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Apple Cider Recipes & Apple Cider History For National Apple Cider Day

[1] Pour yourself a glass of apple cider…or turn it into an apple cider cocktail with your favorite spirit (photo © Bonnie Kittle | Unsplash).

[2] Add club soda for an apple cider spritz. You can add just a splash, or use mostly club soda for a type of apple cider club soda (photo © Pesce Huang | Unsplash).

[3] For a touch of elegance, bring the cider or spritz to the table in a carafe (photo © Jennifer Schmidt| Unsplash).

Apple Cider Donuts
[4] Apple cider donuts. Here’s the recipe (photo © Karo Syrup).

[5] Sweet and spicy pickled apples are a delicious condiment. Serve them wherever you’d serve cucumber pickles. Here’s the recipe (photo © US Apple).

Apple Cider Caramels
[6] Apple cider caramels

Apple Pomegranate Sorbet
[7] Fall duo: a scoop of apple cider sorbet with a scoop of pomegranate sorbet. Here’s the recipe (photo © US Apple).


November 18th is National Apple Cider Day. Why not set up an apple cider bar and invite friends and neighbors? You set out the cider, spirits, mixers, and garnishes, and guests make their own. Don’t forget the cookies: Gingersnaps and snickerdoodles are great with cider. There are also apple cider cookies with nuts and raisins, and of course, apple cider donuts. Check it out!

Or, go directly to the hard cider. Here’s how to plan the cider party, and a list of some hard ciders to try. Also, what to know about hard cider.

You can also plan a cider tasting party for Mother’s Day or Father’s Day.

So dig in…and if you don’t have time to cook or mix a cocktail, enjoy fresh or hard cider straight.

Another occasion to celebrate: World Cider Day is June 3rd.

> What Is Hard Cider?


  • Apple Brown Betty
  • Apple Cider Caramels
  • Apple Cider Donuts
  • Apple Cider Jelly
  • Apple Cider-Pomegranate Sorbet
  • Fruit Gastrique (Sauce)
  • Ice Cream Sandwiches With Apple Cider Ice Cream & Apple Cider Donuts
  • Recipes With Boiled Cider
  • Sweet & Spicy Pickled Apples

  • Beverages
  • Apple Cider Cocktail In A Fresh Apple Cup
  • Apple Cider Sangria
  • Apple Cider Sangria With Calvados & Mocktail Version
  • Apple Cider With Apple Skulls (leave out the skulls and it’s still delish)
  • Apple Cider Mimosa
  • Autumn Apple Spritz Cocktail With Lady Apples
  • Bourbon Cider With Candied Bacon
  • Caramel Apple Pie Cocktail
  • Chianti, Cider & Chai Tea Cocktail
  • Fall Sangria With Bourbon Sugar Rim
  • Hot Apple Cider Cocktail
  • Hot Buttered Rum
  • Mulled Cider
  • Oktoberfest Party With Hard Cider
  • Pear & Sparkling Cider Cocktail
  • Pumpkin Beertail
  • Rye & Apple Cider Cocktail
  • Saké & Cider Cocktail
  • Spiced Cider
  • Spiced Mulled Cider (With Tabasco!)
  • Wassail Bowl For Christmas
  • Winter Cider Sangria

    Wild apple trees originated in the mountains of Central Asia. The center of diversity of the genus became eastern [present-day] Turkey.

    The apple tree may have been the earliest tree that humans cultivated (the history of apples). Over the millennia, through selective breeding, farmers improved the fruits [source].

    When the Romans invaded England around 55 B.C.E., they found the local Celts cultivating apple orchards and drinking apple cider.

    The original apple varieties weren’t for eating. They were bitter, so were pressed for their juice and left to ferment into alcohol.

    The Romans immediately embraced the drink, and cider quickly spread through the Roman Empire and across Europe: from the Germanic tribes to the east, to the Normans in the south (northern France).

    When the Normans invaded England in the 9th century, they returned to Normandy with the rootstock to grow their own apple orchards and left behind the word “cider” for the English language [source].

    Everyone drank cider or beer: adults and children alike. Due to unhealthy water sources, it was the safer choice.

