Sunday, July 31, 2016

HOMETOWN/COUNTRY EATS -Fancy Foods Show Part 5

Javits Center/NYC

Staple foods from other countries have increasingly been incorporated into American cuisine. Whether exotic grains, beans, spices, fruits, vegetables etc...typical international eats are gracing hometown plates everywhere.

Some highlights:

Quinoa a higher protein grain -is sourced directly from Ecuadorian Highlands' farmers by Highland Farm Foods-a company with the mission to provide high quality products that are nutritious, natural and have great taste.  A member of 1% For The Planet. FYI what we like-Quinoameal can be cooked/eaten like oatmeal 

Salt Water Taffy is childhood staple just about...spots like Atlantic City and Salt Lake City---serve up their own sweet versions of this, chewy candy-while rum flavored treats from the Caribbean island of Tortuga conjures up sandy white beaches underneath clear blue skies...and of course, umbrella drinks.

Tortuga Salt Water Taffy-from the company that offers moist rich rum cakes from a four generation old family recipe...chewy sweet run flavored candy.

Friday, July 29, 2016

Fannie May Chicago Collection:Part 4

The best visual display of hometown love belongs to the Fannie May Chicago Collection launched this past Spring-but we didn't eyeball the winning bunch of delectable sweets till the Fancy Food Show.

Chicago Assorted Chocolates Mug $14.95-in the back-new addition Chicago Skyline Milk Chocolate Sea Salt Almond Bar $2.95

 This magnificent collection of chocolates-that appropriately enough depicts the Magnificent Mile and other Chicago highlights-is some of the best packaging styled to honor any town, anywhere.

Chicago Caramels Gift Tin $5.95
We hope those who conjured up this vintage inspired travel portraits of  the Windy City sites-got salary pops---for these one of a kind designs rendering iconic landmarks- beautifully- truly celebrates Fannie May's 95 year relationship with their hometown!

Mint Meltaway Chicago Skyline Box $1.95, Mini Pixies-Chicago Skyline Box $1.95
Whether rich dark chocolates in a beautiful skyline tin, the best selling creamy mint meltaways in shareable bars- featuring a box-with a B/W photograph of the acclaimed architecture of downtown Chicago ...or gift ready oversized mug-printed with all of the collectible images, stuffed with top Fannie Mae bites-wrapped up in a celebratory red bow...the Fannie May Chicago Collection deserves country wide distribution....though we hope this American institution finds an excuse to celebrate our home town too.

Mini Pixies Chicago Lakefront Tin $29.95

Chicago Skyline Gift Set $19.95
Collectibles all---the rich dark and milk chocolates, creamy caramels and chewy sweets will not last long-but the the tins are for sure-worthy keepsakes!

Thursday, July 28, 2016

Hometown Eats-New York: Fancy Food Show

Part 3

Feeling in an Empire state of mind...there was plenty from the hosting state that caught or eyes-and tastebuds...


Some Highlights:
SWEET SAM'S hails from the Soundview section of the BRONX...a hometown success story...making sweet indulgent treats using fresh eggs and real butter-for fresh bakery freshness-that are so much better than those mass brands-practically no comparison.  Pictured- gone in a New York minute cupcakes...large size Chocolate Coconut and Chocolate Peanut Butter.
Crumbling piled high  buttery topped coffee crumb cake and streusel with walnut filling are both classics - grandmothers would approve of.

OPRAH anointed-sweet, creamy crisp perfection- and sinfully indulgent Aunt Butchies  crisp almond cone with slurge worthy cheesecake filling-are the most  textured heavenly divine sample we tried AND the only one we went back for seconds the next day. YES THAT GOOD. As soon as we saw these-we thought gotta be from Staten Island or Brooklyn...only in NY would a kind of signature desserts like cannoli and iconic cheesecake get a refresh this good. FYI-acclaimed Italian restaurant worth of destination status.

Hometown Eats/Drinks Part 2

Fancy Food Show/NYC

Certain foods, beverages and packaging-captured a sense of place-and made for some unique offerings-tasty treats or just catchy products...


These probably foresaw a disaster in the making??? A positive spin on the nominees for sure...Trumppuccino "The Right Combination of Bold, Common Sense, and Smart Ingredients...HILLARY HOT CHOCOLATE "An inclusive Recipe For A Better More Fulfilling Drink" ...forgot to add barrier breaking to that.

Sweet Shoppe USA...chocolate covered OREOS!

Monday, July 25, 2016


Part 1

Fancy Food Show/NYC

Consumers are well traveled and informed ---and open to culinary adventures experienced or watched on some screen----feeding  into consumption of exotic gourmet foods, flavors and ingredients. Even with their own home eating habits.

