By Richard Turcsik
The Summer Fancy Food Show offered up hundreds of new exotic and decadent gourmet foods. The Summer Fancy Food Show, held June 29 – July 1 at the Jacob Javitz Convention Center in New York attracted a record 27,000 exhibitors and 22,000 attendees who sampled the latest developments in gastronomic jewels. Take Baby Peach Compote, for example. Japan’s latest export is a sugar-sweet, emerald green, olive-size pickled baby peach that can be eaten whole—pit and all. It is initially available to the foodservice channel. “They are great for cocktails and you can bake them up to 440 °F and the color remains,” said Yasuo Takahashi, chief merchandising department head at Abukuma Foods Co., of Date-shi, based in Fukushima, Japan. “You can freeze them and the texture stays the same. We sell them diced and crushed in six different sizes.” In Japan, small jars are available online and in high-end supermarkets, Takahashi added. Domestically, look for small jars of Caviaroli—encapsulated beads of olive oil imported from Spain that look similar to caviar—to be a big hit on store shelves since the crowds at the booth of importer Gordon’s Gourmet could not get enough of the mini-spoon samples. Available in Basil, Chili, Rosemary, Plain and Black Sesame flavors, a 1.7-ounce jar retails for $19.95. “It is encapsulated in a sodium alginate shell using a proprietary process,” said Gordon Buschbaum, president of Gordon’s Gourmet, based in Stoughton, Mass. “They are using high-quality designation oils from Catalonia that have a buttery finish to them. The oil remains 100% pure, so if you are eating a dish that has lots of other flavors, you get a pure bite of this flavor.” Retailers talking to Francis “Putt” Wetherbee III, learned they could strike it rich by stocking Schermer Pecan Oil, a new product from family-owned Albany, Ga.-based Schermer Pecans Co., best known for its gourmet shelled pecans. “Our pecan oil is very good for salad dressing because unlike olive oil it does not have a heavy flavor and it does not congeal when you put it in the refrigerator. Plus its smoke-point is 470 °F, which makes it great for stir-fry,” said Wetherbee, vice president of marketing. Show goers got a chance to see the big changes that are in store for Lucini Estate Select Extra Virgin Olive Oil. “We are changing the packaging to make it more shelf friendly,” said Meagan Cole, communications manager at Miami-based Lucini Italia Co. “The red on the old label is gone, and the new label is all parchment, so it is more in-line with the Lucini brand. We changed the name to ‘Select’ and have this new bottle that is squatter so it fits on the shelf better.” Hot condiments Condiment manufacturer Beaverton Foods was using the show as a testing ground for its next spicy concoction—Sriracha sauce. Attendees grabbed pretzel sticks and dipped them into bowls of Sweet & Sour, Creamy, Plain Sriracha, Teriyaki and Wasabi Sriracha Sauce. “We were already making Sriracha and using it as an ingredient in our award-winning mustard, so we are coming out with a high-end gourmet Sriracha-flavored product,” said Domonic Biggi, CEO of Beaverton Foods, based in Hillsboro, Ore. “So far the Sweet & Sour is the most popular with the Creamy being close behind.” Safeway and Cost Plus World Market are among the U.S. chain’s squeezing some space from Heinz to make room for Hela Sauce—the leading condiment in Germany with a 70% market share, said Norbert Meyer, export manager retail, for Hela Gewürzwerk Hermann Laue, based in Ahrensburg, Germany. “Hela is a curry sauce, available in Mild and Spicy, that is really more like a spicy ketchup,” Meyer said. “You can use it multi-purpose, on sausage, meat, noodles or scrambled eggs. In our country it is the number-one selling condiment with sales of more than 30 million euros.” Soy sauce sales are also on the rise, thanks to sushi bars, but until the debut of Tamari to Go at the Fancy Food Show, gluten-free consumers had to lug an entire bottle of gluten-free soy sauce to their favorite sushi bar. “Tamari To Go contains 20 travel packets of gluten-free, organic soy sauce,” said Misako Tanaka Binford, marketing manager for San-J International, based in Richmond, Va. “It is the same soy sauce as our popular Gold Label, brewed in the U.S. according to our 200 year-old recipe, and is Non-GMO Project Verified. We made it for the concern of all the consumers on the gluten-free diet.” When it came to salty snacks, in addition to touting its new Tapaz2Go shelf-stable pita chips and hummus snack packs, Mediterranean Snacks debuted its improved Lentil Chips, with updated packaging with vibrant colors that allow consumers to quickly differentiate each of its seven flavors. “The appetite appeal and bright color graphics across the seven varieties are sure to stand out on shelf, attracting new consumers to our ‘better-for-you’ snacks,” said Lonnie Williard, vice president, marketing, at Mediterranean Snacks, based in Boonton, N.J. Sweet snacks were also popular. Elyse Pressner, president of Northern Valley Baking Co., based in Dumont, N.J., was touting The Other Macaroon brand macaroons, available in frozen pouches in Original, Lemon, Orange, Mocha and Chocolate varieties. “They are gluten-free and all-natural. We bake them in New Jersey and sell them frozen, you take out how many you like, they thaw in 10 minutes and are ready to serve,” she said. Waggoner Chocolates was displaying its Designer Cup Series featuring a sleeve of eight designer chocolates that retail for around $9.95. “We are using the finest ingredients, like 100% real strawberries, blueberries, almond and espresso,” said Cedric “Joel” Waggoner, president, of the North Canton, Ohio-based company. A Peanut Hottie would be the perfect way to wash down those macaroons and chocolates. Imported from England and available in Peanut Butter and Peanut Butter and Chocolate flavors, Peanut Hottie is an instant peanut butter flavored drink, said officials with Bravura Foods, the New York-based importer of the line.