2009 NASFT Fancy Food Show

Images and Text by Rachel Nash Perlow

I’m going to start this entry by showing  you my favorite picture from this year’s Fancy Food Show:

This is from the mushroom display at D’Artagnan‘s very large booth. Feel free to make it your monitor wallpaper, I did. :)  D’Artagnan is very proud of the fresh produce they offer, which is more than just mushrooms, as you can see when we took our tour of their Newark, NJ, facility back in April 2009.

Click the link to see the many other vendors I visited at the 2009 Fancy Food Show.

But they managed to show off what D’Artagan is best known for as well:

This vast array of poultry, as well as a huge variety of speciaty meats and game, are available by mail order or delivered direct in the New York area.

Owner, Ariane Daguin expresses her love of D’Artagnan’s products to a visiting tv journalist.

Samples of country pate, dry cured saucisson and smoked chicken were offered on skewers thrust at booth visitors by the Three Musketeers. To the left is Alix Daguin, daughter of Ariane, doing her part to help out the family shop.

However, I left this year’s show wondering if calling it the Fancy Food Show is a misnomer? I mean some of it is obviously “Fancy” but much of it is not. There’s lots of schlock, dreck, and other assorted Yiddish pejoratives to be had as well. I sampled many fully prepared or dry soup mixes, all full of sodium and MSG. The most prominent display and mascot? Jelly Belly. Why do they bother with a display at the FFS? Who hasn’t heard of Jelly Belly?

Say Hi! to Mr. Jelly Belly and the Sunkist motorcycle.

But on the other hand, there were plenty of more thoughtful foods on display.

The anti-corn syrup lobby had many representatives in the form of alternative sweeteners, like agave syrup. Also, cane sugar sweetened, less sweetened, or completely unsweetened drinks. Many foods were featured promoting the concepts of  sustainability and/or organic methods. And, there were lots of whole grain products, usually featured in the form of granola, but also breads, and one much more unusual method.

Wholesome Sweeteners Blue Agave Syrup, I’ve even seen this product used at a local restaurant, see the OTB post on Green Door Cafe.

Xagave was handing out “Corn Syrup Kills” buttons as well as sampling their product line.

Honest T is lightly sweetened with organic cane sugar (under 50 calories per serving, double that for the bottle). They now have a new product featuring yerba mate, sweetened with agave (34 calories for the bottle).

I loved the completely unsweetened flavored waters from Ayala’s Herbal Water, especially the clove cardamom and the ginger lemon peel flavors.

Wild Planet featured sustainable, wild caught, canned seafood. Their tuna is processed from the raw state with no liquids added.

My favorite yogurt, Fage (pronoucned fah-yay), had a lovely display, and sampled out whole cartons of yogurt with honey or fruit on the side. I saw that Fage is now inspiring imitators. Several other brands featured “Greek Style” yogurt, including Stoneyfield Farms. But I still preferred the taste of Fage.

But one company had an interesting spin on the whole grain movement.

Lowell Foods is producing a yogurt with fruit and whole grains blended right in. Interesting concept, but I’m not sure how it will sell.

Ozery’s One Bun whole grain hamburger buns, although thin, held up well when we used them in a turkey burger florentine over the July 4th weekend:

There was some fun celebrity spotting at the show too.

Here is Bobby Flay filming his segment for CBS’s Early Show at D’Artagnan’s booth.

Rick Bayless himself was dishing up fresh chicken tacos, chips, salsa and guacamole from Frontera Kitchen.

Dave, of Dave’s Gourmet, who was kind enough to pose with his Dave’s Insanity hot sauce line, even though his primary focus at this year’s show was to promote his new line of pasta sauces. The Butternut Squash sauce even won the SOFI award for best new pasta sauce.

Dave’s Butternut Squash Sauce with its SOFI award.

Last year, I liked the single serving packaging of humus, this year my best single serving award goes to Wholly Guacamole

for their 100 calorie packs of their classic all natural guacamole

And, finally, back to the non-fancy portion of the show, and to the schlock, but what loveable schlock. A product that seems more at home at the As Seen On TV store, but Wow! It really works! I want one.

The bacon goes on the tines, into the cup, then into the microwave for about 3 minutes. The result? Crisp, drained, bacon, with all the fat in the cup and no mess in the microwave. And it’s dishwasher safe too!!!

2 Responses to 2009 NASFT Fancy Food Show

  1. Rhonda Olsen says:

    What a gorgeous picture of mushrooms! Very creative! :0)

  2. Hi Jason,

    Thanks for the great coverage of the show. We enjoyed your commentary and photos!

    Marketing Manager
    NASFT/Fancy Food Shows

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