Posts Tagged With: Nestlé

280/365: National Frappé Day

Today’s food holiday may have you foaming at the mouth. October 7 is National Frappé Day!

National Frappé DayIf you’re wondering what a frappé is, well, it’s all Greek to me. No, really: the frappé was invented in Greece in 1957 and is considered the national beverage, popular with both locals and tourists alike. During an International Trade Fair in Thessaloniki, Nestlé  was demonstrating a new beverage geared toward children: an instant chocolate drink made by combining chocolate with milk and mixing it together in a shaker. “New” product?! This sounds suspiciously like chocolate milk to me! In any case, a Nestlé employee, Dimitris Vakondios, was craving coffee but couldn’t find any hot water nearby, so he mixed instant coffee in the shaker with cold water and ice cubes, accidentally inventing a delicious, frothy beverage. The word frappé is French in origin, and refers to anything chilled. In the past couple of decades frappés have become popular around the world; in the U.S., they refer to either a chilled or frozen iced coffee drink. Starbucks’ Frappuccino is one popular version, but even McDonald’s has recently gotten into the act with the introduction of their own frappé.

Speaking of the Golden Arches, we grabbed a caramel frappé from there to split this morning. All things considered, it wasn’t bad, but a little on the sweet side.

Categories: Beverages | Tags: , , , , , , | 2 Comments

266/365: National White Chocolate Day

If you’ve got the white stuff, you’ll appreciate today’s food holiday. September 22 is National White Chocolate Day! We have 99 days left in our food challenge, by the way. If nothing else, this should make you realize that Christmas isn’t as far away as you think it is.

White chocolate isn’t technically chocolate, but it does contain cocoa butter – so who’s complaining? Other ingredients include sugar, milk solids, and salt. During manufacturing, the dark-colored solids of the cacao bean are separated from the fat. When regular chocolate is made the ingredients are later recombined, but the cocoa solids are left out of white chocolate, resulting in a pale yellow to ivory color and a lack of antioxidants and other ingredients found in chocolate. Who cares? It’s still pretty damn good!

Nestlé launched a white chocolate candy bar in Switzerland during the 1930s, as a way to get rid of excess powdered milk, which was all the rage during World War I but fell out of widespread use as more consumers turned to fresh milk. Substituting milk solids for cocoa solids resulted in a different product entirely, one that doesn’t always get a lot of respect. Could be due to the name of that Swiss candy bar, Galak. It doesn’t exactly roll off the tongue. Ack! I ate a Galak! Savvy marketing, fellas. In 1948 Nestlé launched another white chocolate bar called Nestlé’s Alpine White Chocolate, which was a big hit during the 1980s and ’90s, until it was eventually discontinued. There is currently a push to bring back this candy bar, with a Facebook page dedicated to reviving it. I, for one, hope they succeed. I’m pretty sure I tried the bar and loved it. I’ve always been a big fan of white chocolate, sometimes even craving it more than regular chocolate.

To celebrate, we bought a Toblerone® white chocolate bar. I’ve become a big fan of this brand thanks to the food challenge, and was thrilled to find a white chocolate version of their Matterhorn-shaped chocolate bar. Delicious!

National White Chocolate Day

Categories: Candy | Tags: , , , , , | 5 Comments

135/365: National Chocolate Chip Cookie Day

You won’t cry when you’re eating today’s teardrop-shaped morsel of chocolatey goodness. May 15 is National Chocolate Chip Cookie Day!

It may also be National Chocolate Chip Day, depending on which source you believe. Either way, we’ve got the holiday covered.

Like several other of the foods we’ve honored already, chocolate chip cookies were created by accident. Ruth Graves Wakefield was a dietitian who graduated from Framingham State Normal School’s Department of Household Arts (home of the Fightin’ Spatulas!) (just kidding, but it ought to be) and gave lectures on food. She and her husband Kenneth opened a lodge called the Toll House Inn near Whitman, Massachusetts, and she was responsible for preparing meals for the guests. One evening she decided to make chocolate butter drop cookies, but found herself missing a key ingredient: baker’s chocolate. Undeterred, Ruth decided to substitute a Nestle semi-sweet chocolate bar. She broke it up into chunks, thinking it would mix together with the dough and create an all chocolate cookie, but the morsels only softened. The cookies tasted great anyway, so she served them, and they became a big hit. The chocolate bar had been a gift from Andrew Nestle himself, as Ruth’s reputation as a talented baker spread far and wide. Sensing a good marketing idea, Ruth contacted Nestle, and struck up a deal with the company: they could print her “chocolate chunk cookie” recipe on their chocolate bar labels if they supplied her with free chocolate bars for her cookies. This was a win-win for both: sales of Nestle semisweet chocolate bars increased, and Ruth ended up with free chocolate (and loads of publicity) for life. Nestle wanted to make it easy for home cooks to make the cookies and even included a tiny chopper in the packaging until 1939, when they introduced chocolate chip morsels.

Ruth and Kenneth owned the Toll House Inn until 1966, when they sold it to a family that turned it into a nightclub. A few years later it was sold again to another family who turned it back into a lodge, and continued to bake the original recipe Toll House cookies for their guests. The inn burned down on New Year’s Eve, 1984. As for chocolate chip cookies? Well, they went on to become the most popular cookie in America. Here’s Ruth’s original recipe.

Mrs. Wakefields Original Toll House Cookie Recipe

2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup (2 sticks) butter or margarine, softened
3/4 cup granulated sugar
3/4 cup packed brown sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 large eggs
1 2/3 cups (11-oz. pkg.)
1 cup chopped nuts

PREHEAT oven to 375° F.

COMBINE flour, baking soda and salt in small bowl. Beat butter, granulated sugar, brown sugar and vanilla extract in large mixer bowl until creamy. Add eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. Gradually beat in flour mixture. Stir in morsels and nuts. Drop by rounded tablespoon onto ungreased baking sheets.

BAKE for 9 to 11 minutes or until golden brown. Cool on baking sheets for 2 minutes; remove to wire racks to cool completely.

As for Tara and I, we picked up a couple of chocolate chip cookies from the farmer’s market over the weekend. No, they aren’t Ruth’s Toll House recipe, but there’s no such thing as a bad chocolate chip cookie, you know?
Chocolate Chip Cookie
Categories: Desserts | Tags: , , , , , , , | 6 Comments

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