Sunday, August 23, 2015


short on time at the FANCY FOOD SHOW---zero in on the Sofi Awards nominees in multiple categories... some of the amazing  new offerings




A major theme of the Fancy Food Show-food/beverage offerings that reflect what-and how Americans have been eating as of late (and spending their $)-more snacks consumed, faster sit-down meals, eating alone, and less interest in swallowing up chemicals/artificial/genetically modified awareness that 'pronouncable' ingredients matter (and taste better anyway-duh)...and where the eats come from-especially given food safety issues---including those products from 'trusted' brands.

As urban dwellers with a smaller kitchen...and we'd say-more lifestyle options-time-wise...we are all about convenience...and saw plenty of worthy products... that are just rip off the wrapper-ready.

What else: almost a given at this NYC based show-kosher certifications...and unless it's obvs like bread or something-gluten free= a selling point are verified non-GMO products (a given in Europe)-all food traits absolutely favored by all ages of Americans-to the chagrin, no doubt-of many paid lobbyists. We say, get with the labelling program...all you have to fear is...a loss in sales.

Darégal deserves a SOFI Award in concept+ packaging-these freshly frozen herbs are a solution to adding flavors that can make/break a dish---with 'on-demand' convenience of fresh herbs like basil and cilantro-with inherent portion control  without the rest spoiling...  year round available quality ready in one's freezer. Handy too-for the lazy who don't like to chop stuff up themselves...especially garlic- PLUS a real time saver.
 Available in a lot of food chains now and online-our samples came so well packaged with dry ice (fyi-shipping is free on Amazon)...the enclosed deliciousness would easily survive a zombie apocalypse! 
cilantro on salads, added into salsa, atop pasta...a mainstream herb in USA now...imo better than parsley


Easy to use...lift...push out lid...shake out what you need (or use a little spoon)-re-freeze the rest till next time... sold singularly or in themes-like Mexican, Italian etc.
fyi-all these culinary herbs are grown in France...

No doubt-soon to be in every store--- a gourmet attendee declared these BLUE HILL YOGURT-vegetable and herb savory flavors-a revelation. FYI Blue Hill at Stone Barns is located in Westchester County-north of NYC-on its own acres of farmland- and a destination in itself. It grows a lot of produce used in its own world renown restaurants-including the NYC one... Blue Hill Farm-up in the Berkshires and small farms in the northeast- provide the milk for these creamy delights from 100% grass fed cows. 6 flavors...tomato, parsnip, carrot, butternut squash, sweet potato and beet. Even now-available coast to coast Whole Foods, Wegmans,  Fairways, Balducci's-etc. A meal in itself when paired with a salad...yummy!
 CHEESE is a whole other category---a mere sliver of the fab ones at the show that we tasted.
Easy meal making=one of these...some crusty bread, fruit=DONE. Convenient, portable...and delicious...and notably- made from grass fed animals and raw milk options---something Americans are revving up to.
Maple Hill Creamery-had several selections=organic milk, 100% grass fed raw milk cheese-STONE CREEK AND ONE YEAR cheddar...pictured-DHARMA LEA Dutch-style. USDA organic...from nearby Stuyvesant, NY

SOFI AWARD NOMINEE 2015 Cabricharme Goat cheese---a washed rind, Belgium "Trappist" style delivered across the POND by the World's Best Cheeses (WB CHEESE)-who had so many delicious imported and domestic cheeses-we could have just hung out there and been happy campers.

POINT REYES cheese including this acclaimed BAY BLUE- a Gold Medal Sofi Award winner -cow's milk- has a cult following amongst the cheeseheads we know.
love the name BLEATING HEART CHEESE-a woman owned company...sources most of its cow/sheep milk from a MARSHALL HOME RANCH+Dairy -about 20 feet away. Buy Local! Popular at the FF show "Fat Bottom Girl"-a raw sheep milk -shaped accordingly. Yes-we started silently singing-pronto
CYPRESS GROVE: another cult fav Made in the USA cheese maker=Truffle Tremor ripened goat cheese+black Italian truffles=bliss

