Kosherfest in Secaucus was great fun this year. I and quite a few others marveled at how the staff at Kosherfest pulled off the whole show with their hands often tied behind their backs, so soon after Hurricane Sandy, which crippled many warehouses and made transportation a nightmare.
Although I didn’t see one solitary new cheese product, there were lots of interesting new stuff. I will only name my great favorites:
Sweet Tammy’s. Artisanal Breads and Pastries. Delicious, couldn’t possibly get closer to homemade, dairy-free and natural. Their booth was mobbed. I do hope they follow several admirers’ advice (including mine) to make their cookies smaller, so we can enjoy them more often. http://www.sweet-tammys.com/
Hafla Salads. An Israeli line of dips and salads. Delicious. They tasted very fresh and authentic, never too oily or too salty, and included a wonderful Moroccan preserved lemon spread (how ingenious is that?) www.kosherprovision.net
Matzolah. A Passover Granola tasting absolutely like the real thing. It comes in a cool canister. Watch out that you don’t eat it year round and leave us sans Matzola on Passover! By Foodman http://foodmannosh.com/
Petrini Gelato and Sorbets. Oh my gosh, we just can’t wait to have it distributed in NYC. Manufactured in Florida, they are finalizing distribution in NYC. No end of outrageous flavors, many of them pareve, all of them natural. Their booth was swamped at all times, for good reason. Can’t wait for Petrini to move closer to me! http://www.thegelatoshoppe.com/
Java Frozen Tuna. Beautiful, affordable and sizzling fresh vacuum-packed tuna, all cuts: steaks, cubes, strips, etc. www.seafoodimports.com
Simply7 Lentil Chips. I could use a little less salty, but if you get the munchies, this lentil treat is way up on the list and all natural. One inconvenience: It is dairy, which is often a problem, for Kosher diners as well for the Dairy-Free community. http://www.simply7snacks.com/
Dear Coco Chocolates. The brand name comes with an apt tagline: Be Transported by Chocolate:I trust you will be! Exotic flavors from around the world, and pareve too, which I always find a major plus www.dearcoco.com
Crystal Springs Fish Salami and Franks. I have already tinkered with the “salami” and found it fantastic. Lean and all-natural. Yum! I used it in a fish loaf, in a salad and in a sandwich, and it passed with flying colors. Can’t find their site address, but I bet the company who designed their label can help http://www.claytowne.com/beats-digging-ditches/branding-design/product-package-design/package-design-for-crystal-springs-fish-salami/ Still I recommend they make their accessibility clear, or why bother going into business?
Viki’s Granola. Crunchy and not too sweet. Blueberry almond was my favorite. Dairy-free and all-natural. They are currently working on a nut-free mix www.vikisgourmet.com
Tastes of Asia. Vegan and natural microwaveable noodle dishes. Would be perfect if it were lower in sodium www.tastesofasia.com
Bakto Natural Extracts and Flavors: I doubt you will say plain vanilla ever again after you see and taste all the wonderful stuff Bakto does with vanilla: Vanilla extract, ground vanilla, vanilla beans, vanilla sugar. A dash will take your goodies through the roof. Visit their site and see how many other fabulous flavors and extracts they offer, and enjoy the difference. Why bother with anything but the REAL thing? http://baktoflavors.com/
Soy Vay:A line of marinades and condiments born the proverbial meeting of a Chinese boy and a Polish girl (or is it the other way around?), followed by the inevitable venturing in the kitchen, with all the delicious possibilities that this improbable shidduch could hold. Supposing for a minute I would ever buy a bottled marinade instead of whipping it up myself, I would have to say this delicious all-natural line, listing a very short no-nonsense list of sensible ingredients, would win hands down. Have fun playing with these marinades: Soy Vay Veri Veri Teriyaki, Soy Vay Island Teriyaki, Soy Vay Hoisin Garlic Asian Glaze and Marinade, Soy Vay Wasabi Teriyaki, Soy Vay Toasted Sesame Dressing and Marinade. They include a generous list of recipes too! http://www.soyvay.com/showcase/index.php
PB2. A delicious and very low fat peanut butter powder. The bad news is, the labels on the containers are cryptic, especially the one with chocolate added, which is impenetrably labeled “PB2 with premium chocolate”, and never bothers to describe the contents as peanut butter powder (come on people, how do you expect the public to try a brand new product if you don’t at the very least name the content?) The good news is their site is brimming with ideas for using the product, and it’s easy to use and versatile. Peanut with all the flavor and much less fat? I’m there! http://www.bellplantation.com/recipes When reprinting your labels, NAME the product? Is PB peanut butter, please say it.
Last but not least, Kosher Depot, a heaven for gourmet kosher ingredients and specialty foods, until now had the least user-friendly website, but has recently made vast improvements, Any of you planning a trip there, you drive, I’ll be your guide throughout the whole warehouse: this non-drive food professional always gets lots of mileage out of this barter! http://www.kosherdepot.biz/