Summer Fancy Food Show 2015: Day 1, Part 2 (AKA Candies and Booze, Candies and Booze)

Junk Food Nation, HAPPY FOURTH OF JULY….OBSERVED! So….yesterday was a total disaster. Real life stuff…ugh. My apologies for not having this blog post up sooner. Let’s get right into more of the Summer Fancy Food Show!

Right after the break, it was CANDY TIME. And sooooo many candies/chocolates to choose from! Pro Tip: THIS is where you make yourself sick, not necessarily from the overloading of meat and cheese. Eleven bites of Iberico ham in a row? Yeah, you feel a little gross. Eleven mouthfuls of candy in a row? What are you, a child? You’re gonna make yourself sick!

PS: I am a child. Let’s do this.

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VEGAN CHOCOLATE was HUGE this year at the Summer Fancy Food Show 2015, and my favorite of the bunch was definitely these Premium Chocolatiers, based out of the Jersey Shore. Their website states their candy has no “milk, nuts, eggs or gluten.” It’s vegan and even no tree nuts…whatever those are.

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You’d think with all those things missing, these would be no fun, right? Dude. These were AWESOME. The Peanut Butter Cups, I sh*t you not, were as decadent as Reese’s or Justin’s. PEANOT CUPS! Brilliant.

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And their Caramel & Nougat in a Chocolate Coating bar, aka Snickers, were SPOT. ON. Seriously. I had to go back to this company to thank them for producing something so delicious. Although, NO WHEY! is sort of funny, but also has nothing to do with Snickers. I would’ve called these…uh…sNOTkers bars.

…Ok, yeah, this is why I don’t work in branding.

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Habanero peppers and pecan pralines wrapped in caramel by Lamme’s Candies? Why not! My mouth slowly burned for the rest of the Summer Fancy Food Show.

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Marich Chocolatiers had a bunch of chocolate covered nuts on display, and this bowl of Coconut Curry Cashews was the one I was most interested in. Chewing the nut, the coating was sweet and FULL of coconut milk curry flavor. These were really good, with plenty of complexity.

Right after I used the tongs to lift one carefully into my hand and pop it into my mouth, some big dude came by and shoved his whole hand into the bowl to grab a handful. I wanted to kick him in the back of the knees.

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Wait, this isn’t REALLY chicken & waffles taffy from Taffy Town, is it? YOU BETCHER ASS IT IS. I mean, really. REALLY? I had to blink a few times to make sure this wasn’t some cruel Jelly Belly-like joke. It smelled like maple syrup. Popping one into my mouth, the taffy DEFINITELY tasted like waffles…or more like maple syrup with a bit of that pancake yeastiness, and there was the rosemary/thyme flavor mixed into a tiny bit of meatiness to give that chicken flavor. The taffy was super soft. I LOVED IT. LOOK AWAY I KNOW I’M GROSS.

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My favorite candy company from the prior Summer Fancy Food Show was the dudes from Olive and Sinclair. Last year they blew me away with their amazing pile of Bourbon Nib Brittle, which ended up winning for best new confection. You can see it there on the right…it’s delightful.

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This year, however, it was their Duck Fat Caramels on display as their new product. DUCK FAT CARAMELS, JFG NATION. Popping one into my mouth, these were smooooooooooth and soft. Slightly savory, I could get a hint of actual duck fat! But mainly, these were just a well done caramel.

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I remembered their Sea Salt and Vinegar Caramels from last year – these were more of the salted caramel variety, and there was no real vinegar taste! Just a well balanced salty caramel.  Good stuff.

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The JFGal said their Chocolate Chili Mexican Style Chocolate was perfect – spicy and with that huge punch of cinnamon/spice that a good Mexican Chocolate should have. Olive & Sinclair, I tip my hat to you. I may have to take you up on that offer to tour your factory in Nashville. ROAD TRIP.

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DUCK SALAMI BY FABRIQUE DELICES! Sooooo red. Sooooooooo glistening. Very tasty, although I didn’t notice anything really duck-y about the flavor. Just really good. I jammed like five pieces of this into my mouth at once.

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Weird label. Weird color in the bowl. Sort of looks like what happens when you mix a bunch of your paint together. But this pistachio and olive oil spread was like the best tasting sweet nut butter I’d ever had. Others thought so too – it won the 2015 Sofi for best new jam, preserve, spread.

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Talk about a company that I loved/hated! Blackberry Patch, a company whose syrups were apparently endorsed by Oprah, had some of the best tasting fruit syrups of the day. This Pumpkin Spice one?  OOOO I want this on my pancakes and my ice cream. Sling some of that on top of a piece of cardboard and I’d eat it.

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But then….their foray into ketchups? I’m sorry, Blackberry Patch, but I have to give these a thumbs down. SUPER sweet ketchups that tasted like fruit and tomato mixed together. Maybe some of you out there will like these – the result was sort of barbecue sauce-like – but I was not a fan.

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Another divisive product among the JFG group – Fruity Poppers! Imagine gigantic fish roe, but instead of fish juice inside, there’s fruit juice! Doesn’t that sound great???? Apparently not to JFG Rob and JFG Nicole, who gave these the thumbs down.

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Me and JFG Jen, however, enjoyed these. These were sort of like little tapioca balls filled with various fruit juices. Fun to eat with yogurt, or bubble tea, or ice cream, cakes, etc.! I give them a thumbs up for innovation.

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FUDGE TIME! This fudge display is always there year to year…

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…although this year, I actually got trapped by the guy running the fudge display and had to listen to his spiel…

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…essentially the company didn’t really sell fudge, they sold the components to MAKE fudge and recipe books, so that single shops can make their own fudge and sell it. Seriously. This guy described the entire process to me from soup to nuts. That’s four minutes of my life I will never get back.

Still….good fudge!

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OOOOO SABATINO! Makers of the best Truffle Mac & Cheese I’ve ever had from a box. I wish my cupboards were lined with this. And they were debuting their truffle risotto from a box, which was also very tasty. Mac & Cheese was still better though. The perfume coming off these noodles was mindblowing.

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And now for something TOTALLY different! Soft serve served in….a corn pipe? Apparently, this is a HUGE TREND around the world right now! The “pipe” is sort of like a deep friend corn stick that is totally hollow.  Then you load it full of ice cream! Check out this website – the corn pipes are usually HUGE and can come in various shapes.

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The ones we got were sort of stale, which makes sense since they probably made them en masse for the show. Still, VERY cool concept. Apparently there is an ice cream truck in NYC that does this exclusively. Awesome!

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The JFG team then went on a drink-heavy streak. It’s funny how you forget to drink ANY liquid when there’s mountains of duck salami in front of you. Fever-Tree, the ever popular brand of mixer at high end bars around NYC and DC, had a new Elderflower Tonic to share. It was deeeeeelish. Like most of Fever-Tree’s products.

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Coffee Soda?? Don’t mind if I do! This soda by Borgnine’s was waaaaay better than I thought it’d be! Essentially, it was more Coffee Cola than anything else – sweet, rich, full of cola flavor with that backend flavor of a nice sweet coffee. I know I’m not describing it perfectly, but it was tasty. Plus, I had enough caffeine to power me through the day…and the next.

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And what better way to counter the caffeine upper than with shots of moonshine from Puerto Rico? Wait, I know how…

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HAPPY HOUR AT THE MEXICO DRINK LAB! Sponsored by Junior Merino, a company that specializes in mixing drinks at events. Definitely one of my favorite places to stop at during the Fancy Food Show.

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LINE UP THEM DRINKS!

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The Mexico Drink Lab usually has four mixed drinks on display that are constantly replenished so that you could just stand there all day and get ripped if you wanted to. This one had tequila, sherry, tangerine and bitters. Naturally, it was amazing.