    Fast forward: Colonists brought apples to North America in the 17th century—the bitter cider apples. Apples were being grown in Massachusetts as early as 1630. At the end of the 18th century, Johnny Appleseed traveled west to spread apple trees for cider.

    As in Europe, cider or beer was drunk instead of water.

    Mutations were continually creating new breeds of apples. The McIntosh mutation was discovered in 1796, by a farmer named John McIntosh. It was sweeter, and was best for eating rather than fermenting.

    More sweet mutations followed, and today, we have as many varieties of sweet apples as cider apples.
    Apple Cider In America

    When English settlers arrived in the Americas, they planted apple trees with the hopes of making [alcoholic] cider. It was a necessity: All water sources potentially harbored waterborne diseases that could be deadly for the family or community.

    Beer, the common alternative to harmful water in Europe (for adults and children alike), wasn’t an option. The climate wasn’t suited to growing the barley, wheat, and rye essential for brewing beer.

    But apple trees adapted to the New England climate, and apple cider became the standard drink for everyone including children.

    Children were often served a watered-down version of cider called ciderkin or applekin.

    The average family at the time consumed 90 gallons of cider each year [source]!

    The apples were also made into cider vinegar, which was essential in pickling and preserving food.

    Cider spread beyond New England, of course. Cider was considered to be exceptionally valuable in early America and even became an acceptable payment for work. Virginia planter William Fitzhugh noted around the late 1670s that his 2,500-tree orchard and the cider it produced was as valuable as 15,000 pounds of tobacco—then Virginia’s top cash crop.

    As most Americans know, in the early 19th century, John Chapman, better known as the “Johnny Appleseed,” made his fortune from growing apples. By planting temporary tree nurseries throughout unsettled areas in the Midwest, Chapman was able to sell families bound for the West, established apple trees ready to plant and yield crops.

    During the latter 19th and early 20th centuries, the Temperance Movement and subsequent Prohibition lessened, then ended, the demand for hard cider. While non-alcoholic cider endured (it is pressed from sweet, not cider, apples), many cider apple orchards were cut down or burned during Prohibition (1920 to 1933).

    After Prohibition’s end, apple cider orchards remained limited: The cost involved in planting new orchards wasn’t paid back by the limited demand for cider. Farmers who did stick to growing apples switched to the sweeter varieties that are used for baking and fresh apple juice [source].

    Over the last 20 years, craft brewers have revived the art of cider brewing. Seeing the trend, the Angry Orchard hard cider brand was launched in 2012 by the Boston Beer Company, brewers of Samuel Adams beer.







    St. Lucia Distillers Chairman’s Reserve Spiced Rum

    Our Tip Of The Day, St. Lucia Distillers Chairman’s Reserve Spiced Rum, is a winner for these reasons and more:

  • Natural. The spice flavor is all-natural. Only real spices grown on the island—not extracts or artificial flavors used by big-name brands and others—are infused into the rum.
  • Sipping. It’s a delicious sipping rum, fragrant with dimensions of flavor (vanilla, warm spices…and more noted below).
  • Cocktails. You can create cocktails, from very simple (just add club soda or sparkling wine) to slightly more complex (Julep, Mai Tai, Old fashioned).
  • Seasonal Drinks. Add it to hot or cold cider, eggnog, hot toddies/hot buttered rum. It’s delicious in coffee and tea, hot or iced (garnish with some fresh-grated nutmeg).
  • Dessert. Serve it with dessert: apple pie, pecan pie, pumpkin pie, carrot cake, chocolate cake, pound cake, vanilla cake, and more. Truth to tell, we can enjoy a snifter or glass instead of dessert.
  • After Dinner. Enjoy it as an after-dinner drink.
  • Cooking. When a recipe requires rum, this spiced rum adds something extra. Try it in pan sauces, mousse, puddings. How about spiced rum raisin ice cream?
  • Gifting. It’s an affordable gift for a lover of fine rum, or something different for a Cognac lover or a fan of liqueur like Grand Marnier. We found it online for $27.99.

    St. Lucia is a volcanic island nation situated in the eastern Caribbean: lush rainforests with waterfalls, dramatic mountains, volcanic beaches, reef-diving sites, fishing villages…and luxury resorts enabling vacationers to enjoy it all.