While there was plenty of European products as expected-at the Fancy Food Show -there was also more maybe not so familiar items from far flung lands-that USA consumer palates are ready to explore.

Featured aisles of dedicated by country and USA state exhibitors...included African nation Tunisia.

FYI:Tunisia ranks 2nd in the world in olive oil production just behind Spain with a production of approximately 340 thousand tons.  Its unique taste and flavor, plus health benefits allow Tunisian olive oil, a trademark of Tunisian land, to attract consumers from further away countries. With food processing the third largest manufacturing sector-Tunisia's products are sold and distributed worldwide...and the government and companies involved in the food industry-assure the highest quality for products exported...including tasting all olive oils to assure quality. 
Pictured above-tasty dessert sweet treats made from olive oil.

Also from Africa-Mozambique grown cashews...from the Sunshine Nut Company-founded by former Hershey executive Don Larson- who took to heart-the business model of people, planet, profits-by giving up the cushy USA life-and relocating to begin the multi-year process of training/ employing and paying fair wages to orphan adults from local communities--to grow/roast cashews-as well as buying-renovating facilities and installing roasting equipment (read more here). NOW-available from coast to coast-and online -Sunshine Nut. Co. cashews come in several flavors and are delicious...big plump nuts of the finest quality. BONUS POINTS: 90% of proceeds aregiven to care for orphans and cashew farming communities. "Providing Hope Never Tasted So Good." Amen to that.

COSTA RICA is an ecological destination for travelers...and has several Fair Trade coffee products from native growers...including ECO CAFÉ's assortment that included delicious Gold Mountain-rich full body brew reminiscent of Hawaii's Kona Beans that comes in ground and whole beans -grown in Miramar region (available online and on AMAZON ) and Eco Café Costa Rica- Tarrazu-smooth medium body drink-that also delivers in handy K-Cups.

Korea's spicy fermented kimchi probably pre-dates those other popular Korean popular exports-K-Pop and beauty products...and along those tasty lines- from BIBIGO-maker of real deal Korean pantry staples and prepared foods like dumplings- a trio of handy shelf stable favorable sauces... Gochujang Mayo Sauce (SRP: $5.50/9.3 oz.)—a spicy creamy interesting take on mayonnaise to put on everything from tacos to tater tots to sandwiches (center), Gochujang Barbecue Sauce (SRP: $5.50/11.5 oz.)—a bold, smoky and spicy sauce that adds full flavors to grilled BBQ foods-like short ribs and steak (pictured on right)... and Gochujang Hot & Sweet Sauce (SRP: $5.50/11.5 oz.)—a  sweet & spicy sauce available in a new squeezable bottle that gives a tangy flavor to chicken or grilled shrimps.
Korean soy sauces-authentic rich taste...make you re-think those American  imitator versions
MISO is a Japanese staple -for all three main meals-that happily as a soup-has been popular here for decades! Love the idea of a miso bar-and wonder why we have not seen it in NYC yet. From MARUKOME-Japan's oldest miso company (1854!)-many miso products are sold here-including tubs of  organic miso paste that we buy at our local market and use to flavor anything instead of salt...for a richer sweet/salt flavor... also sell available in instant miso soup packets too-great for traveling and popular handy squeeze bottles.

Sunday, July 24, 2016


Fancy Food Show/NYC

Our childhood cracker 'experience' was pretty limited to saltines, oyster crackers for chowders, Triscuits (or Wheat Thins), mom's Melba Toast and an occasional plain ole' English imported water cracker-which was considered rather posh eats back then.

NOW-crackers are its own gourmet category-not an accessory to the main gigs of cheese, canapés, and things to crunch up in soups.

Some highlights from the most recent Fancy Foods Show

we grabbed a sample of these on our way out-the O.T.C.(Original Trenton Cracker) Oyster&Soup crackers are so much better than the standard grocery outlet ones hard to explain why- but apparently the dough is given hours to rise naturally, and kneaded/layered over and over before being shaped. Def.these 'artisan style' bites have more flavor, airy texture, super crisp and the shape allows for it to float better in soups without getting soggy. Us-we devoured without anything else by the handful....and available at AMAZON and Walmart. 

WASA crackers-oringinally from Scandinavia are readily available all over the world-their new THINS in Sesame +Sea Salt and Rosemary +Sea Salt have a lot more flavor than their other flatbread versions-you can eat these solo, imo...yet are just as crispy and fiber packed.
Granny inspired...the Brooklyn based The Matzo Project (founded in 5775-Jewish calendar fyi)...makes 3 flavors of matzo-cinammon sugar, salted and everything (pictured) in traditional sheet form and crisps for year round eating. At the show-this new launch  got a lot of attention-partially because the packaging is so cool. Kosher (DUH). Available for now in NYC but we bet this will be picked up by many stores in urban locales.

