Happy Friday! I hope you’ve had a good week. I’m taking a break from my usual Friday link roundup today and talking about some amazing food I tried recently.
A few weeks ago, I was lucky enough to attend the Fancy Food Show here in New York. The show is North America’s largest specialty food and beverage event and featured over 180,000 products (confections, cheese, coffee, snacks, spices, and more) and more than 2,400 exhibitors from around the world. Needless to say, I was pretty excited to be to be there!
While I was there, I tried tons of unique and interesting foods and was able to learn about some great companies. It really was awesome, if a bit overwhelming! There were definitely some trends – lots of organic/non-GMO products, foods infused with lavender, beef jerky, and flavored syrups to name a few – that I’ll be looking for on my local shelves.
Naked Infusions Organic Black Silk Espresso Salsa
This salsa was one of the first things I tried, and it held up as one of my favorites throughout the whole show! I loved the deep, rich flavor of this 100% organic salsa which is infused with espresso beans. This unique salsa isn’t overly sweet like many jarred salsas (a pet peeve of mine). It’s definitely worth seeking out and make sure to try their other flavors, too.
I sampled Nar olive oil at a food conference earlier this year, so I was excited to try more of their products. They showcased the full range of their wonderful products at this event (all delicious), and the Orange Peel Jam really stood out to me. It’s made with Jaffa oranges, which have a sweet flavor and a thick, zesty rind, and has a taste similar to marmalade … except better! The peel is not minced like in most marmalades, instead it’s preserved in gorgeous, sweet slices.
Avèyo is a newer company, and I absolutely loved their creamy, delicious Avocado Mayo. It’s composed of 5 simple ingredients, 82% of which is avocado, plus its non-GMO, gluten free, and vegan. Avèyo’s Avocado Mayo has 1/5 the fat and 1/3 the calories of regular mayo, and none of the unhealthy stuff! I though it was super tasty on its own (it would be great spread on toast), but it can used to replace traditional mayo in recipes like deviled eggs or potato salad, too.
Check Avèyo’s website for retail locations.
Attention sriracha lovers! You need to try Musashi’s Midori Green Sriracha. It’s a unique Japanese interpretation of a foodie favorite and is made with green chilis. I loved this spicy sauce and have been dreaming of ways to use it in my cooking ever since I tried it. P.S. Their delicious Japanese Spicy Mayo is worth checking out, too!
Find Musashi’s Midori Green Sriracha on their website and check out their great recipe section while you’re there, too).
If you love popcorn, make sure to seek out Quinn. They’ve cleaned up microwave popcorn (no GMO corn, coatings, or chemicals on the bag and no other scary stuff), and the result is seriously delicious! I tried a bunch of their unique flavors, all of which were amazing, but my absolute favorite was the Vermont Maple & Sea Salt. In fact, my notes tell me that I thought the salty, sweet flavor was “so damn good” (ha). I think you’ll have a similar reaction!
Have you ever tried smoked chocolate? I hadn’t until I sampled Hot Cakes’ delicious Smoked Chocolate Chips, which are cold-smoked over alder wood for 10 hours. I’ve been thinking about these amazing chips ever since my taste test, and I can’t wait to try them in my favorite chocolate chip cookie recipe. By the way, their Rye Whiskey Caramel and Dark Decadence Cake are also pretty darn good.
Tonewood produces a variety of maple products that really stand out due to their modern packaging and amazing taste. Everything Tonewood produces is single-sourced, unblended, and free of additives. I tried a number of products from their award-winning line, but the one I was really excited about was their Maple Cube, the shreds of which literally melted in my mouth. It was such a treat, and I can imagine all sorts of uses. You won’t find anything else like it!
Find Tonewood’s Maple Cube on their website. Make sure to check out their other products while you’re there!
If you’re a Bloody Mary lover like me, you’ll want to try this mix. I’m normally a “from scratch” cocktail kind of person, which is one of the reasons I was so impressed with Ubon’s. Their mix is super thick and fresh; you’d never guess that it was premade. Ubon’s incorporates all the traditional Bloody Mary flavors into their mix (plus it’s all natural, gluten free, etc.), but what really makes it stand out is the addition of their World Championship BBQ sauce. I plan to try that next!
Find Ubon’s BBQ Bloody Mary Mix on their website, and if you happen to travel through Yazoo, Mississippi, make sure to stop at their restaurant.
