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Carrot Hummus Recipe For National Hummus Day

Carrot Hummus Recipe
[1] Carrot hummus, served with crunchy crudités (photo © Wine Institute).

Whole Cumin Seeds
[2] Whole cumim seeds. Toast them for great flavor (photo © Planet Spices | Etsy).

Pine Nuts & Garlic Cloves
[3] Pine nuts and garlic cloves. Did you know that pine nuts come from pine cones† (photo © C.J. Dayrit | Unsplash)?

Aleppo Pepper Crushed
[4] Aleppo pepper, a crushed hot chile (photo © Savory Spice Shop).


While we missed celebrating International Carrot Day on April 4th, we’re making up for it today, May 13th, National Hummus Day. We just finished making this carrot hummus recipe, and it is delicious.

The hummus with a platter of crunchy crudités—in this case, spring vegetables—for dipping.

> The history of hummus and more hummus recipes.

> The history of carrots.

The carrots are first cooked to heighten their sweetness. Whole cumin seed, freshly toasted and ground by you, will be so much more flavorful than store-bought ground cumin.

But, you can default to the pre-ground, untoasted variety.

Thanks to the Wine Institute, which recommends serving a California Chardonnay or California Sauvignon Blanc with the hummus and crudités plate.

(Crudités is the French word for sliced raw vegetables, typically served as an appetizer or a snack with wine.)

You can find many more delicious recipes and wine pairings at
Ingredients 2 to 2-1/2 Cups

  • 1 tablespoon plus 2 teaspoons extra virgin olive oil
  • ½ pound (225 g) carrots, peeled and coarsely grated
  • Sea salt
  • ½ teaspoon whole cumin seeds or ½ teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 can (15.5 oz/439 g) chickpeas, drained, or 2 cups cooked chickpeas
  • 2 large cloves garlic
  • ¼ cup (60 ml) fresh lemon juice, or more to taste
  • ½ cup tahini
  • 1 tablespoon pine nuts
  • Aleppo pepper, hot red pepper flakes, or paprika
  • Spring vegetables‡ for dipping, such as radishes, baby carrots, roasted beets, sugar snap peas*, asparagus*, Persian cucumbers, hearts of romaine, scallions
  • Optional: plain or toasted pita wedges

    1. HEAT a 10-inch (25-cm) skillet over high heat. Add 1 tablespoon olive oil. When the oil is almost smoking, add the carrots and a generous pinch of salt. Cook, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon until the carrots have wilted slightly and lost their crunch, about 3 minutes. Set the skillet aside.

    2. PLACE the cumin seeds in a small dry skillet over medium heat. Cook, shaking the skillet often until the cumin seeds darken and begin to smell fragrant, about 2 minutes. Let cool, then pound fine in a mortar.

    3. PLACE the carrots, cumin, chickpeas, garlic, and lemon juice in a food processor and process until very finely chopped. Add the tahini and process until well blended. With the machine running, add enough water through the feed tube to make a smooth purée, about 1/3 cup. Add salt to taste and more lemon if desired.

    Process for 5 minutes to make a smooth, light hummus. Transfer to a serving bowl, spreading it with a rubber spatula and making some “valleys” where oil can pool.

    4. HEAT the remaining 2 teaspoons of olive oil in a small skillet over medium heat. Add the pine nuts and cook, shaking the skillet constantly, until they are golden brown, about 2 minutes.

    5. IMMEDIATELY POUR the hot oil and pine nuts over the hummus. Sprinkle with Aleppo pepper, pepper flakes, or paprika, and serve with the crudités for dipping.

    *The Wine Institute recommends briefly blanching the sugar snap peas and asparagus to brighten their color.

    †Only 20 varieties of pine trees worldwide produce cones with pine nuts that are large enough for harvesting. Pinyon pines, Pinus edulis which only grow between 6,000- and 9,000-foot altitudes, provide the finest pine nuts in North America [source].

    ‡Or vegetables of whatever season you’re in.






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    Food Fun: Creative Toast Toppings

    At our house, toast comes to the table with butter, cream cheese, and jam. But this weekend, we’ll adapt this idea for creative toast toppings from Woodstock Foods.

