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

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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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ON OUR RADAR: Interesting Nibbles From the Past Week

– Some food writer trash talkin’: Michael Ruhlman calls Anthony Bourdain a “rat-face.” Man, are we bummed that we couldn’t make the Barnes & Noble event.
New York Times Restaurant Critic, Frank Bruni, defends the entrée.
– Note to Balducci’s (a highly-respected specialty-food store): Ham and Chanukah don’t mix.
– makes us hungry for some pintxos and more.
Chanukah food—not.

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NEWS: Babies Learn To Like Foods In Utero

Pregnant Woman
Love of broccoli and Brussels sprouts starts here. Photo by Denise Thuler | SXC.
  Want your children to like fruits and vegetables? Start them young—in utero. According to scientists at the Monell Chemical Senses Center in Philadelphia, a lifelong taste for fruit and vegetables can be instilled in babies before they are born: The taste is transferred to them through amniotic fluids in the womb. The process can be continued after birth, as taste and smell are also transferred to the infant through the mother’s milk. The implication: You can cut down on obesity and “train” your unborn children and infants to eat sensibly. Instill a taste for vegetables, such as broccoli and Brussels sprouts, instead of chocolate and potato chips. In the test, babies whose mothers had drunk vegetable juices when pregnant were much more disposed toward eating vegetables than those in the control groups. Older babies who were eating solids, but still receiving breast milk, rejected green beans until the mothers introduced them to their own diets. Can we can assume that Dorothy Walker Bush, mother of our 41st president, ate no broccoli when pregnant? Find some interesting veggies in the Vegetables Section of THE NIBBLE online magazine.

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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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