Saturday, July 6, 2013

Top Made-in-NYC Finds at the Fancy Food Show

Big debut for refreshing LifeIce
At last weekend’s Summer Fancy Food Show, home grown vendors showed off some of the coolest new products in a sea of 2,400 exhibitors from 80 countries, reminding us why NYC is a leading incubator for artisanal food innovation.

LifeIce – Creator Paulette Fox turned personal family tragedy into a brilliant product idea. Delicious shelf-stable mini ice cubes come in all natural flavors and are perfect for guilt free snacking with all the benefits of superfoods including mangosteens, Yumberry and kale. GMO-free too.

2013 sofi Gold Award winner
We Rub You – I’ve been a fan of the Chung sisters’ eponymous Smorgasburg stand since they started slinging divine Korean bulgogi sliders coated in homemade sauces. Their Spicy Korean BBQ Marinade just beat out 109 other finalists to be crowned the Show’s sofi Award for Outstanding Cooking Sauce.
The Saucey Sauce – Continuing the trend in small batch international sauces, brother and sister duo Toan and Ken swiped their mom’s classic nuoc cham recipe to inspire their line of all natural Vietnamese dressings + marinades. The Hot Habanero KetJap packs blazing chilies into a blend of fish sauce, garlic and tomato paste for a memorable meat marinade or topper on sandwiches and fries.

Named after the Brooklyn bar where it was created, Floyd Beer Cheese is the self proclaimed “must-have midnight snack cheese.”  I don’t disagree. The original flavor is similar to Southern favorite pimento cheese but with a very important distinction: real aged cheddar is used instead of the processed stuff.

Gourmet MitchMallow, anyone?
MitchMallows -Why eat a boring marshmallow when you can savor a handmade MitchMallow in unorthodox flavor combos that really work. Along with more classic combos such as cinnamon dusted churros, the addictive ginger wasabi or crunch coated pretzels + beer deserve some serious attention.

Lower East Side’s Rick’s Picks, a former sofi winner, added more pickle power to his growing line in brine with the Sweet + Sassy  Mix Italian giardinara.

Not every terrific product I sampled was from New York. Other outrageous standouts, most of which are all available in NY retailers, include Magnolia Avocado Ice Cream, a velvety tropical dessert without cloying sweetness. Biena and SaffronRoad both make crunchy chickpea snacks in exciting flavors such as BBQ and wasabi. I was also glad to see an old English classic from 1814 finally getting some US of A attention. Colman's mustard is one of those secret ingredients where a little goes a long way in so many savory dishes and spreads. Its fiery kick is a favorite of chefs like Nigella and Martha and worth adding to pantry staples.

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