"I've never eaten so much at a food show," said my friend J as we exited the Summer Fancy Food Show held at the Javits Center in New York City last week. "Me either," I replied after five hours of walking through what seemed like hundreds of booths filled with all kinds of foods.
I often attended this show when I was working in the food industry. I still consider myself a 'foodie' and am ever curious about what's trending in the culinary world.
So dear readers, do you want to know what pleased my palate, tantalized my tastebuds, and made me go "wow-o-wow, can I have some more?" Here's what's cooking and what you might want to try. Note that some products may not be on the market yet, but are coming soon. Others can be ordered online or via Amazon.
♥ Gluten Free: I was pleased to see many products now being made without gluten, especially since I've been trying to be gluten-free as part of my FODMAP diet for IBS. I sampled many of these products, some better than others. I liked new Pretzel Crisps Dark Chocolate Covered Mini Pretzels, Toufayan Gluten Free Scoop-able Pita Chips, Conte's Gluten Free Pizza, and Birch Bender's Pancake & Waffle Mix (miss my pancakes).
♥ Jerky: My late husband used to snack on jerky. One time I came home from work and he was drying beef in the oven to make homemade jerky. Now it's become very trendy. It's full of protein so I guess that's why it's popular. I had my picture taken with Perky Jerky.
♥ Popcorn and Nuts: As an avid consumer of almonds I was glad to see so many nuts in all kinds of packaging. Almonds are a sacred food in the Ayurveda diet, along with ghee (which I will introduce you to later), milk, fruit, and honey (more on honey later too). The cutest was Drive Me Nuts with pictures of babies on their packaging. Half popped popcorn kernels were trending too - I almost broke a tooth trying to eat these kernels.
♥ Honey: From pure raw to honey cream, spiced to honey caramels and even honey soap and shampoo. The Savannah Bee Company sells nice honey products. Remember I told you that honey is a sacred food in Ayurveda - I stir a tablespoon into my plain yogurt each morning.
♥ Brooklyn: Isn't everything that is trendy from Brooklyn? Brooklyn purveyors even had their own aisle at the show. I must say that there was some good food cooking in Brooklyn, including Sohha Yogurt, voted "best yogurt" by New York magazine. I did sample this yogurt - it was very good. Still waiting for the Bronx, my birthplace, to get trendy. Come on now - let's show 'em how it's done in the Bronx.
♥ Tea: Cold tea, hot tea, tea to cure insomnia (ooh, not sure I can master Valarian Root in my tea - I'll stay with my nightly Chamomile), teas to support all your chakras and aid digestion. Some favorite brews at the show were: Rishi, Buddha Teas, Motto Matcha Green Tea (supposedly Matcha is one of nature's most powerful sources of vitality and wellness), and Cham the world's first cold-brewed Chamomile tea.
♥ Chocolate: Couldn't walk down any aisle without sampling dark chocolate. Isn't it good for the daily diet? It's definitely on the Judi Foodie Diet whenever my boyfriend L is around. He loves dark chocolate and devoured the Next Natural Dark Chocolate Quinoa I brought home! I do love dark chocolate too, just not covering edamame pa-leasssse! Now as for that Valrhona Lava Cake, I'll take two pa-leasssse! Hear ye, hear ye, lava cakes are trendy, yes, yes, yes and you can make them at home with this recipe.
♥ Cheese & Olives: Need I say more? I LOVE CHEESE AND OLIVES. I felt like I died and went to heaven at the Italy booths. Ooh, ahh. Ooh, ahh. I must have went back and forth past the giant wheel of Parmigiana cheese about 10 times until there were no more little toothpick flags. Then I headed over to the olive bar for a tasting.
♥ Vinegar & Kombucha: I've been using diluted cider vinegar as an astringent on my face for awhile. Some people consume a few teaspoons a day to cleanse their gut. Not me. However, some of the new Som flavored drinking vinegars are quite tasty. Have you ever tried Kombucha? It's a probiotic tea. Health-Ade Kombucha Pink Lady Apple is the best Kombucha I've tasted. (Ooh, ooh, ooh, that picture below shows me drinking Blue Bottle New Orleans Iced Coffee -- definitely worth the $$$ for an individual carton and better-tasting than vinegar.)
♥ Condiments: Spicy, salty, sweet, savory, artisan ketchups and salsa, jams and jellies. I especially liked the Victoria Amory & Company Hot Pink Mayonnaise and the Perle pearls of balsamic vinegar - which would be lovely to garnish a salad.
♥ Wellness: There were whole grains and hemp, savory yogurts (made by the famous Blue Hill kitchens) and coconut waters, and my absolute favorite of the entire show, Tava Ghee, which is available at Whole Foods. I am definitely going to buy some ghee. Ghee is clarified butter and tastes amazing. It is also one of the sacred foods of Ayurveda. According to the Tava website, ghee has many health benefits including "increases metabolism, aids in digestion, rich in vitamins, is pure and is a natural source of anti-carcinogen CLA."
That's my world wind tour of the fabulous fancy food show. If you're a foodie and want to really get enticed, I also highly recommend the documentary series on Netflix called Chefs Table. OMG, you will be blown away by the visual display that these six chefs create.