Food Glorious Fancy Food: the most-anticipated annual food show is now behind us, and I must say that nobody has their act together quite like the Specialty Food Association does when they take over the Javits Center for the annual Summer Fancy Food Show here in NYC. Cheese whiz, what a fantastic show!
There is so much ground to cover when attempting to distill the Summer Fancy Food Experience, and it’s a monumental task because, as the largest show of its kind, there are literally thousands of participating exhibitors! This year, I was fancying a wide variety of sweet treats and snacks. Let’s go to the photos!
Mmm, don’t these look delicious? C’est Gourmet makes exceptional artisanal pastries – in both sweet and savory varieties – that arrive frozen so that customers can bake fresh pastries at home easily and conveniently. C’est Gourmet selects only the finest ingredients, including organic fruit and artisan cheeses, and they have mastered their own European methods of laminating and resting dough, which results in flavorful pastries with crispy, flaky texture, and a memorable eating experience. C’est Gourmet’s newest offering is the Croissant Muffin (pictured above). I could eat a dozen of them!
Bakerly Crepes To Go are authentic French Crepes rolled with delicious fillings and packaged individually for bakery-fresh, grab-and-go snacking! I discovered Bakerly crepes a few years ago and they are now one of my very favorite snacks! Fillings inside each impossibly flaky crepe include Chocolate Hazelnut, Crunchy Chocolate Hazelnut, Crunchy Caramel, and Strawberry. Take one bite and you will understand immediately why Bakerly’s website is loaded with glowing five-star reviews of these extremely yummy crepe treats!!
Sugar Bowl Bakery makes tiny snack-sized cakes that are instantly addictive, but my favorites are their Duet Bites.
Duet Bites are two treats in one, combining a luscious almond-flavored Madeleine cake and a moist chocolate Brownie in one tiny cake. I cannot recommend them highly enough.
Post Continues With More Photos and Brands After The Jump!
Each year at the Summer Fancy Food Show, I enjoy tasting hundreds of delicious new specialty foods and meeting new friends, but I especially love to return from the show with camera full of crazy photos of the fun and creative displays and props that exhibitors use to attract show-goers to their booths — because the competition is fierce! Most years, Belgian Boys Bakery puts together a visually engaging and whimsically-themed display that does justice to the company’s line of scrumptious desserts. This year, that theme was all about Pink Things, as you can see here by this Hot Pink Plastic Pineapple resting on a tony pink sand beach. Yummy! Stay tuned for more photos of the pink things spotted in the Belgian Boys’ booth once I get my Summer Fancy Food Show 2019 photo recap online, later this month!
Oh my goodness, you know I must have been having a crazy fun summer when the season is essentially over before I can even get around to posting my always-hotly-anticipated annual photo recap of the Summer Fancy Food Show, 2018 edition! I have no excuse, except to admit that there is too much rad fun going on over here! Please forgive my tardiness, Specialty Food Association — I promise I will make it up to you with this awesome coverage that you are about experience. To kick things off, let me give a round of shout outs to the considerable number of tasty edibles that you should be putting in your mouth right now. Let’s do this thing!
How luscious do those chocolate-enrobed morsels look in the above photo? Please allow me to introduce you to Michelle’s Maccs — the Macaroon of the Gods. If you are a fan of coconut, then you need to get hip to Michelle’s Maccs, an elite coconut macaroon that comes in 13 gourmet varieties — including Amarena Cherry, Peanut Butter, Orange Zest, Banana Walnut (with little bits of real banana) and Espresso — each covered either milk, white, or dark Belgian chocolate. Decadent.
Check out this close up of the Simple Milk variety: dense with sweet, chewy coconut and drenched in rich Belgian Milk Chocolate. Irresistible! Handcrafted with simple, high-quality ingredients, Michelle’s Maccs are eggless, flourless and naturally gluten-free. What a perfect confectionary treat for yourself, or to give as a gift. Michelle’s Maccs’s are part of the full line of gourmet baked goods from Fresh Baked NY, and you can find out more about them at This Link!
Over in the New Brands on the Shelf aisle, we met the lovely ladies behind Something Good to Eat Soups! Meet Sandy Khorrami and her two beautiful daughters. Something Good to Eat is a line of hearty and exotic soups made in small batches right here in NYC. Vegan and sugar-free, with no preservatives or stabilizers, these delicious soups are as close to homemade as you’ll find outside of your own kitchen!
Inspired by her own mothers home-cooking, Sandy has hand-crafted original recipes for unique soup flavors like Pomegranate Beet with Basmati Rice (which reflects Sandy’s Iranian heritage), and Spicy Mushroom with Lemongrass and Quinoa. Delicious served hot or cold, Something Good to Eat is a brand to put on your radar.
