The Nibble Webzine Of Food Adventures - The Nibble Webzine Of Food Adventures - Part 3
THE NIBBLE BLOG: Products, Recipes & Trends In Specialty Foods

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Boozy Strawberry Shortcake Recipe With Baileys Strawberries & Cream

[1] Rich and delicious, a boozy strawberry “shortcake” (photo © Baileys).

Fresh Strawberries
[2] There are plenty of fresh strawberries in the market (photo © In Harvest | Facebook)

[3] Crumble shortbread cookies for the “cake” layer, or use cubed pound cake (photo © Lark Fine Foods).


Looking for something special for Mother’s Day (or Father’s Day, or Valentine’s Day, or any day you just want a nifty dessert)?

Check out this swoon-worthy strawberry recipe from Bailey, made with Baileys Strawberries & Cream Liqueur.

The result: a beautifully boozy strawberry shortcake.

The recipe calls for crumbled shortbread cookies. You can substitute cubes of pound cake, if you prefer.

Or heck: Use both!

And of course, you can serve a glass of Baileys Strawberries & Cream liqueu with the shortcake.

You can build the shortcakes in pint glasses, large goblets, or anything else you have on hand.
Ingredients For 2 Servings

  • 3 ounces Baileys Strawberries & Cream liqueur
  • 3.5 ounces cream cheese
  • 5 ounces heavy (whipping) cream
  • 6 ounces chopped strawberries, and extra slices to garnish
  • 2.5 ounces crumbled shortbread

    1. BEAT the Baileys Strawberries & Cream liqueur and the cream cheese with a balloon whisk, until smooth.

    2. WHIP the cream add it to the bowl with the cream cheese mixture. Fold in the strawberries.

    3. CRUMBLE the shortbread into two glasses. Add the strawberries and cream mixture. Top with the strawberry garnish and chill for 30 minutes or longer. Serve and swoon!

    Since the debut of Original Irish Cream Liqueur in 1974, Baileys has expanded its portfolio to include Almande (vegan, made with almond milk instead of cream), Chocolate Cherry, Espresso Crème, Salted Caramel, Strawberries & Cream and Vanilla Cinnamon.

    Some flavors, such as Crème Caramel, Hazelnut, Mint Chocolate and Pumpkin Spice, have been retired, leaving behind fond memories.

    No doubt, there will be new varieties on the horizon!




    What Is Soursop & How To Cook With It

    Soursop is in season. It’s harvested in April and May, and again in September through November.

    What is soursop, you ask?

    Also known as graviola and guanabana, soursop is a heart-shaped tropical fruit (photo #2) native to the Caribbean and South America.

    Other names include thorny custard apple, thorny mango and thorny fruit, due to its exterior spikes (which are lightly prickly, and break off easily when ripe).

    The fruit now also grows in tropical regions across Africa and Asia.

    Is it sour?

    Nope! Soursop is a deliciously sweet-tart fruit with a bright flavor.

    The name was bestowed due to its slightly acidic taste: a pleasant tartness, like pineapple.

    The flavor evokes coconut and banana, with notes of citrus, pineapple, apple or strawberry, depending on where it is grown.

    The thick creamy, texture reminiscent of banana.

    Ready to blend it into a smoothie?

    Soursop is the fruit of Annona muricata tree, a broadleaf, flowering, evergreen tree (photo #2). It is native to the tropical regions of the Americas and the Caribbean.

    Soursop is in the Annonaceae family (also known as the custard apple tree family); and in the same genus, Annona,, as the cherimoya (photo #5—more about the family relationship below).

    The size ranges from 4 to 12 inches long and up to 6 inches wide. A single fruit can weigh up to 10 or 15 pounds, so it is often cut up and sold in pieces (photo #1).

    Soursop should be ripened at room temperature.

    As it ripens, the fruit will lighten in color to a bright yellow-green color and the spines will soften. It will have a hollow sound when tapped.

    A ripe soursop should yield to the touch and be somewhat fragrant of pineapple.

    Like most fruits, soursop is often eaten raw. You can scoop the pulpy white flesh right out of the halved fruit, with a spoon.

    You can find the whole fruit in specialty produce, Caribbean and Latino markets. The pulp is also sold with the seeds removed, for easy consumption.

    Important note: Don’t eat the seeds†. Otherwise, use the pulp to make:

  • Candy and fruit bars
  • Cocktails
  • Fruit pies, custard and cheesecake
  • Fruit salad
  • Fruit soup
  • Ice cream, sorbet, ice pops
  • Juice and smoothies
  • Snack fruit
  • Yogurt

    Soursop is low in calories and high in fiber, with zero sodium or fat.

