The other day Roberta of koshereye.com and I shared our top ten picks from Kosherfest on Blog Talk Radio. We share the same passionate love of chocolate and some of our top ten picks from Kosherfest 2010.
I had only one day to spend at Kosherfest this year (never enough time for me). I love meeting the people behind well-known brands like Manischewitz, Kedem, and Dr. Praegers. Since I had to cut my visit down to one day, I sent a kosher foodie mom and friend of mine to investigate the brands that I didn’t have the chance to spend more time with. I sent her on a mission to find food that non-kosher and kosher consumers would find interesting. Why such a detailed request? It comes from my relationship with kosher food.
I’ve only been strictly kosher for the past 11 years, so I know what things taste like on the other side of the supermarket isle. In those days, I never dined in an American type of restaurant. No, I was more like the “world traveler” of international restaurants. I knew where the best South American, Japanese, Korean, Chinese, French, and Italian restaurants were and I savored every bite. I gave it all up to become kosher, but I must admit that the tastes and spices from around the world taste even better (in my opinion) when made with kosher products. Who is buying kosher food?
According to Industry statistics, the current kosher customer is 40 and under, and looking for gourmet, upscale and healthy kosher products. According to several sources*, the number of kosher consumers in the U.S. tops 12,100,000, and 21% of Americans who regularly or occasionally purchase kosher products do so because the items are kosher-certified. There are approximately 10,650 kosher producing companies and plants, there are 125,000 kosher certified products, 40% of kosher sales occur on the eve of Passover, 19,000 is the average number of kosher products in US supermarkets, and the dollar value of kosher products produced in the USA is $305,000,000,000.
It is nice to know that I am in such good company! Maybe you’ll consider these fantastic kosher products Emily and I saw at Kosherfest.
Schmerling-Fantastic dark chocolate and orange cereal bars at 99 calories a piece. Emily already bought 3 boxes at Aron’s Kissena Farms in Queens. The subtle orange taste is more upscale than the usual Quaker “granola” bars (sorry Quaker).
Mimiccreme-Emily and I both agreed that mimiccreme is a wonderful product. Great substitute for recipes that require milk in them. This product is made from almonds and cashews, so people with nut allergies take note. I think I finally found my answer to a wonderful and delicious cup of coffee with non-dairy creme. I tried the french vanilla flavor, I’m in love! Believe me, my husband would love it if this creme could kick my vanilla latte obsession from Starbucks.
Fruite of the Land -If you are looking for something new to spread on your bagel or challah, there are some amazing jams and jellies available from this company. Very unique with an excellent pairing of flavors. Emily loved the Merlot Wine Jelly and Fig Cabernet Preserves.
Eytan’s Kosher for Passover Desserts – For a kosher foodie mom with high standards for desserts, Emily was taken by Eytan’s. She thought that the desserts for Passover this year were divine. The presentation looked like it was done by a high end chef.
Moses Vodka-Emily, Koshereye, and I all agreed that this product is unique. Made with sugar-cane, this product can be used all year round. In the kosher world, this means that it is kosher For Passover. The bottle that this liquor comes in is beautiful, and there is a story behind it as well.
Jacks Gourmet – On the first day of Kosherfest, the lines waiting to try the most amazing smell of hot dogs at Jacks Gourmet was long. I am so glad that Emily had the chance to visit this booth and report back. She tried the hot dog and declared that, “the flavor was delicious and the scent beyond heavenly”..They also had a variety of different styles from mild to spicy. Even though both Emily and I try to avoid nitrates and so normally skip hotdogs from our repertoire, these just might be our “sometimes food”, especially because they are called sausages not hot dogs.
Prometheus Springs-Claims to be “the world’s first capsaicin spiced elixir. These all-natural, non-alcoholic elixirs each contain a proprietary blend of delicious heat extracted from chili peppers, layered with a blend of refreshing gourmet flavors. The active ingredient, capsaicin boosts your metabolism and elevates your mood by releasing endorphins for a happy healthy high.” Check out Emily’s favorite: Pomegranate Black Pepper – unique and fabulous. She also liked Lychee Wasabi. I tried the Lemon Ginger, my favorite combination. Could this be the cure for the common cold? If you like hot spicy, you can drink it plain. If you aren’t a fan of hot spicy, you will want a chaser of another beverage to cleanse the palate afterwards. This brand is looking to liquor stores as a mixer to go with alcoholic beverages.
Smart Cookie – Last year, these thick and inviting cookies caught my eye. They are cookies, but they are organic and made from vegetables. This is a dream come true for my family of cookie monsters. Emily tried “Gimmie a Beet” and described the cookie as, “soft and fresh, sweet but not too sweet”. Not only is the name of this cookie hip, its color is purplish hue.
Organic Bubs- Finally, babyfood in a squeezable pouch. This Australian company has parents and the health of their children top of mind. No nasty pesticides or preservatives.
Now, don’t you think you might want to try some of these kosher gourmet foods? If you do try any of the above, please let me know about your experience.