New and fun foods we discovered at the Summer Fancy Food Show
These fascinating products could be in your pantry soon.
The Summer Fancy Food Show in Manhattan is a massive display of thousands of new, gourmet foods from around the world. Being quite the foodie myself, I consider this my playground. And boy, did I play.
Upon arrival, I strolled the aisles looking for foods that were wacky and different, eye-catching, mouth-watering or just strange but intriguing enough to try. These nine topped the list in terms of unique foods that introduced a new concept or combination that’s sure to become a trend – or just provide consumers lots of fun in their culinary adventures.
Ceres juices from Ceres Valley in South Africa is known for their high quality, 100% organic juice blends, including one of my personal favorites – medley of Juices (7 juices combined, no added anything!). The company just launched smoothies-to-go, offering 3.5-ounce shots of mango, apple-berry, or tropical smoothie that you can grab and go. With a full daily dose of vitamin C, the smoothies pouches are a fun way to pack in extra nutrients with bits of fruit that provide fiber, too.
I favored the Tropical Smoothie, which combines organic guava, passion fruit, mango, apple banana, cherry, and orange puree and juices. And while I’m usually game to make my own smoothies at home, with that many fruits it’s a whole lot easier to buy it! That, and the fact that they come in those cute little pouches that so many of us adults wish we could drink out of without looking a little weird.
Israeli manufacturer Pereg may have been around for more than 100 years, but they have their finger on the pulse of trending foods. Their product line features farro, freekeh, kamut and teff products, and a dazzling array of Israeli spices and herbs.
But what got my attention at the show was their Banana Flour and Plantain Flour. Made from dried green bananas or plantains, these flours are grain-free and gluten-free, and great for a paleo diet or if you’re looking for a high protein and nutrient flour. I’ve definitely added baking with banana flour to my to-do list this summer – stay tuned for recipes coming soon in Israeli Kitchen!
Can raisins be cool? We all ate them as kids in those sticky little boxes, but as adults, not so much. Turns out this product is one of the trendiest snacks out there. The Napa Valley-based folks at Wine RayZyns take chardonnay, merlot and cabernet grapes and specially dry them out with the seeds and stems intact.
These ain’t your mama’s raisins – expect a slight crunch when you bite into a wine rayZyn, and know you’re getting 10 times more antioxidants than red wine, green tea and pomegranates. They make a great addition to salads, granola, trail mixes, and baked goods. Wine RayZyns sophisticated packaging is definitely a step up from the boxes of our youth, and they come in a dark chocolate dipped variety for a great gourmet food gift. In the wake of the Napa Fires in 2017, the Wine RayZyn Co. created Rescue RayZyns, with proceeds benefiting the Food Recovery Network and Napa Valley Disaster Relief Fund. Trendy food and charity? Now that’s cool.
You can’t walk past a Jelly Belly display without stopping in for a walk down memory lane, and I found myself drawn in to chat with the reps about their sweet offerings. The world’s #1 gourmet jelly bean makers, based in California, have created a new tiny ice cream cone candy which tastes like an ice cream cone on bottom, and ice cream at the top – and I’ll admit, I was skeptical. Think candy corn meets jelly bean meets ice cream parlor. But it was actually true to taste, and I indulged in my favorite: mint chocolate chip. They’ve also launched new Bean Boozled Flavors – dirty dishwasher and stink bug – and in better news, chocolate Harry Potter wands.
K-cups have exploded in popularity, and have made fresh-brewed coffee in-office or the comfort of your home convenient and simple. Now latte lovers can enjoy the first k-cup with actual froth, with Bailey’s Cappuccinos from New Jersey-based Two Rivers Coffee. Their tantalizing flavors include Mint Mocha, Irish Cream, French Vanilla, and Caramel. The boxes comes with pods and froth packets, which you pour into the bottom of your cup, and then brew your coffee right over it. Voila – an inch of real froth without any fancy machinery! May be time to sell off some of your Starbucks stock, just saying ...
We’ve all tasted nut butters made from peanuts, almonds, and cashews. But for those with peanut or tree nut allergies, it’s really hard to replicate the comfort food taste of real peanut butter. Enter The Amazing Chickpea. The Minnesota-based company produces a line of gourmet chickpea butters, which is surprisingly similar to peanut butter, using chickpeas and sunflowers. Amazing Chickpeas Traditional and Choc-a-Chic, a great shoo in for Nutella – are made with just chickpeas. Their creamy and crunchy varieties use a blend of chickpeas and sunflower seeds, for added nutrients and a slightly different flavor profile. As a nut-allergy mom, and a lover of all things chickpea, this was a product I could definitely wrap my taste buds around!
Joan Coukos’ New York-based line of chocolates has won multiple awards, including a Silver sofi for their chocolate tomato lemon caramel bar in 2015. The company has just released a newer version of this award winner, the White Chocolate Tomato Cinnamon Bar. A feast for the eyes and the taste buds, this white chocolate bar is filled with caramel blended with crushed tomatoes and scented with cinnamon. The top is drizzled with natural red streaks and dark chocolate for a stunning finish.
Keeping an eye out for Mediterranean flavors, I was thrilled to discover the halvah truffle – a sesame praline with white chocolate, and the Kashmir Spice – milk chocolate ganache with cardamom, cinnamon and cloves.
I first discovered black garlic at the 2017 Winter Fancy Food Show, and was thrilled to see this Avocado Oil and Black Garlic Mayonnaise at the Chosen Foods Booth. If you’re not familiar, black garlic is slow roasted whole garlic bulbs that become fermented, doubling their antioxidant value. Coupled with the omega-9 fatty acids of avocado (made in San Diego, California, so you know they've got avocado in their blood), this spread is definitely a step up both in nutrition and taste over traditional mayos. I shmeared it on some toasted whole grain bread and it was delicious, but I can also see using it in creamy dressings and other recipes.
One of the last booths I visited at the Summer Fancy Food Show, and one of the best, was O. Vine Wine Water. Founded by Israeli entrepreneur Anat Levi, it's made from pure spring water, grape skins and seeds, and comes in red and white, still and sparkling varieties. I tasted both the red and white sparkling versions and it was love at first sip. As someone who appreciates the taste of various wines, but can’t really hold my alcohol, this was a real treat. Think of it as the perfect drink for the designated driver, the watch-your-calories drinker or anyone who wants to try a new, trendy drink that’ll make your day sparkle.
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