Generally speaking, vinegar is not the most exciting ingredient. However, Mangé’s line, which is made by combining pureed fruit with vinegar, really caught my attention. I sampled their mango, raspberry, cherry, and grapefruit flavors, and they were all truly fresh-tasting and delicious. Although the vinegars are great on their own, they also make a great complement to other foods and can be used in salad dressings, marinades, cocktails, and more. Mangé even recommends freezing their vinegar to make a tart gelato … yum!
After browsing the Fancy Food website, Nello’s was one of the companies on my “must see” list, and I’m so glad I stopped by their booth. I fell in love with their amazing Piedmont Pomodoro Sauce, which tastes like marinara sauce … with one unique addition: lavender! The lavender gives this homemade-tasting sauce a subtle, but intriguing floral flavor that is truly delicious. Nello’s also makes classic marinara and arrabiata sauces, which I’m looking forward to trying next.
I had a great time chatting with the Date Lady folks, whose products are made in the Midwest with California dates. I loved their Date Syrup (check their website for recipe inspiration), but I’m truly a sucker for great caramel sauce, and theirs was a.ma.zing! Best of all, you don’t have to feel bad for eating this vegan sauce, which is made with only three 100% organic ingredients!
This is a company after my heart! Brix makes four varieties of chocolate – ranging from milk chocolate to extra dark- that are specifically blended to complement wine. Chocolate and wine are natural partners, and one of my favorite flavor combinations. I was able to test each chocolate, along with some amazing wine at the show. Hey, someone had to do it! Don’t fret if you’ve never paired wine and chocolate before, because Brix’s beautiful packaging will guide you to right wine. I foresee a wine and chocolate tasting party in my future!
If you are looking for a new snack, you need to try Dang Coconut Chips. First of all, their motto is “Dang, that’s good!” You have to love that, and it’s true (they won the outstanding snack award for at the Fancy Food show). Dang Coconut Chips are made from the nutrient-packed copra, or meat of the coconut, which is sliced and toasted with a dash of sugar and salt. I tried their Caramel Sea Salt flavor first, as well as their Original, and both were addictively good!
I’m so glad that I stumbled upon Royal Rose’s booth! Their 100% organic syrups are hand-crafted in small batches, and they are so good! I tried a number of flavors, including Three Chile, Rose, and Lavender-Lemon, and it’s impossible for me to pick a favorite. The syrups can be used for much more than cocktails (think ice cream, tea, vinaigrettes, baking, and more), and I need to get my hands on some so I can start experimenting!
This super flavorful hot sauce is spicy, but not overpoweringly so, and a little sweet. It’s so amazing that I think I could drink it plain! I was able to meet the owner at the show, and he couldn’t have been a nicer guy. He owns a Korean restaurant, Giwa, in Philadelphia, and this is his secret signature gochujang sauce. It’s definitely a must try for any foodie.
This is some of the best, crunchiest, most flavorful sauerkraut I’ve ever tried! Farmhouse Culture’s kraut isn’t cooked and pasteurized like most commercially-available sauerkraut is these days. Instead, cabbage and other veggies are layered with salt in wood barrels and naturally fermented. They make both traditional and more creative flavors, and they’re all delicious. My favorites were the Ginger Beet, Horseradish Leek, and Smoked Jalapeño varieties.
Visit Farmhouse Culture’s website to find a retail location near you. It’s also available at a number Bay Area farmer’s markets.
If you love kale chips, then you need to try these Brussel Bytes … yum! This super tasty snack is made by combining Brussels sprouts with other organic ingredients and then dehydrating everything at a low temperature. Wonderfully Raw makes other delicious snacks which are worth trying too, like Snip Chips and Coco Roons.
Freekeh is an ancient grain that’s easy to cook and full of protein and fiber. It’s popular in Middle Eastern and Mediterranean cooking but relatively unknown in the U.S. I first read about it on one of my favorite blogs, Oh My Veggies. This was my first time trying freekeh, and I really loved the delicious, crunchy texture. I can’t wait to start experimenting with this tasty grain!
This company, which is based in Brooklyn, produces a variety of classic and seasonal syrups for cooking and cocktails. My favorite was the rhubarb. It was served over Greek yogurt, and the tart flavor was a delicious counterpart to the creamy dairy. I’d love to try it in a homemade soda, salad dressing, or other recipe.
Which of these foods is on your must try list?
P.S. Many of these products are from small companies with limited distribution. If you’re interested in something that’s not available in your area, I’d suggest contacting the company directly.