Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Gluten Free, Aloe and Coconut from the FFS

See Madonna?

Gluten-free food products, Aloe and Coconut drinks and waters and chipotle are the trends that stand out during the three days of the Summer Fancy Food Show in New York.

Gluten-free products are everywhere and include gluten-free snacks like Beanitos Chips made from beans only, Baked Lentil Chips from The Mediterranean Snack Food Company made from lentils and the Snikiddy Baked Fries but also cookies as the Chocolate KinniKritter Animal Cookies  from Kinnikinnick foods. You can find gluten-free pizzas from Against the Grain Gourmet, breads, baking mixes, buns and even gluten-free salami! (see picture).

Aloe Vera based drinks are also become increasingly popular and trendy. Natural Garden offers Aloe Vera Drinks in various fruit flavors as Mango and Pomegranate. Alodrink creates Aloe drinks from aloe juice and pulp, straight from the leaf. Aloe King is another company offering not only aloe drinks but a range of other products as well.

But if Aloe drinks are relatively new to the market, Coconut drinks are already an established trend. The Brazilian Vita Coco water is one of the most popular ones and reportedly, Madonna recently invested $1m. Research has proved that coconut water contains high levels of lauric acid, what the body uses to make monolaurin, a disease-fighting fatty acid derivative. Vita Coco is available in a number of flavors including pineapple and acai. Amongst other, the only Organic Coconut Water in a can comes from Edward and Sons Trading.

Another upcoming trend in beverages is the Relaxing Drinks. I only saw the Slow Cow exhibiting but the US market has plenty to offer (Zen, Mary Jane etc). Relaxing drinks are offered as an alternative to energy drinks and as Slow Cows message says, are more of an acupuncture session.

On the front of flavors, chipotle seems to win as it made its presence bold in hummus, salsas, peanut flavors and chips. A few other interesting products that are worth mentioning are: The Xan Confections and their 29-calorie chocolate, the sunflower butter chocolates Nut-Free Sun Cups and the Sofi Gold winner for new product - the Rozendal Hibiscus Vinegar.

Finally the most innovative creation of the show was a jelly bean Mona Lisa. Look here:

Sunday, June 27, 2010

The Summer Fancy Food Show is here

During my first day at the Fancy Food Show, I just took notice of what was offered plenty. What I saw was the following: Gluten Free in everything, Spices and Spiced Snacks, Energy Drinks, Relaxing Drinks and as always, it is worth mentioning the "innovation gap" of certain countries (i.e. Mediterranean). The British representation came with a new range of Potato Chips (that are definitely better than their football team), the Mexicans have a series of new guacamole dips and salsas, the South Africans impressed with energy bars and healthy foods and Virginia State with many...peanuts.
More tomorrow, with pictures and more about cool and trendy foods!

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Free People’s Pops Friday & Saturday

Chill out those hot summer days with  the Cooking Channel and a free frozen treat! The Cooking Channel  has created a “one-of-a-kind” ice cream truck to tour the country and promote itself by handing out free frozen dessert. New Yorkers get a special treat this Friday and Saturday when the Cooking Channel ice cream truck gives out free People’s Pops, the new Chelsea Market-based shop offering popsicles made from seasonal fruits. The truck will be at Chelsea Market Friday from 10AM to 6PM (75 9th Ave b/t 15th & 16th St) and at the NYC FoodFilm Festival Saturday from 12PM to 10PM under the Brooklyn Bridge.

Just chill's summer!

