Favorites from the Summer Fancy Food Show 2013

by autumn on July 3, 2013

numi-savory

Last Sunday, I attended the Fancy Food Show for the first time. A gigantic trade show for the specialty food industry, it features over 260,000 foods from around the world. That’s your clue that I certainly didn’t see everything, but did my best to see what I could in a single day. To be reductive, it was a giant convention hall full of samples. However, it was also a really cool opportunity to connect with a bunch of passionate producers and brands, all in the same place at the same time. There were a couple of things on my must-see list that I somehow missed (Hella Bitters, I’m looking at you), but below are some of my favorites from what I saw at the show.

Numi Tea: Like many of the folks on this list, I was already a fan of their products, specifically their new savory teas. I visited them at the show and got a ton more great ideas about ways to use these teas–from infusing  them in vodka to emptying out the tea bag and using it as a loose spice. The savory blends are made up of dried vegetables and spices, so they’re really  versatile. I’m excited to play around with them more!

Good Tastes Gluten-free mac & cheese: It was such a treat to meet Sarah the woman behind the gluten-free mac & cheese from Good Tastes. It was clear she put great care into developing a gluten-free recipe, from avoiding mushy pasta to sourcing gluten-free panko. This stuff is seriously restaurant quality, which really makes it stand apart from other gluten-free frozen options.

Dr. Lucy’s Cookies: I already love these cookies. The snack size bags have gotten me through many hangry afternoons. It was a huge pleasure to meet Lucy herself and learn the sweet story of how the company got started. She also shared with me the news of a new flavor to keep your eyes peeled for in fall: pumpkin patch! At the show, I also got to try one of their other seasonal flavors, mint chocolate, which I really loved.

cocomels

Cocomels: These are coconut milk caramels and are as phenomenal as they sound. They’re rich, the texture is fantastic, and the packaging is really pretty. I hadn’t seen these around here in New York, but it does look like they’re available a few places and luckily they’re available online via their website.

Navitas Naturals: I regularly buy their chia seeds, both ground and whole, but it was really fun to taste some of their other products like dried dragonfruit (!) and goldenberry. They were both surprisingly complex and so full of flavor, which totally made me think differently about dried fruit.

Fat Toad Farm Goat’s Milk Caramel: Made in Vermont, Fat Toad Farm’s Salted Bourbon Caramel was such a standout! Hannah from Fat Toad Farm told me about how they pour the bourbon in at the end of the cooking process. Yes please! I literally stopped mid sentence when I tasted it. It was that good.

KTB

Kitchen Table Bakers:  The gluten-free cracker situation can feel bleak at times. Kitchen table bakers’ parmesan crisps are so delicious. They’re made completely from cheese so they’re rich, crispy, and salty in the way that a traditional cracker like Ritz is. My favorite part about them is that they’re a local company, manufactured and headquartered in New York!

Shanley Farms: I was so excited to meet the folks behind Shanley farms finger limes because I had heard so much about the limes, but never tried them. The limes are oblong and when you break them open, they’re full of tart citrus “pearls,” which are the edible part. I’m dreaming up ways to use them in cocktails.

Ayala’s Herbal Water: These unsweetened, herb-infused sparkling and still waters were another product I’d love to play around with in cocktails. Unlike other flavored waters I’ve tried, these tasted natural, true to their flavors, fresh, and clean. They’re available in a 750 ml (wine bottle size), which would make a really elegant, booze-free host/hostess gift.

Vermont Creamery: These folks make Coupole, which is one of my favorite cheeses. They also make some unbelievable butter and have a new flavor Cultured Butter blended with Sea Salt & Maple. I sampled it at the show and it’s as good as it sounds. I can’t stop imagining it as part of some really killer cinnamon toast.

 

{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

1 kelly @ kellybakes July 11, 2013 at 3:08 pm

What an adventure this was! I’m so glad you put it on my radar and encouraged me to apply for a press pass. I love that with all the vendors and the weird cell reception, we managed to get lost in the labyrinth of booths and find products and foods completely different from one another… though I want to go on record and say that I’m very glad we stalked out Vermont Creamery. It was well worth the searching to find their amazing cheeses and maple butter!

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2 Annie July 27, 2013 at 4:34 pm

My mouth is totally watering! But I thought bourbon wasn’t gluten free? (Malt?). If I can stop avoiding it, that would be awesome.

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