Tag Archive | Packaging

Favorite Booth Displays, Products and Packaging From The Summer Fancy Food Show 2017!

SFFS Show Entrance
One Entrance to SFFS17 Flanked By Larger-than-Life Replicas of the Coveted Sofi Award! (All Photos By Gail)

If you would like to know what it is like to eat and drink your way from one end of NYC’s Javits Convention Center to the other, then the Specialty Foods Association’s annual Summer Fancy Food Show is the must-attend event for you! Sadly, you must have at least a tenuous relationship to the Specialty Food business in order to get in, and lucky for us (and you) we have that connection. I attended with my food critic friend Anne on the opening day of the event’s three-day stretch of wild food delirium. It was all kinds of exhausting fun, but it was worth it.

The Sofi Award
The Sofi Awards Honor the Best and Most Innovative Products in Specialty Food

With over 5,000 exhibitors from around the globe, the SFFS is a kind of blissful food overload that is virtually impossible to thoroughly distill — but we are going give it our best shot! We have a lot ground to cover, so we will break it down into a few subcategories covering food that just was simply delicious to put in the mouth, plus the most striking booth displays, stand-out product packaging, favorite brand mascots and most unusual products of the show. Here are some of our amazing discoveries!

Bacchini Pasta Display
Pastificio Bacchini Pasta Display

The Pastificio Bacchini booth was loaded with gorgeous fresh pastas that they were cooking up on site for tasting and swooning over.

Pastificio Bacchini Signage

When they say that these pastas are the Chef’s Best Friend, they mean it!

Bacchini Heart Shaped Pasta

This Heart-Shaped Ravioli Pasta (stuffed with mozzarella di bufala campana, tomato and basil) looked almost too beautiful to eat!

Pear and Cheese Pasta

Our very favorite had to be the  Fiocchi Formaggio e Pere (a pasta purse stuffed with cheese and pears), pictured above, which was just insane. Mangia bene!

Amore Sun-dried Tomato Ravioli Salad

Also taking top honors in the pasta category was the Amore brand Sun-dried Tomato Ravioli Salad featuring Amore Four Cheese Ravioli, Sun Dried Tomatoes and Pesto Paste! So easy to make — we got the recipe!

Calabra Meat and Cheese Rolls

Calabro brand Fresh Rotolo are tiny, hand rolled pinwheels of Mozzarella and Prosciutto that make a delicious, convenient and visually-compelling party snack! Our favorite meat and cheese snack of the show!

C'est Gourmet Ready to Bake Pastry

Soon we came across the well-attended booth for C’est Gourmet Ready to Bake Pastry, from which you can make so many delicious treats of both sweet and savory variety — because everything is fresh baked by you at home!

C'est Gourmet Ready to Bake Pastry

C'est Gourmet Ready to Bake Pastry

In addition to an assortment of fruit and cheese strudels, and other pastries, C’est Gourmet also offers fill-and-bake Danish Twists and Swirls. You officially have no excuse not to bake!

Red Velvet Bomboloni

Behold: the Red Velvet Bomboloni from Forno d’Asolo Italian Bakery! We are speechless!

Sticky Toffee Pudding

Three words: Sticky Toffee Pudding from the Sticky Toffee Pudding Company. Like you couldn’t have just guessed that! Created by British ex-pat Tracy Claros,  who is now based in Austin, Texas, these desserts are her updated approach on the great tradition of British hot puddings brought to America to share with you! You can buy them online!

Pistachio Cake

Look at this cake. Just look at it. We found this gorgeous and outrageously moist and delicious Pistachio Pound Cake in the booth for Hahn’s Old Fashioned Cake Company!

Walden Farms Orange Creamsicle Smoothie

This an Orange Creamsicle Smoothie that we refreshed ourselves with at the Walden Farms booth. The light and luscious smoothie is officially a low-sugar, low calorie treat as it’s made with both fat free yogurt and fat free milk, sweetened fresh fruit and two Walden Farms products: their Orange Marmalade Fruit Spread and their Marshmallow Dip. It tastes fantastic and you can get the recipe at their website!

Two Friends Chocolates

Two Friends Chocolates makes gourmet candies that look like Art! We love the Mondrian design in the lower right hand corner, especially.

