The Daily Meal scouted the show in New York City looking for trends and exciting new products for the year
The Fancy Food Show brings together some of the world’s best food and beverage purveyors.
In its 40th year, the Specialty Food Association’s bi-annual Fancy Food Show brings together some of the world’s best food and beverage purveyors to showcase the latest and greatest from their respective businesses to an audience filled with buyers, restaurateurs, retailers, and media.
Thousands of vendors lined the halls of the Javits Center from June 28 through 30 for the chance to be noticed in such a large platform (there are over 2,400 exhibits, and 180,000 products showcased at the event).
The Daily Meal scouted the show looking out for trends and exciting new products for the year and we saw so many great things, so here’s some Honorable Mentions to look for at a store new you:
- B!bigo: line of Korean dumplings that can be microwaved.
- Brooklyn Cured: owner’s résumé includes making charcuterie at Gramercy Tavern and Marlow and Daughters, this retail operation has some great products available for sale.
- Fisher Popcorn: family run popcorn business for over 75 years, the popcorn dusted in ole bay seasoning is a new way to eat the popular snack.
- Kelvin Slush Co.: started out as a food truck, now their slush is in bottles and found in retailers and bars nationwide.
- Life Ice: first all-natural bite-sized flavored ice are perfect for any kind of drink.
- Red Clay Gourmet: small batch, handmade pimento cheese, the attention to detail pays off in the taste and texture.
- Simple Gum: the only natural gum in the market, flavors include ginger, coffee, maple, and mint.
- Soberdough Brew Bread: mother and son in Nashville making delicious bread made with a bottle of beer.
- Wtrmlnwtr: weird looking name, but refreshing way to stay hydrated — watermelon water that uses a whole watermelon in each bottle.
- Zia Valentina Waffleshot: a waffle cone cup rimed with chocolate created to serve coffee and other beverages.
Finally, here is a recap of the best we found:
It is hard to resist a good Thai sauce, and Adam and Apinya Ross have created a tasty line to try. Uninspired by what she found in most stores, Apinya would make her own sauce based on what she learned from her native Thai roots. This eventually turned into a business. These original sauces are delicious and come in seven flavors including pumpkin panang, banana curry, ghost vindaloo, and andaman. The brand has fun, whimsical packing: the octopus mascot holds the ingredients featured in the sauce in his tentacles on the front of each flavor. What’s new for 2015? Three new Thai Chili Sauces coming up next month: Andaman, Banana Curry, and Naga.
Bonnie Shershow is as cute as they come, not only with her petite stature, but with her line of jams, Bonnie’s Jams, that she has been making and selling for several years. Her inspiration for the line, was her childhood growing up in a house surrounded by acres of citrus trees. She helped her mom gather the fruit and make jams as a hobby. The business idea grew from there and became an instant hit with buyers and the national media, including Oprah magazine, The New York Times, and Food + Wine. New for 2015, two new versions of pepper jelly, peach pepper jelly and blackberry pepper jelly that join the existing red pepper jelly.
7 Hair Trends That Will Be Everywhere in 2015
Hint: The contouring technique is moving from your face to your coif.
You don't need to be clairvoyant to stay ahead of the hair envy curve. From coloring techniques to the cut-du-jour, let us be your guide to achieving a game-changing coif in 2015.
The biggest makeup trend of 2014 has its sights set on your entire head this year. Developed by the Charles Worthington Salon in the UK, hair contouring uses color based on face shape and skin tone to frame your best features. Now hop on it before the Kardashians do, because you know they're this close to making it their next thing.
Highlights have reached their painterly peak. The Babylights technique puts an emphasis on delicate, natural-looking highlights&mdashyou know, like the ones you had the summer before 2nd grade but haven't seen since. The sun-kissed look requires less maintenance and is a Victoria's Secret Angel favorite, if the 2014 show was any indication.
As the Year of the Lob proved, women are opting for shorter and shorter lengths. Enter: the pixie cut. Every girl who fell in love with their long bob in 2014 will be going for the next-level chop in 2015. Reservations about the extreme leap? Look no further than Scarlett Johansson's edgy yet sultry cropped 'do.
Over the past few months, perennial hair trailblazer Gwen Stefani has gotten pattern-happy with her coif. The singer's platinum blonde strands have been color-blocked and striped in razor-edge chunks in a range of fierce hues. Suffice it to say that we'll be bringing a stencil to our next hair color appointment.
