Wow! Another year of new kosher food, lots of tasting, so many special guests and a lot of fun. GKC loved meeting up with old friends from Royal Wines (see the post on the Pacifica Meritage, so good!), Osem, and Jack’s Gourmet. While still meeting new friends from new companies that wow our taste buds enough to mention.
So what was newsworthy or blog worthy this year? First, Facon, by Jack’s Gourmet, was one of the highlights of the show. Many companies have tried to replicate the taste and texture of bacon but have failed in some way. Facon,”bacon-like” meat is a big winner! Facon cooks up crispy and crunchy, just like real bacon and tastes great and even has that bacon-cooking aroma. The product opens a whole new world to the kosher consumer. I am already imagining it as a great soup starter, crumbled on mashed potatoes, or wrapped around a hearty meatloaf. No surprise, Facon and Jack’s Gourmet’s Italian Style Salami were Kosherfest product winners.
Non-dairy desserts have come a long way with so many options but more are on the way and these are going to cure your “fear of fleishig”. I tasted just a few sorbet flavors from Gelato Petrini; chocolate peanut butter, strawberry, cookies and cream, and peach ginger and was so impressed. Gelato Petrini, all pareve sorbets (they have a dairy line too) are rich, delicious, smooth and well worth serving to company. Available in stores soon. Don’t forget to request lots of flavors at your local market because you don’t want to miss out on all their creative genius.
Kosherfest was studded with companies addressing the gluten free needs of so many consumers. GKC recommends Finchi’s desserts (she started as a Passover baker – yup all of her desserts are kosher for Passover, gluten free, nut-free, and dairy-free). Delicious chocolate desserts like mousse, torte, brownie fudge. My Dad’s Cookies came out with some additional gluten-free cookies including a “Milano” like treat that looks and taste pretty close to the original by Pepperidge Farms.
GKC friends at Osem have some great Passover and everyday products. Congratulations on their big win at Kosherfest “best new rice or grain product” for Couscous with rice, roasted garlic, and sundried tomatoes. For Passover, I love the soft keep fresh bag that comes in every 5 lb. set of matzos. And the mix for Passover rolls will help all those fussy kids who live on air all Pesach. Bread-like rolls that are kosher for Passover, moist and tasty.
You asked for it, you got it…Both Norman’s and Mehadrin have Cholov Yisroel Greek yogurt coming soon to markets. And two new just add water challah mixes. My best of the show and great pantry item is called Voila’ Hallah, by Tribes a Dozen. I tried both the whole wheat and the spelt mixes with great success. Terrific flavor, so easy and mess free.
Snacking is an important part of Kosherfest. The super winners for me? Sweet Tammy’s cookies and challahs, especially the snickerdoodles. These cookies are a perfect combination of soft, sweet and a little crunchy. In very generous sizes and cute packaging you should keep an eye out for them. Brownie Brittle has been a big hit here on the East coast. A rustic snack of rich brownie taste with a crisp cookie crunch. It’s like brownie meets brittle and the only problem is that I can eat the whole bag because it’s such an addictive snack. They have new flavors too, but try any of them, they are all terrific.
Manischewitz is so trendy too, with great new products like red velvet macaroons, frozen macaroon dough for delicious homemade macaroons out of your own oven without the work.
Lastly, well, hardly lastly because I could tell you more about the Golan Beer, or the super products from Pereg (do they make the best spices or what? Wait until you taste their Passover couscous, almost fooled me), yes lastly I wanted to tell you about a terrific new company that I hope we see in National markets soon. Woops, an Israeli company that makes frozen Belgium waffles, super chunky extra large cookies and some really moist and rich molten cakes was a show fav for me. I loved the waffles and apparently I’m in good company because Max Brenner Chocolates (another chocoholic and talented Israeli) carries their waffles, cookies and more in his chocolate bars
Now, I must get on my treadmill or close my mouth for a bit, well at least until I get home and munch on some of my favorite Kosherfest take home treats.