Two Cool Chix Signage

We had fun spotting and collecting snaps of products that had fun or funny names, eye-grabbing signage or clever slogans. Too Cool Chix are two cool chicks (Michele Elmer and Sharon Monahan) who have elevated the humble ice cream sandwich, because they think outside the pint!

Two Cool Chix Ice Cream Sandwiches

Too Cool Chix all natural ice cream sandwiches are layered with handmade, soft cookies, paired with extraordinary micro-batch ice cream — what they call their “magic in the middle” — with the result being beautiful, delicious, classic and innovative flavor combinations.

Two Cool Chix Ice Cream Sandwiches

The Beauty Bar: Lavender Ice Cream with a Soft Lemon Cookie Sandwich was my favorite!

Pickled Pink Foods

Pickled Pink Foods, well, if you know me at all, it is obvious why this is included in the round up. These guys pickle foods that you would not necessarily traditionally pickle.

Pickled Peaches

Like these Pickled Peaches, which taste exactly like you would imagine. They would be great served with barbecued meats (especially ribs), I think.

Crapola Poster

This is the slogan for Crapola Granola. Do you need me to explain to you why this is hilarious? It might not be as outrageous as This, but it still rates.

Crapola Granola

Crapola Cranbrerry and Apple Granola: It tastes good, and it makes you go. What more do you want?

Mallow Tree Fruit Flavoured Balls

Mallow Tree Fruit Flavoured Balls. The joke just writes itself!

Ayoba Yo Biltong Jerky

“Eat Our Meat” is the sexually suggestive slogan for Ayoba-Yo, makes of Biltong Jerky and other fine dried meat products. Biltong (a word which I recently played in a game of Words With Friends) is a South African style of  air-dried steak jerky which makes all other jerkies taste like chewy rope by comparison. The photo above shows a selection of Droewors, the new standard for Beef Sticks. Eat their meat, indeed.

Meat Mitch

Meat Jokes! Pigs! We can’t get enough of either!

Meat Mitch BBQ Sauce

Meat Mitch BBQ Sauce featuring a Pig named Mitch: Put it on Your Meat, and Eat It.

Super Seedz

SuperSeedz Gourmet Pumpkin Seeds: Because it is a Big Pink Pumpkin!

Don't Let Life Pasta You By

Al Dente Artisinal Pasta gets a pass for the pun! Ha ha ha, Pasta!

Sucker Punch Mixer

Suckerpunch Gourmet Bloody Mary Mix: There are so many things to like about the label alone.

Wise Crackers

Wise Crackers: For Health Snacking!

Brooklyn Brine Company

Brooklyn Brine Company is famous for its handmade pickles! Also: Metal!

Whitleys Peanuts

Whitley’s Peanuts presents the Andrew Dice Clay version of Mr. Peanut.

Mama Zumas Kettle Chips

Mama Zuma’s Revenge Kettle-Cooked Habanero Potato Chips got everyone’s attention, not just with its fiery heat, but with its packaging art inspired by actress Jane Russell’s role in the 1943 film The Outlaw! Mama Zuma/Jane is depicted on the bag, carrying a Route 11 flag in one hand  and a flaming habanero pepper in the other, while wearing a bunch of hot peppers like a grenade belt. Hot and Hot!

Red Rocker Candy

Red Rocker Candy Summer Sunset Mix: A Raspberry Lemonade Delight. It looks and sounds amazing!

Dresden Butter Stollen

Best Holiday Packaging, hand’s down goes to Frau Helga’s Dresden Butter Stollen, which encapsulates everything delicious about the Christmas season in one festive package!

Chomperz Seaweed Chips

Chomperz Crunchy Seaweed Chips: Winner of our Shark Attack Snack Packaging Award that we just made up right now!

Choc Stars Chocolate Bars

Choc Stars Chocolate Bars  are all natural German-made milk chocolate bars with easily recognizable (and hilarious) depictions of popular music star as pets on their labels. The Michael Jackson one is just too perfect. Also: Katty Perry, HA! Winner: Best Pop Culture Mash-Up!

P-Nuff Crunch

The Cuteness in Packaging Award goes to P-Nuff Crunch, with its tiny peanut mascot lifting weights. OMG so adorable. This snack is delicious and crunchy like Cheetohs but with Peanut flavor, and it is not made with corn. P-nuff Crunch is the only baked puff snack made from heart-healthy and protein-filled peanuts, fiber-full navy beans, and slow digesting complex carbohydrate rice — natural ingredients, with no artificial flavors, sweeteners, or preservatives are added! Our Favorite Bagged Snack of the show!

