The latest in cutting-edge cuisine was on display at the Summer Fancy Food Show.
BY RICHARD TURCSIK
That is how many exhibitors—the most since the show was established in 1954—filled the halls of New York’s Jacob Javits Convention
Center in late June at the Summer Fancy Food Show. The record
number of exhibitors displayed and sampled their wares before a
crowd of more than 47,000 specialty food professionals, including
buyers from supermarkets, gourmet stores, specialty shops, restaurants, hotels and resorts. Those buyers definitely had their work cut
out for them, as there were scores of unique new items that in a few
years will likely become supermarket mainstays.
Take Ginkgonuts—the fruit of the ginkgo biloba, the hardy pollu-tion-tolerant trees with the fan-shaped leaves—for example. Officials
at G&C Farm (Ginkgo & Chestnut Farm) out of Gyeonggi-Do, South
Korea, have created a patent-pending automatic peeling process that
is allowing large volumes of Ginkgonuts to be exported to the U.S.
Similar in size and taste to an edamame, Ginkgonuts offer many
health benefits, explained Jun Ciempl, who was sautéing them up at
the show and offering samples.
“Ginkgonuts are good for your brain, help lower high blood pres-
sure and are good for people with cardiovascular disease,” she said.
“We sell them frozen, with or without the shell. Without the shell
you can just cook them and put them on rice, soups, bread, gruel or
salad. With the shell, our company has them cracked so you can just
fry them or heat them in the microwave for one minute and eat them
as snacks. We also sell dried Ginkgonuts in jars in Plain, Salty, Honey
Butter or Mixed.”
That was not the only innovation. Everyone has heard of a waffle
ice cream cone, but what about a waffle coffee cup? A line formed by
the booth of Zia Valentina to taste Zia Valentina Espresso Waffle
Cups, 2-ounce little edible cups that hold a double shot of espresso,
as well as 1-ounce and bite-sized versions. “These can also be used for
liqueurs, gelato, mousse and creams,” said Naomi Kashi, CEO of Zia
Valentina, based in Los Angeles. “We took the cupcake concept and
applied it to what we’re doing. We have flavors including Red Velvet
and Salty Caramel that retail for $14.50 a box and a variety pack of six
that retails for $18.50. We also offer food-service versions for stores
that have their own coffee shops.”
Any retailer knows that Kombucha, the fermented tea drink with a
long list of health benefits, is one of the hottest items in the dairy and
refrigerated beverage cases. Officials at B-Tea Beverage were displaying a line of Kombucha with a twist, made in the Pilsner Region
of the Czech Republic. “Our Kombucha is the only one of its kind