Summer Fancy Food Show 2012: Day 2 Favorites
Junk Food Nation, the Summer Fancy Food Show is a lot like Vegas. It’s a gigantic room with air conditioning being pumped in; there are no clocks, no noticeable exits, lots of colorful displays, and just finding a place to get water becomes a journey of its own. You’re in one place trying chocolate covered potato chips, and before you know it – it’s 4:30pm and your hands are covered in hot sauce and all your dignity is gone. Yep, just like Vegas.
While Day 1 was full of adrenaline and trying to plow through and taste EVERYTHING, new products and old, Day 2 started off with…well, just a lot of alcohol.
In one of the international sections, Mexico, to be precise, there was an amazing Drink Lab put on by Junior Merino Liquid Chef Company. They whipped up incredible concoctions using tequila and juice and avocado oil and cucumber puree and WHEEEEEEEEE I was buzzed by 11:00am.
It started the day off right as on this day I witnessed a man spray-painted like a Roman statue passing out cheese, a dancing life-size waffle, the Germans and Italians not even trying to hock their wares, instead crowding around nearby TVs to watch Euro 2012, and a stupid woman get her foot lanced with a toothpick because she was walking around barefoot. Wow. Here’s my favorites from Day 2.
Serendipity 3 in NYC is famous for its frozen hot chocolate and its presence in many many movies. Now they have stand alone products for sale, where you can make your OWN frozen hot chocolate.
The Frozen Hot Chocolate was just as I remembered – it’s like a Chocolate Frapp, but no coffee and TONS of chocolate flavor. Decadent and full of creaminess. I was tempted to suck all these little cups dry and run away giggling.
Sukhi’s Natural and Gourmet Indian Foods was one of the friendliest bunch of the day! As the great Indian flavors wafted past my nose, I was drawn in and then hooked. They were pimping all of their frozen food products today – from Naanwiches to Chicken Tikka Masala Street Wraps – and I got to try ALL OF THEM.
In addition to their Naanwiches and their street wraps (pictured above), they were at the show promoting their new Samosa line (also pictured above). Samosas are a fried or baked pastries with a savory filling such as spiced potatoes, onions, peas, lentils, ground lamb or chicken. These, in particular, were chicken, I believe.
Look, I dunno how I haven’t heard of this brand before, but apparently they’ve been around for a while and their row of awards gives the product major cred. I have been trying and trying to find a good make-at-home Indian food line…this is the only one I’ll buy from now on. The Naanwiches and street wrap samples were amazingly tasty, but how would their samosas stand up?
UM, delicious. Light and flaky and full of flavor, these samosas were to DIE for. Not surprisingly, these samosas won GOLD for Best Frozen Savory food at the show. Congrats, Sukhi’s.
And the kind people at Sukhi’s wouldn’t stop giving food! I walked away with like three plates, noshing all the way down the rest of that row.
Bar Gelato had some of the most enthusiastic pitch people I’d ever seen. As soon as I walked up they shoving spoonfuls of their gelato into my hand, and encouraging me to take a frozen Gelato bar. Which I happily obliged.
They were nominated for their Pistachio Gelato bar, which, lemme tell you, was the bomb diggity. Smooth, creamy, and BURSTING with that amazing familiar pistachio ice cream flavor. I polished off this bar greedily in five minutes. Imagine the most perfect pistachio ice cream made from natural ingredients – this is that.
Chuao Chocolate! Recommended by my friend the Foodette, this company takes gourmet chocolate and combines it with wacky items to produce amazing flavor combos. Chocolate with potato chips inside, cayenne peppers, etc. WILD STUFF.
Lucky for me, they were allowing lots of sampling. I tried Honeycomb, I tried their Maple Bacon (AMAZING), and I tried their best seller….
…the Firecracker bar! It was chocolate with chipotle and sea salt, giving it a deep cocoa and sweet taste, that was ALSO filled with Pop Rocks!!! As you ate the chocolate, your mouth sizzled and sparkled with carbonation-like sensations! INCREDIBLE. Buy the Firecracker if you ever can find it – WELL WORTH IT.
It seems like I had a LOT of frozen treats today. Jeni’s Splendid Ice Creams was one of my favorites – they were on hand at the show pushing their nominated Lemon Frozen Yogurt.
This froyo was SLAM DUNK GOOD. I took a small scoop and put it in my mouth, and my cheeks reddened as seriously intense lemon citrus flavor burst through my body. Seriously, I was blown away by how good and truly lemon-y this frozen yogurt was. It’s no surprise that it won GOLD for Best Dessert this year. Congrats, Jeni’s!
One of the earliest products I tried on the day were these vegetarian Indian and Thai buns from Lifestyle Chefs. Essentially, these were microwavable frozen buns for people with problems with diabetes, or just trying to watch their weight.
While most of the food that was attracting attention at the show was highly indulgent, these buns showed restraint yet were still bursting with amazing flavor. I had the Creamy Vegetable Medley, and the bun was soft and inviting and the filling was loaded with spice and really satisfying. Reminding me of the meat and vegetable filled buns I had growing up, these were an amazing item. I could eat boxes of these with no guilt.
What is there to say about CIAO BELLA? Frankly, THEY are the company I think of when it comes to store bought gelato. The huge case of awards they had displayed supported my feeling – just solid, reliable gelato with no regrets. While they were debuting their new frozen Greek yogurt Adonia line, I was there to try one thing:
Their new Grapefruit Campari Sorbet. Nominated for a sofi Award, it was outstanding. One small scoop send shudders through my spine as the HUGE grapefruit flavor made my lips pucker and made my blood race. Sweet, sour, icy, and wonderful. A+.
And finally, one of my favorite products of the day I stumbled upon purely by accident. Walking through the Puerto Rico international section, I chuckled at the name of these hot sauces – the 7 Deadly Zings. The proprietors caught my eye and wouldn’t let me pass until I tried it.
Arranged from mild to hot, the 7 Deadly Zings are hot sauces that truly reflect each of the deadly sins. And they were HOT….OH SO HOT. As I proceeded up the scale, I could feel my skin getting redder and sweatier. The hottest one, aptly named Fierce Bitch, kicked my ass…but here’s the thing. These were not your typical SO HOT YOU BURN YOUR TONGUE hot sauces. Each of these sauces had FLAVOR – incredible flavor. This company didn’t trade spice for flavor, they melded the two until it was perfect. The burn is worth it. Probably my favorite item of the day – and purely by accident. I LOVE THIS SHOW!
The day ended great: I drank Prosecco next to a full on kitchen bus for Delverde Pasta and met Celebrity Chef Lindsay Autry. Today is Day 3 and the final day of the show. I’m not sure what my goal is today – maybe revisit some of my favorite vendors, steal some more samples, and pack in it early.
Like yesterday, I’ll be tweeting, Facebooking, and Instagramming all day, so if you want live up to date reports from the Fancy Food Show and all the gourmet crap I’ll be eating, you gotta follow me on Twitter @junkfoodguy or LIKE my Facebook Page.
Sincerely, Junk Food Guy