Food for Thought
Trends from the 56th annual Summer Fancy Food Show
Life / 1 Jul 2010

The annual Summer Fancy Food Show, held at NYC's Jacob Javits Center, is a veritable all-you-can-eat buffet of emerging food trends. While we departed the trade show floor earlier this week a few pounds heavier than when we began, at least it was in the name of uncovering what's next in the world of enticing new edibles.

Wedding Cheese Cakes: Whether it's serving ice cream sundaes, a variety of homemade pies, or platters of assorted confections, more brides and grooms are opting to do away with traditionally over-styled (and overpriced) wedding cakes. However, the anti-cake trend may be going even more extreme, eschewing sweets altogether. California-based cheese company Cyprus Grove Chevre is creating multi-layered cheese cakes that are nothing like what you'd find at Junior's. First created for Cyprus Grove founder Mary Keehn's own wedding, the cakes consist of tiered wheels of different cheeses. Modern classics like Humboldt Fog, as well as newer varieties like Truffle Tremor, are recommended. So as not to forego the decorative pleasure of a wedding cake, the cake can then be garnished with dried fruits and edible flowers. The bloomy white rind of their goat cheeses gives the cake its frosting look, so it still exudes a more romantic sentiment than the wedges served at an everyday wine-and-cheese party.
Hemp: Despite the unfair reputational burden it carries due to the controversial plant from which it's derived, hemp has been struggling to find acceptance beyond niche health food circles for years. Rock n Roll Gourmet's Hippie Chips, while unabashedly being the 'tie-dyed Jimi Hendrix T-shirt found in a Woodstock gift shop' of snack foods, could have the marketing prowess necessary to boost hemp into the mainstream - or at least find fans among celiac sufferers, as the chips are also gluten free. For the more discerning foodie crowd, UK brand GOOD is now importing its hemp seed oil to the US. Loaded with heart healthy Omega-3 and Omega-6 fatty acids, it could become a viable alternative to olive and flax seed oils. What's more, if a certain recent article in The New York Times is to be believed, hemp's association with the Cheech and Chong culture could ultimately lend a helping hand in its quest for culinary success.
Bacon Snacks: We knew bacon was big last year when we saw the Fancy Food Show crowds elbowing one another to sample bacon salt and bacon mayo. As the affinity for cured pork has yet to diminish, a curious snack food called Bacon Krisps could be the next big thing in the party chip bowl. Packaged in sachets similar to those that contain microwave popcorn, the Krisps are intended to be warmed up to enhance their crunch factor. Given that they are made with bacon flavoring rather than real bacon, we suspect that more than a few vegetarians who long for bacon's savory bite will allow these into their diets. Of course, even though the product claims to have "25% less calories and 92% less fat than 'regular wheat chips'," it's no health food. But since so-called "suicide cuisine" is still being devoured with pleasure by so many, we doubt that the rise of a small indulgence like this will be dampened by a sudden wave of restraint.

©The Intelligence Group