The energy was good at last week’s Fancy Food Show in New York. We may be in a depression, but buyers seemed confident that people would still allow themselves to have some treats. Smaller packages were much in evidence, which I take as a sign of both economic and health-conscious times.
There are always interesting things to try, and while vendors are discouraged from giving away take-home samples, you can see what I brought home at left. It’s entertaining to see what’s new, and what the hot trends are.
For instance: One of my long-time favorite foods is finally getting its due – bacon. It’s making an appearance in everything from chocolate bars to…well, Baconnaise anyone? I even recently saw bacon-flavored dental floss on amazon.com. Salami and other cured pork products, maybe riding on the coattails of bacon, are also big. Tops on my list was the Surryano Ham made with pasture-raised Berkshire pigs.
Caramel and salt (and we’re not talking Morton’s here), is a big flavor combination in sweet items. Blood orange is in countless product lines (beverages, oils, condiments, you name it); there are vegetable flavors in all sorts of stuff (“healthy”); “artisanal” sodas and teas are big (tea is HUGE), as are pomegranate, rhubarb, balsamic, chocolate & chili, goji and acai. Nearly any kind of vitamin or neutriceutical you can think of if being crammed into foods and beverages – bah!
Our penchant for whole grains was also much in evidence (John Wm. Macy’s Cheese Sticks come in whole wheat now), as was the increasing popularity of gluten-free products, such as the pancake mix in the photo. Also in the photo: Rishi green tea powder (can’t wait to try that for instant iced green tea), chocolate/peanut butter drizzled popcorn, fig juice (it’s pretty and no seeds), forest fruit preserves, and an almond, cranberry granola bar with dark chocolate. And a piece of toffee that will probably be history before you read this.
Another favorite of mine from the show was the Roasted Rhubarb Compote, from Muirhead Foods, right near us in Ringoes. The photo below is of Doris and Barbara Simpson, with the 1930 sedan Doris’s late husband, Ed, lovingly restored. In its (and Eds!) honor, they also debuted their Crankcase Salad Dressing this year.