Vosges Truffle
Vosges Chocolates makes their Budapest truffle with dark chocolate and sweet Hungarian paprika.  They say it's the perfect complement to a spicy Cuban cigar.  Could we just have another truffle instead, please?




Gourmet News
Main Page
Current Month’s News &
Links to All Archives



Product Reviews
Main Page
Food, Beverages, Books,
News & More



Home Page
Link to Other Sections:
Newsletter, Find Gourmet Products, Food Fun, Home Zone





Product Reviews / Gourmet News

Gourmet News Archives

February 2005



Not your mother’s chocolate chips.   The innovative chocolatiers at Vosges Chocolate now offer jumbo Exotic Chocolate Chips in their signature bar flavors: Naga (milk chocolate with sweet curry powder and coconut flakes), Red Fire (dark chocolate with ancho, chipotle and cinnamon), Black Pearl (dark chocolate with ginger. wasabi and sesame seeds), and Gianduja (milk chocolate with hazelnut and almond praline). If you don’t feel like making an extra-special batch of chocolate chip cookies (we did!), here’s what they suggest: (a) melt slowly over a double boiler; (b) sprinkle on very hot popcorn to so they’ll self-melt (or toss them together in a bowl); (c) eat by the handful (O.K., maybe we’ll eat less than if we bought the regular chocolate bar; (d) cook into panna cotta.  Come on, NIBBLE readers: you can come up with more than that!

Vosges Exotic Chocolate Chips
Naga and Red Fire chocolate chips.  Things will
never be the same in Toll House Land.

A four-ounce bag is $8.50. That, along with the experience of turning out your first batch of ancho chipotle chip cookies: priceless.


Another wonderful way to enjoy espresso. At the Italian Wine and Food Institute Gala this week we discovered several molto delicioso items we’ll be reviewing shortly.  Here’s just a taste: Illy, one of the finest producers of espresso machines and Arabica espresso coffee, now has  an espresso liqueur. It is profoundly—wonderfully—like the coffee, with a nose of roasted espresso beans. The initial taste is of fresh espresso and sugar, with vanilla and and caramel notes. The espresso flavor is so realistic, the alcohol mid-palate is almost a surprise. We don’t often find reasons to go out and stock up on new liqueur, but this (and the outstanding lemon and cream of lemon we’ll report on here in the next week or so) sent us running. If your local spirits store doesn't already have it, they should be able to get it easily. If you have any difficulty, the distributor has an online inquiry form at http://www.ourniche.com. You’ll enjoy this for sipping, on top of ice cream or granita—or a shot in a cup of regular Illy espresso.


This week’s news is for coffee drinkers who love a rich, strong cup.  Many experts any coffee experts recommend a French coffee press for the richest flavor and most satisfying cup of strong coffee. In this traditional French method, coarsely ground coffee is measured into a glass cylinder, not-quite-boiling-hot water is poured on top, and after 4-5 minutes of brewing, a stainless steel mesh strainer is pressed down through the liquid, separating the grounds from the strained coffee, which is ready to pour.

French coffee press
The original coffee press:
a classic, but breakable.

But attractive as the presses are, the glass cylinders have a breakability factor. Gourmet housewares manufacturers heard the please of those who can't live without their pressed, and several have debuted new metal presses that are:

  • Non-breakable metal

  • In fashion colors

  • Portable—French press car mugs, sipper mugs, and desktop presses as well as standard kitchen and sizes

Planetary Coffee Press
Desk Press from Planetary Design 

The first of these new lines to make our acquaintance was from Planetary Design. It was created by a pressed coffee lover who knocked over his glass press on a camping trip and had to live through the remaining four days “without a decent cup of coffee.”  Necessity is the mother of invention, and this invention may recruit a whole new cadre of pressed coffee converts.


The Editors spent six days at the New York International Gift Fair—more than 2800 manufacturers!  It took all six days of this huge trade show to see every one to be sure we didn’t over look some new gem.  After five and a half days, did our aching bones need to go back for the final three hours? Fortitude was rewarded: in the final two hours we discovered wonderful sugar-free fudge from Pamela Anne (which Diet Nibbles readers will greatly appreciate); and the high-energy glassware line from Ritzenhoff, each designed by a contemporary artist (and highly collectible). Look for reviews of both lines in the next few weeks.





Lifestyle Direct Direct, Inc. All rights reserved. Images are copyright of their respective owners.


© Copyright 2005-2023 Lifestyle Direct, Inc. All rights reserved. All images are copyrighted to their respective owners.