It arrives each year and each year it gets more expensive to attend, this year the sponsors were charging sixty dollars per ticket. Is it worth the price of admission?
The show is held at the Javits Center for three days and takes up two floors. The main area is sectioned off by rows running from back to front and from left to right – the room is sectioned off into thirds. The front third is for all the international vendors who want to be represented, and are held together by countries, Italy being the largest. The back two thirds are for all vendors who are able to afford the price to show their products. I usually start at the far wall in aisle one and walk up and down the rows of products being shown. I generally save the international section for last. You can see and taste chocolate followed by sauces followed by baked goods followed by drinks, these are not in order, and so you just keep walking.
This year I decided to visit three companies that have been around for a long time and can always be counted on to have something new and exciting. I went over to “TETLEY TEA,” first and discovered some new fruit blends that looked and tasted good. They really try to keep up with all the new trends and they do a good job. My next stop was to “WALKERS PURE BUTTER SHORTBREAD” where a lot of good things were being tasted. A group of new shortbread thins are being introduced in Lemon and Raspberry flavors and of course the original butter. Lemon is my favorite, you can taste the lemon peel in the cookie and it leaves a wonderful after taste which lingers. A smaller sized cookie is also being introduced in miniature rounds and Lemon Hearts, great to fit on a saucer of a tea cup. A new digestive biscuit has been introduced to the United States which can be enjoyed with a cup of tea or a bit of cheese. The biscuits contain wheat, oats, bran and of course butter with a touch of honey.
Walkers was founded in 1898 and is the leading brand exported from Scotland. The family continues to operate its original retail shop in Alberlour in the Highlands of Scotland to stay in touch with its roots. Walkers is a brand that we have all grown up with and I’m sure taken for granted. Don’t! Go out and try some of the new biscuits and re-enjoy the old favorites.
My third stop was to a company that is wonderful and full of fun. “D’ARTAGNAN.” “D’Artagnan” was founded in 1985 by Ariane Daguin and its success is a testimony to hard work and determination. Thank You! How about some Hot Dogs? You know that hot dogs from “D’Artagnan” have got to be special. How about Beef, Pork, Buffalo and Duck? The dogs are 3 ounces each, four to a pack; a bit larger than most dogs to get more of a mouthful and fit into the buns. “At D’Artagnan, we set up collectives of small American farms to raise our livestock,” Ariane Daguin told me. “They provide us with safe and healthy meat, using sustainable methods without any drugs. These hot dogs are the result of those values, which brings the best news: they taste really great!” They certainly do! You can find them at most good markets; Key Foods may now have them available. They are also featuring new smoked bacon (duck, wild boar, heritage pork: apple wood smoked and hickory smoked). Great with eggs for breakfast or a BLT for lunch. They are also featuring, succulent, juicy and rich in flavor, Buffalo.
There are five cuts available, medallions, patties, ground, rib eye, and top sirloin steak. Try some Buffalo instead of hamburger at your next cook out and watch people enjoy the full and rich flavors and you’ll be the leader of the pack in your neighborhood. “D’Artagnan” can always be counted on to deliver the best pates, mousses. Saucisson, smoked chicken breast and over 400 items that are designed to please your palate, and set you apart from the ordinary.
I love Moravian cookies, the really flat thin kind with scallop edges and a touch of spice. “SALEM BAKING COMPANY” from Winston Salem, North Carolina is introducing a collection of Moravian chocolate dipped cookies. My first thought was that we’re really gilding the lily here, we don’t need chocolate on everything, and then I tasted them. WOW! They are good. There is a whole line both with and without chocolate: pumpkin spice, sugar, key lime, chocolate, cranberry orange, tangerine orange and vanilla walnut. I was enjoying myself sampling each kind twice or three times and then I remembered my waistline. They also have some great cheese straws and biscuits. You can find these great treats in all better stores or on line at www.SalemBaking.com.
I stopped at a company the made tortillas called Harbar LLC from Canton, Maine. I spoke with Ezequiel Montemayor Sr. who is the CEO. He told me “Only a decade ago tortillas were considered only a Mexican dish, with their typical applications in tacos and burritos. Now restaurants from McDonald’s on up have a wrap on there menus”. We’ve come a long way. MAYAN FARMS tortillas come in whole wheat, multigrain, corn flour, and low carb for the health conscious customer. I was introduced to a tortilla day, breakfast of a wrap of eggs and sausage, what about a BLT wrap for lunch or even a pizza. For dinner there are all kinds of pizzas and lasagna or even a quiche and for dessert an apple or fruit tortilla. There’s nothing that a tortilla can’t do, but it must be a tortilla that tastes good plain, eaten with nothing on it and Mayan Farms tortillas do. I got a lot of ideas for recipes and I will pass them along to you in another column.
I stopped in France to see my friends at Le Cordon Bleu and Tony from Ottawa, Canada was visiting so we had a great talk. The school in Ottawa, Canada, is being completely redone and the building which was very beautiful is undergoing major renovations and should be complete early next year. It should be beautiful. I was invited so I’ll let you know. I also passed a booth that had a large picture of Sophia Loren hanging in the back, with “Everything I am, I owe to pasta.” OK, they had two jars of a tomato sauce bearing her name and nothing else. I guess Sophia will stop traffic anywhere.
I passed “BACHELDRE WATERMILL” flour. They make a complete range of traditionally crafted flours they have organic bread flours, specialty flours and home baking flours all milled in a 1747 mill in England. Today the Scott family continues to run the mill and continues to craft exceptional and award winning quality flours. www.bacheldremill.co.uk.
I asked a question at the beginning of this column, is it worth 60 bucks? I don’t think so!
If you have any questions or need more information please write me at this newspaper or e-mail me at RAskRalph@aol.com