THE NIBBLE BLOG: Products, Recipes & Trends In Specialty Foods
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TODAY IN FOOD: It’s National Almond Day

Go nuts—it’s National Almond Day. This versatile nut is not just a snack or baking ingredient but a flavor-enhancer in sandwiches and salads—and of course, slivered on green beans. Almonds can purchased whole, slivered, chopped and in stick form (we like the elegance of slivers). Try smoked almonds, too: They really perk up egg, tuna, chicken and green salads. Almonds are high in vitamin E, magnesium and manganese. Our favorite foods with almonds:- Almondina low-calorie cookies
Enstrom’s Almond Toffee, our favorite toffee (it’s kosher, and also available in sugar-free)
Lake Champlain Almond Buttercrunch (also kosher)
Dolcielo’s Amureo Brownies, made with apricots marinated with Amaretto Di Saronno plus large chunks of almonds
Frontier Soups Asparagus Almond Soup
Minnie Beasley’s Lace CookiesNatasha’s Health Nut Cookies, made with almond flour, low carb, low cal, gluten free
  Almond Brownie - Dolcielo
Dolcielo’s Amureo Brownie
, laden with
Amaretto-marinated apricots and large chunks of almonds.
Pariya Foods Almond Nougat, our favorite nougat
Peeled Snacks Fig-Sated, our favorite healthy snack with figs, dates, almonds and pistachios
Poco Dolce Almond and Coconut Almond Chocolate Tiles with sea salt
Recchiuti Burnt Caramel Almonds
Vosges Chocolate Barcelona Bar, dark milk chocolate, roasted almonds and sea salt
Sophia’s Sweets Panforte, gluten free
Terra Medi Green Olive and Almond Bruschetta

Almond Biscotti recipe from Mario Batali
Almond Hummus
Chocolate Almond Beet Torte from Michael Recchiuti
Mulled Wine With Almonds

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ARTICLE: Gouda, Holland’s Most Famous Cheese

Most people are familiar with small, red-waxed Goudas from the supermarket. We’ve found glorious Goudas that will change your mind about this cheese.
  As with neckties, politics and diets, various cheeses go in and out of fashion. The best-known cheese from The Netherlands, Gouda’s reputation has been in decline for some time. Some connoisseurs sniff that it’s a bland cheese with no character. It’s true that most Goudas are milder cheeses, smooth-textured and even buttery. Mass-produced Goudas, which are the only kind most Americans have experienced, can indeed be lackluster and dull. But there’s a whole little world of small creameries out there, producing Goudas in more varieties than you knew existed. And aged Goudas, which too few Americans have tasted, are a thing of beauty, with crunchy, tyrosine crystals and the taste of caramel. By the way, Holland is a southern region of The Netherlands, where Gouda originated. Since Gouda was never name protected, cheese called Gouda can be made anywhere in the world. Some fine artisan Goudas are made in the U.S., as you’ll discover in this article. Go Gouda—read all about it. Discover many other fine cheeses, and learn a lot about cheese, in the Cheese Section of THE NIBBLE online magazine.

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TIP OF THE DAY: Low-Calorie Fruit Kabobs

If you’re ready to switch gears after chocolate-filled Valentine’s Day festivities, fruit kabobs with yogurt dip are a sweet transition—low-calorie and healthy, too. For a snack or light dessert, simply skewer pineapple chunks, melon balls, berries, grapes, orange segments—whatever catches your eye in the produce section—in interesting patterns (or, serve them as fruit salad). You can make an easy yogurt dip from one cup of vanilla yogurt, 2 tablespoons of honey and 1 teaspoon of cinnamon. The diet dip version substitutes plain, fat-free yogurt and 2 packets of sweetener—hold the honey. Our favorite plain, fat-free yogurt, FAGE Total, is so delicious, we’re happy with the fat-free version. Read our review of FAGE Total Yogurt. Find more low-calorie foods in the Diet Nibbles Section of THE NIBBLE online magazine.   Yogurt
Make fruit kabobs with berries, grapes, pineapple, etc.; or just enjoy this delicious and healthy snack as a fruit salad with yogurt topping.

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TODAY IN FOOD: It’s National Creme-Filled Chocolates Day


Strawberry cream fills this chocolate bonbon from Fanny May.


Fittingly, February 14, Valentine’s Day, is also National Creme-Filled Chocolates Day.

