Hooked on Cheese: Raymond Hook’s 2017 Summer Fancy Food Show Finds

Top draws include fermented herbal tea, olive oil jam, and really good ham.

The 2017 Summer Fancy Food Show took place June 25-27 at the Javits Center in New York City. Over this weekend, The Daily Meal’s cheese expert Raymond Hook perused 180,000 specialty foods and beverages and selected his top 5 items from the show. Keep an eye out for these exceptional products at your local specialty food store in the coming months.


Aceites Jerez S.L. Olive Oil Jam (top)
Aceites Jerez is a 4th-generation family olive oil business, located in the fertile Toledo region on the Iberian Peninsula in Spain. The family uses cornicabra olives to produce various award-winning oils, as well as an olive oil “caviar” and, most uniquely, olive oil jam. This jam has a smooth, singular texture and flavor that provides a truly distinctive tasting experience; I can’t wait to try it out on top of pastries, or with cheese, yogurt, or fruit. I could see adding it to savory dishes as well. This jam must be tasted to be believed.


IDO Fermented Herbal Teas

Fermented products were huge at this year’s Summer Fancy Food Show, and some of my favorite examples of this trend were IDO’s Fermented Teas. IDO is a Korean company that makes organic, high-quality additive-free teas starting with different traditional proprietary herbal blends, then using a unique fermentation process that promotes the breakdown of vitamins and minerals in food. The fermentation adds beneficial probiotics

and digestive enzymes to the teas, each of which has a different use: “Snooze Delight” promotes healthy sleep, “Halo Flow” encourages sustained energy and positive mood, etc. An added bonus: the packaging is beautiful!


Wella Organic Chilled Protein Bars

Wella Bars differentiate themselves from the competition in a few crucial ways: they’re USDA certified organic; made with simple, sustainably sourced ingredients (nuts, seeds, honey, milk protein, and egg whites); they’re best kept chilled, to preserve freshness; and they’re absolutely mouthwatering. My favorite flavors were Powerful Peanut, Almond Blueberry, and Hazelnut Cacao – the last one tastes like a Nutella chocolate bar, but happens to be a million times healthier. In addition, a portion of each Wella Bar sale goes to fund research on the improvement of honey bee health.

Co-founders Rachel Geicke and Mariana Ferreira developed the Snow Monkey recipe while they were in college, looking for an icy treat option that was as healthy as it was delicious. With a base of banana, apple puree, hemp seed protein, and sunflower butter, Snow Monkey is high-protein, vegan, gluten free, dairy free, non-GMO, paleo, nut-free…you name it! It currently comes in two flavors: Goji Berry and Cacao, and you can take it from me: both are wildly flavorful and satisfying. While SM is currently just available in California, the Southwest, and at select Wegman’s locations on the East Coast, it will be rolling into supermarkets across the country by the fall of this year (check out their store locator). Plus you can purchase six-packs on their website. Rejoice!


Lady Edison Extra Fancy Country Ham

Now this is true decadence! Served at Momofuku in New York and Mateo in Durham, NC, Lady Edison’s Extra Fancy Country Ham is a spectacular all-American take on ultra-premium ham. Made from the hind legs of sustainably pasture-raised, heritage-breed, antibiotic- and hormone-free hogs, these hams are cured and aged for 12-18 months before hitting the shelves. This long-cured ham has a spectacularly savory, complex, layered taste; it’s buttery and rich but not overwhelmingly so. Winner of a 2017 Good Food Award, this is one rare item that’s well worth seeking out.


You can read Raymond’s Fancy Food Show picks from the Winter 2017, Summer 2016, and Winter 2016 shows here on The Daily Meal. 

You can follow Raymond’s cheese adventures on Facebook, Twitter, and his website.

Additional reporting by Madeleine James.


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