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

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TRENDS: The World Of Cookies

Are you a standard cookie eater or a trendsetter? Although the overall $5.9 billion U.S. cookie market sales increased 14% in value from 2002 to 2007, standard cookies are losing ground and niche cookies are trending up. According to a new report by research firm Mintel, standard cookies still represent 57.5% of sales. But this figure has been declining over the five year period covered by the report, suggesting that more specialized cookies are gaining in popularity. What are “specialized” cookies?
Health orientated cookies. These include cookies that consumers consider to be healthy, made with natural or organic ingredients, and/or in smaller portion sizes.
Cookie bars. This category has grown a whopping 57% over the five years of the report. Future category growth could be driven by cookie bars, and new manufacturers may enter the category offering hybrid product lines such as energy and meal replacement cookie bars. What’s slowing?
  Organic Cookies - Liz Lovely
Liz Lovely cookies are riding the trends of organic and supersized. Read our review.
Sales of premium and luxury cookies, the “indulgent” products. It’s not that consumers are moving away from indulgent cookies, the researchers say, but the premium genre will move towards producing cookie bar and health-orientated cookies (all natural and organic), causing a blurring of segment lines. Two surprise demographic findings:
– Baby boomers in the 55 to 64 age group will experience the strongest consumption growth up to 2012, preferring treats that contain heart-healthy dark chocolate, antioxidant-rich fruits, and nuts and whole grains.- Men apparently eat cookies more often than women. This indicates opportunities for more “manly snacks,” such as oversize cookies with large chunks or chocolates or nuts. Apparently, the U.S. will be in supersize mode for some time to come.

If you’re now hungry for a cookie, click on over to the Cookies, Brownies & Bars Section of THE NIBBLE online magazine to see some of our favorites.

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FOOD TIP OF THE DAY: Spritz Your Dressings / Mist Your Salads

Oil Mister

There are stainless-steel misters and acrylic or glass misters like this one, that enable you to see your oil or vinaigrette.
  Even big companies are jumping on the bandwagon now, with prepackaged spray dressings. But we have been spraying olive oil and vinaigrettes from non-aerosol, refillable spray bottles for years before. The idea was born when we wanted a way to get more coverage of our greens by using less dressing, without hand-tossing the salad to cover every leaf (in other words, get more dressing flavor by using less dressing, with fewer calories). We started by buying empty plastic cosmetics spray bottles to fill and spritz, but the industry has caught up and now makes “misters,” shown in the photo at the left. You can buy high-tech looking, stainless versions, or more cruet-style versions that let you see your oil or vinaigrette. There are also pocket-size versions that you can carry with you.
Add a mister to your table to cut down on dressing calories. Alas, mayonnaise-based dressings are too heavy to fit through the spray, although you can experiment with making creamy vinaigrettes. Find more diet ideas in the Diet Nibbles Section of THE NIBBLE online magazine.

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FREEBIE: Steamy Chefs Calendar & Recipes

Glad SimplyCooking Microwave Steaming Bags invited consumers to vote for “America’s Steamiest Chef” last year, and the result is Glad’s Steamy Chefs Calendar. There are two pinup photos of the five steamy chefs (if white chef coats count as pinup wear), plus two recipes from each of the steamy chefs.
Govind Armstrong makes a truly impressive Steamed Corn And Spring Onion Pudding With Buttered Shrimp (a two-bag production) and a Steamed Bulgar (his spelling) Salad With Asparagus And Shiitake Mushroom.
G. Garvin whips up a simple but delicious Steamed Cauliflower And Goat Cheese Cup and Steamed Chilean Sea Bass With Baby Bok Choy And Cherry Tomatoes.
  Steamy Chefs Calendar
Good looking chefs steam up the kitchen. Download the free calendar.
Dave Lieberman takes on Shrimp Curry and Mediterranean Style Artichoke.

Aarón Sanchez cooks up Steamed Bass Yucatan Style and Bananas Faustos With Cherimoya Salsa.
Sam Talbot makes Steamed Mussels Provençal and Chinese Steamed Halibut Filet With Broccoli Rabe.All of the recipes are in the calendar. Download it free and steam up a storm.

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PRODUCT REVIEW: San Marzano Tomatoes

San Marzano Tomatoes
The best tomatoes you can buy—so good you can eat them from the can.


The San Marzano is an heirloom variety of plum tomato, originally planted in the town of the same name at the base of Mount Vesuvius, near Naples.

The volcanic soil and sunny climate grow tomatoes that are among the most sought-after on earth, with remarkable, sweet, intense tomato flavor.

In a marketplace of mediocre tomato sauces, a can of San Marzano tomatoes with absolutely no embellishment is simply exquisite.

Add some fresh herbs, and enter the gates of heaven. You can go further and add olive oil and garlic to make a legitimate sauce; but these tomatoes, served as is, are all the legitimacy one needs.

They’re also low in calories—as little as 25 calories per half cup.

Read the full review and see the three different kinds of tomatoes—crushed, diced, and whole—and how to use them.
> The history of San Marzano tomatoes.

> The history of tomatoes.





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FOOD TIP OF THE DAY: Flavored Mustards

Flavored mustards can transform a dish, adding almost no calories but intense notes of tarragon, basil, Roquefort or lemon to your sandwich, vinaigrette, potato salad or charcuterie. Or create a delicious crust on beef, chicken, fish, lamb or pork. Think of classic Dijon as vanilla, and start to expand your mustard horizons. We love the Laurent du Clos line of French mustards, and the Anton Kozlik line from Canada is a truly eye-opening experience as to the heights mustard can ascend. Read our review of Anton Kozlik mustards, and see more of our favorite condiments in the Condiments Section of THE NIBBLE online magazine.   Anton Kozlik’s Mustard
Some crust! Add a rush of flavor to chicken, fish or other protein with a top coat of low-calorie flavored mustard.

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