The summer Fancy Food Show at the Jacob Javits Center in New York City is going full tilt. Booths housing 2,400 exhibitors are spread out across 354,400 square feet. It’s a monstrous amount of food to try and a lot of ground to cover, but the calories you consume are nearly balanced out by those you burn getting around. Here the best of what I’ve sampled so far.
Roasted Coconut and Kaffir Ice Cream by High Road
Tropical and Subcontinental flavors meld seamlessly in this ultra-creamy dessert. This would be phenomenal in an affogato, as would the company’s Toffee Toasted Almond.
Hawaiian Press by Grace & I
Fruits and nuts from the Aloha State are compressed together into eye-catching bricks that are almost too beautiful to eat. Almost. Cut a wedge off to reveal the artfully composed layers, then dig in.
Pure Cane Sorghum by Bourbon Barrel Foods
Super sticky with earthy, stone fruit, and caramel notes, this amber sweetener would work well in cocktails or cold pressed coffee. Or eat it straight out of the jar. No judgements.
Ghost Pepper Salsa by Mrs. Renfro’s
What was once thought to be the hottest pepper in the world is having a moment. This fiery, flavorful salsa was an excellent example of how it can complement other elements without overwhelming them. For a guaranteed good time, put a bowl out at your next barbecue by the chips and secretly film your unsuspecting guests when they try a bite.
Sea Salt Caramel Popcorn by 479°
Sweet + savory = awesome. Put those flavors on a perfectly popped kernel and you just can’t argue. Not that you can really argue when you’re mouth is full of popcorn.
The Chef’s Collection – Ultimate Gourmet Salt Sampler by The Spice Lab
Spanish Saffron, Italian Black Truffle, and large flake Viking Smoked Oak are all represented in this fetching collection of gourmet salts. The set will look beautiful on your kitchen counter and taste beautiful in the meals you make with them.
Sundried Tomato Ketchup by Traina Foods
Watch out, Heinz, there’s a new kid on the block. Four pounds of Roma tomatoes go into each bottle of this thick, sweet, salty sauce. After one bite, you’ll be rethinking your French fry routine.
Bacon Schnecken by Queen City Cookies
A sticky cinnamon roll stuffed with bacon? Sounds like too much of two good things. I was skeptical, then I took a bite. Call me an instant convert. If my heart could take it, I’d eat this every day for breakfast. And for dessert after dinner.
Tomato Basil Truffle Sauce by Urbani
Trufflize your pasta routine with this supreme sauce. Equal parts sweet, savory, rich, and herbaceous; it’s the epitome of umami.
Veggie Roaster Packets by Urban Accents
Take the guesswork out of spicing your vegetables. Just add a little oil and a spoonful of these seasonings, roast, and enjoy.
Ghost Pepper Salt by Sea Salt Superstore
This super spicy salt created a memory that lingered through two cups of water. Once I put the fire out, I started thinking about the ways I wanted to cook with it. I’m thinking I’m going to rub it on a brisket before a daylong smoke session.
Rocket Fuel by Ethical Bean
There’s an old saying that I may have just made up: the darker the bean, the sweeter the buzz. These philosophically minded Canucks do an ultra dark roast (call it Beyond Italian) that’s guaranteed to keep you fired up all day long.
Espelette Pepper Mustard by KL Keller Foodways
Sweet, fruity, and floral on one hand, piquant and a little tangy on the other, this blue ribbon condiment was a fun find. Sure to be a perky stand-in for the customary yellow mustard I’d be squeezing on my frankfurter this July 4th weekend.