we love a good mild creamy smoked cheese...from Spain-aged 45 days-smoked w/with birch chips---Prestes San Simon Da Costa
From Best Cheese-single serve packets-def. convenient...tasty too-we ate this on the subway ride home-Parrano® snack bites are mild creamy cow's milk cheese -kinda reminds of parmiggiano-regiano (esp since we could eat like six of these)---also user friendly- like cheddar or american-for classic grilled cheese sandwich. Sold in chunks too-widely available...
also from Best Cheese Company-the formerly family owned Coach Farm goat cheeses... really was the first American gourmet-ish cheese that we remember from the 1980s-it def. elevated what a Hudson Valley farm is capable of producing. And yup-the same family behind all those handbags. Available in flavors- in fresh and aged versions-various sizes (logs, medallions, discs)-Guava had an added nice touch of sweet to the savory tangy cheese (something jams atop cheese accomplish)...widely available and they ship too. IMO-so favorable and mild... great eat on its own or melted on pizza-or in a salad-even people who don't like cheese-will like Coach Farm goat cheeses.
even though the Greek banks were closed during the show-yikes-the Greece exhibitors were there (yay) and showed off memorable unique products-including the popular Manouri cheese-that has a tangy taste-kinda spreadable texture (made from sheep or cow's milk-or a blend)---and is almost as popular as the staple Feta cheese-where we live. Also pictured...Manari-Greek Ricotta cheese.


Sure -one can spend hours cooking up some fresh sauces ---but so much easier-to pop open a glass jar...especially the ones we saw at the show...all ingredients the same -or practically- as anything we could conjure up-when starting fresh.
AN ICON-and a PBS fav...we got so psyched when the beloved Lidia Matticchio Bastianich had a meet/greet-with her new cookbook "Lidia's Mastering the Art of Italian Cuisine: Everything You Need to Know to Be a Great Italian Cook (also by Tanya Bastianich Manuali)...which we read cover to cover-helpful for beginners but even experienced chefs will pick up some pointers (and recipes). ADDED PLUS-this talent now has her own labelled line of prepared sauces-that can be the basis for a lot of the recipes--- and pastas that are up to the Bastianich standards of excellence. At the FF show we asked 'why ready to eat versions?' though obvs to us time challenged-hate to cook but love to eat- types...guaranteed quality- with the ease of opening a lid and  boiling up some water. Nice. FYI: Master Class on PBS airs in October 2015.

Product of Italy-the LIDIA'S pastas-ziti, tortiglioni, farfalle, capellini, spaghetti, linguine, rigatoni -etc. ,  (made from wheat milled on the premises)-  and fresh ingredients only sauces (vodka, marinara, garden vegetable, tomato basil, chunky eggplant-to name a few---) available at Eataly ...

Brooklyn based VICTORIA® tag line-Ingredients Come First---refers to the it's all up front on the label visibility. What we love... that --no diluted tomato paste-y by-products or dried ingredients---and there are several flavors including USDA Organic ones and a low sodium line...all cooked up in "the most authentic slow-kettle cooking process..."

we didn't try but need to-the first Victoria Vegan Vodka and Alfredo Sauces ---6 choices--like the Vegan Arugula Pesto Alfredo (!!!-how did we leave the Editor's Showcase without a sample, eludes us)-among several non-GMO project verified sauces.
Dave's Gourmet-yup-there's a DAVE (HIRSCHKOP) and this 17(!!!!) time SOFI Award winner has a a new primo sauce: Organic Hearty Heirloom Marinara -a hearty pleaser-to add to his collection of other thick-rich-chunky AND lighter fresher styles like the award winning Butternut Squash and Marsala Marinara Pasta ones..BTW-acclaimed for his Hot Sauces too. Widely available.
MO: The Easiest Gourmet "Short Stop"' Non-GMO, Gluten Free AND vegetarian... La Maison Gourmet Sauces by Vermont Signature Sauces-the pictured above (retail $8.00) turned our ho -hum steamed (microwaved-we're lazy) vegetables into insta-gourmet version of the usual...the white, wine, basil pesto, vegetable stock, cream and spices...with touch of lemon-terrific. Eight sauces with flavor-able ingredients are available-a few tablespoons would dress up any heated entreé. FYI Founded by two women---and bonus points-donate 10% of La Maison Signature Sauces profits to five Vermont based+international charities.

EMPIRE MAYONNAISE gets a lot of buzz for a lot of VERY valid reasons-started by a designer French gal and guy chef (Elisabeth Valleau-Sam Mason) in Brooklyn-who like our French relatives-no doubt-were  completely horrified by what Americans call mayonnaise...the basis of many dressings and sauces. This being the 21st century-new flavors get the staple all spiced up-like this Ghost Pepper version...only a dab needed-we actually tried a teeny tiny bit atop sushi. Totally worked :-)  Suggestion-deviled eggs practically beg for this flavor. Getting to be widely available---Empire Mayonnaise also has its own store in the hip borough---and ships too.

Other Fancy Food Show 2015 Posts: