Läderach Swiss Chocolate

DSC_5002                                               Not The Matterhorn

DSC_5004                           Läderach Chocolate, Zermatt, Switzerland

I love the Beehive pattern, also the yellow one which reminds me of an egg yolk, but sweeter.

DSC_5021                                     Good Fuel For Mountain Hiking

DSC_4999                                            Jade Mini-Me Mountain

The Matterhorn is a bit bigger at 14,692 Feet high. Some people enjoy hiking the 12,000 feet mountain nearby.

DSC_5013                         18 Bites of köstliche Schokoladentrüffel

DSC_5034                             Midnight at the Chocolate Matterhorn

DSC_5011

                          Who Invented The Chocolate Truffle?

1970 – Rudolf Läderach Jr. invents and patents the revolutionary process to manufacture thin-walled hollow balls for truffles, which makes the professional manufacture of truffles significantly easier.

DSC_5026                                           A most excellent invention.

 

 

Copyright Jo Jo Kwong 2019. all rights reserved.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Fancy Food Show 2010

……….bite me……………………..

Fancy Food Show 2010 – a giant 2 story hangar deck full of tasty specialty foods. What exactly are “specialty” foods?  They are gourmet foods made by smaller producers who aim for a higher quality in ingredients, methods and superior taste.  Rarity adds desirability.   These are a few products that caught my fancy this year ……

oils with flavor – coffee olive oil, pumpkin seed oil, peque olive oil for babies, fennel olive oil.

Flavored oils are a great idea for adding an additional layer of flavor to any dish.  You can infuse your own oils with herbs but why risk giving yourself botulism when  it’s much easier to buy it.  Coffee olive oil from Mallafre is one of my favorite finds this year, it really has the essence of coffee, I can see this drizzled on some thin sliced ham or over a steak as an olive oil version of red-eye gravy.  La Tourangelle is famous for the quality and variety of their pure nut oils.  I’ve always loved their Pistachio and Walnut oils, especially on a roasted beet salad.  Fragrant Nut oils will instantly elevate  any dish you make into a gourmet version of itself.  Their Pumpkin Seed Oil is a lustrous brown oil with a strong flavor of pumpkin seeds, putting a spoonful on squash soup adds extra richness.

In Spain, Peque Oliva extra virgin oil is actually marketed as a health food supplement for babies.  It’s grown from the peque olive which yields an oil with the lowest amount of acidity.   The Fennel extract olive oil tastes quite interesting, it’s a line of olive oil flavored with herb extracts.

Dark organic hot chocolate on a stick are shaped like a cacao pod, by Master Chocolatier Christopher Curtin who was trained in France. Beautiful design and excellent flavors like Hazelnut and Milk Salted Caramel. eclat chocolate has a shop in West Chester, PA.

Umami Chocolates by Sweet Marguerites in South Portland, Me.

Oh yes, umami, the “fifth flavor” has found its way into chocolate.   Chocolatier  Margaret Swoboda has created a new collection of  five chocolates based on the principles of umami.  Umami is basically glutamic acid which registers on our tongue as a savory meaty quality. She accomplishes this by adding savory ingredients to make Sweet Potato Caramel, Plum Sake, Sesame Tahini, Green Tea & Ginger, and Malted Bacon.

Rock of ages,  Pink Salt of the earth.

This is why they call it rock salt.  Real Salt is mined from ancient sea beds deposited during the Jurassic period, which means this salt was made before there was such a thing as pollution on our planet. It comes in a fine or coarse  grind,  certified  kosher.  This is good stuff.

Chocolate faces by DeBrand Chocolatier in shades of dark, milk and white chocolate flavored with ginger, chili.  Almost too cool to eat…. almost.

Drawn Butter Sauce. Why are the three lobsters dressed like fred astaire so happy?  because they don’t have to melt any butter!   This drawn butter in a jar was created by chef  Michael Kelly, a corporate executive chef with a PhD in food science, who must have gotten tired of melting gallons of butter for events.  He proudly told me that chef Art Smith (former chef to Oprah)  tasted this and could not tell the difference between this and regular butter.