Enlightened Red Velvet Ice Cream Bar

Enlightened Red Velvet Ice Cream Bar. Anne and I were initially chatted-up in the ladies room by the mother of the guy who created this line of high protein/low sugar frozen desserts. She claimed that it greatly assisted her weight loss efforts — worth exploring!

Java Nagila Keurig Pods

Best Coffee Pun goes to Java Factory’s Java Nagila Chocolate Mint Keurig pods (photographed in the booth for Brooklyn Bean Roastery)!

Virginia Diner Peanuts Can Do Button Mix

We love the retro-style packaging art for Virginia Diner Can-Do Button Mix. With every purchase of this item, a 10% donation is made to cancer research. This tasty candy/nut mix features Virginia Diner’s lightly-salted Virginia peanuts mixed with candy coated chocolates to create a sweet/salty treat. For The Cure.

Strawberry Hill Sweets
A shout out to Strawberry Hill Candy for their Sugar Skull, Bat, Ghost and Jack-O-Lantern-shaped Lollipops for Halloween!

Best Outift

We have no competition here against this gentleman clad in lime green trousers that flaunt a Hot Pink Crabs and Lobtsers motif (with bonus points for the coordinating Top-Siders, jacket, and tote bag)! Winner: Best Pants of the Show!

Green Lid Veggie Guys

With a staggering number of exhibitors vying for even 5 minutes of attention from dazed attendees, it can pay off well to have an  adorable, or otherwise eye-catching, focal point at your boot or display that will attract those who simply must stop to snap a photo for their Instagram feed. Greenlid  compost bins is where we found these little Veggie Guys — a Broccoli Flowerette and her Carrot companion — which made us stop for a photo op, and a chance to learn more about their product. Greenlid is the first compostable and disposable composting bin, made entirely in Canada from locally-recycled cardboard. It breaks down with your compostable waste and produces nutrient-rich soil. Just fill it, seal it, and toss it in your backyard compost pile or put it curbside for municipal pick-up. It’s that easy!

Field Trip Jerky Mascots

Yes, there are real guys inside these hilarious inflatable costumes for Mr. Turkey and Mr. Bull, whom we found over at the booth for Field Trip Jerky.

Field Trip Jerky Bull Mascot

All natural and gluten free, Brooklyn-based Field Trip Jerky is a fast growing, health lifestyle brand aimed at providing delicious and versatile meat snacks that complement a large variety of on-the-go consumers. Formed by three friends who saw a need to transform meat snacks after tasting their first craft jerky on the ski slopes in Vermont, Field Trip makes healthier protein-rich snacks without sacrificing quality and taste!

Field Trip Jerky Turkey Mascot

Winner: Best Mascots at SFFS17!

Cookie Do Confections

I somehow neglected to get a full photo of the booth for Cookie Dough Confections, makers of gourmet, customizable cookie dough for eating and baking, but I think that was because I was distracted by a couple of amazing Pink Things in their booth.

Pink Neon Cookie

One being this Hot Pink Neon Cookie Light!

Hot Pink KitchenAid Mixer

And the other being this Hot Pink KitchenAid Mixer! WOW! Winner: Best Pink Things of the Show!

Stonewall Kitchen Booth

Stonewall Kitchen, an award-winning purveyor of jams, condiments, spreads, mixes and other gourmet specialty foods embraced a Winter Holiday theme by parking a miniature Red Christmas Tree Truck right in the middle of their rather expansive booth! Winner: Best Holiday-Themed Booth!

Peter Spanton Display

No gimmicks are needed for this super-clean yet visually seductive display for Peter Spanton Drinks: a selection of specialty tonics that can be served on their own as unique ‘soft drinks for grown ups’ or used as a bespoke mixer when paired with its suggested complementary spirit. For example, Lemongrass No. 5 pairs ideally with vodka or gin, while Chocolate No. 4 — an exotic blend of mint and dark chocolate — goes well with dark spirits. Home mixologists take note! Winner: Best Mixers!

