Hello All! For the past six months or so I have had the privilege of writing for the Philadelphia Jewish Exponent. When they approached me to write for them I was super excited - I mean, YES!!! So...in addition to my articles and recipes that you find here you can also find some new, fabulous ones at jewishexponent.com!
Today, the Jewish Exponent published my article on Kosherfest 2014 (which was incredibly fun!) but due to space limitations they were only able to publish a limited version of the article (which you can fine here) and sadly wasn't able to list all the vendors and their products I wrote about, and publish all the cool and exciting pictures. Those are the breaks of newspaper print. The good part is that I get to give you the WHOLE ARTICLE here on my blog. I really want to acknowledge all the vendors who spent time and energy speaking with me and giving me all kinds of samples. SO...here is the article in full, but please make sure to go to the Jewish Exponent and like my article there. Thanks!!!
Imagine a bigger than a football field Willy Wonka's Chocolate factory, where instead of chocolate...there is every kind of Kosher food imaginable. Welcome to the world of Kosherfest 2014! Kosherfest is a Kosher food wonderland that takes place every year around the beginning of November. The past few years Kosherfest has taken place at the Meadowlands Convention Center in New Jersey, with vendors from all over the world coming to show the Kosher (and non-kosher) consumer their new (and some not so new) exciting Kosher products. There were wines from Argentina, plantains from Costa Rica, Zelda's caramel corn from Chicago, truffle pate' from Italy, Gus' famous Kosher Pickles from the Lower East Side of Manhattan, and Bamba snacks from Israel. There were even a few vendors from Philadelphia! Nearly every exhibitor has a sample table so you have to come prepared to spend an entire two days eating. There is SO much food that I, like many others, split the sampling into a "dairy" day and a "meat" day so that I wouldn't miss a single sample. When it was over I was stuffed!
|The plantains were really good!|
In addition to food exhibits there were also famous Kosher Cookbook authors introducing and signing their new books, like Leah Schapira with "Secret Restaurant Recipes from the World's Top Kosher Restaurants", Estee Kara with “Cooking Inspired”, and Chicagoan Lynn Shapiro with her book “Food, Family, and Tradition: Hungarian Kosher Family Recipes and Rememberances”, to name a few. If you needed a break from the sampling there were lectures about Kosher food, Kosher food marketing, and even an "Iron Chef" type competition with Paula Shoyer (“The Kosher Baker”, “The Holiday Baker”) as MC, and Naomi Nachman (The Aussie Gourmet), Jack (from Jack's Sausage) and Center for Kosher Culinary Arts pastry expert Chef Phileppe Kaemmerle, as the judges and famous Kosher Chefs as the contestants. It was exciting to watch the chefs dish up fragrant lamb dishes, sides with Jack's famous "Facon" (a kosher beef bacon), and other unique ingredients. The food they prepared smelled incredible!
|The "Iron Chef" Judges...they don't|
look too intimidating!
My personal method for going through Kosherfest is to go up and down each row talking to each vendor, finding out about the unique attributes of each product, and getting a feel for what makes each sample special. There was a general theme of healthier, better-for-you products. This Kosherfest featured a significant number of gluten-free products, great for the GFE (Gluten Free Eater). Many of the vendors that generally prepare products for the Passover market have come to realize that there is a huge demand for gluten-free foods and have started to make their goods available year round. Some have developed gluten-free baking products like coconut and sesame flours, and flour mixes that are touted to work better as a one to one substitute for wheat flour. All better alternatives for the GFE consumer.
There were some definite winners and some products that warrant an honorable mention. I'm happy to share my top picks with you.
PHILADELPHIA HOME TOWN HEROS
Burning Bush Hot Sauce - Neil D. Wenick President: This hot sauce is awesome on it’s own as a dip, or added into your favorite foods like soups, pizza, hummus, eggs, burgers, chicken wings, or even hot chocolate! burningbushhotsauce.com
SHARON MATTEN'S KOSHERFEST TOP PICKSGus' Pickles “Imitated But Never Duplicated” - This old timer is one of my all time favorites. It brings back memories of buying Gus’ pickles straight out of the barrel on the Lower East Side of NY. It’s the first booth I always stop at, there’s nothing like a super sour pickle for breakfast to start your day! www.gusspickle.com
Mikee We all love Mikee’s vast selection of sauces and now there’s a new one to love, Srirachanaise, Sriracha spicy mayo hot sauce. I begged a bottle to take home to put on sushi, and everything else! Vegan & non-dairy. www.mikee.com
|These guys were having a blast!|
Maztola “The trail mix of the exodus” - You’d think that Mazto granola would taste like, well, matzo. Matzola is unexpected and a great crunchy snack...even when it’s not Passover! www.foodmannosh.com
|This just says it all!|
Allies GF Goodies Gluten free cakes and pastries. Chocolate Chunk Cheesecake Brownie. Nothing else needs to be said.
Chocla-Taschen “A Sweet Twist on a Classic Treat” Save yourself the time and effort of baking hamentashen this year! Chocla-Taschen chocolate hamentashen are nut free, gluten free, soy free, non-gmo, rich and creamy goodness. They come caramel filled milk or caramel filled dark chocolate. Hamentashen never tasted so good! firstname.lastname@example.org
*Toffuti ravioli, pizza & lasagna - I even got to see the “cutie car” www.tofutti.com
*Quick Lemon Pure not-from-concentrate lemon juice www.derivadoscitricos.com
*Tofurky products tofurky.com
*Smokinlicious Gourmet Wood Products Smokin' Dust www.smokinlicious.com
|Use it in your smoker box on your grill!|
*Jack's Gourmet Beef Merguez jacksgourmetkosher.com
*Connecticut Coconut Sugar www.ctcoconut.com
*Dodilly Elegant Desserts ElegantDessertsNY.com
|SO pretty I brought it home and|
am using it this Shabbat!
|I told you Kosherfest 2014 was FUN!!!|
|My new favorite wine...sweet!|
|Awesome liqueurs! My favorite was the Dulce De Leche...right|
after the pickles (HA!)
|Black Mushroom Truffle Paste. Holy Cow! This is a|
mushroom lover's fantasy.
|In case you wondered why they called it a truffle PIG!|
Kosher Everyday is dedicated to the memory of my father
Dr. Theodore Saltzberg - Tuvia Ben Nachum Z”L
May his memory be for a blessing - Yihi zichro baruch.
Look for additional information about Edible Experience Kosher Everyday at www.koshereveryday.com,
JewishExponent.com, aish.com, Mishpacha Magazine’s Kosher Inspired Magazine,
The Chicago Tribune Syndication,
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These recipes are for sole, personal use of visitors to Sharon Matten -Edible Experience Kosher Everyday. Edible Experience Kosher Everyday recipes are for your enjoyment but are not to be posted or reprinted without express permission from Sharon Matten. Thank you!!