Amatller Chocolate is a Spanish chocolate co.  established in 1797 near Barcelona.  Unfortunately these chocolate bars tasted like it was from 1797.   It was chalky, brittle and had a flat musky taste.  However, the owner in 1900 was an art lover and commissioned Alphonse Mucha to do the iconic ad posters which are still in use today on the wrappers.

Unwanted pet?    Bookbinder’s is an old soup company that’s been making canned soups since forever.  Back in the 19th century Snapper Turtle Soup was a common dish.  Not so much now….

Blackwater is an inky spring water as black as the water of the River Styx, and it should have stayed there.  It comes in a clear plastic bottle – yup that water is black!  Fulvic acid is supposed to confer some vague health benefit, but I found it difficult to drink something that looks worse than New York City sewage.  Activate water is a bottle of water (image is on their lip balm) with a cap containing vitamin powder.  As you twist the cap, it releases a colorful stream of vitamins into your water.  Finally,  Gum is gum – or is it?? can it bring eyesight to the blind? can it raise the dead ??

This chocolate mouse is seen here fetching his friend, another chocolate mouse out of the box so that they can gorge on these chocolate truffles together.

Billion Dollar Bar tells it like it is. Fancy Foods are big business.  In 2009, gourmet eaters bought $22 Billion dollars worth of specialty foods.  That’s a lot of lettuce !   (oddly, there was no lettuce nor anything resembling a green vegetable at the show)

copyright 2010 Jo Jo Kwong .  all rights reserved.

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Fancy Food Show 2014

JO JO KWONG

START NOW

August Kitchen of Armonk, NY wants to help you start your Meatloaf. They also make J – BURGER starter.

JO JO KWONG

BROOKLYN BUTTERSCOTCH

Sweet and deeply flavored caramel. The New York section had a lot of Brooklyn born companies.

JO JO KWONG

RARE FINGER LIMES

Native to Australia, these micro-citrus Finger Limes are grown by Shanley Farms in Morro Bay, CA. They range from 1″ to 2″ long, and you can get them directly fresh from the farm by mail.

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SPILLING THEIR GUTS

Citrus caviar or group catharsis ?

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BITTERSWEET BREW

Chinotto is a type of bitter orange (Citrus Myrtifolia) that grows in southern Italy. This dark soda tastes bittersweet with a strong herbal flavor.  Chinotto is also used to flavor Campari liqueur.

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BEEF BAR

No MSG and No Nitrates.  The texture is similar to dried sausage.

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BEST BACON

This is the BEST BACON MARMALADE ever !!   because they use bacon that has no Nitrates, it’s not overly salty like the other bacon jams on the market.  EAT THIS is a family owned company in Bucks County, PA. using locally grown seasonal ingredients.

Hand cooked on a stove top by chef Gino De Schrijver.

JO JO KWONG

BEAUTY & TASTE

EAT THIS jams are sold in these awesome WECK jars.  This may be the first artisanal food company to package their jams in these WECK canning jars.  Their Orange Cardamom Marmalade tasted fresh with big chunks of fruit.   Best of all, you can get their mighty jams delivered right to your mailbox. Worth it.

JO JO KWONG

RARE RAMBUTAN HONEY

Rambutan Blossom Honey  from Indonesia has an intoxicating floral fragrance unlike any other. Honey I’m home ! 

The Cipo Uva Blossom honey is  made by Africanized aka Killer Bees in the Rain Forest of Brazil.  Don’t mess with the Bees !

JO JO KWONG

BIRD & BEEF JERKY

CHEF’S CUT JERKY is very tender meat because they use only premium cuts of steak.

It’s pricey, but you do get what you pay for.

JO JO KWONG

DRUNKEN MONKEY JAM

 That Wino-nion Jam is really good.  Drunken Monkey Jam is a great name. Based in Brooklyn.

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SINCERE CHOCOLATE

Are these bills or bars?  You be the judge.

