Friday, July 1, 2016

Summer Fancy Food Show Day 3! (Eat Hard: With a Vengeance Part 2)

Fentiman's Rose Lemonade was one of the first ever "Fancy" food products I had ever reviewed! 
Day three was the shortest with the least amount of floor to cover but, when I took a look at my camera's memory card, it was my most photo-heavy day at the entire show!  There was a LOT of awesome stuff waiting for me in the North Hall!

I covered half of it in my Day 3 Part 1 Post, but today I finally finish things up!

Check out my other Summer Fancy Food Show Coverage Posts!
First things' first. I needed a little pick me up. I'm normally not a coffee drinker, but after all that walking at the show during the day and then exploring the city at night...I needed something to put some pep in my step before boarding the train(s) back to Jersey. Thankfully Market & Main were sampling a few of their coffees at the show. One of the newest flavors is this Jamaican Me Crazy blend which had heavy vanilla and caramel notes. It was smooth, mild (as in not acidic), and very flavorful for a K-cup product. 

Giant caviar? NOPE! It's bursting boba! (Also known as "Popping Boba.") Since I shop at a lot of Asian and Korean markets I'm no stranger to this stuff, but a lot of people at the show were trying it for the very first time! These are juice-filled edible bubbles. (Think gushers, but juicer, and 100-times better.)

Boba are often used in Bubble tea drinks, but they're also a really popular ice cream and frozen yogurt topping. This company in particular offers flavors I've never seen before in boba-form. Normally the juice-filled boba are flavored like strawberry, mango, and lychee, but Busting Boba offers unique flavors like blueberry and honey! Both sound like perfect additions to summer lemonade! (I'll be reviewing the honey variety very soon! I'm so excited! I've never had honey Boba before!!)

This cup reminds me of the fancy steins you get with Root-beer at the Ren Faire.

Fentiman's holds a special place in my heart. Not only do their products taste great, but their branding and marketing team is AMAZING! As a graphic designer and printer I really admire their letter press advertisements and overall brand identity. They were handing out fun furtling cards. What's furtling? It's the HILARIOUS art of erotic hand manipulation! Click the link, you know you want to. (It's safe for work, just be prepared to giggle.) I'll show off my cards in my upcoming YouTube haul video so you can see some IRL furtling, but the real take away is that Fentiman's is a classy looking product with old school flavors that knows how to have a lot of fun with it's marketing. (Their ginger beer is the best!)
Beautiful toppings, but what are they for....?

They're for delicious salmon salad!

Now this product was DELICIOUS, possibly the best Salmon I've ever eaten before in my life, but... the marketing team at this booth was a little...aggressive for my tastes. Originally I wasn't going to mention this, but I felt like I should. Not everything about this trip was sunshine, rainbows, and free cheese samples.

I was walking by, about to miss this booth, when someone enthusiastically pitched their salmon as being the best salmon in the world. (Or something along those lines.) The pitch worked. I joined the line to grab a sample. I tried it, and it was amazing. Well cooked, well seasoned, and practically melted in my mouth. I was happy to go on my way at this point, but the booth was giving away T-shirts, which is where things got a little uncomfortable for me. Shirts as a giveaway item are pretty unusual for a food show, but what made them really different was that they wanted us to put them on right then and there on the show room floor. It was really awkward, and the sales team was trying to put the shirts on people for them...I'm a bit of a meek individual, so I put on the shirt just so I could leave the booth. The overall concept makes sense, they want us to wear the shirts to advertise their business, like walking billboards, but I didn't like having to put it on the show room floor. The salmon really was delicious, and I'd happily purchase it for my own meals in the future, but if I see this booth at next year's show...I'm pretty sure I'd avoid it. I hate shopping in LUSH stores for the very same reason. The sales teams are too aggressive and it really makes me feel awkward and uncomfortable, even though I love their products. This is the only slightly negative thing I have to say about this year's back to happy positive food stuffs!

Spicy honey is AMAZING stuff. I like mixing it with hot sauce to make my own honey hot wings! I usually buy local honey with a dried chipotle pepper in the bottle, which is yummy stuff, but it's hard for me to find it at the farmer's market consistently. Now I know if I ever need a spicy fix, Bees Knees is just a click (or a train ride) away. This was VERY yummy stuff and I think the perfect application would be on chicken fingers, chicken and waffles, or drizzled on top of a salad with crispy chicken pieces. Basically, this stuff and chicken is a match made in heaven.

I'm a sucker for all things banana, and these were no exception. Delicious bitter dark chocolate and caramelized banana are a match made in candy cup heaven! There were other flavors in this line, but for me, this was top banana! (It's been a long week. Don't judge me by my lame lines.)

Dark chocolate coated dates with a almond center in a beautiful golden bag? Don't mind if I do! These had a very lovely presentation! It looks a little like Godiva, but with bit of an exotic flare. Dates aren't all that popular with American chocolate companies, but they're sweet, syrupy, and are often used to give most vegan deserts their texture and richness. These bad boys came home with me, so I'll do a full write-up later on this month, but (spoiler alert) they're GOOD.

