For the last few days here in New York City, I was attending the Fancy Food Show, one of my absolute favorite trade shows of the year.
What makes this show different from many of the others that I attend is the number of international exhibitors. This gives me the rare opportunity to discover organic products from abroad that I otherwise would not get to see. And two of my picks below are produced from countries outside of the U.S.
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Here are my Top 5 Organic Food Products from Fancy Food Show 2017.
HAVEN’S KITCHEN KALE WALNUT PESTO
Nearly every time I go to the refrigerated section of the supermarket, I go looking for an organic pesto sauce, knowing full well that I probably won’t find one. For some inexplicable reason, they barely exist.
So, when I saw that Haven’s Kitchen had introduced a kale walnut pesto – and an amazing one at that – I was beyond thrilled. Not only is it flavored perfectly and has great texture, but this product fills a massive void in the market.
Alison Cayne, owner of New York City’s Haven’s Kitchen and author of The Haven’s Kitchen Cooking School, has also rolled out a few other fantastic sauces, including an herby chimichurri and a red pepper romesco.
All of the ingredients are organic and Non-GMO, and organic certification will be coming soon. The product is currently available at Haven’s Kitchen and will soon be rolled out at Gourmet Garage in NYC and other retailers after that.
This kale walnut pesto has massive potential.
KOURELLAS GRILL & EAT APPETIZER CHEESE
Hands down, this Kourellas cheese was the single best tasting organic product at the entire show, and I am not even a big dairy person. I was literally shaking my head in disbelief over how good it was.
Kourellas is Greece’s first organic dairy and has been in existence since 1996, well before organic standards in Europe had been formalized.
This semi-hard cheese, made from cow, sheep and goat’s milk, is specifically for grilling and keeps its shape when heated. The combination of all three cheeses is responsible for its unique flavor.
Kourellas is sold throughout Europe, and here in the U.S., it is sold nationally at Whole Foods.
While I have yet to confirm this, I have no doubt that this was handpicked by Cathy Strange, the global cheese buyer at Whole Foods, who is considered one of the foremost authorities in the world on cheese.
She picked an absolute winner with this one.
OLIVIE DESERT OLIVE TREE PEARLS
Olivie has been producing olive oil in Morocco for 125 years and may very well change the way you look at this category.
The company claims that a teaspoon of its desert olive tree pearls contains the same quantity of the antioxidant hydroxytyrosol as 10 liters (2.6 gallons) of olive oil. (I have been told that lab results are expected to be posted on its website within the next week, but lab results about how its olive oil has 30x more polyphenols than competitive olive oils are posted here.)
Hydroxytyrosol is the key anti-inflammatory compound in olives, and studies have shown that it has serious benefits for cardiovascular health and arthritis.
It may be very hard to wrap your head around these claims but when you learn how this product is produced, it definitely seems plausible.
The company is taking olive leaves, whole olives and olive tree bark, mixing them all together, and pressing it through a machine. What comes out are the pearls, shown above in the white and red tray, and they are preserved in olive oil made from the same olives. The taste of the pearls is somewhat earthy and a little strong but did not have an offensive taste.
Why is Olivie’s olive tree so potent versus other olive trees?
The company says that the harsh conditions in the Moroccan desert, lack of water and rocky soil all force the trees to operate in a very stressful condition. As such, a panic phenomenon occurs in the trees and the instinct of survival kicks in, which results in much greater production of polyphenols (antioxidants).
The U.S. distributor of Olivie is just starting to break into the American market and said that its products are not yet available in stores throughout the country. However, these pearls will be available on its website for consumers by Friday for approximately $50.
I spent an inordinate amount of time at the company’s booth during Fancy Food learning about this fascinating product, and it is unlike anything I have ever seen in the organic olive oil space. And having tried my fair share of these ultra-healthy products, I get the sense that when these pearls are in my mouth, they are truly something special.
THE REPUBLIC OF TEA TURMERIC SINGLE SIPS
Behind the scenes to my friends in the industry, I have been banging the drums about turmeric powder and how this is going to be a breakout product. I am so convinced that it will take off that I named it one of my Top 5 Organic Food Trends of 2017.
My premise was based on a few things. Turmeric is an anti-inflammatory powerhouse, but market use of this ingredient is still relatively low.
Also, why is it that green powder is everywhere but comparatively speaking, turmeric powder is almost nowhere? This makes no sense to me and has to change.
The Republic of Tea, one of the best tea companies in the organic industry, seemed to have a similar conviction and just rolled out single packets of turmeric powder.
These single sips are great to take with you on the-go, and the company also added other ingredients to the packet such as ginger, cinnamon and black pepper, which helps to maximize absorption.
At Fancy Food each day, I filled my water bottles with this powder and can see myself using it all of the time.
The company said that its turmeric single sips will ship on August 1st and will be available at natural and specialty retailers nationwide.
TRIMONA GRASS-FED RASPBERRY COCONUT YOGURT
As Trimona points out on its website, have you ever wondered why the bacteria used to make yogurt is called Lactobacillus bulgaricus?
In 1905, a Bulgarian scientist, Dr. Stamen Grigorov, discovered Lactobacillus bulgaricus, the bacteria essential to the yogurt fermentation process. Soon thereafter, Dr. Ilya Mechnikov showed that fermented milk was responsible for the hardiness of the Bulgarian people, won a Nobel Prize for his work, and spent his days touting Bulgarian yogurt as a medicine throughout Europe.
Thanks to Trimona, we can now consume Bulgarian yogurt ourselves, but the company has done something very interesting with this product. Aside from adding raspberry, which isn’t novel, it has added coconut cream, which is novel.
Normally, you either have a full-on dairy yogurt, or you have a plant-based yogurt, such as coconut or cashew. Combining coconut cream to the dairy gave it a rich and creamy texture, making it a unique offering in the ever-evolving and competitive yogurt space.
Currently, the company’s raspberry coconut yogurt, which is grass-fed and Non-GMO Project verified, is available at Whole Foods, Wegmans and specialty stores, all in the northeast.
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