    It includes a wide range of antioxidant phytochemicals*.

    In terms of vitamins and minerals, soursop is packed with B-complex and vitamin C, and a hit of calcium, copper, iron, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium and zinc.

    Soursop tea is used by some for medicinal purposes, for its perceived help in reducing the risk of certain types of cancers.

    It may also help to alleviate pain and decrease inflammation.

    However, it’s important to note that research on these applications is limited.

  • Soursop Cheesecake
  • Soursop Colada
  • Soursop Ice Cream
  • Soursop Juice With Lime Or Milk
  • Soursop Punch
  • Soursop Smoothie
    You can find many more soursop recipes online.

    *Phytochemicals are chemical compounds that occur naturally in plants; beta carotene from carrots is an example, as is lycopene from watermelon and tomatoes. Diindolylmethane, found in vegetables from the Brassica genus (bok choy, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cauliflower, cabbage, kale, kohlrabi, mustard greens and turnips, among others) is being tested against respiratory tumors, cervical dysplasia and prostate cancer. Cooking may destroy the phytochemicals, which is why a raw diet is popular among a growing group of health-focused consumers.

    †The seeds contain some toxic compounds.


    [1] Soursop can be sliced and eaten like pineapple, either in larger pieces or in smaller bites for a fruit salad (photo © Mallivan | Panther Media).

    [2] The fruit growing on its tree (photo © I Like Plants | CC By 2.0 License).

    [3] The fruit is ideal for the “frozen group”: ice cream, ice pops and sorbet (photo © David Driver Fotografo | Panther Media).

    [4] Ready for a Soursop Colada (photo © Wally G | CC By 2.0 License).

    [5] Cherimoya, a similar-looking, much smaller fruit in the same genus (photo © Sid Wainer).




    A Mexican Torta Sandwich: Fusion Food For National Hoagie Day

    [1] A Mexican torta with beef on the tradition bolillo roll (photo © Hofack 2 | Panther Media).

    [2] Fusion food: an avocado and beef torta on a French baguette, instead of a Mexican bolillo roll (photo © Avocados From Mexico).

    [3] In Mexico around 1900, the French baguette was shortened and widened into a roll called bolillo (photo courtesy Glane23 | Wikipedia).

    [4] The telera is another roll used for tortas. Here’s a recipe to bake your own (photo © King Arthur Flour).

    [5] A vegetarian torta: black beans, avocado and Oaxaca cheese (photo © Frontier Foods).


    May 5th is National Hoagie Day. It’s also Cinco de Mayo, where Mexican food is the cuisine of the day. So how about some fusion food: a celebratory mashup. Make a hoagie sandwich with Mexican ingredients—in other words, a torta sandwich on a hoagie roll.

    First, let’s clarify: Torta means different things in different cultures (and it’s not to be confused with tart, tort or torte).

  • In Spain and some Latin America countries, torta is a sweet cake, such as a birthday or wedding cake. In Mexico, that sweet cake is referred to as a pastel.
  • In the Middle East, tarts are called tortas.
  • In the Philippines, torta is an omelet.
  • Here are more uses of “torta” around the world.
    But in Mexico and some other parts of Latin America, torta is a sandwich, made on a roll called a bolillo (photo #1).

    Telera (photo #3) is another type of roll used for a Mexican torta: flatter and thinner than the bolillo.

    Some sources say that bakers in Mexico took inspiration from the French baguette, and made a shorter loaf called a bolillo or pan francés (French bread) to make sandwiches.

    Telera rolls are also used. Here’s a recipe to bake your own (photo #4).

    According to Spoon University, the most traditional torta, whether on a bolillo or telera roll, is stuffed with pork carnitas (braised slices of pork).

    The torta is then either media ahogada (“half drowned” or partially dipped) in spicy salsa, or bien ahogada (“well drowned”).

    Modern tortas are made in endless varieties—including vegetarian and vegan. Different regions of Latin American have their own favorite ingredients.

    Bolillo or telera, the roll is spread with butter and filled with any desired ingredient (or at home, anything at hand):

  • Avocado spread or guacamole)
  • Cilantro
  • Eggs, typically scrambled
  • Lettuce, tomato, onion
  • Meats (beef, ham, pork carnitas, etc.)
  • Oaxaca cheese (substitute string cheese)
  • Pickled jalapeños
  • Refried beans
  • Salsa
  • Anything else you like, on a buttered bolillo or telera roll
    Compare these to typical hoagie ingredients: There’s a lot of overlap, just with a different national flair.

