July 4, 2010

Fancy Food Show in NYC

"Please don't leave yet!" I pleaded to fellow foodies Christine (Fresh, Local, and Best) and Lauren (Healthy Delicious) over the phone.  My flight had just landed from my Midwest travels (look for those posts soon!) and I was racing to get back to my apartment, drop off my bags, and meet them at the annual 3-day Fancy Food Show recently held at the Javits Center in NYC.  Luckily, I made it just in time to join them and meet some other foodies too!

The Fancy Food Show covers 331,000 square feet and features food and drink vendors from over 70 different countries and regions.  In addition to roaming the aisles with Christine and Lauren, I also tried samples with Jennifer (Savor the Thyme), Vanessa (Chef Druck), and Jackie (Diva That Ate NY). 
I met Chef Dave Martin (Top Chef Season 1) who partnered with La Tourangelle.  He was serving salad and crunchy Pistachio Oil and White Chocolate biscotto.  I liked the oil because it could easily be used to flavor dishes and desserts.  I also tried La Tourangelle's new product, Thai Wok Oil, that tasted like lemongrass and Thai basil.  I thought it could easily be used to flavor stir fry dishes when I didn't have the herbs on hand.

Passing by another booth, I wondered why the Canada delegation was featuring chefs from the White House along with a contestant from the Food Network show, Worst Cooks in America.
There were so many cheeses to sample from around the world.  I tried a few versions of horseradish cheese.  But some of the most beautifully presented cheeses (that was also tasty) were the ones offered by Cypress Grove Chevre.  Some of these goat cheeses have flavors of truffles and lavender.  And had I seen their wedding cake made out of cheese when I got married, my husband would have gotten his dream cake!
The large number of cheesemongers could only be rivaled by the sheer number of chocolatiers.  I thought that the bride and groom chocolate covered apples were cute.  Vosges always offers inventive flavors.  I really liked their new Cherry Rooibos Bar because it uses the African tea (rooibos) in it along with actual dried cherries.

Eclat Chocolate showed their new Obsession Chocolate Bar collection.  My favorite flavor was the Toasted Corn in dark chocolate.  It was like a new take on the chocolate pretzel idea, but with bits of toasted corn.  Finally, I loved the Madagascar chocolates from Brooklyn-based Madecasse.  The Sea Salt with Nibs was my favorite as the cocoa nibs provided a nice crunch. 
After sampling hot sauces made with ghost peppers from Blair's, I was grateful for the chocolate-covered ice cream lollipops (Lollibons) from Phillip R's Frozen Desserts. In addition to providing relief from spicy foods, I thought these lollibons were very tasty and would be great at any catered event.

Other interesting items, to me, was bag of Go-ggi or Korean-style beef jerky that tasted like bulgogi.  Made by Artisan Snacks Corp, this savory snack is made with USDA beef and contains no artificial colors or flavors.  I also liked these individual extra virgin olive oil capsules by La Vita Imports.  The company has sold a balsamic vinegar/extra virgin olive oil version to an airline for in-flight meals.  I thought these would be great for picnics and brown-bag lunches.
From Canada, I tried all of the lobster products by Village Bay.  The lobster caviar had the salinity and texture of caviar with the taste of lobster (reminded me of the tasty green stuff, or tomalley, in lobster).  The lobster pate could easily be served on hors d'oeuvres while the scallops cooked in lobster butter

Over in the Spanish area, I gravitated towards the Saffron tea.  I love cooking with the spice itself and never heard of a tea made with it.  Coming in Red Saffron, Green Saffron, and Black Saffron versions, the tea I tried had the saffron fragrance and a soothing subtle saffron taste.  As the charming Spanish salesman explained to me, saffron is known for its digestive, sedative, and aphrodisiac properties.  This product will be introduced to the U.S. in the Hawaiian market.  And with the boxes only being priced at a few dollars each, this product should perform very well.
One of the most photographed items had to be the Mona Lisa replica made with thousands of Jelly Belly jelly beans.  Their new collection is the Cocktail Classics collection with flavors like Pomegranate Cosmo and Peach Bellini.  But the most eye-catching flavors were their weird Harry Potter-esque flavors like Canned Dog Food and Toothpaste. 

The Fancy Food Show was fun to sample new products, speak with so many vendors, and randomly bump into other foodies.  The next Fancy Food Shows will be held in San Francisco (Jan 2011) and Washington D.C. (Jul 2011). 


  1. It's great that you got to see so much of the Fancy Food show. The sheer number of vendors presenting was overwhelmingly impressive. Great review! I'm glad you captured the jelly belly since I missed that one.

  2. What a fabulous and comprehensive post Andrea. Was not able to attend that this year but would like to plan to maybe come next year. In the meantime, I can live vicariously through you!!!!

  3. Great post about the event! Would have loved to go, but it didn't work out this year. Looks like there were lots of great vendors and a huge selection of products!

  4. great recap, and so glad you made it in time to meet up!! How did I miss those jelly beans? WOW!

    Could you email me copies of the group photos?

  5. @Christine - Thanks! So glad I was able to meet up with you to explore the show!

    @Mardi - The summer show moves to DC next year - but after seeing my pics, my hubby wants to go too so I may be there too!

    @Jen - Thanks! It was amazing to see the number of people who are involved in food and drink and made me appreciate those small businesses that have been able to succeed!

    @Lauren - The jelly beans were on the first floor on the other side of the room (there was just so many vendors!) So glad I was able to see you at the show! Oh, and I just emailed you the pics!

  6. I bought some of that Blair's kill-you-with-one-milligram sauce for my brother in law at a local chilli festival a few months ago. I really should have thought to give him some frozen desserts at the same time. I hope he's ok.

  7. Wow, what a cool show. I am so jealous!


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