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

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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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NEWS: Blueberry Juice Product Shows Health Benefits

Blueberry Punch
Blueberry Punch: prostate cancer cure?
  While it has only been tested in lab mice, a commercially available blueberry and grape fruit punch has had a significant effect on prostate cancer, reducing the growth of tumors by 25% in just two weeks. The mice were given a human version of the disease; scientists consider the results to be a great success, and want to see it tested in human patients. The drink, Blueberry Punch, is commercially available in Australia. It is a blend of blueberry, red grape, elderberry and raspberry fruit concentrates, plus extracts from a range of plant sources including grape skin and seeds, green tea and olive leaves. Other ingredients include the herb tarragon and the spices turmeric and ginger. The fruits are known for their high antioxidant values; green tea contains the powerful antioxidant epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG), grapes are known for the powerful antioxidant resveratrol, and the anti-inflammatory agent curcumin is found in the spice turmeric. Dr. Jas Singh, who conducted the research at the University of Sydney in Australia, said that while individual phytochemicals are successful in killing cancer cells, synergistic or additive effects are likely to be achieved when they are combined—and this proved to be the case. She presented her results yesterday at the International Conference on Frontiers in Cancer Prevention and Research in Philadelphia. Find out more about Blueberry Punch at

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