    But before the resorts, there was sugarcane. Sugarcane was brought to St. Lucia in the 1700s, likely from India (the history of sugar cane), and was used to contribute to the Caribbean’s thriving rum trade.

    By the 1950s however, demand for rum had lessened in favor of other spirits, and many Caribbean islands closed their distilleries. The last operating distillery on St. Lucia, St. Lucia Distillers Group, produces this wonderful spiced rum.

    Spiced rum is a tradition in St. Lucia. The island grows numerous spices, which are sold in the island’s open-air markets.

    Local families buy the spices and make their spiced rum at home, using a base of white rum. Every family has its own special recipe, and the recipes vary widely. At the end of the workday, everyone relaxes with a glass of it—whether at home or visiting a neighbor.

    There is a breadth of options in choosing spices, along with local fruits. They can include allspice, almonds, anise seeds, cinnamon, cloves, coconut, coriander, ginger, hibiscus, lemon and/or orange peel, mace, nutmeg, raisins, rosemary and vanilla pods.

    St. Lucians also add bois bande (pronounced bwah bond, “hard wood”), the natural bark of a tree by the same name. The bark is added as a bittering component (and it’s known in Santa Lucia as a natural aphrodisiac). It differentiates St. Lucian rum.

    St. Lucia spiced rum is often made with overproof rum, a distillate that contains more than 50% alcohol by volume (A.B.V.) The proof of a spirit is double the A.B.V. Hence, we’re looking at rum that is 100 proof or more.

    However, St. Lucia Distillers Chairman’s Reserve Spiced Rum is not overproof. It’s a conventional 40% A.B.V., 80 proof.

    > Check Out The Different Types Of Rum & The History Of Rum

    August 16th is National Rum Day.

    A blend of rums from both column and pot stills (photos #3 and #4), the rums are aged for an average of 5 years in used American oak casks (photo #5). They’re married after maturation, and then returned to oak for blending and final finishing—another six months. The end result is the flagship Saint Lucian rum: harmonious with well-rounded finesse, rich in color, aroma, and flavor.

    The nose has spicy vanilla from the oak, honey, and fruit. We think it smells like a heavenly dessert, inspiring thoughts of cake batter, crème brûlée, and vanilla custard, with a hint of orange). We can be happy simply by inhaling it.

    But of course, we also love to drink it. The palate: balanced with a mellow but complex mix of raisiny fruit, spice, and tobacco. The finish is long and oh-so-enjoyable.

    This is nothing like the Captain Morgan spiced rum which we were happy to drink in college. Everything has a time and place; but now that we’re an adult foodie, we want the real thing.

    So set aside your idea of what spiced rum is, and treat yourself to a bottle of a great one: St. Lucia Distillers Chairman’s Reserve Spiced Rum.

    Begin, of course, by procuring a bottle for yourself, and for gifts. In addition to the serving ideas above, here are some favorites from the St. Lucia Distillery team:

  • Neat or with a splash or more of coconut water (or freeze coconut water into ice cubes for spiced rum on-the-rocks.
  • Old Fashioned, with a sugar cube and Angostura bitters.
  • These cocktail recipes on the brand’s website.
  • Duke’s Pearl, today an obscure cocktail. It’s a balance between sweet and tart, made with spiced rum plus lime juice, passionfruit juice, honey syrup and cinnamon syrup. we found a recipe here.


    [1] A bottle of St. Lucia Chairman’s Reserve atop a cask in the aging cellar (all photos © St. Lucia Distillery).

    [2] Spice up your Mint Julep: switch the Bourbon for spiced rum. Here’s a recipe.

    [3] Copper pot stills. Copper is better for distilling spirits because the copper removes sulfides from the distillate (the distilled spirit), which produces a better tasting and better smelling final product.

    [4] A copper column still.

    [5] Rum aging in casks. The next step: Into the bottle and ready to sell.

    [6] A Manhattan cocktail made with St. Lucia Distillers Chairman’s Reserve Spiced Rum instead of Rye. Here’s the Manhattan recipe.






    Gourmet Hanukkah Chocolate From L.A. Burdick

    [1] The medium Hanukkah Chocolate Assortment: 30 pieces of deliciousness (all photos © Burdick Chocolate).

    [2] You can repurpose the empty box for jewelry, keepsakes, office supplies—or use it to package another gift.

    [3] Some of the bonbons.

    [4] Close up on the menorah bonbon.

    [5] The large box, 50 bonbons.


    L.A. Burdick is one of the finest artisan chocolatiers in America. For the first time, the company is debuting a special Hanukkah chocolate box. The individual bonbons feature ingredients that are central to Jewish cuisine and imagine what some of the quintessential Jewish foods might taste like as chocolate bonbons. (No, there are no matzoh ball bonbons. See the flavors below.)

    A variety of Hanukkah-inspired bonbons, as well as signature bonbons from the Burdick signature collection, are presented in Burdick’s elegant wooden gift box (which is a keeper).

    Each box is hand-tied with a blue ribbon and hand-stamped with a silver menorah design wax seal.

    The collection is available now through December 10th, while supplies last.

    You can order:

  • A medium box of 30 pieces (photos #1 and #2).
  • A large box of 50 pieces (photo #5).

    Both boxes include:
    Hanukkah Bonbon Flavors

  • Applesauce. A take on the traditional accompaniment to latkes served during Hanukkah, here pâte de fruit made from freshly juiced green apples is enrobed in milk chocolate.
  • Coconut Macaroon. An interpretation of the classic Jewish dessert associated with Passover, but equally delicious all year. Dark chocolate ganache is combined with coconut milk, shredded coconut, and coconut liqueur and hand-piped to resemble a macaroon.
  • Halvah. A nod to the rich Middle Eastern confection that is beloved by Jewish populations around the world. White chocolate ganache with tahini is enrobed in dark chocolate and sprinkled with toasted sesame seeds.
  • Lekach. Inspired by the classic Jewish honey cake, this is dark chocolate ganache with honey, cinnamon, ginger, and clove, enrobed in dark and milk chocolate.
  • Olive Oil & Rosemary. Celebrating one of the iconic symbols of Hanukkah, the miraculous oil that kept the menorah lit for eight days. Dark chocolate and gianduja blended are with olive oil and infused with rosemary.
  • Orange Blossom & Fig. The fig, one of the seven crops of Israel named in the Bible, plays a starring role along with orange blossom water in this dark chocolate bonbon.
  • Rugelach. Prunes, raisins, and walnuts flavor this chocolate interpretation of the traditional Jewish pastry that originated in Eastern Europe, and has become a staple of the Jewish dessert repertoire.
    Classic Burdick Bonbon Flavors

  • Baton Framboise. Dark chocolate ganache blended with French raspberries.
  • Fig. Dark chocolate ganache with figs and Port wine.
  • Hazelnut. Dark chocolate and hazelnut gianduja with a touch of orange zest, enrobed in milk chocolate.
  • Orinoco. Semi-dark chocolate ganache with hints of Caribbean spices, rum, and cocoa nibs.
  • Porto Baton. A baton of dark chocolate ganache with hints of cinnamon, cardamom, and chopped hazelnuts.
  • Praline Croquant. Dark chocolate praline with almond croquant.
  • The Richelieu. Dark chocolate ganache blended with gianduja and cherries marinated in housemade cherry brandy.
  • Sava (Vanilla). Dark chocolate ganache infused with fresh Madagascan vanilla beans and freshly grated nutmeg.
    Oh, how delicious!










    Pumpkin Pie Parfait Recipe–No Cooking Required!

    We really like pumpkin pie, and couldn’t wait until Thanksgiving to get our pumpkin pie fix. So on two different days, we went into two different well-regarded bakeries and bought ourselves a slice. We were a bit disappointed with each, because the spices weren’t our cup of tea. One had too much allspice, the other not enough cinnamon. So on the third day, we tried this recipe, which has the wild card of maple syrup (that’s because it was sent to us by the Pure Maple from Canada folks.

    So how was it?

