Story and photos by Manos Angelakis
The 2018 Summer Fancy Food Show
It took place at the Jacob Javits the first days of July.
As far as I could discern, this was the largest show ever, with thousands of exhibitors jamming all three levels of the exhibition center. There were many national pavilions from exporting countries, mostly from countries around the Mediterranean exhibiting olive oils, cheeses, canned and pickled vegetables, honey, pasta, spices and other comestibles. There were also pavilions from South America, Asia and other parts of the world, all vying for the buyer’s attention with eclectic presentations, product sampling and costumes and any other way that would differentiate them from the rest of the crowd. A number of exhibitors had a presence not only at booths in the national pavilions but also at their importer’s booths and even at individual locations – i.e. three booths manned by national sales individuals and personnel from their US public relations and marketing agencies.
Of interest to me, were extra virgin olive oils, cheeses, smoked or otherwise preserved meats, caviar and a few other products. For a month prior to the show, I had been bombarded with thousands of emails with invitations to visit booths and other public relations material. At the end, this avalanche of emails had become so pervasive and constant that I had to set a filter to send all those Fancy Food messages to the spam file for immediate deletion. I ended up visiting over 200 booths over the show’s days.
The show experience was very valuable: for example I found three new EVOO producers whose product I would whole heartedly recommend and an old favorite with 2 new products that I thought were exceptional
First the new producers:
Nudo Olio Nuovo, an Italian cold pressed extra virgin olive oil that is perfect for salads. The offices of the company are in the United Kingdom, but the groves are all in Italy. The groves are organically cultivated in Sicily, Liguria and Le Marche and the sample I received is winter new oil, pressed immediately after picking and tinned unfiltered. Great taste, smooth, highly recommended for dipping fresh bread or drizzling over dishes.
Next, Ólivias, from Andraos Trading in Lebanon. It is also a salad grade oil from unripe (green) olives, hand harvested, cold pressed and bottled unfiltered. Olive trees have been cultivated in Lebanon since the time of the Phoenicians and olives and their oil provide a great deal of antioxidants, one of the mechanisms in the Mediterranean diet for dealing with inflammation, offering powerful health advantages.
If you thought that Chile’s Casablanca Valley produces only great wines, here is another product, extra virgin olive oil from handpicked olives, which should be on any gourmet’s radar. Três Pontas, has sustainable farming groves that produce oil from a blend of 5 olive varieties: Arbequina, Arbosana, Frantoio, Leccino and Coratina. The olives are grown in a cool climate influenced by the Pacific Ocean, which allows slower ripening, resulting in a smoother oil texture and better “more olivy” taste.
Finally from Oleificio Zucchi – we mentioned them in last year’s show roundup as well, for their tasty oil blends -- two new products, one 100% Italian and the other a blend of Mediterranean olive oils.
The Zucchi SOSTENIBILE 100% Italian extra virgin olive oil is the first oil to be produced by a completely traceable, certified sustainable supply chain. It is “value from the field to the table” protecting the environment while producing a flavorful and healthy product.
The Zucchi SUSTAINABLE extra virgin olive oil from European Union origins (a blend of oils from Italy, Greece and Spain) is also produced by a completely traceable, certified sustainable supply chain. It is protecting the environment while producing more intense flavor.
Zucchi’s EVOOs are available at Fairway Markets in New York and New Jersey, Shaw’s and Star Markets in Eastern New England, independent grocers in the Northeast and H-E-B supermarkets in Texas.
© July 2018 LuxuryWeb Magazine. All rights reserved.