Oh My! That is usually our reaction as we enter the Summer Fancy Food Show at the Javits Center in New York and view all the booths that seem to stretch out into infinity. We only have three days to visit more than 1500 exhibitors, not to mention the 60 specialty pavilions representing 81 countries.
We know we won’t make it through the whole show so we have to be focused and organized. If not, you tend to get sidetracked and then you start sampling items you don’t need to, and before you know it you are feeling a bit queasy.
But we did focus, so headed straight to the Organics and All Natural Pavilion. We had decided we were going to continue our search for great foods from responsible companies as well as looking for more authentic green products. We were also on the search for local companies. We want to support our local economy, have accessible products and cut down on petroleum used in delivery. Here are some of the highlights:
Chocolate continues to be an expanding market. We were very excited to find a few local chocolate companies that produced outstanding chocolate.
Especially interesting was one company that did a very select single origin chocolate bar that focused on particular plantations in Ecuador. It is similar to terroir in wine. One vineyard can have very different characteristics than another that is merely a few yards away. There are various regions in Ecuador where chocolate is grown. As a result the chocolate from the desert region was much different than the ones from a more tropical area. Fascinating.
But this is why we go – to taste and learn and see for ourselves what works and what doesn’t.
It was heartening to see the amount of Organic and Fair Trade being offered. There are many people stepping up trying to treat the earth and the people on it fairly. This can be found in a variety of foods we will be bringing in as well as some great containers we will have on hand this holiday season. These shows, while tiring at times, give us an opportunity to talk to vendors and get a sense of who they are and how they operate. From the woman who just started her tapenade company (absolutely delicious by the way) to the couple in North Carolina with their wonderful toffee cookies, and the Chickasaw Nation turning out fine and fun chocolates (white chocolate covered Bugle snacks) we thoroughly enjoy being the conduit by which their dreams, creativity and enthusiasm reach you.