Cream-Filled chocolates were made possible by Jean Neuhaus, the Belgian chocolatier who invented the first hard chocolate shell in 1912. Using molds, it enabled fillings of any kind and consistency—creme, whipped cream, soft caramel, light ganache, liqueurs, etc.

Previously, only solid centers like caramels and nut pastes could be enrobed in chocolate—anything else would have leaked out. In enrobing, the center—marzipan, fruit jelly or nuts in caramel, for example—were hand-dipped into liquid chocolate. The center had to be solid enough to be held and hand-dipped.

With Neuhaus’ chocolate molds, chocolates could now be made in pretty shapes, too—flowers, butterflies, fleur-de-lis, crowns, berries and others that are now familiar to us.


Thanks, Jean Neuhaus, for vastly expanding our world of chocolate bonbons. Today, bonbons with chocolate shells are known as Belgian style, and dipped chocolates as French style.

Some chocolatiers work in only one style, some create a mixture of both. Chocolate shells have a thicker chocolate covering than dipped chocolate, so consumers have their preferences, based on whether they like more chocolate flavor or more flavor of the center.

Read more about filled chocolates, a.k.a. bonbons, in our article on chocolate truffles and ganache in the Chocolate Section of THE NIBBLE webzine.

The difference between cream and creme is just the spelling.

Creme is an Americanization of the French word for cream, crème—pronounced KREHM, with l’accent grave, the downward sloping accent mark that turns the “e” sound into “eh.”

Creme was most likely first used in the U.S. to make the dish sound more special: a creme pie versus a cream pie, for example.

But why mispronounce and misspell another language’s word for cream, or create a new spelling when there’s a perfectly good and accurate existing word?

That, dear reader, is the challenge of allowing “amateurs” to name things. In France, the Académie Française, established in 1635 by Cardinal Richelieu, is the pre-eminent authority for matters pertaining to the French language, and publishes an official dictionary of the French language. In recent years, a committee of 40 had to rule on whether newer words like “le computer” are permitted in the dictionary, as opposed to French for “a machine that computes information.”

Back to creme vs. cream: Unless it’s a French recipe with an appropriate accent, such as Coeur à la Crème, stick to cream.


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TIDBITS: The Difference Between Kettle Chips And Conventional Potato Chips

What exactly are “kettle chips,” such as those made by Boulder Canyon, our Top Pick Of The Week (see the previous post)?

Let’s start at the beginning.

Potato chips, invented in 1853 in Saratoga, New York, were originally called Saratoga chips (the history of potato chips).

By the 1920s, every town in the U.S. had its own chip maker, or “potato chipper.” The chip maker sliced up potatoes and fried them one batch at a time in a small kettle.

The chips got soggy quickly in the days before vacuum packaging (or even airtight bags), and needed to be purchased fresh (see the history for the invention of the potato chip bag).

The continuous fryer was invented in 1929, creating tremendous economies of scale and driving most of the small, kettle cookers out of business.

By the 1940s, automation had evolved to change much of America’s artisan food production into mass production, including potato chips.

Potato farmers bred the natural sugars out of potatoes to accommodate mass production, because the natural, variable sugar content required individualized attention to know when the batch was done. That can’t happen in mass production.

The result: Brands like Lay’s and Wise, which sell many millions of bags a year, are certainly popular; but their flavor is only a shadow of the former gustatory glory of the potato chip, made in small batches with more flavorful potatoes.

Hence, the resurgence of the artisan chip.

Today’s “kettle chips” are a return to the thicker, small-batch chips made with top ingredients (you can use some of the best brands to construct fancy hors d’oeuvres, as shown in photo #2).

While today’s “kettles” are fryers much larger than the original stovetop kettle, they are still small in comparison to mass-produced chips.

Don’t be afraid to spend more: With many brands, it really is a superior potato.

  • Read more about potato chips in the Snacks Section of THE NIBBLE online magazine.
  • Fry your own kettle chips with this recipe.

    Artisan Potato Chips

    Potato Chip Garnish

    The right chip is not just a good snacker: It creates sexy hors d’oeuvres. [1] Saratoga Chips, the original branded chip (photo The Nibble). [2] A house-made waffle chip as an hors d’oeuvre garnish (photo courtesy Kettle Brand chips.



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