Hunting for Chocolate: Fancy Food Show, NYC, 2016
Even before Mark and I got off the F train at the Hudson Yards Station heading to the Javits Center, we spotted folks bejewelled with their red and white Fancy Food Show tags.
Earlier in June when I had reviewed the list of chocolate vendors scheduled to be at the Show, I had felt a sense of panic. I wondered how I could possibly get to all of them, interspersed among the 2,670 exhibitors spread over the 840,000 square feet floor space. So I marked each chocolate vendor on my copy of the layout to maximize our time through the aisles. That kept us moving, admittedly grazing on cheese, crackers, antipasto, iced tea, gelato and more, yet pretty singularly focused on our chocolate trail. Knowing that there would be lots of chocolate samples, we came prepared with shopping bags that bulged by the end of each day. Even though we skipped the many offerings of caramel and salted chocolates, we are still, over one month later, nibbling on bon bons and minis. Fortunately, each day’s walking around Javits and then home from the show burnt off about 8 miles worth of calories.
And, we found some choco-stories of diversity and unity. We met Mendy Schmerling, the CEO of Milk Boy Chocolate, a third generation chocolate making Orthodox family based in Brooklyn using a Swiss process. And a nearby vendor, Abdallah’s Candies, a fourth generation Lebanese family owned company from Minneapolis was founded in 1909.
We were intrigued by the chocolate businesses recently launching efforts to assist girls and women. Honduran born Maribel Lieberman’s Mariebelle Chocolate, located in Soho since 2001, now seeks to empower women in Honduras producing cacao. Katrina Markoff’s Vosges Haut-Chocolat supports V-Day’s global movement to stop violence against women and girls. It also invests in girls through its Wild Ophelia line to encourage, educate and propel American high school and college gifts who have entrepreneurial dreams in food.
The Fancy Food Show is booked in my calendar for 2017 so that we will be able to collect more stories and samples. By then we will probably be out of chocolate.
Zooming for Challah
Thank you to The Jewish Week’s Food and Wine for running my story, “Zooming for Challah.” The internet has been popping with real-time challah baking sessions since shelter in place began. These free pre-Shabbat meet ups nourish a hunger for recipes, relief, rituals, and relationships. Despite nationwide yeast and flour shortages, longtime bakers and novicesRead more ›
Celebrate the First Shabbat After Passover with a Shlissel Challah
Hasidic communities mark the first Shabbat after Passover with a special challah as they transition back to the world of chametz. They shape the first post-Passover Shabbat challah into a key. The key, or shlissel as it is called in Yiddish, is meant to symbolize openings, passageways, and transition. Rabbi Pinchas Shapiro of Kovitz (b.Read more ›
Atayef: Double Fried Filled Pancakes for Chanukah
Aka Ataïf, atayif, qata’if, qatayif, katayef, these pancakes may be filled with nuts or also prepared with cheese fillings for Chanukah or Shavuot. They are also popular at weddings spread with cream and rose petal jam or simply topped with pistachios or almonds. This recipe guides you through a nut stuffed option. Read my storyRead more ›
Panettone for Breakfast?
While we tend to think of panettone as a Christmas bread, Jewish food writer Edda Servi Machlin shared this version of panettone from her childhood experiences in Italy of eating it for breakfast. She provides an authentic yet simpler process than most panettone recipes and a very tasty one at that. Enjoy it whenever youRead more ›
Some Previous Posts
(in alphabetical order)
- Ambasha (aka Himbasha, Hambasha) Ethiopian Wedding Bread
- Boulou: North African Orange Bread
- Challah Dough for Shaping
- Cheese Babka Recipe
- Chocolate Chip Cookie Chronicles: Inventions & Elections
- Kaak: Recipe for Crunchy Yeast Biscuits
- Lachuch (aka Lahoh or Lahuh): A Yemenite Flatbread for Shabbat
- Los Siete Cielos or Seven Heaven Challah Recipe
- Other Wedding Bread Customs
- Pan de Calabaza: Pumpkin Challah
- Panettone for Breakfast?
- Recipe for Dabo: Ethiopian Pan Cooked Shabbat Bread
- Recipe for Fancy Shapes in Dough: Shaping Dough
- Saluf (aka Salouf or Saloof): Recipe for a Yemenite Flatbread for Shabbat
- Seeking A Shikker Challah
- What is the Chocolate Babka Project?
- What's a Key (shlissel) Challah?
- What? No Babka at Catskills Hotels? *
- Yeast Raised Khachapuri Recipe
- Yemarina Yewotet Dabo: Ethiopian Honey Bread