Ahead of the Summer Fancy Food Show (my first show since the summer of 2019) this episode of TheChocolateLife::LIVE will take a look at what the Specialty Food Industry thinks is innovative, trending, and award-winning. It will be followed next week by a review of what I saw on the show floor.
The Fancy Food Shows are the largest showcases of their kind in the US for “specialty” foods. Startups, new to market, and established players from around the world converge on NYC to find new customers for their products. At the same time, buyers from every aspect of retail grocery and gourmet foods roam the aisles looking for new products – including chocolates and confections – to carry.
It’s also an opportunity to go to some fabulous culinary events, and there are two on my calendar this year. One on Friday features Spanish olive oils (which can be used effectively with chocolate), and one on Monday featuring San Marzano DOP tomatoes with cocktails at the Seville Lounge followed by a meal at Scarpetta – both in the James/NoMad.
Before Covid, I don’t think I missed a single Summer Fancy Food Show show since 2001 and I’ve been to over half of the Winter shows (historically in San Francisco but recently moved to Las Vegas) during those nearly twenty years. What this does is provide historical perspective. What was hot from the previous shows that is still hot or that seems to be falling out favor? What’s new? What does the SFA officially recognize as innovative, trending, and award-winning? It will be interesting to see what has (and has not) changed in the last three years.
PLUS, it’s also an opportunity to taste a lot of good (and atrociously bad – just because someone thinks it’s specialty does not necessarily mean it’s good!) food from around the world. Cheese is probably the most represented category, with charcuterie, teas, oils, and jerkies not far behind. Chocolate is highly represented but mostly with respect to candy and confectionery.
From the above post: “There is no singular way to describe craft food because every customer and expert has a different idea on its definition. What most can agree on is that it sits on a fine line between tradition and innovation. Most foods or beverages referred to as “craft” are hand-made with natural ingredients. It suggests that they are made in a simple, but skilled way. There seems to be something exciting and desirable about something being made in a natural and unique way because the craft movement has grown to epic proportions in recent years.”
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