Yo Mama Signage

Yo Mama Foods, makers of delicious homemade Pasta and BBQ sauces, made the most of their smaller space in the New Brands on the Shelf Alley with this fun illuminated vintage signage! Winner: Best Logo Signage!

Chuao Gourmet Chocolate Bars Display

Chuao Gourmet Chocolate Bars are premium chocolates with unexpected add-ins that include Churro Bits, Exotic Fruits and even Bacon!

Chuao Bars Display
Display

Chuao Gourmet Chocolate Bars Display

Their booth incorporated this old fashioned Bicycle-Driven Ice Cream Cart, on which they displayed their many Sofi Awards! They had a little Boom Box Dance Action going on as well. Very fun!

Belgian Boys Full Booth

And finally, we present our favorite booth of the show: Belgian Boys European style cookies and treats! The Boys (and Girl) brought the beach right into Javits Center with their Say Hello to Summer-themed booth, which featured a bamboo bar display, Surfboards, a Wading Pool full of cookies and a giant Waffle Shaped Pool Raft!

Belgian Boys Waffle Raft
The Lovely Anouck Poses with a Giant Belgian Waffle Pool Raft!

Belgian Boys Waffle Chips

Belgian Boys dominate in the European Bakery treats category with their Mini Pancakes, Crepes, Waffle Chips, Chocolate Waffle Chips and their famous Cookie Butter, the National Belgian spread, made of crushed Speculoos cookies. We were also introduced to the Mini Cookie Stache, everyone’s favorite cookie butter cookies in a cute mustache shape! Mustache-tic!

Belgian Boys Product Display

Mmm…so much deliciousness!

Belgian Boys Sufboards
Surf’s Up!

And…that about does it for our photo recap of the Summer Fancy Food Show 2017! We hope you had as much fun as we did! See you next year!

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Yes, It Exists: Pink Flamingos Bed Sheets

Pink Flamingos Bed Sheets
All Photos By Gail

Sears & Roebuck released this colorful set of Pink Flamingos bed sheets in 1972, and it mysteriously disappeared almost as quickly as it hit store shelves. The sheets were made available two weeks prior to the release of the film, and within two months they were nearly impossible to find. Sales records indicated that only 500 to 800 units were sold nationwide, though Sears reports that over 5,000 units were actually produced. Where did all of the missing bed sheets end up? No one really knows, but it is speculated that they were pulled from shelves and junked by retail biddies who objected to the content of the film. Each set contained a fitted sheet, top sheet and two pillow cases.

Pink Flamingos Bed Sheets Packaging

Product Review: Explore Cuisine Pasta

Explore Cuisine Pasta Boxes
All Photos By Gail

Do you like pasta? I sure do. One exciting thing about being a pasta fan is how innovative foodies and culinary experts alike are continually coming up with new recipes to make pasta a healthier, better-for-you meal choice, especially if you happen to be on a gluten free diet. At the recent Summer Fancy Food Show, I was introduced to Explore Cuisine pastas, which are made from variety of different kinds of organic beans. The folks at Explore Cuisine were kind enough to send me a couple of varieties to try at home, and happy to say that these pastas are fantastic!

Red Lentil Penne Pasta Box

Founded by Joe Spronz, Explore Cuisine products are vegan, organic, gluten-free, and kosher, ensuring your health and igniting your taste buds! These delicious bean pastas contain nearly 20-25 grams of protein per serving and are low in carbs and sodium while simultaneously containing a high fiber content. With Explore Cuisine, you’ll experience the incomparable taste of pasta with all the benefits of nutritious beans! I tried the Red Lentil Penne for dinner earlier this week, and it exceeded my expectations.

Red Lentil Penne Drained

A friend of mine who is an excellent Italian chef once advised me that pasta cannot be held to strict boiling times when cooking, and experience has shown her advice to be right on. But with this pasta, the suggested cooking time (8-10 minutes) on the back of the box is a pretty accurate if you don’t want the pasta to get overdone (and I like my pasta on the tender side). Just keep an eye on the clock, is all I’m saying.

Red Lentil Penne with Sauce

Here it is, all plated and topped with Trader Joe’s Bolognese Sauce and a grating of cheddar cheese, which I love on my pasta as a change-up from the traditional hard Italian cheeses. Explore Cuisine Red Lentil Pasta has a distinctive and very satisfying flavor of lentils.  And, unlike many gluten free pastas I’ve tasted, it maintains an appealing bite and mouth feel. This pasta is an excellent quality product that anyone should be proud and excited to serve to their family.

