Massive charcuterie boards, magnificent displays of pastries, an array of the finest wines and enough blintz samples to fill up Madison Square Garden.
Such was the scene this week as the world’s largest kosher-certified products trade show, KosherFest, arrived at the Meadowlands Exposition Center in Secaucus, NJ.
Hundreds of the companies in attendance had the chance to introduce their newest products to kosher consumers around the world. We’d love to provide detail on every product we encountered but for now please enjoy a few of the gems we unearthed over the past couple of days–all OU Kosher certified:
One of our earliest memories of a great Sunday afternoon lunch was a Macabee French bread pizza. For those of us who veer towards the nostalgic side, get excited as this long-absent classic from the Macabee Foods arsenal has returned in all its glory. Made with a classic, and authentic French baguette, this quick meal option is a hit with all who encounter it.
Learn more: macabeefoods.com
A Twist on the Classic
While we’re on the subject of classics, don’t you love when a company tries a new and exciting take on something tried and true?
Meal Mart emerged with just such an idea when they decided to jazz up their classic kishka with pastrami. you read that right…pastrami stuffed kishka…need we say more? Yes? OK, we’ll just tell you this – make sure your next cholent contains a chunk of this – you won’t regret it.
The Lighter (But no Less Tasty) Side of Kosherfest
Much like the food world in general, trends in the kosher marketplace have increasingly moved towards an emphasis on healthier foods (the aforementioned kishke notwithstanding), catering to people with certain dietary restrictions or those suffering from food allergies.
One great new product we discovered is Avaca’Do, a delicious plant-based chocolate pudding made with fresh avocados. It’s vegan and dairy, gluten and nut free. It also has the befit of being heart healthy, with no cholesterol and no additives or preservatives. The fact that it’s delicious doesn’t hurt either. Learn more at idoavocado.com.
Another great healthy snack we came across is b’cuz, which are small granola bites. There are the perfect on-the-go snack, as they are sold in a resealable pouch. They are gluten free and a great source of protein – current flavors are oats ‘n peanut, cherry pistachio and strawberry-mallow. We sampled the strawberry-mallow flavor. And then we sampled a bit more. And then a bit more after that. (see where we’re going with this?)
Sticking in the healthy snack realm, we also discovered the amazingly fresh-tasting chips from Root Valley Farms. Why were they so fresh-tasting? Root Valley’s chips go from farm to bag in under 24 hours. All of their produce is sourced within 10 miles of their production facility. That dedication to freshness shines through in their chips made from beets, taro, sweet potato and more! Learn more at rootvalleyfarms.com.
For a different kind of chip we stopped by our friends at Farm Ridge Foods who tested our spicy tolerance with their pick chip offerings. Their motto is “Fresh, crisp and crunchy” and once you try on of their pickles it doesn’t take long to realize why. (Be careful with the atomic spicy – wow!) Learn more.
After that heat it was great to enjoy a cool refreshing drink from Cream-o-Land. While best known for their milk, that might change when their newest products–fruit smoothies–hit store shelves (likely sometime in the next two weeks). A nice benefit to these smoothies is that they are produced in Israel using Israeli produce. With seven flavors, including orange-carrot and a berry mix, this no added sugar, all-natural option is a great quality and tasty product. Learn more.
What About the Chocolate?
Stepping away from healthy trends for a bit, one of the most talked-about products at the show came from Coco Jolie, a chocolatier based in Englewood, NJ, whose show-stopping chocolates in an array of bright colors are both visually pleasing and out of this world taste wise.
Making beautiful chocolates was not enough and one of Coco Jolie’s newest items is called a cocoa bomb. The cocoa bomb is a bonbon filled with hot cocoa mix. Simply heat up some milk and drop in the bomb – then watch as the chocolate shell melts, releasing the cocoa mix and providing you with a hot, delicious drink. Learn more and shop online.
A Category of Its Own: Buzz Pop Cocktails
A product that was just as fun, and just as buzz worthy is called, quite appropriately, BuzzPop Cocktails! Described by the company as the world’s first all-natural adult push pop, it’s a fine sorbet, with added alcohol, so please keep this one away from the kids. It’s a unique product to the kosher marketplace and one that is sure to please palates, especially when the need for a cool treat arises. Oh and did we mention that Buzz Pop Cocktails are vegan, gluten free, fat free and contains no artificial ingredients? Learn more.
Stay tuned next week for more Kosherfest 2019 standouts!