    So celebrate two holidays at once: Instead of a bolillo or talera roll, place the ingredients on a hero roll.

    Or get fancy, and use a baguette or ciabatta roll.

    The ingredients are not too far apart from a torta. Ingredients also vary for a traditional Italian-style hoagie versus an American variation, with roast beef or turkey and American-style cheeses.

  • Cheese (American, cheddar, provolone cheese)
  • Lettuce, tomato, onion
  • Italian dressing (red wine vinegar and olive oil)
  • Meats (capicola, Genoa salami, ham, soppressata, roast beef, turkey)
  • Peppers (pepperoncini, pickled cherry peppers, roasted red peppers)
  • Oregano
  • On a hero roll
    Ready to celebrate? Grab the ingredients and start building those sandwiches.




    Blood Orange Juice & Gin Cocktail Recipe & The History Of Gin

    May 4th is National Orange Juice Day, and Mother’s Day is this Sunday. So here’s a cocktail to celebrate both, made with blood orange juice and gin. You can buy and squeeze your own blood orange juice (photo #3), but it’s easy to find it already squeezed in brands like Mongibello and Natalie’s.

    This cocktail has no fancy name, just a generic one (“Blood Orange Thyme And Gin Cocktail’). So unleash your inner mixologist and name it after yourself, your mother, whomever.

    Because this recipe came to us from Mongibello, an Italian producer of fresh citrus juices, we called it the…

    Ingredients Per Cocktail

  • Ice
  • 1/2 cup blood orange juice
  • 1-1/2 to 2 ounces gin
  • Simple syrup to taste (we left it out entirely)
  • Club soda
  • Garnishes: 1 sprig thyme, 1 slice orange (ideally blood orange)
  • Optional: coarse salt rim

    1. ADD a handful of ice to a cocktail shaker. Pour in the blood orange juice, gin and simple syrup.

    2. SHAKE 4-5 times and strain the drink over fresh ice.

    3. TOP with a splash of club soda. Garnish and serve.

    The distillation of a form of gin can be found as far back as 70 C.E., when a Greek physician named Pedanius Dioscorides published a five-volume encyclopedia on herbal medicine, De materia medica.

    The encyclopedia detailed the use of juniper berries—gin’s core ingredient—steeped in wine to combat chest ailments.

    As a medicinal herb, juniper had been an essential part of medical treatments from ancient times to modern herbalists and homeopaths.

    From the earliest times, alcoholic products were used as medicines.

    In Baghdad, the first pharmacies were established in 754 [source]. Pharmacists compounded medicines, including those that were alcohol-based.

    (These old-style pharmacies existed through the early 1900s, when drug companies were able to synthetically reproduce the key properties of the natural substances in tablet form, therefore supplanting most medicines that used alcohol as a base).

    The basic principles of distillation were known by ancient Greek and Egyptian scholars, including Aristotle. But the roots of modern distillation technology began the alembic still, developed in 800 C.E. by the great Persian alchemist Jabir ibn Hayyan (photo #6). From his discovery, the world began to distill different types of spirits.

    In the 11th century, in 1055, the Benedictine Monks of Salerno, Italy in their Compendium Solernita, included a recipe for tonic wine infused with juniper berries as well [source]. They distilled it in an alembic still, equipment still used today [source].

    The Dawn Of Modern Gin

    Gin as we know it originated in the 16th century, when the Dutch began to produce a medicinal spirit called genever (pronounced JEN-ih-ver): a malt wine base and a large amount of juniper berries to mask the harsh flavor.

    The first known written use of the word “gin” appears in a 1714 book, “The Fable of the Bees, or Private Vices, Publick Benefits,” by one Bernard Mandeville.

    The British likely began calling genever “gen” for short, which evolved into “gin.” It was a popular drink.

    But gin was unregulated, and unscrupulous distillers added turpentine, sulphuric acid, even sawdust into the gin. The result: drinkers suffered insanity and death.

    As a result, a distiller’s license was introduced. It cut back on the bad hooch, but was so highly priced that few people produced gin. Gin was down, but it wasn’t out.

    A Revolution In Distilling

    In 1830, a new still was introduced that modified the existing column still, revolutionized production of all distilled spirits. Gin distillers were able to produce a purer, clear spirit, and the gin phoenix rose from the flames.

    The British Royal Navy helped to boost gin sales. As sailors traveled to destinations where malaria was prevalent (including India), they brought quinine rations to help prevent and fight the disease.

    The quinine tasted awful, even with the newly-developed, carbonated Schweppes Indian Tonic Water, launched in 1783. It delivered quinine in a more palatable form, but it still was tough to drink.

