It is so much fun to be able to attend the fancy food show and learn about the new products and new trends in the food industry. Then to read all the highlights of the show from other perspectives and find out all the things I missed at this huge food show. According to the Specialty Food Association who hosts the event the top 5 trends were, Reinvented Frozen Treats, Grains and Seeds in New Places, Global Meal Starter, Retro Mania Done New, and Be Your Own Mixologist. Look out for specialty foods across all these categories in stores near you and note some of the articles and recipes we will be sharing in the coming year follow these trends as well.
Last time I attended the show (Fancy Food Show 2011) I remember noticing many new loose leaf tea companies. This year I found that specialty salts were all the rage. Flavored, smoked, or blended, these salts were everywhere. Fortunately for us the company Salt Works has a line of smoked salts with OU certification and hopefully will continue to offer more flavored salts with certification, click here to see Salt Works Kosher certified salts.
I have always been a fan of sun dried tomatoes and Bella Sun Luci has made them even better. They sell bags or jars of sun dried tomatoes, plain or flavored with zesty peppers or oregano. I have to admit to snacking on these treats right out of the bag. With less than 250 calories to a whole bag, it is a pretty good deal. Not to mention all the nutrients in these concentrated tomatoes.
Speaking of sun dried tomatoes, one of my favorite new finds was Traina Foods California Sun Dried tomato ketchup. To be honest I am not a fan of ketchup. When I was a kid I didn’t like tomato sauce of any kind including ketchup. As I matured and became the adventurous eater I am today I grew to love a great pasta sauce, but never came around to ketchup and since it is usually full of sugar I am not missing much. But when I tasted this ketchup I found the one. It has a much stronger tomato flavor almost like a tomato paste, but a little sweeter. I am not sure I am ready to dip my fries in it yet (I actually like mustard for that), but I could see using it in sandwiches or for chicken or just about anything.
The craziest new product I found was the the savory teas from Numi. With flavors like Carrot Curry, Broccoli Cilantro and Fennel Spice you know this is not your usual after dinner dessert tea and it will take some getting used to. The flavors are very good and I can even see using them as a base/broth for other recipes, but so far I can’t get myself in the mood to drink it. They recommend treating it more like a broth to tide you over as an afternoon snack or when you are sick, but so far it has not worked for me. If you are a savory snacker I think you will like it and you can check out their website for more info and tips on when to drink it. NumiTea.
I couldn't leave the show without making sure to check out the new this year Israeli Pavillion. I always love to support Israel and with products this good you will all want to support them too. The highlight was OLIA . They sell many varieties of oils and vinegars and a whole slew of other yummy foods, but from what I tasted my favorite is the Fig Vinaigrette. They are based in Tel Aviv and all their products are kosher, if you live in Israel, don't miss checking them out. They even make a coffee olive oil, I could do a lot with that.
Harvest Song is another company that really impressed me. Not just with their unique tasty product - these are fresh walnuts in their shell, cured and eaten whole, but with the fact that they are the first kosher certified product from Armenia. Their products are very specialty, but really delicious and would be a very nice addition to your High Holiday table this year.
Amoretti wowed me with their selection of products, their quality and their kosher certification. They have almost 30 flavors of icing mostly parve that can work for everything from decorating a cake to a filling between cookies. I could see a lot of my baking blogger friends having a field day with these. I was a little more impressed by their olive oils and their Pomegranate Balsamic Vinegar, I am looking forward to seeing more from Amoretti.
I also found new grain pastas abound. I didn't get to taste any, but I am interested in Pereg's new Quinoa pasta and Al Dente's new Chia pasta. Both high in fiber and protein. I love roasted chick peas and saw a few companies selling them, Biena seems to be the only kosher certified one and they are the perfect snack for you and your kids, high in fiber, nut free, you can't ask for more. Saffron Road offered shelf stable simmer sauces with flavors from Indian, Thai and Morocco. Just add chicken, meat or tofu and dinner is ready. (note - the simmer sauces are their only kosher certified product). If you didn't know that I love soft Italian Nougat you do now and while I enjoy making my own, it is nice to eat someone else's sometimes. Now, Daelias is making her own and we enjoy it along wit her Biscuits for Cheese, thin flavorful cookie crackers. I enjoyed the Kefir from Latta Kefir, the first I ever had one that wasn't drinkable. It was almost like a pudding/cheesecake, I could see enjoying this healthy treat for dessert.
If you have any favorite new products that you love, please tell us about them in the comments below.
Main Image: courtesy of Fancy Food Show
Product Images courtesy of the company.