Food bloggers, restaurant owners, gourmet vendors, and other assorted foodies alike kicked off the summer in style with the three-day tour de force that is the Summer Fancy Food Show, which took over Manhattan’s massive Javits Center in its entirety from June 26th to 28th. Summer Fancy Food is the most exciting Specialty Foods Association event of the year, and SFFS16, as it will now be known in food tradeshow history, did not disappoint!
With over 5,000 exhibitors from around the globe, the SFFS is virtually impossible to thoroughly distill. In fact, this was the single largest show ever held at Javits to date! As usual, we arrived with an appetite, a huge empty bag, and eyes wide open for spotting the most striking booth displays, stand-out product packaging and most unusual products of the show. Here are some of our favorite discoveries!
Kate Weiser Chocolates are miniature works of confectionery art, and they taste just as good as they look!
Key Lime Pie Bon Bons, Anyone? They are almost to beautiful to eat! Check Kate Weiser out online at the hyperlink above!
Continuing with foods that are stunning to behold, check out this display featuring Gelarto Italian Ice Cream!
Gelato master Luca Grassi has been carefully crafting this award winning gelato in Turin, Italy since 1986 ! You can taste the quality ingredients in every mouth watering bite.
We couldn’t help but linger at the Gelarto booth; with so many luscious gourmet flavors, we had to sample a few!
Feast your eyes on this colorful tower of gourmet French Macarons from Dana’s Bakery. We tried the strawberry (pale pink, third row up from the bottom) and immediately declared this Macaron to be the Best Ever!
Oh my! The deluge of psychedelic colors coming from the Goodie Girl Cookies display gave us acid flashbacks! Located close by in New Jersey, Goodie Girl makes tiny, delicious gluten-free cookies that will knock your socks off. We are especially partial to the Midnight Brownie variety. Mmm…Brownie…
Meet Goodie Girl owner and founder, Shira Berk. She’s fabulous. And dig that crazy dress! What a vision with a vision she is.
More Awesome Food, After The Jump!
We also ran into a few men bringing their vibrant fashion sense to the tradeshow floor, including Damir Redzepagic from Frisa Beverages. That suit is just amazing, and Damir is fairly easy-on-the-eyes as well.
Frisa are the makers of very tasty non-alcoholic, ultra-premium European botanical sparkling beverages that offer unique flavor profiles including Black Currant Rosehip, Elderflower, and Ginger Hibiscus. Frisa is kosher, and has ony 100 calories per bottle. Sadly, we did not get a good, close-up photo of the bottles, as we were visually distracted by other things. But we can tell you that the Elderflower variety is just fantastic tasting. We are going to try to do a separate review of Frisa Beverages in the near future, so stay tuned to the blog!
Attention all Amateur Mixologists: the Wild Hibiscus Flower Company has introduced a line of 100% natural flower extracts that can be used to create all sorts of cocktail magic. The Rose + Hibiscus variety is a top favorite of professional bartenders. With the hibiscus flower’s mixed-berry-esque taste, this unique product can be used like bitters, with just a few drops per cocktail adding a vibrant pink color (are we thinking Cosmos? Sure we are!). It also goes particularly well with mescal, or added to a glass of Champagne.
Even more exciting; B’Lure, a bright blue extract made from Butterfly Pea Flower magically changes the color of clear drinks from blue to purple with just a squeeze of citrus. We saw it demonstrated right before our eyes! Fancy!
And check out these Preserved Hibiscus Flowers that you can add to a glass of Proseco! Visit Wild Hibiscus Dot Com for recipe ideas and more product information!
For the second year in a row, top accolades for Best All-Around Booth and Signage goes to Pop Art Gourmet Popcorn of Salt Lake City!
If you read our rad recap of SFFS15, you may recall that Pop Art won this distinguished honor courtesy of their Popcorn Disco Ball! This year, they took that idea a few steps further, creating an entire booth shaped like a halved Disco Ball! Amazing! No other booth even came close to being so impressive. Also, check out that eye-catching Neon Sign!
Pop Art has just launched its gourmet Mash-Ups, a blend of two popcorn flavors in one tempting bag of yum — Feta Cheese & Honey Caramel being an example of a Mash-Up that makes our brains explode with delight. Visit Pop Art online at Pop Art Snacks Dot Com!
Over at the Foods from England Pavilion (or whatever it was called; you get the idea) we found a few fun products including Farraday’s Tasty, a family-owned business that specializes in gourmet Mayo, Relish and Chutney products. We love their slogan: The Lake District in a Jar!
