There is only one event at the Javits Center each summer that is my only MUST ATTEND event–that is the Fancy Food Show which is presented in NYC each summer and in San Francisco each winter. This year it came back to the Javits from June 12-14 and had an especially big crowd since it was canceled two years in a row due to COVID. It’s the brainchild of the Specialty Food Association which is a haven for both old and new specialty food brands to mix and mingle all year long. I have put together a “best of” my moments at the show. You can always expect the classics like high end olive oils and cutting edge candy, but the Fancy Food show is always where a few and super fun items pop up and get a lot of attention!
Spicy Pickle Cotton Candy at the Chocolate Storybook booth was one of the items I was alerted to by PR people and I am happy that I stopped in and checked it out. This gets my vote as most unusual item that I checked out. Chocolate Storybook was introducing this flavor as well as a Root Beer Float flavor of their renowned cotton candy and I have to be honest and say that I prefer the Root Beer Float but the Spicy Pickle packed a lot of punch and could actually work very well as a garnishment on a savory dish. You can purchase this brand of cotton candy at It’s Sugar stores. Check this extra fun brand out on chocolatestorybook.com.
The classiest booth in my book–although the Fancy Food show is full of classy displays–was Marky’s Caviar. This company based out of Southern Florida is one of the few companies in the US permitted to sell Beluga caviar. The types of caviar available from Marky’s is positively mind boggling–I think that I counted over 30 different kinds. Their site also sells unbelievable luxury charcuterie, so be sure to check out www.markyscaviar.com.
Red Bear is one of the dried meats sold by Marky’s Caviar and their products are all natural. The Red Bear dry salami is up in the stratosphere and tastes as good as anything that you would have on a trip to Southern Italy. The Holy Cow! Salami Sticks will become your best friend if you are a low carb dieter like myself–they are delicious and portable! Ditto for the Tipsy Cow peppery salami. You can see all of these items on markyscaviar.com and forageandfoster.com.
Nielsen-Massey is a world leader in extracts and their vanilla extract is the most used by noted pastry chefs. I have never not seen it on the shelf when I got to meet legendary pastry chefs and looked in their kitchen! But did you know that this popular brand (sold in Williams Sonoma stores) has dozens of other flavors of extracts including coffee and orange? They have some great recipes at the stand using their products and be sure to grab samples if you ever get to go to the Fancy Food Show! A little known fact is that these extracts are great in cocktails and mocktails! Check this legendary brand out at NielsenMassey.com.
My favorite fruit flavored gumdrop and licorice brand of all time is Gustaf’s, who make some of the legendary items that you see pictured here. You can buy this brand on Amazon if you can’t find it in your local stores. They have all the items that are based on my European favorites–the All Sorts are the state of the art in terms of licorice mix and the Gumbilees are the ultimate fruity gum drops (the flavors are natural tasting and they never get hardened like other gum drops). I also love Broadway On Wheels which are classic black licorice pinwheels which will bring you back to the days of your youth! You can always count on the quality of this brand! Go to gerritjverburg.com for more info.
I am a top fan of the Savannah Bee brand of hand and body creams but their honey for consumption is just as remarkable. They sell large chunks of honeycomb and I tried it for the first time. You just eat the whole thing (I was under the impression all this time that you have to drop the honey off the comb and just eat the honey itself)! I am glad that I got to experience this but have to say my favorite item at the stand was their Rosemary And Lavender Body Butter (seen in the purple jar above). You can buy Savannah Bee Royal Jelly items in the large health food chains and on Amazon. For more info, go to SavannahBee.com.
Everyone loves the Carnegie Deli and are sad about its demise. The good thing is that you can get their meats on Goldbelly.com and you can get their brand new bread products at major supermarkets including Wegman’s this fall. I remember how good the Rye bread was at this legendary Midtown West establishment so I can’t wait to get my hands on some of this! Rye bread has less carbs than other types of bread (about 17 carbs per piece although most low carbers do not know this)! They have killer hot dog rolls and hamburger buns as well. For more info, go to carnegiedeli.com.
For those of us who want a next-to-no carb option to bread, nothing beats Crepini–a brand of wraps made out of eggs and cheese. They have two carbs or less per serving and there is even what I call a “lunch wrap”–a folded Crepini with cheddar inside that you can put in your toaster. This item is actually called the Crepini Omelet and you see samples of it pictured above!) The cheese filled Crepini Omelet comes out nice and toasty and the cheddar does not come out and make a mess. The egg white Crepini are only 20 calories and 1 carb each! These work great for low card burritos and veggie wraps, too. Go to crepini.com to see the whole amazing line.
Happy to meet up with the Rick’s Picks teams after many years. When they first started out, I remember seeing them at multi brand press events and their pickled green beans blew my mind. I had actually never had pickled string beans before. Rick’s Picks has a line of about five dozen different pickled veggies I have tried six or seven but my favorite are the beets. I think that they can’t be beat (pardon the pun) by any other jarred veggie company out there today. They add a fancy element of surprise to any tossed salad and are great teams up with feta cheese as a quick appetizer! Be sure to check out the smoky and spicy items for something special to accompany your summer BBQ items! To check out this whole amazing line, go to rickspicks.com.