Every year since 1955, the Summer Fancy Food Show has rolled into New York during the last week of June. More than 2,000 food producers, from artisanal to ultra-commercial, converge upon the Javits Center to show off their wares, talk shop, and share samples with the food professionals in attendance.
TLK was on the scene this year, scouting out Latin-inspired and sourced products, and testing everything from chips and salsa to chipotle mustard. Here are some of our favorite products spotted (and tasted!) at the show, each of which makes for a great summer snack or condiment. Put them together for an epic Latin-flavored picnic. Here's what to what to slice up, snack on, and sprinkle on your fave summer dishes.
Marketed as “the first-ever half tortilla chip, half potato chip,” RW García's “Tortatos” are made with white, non-GMO certified organic stone-ground corn and red potatoes. They're as thick and crunchy as a regular tortilla chip, perfect for dipping in your homemade salsa or guacamole, but lack the full count of fat grams typical of regular potato chips (25% less, according to the makers).
Current flavors on the market are original, salt and pepper, salt and vinegar, and barbeque. We tasted all four and couldn't choose a favorite; they were all that good.
We tried this Spanish-style ready-to-use chorizo (right) sliced straight out of the package with crusty bread brushed with the slightest bit of olive oil. Served this way, they're the perfect savory picnic snack, an entrada before the main course or part of a picadera smorgasbord for grazing. We also added the chorizo, which comes in mild and spicy varieties, to an arroz con pollo and loved the result. Imperial's chorizos were heads above Goya's harder, smaller chorizos sold in your local supermarket.
Made by Venezuelan biomedical engineer and tech-preneur turned chef, Michael Antonorsi, Chuao's milk and dark chocolate bars are made of ethically sourced cacao from his home country. The flavor combinations are often surprising, pairing intriguing counterpoints of sweet and savory.
We sampled several (just to make sure they were all as tasty as the first one, you know), including Pretzel Toffee Twirl and Oh My S'mores!, but weeks after the show, we're still jonesing for the chocolates that are directly inspired by Latin flavors, including the Spicy Maya (dark chocolate with cinnamon, pasilla chile, and cayenne) and the Firecracker (dark chocolate with sea salt, chipotle, and popping candy crackle).
Next, must-try drinks, condiments, and garnishes...