We took a break from our regularly scheduled Greenmarket food fest to hike through acres of fancy foods from the world over at last week’s Fancy Food Show. Over 2,000 displays filled the Javits Center with everything from antifreeze-green Chilean avocado oil to Brooklyn-made gummy bears that were actually the size of honey bears. To avoid going into fancy-food shock, we honed in on the (often overlapping) new and organic/natural categories. Here’s highlights, all currently available in the city.
What to Look For
If you spend much time in India — or Jackson Heights — you may have enjoyed a refreshing kulfi pop on a hot day. This condensed, ultradairy, eggless treat is marvelously chewy-creamy. Kool Freeze Kulfi pops are not only made with natural, primarily pronounceable ingredients like milk and organic evaporated cane juice, they also feature fresh-fruit purées; exotic flavors like saffron, rose-water-imbued falooda, and chikoo (a.k.a. sapote, a tropical fruit that resembles sweet-potato pie); and more mainstream flavors like pistachio, coconut, and strawberry ($5.99 per four-pop box at Whole Foods).
Related: Exotic Dessert (Supposedly) Enrapturing New Yorkers
Fruit shrubs are not short trees but rather fermented fruit syrups meant to be mixed with water or sparkling wine. Tait Farm consulted eighteenth-century cookbooks like The Frugal Housewife and The Accomplish’d Gentlewoman’s Companion to arrive at tart, fruity, colorful recipes for cherry, ginger, raspberry, cranberry, and strawberry shrub ($7.99 per 12.7-ounce bottle at Murray’s Cheese).
First we loved fresh mozzarella; then we discovered even richer, more flavorful buffalo-milk mozzarella. Now those brilliant Campanian cheese makers have gone and truffled it. Fresh buffalo-milk mozzarella studded with black-truffle bits can be melted over asparagus, pasta, or pizza, or served with heirloom tomatoes for an extreme umami experience ($6.95 per 200-gram cup at D. Coluccio & Sons — call ahead to be sure it’s in stock).
Raw organic dairy-free agave gelato? Yes, indeed, and it really tastes good! Primarily made from organic, enzymatically active cashews, this remarkably creamy substance from Organic Nectars comes in delectable flavors like maple-walnut, goji-strawberry, and vanillagave ($7.19 per half-pint at Westerly Natural Market, $7.99 per half-pint at Integral Yoga).
Fair-trade, organic chocolate keeps getting better as more products enter this niche. One of the latest is also one of the tastiest: Seattle-based Theo Chocolate creates wonderfully snappy, smooth-textured, deep-flavored bars that showcase single-origin cacao beans at varying percentages. Theo also makes a sweet, super-crunchy brittle studded with cacao nibs ($6.98 per three-ounce bar at Amish Market.)
— Zoe Singer