    In the early 1800s, a British officer in colonial India invented the Gin and Tonic when he realized that alcohol helped the tonic water taste better. It could be sherry, gin, rum, locally distilled arrack—whatever was available.

    Sugar and lime were also added. Over time, gin became the alcohol of preference. You can thank malaria for the appearance of the Gin And Tonic.

    Gin as a straight spirit, and later in cocktails, became an important part of the modern bar. Today, artisan distillers are producing new styles of gin to offer new aroma and taste experiences to gin fans.


    [1] Combine blood orange juice and gin for a tasty cocktail (photos #1, #2 and #4 © Mongibello Juice).

    [2] Delicious blood orange juice is available from both domestic producers and imports. Mongibello blood oranges are grown at the base of Mount Etna, Sicily.

    Blood Oranges
    [3] The flesh of different varieties of blood orange can range from rosy pink to deep red (photo © Good Eggs).

    [4] A blood orange grove at the base of Mount Etna, in Sicily.

    [5] Gin and Tonic, possibly the most popular gin cocktail, was developed so Brits in malarial areas of the world (like India) could swallow preventative and curative doses of awful-tasting quinine (photo © Sebastian Coman Photography | Pexels.

    [6] The alembic still. Numerous places sell them. This one is on Etsy (photo © CAFA Italia |Etsy).




    National Orange Juice Day & The History Of Oranges

    [1] A classic part of many American breakfasts: a glass of orange juice (photo courtesy Sting | Wikipedia).

    [2] Celebrate the day with something special: a rim of Tajin seasoning on your glass of orange juice (photo © Tajin).

    [3] A glass of blood orange juice is a special treat (photo © Mongibello Juice).

    [4] Squeeze your own (photo © Marina Raspopova | Unsplash)./span>

    [5] Squeeze your own, part 2 (photo © Cotton Bro | Pexels).

    [6] In the 1950s through the 1980s, much orange juice drunk at home was frozen concentrate, mixed with water in a pitcher (photo © Florida Citrus).

    [7] Bottoms up: The Mimosa is a blend of Prosecco and orange juice. If you prefer vodka with your orange juice, that’s a Screwdriver (photo © Mongibello | Facebook)

    [8] Growing in a grove (photo © Philippe Gauthier | Unsplash).


    May 4th is National Orange Juice Day, a holiday sponsored by the Florida Department of Citrus. Florida processes more orange juice than any other state (much of it becomes frozen juice concentrate).

    Florida’s crops are mostly juice oranges, while California produces the majority of table oranges as well as juicing oranges.

    Brazil is the leading global orange juice producer by far, with production volume of more than three times the second-place producer*, the U.S.

  • Brazil 1,022 million metric tons
  • U.S. 297 million metric tons
  • Mexico 90 million metric tons

    Start by checking out our 10 Uses For Orange Juice, beyond drinking a glass of it.

    We’re starting our celebration with:

  • A big glass of blood orange juice with breakfast (photo #3).
  • A dinner that includes a blood orange cocktail, roast chicken basted with blood orange juice and a vinaigrette with blood orange juice.
  • A blood orange granita for dessert.

    Lemons, oranges, limes, grapefruit, tangerines and pomelos are just a few of the juicy citrus fruits grown in Florida.

    Citrus contains the anti-carcinogen antioxidants known as flavonoids.

    Citrus also is packed with fiber and vitamin C, and lesser amounts of calcium, potassium and vitamin A.

    Beyond orange juice

  • January is National Citrus Month
  • National Clementine Day is February 15
  • National Mandarin Orange Day is March 20
  • National Oranges and Lemons Day is March 31
  • National Orange Juice Day is May 4
  • National Orange Blossom Day is June 27
  • National Grapefruit Month is February
  • National Lemon Juice Day is August 29
  • National Lime Day is September 26
    You may come across other holidays with a citrus title that don’t honor the fruit.

    For example, March 24th is National Orange Day at Syracuse University, when students and alumni honor the university’s color, orange.

    There are three types of oranges: sweet oranges (Citrus x sinensis), bitter oranges (Citrus x aurantium) and mandarins (Citrus reticulata)—here’s the difference between mandarins and oranges.

    Oranges are members of the Rutaceae family, which includes the citrus genus and many species within the genus (grapefruits, lemons, limes, oranges, pomelos, etc.). There are some 1,600 subspecies.

    The oranges we mostly consume are sweet oranges (bitter oranges are used for marmalade and some other culinary purposes).

