More tidbits from the 2014 Summer Fancy Food Show

I had a nice taste test ready but need some ingredient confirmation from the producer… so we’ll mark time with a few “casuals” that didn’t make it into my previous post about the Summer Fancy Food Show.

Georg Kao

George Kao, artisanal ramen chef

This guy wants to sell artisanal home ramen kits. What a great idea, since there’s a world of difference between the stuff you get in a top ramen house and in your packet of Shin Lamyan. He currently sells noodles to foodservice exclusively; I tasted his trial prep and it was delicious.

bonito for dashi

Dried fish for making ramen dashi, in the Japan pavilion

Rinse and recap. That’s the best practice I learned for recycling plastic containers in a seminar on sustainable packaging. If the bottle is dirty or still has liquid in it, the recycling center will discard it to avoid contaminating the recycling stream; a nice swirl with water and a bit of detergent is fine, no need to be obsessive. And if you don’t put the cap back on, it will get thrown away rather than recycled.

BBQ rub taster

Tasting dried rubs on chocolate squares

This exhibitor used squares of semisweet chocolate as the “platform” to compare various BBQ rubs. The flavor differences from one to the other come through very clearly and it’s a very enjoyable tasting experience.

The foodservice industry must index high in females. I say this because most of the men’s rooms in Javitz were converted to ladies’ rooms for the duration. Another theory: the management wanted to keep males from oversampling on the spirits and kombucha.

Temporary women's restroom

This used to be a men’s room

The difference between virgin and extra virgin olive oil is not what you think. I learned this in an olive oil seminar led by the dynamic Eryn Balch, the first food industry exec I’ve seen to attract groupies. It’s not a difference in processing; rather, EVOO has fewer “defects” as measured by the percentage of acid during testing.

Best tchotchke at the show: the Parmesan Frisbee. It’s served with chunks of Parmagiano Reggiano at 14, 24 and 36 months on a wheel to call out the differences; when you’re done you turn it over and sail it across the room. As a bonus, there’s no fear about getting it confiscated at the door (because of policies against taking food out).

Cheese Frisbee

The Parmesan Frisbee

Next up: a most unusual charcuterie taste test.

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