Brown + blonde = bronde. Throw Beyoncé into the equation and you know it's a trend with a long shelf life. A healthier and more subdued iteration of the ombré, it's how every brunette will be brightening things up in the new year.
We've style-stalked Sienna Miller for ages, but it's her new 'do, with its perfect blend of blonde and rose, that's secured her beauty icon status. And she's not Hollywood's only pink lady: Kate Hudson and Jemima Kirke having tangled with the trend in recent months. This editor can personally attest to the fact that blondes everywhere are more tempted than ever to reach for the wash-out pink dye bottle.
You are probably tired of seeing the term millennial in headlines. We don't blame ya!
But as a marketer or operator, millennials are likely part of your target demographic. This segment of the population will soon have the greatest buying power, so its no wonder we are trying to predict their every move.
According to a recent report from "CNBC," there has been a shift in where consumers are choosing to spend their money.
"It stands out as a bit unusual how soft restaurant spending has been considering where we are in the business cycle," said Michelle Meyer, head of U.S. economics at BofA Merrill Lynch to "CNBC." "The consumer should be spending more on a broad range of items. But we've seen restaurants slowing more akin to a recessionary environment."
Part of the reason restaurant sales have been slowing down is because millennials are spending their money in other markets instead.
In 2015, the pace of restaurant spending by millennials went from 9% year over year to merely 1.6% this year.
Millennials are, however, choosing to dine at smaller local restaurants more than big chains. The average check price has also increased, meaning diners may be dining out less but they are spending more per meal.
"CNBC" points out that although millennials are spending more in other markets, grocery and retail sales have also seen a slowdown.
But it's important to mention, the research doesn't fully capture the data from online grocery sales.
Online retailers, like Amazon, just experienced a massive sales spike due to Black Friday and Cyber Monday. On Thanksgiving, Amazon accounted for 45% of online sales from the top 50 retailers and 55% on Black Friday.
According to Adobe Analytics, consumers spent a record $6.59 billion online on Cyber Monday.
While some online retailers raked in billions, restaurant sales still aren't corresponding with the strength of the economy.
"It's unusual to have this type of restaurant slowdown without having the economy slow down broadly," said Meyer. "I think it will be telling to observe what they spend on."
Meyer predicts that the holiday season will ultimately bring in more sales for restaurants and furniture retailers.
Beet hummus, yogurt sauce and turmeric in everything: 8 trends from the Fancy Food Show
The Fancy Food Show — probably the most enticingly named trade convention in America — is a biannual opportunity for makers of specialty foods to get their product in the hands of the retailers they hope will carry it in stores. Producers and importers of anything from caviar to gummi bears to energy bars set up booths in New York’s Javits Center and hawk their wares, trying to get passersby, who might work for QVC or Wegmans (it’s not open to the public), to try their all-natural lime-flavored seaweed snacks (which are always “The world’s best!”). You know how when you go to Costco on a weekend, there are free samples in every department? It’s 363,000 square feet of that. But fancy.
So maybe you get lost in this labyrinth of food and try to eat your way out as though you’re Hansel or Gretel, dropping crumbs of gluten-free caramel biscuits. Because items are not grouped by category, visitors might spend their day eating bites of lemon-marionberry ice cream alongside bison jerky, or rinsing some pumpkin pie pot de creme down with a sip of balsamic vinegar. It is the weirdest buffet you’ll ever line up for.
Still, when you see that many fancy foods, certain trends begin to emerge. Coconut is still in everything. Matcha continues to spread its green fairy dust into all of our edibles. But here are some other up-and-coming flavors and foods:
The Top 7 Food Trends of 2021
Speaking of cooking more at home, 47% of Americans surveyed in November by Instacart and Harris Poll report that they plan to continue cooking more themselves for the foreseeable future until the coronavirus pandemic calms down. Here’s what we anticipate shopping for and whipping up.
Hot on the heels of jarcuterie, mail-order charcuterie boards, and charcuterie chalets, Pinterest predicts that fancy boards with unique toppings will continue to rise in popularity throughout 2021. It’s no longer about just cured meats and cheeses: Bagel or pancake-topped breakfast charcuterie boards, colorful candy charcuterie boards, and taco bar-like Mexican charcuterie boards will be the casual family meal du jour.