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BELGIAN BOYS

Single Serving Belgian Wafel.  They are a bit denser than a cake donut, and have big sugar crystals sprinkled on the outside which gives each bite a small crunch of sweetness.

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SIR, YES SIR K

 SIR KENSINGTON’s also makes a Ketchup.  They’re based in the Meatpacking District, Manhattan.

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TEA & ROSES

NEVADO ROSES is a new company from Ecuador that also makes a Rose Cream Liqueur.

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MY SAVIOR

 After thousands of bites of cheese, chocolate, iberico bellota ham, cookies, ice cream, a few swigs of this UNDERBERG HERBAL BITTERS will unburden your stomach. If you drink enough, I’m sure it’ll wash away all your bitter memories too.

JO JO KWONG

THE ORIGINAL FRENCH MACARON = NO FILLING

James Price’s dad bought this 17th century Secret Recipe for French Macarons when he was 11 years old, and James has been making it ever since in his New Hampshire bakery. They named it St. Julien Macaroons in homage to the original from St. Emilion, France.

JO JO KWONG

ST. JULIEN MACAROONS

Made with almond paste, which gives it a moist, chewy crumb, and a wonderful almond marzipan intensity. St. Julien Macaroons is 1 of 3 bakeries in the world that is making these Original French Macarons.

Bakeries in the medieval towns of Nancy, France (Macarons des Soeurs 1793), and Saint Emilion (Nadia Fermigia, successor of Madame Blanchez),  were and are today still making traditional macarons as SINGLE almond cookies – no filling.

Since 1620, the Nuns of Saint Emilion had been baking these authentic French Macarons … 341 years before Pierre Herme was born. 

The colorful modern double-macaron with-a-filling is a  later Paris invention.         A Tale of Two Macarons.

JO JO KWONG

MACS & ICED COCOA

 A recurring theme among these unique artisanal food products that I discovered at this year’s show is that you can now get them easily by mail order. 

I love getting Macarons in the Mail !

Copyright Jo Jo Kwong 2014.  All Rights Reserved.

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VANILLA EXTRACT

50 M Beans

put 50 Madagascar vanilla beans into a bottle of rum

DSC_4659

                    simple, efficient conversion

only 1 day later

                                  only 1 day later

MADAGASCAR AND UGANDA VANILLA BEANS

vanilla extract is a liquid derivative of the transfer between bean and alcohol

clarity

                                 rum multiplier 

el dorado rum is made in guyana, using the last 3 operating wood stills in the world.

plantation rum barbados

plantation rum is made on the caribbean island of barbados. it is distilled and aged in barbados, then shipped to france so that it can be further aged in used cognac barrels at the chateau de bonbonnet.

plantation also makes an overproof rum of 73% alcohol by volume, while barbados has a highest income tax of only 2.5%.  this country has its priorities right.

 

Copyright 2013 Jo Jo Kwong      All Rights Reserved

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soul of a persimmon

copyright 2012 Jo Jo Kwong

                                             ecclesiastes 10:19

                                                             on the ledge

                                     50 persimmon fund

                             the sweetest one

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I, macaron – Thevenin

macarons from thevenin in paris.  never heard of this bakery, have you?  thevenin is the dark horse of the parisian macaron field of contenders.

2 passion fruit macarons smashed together – my favorite flavor.  these had an intense tart sweetness characteristic of passion fruit. I was pleasantly surprised at how flavorful these macarons were, considering that thevenin is not a famous parisian bakery, nor is it on the foodie macaron map.

chocolate macaron with chocolate ganache filling – smooth and deep chocolate flavor.  great texture.  the coffee and coconut flavors were also excellent. these are 1  1/2″ diameter.

the  caramel macaron had the deep brown nuanced flavor of caramelized sugar which is a simple but great flavor.

pistachio macaron was pretty good, as was the rose macaron, and raspberry macaron.  with each bite i was more and more fond of these macs from thevenin. i could taste and identify each flavor of every macaron without a brochure, unlike most american made macarons which taste only of sugar and not much else.

