Specialty Food Association's Summer Fancy Food Show 2018: Day 1

by - 9:15 PM

Hey Nubians,

It's A Blessing To Write About Topics You Love... Like FOOD! 

I had the pleasure of attending the Summer Fancy Food Show presented by the Specialty Food Association at the end of June and it was a magnificent experience! The Summer Fancy Food Show is the largest specialty food industry trade event in North America.
If you want to stay ahead of the curve in the food game, this is definitely the place to be. You will learn so much about what you're consuming and it'll open your eyes about appreciating food industry innovation. I spoke to so many vendors and was fortunate enough to sample every type of decadent food I was interested in. I was able to talk to a lot of company owners and learn more about them and why they started their business. What fuels them from day to day? Some of their back stories are very inspirational and makes you respect buying the product even more. 

It's also helpful to know which of your favorite food and drink vendors are being carried at what stores... this may highly influence where you shop and might even want to make you change your eating lifestyle. I was so happy to walk away with not only a full tummy but full of knowledge! Brain food kids, it's good stuff. 

I headed out to the Jacob Javitz center at about 11:30am. On my way from Queens to Manhattan I had a few regular NYC occurrences happen to me. I saw about 3 stray cats, a few crazies on the street, and I dropped my brand new, untouched croissant on the floor!!! Now I know what you're thinking, Why eat a croissant if you're going to a food show? But I needed something small and bland to prepare my stomach for what was to come. Anyway, my brother/photographer for this event gave me half of his... sweet guy right? I believe it's karma. I once laughed at a guy who dropped his brand new ice cream cone... not because I'm mean, but because it was a reaction and I felt horrid after. But karma is real folks, don't you forget it. Unlike myself, my brother has attended the Summer Fancy Food Show before and was a great guide and help. 

Here are some of my favorite booths I visited on day 1 and a little bit of information about what they offer... you'll want to read on. Some of these will blow your mind! 

Beans in Brownies? Now that's a RULE BREAKER. Defiantly Delicious. I couldn't believe it when I was told that these brownies are TOTALLY Vegan and made out of 40% chick peas. Often times we think if you put beans in something such as a brownie, there is no way it could taste good. I will drop dead right now if I'm lying when I tell you they were delicious! The perfect texture and quite frankly, you're not going to think they taste like beans. Rule Breaker Snacks are packed with protein and fiber. All of their treats are 100% plant based, gluten free and free from the top 8 allergens and GMO's. 

I was very surprised when I saw Snack Less at the Summer Fancy Food Show, but I was pleased to learn about them. Snack Less offers gum and fruit bars that are appetite suppressors ergo why I was surprised to find them in a place where people eat all day. I was told one of the Snack Less bars could suppress your appetite anywhere from 4-6 hours where a regular bar might only hold you off for 1-2 hours. Fascinating! It's natures hunger buster.  

"How do they work?" you may be asking yourself. Good question! For ten years the people over at Snack Less have been growing, cultivating, and researching a magical cactus like plant called the 'Hoodia parviflora'. This plant is known for its effect on people’s appetite perception. They've conducted numerous tests to show that the plants are effective and safe according to the FDA and EFSA (European Food Safety Authority) protocols.

This is something great to purchase if you're always on the run or at a convention or trade show. I know I could have used it for many Fashion Week or New York Comic Con events I've attended. It's also great if you're trying to suppress your appetite in general and you're dieting or going to the gym often. These products are natural, vegan, dairy, soy and gluten free.

I stopped by to visit the dapper gents at the Yo Mama's Foods booth and tasted some of their marinara sauce on a piece of bread. I savored every second of it. It really does feel like your mother's cooking which is what they pride themselves on, meals that build relationships. It didn't give me that 'out of a jar' feeling some sauces give you. These products have no artificial ingredients and a gluten-free. If memory serves, I believe they told me they launched these products less than 3 weeks ago so keep an eye out for these sauces. You can thank me later. 