Red Lentil Penne with Sauce

Here is close-up of my quick and delicious meal! So yummy!

Learn more about Explore Cuisine foods (they also make rice-based pasta, and soups, among other items) and get recipes at This Link!

Favorite Booth Displays, Products and Packaging From The Summer Fancy Food Show 2016!

SFFS16 Signage
All Photos By Gail

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 Chocolate

Kate Weiser Chocolates are miniature works of confectionery art, and they taste just as good as they look!
Kate Weiser Chocolates

Key Lime Pie Bon Bons, Anyone? They are almost to beautiful to eat! Check Kate Weiser out online at the hyperlink above!

Gelarto Display 1

Continuing with foods that are stunning to behold, check out this display featuring Gelarto Italian Ice Cream!

Gelarto Signage

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.

Gelarto Display 2

We couldn’t help but linger at the Gelarto booth; with so many luscious gourmet flavors, we had to sample a few!

Danas Bakery Macarons

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!

Goodie Girl Cookie Display

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…

Shira of Goodie Girl

Meet Goodie Girl owner and founder, Shira Berk. She’s fabulous. And dig that crazy dress! What a vision with a vision she is.

Frisa Rep Damir

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!

Frisa Display

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!

Hibiscus Flower in Champagne

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!

Art Pop Neon Logo

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!

Art Pop Booth
Mike, Co-Founder of Pop Art, is on the Right

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!

Art Pop Feta Cheese Mash Up

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!

Tasty Mayo Signage

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!

Tasty Mayo Display

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.

Mr Kipling Cakes Signage

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!

Mr Kipling Cakes Display

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

Jelly Belly Baking Mixes: It is a Thing.

Chuao Chocolate Covered Potato Chips

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!

Cookie Pop

Yes, it exists: Cookie Pop Oreo Flavored Popcorn.

Mud Jelly

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

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

Everything Dog in a Blanket: Sold!

Mackies Haggis Crisps

Mackies Haggis Potato Crisps. They taste like Haggis!

Volcano Popping Candy

Aw, look at these crazy little monster dudes that are the mascots for Volcano Popping Candy! How cute are they? So darn cute.

Petitpot Signage

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 Display

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!

Brooklyn Bean Roaster Holiday Coffee

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!

Brooklyn Bean Roaster Coffee

Visit them online at Brooklyn Beans Dot Com!

Todds Inner Beauty Sauce Signage

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.

Todds Inner Beauty Sauce

He is angry, so he is hot, get it? And what a fun name this sauce has!

Spyce Sauce

Spyce Sauce — which, REALLY spicy — gave away this crazy little mascot guy at their booth. Super fun.

Blairs Death Sauce with Toys

Blair’s Death Sauce stayed on-theme by decorating their display with fun Chili Peppers with Horns and  Devil Duck Toys!

Blairs Death Sauce with Samples

We wanted to steal this excellent coffin-shaped platter! Bone Appetit indeed!

Casa Maya Salsa Display

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.

Terrapin Farms Bacon Jam

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.

TBJ Signage

Does The Bacon Jams (soon to be known as TBJ Gourmet) have the best brand mascot in a guitar-playing, shade-wearing pig? Maybe.

Bacon Jams Display

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!

Way Better Chips Display

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:

Way Better Chips Taco to Go

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!

Frontera Salsa Taco

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.

Frontera Salsas

Get product information and recipes at Frontera Fiesta Dot Com!

Belgian Boys Mini Pancakes

Do you like Pancakes and also Dessert? Then you might be interested in Belgian Boys Mini Pancakes — which are appropriate for either option.

Chef Making Belgian Boys Mini Pancakes

Check out the Chef making Belgian Boys Mini Pancakes right in the booth! She had mad skills.

Belgian Boys Mini Pancakes

We ate them, and we would do it again.

Graeters Ice Cream

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.

Graeters Ice Cream Booth

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!