thevenin bakery is a small boulangerie-patisserie in the 14th, on the south edge of paris. 119 avenue General LeClerc. they make many types of bread, and the fact that their macarons are quite delicious is a good reminder that native foods are usually best made in their native place of origin.  thevenin is not world famous like pierre herme, and yet these macarons were still better than any macarons i’ve had in the u.s.  it’s like the ubiquitous and  iconic new york pizza slice joint, even the worst slice in new york city will taste better than pizza made in any other state of the union.  french macarons in paris are the equivalent of the quintessential new york slice.

in the macaron race, sometimes when you have no expectations, life gives you everything you want.

thevenin has 2 other branches in paris.

related:  Best Macarons – Pierre Herme !

copyright 2010 Jo Jo Kwong.  all rights reserved.

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Moonstruck Chocolatier

snowman

eat a snowman, then eat all his friends.  these hefty handcrafted chocolate truffles are by moonstruck chocolatier.   moonstruck is based in portland, OR,  but will ship their chocolates anywhere.

moonstruck box of chocolates

if your life has not been like a box of chocolates then just buy yourself a box!  24 piece wrapped box $50.  a small price to make someone happy. check out all the flavors in this box at moonstruck.

moonstruck chocolates

a box assortment of chocolates shaped like hearts, windmills and seashells.  16 piece box collection $32.  this includes milk chocolates and dark chocolates in various flavors such as caramel, coffee.

tic tac toe

not cupcakes.  these are chocolate truffles shaped and decorated to resemble miniature cupcakes, in cupcake like flavors – strawberry cheescake, sour cream fudge and german chocolate cake.  boxed cupcake truffle collection 4 pieces for $13.  moonstruck chocolatier currently offers their fall and halloween collections of chocolate bats, white chocolate filled ghosts, and a hand painted jack-o-lantern filled with gummy worms for $7.50.

copyright 2009 Jo Jo Kwong. all rights reserved.

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I, macaron – Arnaud Lahrer

arnaud lahrer macarons

2 dozen macarons from arnaud lahrer.  his pastry shop macarons et chocolat is behind montmartre in paris.

when i heard that pastry chef arnaud lahrer had worked for pierre herme for years at fauchon before opening up his own pastry shop, i was quite curious as to how good his macarons were, especially since he had won a pastry award in 2007.  i was sorely disappointed.

these small macarons, just slightly over an inch wide, at first seemed cute and inviting. however, as i bit into each one, i was hard pressed to find some good or distinctive flavor in any of them.  this is shocking when you consider that he worked at the side of the master for years.  it’s even more shocking when you see that baking bloggers all over the internet are making beautiful macarons with impressive and exotic flavors.  lastly, when you consider that his pastry shop is in paris – the apotheosis of french pastry skills – these flavorless macarons are totally befuddling!

arnaud lahrer macarons

the white filling is rather odd – looks more like fondant than either ganache or buttercream.

most of the flavor of a good macaron comes from its’ filling, which is typically a flavored chocolate ganache or a fruit jam.  these arnaud lahrer macarons seem to contain some kind of sweet white filling with no discernible flavor other than sugar.  the caramel flavored one did have some burnt sugar taste, but the rest were truly forgettable.

arnaud lahrer macarons

where’s the flavor ? — are these FONDANT MACARONS ??   nearly every one has this white filling except for the chocolate one.

fondant is made of sugar and water. buttercream would at least look more yellowish and taste more buttery.  skimping on your expensive ingredients to cut cost is one thing, but this is beyond stingy.  this is like being the mc scrooge of macarons !   i offered the box to 2 children, who each took one, and did not come back for more. the fact that i would even share these macarons from paris tells you that i was not the least bit enamored of them to begin with.

i was so disillusioned that i threw the remaining box away.  quel dommage !

arnaud lahrer won the meilleur ouvrier de france award 2007 for pastry, so perhaps he made great cakes and macarons for the competition but is cutting corners on the macarons in his shop.

