There used to be a divide between “fancy food” and “health food.” At this year’s Fancy Food Show, which ends its three-day run at the Jacob K. Javits Convention Center on Tuesday, it’s evident that the two categories have seamlessly merged. The words most commonly seen were organic, vegan, whole grain, fair trade, anti-oxidant and gluten-free.
“Judging from this show you’d think the whole world had celiac disease,” said Jennifer Lea Cohan, a publicist who works with the National Association for the Specialty Food Trade, which runs the show.
Some examples: Famous Organics falafel chips; Mediterranean snacks gluten-free baked lentil chips; Zocolo’s line of “heritage” flours from quinoa, mesquite and amaranth; and raw vegan ice cream made with cashew milk (Raw Ice Cream Company’s mint chip was tolerable).
Covering the show’s 2,400 exhibiting companies spread, is like golf, a very long walk, punctuated by many bogeys and also some stunning holes in one.
Among the winners: quartered green walnuts that have been brined like olives, then preserved in sweet syrup from Harvest Song, an Armenian company; ramen flavored with molokhia, a spinach-like vegetable from Egypt being grown in Thailand by Greenoodle, a Japanese company, in three flavors, including vibrant tom yum; Tulsi holy basil tea, an Ayurvedic quaff at once mellow and tangy, served iced; and Pure Indian Foods flavored ghee.
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