Bigger again, and I’d say better than ever. Thousands of people and hundreds of vendors flooded the Meadowlands Expo Center last week for Kosherfest 2013. I was there to taste, to test, to visit with all of our favorite kosher vendors. So here is what was new and what I found most memorable at Kosherfest 2013.
First stop was visiting friends at Royal Wine (that’s Kedem too) and I loved starting my day with a L’chaim and then their new Kedem Fresh Grape juice. Packaged like fresh squeezed orange juice, Kedem Fresh is the freshest tasting grape juice that has no added sugar. It’s gorgeously purple, refreshing and a great, healthier alternative.
Next from Mikee, a new NON-DAIRY Mac and cheese, that will change your life. Really people, this is unbelievable. Same color, same taste, no hydrogenated oils or ultra garbage ingredients, just real Mac and cheese tasting goodness. Okay, it’s not gourmet but its mom’s want in a pinch. Watch your local market for this product; I think they were buying it off the Mikee display. I also liked their new pareve Ranch salad dressing. I tasted a few that day and this one tastes like, and looks like Ranch dressing, just pareve and also without hydrogenated oils.
Next to fleish options. Jack’s Gourmet is always a big hit with me. His booth was swamped with people tasting and oohing and aahing over his latest creations and all the yummy food Susie Fishbein was demoing. I can’t wait to taste his new “Facon Burger” (you know I use the “Facon” strips all the time and love them). He served an awesome Italian Sausage burger, ground up, browned and with some basic tomato sauce and spices. These burgers will enhance everything from a baked potato, a soup, a chili, a stuffing, crumbled on salad or even just as a burger. Congratulations Jack’s Gourmet on another year of great new products.
Matt’s Munchies (we love them and buy them buy the 25 pack in our house) won the Kosherfest award for best snack food. For those of you who have not discovered these little gems, your snack options are about to improve! All natural, gluten free, less than 100 calories and delicious, fruit leather squares that come in amazing flavors. We love Island Mango and choco nana best, but try them all!
Newcomer, Summit Point Farms had some great items. Packaged in small containers his BBQ Beans, are sweet and zesty, and filled with smoky brisket. Check your local market’s refrigerated section for this great item. Their Hickory Smoke BBQ brisket, fully cooked and packaged in 1 lb. packages is going to be your go-to take out item. Slow braised and super soft and flavorful, this product is going to sell well. Kosherfest judges thought so too, and awarded them with the best New Product Award.
Our friends at Osem are doing amazing things with their products. First, you asked and they listened…they removed all MSG from their soup and seasoning mixes, YES! That means their broths have no MSG and additional additives that we all try to avoid. Two cheers for this excellent improvement and serious edge over all the other brands. They also changed their packaging to reflect gorgeous images of scenes in Israel with information about those destinations on the back of the boxes. Not only is their matzo tasty, but now educational and inspiring too. Their flatbreads taste great, and their Israeli couscous comes in bigger sizes, which makes those of us who make large quantities of it, really happy. More, yes there is more. Customers asked for it and they made it. An all natural dairy Mac and cheese called Twist and Cheese. Looks and tastes like the other stuff but wow! Real cheddar. Way to go Osem.
Pereg, my favorite spice company, is now introducing a new product, quinoa pasta. I can’t wait to tell you about it in more detail in upcoming blogs. But this is awesome news for anyone who is gluten sensitive or just looking for lower carb options. Even better, its lower in calories and still has that pasta feel to it.
This year a few new drinks were highlights at Kosherfest. Real bottled ginger ale, Bruce Cost’s Unfiltered Ginger Ale original and flavored is unique and a great new product to try. It’s full of real ginger taste and great packaging. You have to find this all-natural drink bottled in Brooklyn and discover an all-new way to drink Ginger Ale. Frava, another new concept drink, is a natural juice with caffeine, and the company has a great story. Three college friends in need of a caffeine boost for study time, were unsatisfied with the warmth of coffee, the absence of energy from regular juice and the taste and questionable content of energy drinks so they used their entrepreneurial brains and created Frava, a combination of natural juice, caffeine and vitamins. Cool concept and tastes like sweet juice. I think both drinks will be hot this year.
I love lemonade (did you see my video on homemade lemonade?), and Pulse Beverage Company, a newcomer to Kosherfest showcased Cabana, natural lemonade in great flavors. It’s Lemony, sweet, and full of natural color. I loved the strawberry lemonade and the Island Mango flavors.
If you want even more great products from Kosherfest, email me, at firstname.lastname@example.org and I’ll share more, more, more.