Another new brand exbibiting at SFFS for the first time is Peekabo Organic Ice Cream. What makes Peekabo a unique product is the main ingredient hiding in each flavor — fresh vegetables! Take their Chocolate ice cream, made from the finest cocoa and pure, sweet cream to create a decadent, velvety dark chocolate ice cream. And the hidden cauliflower is providing your kids with a variety of vitamins, folate, fiber, potassium, protein, phosphorus and magnesium — wow! Eating your vegetables never tasted like this before!
Vegetables Never Tasted So Good
Other Peekabo flavors include Strawberry with Hidden Carrot, Mint Chip with Hidden Spinach, and Vanilla with Hidden Zucchini. Scoop them up at your local grocery!
I was first introduced to Graeters Ice Cream at SFFS 2016 and so it was nice to see the brand thriving at this year’s show. Their Black Raspberry Chocolate Chip totally owns me.
Jenji’s Ice Cream wins Best Ice Cream Flavor Name for their scrumptious Brambleberry Crisp variety!
Sugar Bowl Bakery, a family owned company based in Hayward, CA, bakes a variety of bite-sized cakes and pastries that are perfect for lunch bags, afternoon tea, or easy snacking when you really want to treat yourself.
Possibly my single favorite new sweet discovery of SFFS18 were Sugar Bowl’s Duet Bites; tiny cakes that uniquely blend chocolaty Petite Brownie Bites with buttery Madeleines cakes. Dessert perfection achieved!
Also introduced at SFFS18 are the bakery’s new Button Cakes, which are on shelves now. Button Cakes have the look, texture and taste of tiny, bite-sized muffins and come in four tempting flavors including Tropical Mango, Wild Blueberry, Lemon Zest and Madagascar Vanilla. Sugar Bowl Bakery’s Button Cakes contain real fruit and vanilla bean seeds, with no artificial flavors, colors or preservatives. The Button Cakes are available in 8 and 16-count packages, with distribution throughout the United States.
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 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!
PastificioBacchini Pasta Display
The Pastificio Bacchini booth was loaded with gorgeous fresh pastas that they were cooking up on site for tasting and swooning over.
When they say that these pastas are the Chef’s Best Friend, they mean it!
This Heart-Shaped Ravioli Pasta (stuffed with mozzarella di bufala campana, tomato and basil) looked almost too beautiful to eat!
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!
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!
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!
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!
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!
Behold: the Red Velvet Bomboloni from Forno d’Asolo Italian Bakery! We are speechless!
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!
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!
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 makes gourmet candies that look like Art! We love the Mondrian design in the lower right hand corner, especially.
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!
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.
The Beauty Bar: Lavender Ice Cream with a Soft Lemon Cookie Sandwich was my favorite!
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.
Like these Pickled Peaches, which taste exactly like you would imagine. They would be great served with barbecued meats (especially ribs), I think.
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 Cranbrerry and Apple Granola: It tastes good, and it makes you go. What more do you want?
Mallow Tree Fruit Flavoured Balls. The joke just writes itself!
“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 Jokes! Pigs! We can’t get enough of either!
Meat Mitch BBQ Sauce featuring a Pig named Mitch: Put it on Your Meat, and Eat It.
SuperSeedz Gourmet Pumpkin Seeds initially got our attention because their logo is a Big Pink Pumpkin! SuperSeedz makes seasoned and toasted, no-shell gourmet pumpkin seeds in a variety of delicious flavors that include Dark Chocolate and Sea Salt, Garlicky Dill, and Italian Tomato!
Al Dente Artisinal Pasta gets a pass for the pun! Ha ha ha, Pasta!
Suckerpunch Gourmet Bloody Mary Mix: There are so many things to like about the label alone.
Wise Crackers: For Health Snacking!
Brooklyn Brine Company is famous for its handmade pickles! Also: Metal!
Whitley’s Peanuts presents the Andrew Dice Clay version of Mr. Peanut.
Mama Zuma’s Revenge Kettle-Cooked Habanero Potato Chips (from the Route 11 brand)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 Summer Sunset Mix: A Raspberry Lemonade Delight. It looks and sounds amazing!
Best Holiday Packaging, hands down, goes to Frau Helga’s Dresden Butter Stollen, which encapsulates everything delicious about the Christmas season in one festive package!
Chomperz Crunchy Seaweed Chips from Seasnax: Winner of our Shark Attack Snack Packaging Award that we just made up right now!
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!
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. 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!
