It’s no secret that I’m a foodie and when the Fancy Food Show comes to New York’s Javits Center the last Sunday in June (for a total of a three-day stint), I’m the first in line to “nosh around the clock” and check out both the old classics and newbie food items on exhibit. I always have to go press the flesh with my two fave exhibitors–Rao’s Specialty Foods and Bongiovi Sauces. John Bongiovi (yes, he is Jon Bon Jovi’s dad) has three killer sauces but the Garden sauce is my fave. The man’s a charmer and you can see where Jon Bon got his good looks from!
My fave new folks at the Food Show that I met with were Kaldi, who make olive oils that rocked my socks off. Why is that? I love an olive oil that tastes “extra virgin”–in my book, meaning earthy and hearty. You can really taste green olives in their oils. I had to try several of them. It’s no wonder that this family run business has won food awards galore!
I am a panettone freak so I also headed over to the legendary Bauli exhibit booth where I tried breathtaking panettone with lots of delicious golden raisins and other dried fruit in it. It’s no wonder that Bauli is a winner in this field and for so long. I took one of their panettones home with me and it was gone the next day (and no, I don’t live with anyone else, LOL)! The new product they were sharing was the Bauli Mini Pandoro and it seemed to be super popular with FFS guests stopping by!
It was also great to see my Beanitos people–Beanitos are my favorite healthy snack and I particularly love the White Bean With Sea Salt. They have replaced regular tortilla chips in my life! In terms of candy (the opposite side of the spectrum), I discovered the lovely Gustaf’s Gumblees, which is a gourmet English Style Wine Gum. These are now my new favorite gum drop!
I was luck enough to attend the exclusive Editor’s Showcase on the last day of the show and was beyond wowed! The Editor’s Showcase gives food press an opportunity to spend quality time with vendors and take home samples. I was most impressed with Blue Isle Yogurt Spread, which contains probiotic cultures. The onion flavor reminded me of the classic Lipton soup and sour cream chip dip my mom made back in the day (but this version is much healthier at only 30 calories per tablespoon). The blueberry is my new fave to put on English muffins in the morning! I also discovered their new Honey Greek Yogurt, which is rich and smooth but not high in calories.
I found the sauces from Vermont Signature Sauces to taste as good as homemade (and love that they are bottled in glass to keep the flavors extra-fresh), and found a new favorite crisp (cracker), 34 Degree Savory Crisps. I love the Natural flavor the most because it blends with anything topping sweet or savory, and is a good strong crisp that could handle a lot of good cheese piled on top!
In terms of pancake mixes, I fell in love with three gluten-free pancake and waffle mixes from Zemas–Gluten-Free Chocolate Teff Pancake & Waffle Mix, Multigrain Pancake & Waffle Mix and Peruvian Sweet Potato Pancake & Waffle Mix. These products not only create light and fluffy pancakes and waffles, but they are all natural with no refined sugars. They have a great back story as they were created by a mom for her family with different nutritional needs–read it at www.zemasfoods.com.
My high point of the Editor’s Showcase was getting to meet the folks from Anastasia Confections. They are the folks that put out the legendary dark chocolate covered Coconut Patties
you find at Walgreen’s and CVS in Florida (as well as in all the airports there), and load up your carry on with! They make a killer taffy sold in one pound bags and I am not ashamed to say that I ate the whole thing in two days! And speaking of chocolates, one of my favorite brands, Lake Champlain, was on hand to let editors try dozens of delicious assorted chocolates. You know that I put quite a few in my editor’s showcase canvas tote bag!
My only regret at the show is that I did not find the time to stop at the booth of my favorite artisan petit four brand, Divine Delights. But I order them for my sister’s Christmas table every year and go to town on them. They are as gorgeous to look at as they are delicious to eat!