I am starting to learn my lesson: these shows at the Javits Center are huge! I figured since my wife is doing the short write-ups on the products we sampled, I would do my own overview. Forget about the grandious plans I had on tasting all the food for the BSCkids write-up as well as finding the best BBQ sauce and my favorite hot sauce! I really could only wander around and hope for the best. Next year, this is going to be a show we have to spend more time on. For now, here’s my overview and link back–basically, I really mean a link dump, so expect paragraphs to be grouped only as the flyers come out of the folder and really only by length. Prepare to go to ludicrous speed!
Snack Alliance Inc. does a lot of good snacks, and while we were there we got to sample some of the riceworks sweet chili chips, which we have had before at home and just love. They also had some Tangy Tamari simplyrice, which both of my kids enjoyed, and also a bag full of olives. Yes, that is correct, olives that come in a portable bag called Oloves. My wife ate these before I could even taste them, but she stated that she enjoyed them. Who wouldn’t–they are olives in a bag!
I also drank a fair amount of Slow Cow during the day, but I had no idea it was a relaxant drink that contained L-Theanine. No wonder I was off the whole day and nice to people rather than edgy. I enjoyed the last, and it might be nice to have a few of these around while sitting on the beach and watching the waves. One of my favorite desserts was the Lollibons in Swiss Vanilla Almond flavor. I had three of them (just don’t tell the people who were handing out samples). Favorite cookies made from frozen cookie dough? Without a doubt it would be Vermont Cookie Love. I tried both the Chocolate Chip and the Oatmeal with dried cranberries (I am not a raisin fan), which made for a perfect oatmeal cookie. Someone send me a few dozen tubes to keep in my freezer, please! They were the closest thing I have tasted to my own from-scratch type cookie.
Since we are talking about favorites, New Leaf, which is “The Official Beverage of Taste,” does have a lock on favorite drink of the show. It was not even a close contest; their Homemade Lemonade was awesome with its pure cane sugar goodness. I tried one of their Tea varieties as well, but this Lemonade was magical. How about a meat-free alternative to traditional gummy gelatine candies? Yup, Goody Good Stuff has that, and you know, it really does make me think that I do want a healthier gummy for my kids. Plus it is also great for vegetarians, vegans, etc…. I believe we may have some of these coming for review, and they were saying at the show how long it takes for gelatine to digest–yuck! They have me sold if the gummies taste good. Sharkies has kid and adult fruit chews that are gluten, fructose, and nut free. They have lunchbox size, and they also have 100% Vitamic C. The adult version also has naturally occuring electrolytes. I think we are going to be getting some samples of these, so hold out for a review.
Ever heard of Soyatoo!? Well, they make rice and soy whipped toppings. The flavors were great, with the rice having a better consistancy and the soy having a better flavor. They are a German-based company imported by Tofutown, and the toppings have a shelf life of a year to go along with the 40% lower fat. I will be reaching out to these people, because I really see this replacing our whipped cream in a can needs. Big Train Vanilla Smoothie mix? I believe they were making honeydew smoothies with the vanilla mix; I enjoyed them, my wife did not think they were anything special. Browniepops were just a little too decadant for me, but I could see how they would be great for a “classy” party or event. I also had some of the best crepes by the Crepini Cafe and The Crepe Team–the Spinach Feta and just plain crepes were wonderful. Carbon’s Golden Malted Pancake and Waffle Flour was okay, but I would have liked to try their chocolate version. I found it pretty tough to really compare the mix unless I had some other versions to taste at the same time. The chocolate, though, could be a winner that I missed out on. They did have pumpkin and blueberry, but I am not a huge pumpkin fan in general. Larabar was there with their new flavors, but for some reason I missed out on tasting them. I am a Larabar fan in general, though, so I figure they were good.
Back to drinks for a minute, as I roam all over the place with this article. Here is the problem with natural soda drinks that have no sugar added: they taste just like carbonated water and juice, nothing special. GuS, or Grown Up Soda, had some interesting flavors, but I do not think I got to try Dry Cola, which I would have liked. To be honest, I don’t remember if they had Dry Valencia Orange there, either. Glacia Icebox is water in a box instead of a plastic container. Great idea, actually. I tried some of it, and it was good for water. I mean, it is water; the hook is the reduction of your carbon footprint by purchasing an icebox instead of plastic container. Switch was also there, the soda that has only juice with no sugar added. Like I said before, this tasted more like carbonated water with juice, and I can make that myself. Where it does come in handy, though, is at school or work vending machines where you cannot make it yourself–it is a much healthier alternative to regular soda. Fizzy Lizzy falls into the same category. I was partial to some of their flavors; the grape, though, is grape juice with fizz. Tangerine, Raspberry Lemon, Fuji Apple, and Grapefruit are some flavors that bring a bit more originality to the table. Ayala’s Herbal Water may be a winner for some, but it was not for me. They had some “interesting” flavors. One of my favorite sodas was Lost Trail, but honestly the person at the booth was not that interested in talking to me, which is a shame. They had the best Strawberry & Cream Soda; it was wonderful. I have a card from PureCool, but it was not really my thing…but I only got a chance to try the pear ginger, should have tried the berry cool or tropical one.
