The Top 5 Products From New York's 2018 Summer Fancy Food Show

The 2018 Summer Fancy Food Show took place June 30-July 2 at the Javits Center in New York City. The Daily Meal's cheese expert Raymond Hook spent these three days investigating over 200,000 products from exhibitors hailing from 54 countries, and here are his top five finds.

Cultivo by Uncommon Coffee Roasters

Forgive the pun: Cultivo Organic cold brews are, well, uncommonly delicious. Michigan's Uncommon Coffee Roasters have beenmaking cold-brewed small-batch coffee since 1994 – longbefore the cold-brew craze began – and their dedication shows. With a supremely smooth flavor that stands out from the pack, their cold brews are naturally sweet and don't have a ton of added sugar, making them far healthier than most. What's more, in addition to their subtle Straight Black and Half-and-Half varieties, they offer a Chocolate Milk flavor that blew this big kid away.

Wadaman Organic Black Sesame Paste

Sesame paste is found in many cuisines worldwide, but it's particularly popular in Japan (the world's largest sesame importer). So it's only fitting that the absolute richest, most savory sesame paste I've ever tasted comes from Wadaman, a 130-year-old sesame processor located in Osaka. Wadaman's outstanding, all-organic products were brought to my attention by Sam Mogannam of San Francisco's famous Bi-Rite Ice Cream; he uses this particular paste as an ingredient in his decadent black sesame soft-serve.

Roth® Snack Cheese

 While I usually steer clear of pre-packaged cheese, the award-winning team at Wisconsin-based Roth Cheese are behind these petite "snack cheeses," so I gave them a shot. I'm so glad I did: these mini-cheeses are legitimately delicious and – the crucial point – portable. Coming in Gouda, Cheddar, and Mozzarella, each cheese packs in 5 grams of protein and has a fullness of flavor that will put your string cheese to shame.

From the Ground Up™ Cauliflower Crackers

After too many years in the shadows, cauliflower is finally having its moment in the spotlight. Yes, it's a perfectly nutritious "replacement ingredient" for potatoes in many home recipes, but in my opinion, these Cheez-It®-inspired vegan cauliflower snacks have taken the vegetable to the next level. The crisp, savory crackers come in three flavors: Sea Salt, Cheddar, and Nacho (my favorite); From the Ground Up™ makes delicious cauliflower pretzels to snack on as well.

Sarró de Cabra from Montbrú

As the so-called "Cheese Guy," I'm always hard-pressed to choose my favorite cheese from a Fancy Food Show, but this semi-soft goat cheese from the Catalan cheesemaker Formatges Montbrú was an absolute knockout. Aged for two months while wrapped in a servilleta (napkin), it has a unique shape and to-die-for buttery texture. Its taste finds the perfect balance of mild, lemony notes and an intense, tangy bite. Montbrú has been crafting traditional cheeses in the Moianès region of Catalonia for decades, and they continue to devote themselves to spreading the essence of Catalan culture worldwide.


Follow Raymond's specialty food escapades on FacebookInstagram and his website. Additional reporting by Madeleine James.