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Synchronized Worldwide Tasting at Sud De France

The worldwide synchronized tasting took place the same time in major cities on Monday, June 21st organized by the Sud De France and the Languedoc-Roussillon region. 50 journalists and bloggers from all over the world tasted the same five wines, interacted with the producers in France, made notes and blogged about it at the dedicated website (

The 5 bottles

What we tasted? The five wines that were selected were indeed unique not only in taste but also in packaging. We started with the Sieur d’Arques, Grande Cuvée 1531 (AOC Crémant de Limoux brut), a blend of chardonnay 70%, chenin blanc 20% and mauzac 10%. A strong but balanced sparkling wine, it's ideal for a nice aperitif for the summer. The Gérard Bertrand Cigalus, is a blend of Chardonnay, Sauvignon and Viognier, an amazing, fresh and fruity white wine with aromas of white peach and grapefruit. The rose Vignerons Catalans Fruité Catalan, which is a blend of Syrah 60 %, Grenache Noir 25 % and  Carignan 10 %, comes in a unique packaging, a balanced acidity and  a nose of red fruits. The red wine followed, a blend of Syrah 60% and Grenache 40%, named Dromadaire 30670. The first smell you get is that of the green olive but once in the mouth the taste of cherries and berries are dominant but gentle. Finally, the Mas de Madame 2006, is a Muscat of petits grains with a nose of almonds and lychee and a sweet and light finish. This Muscat won the Grande médaille d’or 2009.

It was a great event, let's do it again next year!

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Self Magazine and Bloomingdales shopping event

Featuring SELF's 2010 Healthy Body Award-winning products from Clinique, Estée Lauder, Lancôme, and Shiseido, this exclusive event will allow you to shop with confidence, receive tips from the experts and enjoy light hors d'oeuvres. Plus you'll receive a special gift-with-purchase at the event to make your shopping experience complete.
When: Thursday, June 24, 2010 @ 6:00 P.M. – 8:00 P.M.

Where: Bloomingdale's 59th Street, First Floor, Swing Space adjacent to the escalator

Sunday, June 20, 2010

New drinks at the Bar Show

The Angel Vodka comes with some angelic figures too!

New alcoholic drinks have a new taste but they also come with innovative and unique names. GIVEN, is the Tequila infused with all natural lime juice handcrafted in the Cognac region of France for a bold yet elegantly smooth taste. I liked the packaging and the colors.

The Blue Angel dares to name itself the world's second best vodka (in brackets will read: we are still looking for the world's best). It comes as an Ultra Premium Vodka but you can also have it as a blend with chocolate and chocolate and mint.

I also made note of the Sangrias which is actually a sangria mix sold in bottles in a number of juices: peach, lemon, pear, lime, banana and white grape. Just blend one part mix with two parts wine, stir and serve. The result is on the sweet side but it's still tasty.

Finally, I will definitely add the Drink Minx it up, a drink that claims that will enhance your sexuality and your sex appeal. It tastes fine - watch this space for the results in real life!

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Interview with Leticia Moreinos Schwartz

Leticia Moreinos Schwartz is a native Brazilian who knows what is real Brazilian Food. She is the author of one of the few cookbooks about Brazilian cuisine entitled "The Brazilian Kitchen". She accepted politely to answer my questions so get a taste of Brazil below!

When did you find out that you wanted to become a chef?

It was more of a gradual process. I have been cooking all my life, but I really didn’t know that there was an official profession of “chef” until I visited a cooking school in my early 20s. After a few months of research and a visit to The French Culinary institute, I knew I wanted my belly to be stuck to a range for the rest of my life

Who is your ideal client?

I really enjoy cooking for those who enjoy food, especially ethnic cuisine

What will you be serving this summer?

I am going to spend the summer in Brazil. My hometown is Rio but I’ll be doing lots of side trips and going on culinary adventures searching for what I’ll be serving next

What is your culinary secret?

Know your oven. We all have different ovens and what takes 6 minutes in my oven might take 12 minutes in another one

Any particular favorite tastes?

I love everything with coconut
What’s your favorite recipe from your book?

I really love all of them. Together they represent a collection of classic and contemporary Brazilian dishes. I make them over and over again even after developing them and having eaten each at least 30 times

One food you really dislike:


3 favorite must-haves in your cupboards are:

Onion, garlic, olive oil

Tell us one restaurant that you enjoy eating:

Olympe in Rio de Janeiro

Your next step will be to…

Work on another book

And finally, what is your favorite gastronomic destination?


Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Summer Solstice with Kenneth Cole and Making Books Sing

Come and celebrate the summer season with Making Books Sing at Kenneth Cole. RSVP is suggested:
When: Wednesday, June 23rd, 6-9pm

Summer Solstice with Kenneth Cole and Making Books Sing
Where: Kenneth Cole - Grand Central Station
107 East 42nd Street, NYC

Friday, June 11, 2010

Create your own chocolate bar

It sounds like a dream job. Actually, I was one of the few who dreamed about it years ago. Maybe being naive, but I thought that it would be possible to have a business where kids and adults will go into a space and create their own chocolate bars. And even more. Play with chocolate, shape it at their will and pace and make the most of it. Everything would be edible, sweet and chocolate-y, a perfect spot to indulge your hidden child or your four-year old little one.

Guess what. Hershey's made my dream truth. They announced today the grand opening of their newest experience, Hershey’s Create Your Own Candy Bar (at their actual Factory in Pennsylvania), an interactive, hands-on attraction that immerses guests in the candy bar creation process.  Hershey's will give consumers -for the first time- the ability to select their favorite candy bar ingredients such as graham crackers crumbs, crisped rice, blueberry fruit gels, chocolate cookie bits, vanilla chips and rainbow jimmies  while wearing authentic outfits, including factory aprons and hairnets. They will use similar equipment as Hershey factories to make their custom candy bar by pulling a lever to activate the machinery and dispense ingredients but are allowed to only select up to three inclusions in each bar. After the bar cools, it is sealed, packaged and personalized with custom packaging that guests design at an interactive kiosk.

Create Your Own Candy Bar officially debuts to the general public at Hershey’s Chocolate World attraction on Saturday, June 12, 2010 and will have an admission price of $14.95 per person, which includes the 30-minute experience and custom bar. For more information, visit

For a yummy chocolate tour, click here:

Saturday, June 05, 2010

Eat your Tees

If you haven't enough with food bloggers, culinary trends, Top Chefs, almost impossible to access restaurants, unique foods, numerous street markets, highly publicized cookbooks, gourmet magazines and amazing canapés, there is more about food. This one is NOT edible! Here come the Food Tees, a discovery that put eggplants not on your plate but on your T-shirt. The selection varies and includes both veggies and fruit that are shown on your tee with some related (or not) word messages.

Cucumber is COOL, cauliflower is the FLOWER CHILD and beets  HEART BEET. Ideal for a summer gift for your vegan friend or the child who hates "greens". Don't worry, all come organic!

Buy them here: Deliveries are free for all US orders. So, why you are waiting?

Housing Works Open Air Street Fair

Show New York how one block can make a big difference!

Crosby Street (between Houston and Prince) closes for thousands of $1 books, movies, records, and CDs. Plus food, beer, live music, $20 “all-you-can-stuff” bags of clothing and accessories from the Housing Works Warehouse, and much more from Housing Works SoHo Thrift Shop!

When: Saturday, June 05, 2010
at 10:00am
Where: Bookstore Cafe
126 Crosby Street, New York, NY 10012

Wednesday, June 02, 2010

Best Desserts: A Benefit for The LAMP

The event is going to be a delicious one. A group of talented food bloggers  will be squaring off against each other with their delicious baked treats. A panel of noted foodie judges, including Brooke Parkhurst - NY Daily News food columnist and writer and Giulia Melucci--author of saucy "foodoir" I Loved, I Lost, I Made Spaghetti will be the ones who will decide who the winner will be. So, don't miss the event next week!

Best Desserts! A Benefit for The LAMP

Wednesday, June 9, 7-9pm

Double Windsor Bar, 210 Prospect Park West (at 16th St.), Brooklyn NY

Admission: $20 in advance, $25 at the door (admission gets you access to exclusive drink specials and amazing desserts made by New York's hottest food bloggers). Buy your tickets here:

Tuesday, June 01, 2010

All you can do in June

TIME OUT magazine suggestions on  how to spend June in NYC. There are 30 things you can do, click here to find out: