A prosciutto that plays soccer, a Szechwan pepper who's a karate master, and a chocolate lollipop that bears a striking resemblance to Mr. Hanky. These are but a few of the colorful characters inhabiting the Javits Center during the past few days. It's the 52nd Annual Fancy Food Show, when producers from around the world converge to hawk their goods to buyers. Not everything is gimcrackery though. Some of the next big trends in food can be found here. Here's a rundown of the best and the worst:
Most likely to succeed:
1. Halloumi: Promoters from Cyprus (aka Cypriots) served up several different kinds of this cheese usually made from goat and sheep milk that exhibited a surprising range of flavors from sweet to tangy. This cheese has a bright future because it's low in fat, is not as salty as feta, and is firm enough to grill or pan fry like tofu.
2. Buffalo Mozzarella Pearls or “perline”: These adorable nuggets of fresh milk cheese have a delicate flavor and would work well as a garnish to any number of dishes.
3. Moscatel Dried Grapes: An Australian booth presented these still on the stem as an accompaniment to a cheese platter. They present a look of majestic decay and deliver a powerful taste, like the most flavorful raisin you've ever had.
4. Ginger Turkish Delight: From The Ginger People, this candy melts in your mouth and is the perfect palate cleanser.
5. Walker's White Chocolate and Raspberry Shortbread Cookies: Dried raspberry retains a real potency that perfumes the whole cookie.
6. Peanut Butter & Co. The Heat Is On: This peanut butter is spiced with cayenne and other chiles, making it a great base for sauces as well as an unusual spread for crudites.
7. Roland Pistachio Oil: so good maybe best rubbed on the skin.
8. Bazzini Wasabi Peanuts: tastier than the peas.
9. Gigondes Bean Spread: hummus with guts.
10. Sardinian Honey Grappa: smooth and floral.
1. Budweiser Wing Dipping Sauce: Isn't it enough if you drink the stuff with the wings?
2. Printable Chocolate: You can get somebody's photo image printed onto a chocolate lollipop.
3. Key Lime Cheeseball Mix: Amy Sedaris couldn't even cook up this mess.
4. Canned Haggis: The classic disgusting Scottish national dish, made even worse.
5. Nutty Korn: candy corn and peanuts in a can.
6. Shock: hyper-caffeinated coffee.
7. MetroMint: mint-flavored water, like what you spit out at the dentist's.
8. FlavorMagic seasoning films. Endorsed by David Burke.
9. Jelly Belly Sport Beans: like Gatorade in jelly bean form.
10. Truffle-Pops: Fine chocolate truffles on a stick.