    Whole grain toast (so much more flavorful than packaged white bread!) is served with guacamole as the bread spread, and a DIY assortment of healthful toppings:

  • Capers
  • Cherry tomatoes
  • Cucumbers
  • Hard-boiled eggs
  • Microgreens (substitute watercress)
  • Sliced apple (substitute blueberries)
  • Radishes
    We’d add:

  • Something from the onion group for tang: sweet onion, scallions or chives.
  • Almonds, pistachios, or other nuts for more protein.
    Instead of guacamole, substitute hummus or plain Greek yogurt.


    Platter Of Creative Toast Toppings
    A healthy platter of creative toast toppings (photo © Woodstock Foods).

    Woodstock Foods, a leader in the non-GMO category, sells wholesome, organic, low-sodium/sugar products. Check out the company website.

    For this toast toppings platter, the brand’s frozen diced avocado (shown in the photo) means you’ll always have ripe avocado at hand, ready to mash into guacamole or avocado toast.
    > The history of bread.

    > The different types of bread.





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    Different Wine & Food Pairings–Cocktails & Spirits, Too

    Foie gras with Sauternes…

    Oysters and Champagne or Chablis…

    Pasta with red sauce and Chianti…

    Steak with Cabernet Sauvignon…

    Thai food and Riesling…

    These are classic food and wine pairings.

    But what if you’d like to try something different?

    Matthieu Yamoum, beverage director of the Baccarat Hotel in New York City, has suggestions that we’d never have thought of—seemingly unusual pairings of wines, spirits, and even cocktails.

    Yet his unexpected matches are just as tasty…maybe even better!

    Here are his recommendations.

  • Cured Ham/Italian Salume: Midori Melon Liqueur
  • Green Salads: Blanco Tequila
  • Hamburger: Mezcal
  • Ice Cream: Single Malt Scotch
  • Indian Food: Gin & Tonic
  • Mac & Cheese: Dessert Wine
  • Middle Eastern Mezze: Negroni
  • Tacos: Vodka Martini
  • Thai Food: Champagne
    For details, check out the full story on CNN Travel.

    Here are some of our own favorites:

  • Barbecue & Malbec
  • BLT & Chardonnay
  • Charcuterie & Zinfandel (pâtés, mousses, and terrines, etc.)
  • Chocolate Ice Cream & Pinot Noir
  • Green Salad Vinaigrette & Madiera
  • Hamburgers & Beaujolais
  • Indian Food & Syrah
  • Peanut Butter Jelly Sandwich With Gewürtztraminer
  • Salmon or Swordfish & Pinot Noir
  • Sushi and Riesling or Gewürtztraminer
  • Spicy Tacos & Reisling
    A final note: There are no “rights” and “wrongs,” there’s just what you like.


    Wine & Food Pairings
    [1] Can you imagine pairing fruit liqueur with food? Well…Midori melon liqueur pairs with prosciutto and other cured meats, in the time-honored pairing of melon and prosciutto (photo © Midori Melon Liqueur).

    Food & Wine Pairing Shrimp & Green Salad
    [2] With a green salad—plain or topped with your favorite proteins and/or fruits—have a glass of blanco (silver) tequila Here’s the recipe (photo © Blueberry Council).

    Martini & Olives Wine & Food Pairings
    [3] Try a Vodka Martini with tacos (photo © Sable & Rosenfeld).






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    Neft Vodka, An Ultra-Premium Vodka That’s A Great Gift

    Neft Ultra Premium Vodka
    [1] Neft is a winner in a dry Martini, any vodka cocktail, or neat (all photo © Neft Vodka).

    Neft Ultra Premium Vodka
    [2] Neft vodka on the rocks. The vodka is packaged in oil drum-shaped cans, available in black or white.

    Neft Ultra Premium Vodka
    [3] Neft is also made in a single-portion, 100 ml size.

    Neft Vodka Pride Barrel
    [4] The Pride barrel.

    Field Of Rye
    [5] Austrian fields growing ancient varieties of rye.

    Rhaetian Alps In Austria
    [6] The Rhaetian Alps in Austria, source of the water used to distill Neft Vodka.

