Monday, July 8

Nest by Tamara's 12 "foodie" trends as seen at the "Summer Fancy Food Festival" Jacob Javits Center, NYC

Jan and David Gorham from Jan's Farmhouse Crisps
Made in Vermont,
showcased in New York City. 
My friend, Jan Gorham shows her Vermont homemade Farmhouse Crisps in the 
Big Apple (and wins an award to boot!)
at one of the country's finest food trade shows,
 Okay, I'm partial because she is one of my dearest friends and we go way back,
all the way to being college roommates when we were mere 19 years old.  But, judging from the overwhelming accolades she received in New York City,  Jan's Farmhouse Crisps are headed straight to the top. They are light, delicious and packed with lots of flavor.  Perfectly paired with a bite of tangy cheese, they are simply the most delicious cracker I have tasted.

 Jan has always been a creative talent, but a few years back and in the midst of her busy life juggling raising three boys in Stowe, Vermont she brainstormed the idea of making delicious, wholesome and crispy crackers in her home kitchen.  Cut to the present and she has a full working commercial kitchen, a small staff and a dedicated hubby who helps her on weekends to keep up the busy demands of providing the Crisps to shops and specialty food stores as far-reaching as the Hamptons (for local Hamptonites you can pick up Jan's Farmhouse Crisps at Round Swamp Farm and Lucy's Whey in the East End). 
Jan brought her crackers to this world-class fine food event that takes place twice annually (summer is NYC and winter in San Francisco).  I spent the day meandering through the halls from Japanese to French food and all the other countries in between.  This illustrates to me how much cultural, farm and hand made fresh food have become to our collective lifestyles.  There is no wonder you are all eating up all my Culinary Dinner Posts and any Monday Weekday Supper posts I can muster.  Good, quality food and its origins, the farmers and artisans who create it, has become a popular past time.  Long gone are the cultural ideologies of food being fast, nope it's not fast anymore folks it's slow, it's thoughtful, it's arriving from all over the world and in pretty packages and from smiling faces, but sometimes with convenient preparations.  

My philosophical note:
(I always add some philosophical tid bit here on Nest) 
is if we could get the world to agree on politics the way we agree on food we'd be one happy place.  So, rejoice for the "foodie" industry for making great food more accessible and bringing vendors from all corners of the globe to the Big Apple today. 
 Nest by Tamara's 12 Top Food Trends
as seen at the Fancy Food Festival at Jacob Javits Center in New York City.
1. Truffle everything (Italian word "tartufo means edible fungus")
 Tartufo is hot.  Shown infused into oils, vinegars, crackers and pasta it has been popular for decades but it seemed on the top of everyone's list at this show. When added to anything from pasta to meats, truffle adds a strong, distinct and rich flavor to the food.  This year it was out in force, and not only the Italian and French vendors but many of the American ones as well.
 2. Cured Meats  
 as we all know charcuterie is on everyone's radar.  Something the European countries have made a staple in their diet for generations, savvy Americans are now looking to cured meats of all kinds to add to their menus.
Prepared cured meats have a nice long shelf life, they are delicious and perfect for
entertaining in your home.  A few bites go a long way -- a tasty Calabrese, a cracker with a bite of cheese and topped it off with a sip of good wine -- perfection! 
3. Japanese soba, gluten-free, other noodles and rice
(some with unusual flavors as the Chai Tea Japanese below)
As much as we try to keep a low carbohydrate diet, many love and yearn for good, quality pasta.   There were many gluten free options at the show as well, and a plethora of varying sizes and shapes of basmati rice in the Indian section.  I noted lots of pre-packaged and seasoned risotto with easy to follow instructions on how to prepare this Italian specialty dish. 
4. Candy
maybe it's always been this way but it appears people cannot get enough of candy.  And, by the way, many foodies would balk at chocolate being included in this category because it is truly a culinary journey in and of itself, but after all, it is candy. 
 Marzipan made by a family owned company in New Jersey in many beautiful shapes and forms
delicious meringue from Mexico
This California company, The Tea Room, offers delicious chocolate in beautiful packages, and showing a variety of delicious and flavor infused styles from dark to milk with nuts, caramel and unusual flavorings -- delicious and rich! 
 5. Farm to table movement continues with a micro-focus on the unusual
It's been a strong movement for years, and to call it a trend does the shift in our consciousness towards thinking local, fresh and straight from the farm to the dinner table a disservice.  Farm-to-Table way of cooking, growing and eating focuses on home made, fresh, organic, natural and artisan food and it's a lifestyle, but now the focus can add looking for the unusual to it's agenda... 
 I loved this display of unusual vegetables and fruits in micro-mini sizes and shapes.  The unheard of herb grown in far-reaching corners of the globe, some with medicinal values.  The perfectly seasoned and flavored hand rolled butter made by Farmhouse in Wisconsin -- these items are worth the extra pretty penny we pay, and we are now savoring each calorie on these culinary treats.
what on earth is this vegetable - viewers were stumped?
hand rolled butter from the Farmhouse Kitchens in Wisconsin
these Whiskey Sour Pickles from the Brooklyn Brine Co. pack lots of flavor
saffron of all types were available
there were flavor-infused honeys with lavender and other herbs

6. Creative Ways to utilize & capture
fresh, natural fruit, juice & the pulp. 
there were fruit elixir bars serving up combinations
of fresh and unusual fruit combinations with herbs. 
lots of ways to show how to capture the freshness, including this company selling flash frozen products just picked off the vine, while touting the value of frozen

 7. Coffee, Coffee, Coffee
This has not waned, and we are more than ever utterly obsessed with coffee, but it 
appears more Americans want it stronger, more flavorful and deeper roasted.
 8. Just Cheese
judging from how many cheese vendors crowded the hundreds and hundreds of booths I saw (and sampled) we are totally crazy for cheese of all kinds.  From hard to fresh and soft, we cannot seem to get enough of this curdled
 fresh homemade, soft mozzarella from Maplebrook Farm in Vermont and aged farm blue from France and the Midwest, United States. 
9. Salt
flavored salts, rock salts, Himalayan salts and of course herb-infused salts it's so important now in cooking and I saw it everywhere at the Show.

10. Convenient high-end luxury prepared food
 a sense of conveniences is still in our conscious but what is different now is we are not willing to give up health, luxury and flavor for the convenience so vendors are working harder to make products that have the utmost in quality but with an ease about preparing.  As seen in this fabulous Brooklyn made Dufours.  I have used this puff pastry, which can be found in Citarella's frozen sections (not for a bargain) but it is delicious, tastes absolutely home-made and perfect in a pinch.  The Mushroom Truffle Risotto appetizers are a life saver to keep in your freezer for those last minute unexpected guests, and you can turn up the charm by offering them these delectable bites in minutes.

legumes, beans and other pre-cooked items ready to serve, flash frozen. 
pastries from Italy and France right at your doorstep?

 11.  Olive Oil from all regions of the world
olive oil and olives themselves have become quite the delicacy and it is shocking to see how different a dish can taste depending upon the olive oil used.  Flavored olive oils continue to be very popular judging from the show, and especially when highlighting their natural flavors, like a wine.  We tasted olive oil that had flowery, nutty, or citrus hints which depended upon where and how they were grown.
 12.  Tea
there was tea from India and all over the globe at the show, with an emphasis on varying strains and regions.  This Japanese tea booth highlighted a special Green Tea of the day

 Happy Nesting XO

one more note:
both Jan and I agree this
Spanish White Wine was incredible as well!