A busy girl like me can appreciate a Ready-To-Drink soup any day of the week. I can especially appreciate one that uses pure plant energy and is extremely eco-friendly. You can learn more about Fawen and their mission on their website HERE. It's a chilled soup that is very tasty. I sampled the Broccoli and Cauliflower with Tumeric as well as the Sweet Potato and Red Lentil with Cinnamon and they were very refreshing. They are high in vitamins and made me feel Zen.  Plus to be honest, there's something about a company that strives to make the planet a better place that makes the product taste even better. You know what they say "If it's made with love...".

Unroasted coffee?! I kid you not. If you're a coffee lover willing to try something different, Sunup Pure Green Coffee is for you! Sunup is a tea-style drink made from unroasted coffee beans. To be honest, I went into this thinking there's no way it could satisfy my coffee needs but it was very enjoyable. It might help that I also love tea and it feels like a mix of the two. It's a great source of caffeine so you can breathe easy. It's definitely worth your time and a try.  Here's a little knowledge from their website: 

"Because we skip the 450° roaster oven, Sunup tastes fresh from the coffee farm. It has natural antioxidants (chlorogenic acid) and is an excellent source of caffeine. Not only is it brighter in color and lighter on your tongue than roasted coffee, but it’s smoother going down and feels light on your stomach."

I've never been a fan of any flavored coconut water until I met the Rebel Kitchen Diary Free Chai flavor. Oh-My-Goodness! If you're a chai fan, it's a must! The name 'Rebel Kitchen' was born from the fact that this brand is always seeking newer and better ways to do things, they will never settle! I truly like that statement because there's always room for improvement and new positive ideas in this world. 

Rebel Kitchen is big on health being a lifestyle and on sourcing responsibly "Food needs to be food – grown in and coming from nature. Without additives, preservatives or refined sugar." I couldn't agree more! Did I mention there's also some delicious margarita mixer recipes floating around? You can also be wiser with the alcohol mixers you choose too. 

Kevin From Honey Smoked Salmon was an absolute treat! He was singing and joking with people the whole time he was serving us salads with his delicious Honey Smoked Salmon. His company is family owned and run by himself and his sons. Kevin started fishing when he was 5 years old and is very passionate about what he does.

Honey Smoked Salmon offers high quality, sustainably sourced fresh salmon. The fish that makes the cut is marinated for hours in a scrumptious blend of all natural herbs and spices. My brother and I had a salad and it was heavenly.

Have you heard of the benefits of Himalayan Crystal Salt? Evolution Salt Co. is a family owned company that does everything from mining, to manufacturing, importation and distribution of Himalayan Crystal Salt. Just in case you didn't know, Himalayan Crystal Salt is the most beneficial and cleanest salt available on our planet.

Savannah Bee Company offers gourmet honey and beauty products. I tried the Beeswax hand cream and it was so nice & thick and lasted for hours. Beeswax creates a natural barrier between your skin and cold, dry air. It's perfect for anyone suffering from dry hands from any circumstance. Their Sourwood Honey Gold Reserve won a Soft Silver 2017 Award from the Specialty Food Association for Outstanding Honey.  

Trimona Yogurt is an Organic Bulgarian Yogurt high in quality fat and protein with no artificial ingredients. It taste AMAZING. It's tarte, light & fresh. I spoke with owner Atanas Valev for a few minutes and he was very kind, hilarious and informative. Their yogurt is unique and pure. The Honey Ginger Cinnamon flavor is quite special. Their products are carefully sourced and as they like to say on their website, "Cheaper Than Health Insurance." I highly recommend.  

I have a love story going on with this Cheesecake Cone from Aunt Butchies of Booklyn. It's the best Cheesecake Cone I have ever tasted and was even made it on Oprah. 