You know how much we love mayo, right? So, imagine what it was like to taste Faraday’s Tasty Wasabi Mango Mayo. Holy Green-Headed Cow with a Globe on its Noggin — that is tasty!! Explore the world of Farraday’s Tasty at Stay Tasty Dot Com.
British Comedian Eddie Izzard once asked the burning question: Cake Or Death? And the answer is: “Cake, Please!” Especially when the cake is from Mr. Kipling!
Look at all of those delicious tiny cakes. Just look at them. Imagine the Mad Tea Party you could host with that kind of a spread? Get all the sweet stuff you need to know at Mr Kipling Dot Co Dot UK!
Jelly Belly Baking Mixes: It is a Thing.
Description of Chuao Potato Chip Chocolate Bar: Creamy milk chocolate, a sprinkle of sea salt and that irresistible potato chip crunch. The Potato Chip Bar combines two of the most crave-able creations on the planet for total taste bud domination. Yes, Please!
Yes, it exists: Cookie Pop Oreo Flavored Popcorn.
We do not know exactly what Juice Mud Jelly is, but we bet it comes from Asia! Fruit with a face on it gets a thumbs up for inclusion in the SFFS 16 recap!
The Matzo Project wins this years favorite product buzz phrase, because Would It Kill You to Try Something New? We tried the Cinnamon Sugared Matzo. It was, not surprisingly, delicious!
Everything Dog in a Blanket: Sold!
Mackies Haggis Potato Crisps. They taste like Haggis!
Aw, look at these crazy little monster dudes that are the mascots for Volcano Popping Candy! How cute are they? So darn cute.
And while we’re on the subject of cuteness, surely it does not get much more adorable than tiny, smiling faced-jars wearing a striped sweater and a beret! Le Squee!
PetitPot Pot De Creme is delectable french pudding that tastes simply divine, and comes in a jar, for easy access snackin’. PetitPot Pot De Creme comes in lots of yummy flavors and is made, of course, with lots of care and high quality ingredients. Visit their Website for more information!
Do you like delicious flavored coffees and do you also own a Kurig? Brooklyn Bean Roastery unveiled lots of sensational holiday coffee flavors with colorful and clever theme packaging to match!
Visit them online at Brooklyn Beans Dot Com!
Every year, we always find the most hilarious signage and packaging among the many exhibitors in the Hot Sauce aisle and SFFS 16 was no exception. Todd’s Inner Beauty Hot Sauce has an angry Tiki God on the bottle.
He is angry, so he is hot, get it? And what a fun name this sauce has!
Spyce Sauce — which, REALLY spicy — gave away this crazy little mascot guy at their booth. Super fun.
Blair’s Death Sauce stayed on-theme by decorating their display with fun Chili Peppers with Horns and Devil Duck Toys!
We wanted to steal this excellent coffin-shaped platter! Bone Appetit indeed!
Casa Maya Salsa embraces it Mexican heritage with a label that proudly boasts a colorful Sugar Skull on each jar. Their booth was no-frills but nevertheless a minor work of art, because you can never have too many skulls.
Bacon and Jam Mash-ups also continue to be on-trend, and we tasted a couple of good ones. Terrapin Ridge Farms Hot Pepper Berry Bacon Jam covers all the flavor-profile bases for an artisan condiment that says “You must have me in your pantry!” right on the label. Well, it doesn’t really, but it should.
Does The Bacon Jams (soon to be known as TBJ Gourmet) have the best brand mascot in a guitar-playing, shade-wearing pig? Maybe.
One thing that’s certain is this: they bring the total bacon convenience in the form of their “No Fry, On the Fly” gourmet bacon spreads. Kick Out The (Bacon Jams) at This Link!
Let’s see, what else did we eat at SFFS 16? Oh Yeah! Way Better Snacks — a brand we have mad love for already — had this for us to nosh on:
It’s a Taco To Go: all of the Taco ingredients you crave, tossed in an easy-to-carry half of a chips bag! Way Better Nacho Cheese Tortilla Chips brought the crunch!
And here’s a more traditional, Spicy Beef Taco, which we picked up at the booth for Chef Rick Bayles’ Frontera Salsa! He is very handsome.
Get product information and recipes at Frontera Fiesta Dot Com!
Do you like Pancakes and also Dessert? Then you might be interested in Belgian Boys Mini Pancakes — which are appropriate for either option.
Check out the Chef making Belgian Boys Mini Pancakes right in the booth! She had mad skills.
We ate them, and we would do it again.
And now, as we wrap up another year of food, folks and fun at the Summer Fancy Food Show, we’d like to give a shout out to Graeter’s Ice Cream.
They did not have a fancy booth but, gosh darn it if they didn’t serve the Best Ice Cream of the Show!
See you next Summer, SFFS!