𠇌harcuterie has taken off for many reasons, but one reason is because it’s highly visual. It’s all over social media and the internet, and Millennials in particular reported even more impact on their diets from influencers and social media over the course of the pandemic,” says Sarah Marion, Ph.D., a Seattle, Washington-based director of syndicated research for the market research company Murphy Research. k in January a little more than a quarter of Millennials rated influencers and social media networks very influential on their eating habits. As social lives moved online, this number went up, hitting a high point of 41% in September and is currently sitting around 37%.”
Prioritizing Plant-Based Eating
Instead of beef, pork, or poultry, even carnivorous Americans are picking more plant protein sources, including beans, legumes, whole grains, and plant-based meat substitutes. About 28% of people surveyed by IFIC say they’re eating more plant proteins than they did a year ago.
This was boosted by new research that proved replacing red meat with plant proteins may lower risk for heart disease. Referring to the increased availability and improvements in the market for plant-based beef and seafood replacements, Meyer says, “there’s innovation that is happening around this style of eating and it feeds into other important issues such as sustainability and overall health.”
Marion adds that “restricting animal products has become fairly common,” even among those who are more flexitarian than vegan dieters. “What&aposs fascinating is that the number of nutrition-engaged consumers restricting animal products seems to align with the ebbs and flows of the pandemic, hitting a high point in November with 32% of nutrition-engaged consumers avoiding meat, dairy, or animal products. This is a significant increase from January, when 25% were avoiding these things.”
Spicy Sauces, Seasonings, and Condiments
This pantry staple trend is hot. Literally. Instead of seasoning with plain ol’ salt and pepper or drizzling recipes with olive oil, expect to see snappy spices and flavor-boosted sauces, including hot honey, which has seen substantial growth in Yelp review mentions and Pinterest searches throughout 2020. Whole Foods Market and Instacart trend experts explain that this could be a way for home cooks to ensure their basics don&apost taste boring. More than one in five Americans (21%) polled by Instacart say they&aposve tried exotic spices and flavors to add more excitement to their homemade meals. From piri piri sauce (aka peri-peri sauce, a style of Portuguese hot sauce made from peri-peri peppers) to za𠆚tar spice blend, this is not your typical American pantry.
Shopping for Mother Nature
With the economic impact of the pandemic so strong𠅊nd a desire to support our friends, neighbors, and the world at large during this transformational time—more Americans report they’re investing their dollars into brands that support their values. Upcycled products (foods that use neglected or underused parts of an ingredient to reduce food waste) and sustainable sourcing are rising priorities.
“There&aposs been an uptick in consumers buying environmentally-friendly food products, driven by millennials and Gen X,” Marion explains. 𠇏rom the beginning of 2020 to the end, approximately 50% more Millennial and Gen X consumers rated 𠆎nvironmentally-friendly’ among their top four food-purchasing criteria.”
Shopping with Diverse Populations
In light of the racial justice movement and other equality initiatives, supporting female- and BIPOC-owned businesses seems to be more of a consideration than ever before.
“People are now selectively choosing where they spend their money and who they choose to support. As we&aposve seen the collapse of small businesses, many people want to help small businesses get back on their feet so they choose a mom and pop shop over a big corporation to get the owners through this pandemic,” says Mee McCormick, the author of My Pinewood Kitchen and the chef and founder of Pinewood Kitchen & Mercantile in Nunnelly, Tennessee.
An Instacart survey found that 14% of Americans report they’ve sought out brands run or owned by women (including Yes Way Rosé, Noosa Yoghurt, and Simple Mills) and 14% have also prioritized shopping with BIPOC-run or owned brands this year (such as Partake Foods, Pipcorn, and Glory Foods).
This effervescent, fermented beverage has been taking over an increased amount of refrigerator aisle real estate at health food stores and supermarkets over the course of the past decade. Food brands are taking the gut-friendly drink to new levels of creativity and flavor with soda-like fizzy tonics and booze-infused kombucha.
𠇊s a microbiologist, I’m very excited about this trend. It speaks to peoples’ continued interest in fermented foods, the microbiome, and gut health,” says Megan Meyer, Ph.D., the director of science communications at the International Food Information Council (IFIC).
Hot Breakfasts, Even on Weekdays
As Americans spent more time at home throughout 2020, fewer of us were living on-the-fly. Meals, including weekday breakfasts that were previously rushed, became a mini occasion worth upgrading and lingering over. With a shorter or no commute, we’ve had the opportunity to upgrade from a granola bar and coffee on the go to a warmer, more substantial breakfast such as fully-loaded omelets, protein-packed pancake stacks, keto-friendly egg bites, and Instagrammable breakfast sandwiches.