Raise the bar at your bar with Hella Cocktail Co. The Hella Bitters will kick your drink up a notch. Bitters are like adding salt and pepper to your drink and they come in different flavors. Just add a few dashes and POW! Your drink is new and improved. Hella Cocktail Co. uses the finest ingredients which is why the drink I had tasted hella good! Learn more about the history of bitters and why they're so coveted HERE

This is my JAM! It taste so yummy it made me want to dance. Seriously though, it did. The Jam Stand is a company that began in a Brooklyn Apt by two best friends. Awww super sweet right? They believe packaged food doesn’t have to mean processed food. I had dreams about the Drunken Monkey flavor, it's sugar coated bananas, a splash of rum and a dash of lime. #swoon

I always enjoy a good cocktail, thus quality is important to me. So many mixers have yucky ingredients. Cocktail Crate has fresh, whole ingredients! You could feel good about what you're drinking. This company offers cool, fun mixers such as the Sriracha Margarita, Ginger Bee & more. 

Café Grumpy started out in Brooklyn and is a inspiring company that truly focuses on the quality of their coffee. Café Grumpy 
taste delicious and they strive to promote specialty coffee from sourcing to roasting to brewing in a socially and environmentally responsible manner. Fun fact: their coffee is also Kosher certified. 

Blue Hill Bay Smoked Seafood offers ready-to eat Smoked Fish Poke bowls. They're extremely easy to make and offer the perfect single serve portion. My sample tasted very fresh. These little treats are also protein packed. You can select from Tuna or Salmon. 

What first attracted me the The Matzo Project was the packaging. I can't ignore cool looking art. Furthermore, this goes to show packaging goes a very, very long way to highlight your product. Two friends became business partners and created The Matzo Project. They decided to upgrade the Matzo by experimenting in the kitchen and creating flavors they believed would work well. I tasted the Cinnamon Sugar and it was delish! Their muse, the grandmother on the box asks "“WOULD IT KILL YOU TO TRY SOMETHING NEW?”. I think it's adorable, works well, and highlights this already delicious treat. 

Vegan Rob's offers delicious, healthy treats with a varitey of unique flavors. Who said vegan treats ever have to be boring? They're texture and crunch is perfection. If you love snacking or have a chip addiction like myself, you should give Vegan Rob's a try. They believe in loving yourself, the planet, and all living things. I loved the Cauliflower Puffs and Spinach Strips. They're often updating flavors so make sure to check them out.

Joel's Cookie Dough is truly outrageous. I tried a cookie and a small ice cream slider and they mean business! It's a cookie lovers dream. Joel's Outrageous makes it so easy for you to make, hot homemade cookies anytime you want. With no mess and no fuss! All you have to do is open the box, break apart the cookies and bake. Then POW! Every sweets lover will be eternally grateful. I love their little slogan “If Grandma can do it better… she’s hired!”. The owner was extremely nice and passionate about his product too. 

I didn't get to taste these Shoecolate's but I wanted to feature them because I thought they'd make the perfect gift for any shoe, fashion & style lover. They nicely molded heel shaped chocolates available in different prints & designs. 

Lastly how absolutely stunning is this Fancy Food Show cake baked by Carousel Cakes?! They gained a lot of popularity after Oprah mentioned they made her favorite Red Velvet Cake. Truly however, the taste speaks for itself. They were sampling little cupcakes and you won't hear this girl complaining. They are a dedicated, family owned business that have been carried in thousands of restaurants. 

What can I say? My first day at the Specialty Food Association's Summer Fancy Food Show was overwhelming in the best way possible. It's important for us to be educated and knowledgeable about the food that's going into our bodies. It's also imperative that we see food as an art. There are so many people cooking masterpieces out there and other's that are creating products that help those masterpieces come to life. Whether it's a jaw dropping plate a food, a pastry, or a impeccable cocktail. There is so much time and dedication that goes into perfecting every little ingredient equation and making sure everything adds up. So many of these food artists as I like to say or food scientists are very deserving of the awards they've received. There are so many more to be discovered too. 


Xo Nubia Xo

You May Also Like