    Overall: a delicious pumpkin pie-like dessert that requires no baking, in fact, no kitchen skills whatsoever if you don’t toast the pecans. You don’t have to toast them, but the flavor is so much better if you do. You can toast nuts on the stove top, in the microwave or in the oven. The instructions are below.

    The maple syrup was a pleasant flavor alternative to the customary brown sugar.

    We made one substitution and one addition to the recipe. We didn’t have chia seeds, but we did have pepitas: unshelled, unsalted pumpkin seeds.

    We also added a streusel “crust” at the bottom of the pudding parfait. You can do the same with:

  • Crumbled gingersnaps, graham crackers or shortbread (or heck, Nabisco Famous Chocolate Wafers).
  • Actual pie crust, if you have leftover scraps that you can bake in the toaster oven and crumble.
    It was a nice extra layer of flavor.

    We used Tru Whip, which we find has better flavor than Cool Whip—and it’s all natural. The next time we make this recipe, we’re going to try substituting stabilized whipped cream for the whipped topping. Here’s a recipe to start off with.

  • 1/2 cup chopped pecans, toasted (directions below)
  • 6 Tbsp pure maple syrup from Canada, divided
  • 1 can (15 oz) 100% pure pumpkin purée
  • 1 tablespoon chia seeds
  • 1/2 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice*
  • 1 cup + 4 tablespoons thawed whipped topping, divided

    1. TOAST the pecans. Combine the pecans and 2 tablespoons of maple syrup. Reserve 2 tablespoons of the pecan mixture and divide the remaining mixture evenly between 4 glasses.

    Note that if you are using a “crust” option, that should be your first layer before you add the pecans.

    2. COMBINE the pumpkin purée in a bowl along with 4 tablespoons of maple syrup, the chia seeds, and the pumpkin pie spice. Fold in 1 cup of whipped topping and divide the pudding evenly in the four glasses over the pecan mixture.

    3. TOP with the remaining whipped topping and the reserved pecan mixture, dividing evenly. Refrigerate for at least 3 hours or overnight.

    Why toast nuts, seeds, or spices?

  • Toasting takes the bite out of walnuts, and adds mellow dimensions of flavor to all nuts. It’s the same with seeds and spices.
  • Toasting can also put some life back into nuts, seeds, and spices that are old and no longer vibrant.
  • With nuts, toast whole nuts or halves first, then chop them into smaller pieces if desired.
  • It’s best to toast all three as close to serving as possible—fresh-toasted nuts, seeds, and spices have a wonderful aroma.
  • Once toasted, they can be stored in the refrigerator in an airtight container for 1 to 2 weeks, or frozen in an airtight freezer container for 1 to 3 months.
    That said, toasting couldn’t be easier.

  • ON THE STOVETOP: Place the nuts/seeds/spices in a heavy, dry skillet over moderate heat, stirring, until fragrant and a shade or two darker, 3 to 5 minutes. Don’t crowd the nuts; use a larger skillet as needed, or toast in two batches.
  • IN THE OVEN: Preheat the oven to 350°F and place the nuts/seeds/spices in an ungreased shallow baking pan or a rimmed baking sheet, in a single layer. Roast until golden, 5 to 10 minutes, shaking the pan once or twice for even toasting.
  • IN THE MICROWAVE: For smaller amounts—tablespoon to a 1/2 cup, spread evenly in a single layer on a flat, microwave-safe dish. Add a small amount of softened butter or oil—1/2 teaspoon of fat per 1/2 cup of nuts/seeds/spices. Stir to coat with the fat and microwave on high for 1 minute. Stir and microwave for another minute. If not done to your satisfaction, continue to cook 30 seconds at a time, stirring after each addition of time. As with the other methods, the product should become lightly browned and fragrant.
    For all methods, shake the pan during toasting to even the browning. When finished, remove the nuts from the pan to cool.
    Like all cooked foods, the nuts/seeds/spices will continue to cook when removed from the heat.

  • Don’t over-toast. Err on the side of under-toasting.
  • Stove-top toasting doesn’t toast as evenly as the oven method, because the heat isn’t as even. The surface touching the heat becomes darker in color. But, it’s fine for most purposes.

