Every year anyone who’s anyone in the specialty food trade either has a booth at, or attends one of the National Association of the Specialty Food Trade (NASFT) Fancy Food Shows. This past week was the Summer Fancy Food Show held at the Jacob Javits center in New York, and Beth and I were eager to attend. Over three days the two of us, as well as some 25,000 other people walked the aisles and tasted goodies from 2,000 exhibitors representing 81 countries. It gave us the opportunity to hob nob with current clients, catch up with our confectionary brethren and search out what hot and new in the confectionary world. Below is a list of what I found to be new and exciting this year.
Glee Gum: Now there’s even more reason to be gleeful about. Glee Gum the all-natural gum using sustainably harvested chicle now offers DIY chocolate, candy and gum making kits. Great for kid’s parties, school events or even a great rainy day project, these kits have everything you need to create your very own confections. These kits are the real deal: the chocolate making kit includes not only cocoa powder, cocoa powder and sugar, but also the necessary starter crystals and thermometers to make sure your chocolate tempers correctly. Fun for kid’s of any age (I’m 25 and 3/4 and would LOVE to have one of these kits…. hint hint Dan) and at only $13 each not too expensive either, Glee Gum’s “Make Your Own” kits are a no-brainer. Order the kits on Glee Gum’s website: www.gleegum.com Image courtesy www.gleegum.com
Peeled Snacks: GORP gets a makeover…. You know “Good Old-Fashioned Raisins and Peanuts” that high-energy snack that hikers, marathoners, and long car-riders alike go crazy over. Well now you can have your GORP and eat it too! Peeled Snacks offers single serving pouches of fruits, fruits and nuts, and fruits, nuts and chocolate. What’s so different about Peeled Snacks? They don’t use trans fats, hydrogenated oils, artificial flavors or colors, or added sugar in any of their mixes. Also different is their packaging. Their fruit and nut mixes have the fruits and nuts in separate pouches meant to be combined at the very last second. Why, you ask? Nuts should be crunchy and dried fruits should be moist. Peeled Snacks contends that packaging them together for long periods of time dulls the crunch of the nuts and dries out the fruits. If you say so…all I know is that they’re all natural, cute as can be, and delicious to boot! For a list of vendors, or to purchase, visit their website at www.peeledsnacks.com. Image courtesy www.peeledpix.com
The Tea Room: I usually enjoy my tea the same way as Captain Picard: “Tea…Earl Grey…Hot.” However, The Tea Room offers a delightful alternative with their line of eight tea-infused chocolate bars, organic too boot. I had the pleasure of tasting their 58% Dark Chocolate Bar infused with Green Earl Grey Tea at the Fancy Food Show Last week and I was spellbound. The flavors of the dark chocolate complimented the slight bitterness of the green tea and the bergamot sweetened the deal even more. Having done my college thesis on South Africa’s Rooibos tea I was also eager to try their “Red Raspberry Rooibos” concoction, but alas their booth was filled with interested tasters I had to make due with my one fabulous bite. At $3.35 for a scant 2 oz bar it’s definitely a luxury item, but well worth it on the rare occasion you feel the need to mix your chocolate with your tea. Purchase The Tea Room tea-infused chocolates at their website, www.tea-room.stores.yahoo.net. Image courtesy www.tea-room.stores.yahoo.net.