Jul 072015

Compiled By Denise Mattia

World travelers know food is an integral part of their vacation. After all, a meal is a fun adventure. In addition to reporting all the specialties from the various countries I’ve visited, I attended the Summer Fancy Food Show held from June 28 to 30 at the Javits Center in New York.

It was a mind-boggling experience: 2,600 specialty food companies representing 50 countries filled two great halls at the Center, each displaying and serving the latest of beverages, sauces, chocolates, sweets of every variety, cheeses, cocktail mixers and condiments, as a tidbit or a meal created by artisans, importers and entrepreneurs.


The California-based company’s new Traina Sriracha Sun Dried Tomato Ketchup gives the intense sun-dried tomatoes even more flavor. The result of the blend is a spicy, tangy ketchup, which can be used as a condiment or a base for sauces, gravies, marinades and even cocktails.

The Victoria Fine Foods’ slow kettle cooked pasta sauce has no preservatives, water, paste or sugar added to their 100% Italian tomato sauces, and their ingredients are on the front of the label, where you’ll also notice 100% imported olive oil, fresh onion, garlic and herbs are listed as well.

Sauce of a different nature was on my taste-bud list one evening. La Maison Signature Sauces from Vermont are up-scale gourmet finishing sauces and gravies. I added the Marsala with Mushrooms to cooked chicken, and voila! a gourmet recipe. There are eight flavors from which to choose–Burgundy Peppercorn, Chipotle Cream, Coconut Red Curry, Marsala w/Mushrooms, Pesto Cream, Pomegranate w/Saffron, Savory Orange, and Sherried Mushroom.

Everyone’s favorite is pasta, and, under the direction of four generations of pasta makers, Laboratorio Tortellini from the Emilia Romagna region of Italy produces a collection of delightfully delicious fresh-frozen artisan quality pastas.

Only a few drops of French Feast’s aroma-infused oils were needed to give my dishes a sensual and luxurious taste. The black winter truffle oil is a neutral safflower oil, which allows the full scent of the truffle to emerge. In the Italian tradition, the white Italian truffle oil uses olive oil as its base. A rich alternative to the two truffles oils is the oil infused with the aroma of porcini (cèps). To preserve the full flavor of these oils, it’s best not to heat. Instead, add them at the last minute to risotto, pasta, or egg dishes, or use them to top off grilled fish, meat, or vegetables.

Bellucci 100% Italian Extra Virgin Olive Oil is owned by a cooperative of olive growers in rural Italy where it’s harvested, pressed and bottled. Bellucci is the only Italian Extra Virgin Olive Oil with the harvest season on the front label.


Amira Foods produces delicious, high quality premium specialty rice that brings better taste to every meal. It’s grown in the foothills of the Himalayas and aged for twelve months to ensure that it retains a distinctive flavor, aroma and taste. I use the Basmati rice whenever I make dishes that call for rice.

Saffron Road brings memorable meals of all cultures to the dinner table. After a few minutes in the microwave I enjoyed excellent Teriyaki Chicken — Japanese soba noodles topped with crunchy vegetables and dark meat boneless chicken glazed in teriyaki sauce. The halal natural dishes embody sustainably-farmed, all-natural, anti-biotic free meals from family-owned farms.

Tiger Tiger is a new brand of Pan Asian recipes designed to meet today’s hectic modern lifestyle. The three-generation old family owners have created a delicious, gluten-free range of Indian, Thai and Indonesian simmer sauces made from traditional ingredients and spices that recreate the “restaurant experience” at home. Their lunchtime alternatives are the new convenient, microwaveable meal solutions, ready in 90 seconds.


There are only 15 calories in four Gaea Olives! The Greek almond-shaped Halkidiki variety are pitted, marinated for several days in extra virgin olive oil, oregano, garlic, coriander and lemon peel, offering great flavor and a perfect snack for anytime of the day.

Blue Isle products are staples in the Mediterranean diet and strongly support digestive health and well-being. Rich in protein, calcium and antioxidants, the Blue Isle line includes yogurt drinks, yogurt spreads, natural sour creams, Greek yogurts, and feta cheeses in tantalizing flavors and various sizes. Delicious and versatile in their uses, Blue Isle products are natural and only made with milk from cows not treated with rBST.

