z5By Elke Probkevitz

If you want to know what’s up-and-coming in the kosher food world, look to the global food industry to get the inside scoop. Kosher foods are always only a couple of steps behind when it comes to food trends. This year, the 59th Summer Fancy Food Show was held in the Javits Center between June 30 and July 2. It is the largest marketplace in the country for specialty foods and beverages, with more than 2,400 manufacturers, importers, and entrepreneurs. Over 180,000 products were on display, including artisanal cheeses, chocolates, vinegars, grilling sauces, and the latest natural and organic products. Kosher companies were not scarce at this event. Every corner you turned you found another gourmet product with kosher certification to sample. Here are some of the trends spotted at this event that you might already see at your local supermarket.

Sweet snacks. New brownie snacks like brownie brittle, brownie crunch, and small brownies with unique flavors are popping up from companies like Sheila G’s, Seth Greenberg’s Authentic Brownie Crunch, and Brownie Points. Packaged biscotti is always popular, with new companies offering a wide range of flavors, such as vanilla dipped in dark chocolate from Biscotti Goddess and caramel with chocolate and sea salt (making softer biscotti) from Sweet Mavens. Some unique treats are the cookie pies from Pearl River Pastry that are a cookie crust with a pie filling, and cookies that are thin and crispy like a potato chip from Hannah Max.

Savory snacks. One of the biggest trends in snack foods is reinventing the basics with new flavors. Spicy cherry pistachio or tomato basil pretzels, farmers market herb, and chipotle caramel popcorn are just some of the innovative flavors available by companies like Pretzel Perfection and 479 Degrees popcorn.

Chocolate. Gourmet chocolates were everywhere you turned at the food show. There were unique varieties like milk chocolate with red velvet cake and butter cream from Alcove Chocolate, and Taza chocolate bars made with crispy brown rice and flavors like hazelnut crunch, coconut crunch, and peanut crunch were seen as well.

Healthy and organic. There was a huge trend towards healthy ingredients and organic products. Snacks like flavored apple chips (sea salt caramel), flavored edamame snacks (jalapeño, onion, and chive), flavored nuts for salads and snacking (chipotle almonds, cardamom cashews), pouches of dried fruit, and squeezable flavored apple sauces were just some of the healthy snacks on display. Snacks made from kale, chickpeas, and quinoa are also on trend.

Sauces and dips. Readymade sauces for easy cooking were all over the food show. Bruschetta and pasta sauces from Viva Italia and simmer sauces that come in pouches with flavors like thai red curry and harissa from Saffron Road were featured. Ready-to-go dips like roasted garlic and red pepper or spinach and artichoke are great for entertaining from Crockpot Warm Dips.

Some other popular products were amazing artisan sea salts, some from the Dead Sea, infused with flavors or smoked. Frozen treats like ice creams, Greek frozen yogurt, and rich, creamy gelato are always a hit. DIY kits to make your own cheese, butter, and even beer were new to the market. v

Fresh Strawberry Pie

With Cookie Crust


1½ cups finely crushed vanilla wafers or shortbread cookies

2 Tbsp. + â…” cup sugar, divided

1½ tsp. vanilla extract, divided

5 Tbsp. unsalted butter substitute, melted

8 cups small hulled strawberries, divided

2 Tbsp. water

2 Tbsp. cornstarch

1 Tbsp. lemon juice

whipped cream, optional


Preheat oven to 350°F. Combine wafer or cookie crumbs, sugar, ½ teaspoon vanilla, and melted butter. Press mixture into a 9” pie dish and bake for 10 minutes until set and beginning to brown. Let cool.

Slice 2 cups strawberries. Combine with 2 tablespoons water in a saucepan and bring to a boil.

Cook 2 minutes while mashing strawberries with a fork. Remove from heat and push strawberry mixture through a fine mesh sieve into a measuring cup. Discard remaining solids. Add water to make 1 cup of strawberry sauce.

Combine sugar and cornstarch in saucepan. Gradually whisk in strawberry sauce and lemon juice. Cook over medium heat until thickened. Remove from heat and stir in remaining vanilla. Place a third of remaining berries in pie shell and drizzle with a third of the strawberry sauce. Repeat with the next third, and then again with the remaining berries and sauce. Chill for 2 hours until set. Serve with whipped cream.

Want to learn how to cook delicious gourmet meals right in your own kitchen? Take one-on-one cooking lessons or give a gift to an aspiring cook that you know. For more information, contact Take Home Chef personal chef services by calling 516-508-3663, writing to elke@TakeHomeChef.net, or visiting www.TakeHomeChef.net.

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