Best Coffee Pun goes to Java Factory’sJava Nagila Chocolate Mint Keurig pods (photographed in the booth for Brooklyn Bean Roastery)!
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’slightly-salted Virginia peanuts mixed with candy coated chocolates to create a sweet/salty treat. For The Cure.
A shout out to Strawberry Hill Candy for their Sugar Skull, Bat, Ghost and Jack-O-Lantern-shaped Lollipops for Halloween!
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! (Update: Mr. Best Pants has now been identified to us as Stan Ferguson!)
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 so they getinstagram likes. 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!
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.
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!
Winner: Best Mascots at SFFS17!
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.
One being this Hot Pink Neon Cookie Light!
And the other being this Hot Pink KitchenAid Mixer! WOW! Winner: Best Pink Things of the SFFS17!
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! You can see and feel the effects of Kitchenistic products in your home.Winner: Best Holiday-Themed Booth!
No gimmicks are needed for this super-clean yet visually seductive display for Peter SpantonDrinks: 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 Foods, makers of delicious homemade Marinara Sauce, Sesame Dressing and Marinade, and Balsamic Dressing and Marinade, 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 Chocolatier make premium gourmet chocolate bars with unexpected add-ins that include Honeycomb, Potato Chips (my personal favorite) and even Bacon! A SFFS17, this Fair Trade company introduced two new Latin-inspired flavors: Cheeky Cheeky Churro (with little Churro bits mixed in) and Totally Tangy Mango! Mmm, mouthwatering!
Chuao Display — Choose Your Favorite!
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!
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!
The Lovely Anouck Poses with a Giant Belgian Waffle Pool Raft!
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!
Mmm…so much deliciousness!
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!
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!
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.
This Photo Image Source, All Other Photos By Gail, Unless Noted.
Do you like Butter? I sure do. You know what I don’t like, though? Cold, hard butter that sometimes arrives at your table along with the bread at even the fanciest restaurants. What is up with that? Butter should be soft and spreadable, and hard butter destroys the bread! There is no need for butter to be hard unless you need to transport it through the desert on a refrigerated truck. Otherwise, no need!
Given my passionate stand on soft butter, it is probably no accident that, while I was at the Summer Fancy Food show a couple of months back, I was introduced to the Tava Life Provisions company and their delicious product, flavored, 100% grass fed Pure Spreadable Butter, also known as Ghee. If you have eaten a lot of delicious Indian food, as I have, you may already know that Ghee (clarified butter) originates in India, where it is used extensively in cooking and its health benefits are widely promoted. Also, it is fun to say: Ghee.
Health benefits of consuming Pure Spreadable Butter include increased metabolism and improved digestive function, something that I wasn’t getting enough results in when I found the phen375 for sale and read about it as a metabolism-boosting alternative. Tava Ghee is pure, with no hydrogenated oils, and it is rich in the healthy fat-soluble vitamins A, D, E, and K, as well as being a source of the natural cancer-fighting fatty acid conjugated linoleic acid (CLA). Who knew butter could be such a healthy food?
Original Ghee is clarified butter that has been cooked down for hours. It then turns into a beautiful gold color and creates a sweet, caramel, nutty aroma, but maintains a buttery taste. Ghee alone is an excellent alternative to butter for those who are lactose intolerant (all the milk solids are removed through reducing and then filtering the butter) and who want the taste of butter, without the unhealthy fats often found in margarine.
Most importantly, Tava Ghee is delicious. Tava Representatives sent me sample jars of their regular Ghee, plus three gourmet flavored varieties, and I got started cooking with them right away.
Tava’s Green Chili infused Ghee will add a spicy kick to any savory dish, such as meats, vegetables or, in my case, eggs. Eggs scrambled in Green Chili Ghee are ready for a south-of-the-border brunch with just a sprinkling of cheese and a side of refried beans!
Himalayan Pink Sea Salt is definitely on trend as a popular and sought-after food ingredient. Tava infuses their lightly whipped Ghee with just the right amount of Himalayan salt, so that no additional seasoning needed.
It tastes great on pasta dishes like this Capellini with Broccoli and Cheese!
To create the fragrant Vanilla Bean Ghee – which is prefect to top your morning toast – pure Madagascar vanilla bean is soaked and stirred into the ghee, leaving a very subtle sweet taste. This Ghee is not so sweet that it should deter you from topping your toast with your favorite jam or sweet spread.
Ghee is easy to bake with, shelf stable for up to nine months, and can be cooked with at high temperatures of 250°C (482°F), which is well above typical cooking temperatures for regular butter and most vegetable oils. Exciting! Find out more about Tava Ghee, get delicious Ghee recipes and even purchase these products online at Tava Life Dot Com!