How cute is this little felted Taco with a Mustache tree ornament? Answer: so darn cute. Let us make him the official Worleygig mascot of Taco Tuesday, shall we? Sure, why not. This festive little guy was spotted by me a few weeks back at NY Now summer marketplace in the booth for Ornaments 4 Orphans, a for-profit, fair trade social enterprise dedicated to providing critical support for orphans and vulnerable children in Africa. They use ethical and sustainable business practices, create jobs, fight poverty, preserve intact families, empower communities, and ultimately prevent children from becoming orphans. You can browse their huge selection of beautiful, hand-crafted ornaments, and do a bit of early holiday shopping for a good cause, at This Link!
Nothing gets us excited for new seasonal packaged foods and gourmet takes on fresh favorites quite like Food Fete! The Fall edition of Food Fete took place on November 7th, with lots of ideas for holiday entertaining and many new products on preview from some of our favorite vendors — plus a great chance to network with other bloggers and sample lots of tasty treats! Here are a few of the exhibitors that caught our eye this time around.
A festive Martini Bar sponsored by Zulka Pure Cane Sugar got the party started right away. We made sure to sample both the Apple Cider and Pomegranate Martinis, whose sugared rims sparkled with a sprinkling of Zulka. We had to note that Zulka glittered like diamond dust as it adorned the frosting atop luscious brownies, alongside tiny cakes and fresh baked cookies, also provided by Zulka.
Since Zulka‘s “Morena” pure cane sugar does not undergo a conventional refining process, it retains the complexity and depth of flavor that’s as close to fresh sugar cane as possible. Why not pick up a box for use in your next recipe that calls for sugar?
Shortly after entering the event space we spotted Bare Fruit Apple Chips. This delicious natural fruit snack is made from 100% baked Washington Apples with no added preservatives or sugars (and, of course, it’s Gluten Free). We took home a couple of bags to sample and have really enjoyed the Sea Salt Caramel variety, which is a new flavor along with the Chile Lime offering. Crunchy, Sweet and Healthy Snacking!
Mmm, fresh baked bread, – we love it! A lot of people, unfortunately, have a gluten intolerance and many exhibitors at Food Fete took this challenge in hand. The holidays are a time when baking for the family, as well as for gift giving, is a very popular idea. From Anna offers Gluten and Allergen Free bread mixes that taste as sweet and moist as your favorite recipes from Mom. From Anna‘s line of products let you treat yourself and your family while including those with dietary exclusions. Their Banana Bread mix is a must-try and so easy to make!
Luces Gluten Free Artisan Bread was also exhibiting and had many flavors of their fresh baked breads to share, including their new Italian loaf, which bakes into a rich white bread with cracker-thin crust and a very open crumb. Is your mouth watering yet? Luces bread mixes contain all the dry ingredients you need to make a loaf of fresh baked bread in every package, including a bag to bake it in! The best part: no kneading or rising time is required. You have to try this bread!
Chocolate is a big item at the holidays and Divine Chocolate offers exotic flavored Chocolate bars such as White Chocolate with Strawberries, Milk Chocolate with Crushed Ginger Snaps (tastes like Christmas!) and Dark Chocolate with Ginger and Orange among many others! Not only are their products unique and tasty but Divine is the only fair-trade chocolate company which is owned by its cocoa farmers. While Fair-trade ensures farmers receive a better deal for their cocoa and additional income to invest in their community, company ownership gives farmers a share of Divine’s profits and a stronger voice in the cocoa industry. That’s awesome!
Nuts and nut products were also featured prominently at the show, including one of our very favorite snacks, Pistachios. American Pistachio Growers hosted a very inviting booth with facts about Pistachios, samples to give away and the most delicious Avocado Pistachio Guacamole dip (which they called Pistachio Mole). We got the recipe for future concocting at home!
We also fell in love with Sante Nuts, a company founded by a single mom who had to think creatively when she she needed an income stream to support her family. Sante Nuts come in nine sweet and savory varieties and are made in small batches to ensure freshness. Sante’s candied Pistachios, which are actually only slightly candied, so you can still taste all the flavor of the nut, are out of this world.
OPA is a brand of delicious, made fresh Greek style yogurt dressings from Litehouse Foods that not only makes salad eating fun, but it also makes excellent dips. Gluten free and lower in fat and calories than the standard bottled dressing, OPA sacrifices nothing in the taste arena to bring you a healthier product. Available in Blue Cheese, Ranch, Caesar and Feta Dill flavors, OPA by Litehouse can be found in the refrigerated produce department at grocery retailers nationwide.
We love their Tuna, but we had no idea that Chicken of the Sea made all of these different types of packaged seafood products. Due to celebrate the company’s Centennial in 2014, Chicken of the Sea showcased two brand new items at Food Fete, including its Kipper Snacks — naturally smoked, wild-caught herring fillets that are a traditional European snack — and their Genova Quad Pack, featuring four cans of all-natural Genova Select Yellowfin Tuna packed in the Mediterranean tradition of olive oil.
We were also surprised to learn that Panera Bread, one of the healthier quick food chains around, is now offering healthy and delicious salads (although we were told that these salads have actually been available as an off-menu item for some time – who knew?). We will have to check that out next time we pass by a Panera Bread at Lunchtime, because these salads were tasty!
If you have an Aldi Market in your neighborhood then consider yourself very lucky, because their foods are awesome! Similar to a Trader Joe’s, Aldi features all its own house brands and offers everything you need to make your holiday party – or everyday life – simply spectacular! Not to mention, but you can see we are about to, the fact that they have very reasonable prices! Visit Aldi Dot US to find out more about Aldi and to see if they have a location near you!
Pepperidge Farm introduce three new seasonal flavors of their popular Milano Cookies: Candy Cane (Available since October), Dulce De Leche and Lemon Chocolate (both in stores starting in February 2014). They are also offering a Gingerbread variety of their Swirl Bread now through January 2014. That probably tastes amazing toasted!
Do you see how the little paper spoons all have smiley faces on them? That is because they are serving Noosa Yoghurt, which is so delicious, it is just insane. We sampled both the Cherry and Lemon flavors at Food Fete and gosh darn if this isn’t the Best Yogurt we have tasted, possibly ever. Everyone at Food Fete couldn’t shut up about it. We are going to attempt to get samples of Noosa Yoghurt delivered directly to Worley Gig headquarters so that we can review it more thoroughly. Because, insane.
And to wrap up this wrap up, we want to give a shout out to Nasoya, who showcased their Tofu Plus and Asian Style Wraps (wraps, get it?) by serving healthy and super yummy Tofu Tacos and scrumptious home baked Cinnamon Apple Turnovers, respectively, in their booth. Find out more about Nasoya products and get recipe ideas at This Link!
Thanks as always to Jeff Davis for making the magic happen!