Okay, I'm going to get all professional on you guys for a moment. Food blogging isn't my full time job, I'm a printer and graphic designer, and there are a LOT of companies out there offering to print logos and designs on food, but Lady Fortunes is the best I've ever seen! The prints are really detailed and high resolution so the designs look crisp and non-pixelated. Which is an issue a lot of other food-printers have.

Here, on these sugar skull Oreos, you can see how detailed the printing is. Normally edible designs look like low-res JPEGS, but these skulls were delicate and beautifully done! (Plus I love skulls. So 10 points to Gryffindor Lady Fortune for skulls.)
They can print on boiled sugar sweets too! Very nice! I might have to do some custom stuff for my graphic design logo for client gifts. Okay, enough print talk, we're almost at the end of the post!

My boyfriend, who is a vegetarian, was taking a short break in the press room and I usually don't eat meat when I'm around him (entirely my choice! I just feel weird doing it, he doesn't care if I eat meat at all) but while he was resting up I seized the moment and went over to Lorissa's booth to indulge in some carnivorous cravings.

There were a lot of flavors to choose from, and everyone at the booth was incredibly friendly, so I tried them all! The Sweet Chili sauce was my favorite. There's just something about having all of those sensations at once, sweet, savory, spicy, and's so satisfying! Just typing that description up is making me crave more.

Another meaty- booth was Milton's Local, which won an award for it's bacon sausage. I tried the sausage, and it was delicious, but his thick cut uncured bacon? Heaven. Around this time my boyfriend found me on the floor and the chef (Possibly Milton himself, I can't really remember. It was actually Milton's Grandson, James! The company was named for his grandpa.) tried to convert my boyfriend back to the meat-side, but no dice. Still, as an omnivore with a strong veggie-lean, this was possibly the best bacon I've ever had in my life. The sausage got the award, but I think the bacon is the real winner.

This section of the show had the least amount of cheese, but there were still yummy cheddar waffle crisps to be had! Thanks to my handsome vegetarian assistant I got some pretty nice tong-shots. (That tong, tong-tong-tong-tong!)

If memory serves, this product was listed as one of Oprah's favorite things, and let me tell you....she has some damn good taste. These are little bagel-biscuits with a cheesy filling. The bagel flavors vary from sweet to savory, but all the fillings are cheese-based.

Chewy, warm, and filled with a little reservoir of cream cheese...oh so good! Earlier, before leaving NJ, my boyfriend got me a Dunkin' Donuts bagel with cream cheese to eat on the train ride. Sorry Dunkin' but this was WAY better and less messy. I'll definitely be keeping an eye out for these in the freezer aisles! The classic was great but...

...these Hot Pretzel ones came right out of the oven and the second that plate hit the table everyone was grabbing for them. The people at the Bantam Bagels booth said it was their most popular flavor at  the show, so I hurried up and snagged one for myself! Seriously, this plate JUST came out of the oven and these are HOT but that didn't stop everyone from grabbing them right off the plate.

Hot pretzel bagel with cheddar cheese filling? YES PLEASE! I imagine these would pair really nicely with beer and pub-food, but they'd make great appetizers and brunch items as well! 

The last stop of the trip was the adorably named Saucey Sauce co.

Delicious cooking sauces that can be used to glaze meats, season noodles, top veggies, and enhance...well, just about anything! Plus the lovely woman running the table was incredibly sweet and polite. She gave us a little backstory about how the original base for these sauces was created by her mother-in-law, and how her husband expanded upon that recipe to create an entire line of sauces. 

I loved their colorful tablescape! Tons of fresh produce! We sampled the sweet ginger sauce on strip fried veggies and noodles and it was a big hit with my boyfriend. I'll have to get some to add to my weeknight dinner arsenal. The NOM sauce bottles had some really lovely labels, I think the designs were still in the testing stage, but I loved the direction they were heading with their typography! I can't wait to see the finished pieces on the shelves!
Welp, that's it! That was the last booth of the con! 
I'll be going back and editing the photos from day one to fix the blue-toned lighting (which I am kicking myself over), and once that is done that should be my complete coverage of the show! I plan on recording a food haul video of the stuff I bought in NY and the samples from the show very soon, and next week I'll be doing a short write-up with my overall thoughts on the product trends of this year's show, but after that, it's back to normal reviewing business!

I hope you all enjoyed the show coverage and hopefully you spotted a product or two you want to add to your own pantry!

1 comment:

  1. The mini bagels is also sold in Starbucks. I think it time to sell boba in supermarkets and not only being sold in frozen yogurt places. I love BOBA because it is fun to bite on it and the juice explodes. Boba is amazing when mixed with sorbet. Why there haven't yet a ice cream company making a sorbet with boba mix-in