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

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PRODUCT WATCH: Heritage Red Wattle Pork

Last night we had dinner at The Tasting Room in New York City, a highly-acclaimed (and justly so) restaurant in SoHo. It’s a charming, friendly place where you can eat fine cuisine in a casual ambiance (exposed brick walls, flattering lighting), served by an eager and knowledgeable staff. Chef Colin Alevras and his team focus on innovative American cuisine created with the freshest local ingredients, and paired with American wines. Everything we had was delicious, but the eye-opener was a dish of Heirloom Red Wattle Pork. Tender like filet mignon, reddish-pink like rare beef or lamb (Red Wattle meat tends to be a little darker than most other pork) and very juicy. Although though the meat is lean, it was the most flavorful pork we have ever tasted, and we can’t wait to have it again It was roasted and served simply, with a jus and a mélange of grilled collard greens, carrots and braised Korean radishes.Here is information about the breed, from   Red Wattle Hog

Red Wattle hog and sow. Photo courtesy of
The Red Wattle hog is a large, reddish hog with a fleshy, decorative, wattle attached to each side of its neck that has no known function. The origin and history of the breed is considered scientifically obscure, though many different ancestral stories are known. One theory is that the French colonists brought the Red Wattle hogs to New Orleans from New Caledonia Island, off the coast of Australia, in the late 1700s; from there they went to Texas. As they are hardy and adapt well to the land, the Red Wattle quickly became a popular breed in the U.S. Unfortunately, as settlers moved west, the breed began to fall out of favor because the settlers came into contact with breeds that boasted a higher fat content, which was needed for lard and soap. Red Wattles were left to roam the hills of eastern Texas, where they were hunted to near extinction, until a Mr. H.C. Wengler came across a herd in the dense forest and began breeding them into what they are today. Five years later, in a similar encounter, Robert Prentice found another herd of Red Wattle hogs in eastern Texas, which became known as the Timberline herd, after its wooded origins. Of all the heritage breeds, the Red Wattle is at most risk; there are only four families breeding them. So, buy this wonderful meat at You can learn more about the Red Wattle and the other heritage pigs, the Duroc, Tamworth, and Six-Spotted Berkshire.

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PRODUCT REVIEW: Best Diet Holiday Gifts

Dr. Andrew Weil For Tea Iced Tea

Dr. Andrew Weil for Tea, from Ito-En, shows how special and delicious calorie-free iced tea can be.
  We’ve rounded up great gifts for friends and family members who love good food—but happen to be watching their calories, or need sugar-free options. This year, the calorie-free (or low-calorie, or sugar-free) things we’d like to receive include:
Aqua Deco Mineral Water, which makes drinking water an exciting event
Himala’s Himalayan Pink Salt, beautiful, delicious fun to use—kosher and organic, too
Ito En’s Dr. Andrew Weil For Tea line, premium brewed iced teas in chic, 8-ounce cans
Martine’s Sugar-Free Chocolate Almond Bark, made with top-quality ingredients including maltitol, for those who can’t have sugar (not a low-calorie product)
Miller’s Select Crabmeat, just 120 calories for a jumbo lump crab cocktail (gift boxed cans)
Mindful Menus Pocket Diet Guide, to help anyone make the right choices at restaurants
Willapa Oysters, the best oysters ever (a dozen have less than 100 calories and Willapa’s are so good, no cocktail sauce is needed)
Of course, you don’t have to be on a diet to enjoy most of these fine foods. We just like to be sure that people who are watching what they eat can watch themselves eat the best. Read the full review in THE NIBBLE online magazine, and see our other holiday gift lists, too.