Saturday, July 23, 2016

THE NEW WRAPS-Beyond Tortillas

Fancy Food Show/NYC

Finally hauling it over to our local Chipotle-courtesy of a free coupon mailed out to consumers post the food illness mess...didn't convince us to join the usual lines waiting up.. as we live in  a multi-ethnic city where better, yummy inexpensive eats abound.

Including authentic and interpretations of Mexican tortillas...which like many utensil -free eats -is a wrap for 'stuffings" of plants, beans, meats etc.

NEW: Gourmet takes on this cheap eat staple give a tasty and healthier new twist to the pedestrian corn meal-grain based tortilla...

Siete Family Foods- purveyor of delicious, grain-free Mexican-food, showed off two innovative grain-free tortillas - the Almond Flour (a SOFI award finalist) and Coconut & Cassava varieties, both of which are gluten-free, paleo, dairy-free, and preservative-free. Ideal for cooking or snacking, the tortillas taste, fold, and hold like a tortilla should and actually our bite felt they tasted great!. The brand was born upon co-founder Veronica Garza’s desire to create a grain-free tortilla upon learning she could no longer eat grains, including corn...and this family biz's product lines are now found nationwide.

Greenleaf Foods 'Raw Wraps' in Spinach (pictured) and Kale...give a veggie-vegan, FREE of soy, dairy, nut, corn gluten... makeover to this category with apple, psyllium and quinoa in the a low calorie, chewy way of eating vitamins A, C, B6, K and other nutrients like folate, iron, and magnesium-at 70 calories per wrap, The Spinach wrap has hints of onion flavor, the Kale-a bit nutty with coconut nectar. Shell stable-no refrigeration needed-added plus.

From Lotita Foods-FOLIOS are tasty and versatile---can be a chewy wrap-rolled up with filling-or heated up-joining  that growing foodie trend to craft cheese based crispy crunches. Gluten free, lactose free and carb free-they're delicious and the true cheese flavors- really are authentic (Italian cheese staple-Parmesan, buttery Cheddar, smooth Jarlsberg)-makes sense since that's the main ingredient! Idea-crisp one up and break up to sprinkle over salads or fries/backed potatoes for protein adding savory mix of texture. 170 calories per-and 13 grams of protein.
FYI:  we saw several cheese crisp snacks the show...another boon for those who crave a crispy-kinda fatty treat like potato chips-but without the wheat, gluten or lactose and delivering protein and calcium!
Sonoma Creamery Mr. Cheese O's...6 flavors...made with cheese and organic quinoa, oat bran and organic brown rice-150 calories and 10 grams protein per serving. Non-GMO and shelf stable, Available on Amazon.

Friday, July 22, 2016

BONJOUR! Rossignol Debuts New Luxury Boots F/W

The Rossignol hard/soft goods...high performance skis/d\snowboards and sport chic apparel-are sold world wide.

For Fall 2016-a collection of high end, designed in Italy, made in Romania waterproof  SPORT CHIC boots that are stylish and waterproof-that are après ski worthy of the most fashionable ski resorts and sophisticated cities. Very impressive!


Outdoor Retailer/SLC

Casual - Technical Mids+Lows featuring 'hot' Energy Returning proprietary Boost™ Technology

Adidas footwear is selling these days-the YEEZY is blowing out...

But it's not just the kicks for the street savvy getting the nod.... adidas OUTDOORS-sports performance offerings- smartly incorporate the iconic three stripes...and are embedded with tech features that imo the adventure types that expect functionality- will give their approving nods to too.

Some Highlights:

THE Terrex Agravic -is light, fast and stabile...available  in a waterproof  GTX (Gore-Tex) and non Gore-Tex versions...weighs in at 12.5oz for men and 10.8oz for women. 

On board= adidas’ proprietary Boost™ technology for superior energy return and stability, protection and flexibility during trail runs. A 2015 Industry Award at the Outdoor Fair in Friedrichshafen.