      NEFT ultra-premium vodka‡‡ is produced in Austria with spring water from the Rätikon Massif mountain range, part of the the Rhaetian Alps.

    There, rain and snowmelt water is filtered for 50 years through the layers of limestone and slate beneath.

    That accounts for part of the special flavor, but a bigger part is the blend of four gluten-free, non-GMO, ancient rye grains* grown in lower Saxony, that are distilled into the vodka.

    Neft is crafted at Destillerie Freihof, a 130-year-old family-run distillery in Lustenau, Austria.

    The packaging is an unbreakable metal barrel that stays cold for hours.

    For gifting, Neft Vodka is a great combination of presentation and taste.

    If you’re wondering why the vodka is packaged in a barrel shape, it’s because Neft means “oil” in Russian, and the brand was created to honor oil workers. (There is Cyrillic lettering on one side of the can.)

    Neft Vodka was created by a petroleum engineer from Western Siberia, who observed the endurance and sacrifice displayed by the Siberian oil pioneers† in the 1970s. When she decided to create a vodka brand, she fashioned it to pay tribute to them.

    One source says that the unbreakable barrel allowed the workers to carry a container of vodka that wouldn’t break. There’s more about the barrel below.

    In 2012, Ekaterina Kuzmina wanted to create a vodka that paid homage to her family’s roots in the Siberian oil workforce [source 1, source 2].

    She was determined to make a vodka of outstanding quality for which those original workers would be proud.

    Kuzmina, sought the best organic ingredients and settled on the mountainous Vorarlberg region in the westernmost part of Austria, where pristine Alpine spring water and distillation methods produce some of the best spirits in the world.

    Critics agree.

  • Neft Vodka received two Double Gold Medals from the San Francisco World Spirits Competition and a “Best in Show” in the vodka category in 2018††.
  • More recently, The Tasting Panel Magazine recently awarded Neft an impressive 98-point score. A 92 point rating and Gold Medal came from the Beverage Tasting Institute.
  • Neft also got a Double Gold at the 2020 Best Tasting Spirits competition.
  • Neft was named one of the “Top 20 Vodka Brands of 2020” by VinePair.
    Neft donates 50 cents from every barrel sold to one of six charities they support.

    Are you ready for a taste?

    The great Alpine water, multiple-distillation process, and proprietary carbon-layer filtration produce a vodka of exceptional purity. Neft is elegant, creamy, smooth, and viscous, and can be joyfully sipped neat.

    It truly is a luscious, ultra-premium vodka.

    Get a group of tasting professionals in a room and you’ll hear a multitude of descriptors:

  • A nose of almond and vanilla, which opens up to tangerine and butterscotch.
  • Minerality on the palate, based on the limestone and slate through which the water filters.
  • A sweet vanilla, caramel, and cream entry on the palate, with a soft mouthfeel. A return of the mineral, almond, and tangerine notes in the nose arrive on the palate, evolving to butterscotch.
  • The finish is smooth and long, with almond, caramel, cream, minerality, tangerine, vanilla, and the actual rye itself.
    If that sounds like a lot, clear your palate, taste, re-taste, and see what you come up with.

    The tin-and-aluminum cans are made in black and white, plus a multicolor Pride design and a seasonal holiday barrel. The vodka inside is the same.

    Why an oil barrel?

    The barrels aren’t just to stand out: They’re insulated and will stay cold for up to 6 hours, according to the company. They’re also suitable for outdoor use since they can’t shatter if dropped.

    And yes, you can refill the empty barrels with whatever you like.

    The metal barrels are more sustainable packaging. According to the company:

  • The tin and aluminum packaging is lighter than glass and thus carries a smaller carbon footprint when transported.
  • Tin is also easier to recycle. Aluminum contains, on average, 70% recycled content (more than 3 times the amount in glass or plastic).
    Although the 750ml can is listed at the MSRP‡ of $36.99 on the Neft website, we’ve seen a 750ml bottle for $29.95.

    There’s also a 1-liter barrel for $44.99; and a 100ml barrel for $9.99.

    Some people are stymied by the rubber stopper at the top of the barrel. If you need it, see the video below.
    > The history of vodka.