**the caveat of buying french macarons –  they ALL  look pretty.  those perky colors, the cute almond meringue shells with their requisite ‘feet’, the lush fillings,  the sheer variety of flavors offered up is quite enchanting.   however,  the proof of a good macaron is in their TASTE.   do not let appearances fool you because ALL macarons look brightly enticing and cute…. even the bad ones.

…. and if they come from paris, the expectation for excellence is all the greater, and the more feverishly one wishes for it to be fantastic. but the arnaud lahrer macarons did not deliver on its’ promise.

when you go to paris, save your money and buy macarons from the master, and my favorite – pierre herme.  (he now has 3 shops in paris)

once you’ve had the best, you cannot stand the rest !! (if they’re mediocre)   that’s the risk one takes when trying out new and unknown macarons. obviously provenance and hype is no guarantee of goodness.  macaron lovers want to try out every new macaron maker, hoping to find another great macaron, but if it’s subpar and doesn’t satisfy,  you suddenly wish you had gotten the better one, with a poignant mixture of humbled hindsight and relentless remorse.

only the best one is where your soul will find redemption!

***see my post on pierre herme macarons. stick with the best !

other good macarons:  gerard mulot, jean paul hevin.

copyright 2009 Jo Jo Kwong. all rights reserved.

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Fancy Food Show 2009

raisins on the vine

Not Cheese. These are moscato raisins dried on the vine. They have a softly chewy skin, and moistly sweet on the inside.  Something so simple as Moscato grapes left to dry on its vine, concentrating its’ natural sweetness yet retaining each grape’s moist texture. This is like the Bentley of raisins.

Fancy Food Show 2009 – Hundreds of Thousands of gourmet food products in the block long cavernous space of the Javits Center, which means hundreds of thousands of gourmet foods to sample and taste.  I tasted A LOT  of superb CHEESES.  At this year’s show there were numerous booths which had whole leg of Bellota Jamon, and Serrano Jamon, as well as other types of cured meats. I saw at least 3 whole suckling pigs, roasted to a crispy crackling brown.  Cheese and Prosciutto.  Pastries and Chocolates.  Chips and Sauces. After 2 days of tasting cheeses and cured meats, chocolates, cookies, coffees, pasta sauces, snack chips, candies –  my palate cried out for……… FRUIT !

sid wainer purple artichoke

I was dying for some plain, unadorned refreshing  juicy fruit.  My salvation was the Sid Wainer booth, a purveyor of fine foods including the most beautiful fresh vegetables and fruits.  On their counter was a bowl piled with clusters of tiny champagne grapes.  Each grape is smaller than a salmon caviar. As these miniature grapes popped in my mouth releasing their cold delicate sweet grape juice, it felt like the best thing I tasted at the whole show.  It was certainly the most transcendent.  I scarfed downed a couple of bunches happily.  This 3″ baby purple artichoke is from Sid Wainer, as well as the moscato raisin clump above .

bacon lip balm

Bacon Lip Balm – everything should taste like bacon? Only if you want to smell bacon all the time, and this lip balm does smell exactly like a very smoky bacon. As scientists tell us that 90% of ‘taste’ is actually smell – I fear this bacon lip balm is gonna make me want to eat bacon day and night.  Bacon fans will love this, vegetarians, not so much.  Brought to you by Justin & Dave, who created BaconSalt and Baconnaise.

Artisanal cheeses at the show are always of a high quality, with each cheesemonger offering at least a dozen cheeses for tasting.  Some truly fabulous cheeses. But, how many hand made goat cheeses do you have to try before IT ALL TASTES LIKE CHEESE ??   After my 85th sample of fine artisanal cheese, as I was being regaled by the Italian owner about how this was his grandmother’s cheese company, and after her death he left his career as a naval officer in Italy to expand his grandmother’s cheese company, a wave of sludgey moraise infused my body as his voice  seemed to fade away into the distance. My ears started tuning out because I noticed that my tastebuds were saying — IT ALL TASTES LIKE CHEESE !!  I could no longer distinguish what was so special about this goat/sheep’s milk blend vs. any other fine cheese. I was suffering from  Cheese Fatigue. At that moment, if you gave me some Velveeta, I would have said – it all tastes like cheese………..