“When it comes to meal planning, breakfast varies quite a bit by generation," says Marion. "Boomers and Gen Z have shown stable habits, while Gen X has been increasingly likely to plan breakfast. It&aposs feasible to assume that this trend is related to having more people at home on any given day." 𠇊s young adults have moved back in with their parents, Gen X households have grown, which may be leading to bigger and more planned breakfasts. Similarly, among Millennials, having children around the house all day would likewise prompt an increase in more planned breakfasts.” However, Marion predicts both of these trends will likely change dramatically next year as schools and universities open back up and grown children move out once again.
Few of us could have predicted, or would have asked for, the adventures 2020 had in store for us 12 months ago. Still, these tasty food trends for 2021 make us grateful for the lessons we learned along the way𠅊nd the delicious foods and drinks we can take with us into the new year.
Here're The 5 Food Tips For Children Pursuing School From Home:
1. Have a fresh fruit:
Diwekar, on her post, suggested consumption of atleast one fresh fruit everyday (like mangoes, bananas and more) either as a meal or along with some homemade food (nashta like poha, upma, idli, dosa etc). These fruits can be consumed as is or in form of beverages. She further stated that rich in vitamins and polyphenols, fruits aid digestion and boost the mood, reducing cravings for junk food.
2. Have legumes and rice for lunch:
Rujuta recommends dal, chawal and homemade chaas for a light and wholesome lunch. "Chana/ rajma/ chole/ moong/ matki or any local legume, soaked overnight and well-cooked the next day and served with rice," she wrote on her post. This meal is stated to be a perfect combination of pre and pro biotics, minerals and amino acids, which is easy to digest during these days with less or no physical activities.
3. Have a bowl of dahi, set with black raisins:
Diwekar suggests consumption of this healthy bowl anytime in the day is good in this season. Rich in vitamin B12 and iron, this healthy bowl helps to beat the heat and lethargy and improve hormonal health. Moreover, it promotes better appetite.
4. Early dinner by 7pm:
As per Diwekar, children who are studying from home must have an early and wholesome meal for dinner, which complete their nutritional profile. Some dinner ideas suggested by Diwekar are paneer paratha, poori sabzi, roti sabzi roll, ajwain paratha, jowar or nachni bhakri with aloo bhaji, veg pulao with raita and homemade papad. She also suggested fancy foods like homemade pizzas, pastas, pav bhaji etc one a week, "but not later than 7 pm".
5. For bedtime hunger pangs:
As per the post, a kid or teen may opt for haldi doodh, mango milkshake, gulkand milk, fresh mango or banana around bedtime, if hungry. This also helps in aiding good sleep.
Along with these food tips, Rujuta Diwekar also recommended to involve kids in planning and cooking the meals to keep them engaged and physically active.
20 of Our Best and Brightest Summer Appetizers
Celebrate the arrival of warm weather, longer days, and vacation time with these summer appetizer recipes. They're easy to make, full of fresh flavor, and are perfect for open-air dining. Take a peek at your local farmers' market to see what seasonal produce looks best. You'll probably find bright green zucchini, plump tomatoes, sweet and firm peaches, berries galore, and big ears of corn on the cob. Make good use of all those in-season fruits and vegetables and make these bright, tasty summertime appetizers.
Perhaps one of the most stunning summer appetizer recipes is Tomatoes with Lightly Whipped Cream, pictured here. All you need are high-quality heirloom tomatoes, fruity olive oil, flaky salt, fresh basil, and heavy cream. The tomatoes feature a dollop of unsweetened whipped cream as a garnish&mdashit's one of the simples yet most delicious summer bites you could put together.
Another one of our favorite ways to highlight fresh produce is with tartines. These open-faced sandwiches use thick slices of rustic bread as a bed for seasonal ingredients to be stacked upon. Our bright green Zucchini, Avocado, and Jalapeño Tartine combines crisp and creamy textures with mild and spicy flavors, and it's ready in just 25 minutes. Another option is our sweet riff on a Caprese salad. Instead of the usual tomato-mozzarella-basil combination, we piled tomatoes, peaches, buffalo mozzarella, and bresaola atop ciabatta bread.
No-Knead Tomato Focaccia showcases juicy tomatoes on top of the crowd-friendly bread. It's the perfect summer recipe to make over the course of a couple of busy days because it only requires 15 minutes of prep work, but it needs at least 12 hours to rise. Once the process is complete, the salted, savory dish is simply delicious. Enjoy this collection of summer appetizer recipes that you can make all season long.
