The 2009 Fancy Food Show has left Manhattan and what a show it was. Hundreds of exhibitors representing every possible gourmet food vendor, manufacturer, importer and distributor were strutting their stuff. It was like heaven!
I was happy to see a perennial favorite, ginger, featured in so many ways.The number of artisinal chocolate vendors was outrageous. Of course, the amount of artisinal chocolate I sampled was equally outrageous. The olive oils coming out of O Olive Oil in San Rafael, California were divine. I tasted several organic citrus-crushed olive oils including lemon, blood orange, and clementine. Quick. Get some.
I was especially interested in the naturals/organics segment and spoke with several exhibitors about their choice of sweeteners. Most are using white sugar, agave nectar, and sorghum. I struggle a bit with sweeteners, wanting to avoid white sugar due to its high glycemic index, although honestly, nothing produces the texture and taste of white sugar. There, I said it. Sure, there are maple crystals. But if you use a large amount, everything tastes like, well, maple. Agave nectar and sorghum syrup, although billed as “natural”, are highly refined, although their glycemic indexes are lower. Again, there can be texture issues with substitutes. Reading the ingredients labels on all of these fancy foods was also a reminder of the fact that “gluten-free,” ”low-fat,” and “vegetarian” do not necessarily mean healthy. Keep reading those labels. Sugar, sugar everywhere…
I was excited to see (and sample!) the Black Garlic. Aged while controlling temperature and humidity, the resulting cloves are black as night, naturally sweet, mild, and gooey. Weird! Delicious! I am going to try the recipe for Black Garlic with Scallops…what are you going to try this week?