almond butter squeese pack

Almond Butter Squeeze Pack  – I like this product because it gives you no-mess one oz. serving packs of almond butter anywhere you go.  It’s a healthy snack and although it’s perfect for when you go rock climbing or camping, since I engage in neither activity, I think this is a good thing to keep around your desk or in your car for those times when you’re starving and tempted to get junk food.  Good for dieters to keep on hand. Comes in 9 flavors including Cinnamon, Maple, and in Peanut Butter, Hazelnut Butter,by Justin’s.

carica fruit

Carica Fruit from Chile. Carica is one of the few fruits on Earth that cannot be eaten raw.  It must be cooked in order to soften it enough for human consumption.  It has a mild delicate flavor, somewhere between a pear and a white nectarine with a firm toothsome bite.  It now comes in plastic vacuum packs, which the personable rep Daniel happily demonstrated  “You can’t break this!!” by dramatically throwing a pack on the floor in front of my feet !

madeleine

The One You Remember – Lemon Zest Madeleines. I really liked the lemony flavor of this madeleine, surprisingly good considering it’s a packaged bakery item.  It tasted of butter and just enough sweetness.  If your last name is Proust, no need to pine for your one unforgettable love because you can simply keep a bunch of these on hand.  Donsuemor also makes madeleines in Chocolate.

choc-o-lait

Choc-O-Lait – a.k.a. Hot Chocolate on a Stick. This is my favorite new invention at the 2009 Fancy Food Show.  You just dunk this Cube-O-Chocolate into a cup of hot milk,  and within 10 seconds you get a pretty good cup of hot chocolate! There is no measuring with a spoon and getting cocoa powder all over your counter, no dripping spoon to find something to rest on, the little wooden stick becomes a lightweight stirrer. This is made with Belgian chocolate and comes in  4 flavors – Dark, Milk, Hazelnut and Cointreau.  My fave is the Cointreau.  It comes in various sizes: 2 cubes to a pack, or a nice tall box. I like the Mug Pack which comes with their signature Choc-O-Lait porcelain mug  & saucer and a 2 cube pack of hot chocolate.  This item would make a great gift for any chocophile.  I had very low expectations for an ‘instant’ product, so I was quite surprised at how good this tasted.  This is a new product from Belgium.

redmond clay

Edible Clay! For those of you who don’t like hot chocolate,  why not try drinking some CLAY?   That’s right, clay is good for you!  Why? because it contains all the essential MINERALS that your body needs and is probably not getting enough of because of the modern diet filled with high calorie but low nutrient sugar-laden foods and snacks.  Actually many of which are representated at the Fancy Food Show heh! …  Many primitive cultures around the world actually dig up clay deposits, and carry a cone or a ball of clay from which they nibble on to get their daily minerals. You simply mix this with any liquid such as water or juice.  It’s natural Bentonite clay from the earth, I prefer this to a laboratory made mineral pill. Redmond clay. Mud pie, anyone?

staud's jams

Staud’s Jams – This Apricot Jam blew me away! I can’t read German but this Apricot Jam was the most intense apricot-y  preserve I’ve ever tasted, like pure apricots cooked down for hours with very little sugar,  and Apricot is not even one of my most liked flavors.  Staud’s is an Austrian company, and I’ve seen this brand in gourmet shops but never tried it before, now I’m sold.

korean salt

Korean Sea Salt. To me, SALT is SALT. and this new one tastes SALTY.   There is a whole category of gourmet sea salts, the most famous being the gray French Fleur de Sel from Guerande. Newer iterations range from Black Lava Salt from Volcanic Hawaii to Viking Smoked Sea Salt, and now the latest is Solar Sea Salt from Korea.  translation- it’s dried in the sun.  Duhhh………… I think they will have a hard time competing with French and American fancy salts.

freeze dried honey

Freezed Dried Honey Lozenges from New Zealand. This is pure honey from one of the cleanest non-polluted places in the world.  Honey is a natural anti-microbial and these are perfect for a sore throat, or when you just want something sweet.  It’s better than candy because honey contains antioxidants.   Airborne Honey is a line of various types of honey from New Zealand.

