Flavors of the Summer Fancy Food Show

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Flavors of the Summer Fancy Food Show

By Bridget Goldschmidt, EnsembleIQ - 06/29/2015

Although Progressive Grocer’s share of stomach is necessarily limited, the sofi Awards press tasting on Sunday, June 28, the first day of the 2015 Summer Fancy Food Show, taking place at the Javits Center, in New York, through June 30, offered invitees the chance to sample many of the 125 finalists . Among the items -- culled from a record 2,771 specialty food and beverange entries -- these were the ones that tickled PG's taste buds:

  • Simple Mills Banana Muffin Mix
  • Sutter Buttes Blood Orange Olive Oil Brownie Kit
  • Callie's Cheese & Chive Biscuits
  • Bellwether Farms Basket Ricotta
  • Mababu Tanzania 72% Dark Chocolate Bar
  • Avant-Garde Bar Tangy Tomate
  • Laurie & Sons Dangerously Delicious Black Licorice Toffee
  • Vermont Creamery Cultured Butter
  • Ouzon Soda
  • Sir Kensington's Special Sauce
  • Zesty Cookie Co. Hot Ginger
  • Stöger Organic Austrian Pumpkin Seed Oil
  • Salt of the Earth The Mayan Brownie
  • Kitchens of Africa Tamarind Simmer Sauce-Mombasa
  • Café Spice Beetroot Rasam Soup
  • Org. Azienda Agricola Conti Anna Maria Pistacchiosa
  • Hey Boo Coconut Jam
  • Tea-rrific Ice Cream-Chamomile
  • Tea Forte Vanilla Pear
  • Lone Mountain Wagyu 100% Fullblood Wagyu Beef Summer Sausage Links
  • Callie's Country Ham Biscuits
  • Crown Maple Syrup Very Dark Color Strong Taste
  • Coop's Salted Caramel Sauce
  • Raincoast Flats Kale & Walnut Flatbreads
  • Nella Pasta Corn, Caramelized Onion & Thyme Ravioli
  • Sauces 'n Love Pumpkin and Kale Alfredo Sauce
  • Coolhaus Gourmet Ice Cream
  • Epic Chicken Sesame Barbeque Epic Bar
  • Coop's Vegan Hot Fudge
  • Tate's Bake Shop Ginger Zinger
  • Pok Pok Som Chinese Celery Drinking Vinegar

Tastes and textures ranged from the mild creaminess of the basket ricotta to the spicy-sweet kick of Salt of the Earth's The Mayan, billed as "the Brownie That Bites You Back," with every gradation in between. Kale, ginger and pumpkin – both the fruit and its seeds – remain popular flavorings, while gluten-free and vegan alternatives continue to gain traction. Companies are further seeking to expand consumers' palates with offerings from, or inspired by, the cuisines of Africa, Italy, China, India, Japan and Italy, as well as various regions of the United States. Among the most novel entries were Ouzon Soda, a carbonated beverage based on the flavor profile of ouzo, the iconic anise-accented Greek liqueur, and the Epic Chicken Sesame Barbecue Epic Bar, touted by its maker as the first-ever chicken-based protein bar. Tea-rrific's Chamomile ice cream would have been an appropriate way to complete this tour of disparate, sometimes clashing tastes on a soothingly cool note. The sofi awards will be presented on the evening of June 29 at the Javits Center's Special Events Hall 1D.