I took the day off from work on Monday in order to head up to New York for a day of the Fancy Food Show. Last summer, I went for two and a half days, but this year, since I’m not writing for a general interest food site at the moment, I decided to just spend a single day wandering the show floor. I had a good time, tasting and chatting, but the whole time I was there, I kept feeling like I didn’t quite belong.
As I looked at all the available products, I realized how little I’m interested in promoting things for people to buy (despite all the wonderful things available out there in the world). I’m far more interested in encouraging people to shop their farmers market, plant a garden and make their jams, spread, pickles and condiments on their own. However, the show was great in that it planted many seeds in my canning brain, that are now germinating and growing into recipes. Here are some of the best examples of foods in jars that I saw, maybe they’ll help inspire some of you as well!
This Black Olive with Ginger Jam was amazing – sweet, sharp and poignant in the very same bite.
These were some of the best pickled veggies I’ve ever tasted, they manage to be crisp, bright and shelf stable. As some of you might know, when you can pickled vegetables, it can be a challenge to keep them crunchy and safe for storage at the same time. This company has figured out a magic solution (when I pressed them about their process, they clammed up).
Carrot jam? Carrot jam! As far as I could tell, this was shredded carrots, cooked with sugar, spices and a bit of vinegar. It’s going on my list of things I’d like to do someday.
These port wine and fruit jams were just lovely. Sweet and rich, the port wasn’t overpowered, but was definitely there. They’d be excellent with cheese (and wouldn’t be hard to make at home).
Actually, here’s one product that I do love, that you can’t really make at home. Organic peanut butter from the folks who bring you Cream Nut (the most delicious and expensive peanut butter around). This one might be worth buying (probably only as a special treat though, it is quite pricey).