Best in Show

Gummy cola bottles on display at the Haribo booth at the Fancy Food Show.

We came. We saw. We conquered. We also got a little buzzed on Welsh ale. Nevertheless, we bring you a report from this summer's Fancy Food Show at the Jacob Javits Center. If you've never been, it is a giant trade show of specialty foods, with just about everything edible, from the crass to refined. The sheer number of booths representing food purveyors small and large is overwhelming, but just when you think you've tasted your last drop of olive oil, something comes along that surprises you. Below are some highlights from the show, which wraps up tomorrow.

Southernalps Southern Alps, a UK-based company, makes these packs of beautiful sliced and dried fruits -- from figs to mulberries and mangoes -- sourced from around the world for its Slow Fruit line.

Grindingsticks Coach Farm salts, dries, and ages its signature goat cheese to make these Grating Sticks which can be shredded and used as you would any hard cheese -- such as Parmesan or Pecorino -- on pasta.

Seapoint Farms has smartly packaged edamame in kid-friendly Goody Bags festooned with cartoon characters (the beans in the Dora pack are shelled, while the Spongebob pack comes unshelled). The "thaw & eat" pouches store in the freezer until ready for packing for lunch.

Menozzi & De Rosa's La Fabricca delle Dolcezze licorice comes in multiple pasta shapes (from penne, pictured here, to bucatini and fusilli) and boxes that mimic real pasta packaging. The licorice has an acquired taste, but the design can't be beat.

This is not your mother's lunch meat. Artisan salumi master Paul Bertolli, founder of Fra'Mani, has launched two new cooked salumi, a fantastic Salame Rossa (left) studded with pistachios, and, on the right Mortadella.

Later this year, artisan chocolate maker Scharffen Berger will release this new chocolate bar of milk chocolate packed with "sea salted" (is that a verb?) almonds. Despite its grammatical issues, the sweet and salty combination of flavors taste wonderful.

Cookie I loved the charming design of Two by Two's upscale animal crackers. The buttery organic biscuits, made in England, come in the shape of an owl, cat, rabbit, turtle, lion, and mouse (pictured here).

Tomos Watkin's Cwrw Gaef dark beer from Wales, brewed using malted barley and wheat and a blend of crystal and dark chocolate malts, is rich and dark with a faint taste of licorice. The brewery also makes a fine honey-hued apple cider, Taffy Apples.

New from La Tourangelle, the California-based producer of excellent nut oils, is an ultra-green Avocado Oil made from pressed avocado pulp. 

Sangria I'm a little embarrassed to admit how much I liked this  fizzy bottled sangria drink, Tinto de Verano, made in Spain by Sandevid. It may be just a step up from a wine cooler, but it sure tasted refreshing.

Matcha Ito En's Matcha Latte blends the Japanese powdered ceremonial green tea with milk and sugar. The flavor and texture sort of resembled melted green tea ice cream.

Sweetcornicecream Los Angeles-based Palapa Azul produces a line of Mexican-inspired ice creams, sorbets, and fruit bars. The Sweet Corn Ice Cream was outstanding, as was the cinnamon-infused Mexican Chocolate ice cream.

Sarabethshotchocolate Sarabeth's has introduced  an ultra-rich and creamy Hot Chocolate Parisienne made from Dutch cocoa and Belgian chocolate.

Cedargrillingpapers Fire & Flavor, the company that produces flavored cedar grilling planks, has introduced a line of Cedar Grilling Papers, thin veneers of cedar which can be wrapped around meats, fish, and vegetables while they're grilled to impart a smoky flavor. I have no clue if they actually work, but they looked nifty.



I agree, the matcha latte was surprisingly good. I'll comment with a link once I get around to posting my own list of favorites from the show. There were some vinegars, mustard, chocolates, and other things that really blew me away.


I'm insanely jealous, and these photos and thumbnail write-ups are terrific. Are there more?

I dig those goat-cheese sticks.


I tried those Tourangelle oils at IACP and they were absolutely stellar!


Arrrgh, I'm jealous, both of the fact you got to see all this stuff at all and of the CIDER. (I'm more than a little cider-obsessed, after all: )


Yes, thanks for the teasing photos that mock all non-New Yorkers. I'll look forward to seeing these products in person during the second Colbert administration. But seriously, kudos to City Harvest and the Fancy Food Show for donating the exhibition's excess food to the hungry:


I love Southern Alps. Did they bring their muesli to the show? It is fantastic, packed with dried fruits full to the brim with goodness - forget those dehydrated berries in the red Special K. My favourite has small whole yellow figs and is sweetened with just a touch of maple syrup.


The avocado oil is awesome. Regarding Southern Alps, I'm pretty sure the muesli was there (my memory of the whole event is sort of hazy), but all of teir products were beautiful (and tasty).


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Hello- I am wondering if you are connected to Debra Friedland who is supposed to have a book out soon called "When in Rome..." it seems very delayed and no sign of when it will be out.
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Hope you can help. Thanks!


I don't think "sea salted" is a verb now, but it might be once it gets on a million candy bars


Thanks for the tips!



Oooh I went to this show. It was delicious. I loved one of the fresh pasta stands. That and the fruit cakes. Yum.


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