TERREX AGRAVIC-Lining: GORE-TEX® Extended Comfort membrane to keep feet dry, Upper: Abrasion-resistant TPU-weldings for protection and single-layer EVA tongue that is lightweight and comfortablle, Midsole: BOOST™offers endless energy in the mountains and high adaptability on rocky surfaces, with outdoor-adjusted EVA frame for stability, Outsole: Continental™ rubber for extraordinary grip with a lug pattern inspired by the Der Kaiser tire, Lug Profile for Optimal Balance Between Friction and Penetration: longer lugs for optimal grip on loose ground, dynamic profile for great acceleration-Men’s Colors: Unity Lime/Black/Unity Orange // Vista Grey/Black/Shock Blue // Tech Steel/Craft Blue/Unity Lime pictured above // Black/Power Red/White, Men’s Weight: 12.5oz (men size 9) -Women’s Colors: Super Blush/Black // Vapour Steel/Shock Slime/Black // Vapour Grey/Black Women’s, Weight: 10.8oz- women size 7: $150. Also available in a non-GORE-TEX® version 

TERREX AGRAVIC- women's in Super Blush/Black 

Buzzy 'IT' Flavors: SMOKIN', BOURBON, COFFEE...

Whisky and Beer...

Joining Sea Salt, Pickled, Spicy Peppers and Sriracha as the 'hot' accent trends at Fancy Food Show.

Some Show Highlights:

We've never seen this before-but it works-the slightly bitter nutty espresso atop full ripe blue cheese-y -from Italy's award winning  Luigi Guffanti 1876-a family owned maker of a slew of delish cheeses-hopefully will be found across the POND-Fab gift baskets for sale too but in Euro Europe only (for now)

Hamptons Salt Company’s all-natural-additive free flavor infused or smoked salts are the chemical free alternative way to add hints of flavor to a wide variety of dishes...including the giftable Grill Master Collection that includes the three most popular salts for grilling: the smoky Hickory, flavorful smokey Mesquite & the very nifty Espresso  salt-which can add a buzzy distinct accent to baked goods like cookies-or atop ice cream-for salty-sweet sweet spot. Other smoked options-Chardonnay, Bacon, and Applewood.

Espresso covered chocolates beans-and flavored chocolate are popular already...what we like about these Belles by ENSTROM Candy-a family run biz out of Colorado-the chewy creamy inside texture and perfect balance of smooth dark chocolate+ aromatic espresso flavors.  2 bites worth treats. 

Nielsen Massey  elegantly packaged extracts-in glass preserving bottles- are a revelation as to what  real deal all natural flavors-including Pure Coffee Extract-taste like-and can add to a dish like coffee crusted burgers with chipotle mayo or dessert. Gluten free, non-GMO, allergen free and kosher too. FYI- 1 tsp of the richly brewed taste of the Pure Coffee Extract=1 tsp. of dry espresso powder...or add that amount to ¼ cup of water =¼ of brewed coffee.

San Franscio Salt Co.-specially sourced Irish Kiln Dried and Whiskey Smoked Irish Sea Salts

San Francisco Salt Co. Irish Sea salts-from the company's private reserve. introduces the new Whiskey and Irish Kiln Dried versions at the show. The former is aged in Teeling Whiskey Oak kegs subtly infused in the premium Oriel Irish Mineral Sea Salt -in extra fine grain that adds distinct flavor to any smoked meats, fish, or even added in butter for a spread. NICE. 100% kosher, no additives or artificial flavors.

Doctor, vegan, kosher, gluten free-no weird dyes, coloring, artificial sweeteners etc--- a mash-up of iconic NY style Pickle with Tennessee Whisky Jack Daniels. Unusual...!

Thursday, July 21, 2016


New Jackets, Tops, Pants, Coats For Climbers, Hikers, and Anyone Taking A Stroll...

Outdoor Retailer/SLC

adidas OUTDOORS shares the same DNA as it's snazzier fashion-lifestyle collections less the ONLY FIRST NAMES NECESSARY (Pharrell! Kanye! Stella!) brethren.

Meaning-good looking 'modern progressive' pieces - that multi-task--- with a performance outdoorsy athletic slant-ready for ANY ADVENTURE. 
Expect all tops, jackets, pants to be super durable, well made-using the latest in tech fabrics -for example-weather wet tough Pertex Quantum, Primaloft Gold-primo synthetic insulation, Gore-Tex Active-engineered to vaporize moisture/breath for the fast aerobic activities, Polartec Power Wool a moisture wicking-anti-odor merino wool/synthetic blend).


29 Spring Street/NYC

WHERE: Westerlind Retail Store -a curated urban outdoor emporium (sea, mountain and home goods)... sells some of our fav apparel/accessories brands-including their own, Grundens rainwear, Snow Peak and Japan's hard to find here Ficouture...

Ficouture Tool Bag $300

....hosted Teva's Arrowood WP launch-a stylish boot (mid $160 and low $120-$140 W/M versions) with the comfort of the acclaimed sandals-with FloatLite™ technology-new foam construction that's both light and durable, with PU sockliner (removable), full grain leather uppers, waterproof, and rubber outsole inserts...multi-tasks as a good traveling, easy hiking kick.