I thought Aloe was only for sunburn! Not. ALOR Aloe Vera Products are made from real Aloe Vera in its Healthier & Tastiest form Naturally. I now enjoy it as a snack or with Salad, Fruit Salad, in a Soomthy or in Yoghurt.

Later I  visited friends over the weekend and brought 34º Natural Crisps. We paired them with blue cheese (naturally) and then a milder cheese with pineapple. Really great combos. The crisps were thin and delightful on their own too. A great snack crisp.

BARE NATURE is the first Vitamin Iced Tea with added Antioxidants packed in 20 Fl Oz bottles in Lemon & Peach flavors-All Natural. It it rejuvenates with every sip.

Emmi Family Fondu decided to get the whole family involved and create a recipe suitable for all without sacrificing the flavor. Made with all natural cheese from Switzerland, naturally gluten-free and 9 grams of protein per serving they bring fun and creativity to the dinner table.

A pioneer in the natural food industry, Way Better Snacks makes addictively delicious sprouted tortilla chips, pita chips and new sprouted barley crackers. The brand makes flavorful snacks that people feel good about eating, using only high quality ingredients and sprouts as many of them as possible to increase the absorption of the nutrients inside.

Natural Sins‘ healthy snacks made from fresh fruits or vegetables, and using only two natural ingredients, create the most perfect and delicious snack! Using our proprietary methods weʻve maintained shape, color, smell and taste of the fresh fruit or vegetable, yet making it crispy; resulting in a unique natural product like no other. But donʻt take our word for it, try it for yourself! Our products exist in 6 different savors: pineapple, mango, coconut, beet, apple and orange.


Cassandra’s Gourmet Classics, Corp., manufacturer of Island Treasures Gourmet™ Rum Cakes launched a new flavor — Chocolate Chip Rum Cake. Their smooth, moist cakes are baked in Virginia and hand glazed with rum made from a Hawaiian recipe. The company offers seven delicious flavors – Vanilla, Coconut, Chocolate, Cinnamon Pecan Streusel, Banana, Raspberry and the new Chocolate Chip – in 4 oz. and 32 oz. rum cakes.

And what better way to enjoy these cakes or Jen & Joe’s freshly baked cookie than a single serve organic coffee in a compostable BioCup™ by White Coffee. The cookie Dough is made from the best wholesome ingredients and frozen into individual scoops. Bake just one or two—or the entire dozen. White Coffee presents the line of BioCup™ packaged coffees, which are Bio-degradable and Compostable Organic. They’re available in 11.

Now gelato lovers don’t have to give up protein with Forte® gelato. Each 4 fl oz portion cup contains an industry leading 15 grams of protein, 2.5 grams of fat and only 160 calories. Crafted from only natural ingredients, Forte gelato contains five times the protein of traditional gelato and 45% of the recommended daily value for calcium.

The authentic Fabbri Italian products are natural, kosher, halal certified and gluten free. Fabbri products include delicious and intensely flavorful Amarena Fabbri cherries, mouthwatering Fabbri Gourmet Syrups, succulent Fragola Fabbri wild strawberries and luscious Fabbri Baba Rhum Cakes in syrup.

Tonewood Maple  from Waitsfield, VT showcased maple in many forms such as flakes, cubes, wafers and cream. A single-source ingredient of pure maple trees, the company is working towards a sustainable future for the maple sugaring industry with a successful Adopt a Maple Tree program.

An industry leader in its global efforts to promote sustainability in cocoa-growing regions and the well being of cocoa workers is Guittard Chocolate Company. The San Francisco Bay Area chocolate maker is celebrated for crafting world-class couverture chocolate based on traditional French methods. Founded in San Francisco in 1868, it’s the oldest continuously family-owned and operated chocolate-making business in the United States.

Laima, manufacturers of premium European Chocolates have been making chocolate since 1870 and are now available in fine stores in the United States.

Remember the malt balls? Kloppers has been making them in the same downtown New York area since 1937 and are still delighting kids and adults as well. They’re certified 100% organic and a percentage of their proceeds are donated to environmental causes. Kloppers also come in sugar-free varieties.

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