THE NIBBLE BLOG: Products, Recipes & Trends In Specialty Foods
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TIP OF THE DAY: St. Patrick’s Day Eggs

You don’t have to hunt for green bagels for St. Patrick’s Day breakfast. Start your day with a nutritious green breakfast by adding pesto sauce to the eggs beaten for scrambled eggs, omelets, a frittata or quiche. Mix in one teaspoon per egg. Decorate the plate with fresh basil or spinach leaves, and you’ll start the day in a holiday mood. You’d think pesto would be a pretty simple proposition: basil (or other green, like spinach or arugula), oil (usually olive, sometimes walnut or other oil), Parmesan and nuts (usually pine, nuts, but walnut pestos and other recipes are pretty fine). Yet, we tasted more than 100 pesto sauces from around the world and found only six brands to recommend to you, two of which were from recent Top Pick Of The Week sauce maker, Sauces ‘n Love. Read about our favorite pestos, the history of pesto and a recipe for making great pesto at home. When you realize how easy it is, you’ll become a pesto-making maverick.   Pesto
Use pesto sauce to make green eggs on St. Patrick’s Day. Ham is optional with your green eggs, but you can enter our Gourmet Giveaway to win a great one this week. Photo by Val Lyashov | SXC.
Read about more of our favorite sauces in the Pasta & Sauces Section of THE NIBBLE online magazine.

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TIP OF THE DAY: Jazzy Vinaigrette

Raspberry Vinegar
Add a splash of raspberry flavor to your vinaigrette.
  Looking to add a little pizazz to your everyday salad dressing? Try a raspberry vinaigrette—two parts raspberry vinegar, three parts olive oil. The sweet raspberry fruit shines through, as does its ruby color. While raspberry vinegars are available for as little as $3.50 a bottle—they can be made less expensively with raspberry flavoring—we splurge on the opulent French vinegar of J. Leblanc, made from the juice of fresh raspberries blended into white wine vinegar, then aged in oak barrels. It also makes a splendid addition to fish sauces, marinades and luncheon salads—especially with sliced duck or chicken. It adds magic when you substitute it for cider vinegar, for example, in cole slaw, potato salad and gazpacho. It can be drizzled on fruit, cheese, bread, ice cream, cheesecake…in fact, you can mix a spoonful into apple juice, iced tea, lemonade and other beverages. It also makes a great gift for your favorite cook or foodie. If you can’t find the brand locally, it is sold on Amazon. Find more of our favorite vinegars in the Oiis & Vinegars Section of THE NIBBLE online magazine.
 

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GOURMET GIVEAWAY: Win An Easter Ham

Take our Ham Trivia Quiz #2 in THE NIBBLE’s Gourmet Giveaway this week, and you may win a prize of an Easter ham. This is not just any ham, but our favorite ham from the ham artisans at Ham I Am, a NIBBLE Top Pick Of The Week (read the review). It’s 12 to 14 pounds and feeds up to 24 people (or provides ham sandwiches for the family for a week after Easter.) Just answer four fun trivia questions about ham—you don’t even have to answer them correctly. Everyone who enters has an equal chance of winning. Take the quiz, from March 10th through March 16th for the prize, or anytime for fun. You’ll learn the 411 about what makes a great ham, in the process. Learn more and enter. Read more about our favorite hams in the Pork, Ham & Bacon Section of THE NIBBLE online magazine.   Win Me
Win this 12- to 14-pound ham for Easter dinner.
 

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PRODUCT REVIEW: Mexican & Hispanic Cheeses

Queso Fresco With Hot Mango Salsa

An appetizer of queso fresco cheese with hot mango salsa from Eat Wisconsin Cheese. Here’s the recipe.

 

Half of the top 10 fastest-growing cheeses at retail are Hispanic-style cheeses.

There are more than a dozen types of Hispanic cheeses available in the U.S. We took a giant nibble and ate them all.

While some cheeses are imported, only cheeses aged 60 days or longer can enter the country; so the fresh cheeses used for cooking—queso blanco, queso fresco, queso para freir, panela and requeson—are made in the U.S.—in large numbers in California and Wisconsin.

In addition to the Fresh Cheese category there are Melting Cheeses and Aged Cheeses. Here’s a tasty introduction to Mexican and Hispanic cheeses.

Discover many more cheeses in the Cheese Section of THE NIBBLE webzine, and pull down this blog’s “Gourmet Food” menu at the right to and select “Cheeses” for even more.

 


  

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NEWS: Ice Cream Heaven

As part of a recent 2008 Flavor Trends luncheon, McComick & Company allowed us to taste the most menu, including frozen desserts prepared by artisan gelateria Il Laboratorio del Gelato. Rose Poppyseed Gelato was a revelation, making us wonder why no one has thought to do poppyseed ice cream before—don’t we all enjoy a good slice of lemon poppyseed cake? Here, the flavor of rose tasted almost peachlike, making us count the days to peach season so we can make Peach Poppyseed as well. Lychee Lemongrass Sorbetto was so exquisite, our tongue froze eating too much of it. Chile Chocolate Gelato, made with ancho chile, should take off big-time at better Mexican restaurants and homemade ice cream shops. We actually wrote this post a month ago, but haven’t had the heart to publish it because we are so tortured because there’s NO MORE GELATO. Thai Chile Chocolate is available from the store and website, but much as we love the spicy chocolate, we’ve been obsessing about the other two. Jon Snyder, when will you end our misery by putting them on the menu?   Rose Poppy Gelato
Rose and Poppyseed Gelato from Il Laboratorio del Gelato, inspired by McCormick’s 2008 flavor trends.
Read more about our favorite ice creams in the Desserts Section of THE NIBBLE online magazine.

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