    *The ancient rye grains—Amato, Askari, Rasant, and Pollino—are thousands of years old and contribute to the unique flavor of Neft. They were selected for their soft and mild flavor profiles.

    †The vodka is produced in Austria. It’s unfortunate that the Russian oil issue was brought on by the current Ukraine invasion, but the brand was founded in 2011 and is made in Austria.

    ‡MSRP is an abbreviation of Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price.

    ††The company was founded in 2011. The vodka first arrived in the U.S. in 2017.

    ‡‡The industry only recognizes “premium” vodka as the highest level. Brands in vodka and other categories have marketed themselves as super-premium and ultra-premium, based on the quality of ingredients and, in vodka’s case, the number of distillations and other features.




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    Pineapple Rum BBQ Sauce & More Recipes For National Barbecue Month

    May is National Barbecue Month, and May 16th is National Barbecue Day. What better way to celebrate than by making your own barbecue sauce. Today’s featured recipe is a Pineapple Rum urbon BBQ Sauce made with dark rum. There are additional links below to more recipes that use beer, bourbon, cola, and dark chocolate.

    Barbecue sauce is the number one product we receive over the transom (i.e., unsolicited). Living in an apartment with no outdoor space to barbecue, it’s not a product we used much—until it started to arrive in droves a few years ago.

    The majority of the products we taste are perfectly fine, but not special enough to write about. Most are made from ketchup or tomato paste, vinegar, a sweetener (often high fructose corn syrup—HFCS), salt, onion powder, other spices (including cayenne or another chile), molasses, and maybe some mustard.

    So when we made the Pineapple Rum BBQ Sauce recipe below, our tastebuds were dazzled. But before we introduce the recipe…

    People often ask about the correct spelling: Is it barbecue, barbeque bar-b-que, or BBQ?

    The answer is that barbecue and barbeque are alternative spellings, and BBQ and Bar-B-Q are abbreviations. According to Grammarist, “barbecue gained clear ascendancy in the late 19th century, and it has gone unchallenged ever since.”

    We chose to use “barbecue” in THE NIBBLE because more of its professional standing with barbecue groups and publishers. But in terms of how “America” spells it, a Google search done today shows:

  • BBQ: 2,600,000,000
  • Barbecue: 685,000,000
  • Barbeque: 272,000,000
    No surprise that the easiest is the most common.

    Kōloa Rum, which created the featured recipe, spells it BBQ. We honor their spelling in their recipe.

    Barbecue Trivia: The word “barbecue” comes from the Haitian Arawakan word “barbakoa,” meaning “framework of sticks.” It refers to a raised wooden structure used to either sleep on or cure meat.

    > The history of barbecue, which dates to prehistory.

    > See the different types (styles) of barbecue sauce, below.

    >There are more barbecue sauce recipes, below.

    The dark rum used in this recipe has notes of vanilla, dark chocolate, and espresso, making it a delicious sipping rum. You can also pour it over ice cream.

    Dark rum, also called black rum, is aged after distilling, typically in charred oak or barrels, for three to five years. Aging in wood creates a darker color and bolder flavor. The longer the aging, the darker the color and the more intense the flavor.

    (Caveat: faux dark rum can be made by the addition of molasses, burnt sugar, or caramel.)

    Kolōa Rum Company’s Rum & Pineapple BBQ Sauce is a real treat. The dark rum and fresh pineapple create a delicious, complex, superior flavor.

    Once you see how easy it is to make barbecue sauce, you may never buy another bottle.

    For more Kōloa rum recipes, visit

  • 1/4 cup Kōloa Dark Rum (or substitute)
  • 1/2 cup fresh pineapple
  • 3/4 cup Ketchup
  • 1/2 tablespoon mustard
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 2 tablespoons Worcestershire Sauce
  • 1 tablespoon vinegar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon maple syrup
  • 1/3 cup water

    1. MIX all ingredients in a blender and pulse to desired consistency.

    2. POUR into a small saucepan and bring to boil, allowing the sauce to cook down and darken in color.

    3. POUR into a jar. The sauce will keep for 3-4 days in the fridge.

    It’s that time of year when we Northerners polish the grill, buy loads of charcoal, and stock up on meat for those outdoor barbecues. And what barbecue is complete without that sweet, tangy, smoky condiment we call barbecue sauce?