SFFS Entrance and Signage

Pink Thing of The Day: Body Fantasies Spray Fragrance

Body Fantasies Spray Fragrance
Photo By Gail

The packaging design of this fragrant body spray is almost too pink to resist, especially when you add the fluorescent, multi-colored lip prints. Even the fragrance name, “Pink Vanilla Kiss Fantasy” sounds almost edible. And I guess that is what good advertising is all about: compelling you to purchase a product based solely on how it looks on the shelf. Oh, the Pinkness.

Photographed in Duane Reade on 8th Ave and 33rd Street.

Favorite Photos From Summer Fancy Food 2015!

Fancy Food Signage
All Photos By Gail

For a food blogger, there is no better way to kick off the summer in style than 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 28th to 30th. With over 5,000 exhibitors from around the globe, Summer Fancy Food is the most exciting Specialty Foods product showcasing event of the year for restaurant owners, gourmet vendors, and foodies alike!

As usual, I went with an empty tummy, a huge swag 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!

Simply Baked

Simply Baked makes eye-catching packaging for baked goods, treats and gifts. They even have cupcake cups that go right into the oven and come out ready to serve! I appreciated the pink popcorn and cupcakes that were part of an overall visually enchanting display.

Simply Baked

Salad Shotz Kid Friendly Salad Dressings

Salad Shotz makes Kid Friendly Salad Dressings with all natural ingredients, that will appeal to the adult palate as well. Chocolate Chip salad dressing, mmmmm.

Buen Sabor Empanada Bus

I imagine it was fun for the folks at Buen Sabor to drive their Empanada-serving VW Bus right up to and inside of Javits Center!

Buen Sabor Empanada Bus

Promising Food Truck Flavors Without the Line, Buen Sabor nevertheless attracted a consistent queue with their delicious offerings of frozen empanadas in tempting flavors like Plantain and Cheese, and Beef Picadillo.

Lolea Sangria Bottles

Lolea Sangria is an exceptionally delicious beverage that comes in both red and white varieties and is as distinctive for its flavor as it is for its red and white polka dot bottles that recall the work of Japanese pop artist Yayoi Kusama. When I brought it up, no one at the booth had heard of her.

Morfat Cakes

Morfat is how I felt when I was only about a tenth of the way through the show! And don’t these cakes look delicious!

Kefla Glas Bottles from Germany

Kefla Glass Bottles from Germany come in so many different shapes, sizes and colors, but I loved the ones that look like little shoes!

Banana Snack

Barnana Organic Chewy Banana Bites is one of the most original and great tasting snacks I’ve encountered at any food show, anywhere. Unfortunately, they did not have free samples to take home at their booth, and when I tried to surreptitiously pilfer a bag from their display, I was caught red handed. The shame.

Mocktails Cocktail Shaker Packaging

Mocktails brand non-alcoholic cocktail beverage alternative comes in this neato, totally reusable Cocktail Shaker packaging! Adding alcohol is allowed, at your discretion!

Fundelina Hazelnut Snack

Fundelina Chocolate Hazelnut Spread was mistaken by me for Nutella. I bet that happens a lot.

Serendipity Frozen Hot Chocolate Mix

Serendipity 3’s Frozen Hot Chocolate Mix gets bonus points for having Satan depicted on its packaging. I imbibed my first Frozen Hot Chocolate at the age of 18 years and still recall how it made me feel drunk, even though it contains no alcohol. Mysterious! And now you can prepare one at home, in a variety of flavors no less!

Perky Jerky Mobile Display

Best Mobile Display goes out to Brian Levin of Perky Jerky!

Mamma Chia Mascot

I didn’t see too many Brand Mascots on the floor this year, but the Mamma Chia Human Squeeze Bag sure was friendly!

Blue Isle String Cheese

Blue Isle Mediterranean dairy products had a String Cheese on display at their booth that was the size of a small infant. Impressive!

Smari Yogurt

In line for Best Slogan/ Tag Line is Smari Organic Icelandic Yogurt with “Strong, Like My Mother.” Also, I love the Spoon wearing a Viking Hemet. Valhalla, I am coming!

Beer Flavored Jelly Bellys

Four Words: Beer Flavor Jelly Bellys.

Death Zone Sauce

Fancy Food is so huge, it has room to feature aisle after aisle crammed with hundreds of hot sauce products. These booths provide the best photos ops you could imagine. Let’s take a look!

Red Robot Hot Sauce

Red Robot Hot Sauce, features a cute little Red Robot on its label!

