Dédé Eats Her Way Through the Summer Fancy Food Show
The Summer Fancy Food Show is the premier specialty food trade show in the country. Every year about 2,400 vendors from 80 countries present over 180,000 products and they converge with thousands of attendees at the Jacob Javitts Center in NYC and basically eat and drink all day and talk about eating and drinking all day. Sounds great, right? And it is, in terms of learning about all the newest and best food items, but let me tell you my feet and stomach are having a recovery day today.
Every year some food trends come to light and I will do my best to focus on the sweet side of things, but will also pepper my blog entry with some general info as well. Here is the general overview of flavors and items that will be rocking shelves near you this coming year:
- Coconut everything: flour, sugar, oils, butter, chips, etc. – even chips with savory flavor profiles
- Lychee as a flavor
- The sweet and salty trend continues
- S’mores as a flavor incorporated into other desserts as well as s’mores kits
- Frozen desserts: ice cream, gelato, sorbet, pops
- Granola is hot again!
- GMO-free food labels
- Popcorn sold as prepared, as kernels and incorporated into foods
- Smoked salt and smoked items in general
- Flavored salts, sweet and savory
- Pickled and fermented things in general from sauerkraut to kombucha
- Small batch, artisanal beverages, alcoholic, non-alcoholic and mixers
- Snacks in general but many with a healthy focus
- Also many crackers
- Seaweed was everywhere!
- Use of chili peppers, especially Hatch and Ghost, sometimes combined with chocolate
I’ve included some specific highlights below. Not all of them are available now, but will be soon:
- Smoked Chocolate Chips from Hot Cakes Molten Chocolate Cakery: I was most excited about tasting these! They are, well, very smoky! No subtlety here. “The process for creating this distinctive product begins with organic semi-sweet chocolate chips that are cold-smoked over alder wood for more than 10 hours, with the chips moved every 30 minutes or so to ensure even smoke. The result is a unique and inviting flavor that uplifts ordinary chocolate chip cookies.” These will be fun to play with. (See image above).
- Jansal Valley Flavored Sugars: Almond and Vanilla; Key Lime; Lemon; Strawberry; Raspberry, and Whiskey Smoked. Produced by Sid Wainer. The applications for these are endless. Sprinkle on top of cookies, rim glasses, and incorporate into batters to name a few.
- We love cacao nibs around here and Olive and Sinclair Chocolate Company has made a Bourbon Nib Brittle that “was a happy accident that occurred when friends and neighbors of Olive and Sinclair’s owners offered the use of their spent bourbon barrels. They filled the barrels with a high-fat-content cocoa, which blended with the barrels’ subtle notes of apple, cherry, and oak, and combined it with caramelized cane sugar and butter for a delicious brittle with a classic Southern bourbon finish.” This, my friends, is an addictive munchie.
- Maui Fruit Jewels presents pates de fruits with the flavors of Hawaii. These jelly candies, a classic French confection, have made the transition beautifully, featuring flavors like coconut, guava, lilikoi passion fruit, mango, papaya, and pineapple. They contain no artificial fruit flavorings or colorings and are natural, vegan, and wheat free. A delightful, slightly chewy texture, packed with fruit flavor, we love seeing little brands make a splash – they were nominated for an award!
- Seven years ago Chuao Chocolatier premiered their Firecracker chocolate bar that contains Pop Rocks candies. This year we tasted their Pop Corn Pop Bar. We visited with their chef, Michael Antonorsi who advised us to take a bit of this chocolate and then let it melt in our mouths. Indeed, just as described, there was a popping sensation in our mouths that never ceases to entertain. The company describes the bar as “A nod to our favorite movie theater treat, we’ve mixed puffed whole grains, toasted corn chips, popping candy and a sprinkle of sea salt in creamy milk chocolate. Take a bite, close your eyes, and experience ‘popcorn’ popping in your mouth! Surround sound not included.” Their new flavors include the Oh My S’mores! Bar with honey graham crackers, mini marshmallows and milk chocolate.
- Pivetta Skura Nera Black Pizza Flour from Atalanta Corporation: this flour intrigued me from the get-go. I was not able to taste anything made from it, but I am looking forward to working with it. Have any of you tried it? Dying to know more. Apparently it “originated in the 18th century when peasants of southern Italy’s Puglia region would collect the ‘burnt’ grains that remained after the harvest was complete and the soil charred. These grains were combined with semolina to make grano arso or ‘ash flour.’ Pivetta Skura Nera Black Pizza Flour replicates this famed flour by slow-roasting the wheat to impart a similar mouthwatering, smoky flavor and grey-black hue.” It has a smoky color and a toasted flavor. I asked if it absorbs water differently due to the toasting and they said no.
- And last but not least, zombies have invaded the sweet kitchen. Check out this Zombie Dance Party Cookie Kit from Brand Castle. Why are they dancing? I guess to make them palatable to the kids; and they just look cool. Look at the cookie cutter shapes! Love them. They also have an Ugly Sweater Cookie Kit, a Cotton Candy Cupcake Kit, Gingerbread Ninja Cookie Kit and Crayola Happy Hanukkah Cookie Kit. I love their humor; their products make me smile.