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

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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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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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