Saturday, November 13, 2010

The Metropolitan Cooking and Entertaining Show - The World of Specialty Products

There were a lot of noteworthy food exhibitors that we saw at the Metropolitan Cooking and Entertaining Show over the weekend. However, the foodspring specialty food pavilion stood out and caught more of my attention. The banner itself was screaming, "come to our pavilion" and it's the first thing you notice when you start exploring the convention. Not too mention, the never ending line. It almost looked like a food assembly line where people walk around trying different samples in small plastic cups size. If not for my friend/college schoolmate, Vivian, who introduced me to foodspring specialty food, I wouldn't have any idea what the fuzz was. As I stood inline, there were a lot of curious by passers. I guess they were trying to figure out what the fuzz was as well.

They had a lot of staff working the pavilion who were more than willing and helpful to explain to everyone what they were in for. The bottom line is, you fall in line, you taste, and you vote for the best. We were in for a treat as these specialty products were sofi (specialty outstanding food innovation) gold awardees, which was presented by the National Association for the Specialty Food Trade (NASFT). Who would have though such thing existed, right? And I thought I have tasted what I think what a "specialty product" is, but I guess not:-(.

People were eager to get a taste of these sofi awards specialty foods.

The faith of these specialty products fall in the hands of the tasters. Now I wonder which one made people's choice award?

Now enough ranting and let me share with you these sofi awards specialty products that we got to sample. From top left to bottom right, they were:

1. Sticky Toffee Pudding - I love love love this one. It's like a brownie married to a really moist buttery cake. It tasted like heaven. All I needed was vanilla ice cream with it:-)
2. Rozendal Hibiscus Vinegar - Who would have thought vinegar can taste this good? Apparently this is aged for 12 years in oak barrels and made from a Bordeaux blend that consists of Merlot and Cabernet. This can be great to use for salad dressing, macerate strawberries, or maybe for cooking especially with meat and seafood.
3. Sonoma Syrup Co. - Extract gift set of almond extract, vanilla extract, and lemon extract. This is probably heaven for bakers as it can really add aroma to one's cooking. I especially loved the lemon extract. I bet I can probably use this just to freshen up the smell of the house:-)
4. The Ginger People - taste like Vietnamese egg roll sauce but with a lot of ginger added to it. If you are a ginger fan, you will love this.
5. Notorious Cranberry Orange Tango - blend of walnuts, pecans, almonds and dried cranberries in a delicate orange confection. This was the bomb. Such a perfect snack and something different to the basic salted almond or walnut snack.
6. Delicate Cucumber & Shallot Artisan Vinaigrette - if i had salad right there, I would have been having a ball already. This was so nice, not too thick. Probably go well with salad or any grilled seafood.
7.Rosemary Parmesan Crisp - I didn't care for it too much. It tasted like bland rice cake.
8.Dalmatia Fig Spread - I love fig and anything that is preserve. Not too sweet and you can really taste the fig.
9. Mild Indian Curry Ketchup - nice substitute for a bbq suace. /
10. Masala Marinara - I've never hard tikka masala before so I don't have anything to base it with but I would still probably give this a try.
11. Fever Tree Ginger Beer - tasted like sparkling soda loaded with lots of ginger. It was very refreshing though.
12.Almond Toffee - almonds and I thought this was was nice.

This is my beautiful friend/school mate Vivian, who is the Marketing Guru behind She's got the best job. I mean how do you stay slim being surrounded by all this goodness?

Thanks, again, for introducing me to your world. I can't wait to order some of these products.


1 comment:

  1. Wonderful post Chatney! It was great seeing you and I'm so glad you loved everything you saw and tried. I'll keep you updated on where will be next. Happy Holidays!