spices and dried beeans

I spent two days (6 hours each day) sampling everything I could at the 2009 Summer Fancy Food Show (held at the Javitz Center). Even though I’ve experienced the show many times, the sheer size never fails to be overwhelming. I have learned how to pace myself, often only taking one bite per sample, trying not to finish whole pieces. At times something is so delicious I fail and gobble it all up. I feel tormented about throwing out some food and the amount of waste but there’s no other way I’ll be able to sample a good portion of the show.

rishi teas display

With 250,000 products I still have to pick and choose carefully, and at times you feel like you can’t taste anymore. Your taste buds just go on strike, having been way over-worked. It’s totally exhausting but I’m not complaining. It is so much fun and such an education. You get to see, touch, and taste so many products and talk to the people behind the products, get an idea of what their ideas and goals are. You see such different worlds, literally, since the show is divided into sections by country or area, and the range of displays have me wide-eyed, like the first time I was at Disney World.

olives

I’m hoping that the companies I liked will send me products so I can really taste and test at home, use them in recipes, and report my findings. I must be leaving out so much that I either have forgotten or just never got to taste, but for now, here’s a rough recall of the more memorable products:

Under the Divina line at Food Match Inc. we loved the Green Olives stuffed with Sun-Dried Tomatoes

sun-dried tomato stuffed olives

I can’t remember what company this was but I loved there Barameeli cheese. It was a cross between feta and cream cheese, perfectly spreadable with a luxurious creaminess. This was my first time tasting Barameeli but I’ll be looking for it now. (Nothing comes up on google though so someone help me out.)

Barameeli

We tried the TeaAvra Earl Grey shortbread cookies, which had a nice strong tea flavor, but I don’t think I’d ever buy packaged shortbread cookies. The perfect shortbread cookie crumbles, more like disintegrates, so easily. You can’t pack that kind of quality without the end user just getting powder, so for the best shortbread cookies, make them yourself.

Earl Grey Shortbread Cookies

Landrin Waferatto is a rip on ferrero rocher, with lots of flavors. The concept is a good one but the result is kind of cheap tasting. I’d also pass on the Duhaime chocolate sauces and the Isola Lemon Baked Bufala Ricotta, and their burrata.They’re just very mediocre.

chocolate sauces Lemon Baked Ricotta

Mrs. McGarrigle’s Mustards were wonderful. I love whole grain mustard and they had tons of flavors. I tried at least three and liked them all.

whole grain mustards

Fermin was sampling Lomo (pork loin of Iberico de Bellota Pigs), Jamon Iberico, and one more All were so delicious!

Fermin Lomo Fermin Pork

The Nuovo Pastas are pretty impressive looking and it would great for a design theme for a party. With the exception of one blue fish shaped pasta, the rest do not use artificial food coloring. I tried the Spinach, Asiago, and Roasted Garlic Ravioli and the Smoked Gouda and Roasted Pear Sachette. I’d buy both and I’ve seen these in the Garden of Eden.

Nuovo Pasta 5 Nuovo Pasta 3

Emmi Swiss Premium had a Pink Grapefruit Yogurt. I tasted it thinking grapefruit would never work, but it’s probably one of my favorite finds from this year’s show!

Emmi Swiss Yogurt

Lon liked the Matiz Gallego Sardines. I didn’t get to taste it but they do look good for a tin packed sardine.

Matiz Sardines

The Perfect Bite Co. makes these adorable little hors ‘doevres. They come frozen in the tins (recycleable) you bake them in (so easy) and I loved the Caramelized Onion and Feta Pastry.

mini pastry

Stuff I loved but didn’t get a picture of:

I loved Colorado Mountain Wine Jellies. I was given a jar of Syrah Jelly so I’ll be posting my experiments soon. Sauces ‘n Love had an incredible Mint Pesto, and I don’t even like mint that much. I didn’t like the rest of their sauces though. Yakami Orchard has a whole bunch of Yuzu stuff: zest, marmalade, juice, etc. I would love to try making stuff with it. Tamaya Gourmet has a jarred fruit called Chilean Carica. It tastes like a mix of mango and lychee with a nice firm and bouncy texture. Blu di Langa is a three milk blue cheese with a smooth and mild flavor. The texture is like a triple cream brie. It’s wonderful and unique.

Lon liked the Petros salt. I appreciate the pyramid shape but didn’t think the flavor was notable.

pyramid shaped salt

I tried Mangosteen for the first time, Queen of Fruits indeed. They looked very had to cut open, but the reward is wonderful. The fruit is juicy and a bit squishy, texture is almost like over-ripe persimmon, but higher water content. The flavor is more tropical, a little like lychee but there isn’t really anything that tastes the same.  Also my first time for Trout Caviar, but it’s not that impressive.

Mangosteen Trout Caviar

Then there were things you didn’t get to sample, more for display.

spices and herbs

I wish I could’ve eaten some of the gorgeous black truffles I saw.

Black Truffles
…or the morels.

dried morels

In the end, I was surprised by some of the Sofi Award finalists or winners, like Man Bait Bacon Lollipops. If Lon think is tastes crappy and it’s made with bacon, it’s probably inedible to the general public. I was also terribly disappointed in the olive oils this year. Not only did none stand out as good, many had bitter finishes. At the end, lots of the vendors start giving away products to take home (It’s not generally allowed during the event) so I’ll be posting about those things in the coming days.

posted by jessica at 03:39 PM Filed under Events, Products. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Both comments and pings are currently closed.