    Different regions developed different styles of barbecue sauce, so there’s a lot from which to choose.

    Whether it’s Carolina-, Kansas City- or Texas-style or a simple mop sauce or marinade, almost every grill master has some form of barbecue sauce at hand. Here’s a quick comparison of the major barbecue sauce types. All are based on tomato paste (or in cheaper recipes, ketchup):

  • East Carolina-style barbecue sauce: A thin, sharp vinegar sauce seasoned with black pepper and chile pepper flakes, with little or no sugar. It penetrates the meat when used as a basting sauce; as a dipping sauce, it cuts the fat.
  • Kansas City-style barbecue sauce: A tomato-molasses-based sauce that is thick and sweet, seasoned with vinegar, spices, and often brown sugar or another sweetener. It sits upon the meat, rather than penetrating it.
  • Kentucky-style barbecue sauce: Vinegar and lemon juice join the tomato paste to provide a good acid backbone and a flavor profile that is tart, tangy, sweet, and spicy. It is a thinner sauce that can be used as a marinade, salad dressing, or dipping sauce, and is equally good with seafood and meat. Memphis-style barbecue sauce: Vinegar and onion are incorporated into the tomato paste. This style of sauce works with all types of barbecue, but is especially good on brisket or lamb.
  • North Carolina-style barbecue sauce: This vinegar-based barbecue sauce is the traditional sauce for pulled pork, but it works with all types of barbecue. You can also use it as a marinade or sauce for grilled seafood.
  • South Carolina-style mustard barbecue sauce: A barbecue sauce made of yellow mustard, vinegar, spices, and sugar. This sauce was popularized by German settlers on the coast.
  • Texas-style barbecue sauce: Generally made without tomato, these sauces are heavily flavored with southwestern ingredients: bell pepper, chile powder, cumin, hot chile peppers, and smoke flavors.

  • Chocolate Chile Barbecue Sauce
  • Cola Barbecue Sauce
  • Guinness Beer Barbecue Sauce
  • Harry’s Texas Barbecue Sauce & Very Hot Barbecue Sauce, with bourbon and garlic
  • Märzen Beer Barbecue Sauce

  • Barbecue Sauce Reviews
  • Grilling Tips

    [1] Homemade barbecue sauce with pineapple and rum (photos #1 and #3 © Kōloa Rum).

    Whole Pineapple
    [2] The recipe uses fresh pineapple, which gives so much more flavor than canned (photo © Produce Marketing Guide).

    [3] Koloa Dark Rum.

    Heinz Ketchup Bottle
    [4] Ketchup takes the plac4e of tomatoes paste in this recipe (photo © Brett Jordan | Unsplash).

    Bottle Of Maille Dijon Mustard
    [5] Mustard of choice: Dijon (photo © Maille Mustard).

    Bottle Of Worcestershire Sauce
    [6] Worcestershire sauce adds nuances of flavor (photo © Peter Baron | CC-By-NC-2.0 License).

    Maple Syrup In Leaf Design Bottles
    [7] Maple syrup replaces refined white sugar (photo © Nadine Primeau | Unsplash).


    Established in 2009, Kōloa Rum Company produces artisanal, single-batch Hawaiian rum and ready-to-drink cocktails at its distillery in Kalāheo, Kaua’i and operates Hawai’i’s first distilled spirits Tasting Room and Company Store. The company’s award-winning portfolio includes its premium Kaua’i White, Gold, Dark, Spice, Coconut, Coffee, Cacao, and Aged rums, in addition to a collection of delicious ready-to-drink cocktails. Products are available for purchase online, at select retailers nationwide, as well as in Australia, Canada, and Japan. For more information, visit


    *Hawaiian vowels—Ā ā, Ē ē, Ī ī, Ō ō, Ū ū—are not treated as separate letters, but are alphabetized immediately after unaccented vowels. Here’s more about the Hawaiian alphabet. The straight bar placed above a letter (usually a vowel) is called a macron. Its name derives from Ancient Greek μακρόν (makrón) “long,” since it was originally used to mark long or heavy syllables in Greco-Roman metrics. It now more often marks a long vowel.





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