10 trendy foods you’ll soon be seeing everywhere
Every year, thousands of food brands head to New York to show off their wares and entice buyers from grocery stores to stock their products. It’s a trade show called the Fancy Foods Show, and it’s one of the best places to catch trends before they hit grocery store shelves: New products make their debut here, and months later, they appear on the shelves of your local Whole Foods. (Also, when it comes to free samples, the place is like an all-you-can-eat buffet.) Trendy turmeric? We called it. Gochujang is the new Sriracha, and souping is the new juicing? Yeah, we knew that last year. Here are the flavors and products that are going to be big over the next year:
Ayurveda is the Indian practice of holistic medicine and an important part of it is diet. In Ayurvedic medicine, certain foods and herbs are eaten together to balance out a person’s health and to benefit digestion, immunity and more. While many Indian foods are Ayurvedic, many specialty brands are now expressly branding their products with the term. It goes along with the popularity of other functional or adaptogenic foods. A company called Dancing Elephant is producing cups of Kitchari, an Indian stew that boasts healing spices. Packaged for convenience, it comes in three flavors: butternut squash and kaffir lime, edamame and curry leaves, and spinach and mint. Atina Foods makes traditional Indian herbal jams, pickles and pastes, from “home recipes evolved from Indian Ayurvedic healing traditions.” Davidson’s Organics has introduced a line of Ayurvedic teas, each with a specific function: weight loss, sleep, digestion, decongestion and general detoxification. A company called Vegan Rob’s makes an “Ashwagandhabar,” an Ayurvedic energy bar that the company says reduces stress, anxiety and depression. Ashwagandha, “one of the most powerful herbs in Ayurvedic healing,” according to the Chopra Center, also appears in a Remedy Organics protein shake with almond milk, maca, cacao nibs and probiotics. And Bohana, a snack food company, makes bags of air-popped water lily seeds, “one of the most popular seeds in Ayurveda.” They’re similar to popcorn or puffed rice, and come in cheddar, spice or Himalayan pink salt flavor.
Canned fish salads:
I know that “canned fish salad” is not a very sexy phrase, but hear me out. This is not your water-packed StarKist: It’s a higher-quality fish with vegetables, herbs and spices, and if you bring a tin of it with a crusty roll, you’ll have a perfectly good meal. Sardines have been getting trendier, and the brand Season is on the bandwagon, offering a sardine salad kit in three flavors: lemon veggie, Mediterranean and “sweet & spicy.” The kits come with a spoon and crackers. A new company called Freshé has four flavors of tinned tuna salad: Sicilian caponata, Aztec insalada, Provence Nicoise and Thai sriracha, all packed full of veggies in an attractively designed can. Its fish salads are made in Portugal, which is where some of the best tinned seafood in the world originates.
Drinking vinegar gets spicy:
Maybe you haven’t yet realized that drinking vinegar is A Thing or even why drinking vinegar is A Thing. It’s okay, I’m here for you. Drinking a small daily quantity of straight-up apple cider vinegar became trendy in the past three years because foodie health blogs such as Goop promoted it as a detoxifying weight-loss cure-all. The science on that is pretty murky, but it created a new beverage category, and plenty of brands have jumped into the market. Plain apple cider vinegar is, for most people, unpleasant to drink — throat burn! — so many versions of the drink sweeten it with maple syrup or juice to make it more palatable — such as BluePrint Organic, which makes a blueberry hibiscus version of the drink, or Crafted, which has turned it into a sparkling fruit soda. But this year, several companies are taking a cue from a traditional folk recipe and leaning into the burn: The aptly named Fire Brew, based in Portland, Ore., has a line of “health tonics,” each designed to optimize a certain area of personal wellness, such as immunity or energy, and in flavors including beet, citrus and chai. Another brand, called Fire Cider, has an extra-spicy take on the drink that includes garlic, ginger, onions, horseradish, habanero pepper, turmeric and citrus, as well as some honey. Red Root & Co. calls its version Fire Tonic, and it’s made with honey and vinegar. A little goes a long way.