    The sweet orange is a hybrid between the pomelo (Citrus maxima) and the mandarin. Sweet oranges are about 70% of the global citrus industry.

    Wild oranges originated in the region that is now southern China and northern India. They have been cultivated for at least 7,000 years in India, and in China for some 4,500 years.

    They were bitter and originally used for medicinal purposes, with sweet varieties developed after centuries of breeding.

    It is believed that traders from the Persian Empire brought oranges from India and Sri Lanka to the Roman Empire, as early as 100 B.C.E. Oranges then spread by multinational trading ships and caravans.

  • The Romans, known for bringing their agricultural products to their conquered territories, spread orange trees across the Mediterranean. From Libya, groves spread to Morocco and Spain.
  • Portuguese traders established trade routes around Africa’s Cape of Good Hope to Asia. Their travels introduced oranges around the globe.
  • Italian traders traded oranges in the Mediterranean region in the 1400s.
  • Spanish colonists brought oranges to the New World by the 1500s. Ponce de Leon is alleged to have brought the first orange trees (bitter oranges) to Florida in the early 1500s.
  • By 1579, the city of St. Augustine, Florida had its first citrus groves.
  • The French brought oranges to what is now Louisiana. From New Orleans, that seeds were brought to Florida about 1872, and many orange groves were established by grafting the sweet orange onto sour orange rootstocks [source].
  • The Spanish brought oranges to South America and to their missions in Arizona and California. Arizona received the orange tree with the founding of missions between 1707 and 1710 [ibid].
  • In California, the orange was brought to San Diego by those who built the first mission there, in 1769. An orchard was planted at the San Gabriel Mission around 1804. A commercial orchard was established in 1841 on a site that is now a part of Los Angeles, by William Wolfskill [ibid].
  • In 1781, a surgeon and naturalist on the ship Discovery, collected orange seeds in South Africa, grew seedlings on board and presented them to tribal chiefs in the Hawaiian Islands on arrival in 1792. (alas, the crop had to be abandoned after a Mediterranean fruit fly infestation).

    By the 11th century, using seeds of Persian oranges, Spain and Morocco began to produce improved orange varieties.

    One well-known variety is the Seville orange from Spain, a bitter orange used for marmalade and liqueurs.

    Soon, oranges were grown on Cananeia, an island off São Paulo in Brazil.

    The orange became a popular and healthy† fruit globally.

    Today, oranges are the fifth most-purchased fruit in the U.S., following bananas, apples, strawberries and grapes [source].

    Prior to 1920, the orange was mainly served as a dessert fruit. The per-capita consumption increased with:

  • The spread of orange juice as a beverage.
  • The growing appreciation of the dietary value of citrus fruits [source].
    The bulk of U.S. orange crop consists of three main varieties: the Washington Navel, the Valencia and the Hamlin. Other varieties, including the blood and bergamot oranges, are grown in smaller amounts.

  • The Washington Navel orange has a thick, easy-to-peel rind and is easy to segment, making it one of the most popular eating oranges. It is not used for juicing, as its higher limonene content adds bitterness.
  • The Valencia orange is smaller and juicier than Navels, with a thinner rind and few seeds. It is popular for juicing. It is the most popular juicing variety grown in California.
  • The Hamlin is similar to the Valencia, but with a lighter color fruit and juice. Seedless, it is popular for juicing. It is the most popular variety grown in Florida.


    Prior to World War II, most Americans drank canned orange. During World War II, the federal government and the Florida Department of Citrus worked with a group of scientists to develop a superior-tasting product.

    The result, frozen concentrated orange juice, was introduced in 1948. A small tube, easy to store in the freezer, was mixed at home with water. The juice was affordable, tasty, convenient and high in vitamin C.

    By the 1980s, food scientists had developed a fresher-tasting refrigerated juice known as reconstituted ready-to-serve juice. The next improvement, in the 1990s, “not from concentrate” (NFC) refrigerated juice, remains the standard today.


    Before the late 15th century, the color we know as orange existed in Europe, but without the name. It was simply called yellow-red.

    Portuguese merchants brought the first orange trees to Europe from Asia in the late 15th and early 16th century. They introduced them by their Sanskrit name, naranga.

    Naranga became naranja in Spanish, laranja in Portuguese, arancia in Italian, and orange in English, French and German.


    *A study of the leading orange juice producing countries worldwide in 2019/2020, from Statista.

    †The health value of orange juice is debatable. It has a high concentration of vitamin C, but also a very high concentration of simple sugars, comparable to soft drinks. As a result, some nutritional advice encourages the substitution of orange juice with the raw fruit, which is a lower-glycemic option [source].



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