Fundelina was a chocolate hazelnut creamy spread that was good and gluten free. (Speaking of gluten free foods, my wife tried a Pizza that was gluten free that she thought would be great for kids with allergies from Conte’s Pasta.) Justin’s Nut Butter was also at the show, with all sorts of almond and peanut types of butters. I have some sample packs, but I have not tasted them just yet. I have a card from Covered Bridge Potato Chips, as well; do not remember them, though. Snikiddy was there with their gluten & wheat free baked fries. They had classic ketchup there, and, boy, were they good. Just like fries and ketchup. They had no sample bags of these, otherwise I would have raided them. They also have a Bold Buffalo and Southwest Cheddar that are coming out this month if they have not already. They do also have their basked cheese puffs in pizza, nacho cheese, grilled cheese, and mac ‘n’ cheese flavors. I would have liked to try the grilled cheese! All of them were so much better than potato chips for you.
Speaking of chips!!! Snapz had some awesome fruit chips, and each bag is equal to 1 whole fruit or vegetable. I liked the apple chips, but you know the flavor that was most cool? Crunchy Beetroot Crisps. Also, where the heck were the Apple Cubes at the show? Someone send me some of those. Yogavive chips are some organic popped apple chips that were pretty good; they had a different taste since they are popped. They are gluten free, vegan, with no added sugar. I was also a fan of the Crispy Green, who has some good packaging and taste for their product. The FruitziO and Crispy Green products were nice snacks. (Can you tell I like freeze-dried fruit?) Peeled Snacks had some California Apricots that I have a card from, as well. Again, if I tasted them, it is all part of the mish-mash of food that went into my mouth and did not specifically register.
I do not remember exactly how much chocolate I tasted, but I will leave you with a wrap-up of some of the cards that I procured from tasting chocolate. That is the best I can do, because I cannot really remember each one. I do want to experience more Moo Kids Chocolate, and I hope they get in touch with me. I seem to remember good things about them. Bridgebrands Chocolate also has some very interesting stuff for the kids, inclding got milk? which are straws that have chocolate or vanilla beads in them that make the milk in your glass turn either chocolate or vanilla on the way to your mouth. Our kids love them, and I must say both flavors are pretty special. The Almonds & Sea Salt in Dark Chcolate from Chocolove was one product that I remember, though; I enjoyed that combination of flavors. Waggoner Chocolates was one of those cards that I really just do not remember the company, but I must have taken a card for a reason.
Divvies was there with their no nuts, no eggs, no dairy sweets. If you have or know kids with allergies, this brand is perfect, because everyone can share a delicious treat. They were telling me that aspect is how they came up with the name–you can divvy them up between everyone. I also have a cookbook from them that we will be trying out. Company with the coolest packing for kids products? Pelican Bay. The Pirates Treasure Tubes were super cool, and these are all mixes and things that you can make with the family. You really should check them out, because they have great things to buy as gifts or for parties. They were also so nice over there, so I want to make sure you go and check out their site. I will be looking to get some of the holiday items for stocking stuffers for the kids. I would also love to try the Dirt Pie item, it looks like it would be so much fun to do. There is so much that they have; you really just have to see their site.
There were three baby products that I wanted to highlight, and the first one is TastyBaby. It was featured in the Babies movie, and they have all sorts of products that are organic. They have Infant Cereal, Baby Food among other things and look to be a company we will need to check out as baby girl three becomes ready for this stuff. They do also make organic fruit snacks and pumpkin, banana, and whole grain cereal bars. Mum-Mums are biscuits made from rice that melts in the baby’s mouth and leaves no mess…so they say. They also have a toddler version, as well. I also look forward to trying these with baby number three, because if they leave no mess you can sign me up. Also Happybaby has organic baby food in a pouch. I tried a few of the fruit flavors myself and loved the packaging and the taste. They also have Happymelts and Happybaby Puffs, both of which I would love to try for our baby. They are also organic and allergy friendly.
I have to sneak in a few savory adult items, as well. J-Burger seasoning, which is is a combination of onions & chipotle with herbs & spices, is great. My wife tasted it at the show, and she has now made chicken/pork mix burgers with this put into the ground meat. They are awesome. One of my wife’s favorite savory items of the show was Soul Rolls–an egg roll with a a Southern twist. Baconnaise made its way into our vocabulary, and they were handing out grilled cheese sandwiches with Baconnaise on them. Very yummy, and the lite version has 1/2 the fat and 1/3 the calories of mayonnaise. They also had bacon salt and malt salt. I need some of that malt salt in my house!
Here are some pictures of the show below, and once again I learned that we really need to take more than one day to go to this show.