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The lab also uses a variety of flavored salts to rim the glasses, which is really cool. Tamarind salt, cilantro salt…

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SO MANY DRINKS, SO LITTLE TIME. Oh wait, plenty of time. Gimme another drink.

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See? The JFG team is doing well!  We’re happy, not too full, getting our drink on…..!!!

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WHOA, that took a turn South quickly. Fair to say that after seven drinks from the Mexico Drink Lab, and the shots of moonshine, the day started to catch up to us. Like…..HARD. Feet hurting, bellies full of meat, candy, and alcohol…it was time for another break.

More show posts coming…but what do you think so far? Comments? Thoughts?

Tell me below or hit me up on Twitter @junkfoodguy or LIKE my Facebook Page and message me there. I also have Google+!! Let’s hang out.

Sincerely,

Junk Food Guy

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Discuss - 17 Comments

  1. Alek says:

    YUM! The photos that you posted is making my mouth water. I hope many of the items will hit the shelves soon. Taffy town brand I haven’t seen it yet but in the west coast these are popular

  2. marianne says:

    I’ve enjoyed the recap of your adventures and the pics are great. I’m envious. But I can’t help feeling a little disappointed as I read your vivid descriptions. (Not with you!) I know that the chances of me ever finding this stuff are slim. And I have access to and frequent gourmet type shops. I’d love to find something from Olive and Sinclair, but I know unless I order online I probably won’t ever get to try it. So your synopsis is the closest I’ll ever get, most likely. Great job, though. You did exactly what you are good at…. making me want to try exciting new treats!

  3. Alek says:

    JFG,

    What did the vendors said to the guy whom grabbed the nuts sample by the handful? Was they angry at him? I remember going to a green expo festival 7 years ago in NYC and wanted to get a few sample packages of this awesome honey flavored cough drops. I assumed that it was plenty for everyone and tried to get like 3 of them but that was it. The vendor there angrily said to me ONE! and said “Don’t come back here. You had enough! I’m watching you!” (seriously)

  4. P. L. Isley says:

    Wild horses couldn’t have dragged me away from the stand with Red Velvet Fudge…

    Love these posts!

  5. Sarah says:

    Still amazed at the time and effort you put into these posts! Love them all!….happy fourth!….drink lots of alcohol!

  6. Steve B says:

    Can you bring some of those vegan chocolates by the office? The wife would love them.

  7. MichelleAK says:

    I’m loving the reports! Although, like marianne, I’m kind of sad that I’ll probably never see any of these items up here (well, maybe the results of the “fudge kits”). Although I may have to try to find the Olive and Sinclair chocolate somewhere, maybe online.

  8. Jamie says:

    Sounds like it was a great time. Olive and Sinclair make awesome chocolate, very glad I have found some of their stuff here in Virginia!

  9. JFG Nicole says:

    I love that last pic. It is equally the best and worst picture ever taken of me and most accurately depicts how I was feeling at that moment.

  10. jwoolman says:

    There are many really good vegan chocolates and caramels nowadays and they aren’t just dark chocolate – nondairy milks are used for that milk chocolate taste (although Oskri’s has a dark chocolate covered coconut bar which seems milk chocolatey to me, probably due to the coconut). Coconut milk and oil seem to be used a lot in caramels, such as in Cocomels. OCD has chocolate/caramel candies and also sells its caramel sauce, and there are others also. Check out the veganessentials site especially around holidays or just google for vegan plus appropriate keywords. Go Max Go makes excellent homages to the classic junky candy bars. Sjaak’s makes good stuff, their chocolate/cocoa covered hazelnuts and almonds are magnificent and their Eli bars are worth trying. No Whey is always good. OCD (Obsessive Confection Disorder, the creator actually claims to have the other kind of OCD…) is another good one. Moo Free or something like that makes good chocolates. Plenty of others as well. It’s a good time to be allergic to dairy…. The junk food budget needs to be higher, but there is no lack of nondairy junky candy and also nondairy ice creams that actually taste wonderful.

  11. Valerie says:

    If some one wants to be updated with newest technologies therefore he
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