A Glatt of Great Food at the Fancy Food Show

Imagine aisles and aisles of the world’s best chocolate, cupcakes, gelato, caramels, cheese, olive oils, salsa, and oh so much more.  You enter a room and are invited to taste to your heart’s content.  This is not a dream. This is the reality of The Summer Fancy Foods show, sponsored by the National Association for the Specialty Food Trade, featuring 2,250 exhibitors tempting show attendees with tastes of approximately 180,000 different  products.  The show is not open to the public, which makes me particularly grateful to have the opportunity to be here.  In fact, grateful is an understatement.  I am ecstatic.

As an attendee, my mission is to visit as many booths as humanly possible in the five hours I have dedicated to being at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center.  I know that pacing myself is mandatory.  This is easier said than done.

My first taste is at Silver Spring’s own Moorenko’s Ice Cream.  Fresh ginger ice cream at 10:30 am?  Yes, indeed.

I am thrilled to see a booth from Mouth Party.  I sampled their caramels during a food tour in Baltimore and fell madly in love.  The company representatives delight me to no end by filling a small bag of caramels for me. This is the first of many forms of salted caramel I will experience throughout the day.  It will remain my favorite.

I spend the next hour focused on snack foods of all types: chips, pretzels, popcorn, peanuts.  Once again I am drawn to a local vendor, Fisher’s Popcorn from Ocean City, Maryland.  I tell the company rep that my very first food crush is on Fisher’s Popcorn.  He smiles and hands me a bag of caramel popcorn. This is more fun than I could have possibly imagined!

One thing that surprises me about the show is the number of booths that display Kosher certification with their products.  According to a post on The Daily Suitcase, last year a record 446 new Kosher products were introduced at this show.  I don’t know the number for this year, but since I only use glatt Kosher certified products in my home, I am delighted to see the variety of gourmet  items that I didn’t even know existed.  I spend a good deal of time talking to vendors representing high-end Kosher dips, spreads, sauces, and baked goods.  Many of them tell me that their products are sold at Whole Foods Market, and I’ve seen some of them in the local KosherMart where I buy groceries on a regular basis.

My favorite Kosher products include:

Artisan bagels from Davidovich Bakery, perfectly chewy on the outside, soft on the inside. I wonder how well these will do if I have them shipped?  I must investigate.

South Asian marinade and fig barbecue sauce from Oxygen Imports are delicious on crackers.  I imagine how much they would enhance grilled chicken or vegetables.  In fact this booth has an overwhelming variety of sauces and marinades. I recently purchased some of their olive oil at HomeGoods, and am now on high alert to locate more of these products.

There are endless varieties of Kosher packaged chips, cookies, candies, and more.  I particularly like Seth Greenberg’s Authentic New York Brownie Crunch.

However, my absolute favorite booth features Kosher beef jerky from Tomer Kosher Foods, mostly because the display is pretty phenomenal.


The clock is ticking.  At some  point I have to leave to prepare Father’s Day dinner (more food, yay). There is still another floor to conquer.  I feel a slight sense of panic.  My husband has now joined me at the show and he’s bound to slow me down.  We make our way upstairs where there is cheese as far as the eye can see.  Lots and lots of beautiful cheese.

After five hours, my feet are unable to take me much further. To say that I am on sensory overload is an understatement.  But I must persevere to the finish line.  Finally I am satisfied.  I have not missed a single row, although I have only taken in a fraction of what there is to see.

We are heading out when I make the mistake of checking Twitter, where I learn about  Jeni’s Splendid Ice Creams.   It sounds like I’ve missed something important.  I relay this news to my husband, who informs me  that their booth is only a couple of aisles back.  Can I make it there?  The Twitter praise is just enough to get my adrenaline pumping again.  Jeni’s is indeed splendid, particularly the goat cheese ice cream with red cherries.  I also taste the lemon frozen yogurt, which later wins a well-deserved sofi™ Award  for outstanding food and beverage in the category of best dessert or dessert topping.

The Summer Fancy Foods Show has left an indelible mark on me.  I’ve discovered wonderful new sources of Kosher food, met fascinating purveyors of specialty products from around the US and abroad, and above all indulged myself beyond any previous forays into gluttony.  And really, what can be better than that?


 National Association for the Specialty Food Trade, 58th Summer Fancy Food Show




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