Fat Cat Bacon Sriracha

Fat Cat Foods makes an extensive line of spicy sauces, but this Bacon Sriracha was my favorite. I bet it tastes insane.

Bone Doctor BBQ Sauce

The labeling on Bone Doctors BBQ Sauce is like a work of Fine Art.

Empire White Truffle Mayonnaise

I put Empire Mayonnaise at the top of my list of booths to visit when their friendly PR Rep told me in an email that one of her favorites sayings was, “Hating Mayonnaise Does Not Make You Interesting.” They gave away little jars of their delicious gourmet mayonnaise. Best Booth Ever.

Empire State Building Lollipops

I also didn’t see as much candy at this year’s show, but we were impressed by Strawberry Hill Candy’s Empire State Building Lollipops. New York City!

Cracked Candy

Cracked Candy may be capitalizing on the still-trending popularity of all things Breaking Bad (one representative in the booth was shamelessly sporting a Heisenberg-esque Pork Pie Hat) but this sweet stuff is sugar and gluten free, non-GMO and diabetic friendly, so it’s all good! Say Their Name: Cracked Candy!

Wine Sticks

Wine Sticks (tag line: “Sass with your Glass”) from South Carolina’s The Sweetery are thin, crispy biscuits (cookies) that pair with wine and can even be dunked! I enjoyed tasting several varieties with a glass of red wine, and company co-owner/founder Jane Jarahian was a sweet and attentive lady.

Steve's Ice Cream

Aside from having an awesome name, Steve’s Ice Cream took home a coveted Sofi Award in the Category of Outstanding Ice Cream, Gelato, or Frozen Treat for their Speculoos Cookie Butter Ice Cream! My personal favorite flavor though was the Southern Banana Pudding. Mmmm, Ba-na-na.

Confetti Bownies

I was already at the point of exploding when I hit the Brownie Points Bakery booth for a sampling of their assorted mouth-watering, home made brownies and popcorn treats. They were baking fresh brownies right in the booth! Heaven.

Multi-Colroed Popcorn

Wouldn’t this multicolored popcorn make a fun party favor? Sure it would.

Sexy Pop Signage

Sexy Pop Snacks always creates a bold presence with their brightly colored bags of chips and popcorn that come in all kids of yummy flavors.

Sexy Pop Snacks

Very Sexy!

Boulder Granola

Boulder Granola (tag line: “Unleash Your Inner Hippie!”) brought a much smaller VW Bus into the Javits Center (see below) but, dang if the don’t embrace a memorable and vibrant brand identify with their psychedelic flower power Bus logo/backdrop and commitment to being Organic and Gluten Free.

Boulder Granola

Pop Art Popcorn Booth

And finally, let’s wrap up this thing with the Pop Art Snacks Gourmet Popcorn Booth, which got everything right! From the clever product name and Lichtenstein knockoff artwork to the Neon Logo and the custom-made Popcorn Disco Ball — this brand really made themselves stand out from the crowd! Owners Mike and Venessa (who, like me, are big Pop Art fans) started out in Brooklyn and relocated to Utah where they are growing the brand and enjoying great success! We hope to see them back at Javits for FFS 2016 next summer!

Product Review: Weight Watchers Divine Triple Chocolate Bars

Divine Triple Chocolate Bars
Photos By Gail

OK, everybody loves chocolate ice cream, amiright? I think I may be, so it makes sense that Weight Watchers Divine Triple Chocolate Bars are one of the company’s best-selling and most popular flavors of all of their frozen ice cream treats. When I enjoy these bars from my own home freezer, I am overcome with a wave of nostalgia for the classic Fudgsicle® that I enjoyed so much as kid.

Divine Triple Chocolate Bar Unwrapped

See how Divine Triple Chocolate Bars even improve on the Fudgsicle by adding not only a swirl of rich fudge inside the delicious, low fat ice cream, but also by dipping the top half of the bar in milk chocolate! Because, “These bars are too chocolaty!” said no one ever.

Offered in a package of 6, each individually wrapped bar has a value 3 Points Plus, contains only 110 calories, 4.5 grams of fat and 0 grams of trans fat. Find out where you can buy Weight Watchers Divine Triple Chocolate Bars and other tasty Weight Watchers products at This Link!