After all of these years, I finally made it to the Fancy Food Show at the Javitz Center. There, over the course of four days, hundreds of sellers from all over the tristate area, the country and the world sampled their products to buyers, distributors and wholesalers. Attendees needed a strong stomach, comfortable walking shoes and some antacids.
I attended the last day of the show, when vendors are looking to close big sales and attendees rack up freebies, samples and generally anything vendors don’t want to leave behind. It is very overwhelming but great fun if you take it all in stride.
In the brief time I attended the Fancy Food Show, I managed to see, taste and investigate many products both familiar and new. To make it just a little easier, the show was separated locally, nationally and internationally, with signs in each aisle indicating borough, state and country.
I started in the New York section, more specifically in the Brooklyn aisle, to see one of my new favorite food companies, Steve & Andy’s (@SteveAndAndys). This couple in life and business is making unique organic and gluten-free preserves, snacks and more. They featured their amazing dehydrated candied lemon and orange peels and some of their latest flavors of preserves. I have some plans for that tomato pineapple sriracha chutney!
I meandered the aisles, maybe covering an eighth of the show, stopping and tasting at booths that caught my interest. Here are a few highlights.
PB2 (@BellPlantation) – Powdered peanut butter that can be used for anything or be reconstituted as a spread. Very portable and handy, though take caution eating it as is. I coughed a huge cloud on the vendor. She said I wasn’t the first.
Mango Mango Preserves (@PreserveParty) – I loved seeing this brand outside of their appearance on “Shark Tank.” They showcased the versitility of their product in both sweet and savory dishes with their signature southern charm.
Blue Crab Bay Company (@BlueCrabBayCo) – I couldn’t leave their booth because of the wicked good clam dip and their collective group of other Chesapeake Bay products.
Cakelove (@CakeloveInfo) – Warren Brown, the cake man of D.C. featured on “Oprah” many years ago, is still at it. Here he featured his product, cake in a jar, found in the refridgerated section. There are all of your favorite flavors packaged in a modern version of the mason jar.
Kitchens of Africa (@KitchensofAfric) – The beautiful images on the packaging were the first thing that called me to this collection of simmer sauces paying homage to the continent. The great taste held up the rear.
Pop’d Kerns (@PopdKerns) – A little sleuthing proved fruitful once I tasted these Goldielocks “just right” half-popped popcorn snacks. Something similar was sold at Trader Joe’s when I lived in Los Angeles in the late 1990s, but I had not found it since. Turns out, Pop’d Kerns bought the company and repackaged it as its own. It was a happy reunion.
Motto (@DrinkMotto) – The natural soda realm seems to be growing quickly. I am thankful this delicately sweetened sparkling matcha tea is on the market. I love the modern, clean packaging, and the taste is on point.
Angel’s Salumi & Truffles (@AngelSalumi) – Of all the international sections—Greece, Spain, Mexico and Japan—I lingered here for the most divine imported Italian charcuterie, including duck salami, black truffle and seasonal white alba truffle salamis, among many others.
You must be a buyer or seller to attend the Fancy Food Show. However, it remains a great resource for researching the latest trends and developing new products for those in food and food service. I was very happy to see the women of Harlem’s Lady Lexis Sweets (@LadyLexisSweets) taking in all the show had to offer, too.
Until next year!
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Happy eating and thanks for reading!
Kysha Harris is a food writer, culinary producer, consultant and owner of SCHOP!, a personalized food service offering weekly and in-home entertaining packages. Questions? Comments? Requests? Feedback? Invitations? Email her at kysha@iSCHOP.com, follow her on Twitter and Instagram @SCHOPgirl and on Facebook www.facebook.com/SCHOPnyc. For even more recipes, tips and food musings, subscribe to her blog at www.talkingSCHOP.wordpress.com.