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

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NEWS: Healthy Eating, Not For The Price-Conscious

Salad Mix

Save money on low-calorie food: Buy and cut
your own romaine instead of pre-cut salad mixes.
  This will come as no surprise to those who strive to cook healthy meals, but researchers at the University of Washington have found that junk food not only costs less than fruits and vegetables, but it is also less likely to rise in price as a result of inflation. As reported in The New York Times, the study compared the price per calorie of 370 different foods in the Seattle area. The results are somewhat alarming: The higher-calorie, energy-dense foods (e.g. candy, pastries, baked goods and snacks) cost an average of $1.76 per 1,000 calories, while low-calorie, nutritious foods averaged at $18.16 per 1,000 calories. Moreover, these low-calorie foods grew 19.5% in price during the course of the two year study while the high-calorie foods dropped 1.8%. According to the study, a 2,000-calorie diet of junk food would cost a mere $3.52 per person, per day; a 2,000-calorie diet of low-calorie, dense foods costs a whopping $36.32.
The data indicate that it is easier for low-income individuals to sustain themselves on junk food rather than healthier alternatives. In response to angry posts from many healthy eaters who make do on food budgets of $15 to $20 a week, Tara Parker-Pope, who wrote the story, responded that it showed “…extreme examples to make the point of the price disparity between energy dense food and more nutritious food….The average American spends about $7 a day on food, while low-income people spend $3 to $4 a day.” Read all of the responses. For our favorite healthy foods, check out our NutriNibbles section in THE NIBBLE online magazine—the products may cost more than a bag of potato chips, but your body will thank you.

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NEWS: American Craft Beers Win International Awards

It’s not just America’s artisan cheeses that are bringing home the medals at international competitions: Craft beers are holding their own as well, winning a combined 30 medals at the Stockholm Beer and Whisky Festival and the European Beer Star Competition. According to the Brewers Association, the not-for-profit trade and education association for American craft brewers and the community of beer enthusiasts (, 18 U.S. craft breweries participated in the U.S. craft beer booth at the 2007 Stockholm Beer and Whisky Festival, and eight won medals:
Category: Well Hopped Lager max 5.9% ABV
Silver – Boston Lager, Boston Beer Co.
Category: Ale 4.8% to 5.9%

Gold – Harpoon IPA, Harpoon Brewery
Silver – Red Seal Ale, North Coast Brewing Company Inc.
Bronze – 5 Barrel Pale Ale, Odell Brewing Co.
Category: Porter/Stout to 5.9% ABV
Gold – Porter, Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.
Silver – St. Bridget’s Porter, Great Divide Brewing Co.

Dark ale with pheasant. Photo courtesy of Brewers Association.
Category: Strong Beer 6.0% ABV and above
Gold – Shakespeare Stout, Rogue Ales

Category: Strong Beer 8.0% ABV and above

Gold – 90 Minute IPA, Dogfish Head Craft Brewery. In a field of 575 entries from breweries in 58 countries, there were 22 U.S. craft brewery medal winners in the European Beer Star Competition—one of the industry’s most coveted awards, recognizing original and innovative beers.
Gold Medal Winners:
Brewery Ommegang: Hennepin Farmhouse Saison
Boston Beer Co: Samuel Adams Cream Stout, Samuel Adams Holiday Porter, and Samuel Adams Brown Ale
Deschutes Brewery: Obsidian Stout, Bachelor ESB, and Abyss
Harpoon Brewery: Harpoon Octoberfest and Harpoon IPA
Silver Medal Winners:
Boston Beer Co: Samuel Adams Black Lager, Samuel Adams Pale Ale, and Samuel Adams Old Fezziwig
Deschutes Brewery: Black Butte Porter
Great Divide Brewing Co: Titan IPA, and Oak Aged Yeti Imperial Stout
Left Hand Brewing Co: Milk Stout
Victory Brewing Co: Victory Prima Pils
Bronze Medal Winners:
Alaskan Brewing and Bottling Co: Alaskan Smoked Porter
Boston Beer Co: Samuel Adams Boston Ale, and Samuel Adams Honey Porter
Rogue Ales: Shakespeare Stout
Victory Brewing Co: Victory Storm King Stout
Try gathering up some of these winners for your holiday parties. Dark ales and Scottish ales are delicious with turkey, pheasant and goose—don’t hesitate to serve them with your holiday dinner. Other suggestions: Belgian red cherry or raspberry beer with turkey or ham, brown ale with spiced pumpkin soup (look for Rock Bottom’s Old Elk Brown Ale), spiced ale with pumpkin pie, Bourbon barrel-aged Imperial Stout with sweet potato pie and vanilla ice cream. For spicy dishes, try an Indian Pale Ale like Sierra Nevada’s Celebration. Visit the Beer Section of THE NIBBLE online magazine for more information about beer.

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REVIEW: Terra Medi Greek Oils, Olives, Bruschetta & Tapenade

Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Organic Extra Virgin Olive Oil, EVOO, and EV Sesame Oil.
  Olive lovers have a friend in Terra Medi. The company imports top-quality olive oils, bruschettas, tapenades, olive mixes, vinegars and a sesame oil from Greece. The bruschettas and tapenades are versatile ingredients for entertaining or for sprucing up everyday meals. They have found permanent fans in us, and are well priced for gift giving. Olive oil, made from the Koroneiki olive, is available in regular and organic bottlings (the regular is mellow, the organic peppery). The red and white wine vinegars are among the finest we have had, and a bargain at $6.99 a bottle. The balsamic vinegar is not aged in traditional Modena woods, but instead has a lovely, pruny taste instead of the caramel flavors of Modena balsamics (and their imitators). The olive mixes are tops (especially the Mixed Olives with Fennel, Orange and Rosemary). Read the full review, which includes the origin of bruschetta. See more of our favorite oils and dips and spreads in THE NIBBLE online magazine.

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REVIEW: Sugar Flower Bakery

When you’re in the mood for a comforting home-baked cookie, but don’t have the inclination to fire up the oven, call upon Sugar Flower Bakery. The small company makes classic comfort cookies that bring you back to childhood days in Mom’s or Grandmother’s kitchen, when nothing tasted better than homemade cookies, whipped up from scratch. If your family didn’t bake, we’re sorry; but you can still enjoy the experience one step removed. We love all the flavors; they make charming cookie gifts. People who love chocolate and mint are advised to buy a lot of the Chocolate Mint cookies. Read the full article, and check out our other favorite cookies in the Cookie Section of THE NIBBLE online magazine.   Sugar Flower
Don’t forget the milk!

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NEWS: Boy Meets Grill Restaurant

Celebrity chef Bobby Flay is launching an upscale hamburger chain called Bobby’s Burger Palace. So far, leases for three units have been signed, and leases for five more units are in the pipeline. Flay plans to open five to 10 units a year. His business partner, Lawrence Kretchmer, made the announcement but did not provide specific locations of the three signed leases, but said that there is one under development in New Jersey and another in a Long Island mall. Top restaurant architecture firm Rockwell Group is designing the stores. Flay also owns Mesa Grill restaurants in Manhattan, Las Vegas and the Bahamas. Let’s hope the food meets Flay’s personal standards and he creates the burger chain of our dreams. We were so disappointed with our first two attempts at Wolfgang Puck’s chain restaurants, we feared to go back for a third meal. While you’re waiting for a Bobby’s Burger Palace to open near you, check out the burger-making tips in THE NIBBLE online magazine.   bobby_flay_250.jpg
Flip us a good burger, Bobby!

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