coconut,pine nut oils

PINE NUT OIL and Virgin Coconut Oil. I LOVED the smell of this toasted Pine Nut Oil from China. However, it is not available yet in any store in the U.S.   There are various International Sections at the Fancy Food Show, they are usually sparse and forlorn, nearly empty booths with very little product on display, some do not even provide samples – no samples means I’ll just past them by.   Downstairs, the Korea section flowed into the China section.  The China sections comprised big wide booths with a few product packages on display but no edible samples.  I noticed it must have been lunchtime as each Chinese exhibitor was eating – Chinese Take Out !!    At the Fancy Food Show !!! HAHAHA!!

Pine Nut Oil is sold to distributors in gigantic 500 gallon drums, and the rep told me that they do not have a distributor here yet.  I think this Pine Nut Oil would be insanely good on a salad or drizzled on top of toast and meats.  Just needs good packaging and distribution.  The Virgin Coconut Oil is from India.

numi

Not Chocolate.  This is an Aged Pu-Erh Tea Brick. This is from Numi Tea Co.  Pu-Erh Tea compressed into a brick is the ancient Chinese way of packing  this tea, prior to the Ming Dynasty. Tea bricks were easy to transport along the tea route to India and Tibet.  Pu-Erh Tea bricks can also be aged for decades.  It was interesting to see this tea brick by Numi since most of their tea are sold as teabags.

spices

Pre-measured Spice & Herb Kits from World Cuisine. Have you ever wanted to make  a Mediterranean recipe that required exotic spices like Sumac and Za’atar, hunted them down for your dish and then your jars of spices just sat there going stale for years?  I once actually trekked out to Sahadi’s in Brooklyn to buy Sumac, forgetting that I live a mere couple blocks from Kalustyan’s,  D’oh!

World Cuisine Institute has solved the gourmet cook’s problem of having to buy many jars of spices and herbs and not being able to use it all up.  The aroma and flavor of all spices and herbs are derived from its’ oil which are highly volatile compounds.  As soon as it is ground, it starts to lose its aromatics and go stale quickly.  This is the Lebanese Recipe Pack which contains Sumac, Za’atar and Salt – enough for one recipe .  They have larger spice packs, the Indian Chicken Curry pack has 9 spices and herbs for 2 lbs. of chicken. The Moroccan Lamb Tagine has 10 spices.  This saves time and cost as you only purchase the spices as you need them, and they’re pre-sorted for the flavor profile of each world cuisine. An easy way to improve your repertoire of dishes.

himalayan pink salt

Himala Salt. This is himalayan pink salt in 1″ bottles, and the cutest sample of the show.

dagoba chocolate

Dagoba Lavender Blueberry chocolate. Smells like lavender but not much blueberry taste.  Dagoba’s chocolates taste much better now than they used to.  I also liked their Milagros 68%.

Overall, I was not that impressed with the chocolate offerings at the show.  Nothing new or exciting.  What happened to the chocolate vendors?  It seemed like there were many more chocolatiers and companies in past years.  The chocolate booths at this year’s show seemed to be mostly large manufacturers like Guittard, Callebaut and Valrhona.

pear tart

Cabernet Pear Tart from David’s Cookies. This tart was even better than the warm chocolate chip cookies they were handing out.  Big sections of pear over a layer of almond pastry cream on a butter cookie crust.  David’s Cookies also makes cheescakes. and cookies.

emeril can drainer

Need a Can Drainer?  Emeril has one for you. This was a freebie given out at the Emeril booth. I don’t buy any canned foods but I thought this could be used like a mini colander to wash small foods, like a few berries??

syrup n jams

Pancake syrup and Jams. Not everything at the Fancy Food Show is “fancy”.  There are plenty of mass market products like this line of fruit flavored syrups.  The Lazzaris jams are from Italy.

Copyright 2009 Jo Jo Kwong.  all rights reserved.

 

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