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PRODUCT WATCH: SaltWorks Artisan Salts Now Kosher

Saltworks, a leader in bringing fine artisan salts to the U.S., announces that its house line, Artisan Sea Salts is now certified kosher by the Orthodox Union (except for the smoked sea salt, which is awaiting certification). The non-smoked varieties include Alaea (fine and coarse), Cyprus Flaked Salt, Fleur de Sel, Flor de Sal, Flower of Bali, Kala Namak, Murray River Salt, Peruvian Pink Salt, Sel Gris (fine and coarse) and Sel de Mer (fine and coarse). On this, the second (of eight) days of Chanukah—there’s still time to send gifts to kosher friends and business associates. THE NIBBLE loves the selection of beautiful salts at Saltworks. The company offers a wide variety of premium gourmet salts from around the world. Last year, we recommended the Ultimate Salt Collection in our holiday gift lists. A 5-ounce, cork-topped bottle is $14.99 to $15.99 at Read more about artisan salts in the Salt Glossary of online magazine.   Artisan Salts - Web
Some of Saltworks’ kosher-certified Artisan Salts line.
Due to the busy holiday season, the kosher certification won’t appear on the website until after the New Year; but customers requiring a copy of the certificate can contact Customer Service.

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PRODUCT WATCH: AllerNotes For Food Allergies


An easy, portable solution for everyone with food allergies.
  An estimated 12 million Americans suffer from food allergies, some of which can be fatal. Last year, a member of THE NIBBLE staff, allergic to peanuts, specifically told the waiter at a Thai restaurant that she could have no nuts. Either the message did not get communicated to the restaurant, or the dish was prepared in one that had been previously used for nuts; but our colleague suffered a dreadful reaction. If she had had AllerNotes in her pocket, the message would have been delivered more emphatically.
AllerNotes are repositionable notes (like Post-Its) that feature the international symbol for NO!, the red circle with a slash, as well as a text warning and an illustration of the nuts, eggs, fish or whatever cannot be consumed. They are meant to be handed to the server as you the food allergy is explained. AllerNotes are not a substitute for a verbal explanation, but are meant to augment and emphasize what is told to the server, to reinforce the severity of the allergy to the waitstaff and the kitchen staff. The note can be attached to the order as it goes into the kitchen. Notes are available for Dairy Allergy, Egg Allergy, Fish Allergy, Nut Allergy, Shellfish Allergy, Soy Allergy, Wheat Allergy and a generic Write-In allergy for garlic, or, in nonfood situations, latex, penicillin, latex. Beyond restaurants, AllerNotes can be used to mark school records, handed to caregivers or attached to a driver’s license. In addition to the re-positional notes, the company makes AllerNote labels, semi-permanent stickers that easily affix to lunch boxes, notebooks, laptops, daycare or medical records. A package of 100 notes is $8.50. Purchase at

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REVIEW: Best Gourmet Food Stocking Stuffers

Whether you’re stuffing many stockings, need teacher gifts, are playing Secret Santa or are going to lots of parties, our Stocking Stuffer gift list has something for everyone. Most of our recommended goodies cost less than $6.00, and the most expensive is $12.95. So…what can you give those good little [gourmet] boys and girls?
Bellamessa Sea Salts in fabulous flavors
Cabot Creamery’s Cheddar Shake For Popcorn (so good, we shake it on everything)
Chocolate-Covered Nuts from top chocolatiers like Charles Chocolate, Coco-Luxe and Michael Recchiuti
Das Caramelini’s Salted Caramels, a recent NIBBLE Top Pick Of The Week
  Burnt Almonds - Michael Recchiuti

We’d like to find lots of these in our stocking—and all the other stocking stuffers, too!
Frontier Soups’ Gourmet Soup Packets, another Top Pick Of The Week
Gourmet Ketchup, an eye-opening experience
Honeyland New Zealand’s Blue Borage Honey, a new experience, no doubt, for most honey lovers
J&M’s Lemon Cookies, luscious little bites
McSweet’s Cocktail Garlic and Onions—perfect for drinks, garnishes or the relish tray
Pierre Marcolini’s Christmas Chocolate Bars
Rich Design’s Snowflake Cookies–beautiful, delicious and handmadeSee our other gift lists in the Gift Finder section of THE NIBBLE online magazine

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