    *If you don’t have a prepared blend, combine ¾ teaspoon cinnamon and ¼ teaspoon each of allspice, cloves, ginger and nutmeg.


    [1] “Pumpkin pie parfait” is actually, a pumpkin pudding parfait. By any name, it’s a tasty treat (photo © Pure Maple From Canada).

    [2] You’ll need pumpkin puree—a can will do although this one is homemade by Foodal. Here’s the recipe (photo © Foodal).

    [3] Mmm, pecans. We ate half of them before we toasted them! Fortunately, we had a whole bag full (photo ©

    [4] A leaf bottle is a cute gift (photo © Canada Maples).

    Truwhip & Gingerbread
    [5] Tru Whip: a natural whipped topping (photo © Tru Whip).

    [6] The pumpkin pie spice mix proportions can vary, but it typically includes allspice, cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg and ginger (photo © Silk Road Spices).





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    Mashed Cauliflower Recipe With Garlic, To Fool Mashed Potato Lovers

    [1] It looks like mashed potatoes, but it’s mashed cauliflower (photo © Chef Wave).

    [2] A beautiful head of cauliflower. Don’t throw away the stalk: cut, cook and mash it with the rest (photo © Jennifer Schmidt | Unsplash).

    [3] You can use colored cauliflower, of course (photo © Sid Wainer & Son | Facebook).

    [4] For more garlic flavor, use minced fresh garlic instead of garlic powder (photo © Tijana Drndaski | Unsplash).


    You just can’t eat too many brassicas. The plant family of cruciferous vegetables, Brassica, contains nutritional powerhouses that are packed with potent, cancer-fighting phytonutrients (antioxidants). Members include arugula, bok choy, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, cauliflower, collards, horseradish/wasabi, kale, kohlrabi, mizuna, mustard greens, radish, rapeseed/canola, rapini, rutabaga, tatsoi, turnips, and watercress, among others.

    It’s easy to eat a cup or more daily of veggies like broccoli and cauliflower, especially if you snack on the raw florets with a yogurt dip.

    Thanks to My Chef Wave for the recipe. Here are two related recipes from The Nibble archives:

  • Add Cauliflower To Mashed Potatoes (With Fried Tarragon)
  • Quick Cauliflower Mashed Potatoes
    There are more cauliflower recipes below.

    The chef used the Intermix immersion hand blender to make whisking the potatoes a cinch.

  • 2 cups fresh or frozen cauliflower
  • 1 tablespoon canola oil (we substituted butter)
  • 2 tablespoon chopped onion
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder or substitute*
  • 1 tablespoon all purpose flour
  • 1 cup dairy, almond or oat milk
  • Garnish: butter, fresh dill or/and parsley

    1. STEAM fresh cauliflower until tender but crisp. If using frozen cauliflower, prepare according to package directions.

    2. HEAT the oil in a small saucepan over low heat. Add onion and garlic, stirring often until the onion is softened.

    3. ADD the flour, whisking constantly, about 1 minute. Gradually add the milk, pepper, and parsley. Whisk until thick and smooth. Remove from heat and pour over cauliflower.

    4. GARNISH with a pat of butter and parsley sprinkled on top. (Tip: because there was parsley in the potatoes, we used dill for the garnish.)

  • Cauliflower Buffalo Wings
  • Cauliflower Cheddar Soup With Dill
  • Cauliflower Mac & Cheese
  • Cauliflower Potato Latkes
  • Cauliflower Rice
  • Cauliflower Steak
  • Cauliflower With Olive Salsa Verde
  • Crispy Fried Cauliflower
  • Garlic-Roasted Cauliflower
  • Grilled Cabbage Steaks
  • Grilled Cheese With Cauliflower
  • Homemade Cauliflower Rice
  • Roasted Cauliflower With Brown Buttter, Lemon & Pistachios
  • Spaghetti With A Surprise Creamy Sauce
  • Warm Cauliflower Salad With Bacon & Romesco Sauce
  • Whole Roasted Cauliflower

    *For more intense garlic flavor, substitute an equal amount of freshly minced garlic. Or, use one medium-sized fresh garlic clove for every 1/8 teaspoon needed. You can also use an equal amount of granulated garlic.





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