Last month I had the opportunity to walk the Summer Fancy Food Show in Washington, D.C., a trade-only event that attracts thousands of industry professionals and showcases countless specialty products ranging from classics to the unconventional. I tasted the likes of potato chips in chocolate, pizza made with rice crust, chips made from rice and beans, peanuts spiked with bloody mary mix, caramels made with ghost pepper (the hottest chili in the world), dry-cured ham made from happy acorn-only-fed Spanish pigs, Indian pistachio kulfi, and I rubbed elbows with some celebrities such as Patti LaBelle (who has a line of condiments and seasonings including agave-sweetened marinades and a hot sauce called Lady Marmalade); Duff Goldman, the cake-maker of Food Network fame; and the family of a New Jersey Real Housewife (see blk. below). In the end, I walked away with not only sore feet, but also some notable favorites for both me and Gianna.—Nicole Denis
Foodie Mom's Fancy Food Show Favorites
Check out these kid-friendly products and some mommy faves too.
Buddy Fruits Pure Fruit Bites
The makers of the blended fruit squeezers, as we like to call them, have come up with 100 percent gummy fruit bites. The orange, our favorite, is made of 7.2 ounces of fresh apples and 4.2 ounces of fresh orange. Flavors include Apple, Raspberry, Orange, and Pomegranate & Acai.
A proprietary blend of fulvic acid—a derivative of plant matter—that is mined from a 70 million-year-old source is what gives this specialty H2O its black color. Odorless and tasteless, it is high in electrolytes and antioxidants. Co-partners Chris and Albie Manzo, whose mother Caroline stars on “The Real Housewives of New Jersey” and made an appearance at the show herself, hope the product is going to be the next big thing in gyms and fitness centers. Right now you can find it in select Wegmans.
Grow Your Own
One of the coolest products I found at the show. Gourmet mushrooms are grown completely from recycled coffee grounds! You can grow up to one pound of pearl oyster mushrooms right in the box. (pictured right)
Moo Chocolate Bars
Organic milk chocolate with granola, rice crisps, corn flakes or graham cracker. Plus it has no additives or preservatives. My favorite was the Granola flavor. (pictured left)
Joray Fruit Rolls Apricot
The original pressed apricot “sheets” that were once sold by the foot and called “shoe leather.” Flavors include Apricot, Strawberry, Cherry, Grape, Sour Apple and Watermelon.
Air-popped sorghum grain. Compared with run-of-the-mill popcorn, it’s lower in saturated fat and calories, higher in fiber and calcium—and no hulls to get stuck in our teeth.
Peque Oliva Just for Kids Extra Virgin Olive Oil
A low-acidic oil that is a healthier alternative to butter with more oleic acid than traditional extra virgin olive oil. The oil is produced from 100-year-old olive trees southeast of Madrid. Gianna is already drizzling it on her ‘red’ pasta (see below).
Pasta Valente All-Natural Beet Fettuccini
This hand-produced pasta from Charlottesville, Va., is fantastic. Not only is it made with beets—giving it a bright red hue—it also cooks in exactly 3 minutes! Gianna loved it.
Wai Lana’s Little Yogis Bar Banana Split and Oatmeal Raisin
Kid-friendly flavors that are packed with vitamin-rich fruit and nuts. No refined sugars or trans fats. A great addition to the snack bag! (pictured right)
Tasting this product was one of the highlights of my epicurean journey, as was speaking to Ciro Pasciuto, the founder and creator of these flavorful wine-infused specialty cookies. Pasciuto, the founder of La Panzanella Bakery in Seattle, home to the famous croccantini crackers that he created, has moved on with his wife to form Skipping Stone Productions in Paso Robles, Calif. His latest creation: delicate wine biscuits that give a nod to Paso Robles, a highly regarded wine-producing region, as well as the comforting flavors Pasciuto grew up with in Gaeta, Italy. Free from butter, eggs or oil, the guilt-free and comforting Vin’Tucci cookies come in Spice, Honey and Anise. Perfect with a glass of wine or a warm cup of tea.
Nicole Denis is a regular foodspring.com contributor
and is the author of foodspring’s foodie-mom blog.