2015 Summer Fancy Food Show: Highlights and Trends
Apinya Thai Food Co.
It is hard to resist a good Thai sauce, and Adam and Apinya Ross have created a tasty line to try. Uninspired by what she found in most stores, Apinya would make her own sauce based on what she learned from her native Thai roots. This eventually turned into a business. These original sauces are delicious and come in seven flavors including pumpkin panang, banana curry, ghost vindaloo, and andaman. The brand has fun, whimsical packing: the octopus mascot holds the ingredients featured in the sauce in his tentacles on the front of each flavor. What’s new for 2015? Three new Thai Chili Sauces coming up next month: Andaman, Banana Curry, and Naga.
Bonnie Shershow is as cute as they come, not only with her petite stature, but with her line of jams, Bonnie’s Jams, that she has been making and selling for several years. Her inspiration for the line, was her childhood growing up in a house surrounded by acres of citrus trees. She helped her mom gather the fruit and make jams as a hobby. The business idea grew from there and became an instant hit with buyers and the national media, including Oprah magazine, The New York Times, and Food + Wine. New for 2015, two new versions of pepper jelly, peach pepper jelly and blackberry pepper jelly that join the existing red pepper jelly.
Inside their Brooklyn-based retail lab and production kitchen, you find some of the tastiest small-batch mayonnaise around. Offering 10 flavors, Empire Mayonnaise is the first gourmet mayo that uses non-GMO oils and cage-free eggs, and each one is jarred by hand. New for 2015, is the Ghost Pepper mayo that can be used as a hot sauce substitute and perfect when making deviled eggs. They are also selling a four pack of some of their best sellers in the Empire Pack which is a perfect gift for any serious mayo lover.
The world’s first jerky made without honey, maple, juice, sugar, or syrups, Epic Bars feature some of the most interesting flavors on the market. These meat, fruit, and nut bars include flavors like bison bacon, lamb currant mint, turkey almond cranberry, chicken sesame barbecue, and more. They source their meats from ranchers that are deemed “EPIC”—animals living in live pasture-centered locations that receive the utmost humane treatment.
Hemp seeds seem to be the next big trend food snack to hit the market, and Just Hemp Foods provides a variety of products that use the highest quality of seed. They have an oil and protein powder, but the Hulled Hemp Seeds were our favorite at the show. Fresh, wholesome and delicious, they offer a great balance of fatty acids and protein.
Kitchens of Africa
It is exciting when you see people from other countries bring their foodways and make it available to others around the world. That is the exact premise behind the Kitchens of Africa. Based in Raleigh, NC, owner Jainaba Jeng, a native of Gambia, West Africa, wanted to introduce the diverse and exotic cuisine of Africa to the rest of the world. Her line features a variety of sauces and marinades that when added to dishes create the essence of her country.
A Hawaiian style chip line, the name Koele means land that is believed to product the most succulent, bountiful harvest. Koele Chips fit the name. The company’s line of veggie and fruit chips, coconut chips, and soon to hit the market risotto chips were some of the best chips we tasted the entire show.
What started out as a pickle company with a mom, dad and two son team making pickles using their great grandmother’s recipe, is now a multi-facet brand that features potato chips, relishes, tapenade, bloody mary mix, pickle brine, and a variety of pickles. New for 2015, is a Michelada brewed by Detroit based brewery Atwater. This is the world’s first craft Michelada, part lager, part Mcclure’s bloody mary mix.
Mercer’s Wine Ice Cream
Calling all wine lovers! We found the perfect way to end the night: eating a scoop or two of wine ice cream. The first of its kind, Mercer’s Wine Ice Cream offers eight flavors of ice cream, each featuring a different varietal of wine—port, chardonnay, cabernet, merlot—with up 5 percent alcohol by volume. New for 2015, Strawberry Sparking, an ice cream infused with champagne and strawberries.
Mike’s Hot Honey
During a trip to Brazil, owner Michael Kurtz was introduced to the idea of chili-infused honey and had an “ah ha” moment. He came back to the U.S. motivated to create something similar and worked hard on his recipe for several years. He started sharing his honey with friends mostly while topping it on his favorite food: pizza. During a pizza apprenticeship at Brooklyn-based Paulie Gee’s, he started sharing the practice with the owner, who was quickly sold and became the first customer for Mike’s Hot Honey. The business exploded from there and the rest is history. It can now be found is some of NYC’s hottest restaurants including Blue Hill and Birds & Bubbles.
Pickled Pink Foods
We had to stop at a booth filled with men in pink aprons serving some delicious pickled cucumbers, jalapenos, and watermelon. And we are glad we did! Pickled Pink Food Gourmet Products are some of the best jarred by hand pickled items on the market. Best of all, the company supports Hunter’s Hotline, a non-profit organization that provides confidential hotlines to schools and raises awareness of issues affecting our youth. New for 2015, is the Gourmet Jalapeno Pickle, a jalapeno infused cucumber pickle.
Radicle Farm Company and Back to the Roots
Two separate companies, but both doing similar and interesting things by bringing produce to consumers in unique and enviro-friendly ways. The Radicle Farm Company has launched the Radicle Salad — a living baby salad that comes in a fully recyclable container. It comes ready to cut, rinse, and serve or you can grow the lettuce for longer term use. A similar concept, Back to the Roots offers two products — the Mushroom Farm and Garden-in-a-Can. For Garden-in-a-Can, you put seeds in a can, add water and watch it grow….and then eat them.
Valine’s Famous Cocktail Sauce
Valine’s Famous Cocktail Sauce is some of the best cocktail sauce we have ever tasted. A treasured family recipe, owner Valarie Davis Lee, started bottling and selling it after everyone who tasted it, wanted to buy it. Perfect for traditional shrimp cocktail sauce, or to have along crab cakes, seafood platters, and condiments for burgers, fries, and tater tots, the sauce can be used for a variety of seafood dishes. Available in stores mostly around the south, it can also be purchased via the website in two 9.6-ounce jars.
We Rub You
Sisters Ann and Janet Chung loved sharing a good Korean meal with friends and family, and they turned that love into a sauce they now bottle and sell. We Rub You is a delicious sauce that makes cooking a Korean inspired meal easy to do. Made in the USA, the Korean cooking sauces are all-natural, non-GMO, and made without MSG, high fructose and artificial ingredients. They sell three flavors: the Gochujang Korean Hot Sauce (new for 2015), the Original barbecue sauce and a Spicy Korean barbecue sauce.