most chocolate desserts. Some are made with chocolate malts, chocolate nibs, and/or actual chocolate.
  • Belgian-Style Ales and German-Style Weizens. These beers have big, fruity-spicy beers aromas that complement chocolate. Weizens have subtle spicy flavors including banana and clove; Belgian-style ales have notes of apple, apricot, and peach.
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    As you can see in our chocolate flavors and aromas chart, similar tastes appear in fine chocolate, and actual fruits and spices are added to chocolate desserts, making for excellent pairings.

     
    EVENT DETAILS: February 1 Chocolate & Beer Pairing At Whole Foods Market in NYC, with Garrett Oliver, Brooklyn Brewery brewmaster and Fritz Knipschildt, chocolatier and owner of Café Chocopologie, in Norwalk, Connecticut. The event will be held at the Whole Foods Market at 95 East Houston Street (between Bowery and Chrystie Streets), 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. To register, phone 1.866.462.2838, from 9:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m.

     
     

    CHECK OUT WHAT’S HAPPENING ON OUR HOME PAGE, THENIBBLE.COM.

     
     
     
      

    Which beer would you drink with this piece of chocolate (from Knipschildt Chocolatier)? Start pairing beer and chocolate to find out.

     

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    FOOD HOLIDAY: It’s National Blonde Brownie Day

    It’s National Blonde Brownie Day—the blonde brownie is also known as the blondie. Celebrate with your favorite blondie, or send someone a gift of one of our favorites, from Sugardaddy’s Sumptuous Sweeties, a brownie company that makes a variety of blondies (they’re round, to boot!). The Cinnamon Blondie, shown in the photo, has a streusel topping—it’s a combination blondie and coffee cake. Can’t beat that! The Nutty Blondie, another favorite, combines sweet and salty with a topping of salty almonds, cashews and pecans. Strawberry Blonde is a peanut butter blondie with a strawberry swirl—PB&J in a blondie. And Tahiti, one of the best sellers, is a blondie topped with toasted coconut, cashews and dark chocolate chunks, with white chocolate morsels inside the blondie. All four are winners. Read our full review of Sugardaddy’s Sumptuous Sweeties, in the Cookies & Brownies Section of THE NIBBLE online magazine.   Blondie
    Sugardaddy’s Cinnamon Blondie—a blondie with a coffee cake topping.
     

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    ARTICLE: Pancake/Waffle & Syrup Glossaries

    Pancakes
    Polka Dot Ceramics Collection, available now at SurLaTable.com, $31.50 for four pieces as shown (the feathered chickens are $9.95 and $19.95).

     

    We received our weekly marketing email from Sur La Table today. If only we had room for all of the wonderful merchandise they dangle in front of us!

    As New York City apartment dwellers, we live by a goods accounting principle called SOSO—Something In, Something Out. Otherwise, we’d be sharing our bed and bathtub with extra sets of dishes, woks and 10 cookbooks we’ll never get to read.

    Don’t we wish we had room for this gay, polka dot breakfast set: a plate, bowl, mug and individual teapot for $31.50!

    Instead, we’ll have to content ourselves with the pancakes, as we do have a pantry with white flour, buckwheat flour, regular cornmeal and blue corn, plus genuine maple syrup and some of Robert Lambert’s exotic fruit syrups (Golden Date, White Ginger, Grapefruit, Texas Lemon, Kaffir Lime, Bergamot Orange—who said Maple had exclusive claims on pancakes?).

     

  • Different Types Of Pancakes: Pancake lovers should check out our Pancake & Waffle Glossary to discover dozens of different types of pancakes from A (aebleskiver) to T (tlacoyos)…plus W for waffle, of course.
  • Different Types Of Syrup:You can learn about the 14 different types of syrup (not flavors, but types), plus other sugars and sweeteners, in our Glossary Of Sugars, Syrups & Sweeteners.
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