Life by Chocolate

Chocolate, white, milk, dark, in all its forms forms life. Chocolate truffles, caramels, and other confections are at the core of enjoyment. This is life by chocolate because death by chocolate is the wrong attitude.

Sunday, July 7, 2013

Fancy Food Show Eatathon! Our trip to Manhattan and the fun we had

Kim and I decided to go to the Fancy Food Show to see what the trends are. To sum up the trends, GF (Gluten Free) Food is in. Organic is waning. The last time we went to the Fancy Food Show, they had an organic pavilion. No longer. The only pavilion that was in evidence was the cheese pavilion. There was a What's Hot section but that was more of a Fancy Food Show thing than an actual trend. Who knows, perhaps they're good predictors.

The next hot trend was olive oil. Olive oil is the new wine. Or rather I should say, olive oil is the new chocolate because the last time we went to the show, chocolate was the new wine. There were not only single varietal olive oils but also single origin oils. I think I even saw single orchard oils but don't hold me to that. And speaking of chocolate, there were more retail and wholesale chocolate than ever before. Innovation was very evident. We even saw goats milk caramels, not enrobed.

When Kim and I arrived on Sunday, we checked into the Essex House, now taken over my J.W. Marriott. Sigh! At least we got Marriott points for our stay. The room was large and very nice.

Where do I start? How about we start at the beginning: The Train Station waiting for the train.

We checked in to our nice hotel room at the Essex House, now the Marriott.

Then a funny thing happened. We started talking to one of the security guards and he started talking about all the changes J.W. Marriott himself was making to the hotel. He also mentioned all the money Marriott was spending. The guard then took us on the tour of the new VIP lounges. They looked nice. We'll see once they're done if they come up to the quirky fun of the old Essex House.

After checking in we took a taxi to the Fancy Food Show and ate our way across the Javits Center. 6 1/2 or 7 hours of eating took its toll. That's a lot of eating. And it wasn't in any logical order. We did not progress from starter to main course to dessert. No! Nothing was that systematic. Even though we were systematic in our browsing of the show, what we sampled jump around. Chicken here, pork there, olive oil, a cookie, a tamal, some salsa, chips, chocolate(s), fish, Indian food, balsamic vinegar, chocolate, kefer, yogurt, olive oil.

The above were some of the more interesting products. Most were Gluten Free.

Olive Oil is the new chocolate and we all know that chocolate was the new wine. There were single varietal olive oils. Single origin, single varietal olive oils. There were even single orchard, single varietal, single origin olive oils. There were flavored olive oils. You name it; it was there.

I would say over the two days we went to the Fancy Food Show, we burnt out and didn't go the third day, I must have tasted around 100, maybe even 200, olive oils.

Gluten Free was the other trend. Everything was gluten free. Organic was absent. Vegan was too, regretfully.

Packaging was also very evident. And I must point out that there were more chocolate retailers and wholesalers than ever before.

I also took pictures of all the loot that was given to use over the course of the long weekend. (It actually started on Sunday and we left for home on Tuesday.) The first picture is Kim's Loot and the second is mine.

Kim's Loot.

My Loot.

My next post will be on all the restaurants we ate at, including Petrossian, Birraria, Ma PĂȘche, and SaraBeth's. You may now start being jealous.

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