Ghee, or clarified butter, is another staple of Indian cooking, but it’s been having a moment this year — in part thanks to its purported health benefits, and also because the fat is promoted for adherents of the Paleo and Ketogenic diets. Plain ghee is very versatile, but at this year’s show, special flavored ghees were popping up everywhere. Farmtrue‘s ghee comes in the flavors garlic scape and vanilla maple chai, and the company also makes ghee-nut butters in chocolate chia, maple walnut and cashew coconut flavors. Another ghee company, 4th & Heart, makes its ghee in original, Himalayan salt, California garlic and Madagascar vanilla bean flavors, and has a line of chocolate ghee spreads in original, coffee guarana and passion fruit. Pure Indian Foods has both turmeric and garlic ghee, as well as a ghee that contains medium chain triglyceride oil that is intended to be stirred into coffee (it’s a Paleo thing).
Quinoa where you don’t expect it:
Quinoa! It’s everywhere now, not just in salads. It’s in your breakfast, your chocolate, your mac and cheese. You cannot escape quinoa. Do not resist. Eat the quinoa. Have it for breakfast with Melanie’s Medleys, a line of ready-to-eat morning grain bowls, with a chocolate-coconut-almond quinoa and farro variety — or try Prime Planet‘s instant quinoa cereal. The brand Tiny Hero, too, has three flavors of quinoa and oat breakfast bowls: blueberry, apple cinnamon, and maple brown sugar. That brand is also putting quinoa in our mac and cheese, er, excuse me, “maq and cheese.” Chuao Chocolatier is introducing Moon Bark, a line of outdoorsy, trail mix-inspired bars, including “Quinoa Berry Skies,” with crisp puffed quinoa, berries and sea salt. Quinoa pairs with agave and sesame in one of Jcoco‘s bars of “culinary inspired chocolates.” Unreal is selling crispy quinoa-filled versions of M&Ms and Reese’s peanut butter cups. The most blatant expression of this trend might be a product line called Undercover Quinoa, chocolate-covered quinoa snacks.
Moringa goes mainstream:
Mankind’s quest to discover new superfoods continues apace. Next up: moringa, an ancient plant that has long been used in Asia and Africa for its reputed health benefits. According to Healthline, it is rich in nutrients and antioxidants, and it may reduce inflammation. So it’s no surprise that it’s starting to pop up in products here. Kuli Kuli, started by a Peace Corps volunteer, sells powdered moringa smoothie mix, energy shots and moringa superfood bars, with a half-cup of greens in each bar. Stash is selling a new organic roasted moringa mint tea. And Brad’s Organic, another tea company, has it in its unadulterated flavor, as well as moringa with lemon and ginger. If you would rather crunch your moringa like cheese puffs, Vegan Rob’s makes snackable puffed moringa bites.
Cauliflower gets convenient:
Have you ever wanted to make something with cauliflower and thought, “Ugh, this vegetable is just far too much work?” Good news: Cooking with this brassica, which has been one of the trendier veggies for a few years now, has never been easier, thanks to a bunch of new convenience products that go beyond your basic cauliflower rice. Caulipower has a cauliflower-based baking mix, in regular and Paleo-friendly (the Paleo version uses almond flour instead of rice flour). Glean also makes cauliflower flour. Kitchen & Love sells cauliflower cups intended to be a quick convenience meal in three globally inspired flavors: Peruvian vegetable ceviche, Indian vegetable curry and Moroccan vegetable harissa. They can be eaten cold or warm. If you need more than an individual serving of cauliflower, Path of Life has cauliflower fried rice in the frozen aisle. A company called From the Ground Up has cauliflower-based replacements for all of your favorite junk food, such as pretzel sticks and Cheez-Its. And there’s cauliflower in chocolate ice cream — yes, ice cream — by Peekaboo, a company that hides veggies in every pint. Don’t worry, it tastes like chocolate ice cream.
Kombucha is great, but wouldn’t it be even better if it could get you drunk? Now, it can! The fermented tea drink has a tiny amount of alcohol in it, but some kombucha companies are upping the alcohol by volume (ABV). Wild Tonic’s Jun Kombucha is fermented until it reaches a 5.6 percent ABV, making it slightly boozier than beer, which averages 4.5 percent. The company says you still get the digestive health benefits of a nonalcoholic kombucha. It comes in several flavors: blueberry basil, tropical turmeric, raspberry goji rose, mango ginger and hoppy buzz. Another new beverage isn’t technically kombucha, but it’s going after the same health-conscious drinker. Willie’s Superbrew makes a fermented fruit drink with a 4.5 ABV. The company touts its superfoods ingredients — the two flavors are ginger and lemon, and pomegranate and acai — and it’s the kind of light, fruity drink that would be good next to a pool on a hot summer’s day.
Sometimes flavors go in or out of fashion for reasons that are hard to explain. Why was watermelon so big last year? Why is cucumber suddenly everywhere this year? I haven’t the faintest idea. It feels very ’90s, like Bath and Body Works cucumber melon lotion, and the ’90s are back in style. That is my very best guess. Anyway, you’ll be drinking a lot of cucumber soon, especially in sparkling beverages: Belvoir Fruit Farms has a cucumber-and-mint lemonade, and Found has a cucumber mint sparkling water. Natalie’s Orchid Island Juice Company is selling a cucumber jalapeño juice, and House of Broughton has a cucumber syrup. Bauman’s Best Botanicals has a cucumber-and-spice shrub, Health-Ade Kombucha has a new jalapeño-kiwi-cucumber kombucha, and Dry has cans of cucumber soda. Try ZuMora cucumber mint agua fresca, or GoLive probiotic water in cucumber melon. Pretend you are in a spa! That’s where people drink cucumber.
Weird & wonderful waters:
You’re still drinking coconut water? What is this, 2015? Birch water is so last year. Don’t even talk to me about aloe water. We obviously need new waters, so let’s dive right in: There’s Bee’s Water, a honey-sweetened water that is “full of natural energy” and comes in flavors including cinnamon and blueberry. Then there’s Sap on Tap, a maple water whose motto goes for the jugular: “Out with coconut water. In with maple tree water.” One of its waters comes with yerba mate, for a natural caffeine boost. The aforementioned GoLive is a “live probiotic water,” and it’s interactive: Press a compartment on the cap and release the live probiotics into the water, shake it and enjoy your ensuing gut health. But wait, here comes the mic drop of waters: organic water. You fools have been drinking conventional, nonorganic water your whole lives do you even know what you’ve been missing? A company called Asarasi makes sparkling water that is harvested as a byproduct from maple sap, and because it is filtered through the tree, it has achieved USDA organic certification, something that regular water does not have (water is an inorganic compound). It tastes like sparkling water. Finally: an Israeli company called O. Vine is making wine grape water, which really makes me think of Jesus. It’s a sparkling water that gets its slight wine flavor from grape skins. I regret to inform you that it has no alcohol in it. I will continue drinking my own version of grape water: It’s called wine.
Let's Cook Like It's 1973
What did we do in the fall of 1973? We sat at the brink of a precipice: Vietnam was winding down but the scandal that would end a presidency was just beginning to unspool. Richard Nixon was about to let loose his famous line to a gathering of journalists in Florida: "I'm not a crook," the president said. A year later was gone.
In the course of reporting a 2015 story on cottage cheese, NPR's Dan Charles came across an official White House photo of the meal Nixon ate right before he went on TV to announce his resignation: one lonely scoop of that controversial cheese on a bed of pineapple. The two ingredients are arranged artfully, if sparsely, on White House china Nixon washed it down with a glass of milk.
Luckily, in the fall of 1973, Gourmet magazine was doing slightly more interesting things with food, turning its eyes toward Europe, savoring the last of summer's produce—and thinking about how to make it stretch. A few highlights:
"Once upon a time the tomato was taboo in polite society," the magazine wrote. "With it smooth skin (colored a sinful scarlet) and questionable family connections (the notorious nightshades), it was looked upon as lust-provoking and probably lethal, a double stigma not easy to overcome." Gourmet overcame nonetheless, with a whole suite of recipes for stuffed tomatoes.
Cherry Tomatoes Stuffed With Avocado
"Como, the favorite resort of our grandparents, today has been rediscovered by our children." This declaration is in reference to Lake Como, an Alpine body of water that, according to Gourmet, "looks like a frog's leg garnished with herbs," and where guests to the swank resort feasted on dishes like jambon le tout Paris—ham steaks with curry sauce.
Ham Steaks With Curry Sauce (Jambon Le Tout Paris)
It was the end of the season, after all, the time when we cling to the last of the summer crop, figuring out ways to make it last, make it last, make it last. The magazine presented a menu of options, including a take-no-prisoners English hot-pepper sauce, which specifies to leave the seeds in: "the sauce should be very hot." A healthy dose of sugar tames things somewhat.
Crispy polenta is a delicious (and naturally gluten-free) alternative to toasts for your appetizer spread.
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